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Full text of "The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County"

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REFERENCE 



■^'d S533888 etA- 



. THE 



CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG 

OF 

CAIATEKAS COUNTY,, 

By JAauk Twain. 



EDITED BY JOHN PAUL. 



C. H. W:ES3i, ^uhUsher, //.9 & /5/ JS'ASS^U ST. 

AMERICAN NEWS CO., AGENTS. 

1869. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the yecr ISGT, by 

C. II. WEBB, 

In tlie Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 
District of New-York. 



JOHN A . G K AY &. G 11 E K N , 



16 AND IS Jacob St., N«w-Yokk 



TO 



John Smith, 



WnOlI I HAVE KNOWN IN DIVERS AND SUNDRY PLACES ABOUT THE WORLD, AND 

WHOSE MANY AND MANIFOLD VIRTUES DID ALWAYS COMMAND 

MY ESTEEM, I 

It is said that the man to whom a volume is dedicated, always buys a 

copy. If this prove true in the present instance, a princely affluence is about 

to burst upon 

rMJ7 :4.UriI01i. 



ADYEETISEMEI^T. 



" Mark Twain " is too well known to tlie public to require 
a formal introduction at my hands. By his story of the Frog, 
he scaled the heights of popularity at a single jump, and won for 
himself the sobriquet of The Wild Humorist of the Pacific 
Slope. He is also known to fame as The Moralist of the Main ; 
and it is not unlikely that as such he will go down to posterity. 
It is in his secondary character, as humorist, however, rather 
than in the primal one of moralist, that I aim to present him in 
the present volume. And here a ready explanation will be 
found for the somewhat fragmentary character of many of these 
sketches ; for it was necessary to snatch threads of humor wher- 
ever they could be found — very often detaching them from seri- 
ous articles and moral essays with which they were woven and 
entangled. Originally written for newspaper publication, many 
of the articles referred to events of the day, the interest of 
which has now passed away, and contained local allusions, 
which the general reader would fail to understand; in such 
cases excision became imperative. Further than this, remark 
or comment is unnecessary. Mark Twain never resorts to tricks 
of spelling nor rhetorical buffoonery for the purpose of provoking 
a laugh ; the vein of his humor runs too rich and deep to make 
surface-gilding necessary. But there are few who can resist the 
quaint similes, keen satire, and hard good sense which form the 
staple of his writings. J. P. 



coi^te:^ts. 



PaG3 

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, 7 

Aurelia's Unfortunate Young Man, 20 

A Complaint about Correspondents, dated in San Francisco, ... 26 

Answers to Correspondents, 34 

Among the Fenians, 58 

The Story of the Bad Little Boy who Didn't Come to Grief, . . 60 

Curing a Cold, CT 

An Inquiry about Insurances, 76 

Literature in the Dry Diggings, 82 

"After" Jenkins 85 

Lucretia Smith's Soldier, 89 

The Killing of Julius Csesar " Localized," 99 

An Item which the Editor Himself could not Understand, .... 110 

Among the Spirits, 116 

Brief Biographical Sketch of George Washington, , 127 

A Touching Story of George Washington's Boyhood, 132 

A Page from a Californian Almanac, ........ 141 

Information for the Million, 144 

The Launch of the Steamer Capital, 153 

Origin of Illustrious Men, 163 

Advice for Good Little Girls, 164 

Concerning Chambermaids, 167 

Remarkable Instances of Presence of Mind, . 172 

Honored as a Curiosity in Honolulu, j , 176 

The Steed " Oahu," 179 

A Strange Dream, 182 

Short and Singular Rations, , 194 



THE CELEBRATED JUMPING EEOG 



rALAYERAS LOUNTY 



? 




N" compliance with tlie request of a 
friend of mine, wlio wrote me from 
tlie East, I called on good-natured, 
garrulous old Simon Wlieeler, and inquired 
after my friend' s friend, Leonidas W. Smiley, 
as requested to do, and I hereunto append the 
result. I have a lurking suspicion that Leoni- 
das W, Smiley is a myth ; that my friend never 
knew such a personage ; and that he only con- 
jectured that, if I asked old Wheeler ahout him, 
it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smi- 
ley, and he would go to work and l)ore me 



8 THE JUMPING FBOO. 

nearly to death with some infernal reminiscence 
of him as long and tedious as it should Ibe use- 
less to me. If that was the design, it certainly 
succeeded. 

I found Simon Wheeler dozing comfortably 
by the bar-room stove of the old, dilapidated 
tavern in the ancient mining camp of Angel' s, 
and I noticed that he was fat and bald-headed, 
and had an expression of winning gentleness 
and simplicity upon his tranquil countenance. 
He roused up and gave me good-day. I told 
him a friend of mine had commissioned me to 
make some inquiries about a cherished compa- 
nion of his boyhood named Leonidas W. Smi- 
ley — Hev. Leonidas W. Smiley — a young min- 
ister of the Gospel, who he had heard was at 
one time a resident of Angel' s Camp. I added 
that, if Mr. Wheeler could tell me any thing 
about this Kev. Leonidas W. Smiley, I would 
feel under many obligations to him. 

Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and 
blockaded me there with his chair, and then sat 
me down and reeled off the monotonous narra- 
tive which follows this paragraph. He never 
smiled, he never frowned, he never changed his 
voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he 



TUE JUMPING FROG. 9 

tuned tlie initial sentence, lie never Ibetrayed 
the slightest suspicion of enthusiasm ; but all 
through the interminable narrative there ran 
a vein of impressive earnestness and sincerity, 
which showed me plainly that, so far from his 
imagining that there was any thing ridiculous 
or funny about his story, he regarded' it as a 
really important matter, and admired its two 
heroes as men of transcendent genius m finesse. 
To me, the spectacle of a man drifting serenely 
along through such a queer yarn without ever 
smiling, was exquisitely absurd. As I said be- 
fore, I asked him to tell me what he knew of 
Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, and he replied as 
follows. I let him go on in his own way, and 
never interrupted him once : 

There was a feller here once by the name of 
Jim Smiley, in the winter of '49 — or may be it 
was the spring of '50 — I don't recollect exactly, 
somehow, though what makes me think it was 
one or the other is because I remember the big 
flume wasn't finished when he first came to the 
camp ; but any way, he was the curiosest man 
about always betting on any thing that turned 
up you ever see, if he could get any body to 



10 THE JUMPING FROG. 

"bet on the other side ; and if he couldn't, he'd 
change sides. Any way that suited the other 
man would suit him — any way just so's he goi 
a "bet, Tie was satisfied. But still he was lucky, 
uncommon lucky; he most always come ont 
winner. He was always ready and laying for 
a chance ; there couldn't be no solitry thing 
mentioned l)ut that feller' d offer to bet on it, 
and take any side you please, as I was just tell- 
ing you. If there was a horse-race, you'd find 
him flush, or you'd find him busted at the end of 
it ; if there was a dog-fight, he'd bet on it ; if 
there was a cat-fight, he'd bet on it: if there 
was a chicken-fight, he' d bet on it ; why, if 
there was two birds setting on a fence, he 
would bet you which one would fly first ; or if 
there was a camp-meeting, he would be there 
reg'lar, to bet on Parson Walker, which he judg- 
ed to be the best exhorter about here, and so 
he was, too, and a good man. If he even seen 
a straddle-bug start to go anywheres, he would 
bet you how long it would take him to get 
wherever he was going to, and if you took him 
up, he would f oiler that straddle-bug to Mexico 
but what he would find out where he was bound 
for and how long he was on the road. Lots of 



THE juMPma FBoa. 11 

tlie boys liere lias seen tliat Smiley, and can tell 
you about him. Wliy, it never made no differ- 
ence to Mm — lie would bet on any tiling — tlie 
dangdest feller. Parson Walker's wife laid 
very sick once, for a good while, and it seemed 
as if they warn't going to save her ; but one 
morning he come in, and Smiley asked how she 
was, and he said she was considerable better — 
thank the Lord for his inf 'nit mercy — and 
coming on so smart that, with the blessing of 
Prov'dence, she'd get well yet ; and Smiley, 
before he thought, says, ''Well, I'll risk two- 
and-a-half that she don't, any way." 

Thish-yer Smiley had a mare — the boys 
called her the fifteen-minute nag, but that was 
only in fun, you know, because, of course, she 
was faster than that — and he used to win 
money on that horse, for all she was so slow 
and always had the asthma, or the distemper, 
or the consumption, or something of that kind. 
They used to give her two or three hundred 
yards start, and then pass her under way ; 
but always at the fag-end of the race she'd get 
excited and desperate-like, and come cavorting 
and straddling up, and scattering her legs 
around limber, sometimes in the air, and some- 



12 THE JUMPING FROG. 

times out to one side amongst tlie fences, and 
kicking up m-o-r-e dust, and raising m-o-r-e 
racket witli lier coughing and sneezing and 
blowing lier nose — and always fetch np at the 
stand just about a neck ahead, as near as you 
could cipher it down. 

And he had a little small bull pup, that to 
look at him you'd think he wan't worth a cent, 
but to set around and look ornery, and lay for 
a chance to steal something. But as soon as 
money was ujd on him, he was a different dog ; 
his under-jaw'd begin to stick out like the 
fo' castle of a steamboat, and his teeth would 
uncover, and shine savage like the furnaces. 
And a dog might tackle him, and bully-rag 
him, and bite him, and throw him over his 
shoulder two or three times, and Andrew Jack- 
son — which w^as the name of the pup — Andrew 
Jackson would never let on but what Tie was 
satisfied, and hadn't expected nothing else — 
and the bets being doubled and doubled on 
the other side all the time, till the money was 
all up ; and then all of a sudden he would grab 
that other dog jest by the j'int of his hind leg 
and freeze to it^ — not chaw, you understand, but 
only jest grip and hang on till they throwed up 



THE JUMPING FBOG. 13 

the sponge, if it was a year. Smiley always 
come out winner on that pnp, till he harnessed 
a dog once that didn't have no hind legs, l>e- 
cause they' d Ibeen sawed off by a circular saw, 
and when the thing had gone along far enough, 
and the money was all up, and he come to 
make a snatch for his pet holt, he saw in a 
minute how he'd been imposed on, and how 
the other dog had him in the door, so to speak, 
and he 'peared surprised, and then he looked 
sorter discouraged-like, and didn't try no more 
to win the fight, and so he got shucked out 
bad. He give Smiley a look, as much as to 
say his heart was broke, and it was 7iis fault, 
for putting up a dog that hadn't no hind legs 
for him to take holt of, which Avas his main de- 
pendence in a fight, and then he limped off a 
piece and laid down and died. It was a good 
pup, was that Andrew Jackson, and would 
have made a name for hisself if he' d lived, for 
the stuff was in him, and he had genius — I 
know it, because he liadn' t had no opportuni- 
ties to speak of, and it don't stand to reason 
that a dog could make such a fight as he could 
under them circumstances, if he hadn't no tal- 
ent. It ahvays makes me feel sorry when I 



14 THE JUMPING FROG 

think of tliat last liglit of liis'ii, and tlie way it 
turned out. 

Well, tliisli-yer Smiley had rat-tarriers, and 
chicken cocks, and tom-cats, and all them kind 
of things, till you couldn't rest, and you 
couldn't fetch nothing for him to l)et on l3ut 
he'd match you. He ketched a frog one day, 
and took him home, and said he cal' Mated to 
edercate him ; and so he never done nothing for 
three months Ibut set in his Iback yard and 
learn that frog to jump. And you l)et you he 
did learn him, too. He'd give him a little 
punch "behind, and the next minute you'd see 
that frog whirling in the air like a doughnut- 
see him turn one summerset, or may "be a 
couple, if he got a good start, and come down 
liat-footed and all right, like a cat. He got 
him up so in the matter of catching flies, and 
kept him in practice so constant, that he'd nail 
a fly every time as far as he could see him. 
Smiley said all a frog wanted was education, 
and he could do most any thing — and I believe 
him. Why, I've seen him set Dan'l Wehster 
down here on this floor — Dan'l Webster was 
the name of the frog — and sing out, "Flies, 
Ban'], flics!" and quicker' n you could wink, 



THE JUMPING FROG. 15 

he'd spring straight up, and snake a fly off'n 
the counter there, and flop down on the floor 
again as solid as a goh of mud, and fall to 
scratching the side of his head with his hind 
foot as indifierent as if he hadn't no idea he'd 
been doin' any more'n any frog might do. You 
never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard 
as he was, for all he was so gifted. And when 
it come to fair and square jumping on a dead 
level, he could get over more ground at one 
straddle than any animal of his l)reed you ever 
see. Jumping on a dead level was his strong 
suit, you understand ; and when it come to 
that. Smiley would ante up money on him as 
long as he had a red. Smiley was monstrous 
proud of his frog, and well he might be, for 
fellers that had traveled and been everywheres, 
all said he laid over any frog that ever tJiey see. 

Well, Smiley kept the beast in a little lattice 
box, and he used to fetch him down town 
sometimes and lay for a bet. One day a feller 
— a stranger in the camp, he was — come across 
him with his box, and says : 

"What might it be that you've got in the 
boxf 

And Smiley says, sorter indifferent like, "It 



16 THE JUMPmO FROG. 

miglit Ibe a parrot, or it miglit be a canary, 
may be, but it an't — it's only just a frog." 

And the feller took it, and looked at it care- 
ful, and turned it round tliis way and that, and 
says, ^'H'm — so 'tis. Well, what's lie good 
for?" 

^'Well," Smiley says, easy and careless, 
''He's good enough for one thing, I should 
judge — ^he can outjump ary frog in Calaveras 
county." 

The feller took the box again, and took 
another long, particular look, and give it back 
to Smiley, and says, very deliberate, "Well, I 
don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any 
better' n any other frog." 

' ' May be y o a don' t, ' ' Smiley says. ' ' May be 
you understand frogs, and may be you don't 
understand 'em ; maybe you've had experience, 
and may be you an't only a amature, as it 
were. Anyways, I've got mij opinion, and I'll 
risk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog 
in Calaveras county." 

And the feller studied a minute, and then 
says, kinder sad like, " Well, I'm only a stran- 
ger here, and I an't got no frog ; but if I had 
a frog, I'd bet you." 



THE JUMPING FBOO. 17 

And then Smiley says, "That's all right — 
that's all right — if you'll hold my I30X a min- 
ute, I'll go and get you a frog." And so the 
feller took the Ibox, and put up his forty dol- 
lars along with Smiley' s, and set down to 
wait. 

So he set there a good while thinking and 
thinking to hisself, and then he got the frog out 
and j)rized his mouth open and took a teaspoon 
and filled him full of quail shot — filled him 
pretty near up to his chin — and set him on the 
floor. Smiley he went to the swamp and slop- 
ped around in the mud for a long time, and 
finally he ketched a frog, and fetched him in, 
and give him to this feller, and says : 

' ' 1^0 w, if you' re ready, set him alongside of 
Dan'l, with his fore-paws just even with Dan'l, 
and I'll give the word." Then he says, "One 
—two — three— jump !" and him and the feller 
touched up the frogs from l)ehind, and the new 
frog hopped off*, but Dan'l give a heave, and 
hysted up his shoulders — so — like a French- 
man, but it wan't no use — he couldn't budge ; 
he was planted as solid as an anvil, and he 
couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored 
out. Smiley was a good deal surj)rised, and 



18 THE JUMPING FROG. 

lie was disgusted too, "but lie didn't have no 
idea what the matter was, of course. 

The feller took the money and started away ; 
and when he was going out at the door, he sor- 
ter jerked his thuml) over his shoulders — this 
way — at Dan'l, and says again, very deliber- 
ate, "Well, jT don't see no p'ints about that 
frog that's any better' n any other frog." 

Smiley he stood scratching his head and 
looking down at Dan'l a long time, and at last 
he says, " I do wonder what in the nation that 
frog throw' d oif for — I wonder if there an't 
something the matter with him — he 'pears to 
look mighty baggy, somehow." And he 
ketched Dan'l 1by the nap of the neck, and 
lifted him up and says, " Why, blame my 
cats, if he don't weigh five pound !" and 
turned him upside down, and he belched out 
a double handful of shot. And then he see 
how it was, and he was the maddest man — 
he set the frog down and took out after that 
feller, but he never ketched him. And 

[Here Simon Wheeler heard his name called 
from the front yard, and got up to see what 
was wanted.] And turning to me as he moved 
away, he said : " Just set where you are, stran- 



THE JUMPING FEOG. 19 

ger, and rest easy — I an't going to be gone a 
second." 

But, "by your leave, I did not tliink that a 
continuation of tlie history of the enterprising 
vagabond Jim Smiley would be likely to afford 
me much information concerning the Rev. Leoni- 
das W. Smiley, and so I started away. 

At the door I met the sociable Wheeler re- 
turning, and he buttonholed me and recom- 
menced : 

"Well, thish-yer Smiley had a yaller one- 
eyed cow that didn't have no tail, only jest a 
short stump like a bannanner, and " 

'' Oh ! hang Smiley and his afflicted cow !" 
I muttered, good-naturedly, and bidding the 
old gentleman good-day, I departed. 



AURELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 




HE facts in tlie following case come to 
me Iby letter from a young lady wlio 
lives in tlie l)eantiful city of San Jose ; 
slie is perfectly unknown to me, and simply 
signs lierself '' Aurelia Maria," wliich. may pos- 
sibly be a fictitious name. But no matter, tlie 
poor girl is almost lieart-broken by tlie misfor- 
tunes she lias undergone, and so confused by 
the conflicting counsels of misguided friends 
and insidious enemies, that she does not know 
what course to pursue in order to extricate her- 
self from the web of difiiculties in which she 
seems almost hopelessly involved. In this di- 
lemma she turns to me for help, and suppli- 
cates for my guidance and instruction with a 
moving eloquence that would touch the heart 
of a statue. Hear her sad story : 

She says that when she w^as sixteen years old 
she met and loved, with all the devotion of a 



AUIiELIA'S VNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 2l 

passionate nature, a yonng man from New- Jer- 
sey, named Williamson Breckinridge Carutliers, 
wlio was some six years lier senior. They were 
engaged, witli the free consent of their friends 
and relatives, and for a time it seemed as if 
their career was destined to Ibe characterized "by 
an immunity from sorrow l)eyond the usual lot 
of humanity. But at last the tide of fortune 
turned ; young Carutliers became infected with 
small-pox of the most virulent type, and when 
he recovered from his illness, his face was pit- 
ted like a waffle-mould and his comeliness gone 
forever. Aurelia thought to break off the en- 
gagement at first, l)ut pity for her unfortunate 
lover caused her to postpone the marriage-day 
for a season, and give him another trial. 

The very day before the wedding was to have 
taken place, Breckinridge, while absorbed in 
watching the flight of a balloon, walked into a 
well and fractured one of his legs, and it had to 
be taken off above the knee. Again Aurelia 
was moved to break the engagement, but again 
love triumphed, and she set the day forward 
and gave him another chance to reform. 

And again misfortune overtook the unhappy 
youth. He lost one arm by the premature dis- 



'22 AURELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 

charge of a Fourtli-of-Jiily cannon, and within 
three months he got the otlier pulled out by a 
carding-machine. Aurelia's heart was almost 
crushed Iby these latter calamities. She could 
not but "be deeply grieved to see her lover pass- 
ing from her by piecemeal, feeling, as she did, 
that he could not last forevei: under this disas- 
trous process of reduction, yet knowing of no 
way to stop its dreadful career, and in her tear- 
ful despair she almost regretted, like brokers 
who hold on and lose, that she had not taken 
him at first, before he had suffered such an 
alarming depreciation. Still, her brave soul 
bore her up, and she resolved to bear with 
her friend's unnatural disposition yet a little 
longer. 

Again the wedding-day approached, and 
again disappointment overshadowed it : Car- 
uthers fell ill with the erysipelas, and lost the 
use of one of his eyes entirely. The friends 
and relatives of the bride, considering that she 
had already put up with more than could rea- 
sonably be expected of her, now came forward 
and insisted that the match should be broken 
off; but after wavering awhile, Aurelia, with 
a generous spirit which did her crediti, said 



AUBELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 23 

siie liad reflected calmly upon tlie matter, and 
could not discover that Breckinridge was to 
Iblame. 

So slie extended tlie time once more, and lie 
broke Ms otlier leg. 

It was a sad day for tlie poor girl wlien slie 
saw tlie surgeons reverently bearing away tlie 
sack whose uses she had learned by previous 
experience, and her heart told her the bitter 
truth that some more of her lover was gone. 
She felt that the field of her affections was 
growing more and more circumscribed every 
day, but once more she frowned down her re- 
latives and renewed her betrothal. 

Shortly before the time set for the nuptials 
another disaster occurred. There v/as but one 
man scalped by the Owens River Indians last 
year. That man was Williamson Breckinridge 
Caruthers, of ^KTew- Jersey. He was hurrying 
home with happiness in his heart, when he lost 
his hair forever, and in that hour of bitterness 
he almost cursed the mistaken mercy that had 
spared his head. 

At last Aurelia is in serious perplexity as to 
what she ought to do. She still loves her 
Breckinridge, she writes, with true womanly 



24: AUBELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 

feeling— slie still loves wliat is left of Mm — bufc 
Iter parents are l^itterly opposed to the matcli, 
because lie lias no property and is disabled 
from working, and site lias not sufficient means 
to support both comfortably. "JSTow, what 
should she do f she asks with painful and 
anxious solicitude. 

It is a delicate question ; it is one which in- 
volves the lifelong happiness of a woman, and 
that of nearly two thirds of a man, and I feel 
that it would be assuming too great a responsi- 
bility to do more than make a mere suggestion 
in the case. How would it do to build to him ? 
If Aurelia can afford the expense, let her fur- 
nish her mutilated lover with Avooden arms and 
wooden legs, and a glass eye and a wig, and 
give him another show ; give him ninety days, 
without grace, and if he does not break his 
neck in the mean time, marry him and take the 
chances. It does not seem to me that there is 
much risk, any way, Aurelia, because if he 
sticks to his infernal propensity for damaging 
himself every time he sees a good opportunity, 
his next experiment is bound to finish him, and 
then you are all right, you know, married or 
single. If married, the wooden legs and such 



lUBELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN. 25 

otlu^r valuables as lie may possess, revert to tlie 
widow, and you see you sustain no actual loss 
save tlie cherished fragment of a noble but 
most unfortunate husband, who honestly strove 
to do right, but whose extraordinary instincts 
were against him. Try it, Maria! I have 
thought the matter over carefully and well, and 
it is the only chance I see for you. It would 
have been a happy conceit on the part of Car- 
uthers if he had started with his neck and bro- 
ken that first; but since he has seen fit to 
choose a difierent policy and string himself out 
as long as possible, I do not think we ought to 
upbraid him for it if he has enjoyed it. We 
must do the best we can under the circum- 
stances, and try not to feel exas]Derated at him. 




A COMPLAINT ABOUT CORRESPONDENTS, DATED 
IN SAN FRANCISCO. 

HAT do you take us for, on this side oi 
tlie continent ? I am addressing my- 
self personally, and with asperity ,to 
every man, woman, and child east of the Rocky 
Mountains. How do you suj)pose our minds 
are constituted, that you will write us such exe- 
crable letters — such poor, bald, uninteresting 
trash ? You complain that by the time a man 
has been on the Pacific coast six months, he 
seems to lose all concern about matters and 
things and people in the distant East, and 
ceases to answer the letters of his friends and 
even his relatives. It is your own fault. You 
need a lecture on the subject — a lecture which 
ought to read about as follows : 

There is only one brief, solitary law for let- 
ter-writing, and yet you either do not know 
that law, or else you are so stupid that you 



A COMPLAmT ABOUT CORRESPONDENTS. 27 

never tliink of it. It is very easy and simple : 
Write only about things and people your cor- 
respondent takes a living interest in. 

Can not you remember tliat law, liereafter, 
and abide by it ? If you are an old friend of 
tlie person you are writing to, you know a 
number of liis acquaintances, and you can rest 
satisfied tliat even the most trivial tilings you 
can write about tliem will be read with avidity 
out here on the edge of sunset. 

Yet how do you write ? — how do the most of 
you write ? Why, you drivel and drivel and 
drivel along in your wooden-headed way about 
people one never heard of before, and things 
which one knows nothing at all about and 
cares less. There is no sense in that. Let me 
show up your style with a specimen or so. 
Here is a paragraph from my Aunt N'ancy's 
last letter — received four years ago, and not 
answered immediately — not at all, I may say : 

" St. Louis, 1862. 

" Dear Mark : We spent tlie evening very pleasantly at 
liome yesterday. The Rev. Dr. Macklin and wife, from Peoria, 
were here. He is an humble laborer in the vineyard, and takes 
his coffee strong. He is also subject to neuralgia — neuralgia in 
the head — and is so unassuming and prayerful. There are few 
such men We had soup for dinner likewise. Although I am 



2y A C03IPLAINT ABOUT CORRESPONDENTS. 

not fond of it. O Mark ! wLj dm't you try to lead a better 
life ? Read II. Kings, from cliap. 2 to cliap. 24 inclusive. It 
would be so gratifying to me if you would experience a change 
of heart. Poor Mrs. Gabrick is dead. You did not know her. 
She had fits, poor soul. On the 14th the entire army took up 
the line of march from " 

I always stopped there, Ibecause I knew what 
was coming— the war news, in minute and dry 
detail— for I could never drive it into those 
numskulls that the overland telegraph enabled 
me to know here in San Francisco every day 
all that transpired in the United States the day 
before, and that the pony express brought me 
exhaustive details of all matters pertaining to 
the war at least two weeks before their letters 
could possibly reach me. So I naturally skip- 
ped their stale war reports, even at the cost of 
also skipping the inevitable suggestions to read 
this, that, and the other batch of chapters in 
the Scriptures, with which they were interlard- 
ed at intervals, like snares wherewith to trap 
the unwary sinner. 

JSTow what was the Eev. Macklin to me ? Of 
what consequence was it to me that he was '^'an 
humble laborer in the vineyard," and 'Hook his 
coffee strong"?— and was ''unassuming," and 
' ' neuralgic, ' ' and ' ' prayerful ' ' ? Such a strange 



A COMPLAINT ABOUT CORBESPONBENTS. 29 

conglomeration of virtues could only excite my 
admiration — nothing more. It could awake no 
living interest. That there are few such men, 
and that we had soup for dinner, is simply 
gratifying — that is all. '^Read twenty-Uvo 
chapters of II. Kings " is a nice shell to fall in 
the camp of a man who is not studying for the 
ministry. The intelligence that "poor Mrs. 
Gahrick" was dead, aroused no enthusiasm — 
mostly Ibecause of the circumstance that I had 
never heard of her before, I presume. But I 
was glad she had fits — although a stranger. 

Don't you begin to understand., now ? Don't 
you see that there is not a sentence in that let- 
ter of any interest in the world to me ? I had 
the war news in advance of it ; I could get a 
much better sermon at church when I needed 
it ; I didn't care any thing about poor Gabrick, 
not knowing deceased ; nor yet the Rev. Mack- 
lin, not knowing him either. I said to myself, 
" Here's not a word about Mary Anne Smith — 
I wish there was ; nor about Georgiana Brown, 
or Zeb Leavenworth, or Sam Bowen, or Stro- 
ther Wiley — or about any body else I care 
a straw for." And so, as this letter was just 
of a pattern with all that went before it, it was 



so A COMPLAINT ABOUT CORRESPONDENTS. 

not answered, and one useless correspondence 
ceased. 

My veneraWe mother is a toleralbly good cor- 
respondent — slie is albove the average, at any 
ratg. Slie puts on lier spectacles and takes lier 
scissors and wades into a x)ile of newspapers, 
and slashes out column after column — edito- 
rials, hotel arrivals, poetry, telegraph news, ad- 
vertisements, novelettes, old jokes, recipes for 
making pies, cures for "biles"— any thing that 
comes handy; it don't matter to her; she is 
entirely impartial ; she slashes out a column, 
and runs her eye down it over her spectacles — 
(she looks over them Ibecause she can't see 
thraugh them, but she prefers them to her more 
serviceable ones because they have got gold 
rims to them)— runs her eye down the column, 
and says, "Well, it's from a St. Louis paper, 
any way," and jams it into the envelope along 
with her letter. She writes about every body I 
ever knew or ever heard of ; but unhappily, she 
forgets that when she tells me that "J. B. is 
dead," and that " W. L. is going to marry T. 
D." and that "B. K. and R. M. and L. P. J. 
have all gone to ISTew-Orleans to live," it is 
more than likely that years of absence may 



A COMPLAINT ABOUT COBBESPONDENTS. oi 

have so dulled my recollection of once familiar 
names, tliat tlieir unexplained initials will be 
as unintelligible as Hebrew nnto me. She 
never writes a name in full, and so I never 
know whom she is talking about. Therefore I 
have to guess — and this was how it came that 
I mourned the death of Bill Kribben when I 
should have rejoiced over the dissolution of 
Ben Kenfuron. I failed to cipher the initials 
out correctly. 

The most useful and interesting letters we get 
here from home are from children seven or 
eight years old. This is petrified truth. Hap- 
pily they have got nothing to talk about but 
home, and neighbors, and family — things their 
betters think unworthy of transmission thou- 
sands of miles. They write simply and natu- 
rally, and without straining for effect. They 
tell all they know, and then stop. They sel- 
dom deal in abstractions or moral homilies. 
Consequently their epistles are brief ; but, 
treating as they do of familiar scenes and per- 
sons, always entertaining. Now, therefore, if 
you would learn the art of letter- writing, let a 
little child teach you. I have preserved a let- 
ter from a small girl eight years of age — pre- 



32 A COMPLAmT ABOUT CORRESPONDEIS^TS. 

served it as a curiosity, Ibecause it was the only 
letter I ever got from the States that had any 
information in it. It runs thus : 

St. Loms, I860. 

" Uncle Mark, if you was liere, I coiild tell you aljout jNIoses in 
the Bulrusliers again, I know it better now. Mr. Sowerby lias 
got liis leg broke off a liorse. He was riding it on Sunda}-. 
Margaret, tliat's the maid, Llargaret has took all the spittoons, 
and slop-buckets, and old jugs out of your room, because she 
says she don't think you're ever coming back any more, you 
been gone so long. Sissy McElroy's mother has got another 
little baby. She has them all the time. It has got little blue 
eyes, like Mr. Swimley that boards there, and looks just like 
him. I have got a new doll, but Johnny Anderson piilled one 
of its legs out. Miss Doosenberry was here to-day ; I give her 
your picture, but she said she didn't Vv^ant it. My cat has got 
more kittens — oh! you can't think — twice as many as Lottie 
Belden's. And there's one, such a sweet little buff one with a 
short tail, and I named it for you. All of them's got names 
now — General Grant, and Halleck, and Moses, and Margaret, 
and Deuteronomy, and Captain Semmes, and Exodus, and Le- 
viticus, and Horace Greeley — all named but one, and I am saving- 
it because the one that I named for You's been sick all the time 
since, and I reckon it'll die. [It appears to have been mighty 
rough on the short-tailed kitten, naming it for me — I wonder 
how the reserved victim will stand it.] Uncle Mark, I do be- 
lieve Hattie Caldwell likes you, and I know she thinks you are 
pretty, because I heard her say nothing couldn't hm-t your good 
looks — nothing at all — she said, even if you was to have the 
small-pox ever so bad, you would be just as good-looking as you 
was before. And my ma says she's ever so smart. [Very.] Sc 
no more this time, because General Grant and Moses is fight- 
ing. AxxiE." 

This child treads on my toes, in ey^-17 



A CO^IPLAINT ABOUT COBBESPONDENTS. 33 

other sentence, witli a perfect looseness, but in 
the simplicity of her time of life she doesn't 
know it. 

I consider that a model letter — an eminently 
readable and entertaining letter, and, as I said 
before, it contains more matter of interest and 
more real information than any letter I ever 
received from the East. I had rather hear 
abont the cats at home and their truly remark- 
able names, than listen to a lot of stuff about 
people I am not acquainted with, or read " The 
Evil Effects of the Intoxicating Bowl," illus- 
trated on the back with a picture of a ragged 
scalliwag pelting away right and left, in the 
midst of his family circle, with a junk bottle. 




ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

ORAL STATISTICIAN^." — I donH 
want any of your statistics. I took 
your whole Ibatcli and lit my j)ipe 
with it. I hate your kind of people. You are 
always ciphering out how much a man' s health 
is injured, and how much his intellect is im- 
paired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents 
he wastes in the course of ninety-two years' in- 
dulgence in the fatal practice of smoldng ; and 
in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee ; 
and in playing billiards occasionally ; and in 
taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc., etc., etc. 
And you are always figuring out how many wo- 
men have been burned to death because of the 
dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, 
etc., etc., etc. You never see more than one 
side of the question. You are blind to the fact 
that most old men in America smoke and drink 
coffee, although, according to your theory, they 



A2^sw£:bs to cobeespondents. 35 

ouglit to liave died young ; and that liearty old 
Englislimen drink wine and survive it, and port- 
ly old Dutclimen Ibotli drink and smoke free- 
ly, and yet grow older and fatter all the time. 
And you never try to find out how much solid 
comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment a man de- 
rives from smoking in the course of a lifetime, 
(which is worth ten times the money he would 
save "by letting it alone,) nor the appalling ag- 
gregate of happiness lost in a lifetime Iby your 
kind of people from not smoking. Of course 
you can save money Iby denying yourself all 
these little vicious enjoyments for fifty years ; 
but then what can you do with it ? What use 
can you put it to ? Money can't save your in- 
finitesimal soul. All the use that money can "be 
put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in 
this life ; therefore, as you are an enemy to 
comfort and enjoyment, where is the use in ac- 
cumulating cash? It won't do for you to say 
that you can use it to better purpose in furnish- 
ing a good table, and in charities, and in sup- 
porting tract societies, because you know your- 
self that you people who have no petty vices 
are never known to give away a cent, and that 
you stint yourselves so in the matter of food 



36 AlfSW^JUS TO COBRESPONDEKTS. 

that you are always feelble and liungry. Aud 
you never dare to laugh, in the daytime for fear 
some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor,, 
will try to borrow a dollar of you ; and in 
church you are always down on your knees, 
with your eyes buried in the cushion, w^hen the 
contribution-box comes around ; and you never 
give the revenue officers a true statement of 
your income. Now you know all these things 
yourself, don't you ? Yery well, then, what is 
the use of your stringing out your miserable 
lives to a lean and withered old age ? What is 
the use of your saving money that is so utterly 
worthless to you? In a word, why don't you 
go off somewhere and die, and not be always 
trying to seduce people into becoming as 
'' ornery" and unlovable as you are yourselves, 
by your ceaseless and villainous " moral statis- 
tics" ? ]^ow, I don't approve of dissipation, 
and I don't indulge in it, either ; but I haven't 
a particle of confidence in a man who has no 
redeeming petty vices whatever, and so I don' t 
want to hear from you any more. I think you 
are the very same man who read me a long lec- 
ture, last week, about the degrading vice ' of 
gmoking cigars, and then came back, in my ab- 



AN8WEBS TO COHBESPOIfDEJ^TS. 37 

sence, witli your vile, repreliensible fire-proof 
gloves on, and carried off my Ibeautiful parlor- 
stove. 

" SiMOiT Wheelee," Sonora. — The following 
simple and toucliing remarks and accompany- 
ing poem liave just come to liand from tlie ricli 
gold-mining region of Sonora : 

To 3£r. Mark Twain : The within parson, which I have sot 
to poettry under the name and style of " He Done His Level 
Best," was one among the whitest men I ever see, and it an't 
every man that knowed Mm that can find it in his heart to say 
he's glad the poor cuss is busted and gone home to the States. 
He was here in an early day, and he was the handyest man 
about takin' holt of any thing that come along you most ever 
see, I judge. He was a cheerful, stirrin' cretur', always doin' 
something, and no man can say he ever see him do any thing 
by halvers. Preachin' was his nateral gait, but he warn't a 
man to lay back and twidle his thums because there didn't hap- 
pen to be nothin' doin' in his own espeshial line — no, sir, he was 
a man who would meander forth and stir up something for his- 
self. His last acts was to go his pile on " 'kmgB-and" (calklatin' 
to fill, but which he didn't fill,) when there was a " flush " out 
agin him, and naterally, you see, he went under. And so he 
was cleaned out, as you may say, and he struck the home-trail, 
cheerful but flat broke. I knowed this talented man in Arkan- 
saw, and if you would print this humbly tribute to his gorgia 
abillities, you would greatly obleege his onhappy friend. 

HE DONE HIS LEVEL BEST. 

Was he a mining on the flat — 
He done it with a zest ; 

Was he a leading of the choir- 
He done his level best. 



38 AlfSWIJBS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

, If lie'd a reg'lar task to do, 
He never took no rest ; 
Or if 'twas off-and-on — tlie same — 
He done his level best. 

If he was preachin' on his beat, 

He'd tramp from east to west. 
And north to south — in cold and heat 

He done his level best. 

He'd yank a sinner outen (Hades),* 

And land him with the blest ; 
Then snatch a prayer 'n waltz in again. 

And do his level best. 

He'd cuss and sing and howl and pray. 

And dance and drink and jest. 
And lie and steal — all one to him — 

He done his level best. 

Whate'er this man was sot to do, 

He done it with a zest ; 
No matter what his contract was. 

He'd do his level best. 

Verily, tliis man was gifted with ^' gorgis 
albillities," and it is a happiness to me to em- 
balm the memoiy of their lustre in these col- 
umns. K it were not that the poet crop is nn- 
iisnally large and rank in California this year, 
I would encourage you to continue writing, 
Simon ; but as it is, perhaps it might be too 

* Here I have taken a slight liberty with the original MS. 
" Hades " does not make such good metre as the other word of 
one syllable, but it sounds better. 



aj^swj^jus to cobbespondents. 39 

risky in you to enter against so nnicli oppo- 
sition, 

"Ikquieee" wishes to know wliicli is tlie 
"best Ibrand of smoking tobacco, and liow it is 
manufactured. The most popular — mind, I do 
not feel at liberty to give an opinion as to the 
best, and so I simply say the most popular — 
smoking tobacco is the miraculous conglome- 
rate tliey call "Killikinick." It is composed 
of equal parts of tobacco stems, chopped straw, 
"old soldiers," fine shavings, oak leaves, dog- 
fennel, corn-shucks, sunflower petals, outside 
leaves of the cabbage plant, and any refuse of 
any description whatever that costs nothing 
and will burn. After the ingredients are tho- 
roughly mixed together, they are run through 
a chopping-machine and soaked in a spittoon. 
The mass is then sprinkled with fragrant Scotch 
snuif, packed into various seductive shapes, 
labeled '' Genuine Killikinick, from the old 
original manufactory at Eichmond," and sold 
to consumers at a dollar a pound. The choicest 
brands contain a double portion of "old sol- 
diers," and sell at a dollar and a half. " Gen- 
ume Turkish" tobacco contains a treble quan- 



40 ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

tity of " old soldiers," and is worth two or three 
dollars, according to the amount of service the 
said " old soldiers " have previously seen. 
]^. B. — This article is preferred by the Sultan 
of Turkey ; his picture and autograph are on 
the lahel. Take a handful of "Killikinick," 
crush it as fine as you can, and examine it 
closely, and you will find that you can make 
as good an analysis of it as I have done ; you 
must not expect to discover any particles of 
genuine tobacco by this rough method, how- 
ever — to do that, it will be necessary to take 
your sjpecimen to the mint and subject it to a 
fire-assay. A good article of cheap tobacco is 
now made of chopped pine- straw and Spanish 
moss ; it contains one '^old soldier" to the ton, 
and is called ^'Fine Old German Tobacco." 

^'Peofessioital Beggae." — No; you are 
not obliged to take greenbacks at par. 

* "MELTOiq- MowBEAY," Dutcli i^Zai^.— This 
correspondent sends a lot of doggerel, and says 

* Tills piece of pleasantry, published in a San Francisco p<i- 
per, was mistaken by tlie country journals for seriousness, and 
many and loud were tlieir denunciations of the ignorance of au 
thor and editor, in not knowing that the lines in question were 
" written by Byron." 



ANSWEBS TO COBRESPONDENTS. 41 

it has been regarded as very good in Dutcb 
Flat. I give a specimen verse : 

" The Assyrian came down, like a wolf on tlie fold. 
And Ills cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ; 
And the sheen of his spears shone like stars on the sea, 
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee." 

There, that will do. That may be very good 
Dutch Flat poetry, but it won't do in the metro- 
polis. It is too smooth and blnbbery ; it reads 
like buttermilk gurgling from a jug. What 
the people ought to have is something spirit- 
ed — something like ' ' Johnny Comes Marching 
Home." However, keep on practicing, and you 
may succeed yet. There is genius in you, but 
too much blubber. 

^'Amateue SeeenadePv." — Yes, I will give 
you some advice, and do it with a good deal of 
pleasure. I live in a neighborhood which is 
well stocked with young ladies, and conse- 
quently I am excruciatingly sensitive upon the 
subject of serenading. Sometimes I suffer. In 
the first place, always tune your instruments 
before you get within three hundred yards of 
your destination. This will enable you to take 
your adored unawares, and create a pleasant 



42 ANSWEBS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

surprise Iby launciiing out at once upon your 
music. It astonislies tlie dogs and cats out of 
their presence of mind, too, so tliat, if you liurry, 
you can get tlirougli before tliey liave a chance 
to recover and interrupt you ; l)esides, there is 
nothing captivating in the sounds produced in 
tuning a lot of melancholy guitars and fiddles, 
and neither does a group of able-ltodied, senti- 
mental young men so engaged look at all digni- 
fied. Secondly, clear your throats and do all 
the coughing you have got to do l)efore you ar- 
rive at the seat of war. I have known a young 
lady to be ruthlessly startled out of her slum- 
bers by such a sudden and direful blowing of 
noses and "h'm-h'm-ing" and coughing, that 
she imagined the house was beleaguered by vic- 
tims of consumption from the neighboring hos- 
pital. Do you supjDOse the music was able to 
make her happy after that? Thirdly, don't 
stand right under the porch and howl, but get 
out in the middle of the street, or better still, on 
the other side of it. Distance lends enchant- 
ment to the sound. If you have previously 
transmitted a hint to the lady that she is going 
to be serenaded, she will understand whom the 
music is for ; besides, if you occupy a neutral 



AJS'SW^HS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 43 

position in the middle of the street, may "be all 
the neighbors round will take stock in your 
serenade, and invite you to take wine with 
them. Fourtlily, don't sing a whole opera 
through ; enough of a thing' s enough. Fifth- 
ly, don't sing '' Lily Dale." The profound sat- 
isfaction that most of us derive from the reflec- 
tion that the girl treated of in that song is dead, 
is constantly marred l)y the resurrection of the 
lugubrious ditty itself by your kind of people. 
Sixthly, don' t let your screaming tenor soar an 
octave above all the balance of the chorus, and 
remain there setting every body' s teeth on edge 
for four blocks around; iand, above all, don't 
let him sing a solo ; probably there is nothing 
in the world so suggestive of serene content- 
ment and perfect bliss as the spectacle of a calf 
chewing a dish-rag ; but the nearest approach 
to it is your reedy tenor, standing apart, in 
sickly attitude, with head thrown back and 
eyes uplifted to the moon, piping -his distressing 
solo. Now do not pass lightly over this matter, 
friend, but ponder it with that seriousness Tvhich 
its importance entitles it to. Seventhly, after 
you have run all the chickens and dogs and cats 
in the vicinity distracted, and roused them into 



4-1- A]!{SWEMS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

a frenzy of crowing, and cackling, and yawling, 
and caterwauling, put up your dreadful instru- 
ments and go liome. Eighthly, as soon as you 
start, gag your tenor — otherwise he will be let- 
ting off a screech every now and then, to let 
the people know he is around. Your amateur 
tenor is notoriously the most self-conceited of all 
God's creatures. Tenthly, don't go serenading 
at all ; it is a wicked, unhappy, and seditious 
practice, and a calamity to all souls that are 
weary and desire to slumber and would be at 
rest. Eleventhly and lastly, the father of the 
young lady in the next block says that if you 
come prowling around his neighborhood again, 
with your infamous scraj)ing and tooting and 
yelling, he will sally forth and deliver you into 
the hands of the police. As far as I am con- 
cerned myself, I would like to have you come, 
and come often ; but as long as the old man is 
so prejudiced, perhaps you had better serenade 
mostly in Oakland, or San Jose, or around 
there somewhere. 



" St, Clair Higgins," Los Angeles.—" My life is a failure ; I 
have adored, wldly, madly, and slie wl^m I love has turned 
coldly from me and shed her affections upon another. What 
would you advise me to do ?" 



AlfSWBBS TO COMBESPONDENTS. 4.-0 

You should slied your affections on anotlier, 
also — or on several, if there are enough to go 
round. Also, do every thing you can to make 
your former flame unhappy. There is an ab- 
surd idea disseminated in novels, that the hap- 
pier a girl is with another man, the happier it 
makes the old lover she has blighted. Don't 
allow yourseK to believe any such nonsense as 
that. The more cause that girl finds to regret 
that she did not marry you, the more comfort- 
able you will feel over it. It isn't poetical, but 
it is mighty sound doctrine. 

" AniTHMETicus," Virginia, Nemda. — "If it -would take a 
cannon ball 3|- seconds to travel four miles, and 8| seconds to 
travel the next four, and 3f seconds to travel tlie next four, and 
if its rate of progress continued to diminisli in tlie same ratio, 
liow long would it take it to go fifteen hundred millions of 
miles ?" 

I don't know. 

'' Ambitious Leaet^ee," Ocikland. — Yes, 
you are right — America was not discovered 
by Alexander Selkirk. 

" DiscAHDED Lover." — " I loved, and still love, the beautiful 
Edwitha Howard, and intended to marry her. Yet, during my 
temporary absence at Benicia, last week, alas ! she married 
Jones. Is my happiness to be thus blasted for life ? Have I no 
redress ?" 



i6 ANSn^EMS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

Of course you liave. All the law, written 
and unwritten, is on your side. The intention 
and not the act constitutes crime — in other 
words, constitutes the deed. If you call your 
bosom friend a fool, and intend it for an insult, 
it is an insult ; but if you do it playfully, and 
meaning no insult, it is not an insult. If you 
discharge a pistol accidentally, and kill a man, 
you can go free, for you have done no murder ; 
but if you try to kill a man, and manifestly in- 
tend to kill him, but fail utterly to do it, the 
law still holds that the intention constituted 
the crime, and you are guilty of murder. Er- 
go, if you had married Edwitha accidentally, 
and without really intending to do it, you 
would not actually be married to her at all, 
because the act of marriage could not be com- 
plete without the intention. And ergo, in the 
strict spirit of the law, since you deliberately 
intended to marry Edwitha, and didn't do it, 
you are married to her all the same — because, 
as I said before, the intention constitutes the 
crime. It is as clear as day that Edwitha is 
yoar wife, and your redress lies in taking a 
club and mutilating Jones with it as much as 
you can. Any man has a right to protect his 



AJSrSWEBS TO C0RBESP0NDENT8. 47 

own wife from tlie advances of other men. But 
yon liave anotlier alternative — yon were mar- 
ried to Edwitlia firsts Ibecanse of yonr deliber- 
ate intention, and now yon can prosecnte lier 
for bigamy, in snbseqnently marrying Jones. 
Bnt there is another phase in this complicated 
case : Yon intended to marry Edwitha, and 
consequently, according to law, she is yonr 
wife — there is no getting aronnd that ; bnt she 
didn't marry yon, and- if she nevei^ intended to 
marry you, yoic are not Iter Imsband^ of course. 
Ergo, in marrying Jones, she was guilty of 
bigamy, because she w^as the wife of another 
man at the time ; which is all very well as far 
as it goes — but then, don't you see, she had no 
other liiisband when she married Jones, and 
consequently she was not guilty of bigamy. 
Now, according to this view of the case, Jones 
married a spinster^ who was a loidow at the 
same time and another man's wife at the same 
time, and yet who had no liusband and ne'der 
liad one, and never had any intention of get- 
ting married, and therefore, of course, newT liad 
been married ; and by the same reasoning you 
are a hacTielor, because you have never been 
anyone's liusband; and a married man, 'he- 



48 AJSfSWUHS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

cause you have a wife living ; and to all intents 
and purposes a widoicer, Ibecause you liave 
been deprived of that wife ; and a consummate 
ass for going off to Benicia in the first place, 
wliile things were so mixed. And Iby this time 
I have got myself so tangled up in the intrica- 
cies of this extraordinary case that I shall have 
to give up any further attempt to advise you — 
I might get confused and fail to make myself 
understood. I think I could take up the ar- 
gument where I left off, and by following it 
closely awhile, perhaps I could prove to your 
satisfaction, either that you never existed at 
all, or that you are dead now, and consequent- 
ly don't need the faithless Edwitha— I think I 
could do that, if it would afford you any com- 
fort. 



^'Peesecuted Uneoetukate." — You say 
you owe six months' board, and you have no 
money to pay it with, and your landlord keeps 
harassing you about it, and you have made all 
the excuses and explanations possible, and now 
you are at a loss what to say to him in future. 
Well, it is a delicate matter to offer advice in a 
case like this, but your distress impels me to 



AlfSYfBES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 49 

make a suggestion, at least, since I can not ven- 
ture to do more. When lie next importunes 
you, liow would it do to take liim impressively 
by the hand and ask, with simulated emotion, 
''^Monsieur Jean^ xotre cliien, comme se porte- 
ilf DouMless that is very bad French, but 
you will find that it will answer just as well as 
the unadulterated article. 

"Aetiiur Augustus." — No, you are v/rong ; 
that is the proper way to throw a brickbat or 
a tomahawk ; but it doesn't answer so well for 
a bouquet ; you will hurt somebody if you keep 
it up. Turn your nosegay upside down, take 
it by the stems, and toss it with an upward 
sweep. Did you ever pitch quoits % that is the 
idea. The practice of recldessly heaving im- 
mense solid bouquets, of the general size and 
weight of prize cabbages, from the dizzy alti- 
tude of the galleries, is dangerous and very 
reprehensible. ISTow, night before last, at the 
Academy of Music, just after Signorina Sconcia 
had finished that exquisite melodj^-, '' Tlie Last 
Rose of Summer," one of these floral pile-driv- 
ers came cleaving down through the atmos- 
phere of applause, and if she hadn't deployed 



50 ANSWERS TO COBBESPONDENTS. 

suddenly to tlie riglit, it would have driven lier 
into tlie floor like a sMngle-nail. Of course that 
bouquet was well meant ; but how would you 
have liked to have been the target ? A sincere 
compliment is always grateful to a lady, so long 
as you don't try to knock her down with it. 

"Youjs-G MoTiiEE." — And so you think a 
baby is a thing of beauty and a joy forever ? 
Well, the idea is pleasing, but not original ; 
every cow thinks the same of its own calf. Per- 
haps the cow may not think it so elegantly, but 
still she thinks it, nevertheless. I honor the cow 
for it. We all honor this touching maternal 
instinct wherever we find it, be it in the home 
of luxury or in the humble cow-shed. But 
really, madam, when I come to examine the 
matter in all its bearings, I find that the cor- 
rectness of your assertion does not manifest 
itself in all cases. A sore-faced baby, with a 
neglected nose, can not be conscientiously re- 
garded as a thing of beauty ; and inasmuch as 
babyhood spans but three short years, no baby 
is competent to be a joy "forever." It pains 
me thus to demolish two thirds of your pretty 
sentiment in a sin ale sentence ; but the position 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS 51 

I hold in this chair requires tliat I shall not 
permit yon to deceive and mislead the public 
^^ith your plausible figures of speech. I know 
a female baby, aged eighteen months, in tliis 
city, which can not hold out as a "joy" twenty- 
four hours on a stretch, let alone "forever." 
And it possesses some of the most remarkable 
eccentricities of character and appetite that 
have ever fallen under my notice. I will set 
down here a statement of this infant's opera- 
tions, (conceived, planned, and carried out by 
itself, and without suggestion or assistance from 
its mother or any one else,) during a single 
day ; and what I shall say can be substantiated 
by the sworn testimony of witnesses. 

It commenced by eating one dozen large blue- 
mass pills, box and all ; then it fell down a flight 
of stairs, and arose with a bruised and purple 
knot on its forehead, after which it proceeded 
in quest of further refreshment and amusement. 
It found a glass trinket ornamented with brass- 
work — mashed up and ate the glass, and then 
swallowed the brass. Then it drank about 
twenty drops of laudanum, and more than a 
dozen table- spoonfuls of strong spirits of cam 
phor. The reason why it took no more lauda 



52 AlUBWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

nmn was "because there was no more to take. 
After this it lay down on its Iback, and slioved 
five or six inclies of a silver-headed whalebone 
cane down its throat ; got it fast there, and it 
was all its mother could do to pull the cane out 
again, without pulling out some of the child 
with it. Then, being hungry for glass again, it 
broke up several wine glasses, and fell to eat- 
ing and swallowing the fragments, not minding 
a cut or two. Then it ate a quantity of butter, 
pepper, salt, and California matches, actually 
taking a spoonful of butter, a spoonful of salt, 
a spoonful of pepper, and three or four lucifer 
mat ches at each mouthful. (I will remark here 
that this thing of beauty likes painted German 
lucifers, and eats all she can get of them ; but 
she infinitely prefers California matches, which 
I regard as a compliment to our liome manufac- 
tures of more than ordinary value, coming, as 
it does, from one who is too young to flatter.) 
Then she washed her head with soap and wa- 
ter, and afterward ate what soap w^as left, and 
drank as much of the suds as she had room for ; 
after which she sallied forth and took the cow 
familiarly by the tail, and got kicked heels over 
head. At odd times during the day, when this 



AJ^SWEBS TO CORBESPONDENTS 53 

joy forever liappened to have notlimg particu- 
lar on liand, slie put in tlie time Iby climbing np 
on places, and falling down off them, uniformly 
damaging lierself in the operation. As young 
as she is, she speaks many words tolerably dis- 
tinctly; and being plain-spoken in other re- 
sj)ects, blunt and to the point, she oj)ens con- 
versation with all strangers, male or female, 
with the same formula, "How do, Jim?" Not 
being familiar with the ways of children, it is 
possible that I have been magnifying into mat- 
ter of surprise things which may not strike any 
one who is familiar with infancy as being at all 
astonishing. However, I can not believe that 
such is the case, and so I repeat that my report 
of this baby's performances is strictly true ; and 
if any one doubts it, I can produce the child. 
I will further engage that she will devour any 
thing that is given her, (reserving to myself only 
the right to exclude anvils,) and fall down from 
any place to which she may be elevated, (merely 
stipulating that her preference for alighting on 
her head shall be respected, and, therefore, that 
the elevation chosen shall be high enough to 
enable her to accomplish this to her satisfac- 
tion.) But I find I have wandered from my 



54 ANSWERS TO COBBESrONDENTS. 

siilbject ; so, without further argument, I wiU 
reiterate my conviction that not all babies are 
things of beauty and joys forever. 

" AniTmiETicus," Virginia, Nevada. — " I am an entliusiastic 
student of matliematics, and it is so vexatious to me to find my 
progress constantly impeded by these mysterious aritlimetical 
teclmicalities. Now do tell me what the difference is between 
geometry and conchology ?" 

Here you come again, with your diabolical 
arithmetical conundrums, when I am suffering 
death with a cold in the head. If you could 
have seen the expression of ineffable scorn that 
darkened my countenance a moment ago and 
was instantly split from the center in every di^ 
rection like a fractured looking-glass by my 
last sneeze, you never would have written that 
disgraceful question. Conchology is a science 
which has nothing to do with mathematics ; it 
relates only to shells. At the same time, how- 
ever, a man who opens oysters for a hotel, or 
shells a fortified town, or sucks eggs, is not, 
strictly speaking, a conchologist — a fine stroke 
of sarcasm, that, but it will be lost on sucli 
an intellectual clam as you. K'ow compare 
conchology and geometry together, and you will 
see what the difference is. and your question 



AlfSWUIlS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 55 

will be answered. But don't torture me with 
any more of yonr gliastly aritlimetical liorrors 
(for I do detest figures any liow) until you 
know I am rid of my cold. I feel the bitterest 
animosity toward you at this moment — bother- 
ing me in this way, when I can do nothing but 
sneeze and swear and snort pocket-handker- 
chiefs to atoms. If I had you in range of my 
nose, now, I would blow your- brains out. 

'^ SocEATES MuEPHY."— You speak of hav- 
ing given offense to a gentleman at the opera 
by unconsciously humming an air which the 
tenor was singing at the time. Now, part of 
that is a deliberate falsehood. You were not 
doing it "unconsciously;" no man does such 
a mean, vulgar, egotistical thing as that uncon- 
sciously. You were doing it to "show off;" 
you wanted the people around you to know 
you had been to operas before, and to think 
you were not such an ignorant, self-conceited, 
supercilious ass as you looked. I can tell you 
Arizona opera-sharps, any time ; you prowl 
around beer cellars and listen to some howling- 
dervish of a Dutchman exterminating an Ital- 
ian air, and then you come into the Academy 



56 AJUSWJEES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

and prop yourself up against the wall with the 
stuffy aspect and the iml)ecile leer of a clothing 
store dummy, and go to droning along about 
half an octave below the tenor, and disgusting 
every body in your neighborhood with your 
beery strains. [N. B. — If this rough-shod elo- 
quence of mine touches you on a raw spot oc- 
casionally, recollect that I am talking for your 
good. Murphy, and that I am simplifying my 
language so as to bring it clearly within the 
margin of your comprehension ; it might be gra- 
tifying to you to be addressed as if you were 
an Oxford graduate, but then you wouldn't 
understand it, you know.] You have got 
another abominable habit, my sage-brush ama- 
teur. When one of those Italian footmen in 
British uniform comes in and sings, " O tol de 
rol ! — Signo-o-o-ra ! — loango — congo — Yene- 
zue-e-e-la! whack fol de rol!" (which means, 
" O noble madame ! here's one of them dukes 
from the palace, out here, come to borrow a 
dollar and a half,") you always stand with ex- 
panded eyes and mouth, and one pile-driver 
uplifted, and your sprawling hands held apart 
in front of your face, like a couj)le of can- 
vas-covered hams, and when he gets almost 



AJSSWJSBS TO CORMESPONDENTS. 57 

tlirougli, liow you do uncork your pent-up en- 
tliusiasm, and applaud with, hoof and palm ! 
You have it pretty mucli to yourself, and then 
you look sheepish when you find every body 
staring at you. But how very idiotic you do 
look wlien something really fine is sung — 
you generally keep quiet, then. I^ever mind, 
though. Murphy, entire audiences do things at 
the opera that they have no business to do ; for 
instance, they never let one of those thousand- 
dollar singers finish — they always break in 
with their ill-timed applause, just as he or she, 
as the case may be, is preparing to throw all 
his or her concentrated sweetness into the final 
strain, and so all that sweetness is lost. Write 
me again. Murphy, I shall always be happy to 
hear from you. 




AMO^^G THE FENIANS. 

|ISHING to post myself on one of the 
most current topics of tlie day, I, 
Mark, liunted np an old friend, 
Dennis McCarthy, who is editor of the new 
Fenian jonrnal in San Francisco, TJie Irisli 
People. I found him sitting on a sumptuous 
candle-l)Ox, in his shirt-sleeves, solacing him- 
self with a whiff at the national dhudeen or 
caubeen or whatever they call it — a clay pipe 
with no stem to speak of. I thought it might 
flatter him to address him in his native tongue, 
and so I bowed with considerable grace and 
said : 

''Arrah!" 

And he said, "Be jabers !" 

"Ochhone!" said I. 

"Mavourneen dheelish, acushla machree," 
replied The McCarthy. 

" Erin go bragh," I continued with vivacity. 



AMONG THE FENIANS. 59 

*^ Astliore !" responded The McCarthy. 

"Tare an' ouns !" said I. 

" Bhe dha husth ; fag a rogarah lums !" said 
the bold Fenian. 

" Ye have me there, "be me sowl !" said I, (for 
I am not "up" in the niceties of the language, 
you understand ; I only know enough of it to 
enable me to "keep my end up" in an ordi- 
nary conversation.) 




THE STORY OF THE BAD LTITLE BOY WHO 
DIDN'T COME TO GPJEF. 

IN'CE tliere was a bad little boy, whose 
name was Jim — tliougli, if you wHl 
notice, you will find that bad little 
boys are nearly always called James in your 
Sunday-school books. It was very strange, 
but still it was true, that this one was caUed 
Jim. 

He didn't have any sick mother, either — a 
sick mother who was pious and had the con- 
sumption, and would be glad to lie down in 
the grave and be at rest, but for the strong love 
she bore her boy, and the anxiety she felt that 
the world would be harsh and cold towards liim 
when she was gone. Most bad boys in the 
Sunday books are named James, and have sick 
mothers, who teach them to say, "K"ow I lay 
me down," etc., and sing them to sleep with 
sweet plaintive voices, and then kiss them good- 



THE STORY OF THE BAD LIITLE BOY. 01 

niglit, and kneel clown Iby the bedside and 
weep. But it was different with this fellow. 
He was named Jim, and there wasn't any thing 
the matter with his mother — no consumption, 
or any thing of that kind. She was rather 
stout than otherwise, and she was not pious ; 
moreover, she was not anxious on Jim's ac- 
count. She said if he were to break his neck, 
it wouldn't be much loss. She always spanked 
Jim to sleej), and she never kissed him good- 
night ; on the contrary, she "boxed his ears 
when she was ready to leave him. 

Once this little bad boy stole the key of the 
pantry and slipped in there and helped himself 
to some jam, and filled up the vessel with tar, 
so that his mother would never know the differ- 
ence ; but all at once a terrible feeling didn't 
come over him, and something didn't seem to 
whisper to him, ^' Is it right to disobey my 
mother ? Isn't it sinful to do this ? Where do 
bad little boys go who gobble up their good 
kind mother's jam?" and then he didn't kneel 
down all alone and promise never to be wicked 
any more, and rise up with a light, happy 
heart, and go and tell his mother all about it, 
and beg her forgiveness, and be blessed by her 



62 THE STORY OF THE BAD LITTLE BOY. 

with tears of pride and tliankfulness in lier 
eyes. iN'o ; that is the way with all other bad 
boys in the books ; but it happened otherwise 
mth this Jim, strangely enough. He ate that 
jam, and said it was bully, in his sinful, vulgar 
way ; and he put in the tar, and said that was 
bully also, and laughed, and observed that 
"the old woman would get up and snort" 
when she found it out ; and when she did find 
it out, he denied knowing any thing about it, 
and she whipped him severely, and he did the 
crying himself. Every thing about this boy 
was curious — every thing turned out differently 
with him from the way it does to the bad 
Jameses in the books. 

Once he climbed up in Farmer Acorn's ap- 
ple-tree to steal apples, and the limb didn't 
break, and he didn't fall and break his arm, 
and get torn by the farmer's great dog, and 
then languish on a sick bed for weeks, and re- 
pent and become good. Oh ! no ; he stole as 
many apples as he wanted, and came down all 
right ; and he was all ready for the dog, too, 
and knocked him endways with a rock when 
he came to tear him. It was very strange — ■ 
nothing like it ever happened in those mild lit- 



TEE STOBT OF THE BAD LITILE BOY. 63 

tie books witli inarlbled backs, and witli jjic- 
tures in tkem of men with swallow-tailed coats, 
and bell-crowned hats, and pantaloons that are 
short in the legs, and women with the waists 
of their dresses nnder their arms and no hoops 
on. Nothing like it in any of the Sunday- 
school books. 

Once he stole the teacher's penknife, and 
when he was afraid it would be found out, and 
he would get whijDped, he slipped it into George 
Wilson's cap — poor Widow Wilson' s son, the 
moral boy, the good little boy of the village, 
who always obeyed his mother, and never told 
an untruth, and was fond of his lessons and in- 
fatuated with Sunday-school. And when the 
knife dropped from the cap, and poor George 
hung his head and blushed, as if in conscious 
guilt, and the grieved teacher charged the theft 
upon him, and was just in the very act of 
bringing the switch down upon his trembling 
shoulders, a white-haked improbable justice 
of the peace did not suddenly appear in their 
midst and strike an attitude and say, ^' spare 
this noble boy — there stands the cowering cul- 
prit ! I was passing the school-door at recess, 
and, unseen myself, I saw the theft commit- 



64 THE STOBT OF THE BAD LITTLE BOY. 

ted!" And tlien Jim didn't get wlialed, and 
the venerable justice didn't read the tearful 
school a homily, and take George by the hand 
and say such a boy deserved to be exalted, and 
then tell him to come and make his home with 
him, and sweep out the office, and make fires, 
and run errands, and chop wood, and study 
law, and help his wife to do household labors, 
and have all the balance of the time to play, 
and get forty cents a month, and be happy. 
1^0 ; it would have happened that w^ay in the 
books, but it didn't happen that way to Jim. 
ISTo meddling old clam of a justice droj)ped in 
to make trouble, and so the model boy George 
got threshed, and Jim was glad of it ; because, 
you know, Jim hated moral boys. Jim said 
he was "down on them milksops." Such was 
the coarse language of this bad, neglected boy. 
But the strangest things that ever happened 
to Jim was the time he went boating on Sun- 
day and didn't get drowned, and that other 
time that he got caught out in the storm when 
he was fishing on Sunday, and didn't get struck 
by lightning. Why, you might look, and look, 
and look through the Sunday-school books, 
from now till next Christmas, and you would 



THE STORT OF THE BAD LITTLE BOY. 65 

never come across any thing like tMs. Oil ! 
no ; you would find that all the bad boys vfho 
go boating on Sunday invariably get drowned ; 
and all the bad boys who get caught out in 
storms, when they are fishing on Sunday, infal- 
libly get struck by lightning. Boats with bad 
boys in them always iipset on Sunday, and it 
always storms when bad boys go fishing on the 
Sabbath. How this Jim ever escaped is a mys- 
tery to me. 

This Jim bore a charmed life — that must 
have been the v^ay of it. Nothing could hurt 
him. He even gave the elephant in the menag- 
erie a plug of tobacco, and the elephant didn't 
knock the top of his head off with his trunk. 
He browsed around the cupboard after essence 
of pepioermint, and didn't make a mistake and 
drink aqua fortis. He stole his father's gun 
and went hunting on the Sabbath, and didn't 
shoot three or four of his fingers off. He struck 
his little sister on the temple with his fist when 
he. was angry, and she didn't linger in pain 
through long summer days, and die with sweet 
words of forgiveness upon her lips that redou- 
bled the anguish of his breaking heart. JSTo ; 
bIi^ g>t over it. He ran off and went to sea at 



6(5 THE STOHY of tub BAB LITTLE BOY. 

last, and didn't come back and find himself 
sad and alone in the world, his loved ones 
sleeping in the quiet chnrchyard, and the vine- 
eml)owered home of his boyhood tumbled down 
and gone to decay. Ah ! no ; he came home 
drunk as a piper, and got into the station-house 
the first thing. 

And he grew up, and married, and raised a 
large family, and brained them all with an ax 
one night, and got wealthy by all manner of 
cheating and rascality, and now he is the infer- 
nalest wickedest scoundrel in his native village, 
and is universally respected, and belongs to the 
Legislature. 

So you see there never was a bad Jam^es in 
the Sunday-school books that had such a streak 
of luck as this sinful Jim with the charmed 
lif3. 




CURING A COLD. 

|T is a good thing, ]3erliaps, to write for 
the amusement of the public, Ibnt it is 
a far higher and nobler thing to write 
for their instruction, their profit, their actual 
and tangible benefit. The latter is the sole ob- 
ject of this article. If it prove the means of 
restoring to health one solitary suflTerer among 
my race, of lighting up once more the fire of 
hope and joy in his faded eyes, of bringing 
back to his dead heart again the quick, gener- 
ous impulses of other days, I shall be amply 
rewarded for my labor ; my soul will be per- 
meated with the sacred delight a Christian feels 
when he has done a good, unselfish deed. 

Having led a pure and blameless life, 1 am 
justified in believing that no man who knows 
me will reject the suggestions I am about to 
make, out of fear that I am trying to deceive 
him. Let the public do itself the honor to read 



eS CURING A COLD. 

my exioerience in doctoring a cold, as herein 
set forth, and then follow in my footsteps. 

When the White Honse was burned in Yu-- 
ginia, I lost my home, my happmess, my con- 
stitution, and my trunk. The loss of the two 
first-named articles was a matter of no great 
consequence, since a home without a mother or 
a sister, or a distant young female relative in it, 
to remind you, by putting your soiled linen out 
of sight and taking your boots down oif the 
mantle-piece, that there are those who think 
about you and care for you, is easily ob- 
tained. And I cared nothing for the loss of my 
happiness, because, not being a poet, it could 
not be possible that melancholy would abide 
with me long. 

But to lose a good constitution and a better 
trunk were serious misfortunes. 

On the day of the fire my constitution suc- 
cumbed to a severe cold caused by undue exer- 
tion in getting ready to do something. I suf- 
fered to no purpose, too, because the plan I 
was figuring at for the extinguishing of the fire 
was so elaborate that I never got it completed 
until the middle of the following week. 

The first time I began to sneeze, a friend told 



(JUBING A COLD. (39 

;ne to go and batlie my feet in liot water and go 
to bed. I did so. Shortly afterward, anotlier 
friend advised me to get up and take a cold 
sliower-batli. I did that also. Within the 
hour, another friend assured me that it was 
policy to "feed a cold and starve a fever." I 
had both. So I thought it best to fill myself 
up for the cold, and then keep dark and let the 
fever starve awhile. 

In a case of this kind, I seldom do things by 
halves ; I ate pretty heartily ; I conferred my 
custom upon, a stranger who had just opened 
his restaurant that morning ; he waited near 
me in respectful silence until I had finished 
feeding my cold, when he inquired if the peo- 
ple about Virginia were much afflicted with 
colds ? I told him I thought they were. He 
hen went out and took in his sign. I started 
down toward the ofiice, and on the way encoun- 
tered another bosom friend, who told me that a 
quart of salt water, taken warm, would come 
as near curing a cold as any thing in the world. 
I hardly thought I had room for it, but I 
tried it any how. The result was surprising. 
I believe I threw up my immortal soul. 

l!^ow, as I am giving my experience only for 



70 CUBING A COLD. 

the "benefit of tliose wlio are troubled witli the 
distemper I am writing ahont, I feel that they 
will see the propriety of my cautioning them 
against following such portions of it as proved 
inefficient with me, and acting upon this convic- 
tion, I warn them against warm salt water. It 
may be a good enough remedy, but I think it 
is too severe. If I had another cold in the 
head, and there were no course left me but to 
take either an earthquake or a quart of warm 
salt water, I would take my chances on the 
earthquake. 

After the storm which had been raging in my 
stomach had subsided, and no more good Sa- 
maritans happening along, I went on borrowing 
handkerchiefs again and blowing them to 
atoms, as had been my custom in the early 
stages of my cold, until I came across a lady 
who had just arrived from over the plains, and 
who said she had lived in a part of the country 
where doctors were scarce, and had from neces- 
sity acquired considerable skill in the treat- 
ment of simple ''family complaints." I knew 
she must have had much experience, for she 
appeared to be a hundred and fifty years old. M 

She mixed a decoction composed of molasses, 



CUBING A COLD. Yl 

aqua fortis, turpentine, and various other drugs, 
and instructed me to take a wine-glass full of it 
every fifteen minutes. I never took but on;) 
(lose ; that was enough ; it rolbbed me of all 
moral principle, and awoke every unworthy 
impulse of my nature. Under its malign influ- 
ence my brain conceived miracles of meanness, 
but my hands were too feeble to execute them ; 
at that time, had it not been that my strength 
had surrendered to a succession of assaults 
from infallible remedies for my cold, I am satis- 
fied that I would have tried to rob the grave- 
yard. 

Like most other people I often feel mean, and 
act accordingly ; but until I took that medicine 
I had never reveled in such supernatural de- 
pravity and felt jiroud of it. At the end of 
two days I was ready to go to doctoring again. 
I took a few more unfailing remedies, and 
finally drove my cold from my head to my 
lungs. 

I got to coughing incessantly, and my voice 
fell below zero ; I conversed in a thundering 
base, two octaves below my natural tone ; I 
could only compass my regular nightly repose 
by coughing myself down to a state of utter ex- 



72 CUBING A COLD. 

liaiistion, and tlien tlie moment I Ibegan to talk 
in my sleep, my discordant voice woke me up 
again. 

My case grew more and more serious every 
day. Plain gin was recommended ; I took it., 
Then gin and molasses ; I took that also. 
Then gin and onions ; I added the onions, and 
took all three. I detected no particular result, 
however, except that I had acquired a l)reath 
like a l^uzzard' s. 

I found I had to travel for m^y health. I 
v/ent to Lake Bigler with my reportorial com- 
rade, Wilson. It is gratifying to m^e to reflect 
that we traveled in considerahle style ; we went 
in the Pioneer coach, and my friend took all 
his Ibaggage with him, consisting of two excel- 
lent silk handkerchiefs and a daguerreotype of 
his grandmother. We sailed and hunted and 
fished and danced all day, and I doctored my 
cough all night. By managing in this way, I 
made out to improve every hour in the twenty- 
four. But my disease continued to grow 
worse. 

A sheet-l)atli was recommended. I had never 
refused a remedy yet, and it seemed poor poli- 
cy to commence then ; therefore I determined 



I 



CURING A COLD. 73 

to take a slieet-batli, notwitlistanding I liad no 
idea what sort of arrangement it was. 

It was administered at midniglit, and the 
^veather was very frosty. My breast and Iback 
were bared, and a sheet (there appeared to be 
a thousand yards of it) soaked in ice-water was 
wound around me until I resembled a swab for 
a Columbiad. 

It is a cruel expedient. When the chilly rag 
touches one's warm flesh, it makes him start 
with sudden violence and gasp for breath just 
as men do in the death agony. It froze the 
marrow in my bones and stopped the beating 
of my heart. I thought my time had come. 

Young Wilson said the circumstance re- 
minded him of an anecdote about a negro 
who was being baptized, and who slipped 
from the parson' s grasp, and came near being- 
drowned. He floundered around, though, and 
finally rose up out of the water considerably 
strangled and furiously angry, and started 
ashore at once, spouting water like a whale, 
and remarking, with great asperity, that "One 
o' dese days some gen'lman's nigger gwjaie 
to git killed wid jes' such dam foolishness as 
dis!" 



74 CURING A COLD. 

Never take a slieet-lbatli — never. I^ext to 
meeting a lady acquaintance, wlio, for reasons 
best known to lierself, don't see you when she 
looks at you, and don't know you when she 
does see you, it is the most uncomfortable 
tiling in the world. 

But, as I was saying, when the sheet-hath 
failed to cure my cough, a lady friend recom- 
mended the application of a mustard j)laster 
to my breast. I believe that would have cured 
me effectually, if it had not been for young 
Wilson. "When I went to bed, I put my mus- 
tard plaster — which was a very gorgeous one, 
eighteen inches square — where I could reach it 
when I was ready for it. But young Wilson 
got hungry in the night, and ate it up. I never 
saw any body have such an appetite ; I am con- 
fident that lunatic would have eaten me if I had 
been healthy. 

After sojourning a week at Lake Bigler, I 
went to Steamboat Springs, and beside the 
steam baths, I took a lot of the vilest medicines 
that were ever concocted. They would have 
cured me, but I had to go back to Virginia, 
where, notwithstanding the variety of new reme- 
dies I absorbed every day, I managed to aggra- 



CURING A COLD. 75 

vate my disease by carelessness and undue ex- 
posure. 

I finally concluded to visit San Francisco, 
and tlie first day I got tliere, a lady at tlie Lick 
House told me to drink a quart of whisky every 
twenty-four hours, and a friend at the Occiden- 
tal recommended precisely the same course. 
Each advised me to take a quart ; that made 
half a gallon. I did it, and still live. 

Now, with the kindest motives in the world, 
I ofier for the consideration of consumptive pa- 
tients the variegated course of treatment I have 
lately gone through. Let them try it ; if it 
don't cure them, it can't more than kill them. 




AK INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCES. 

OMING down from Sacramento the 
other night, I found on a center- 
tahle in the saloon of the steamlboat, 
a pamphlet advertisement of an Accident In- 
surance Company. It interested me a good 
deal, with its General Accidents, and its Haz- 
ardous Tables, and Extra-Hazardous furniture 
of the same description, and I would like to 
know something more ahout it. It is a new 
thing to me. I want to invest if I come to like 
it. I want to ask merely a few questions of the 
man who carries on this Accident shop. For I 
am an orphan. 

He publishes this list as accidents he is will- 
ing to insure people against. 

General accidents include the Traveling Risk, 
and also all forms of Dislocations, Broken 
Bones, Ruptures, Tendons, Sprains, Concus- 
sions, Crushings, Bruising, Cuts, Stabs, Gun- 



AN INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCES. 77 

shot Wounds. Poisoned Wounds, Burns and 
Scalds, Freezing, Bites, Unprovoked Assaults 
by Burglars, Robbers, or Murderers, tlie action 
of Lightning or Sunstroke, the effects of Exjjlo- 
sions. Chemicals, Floods, and Earthquakes, 
Suffocation by Drowning or Choking — where 
such accidental injury totally disables the per- 
son insured from following his usual avocation, 
or causes death within three months from the 
time of the happening of the injury. 
I want to address this party as follows : 
Now, Smith — I suppose likely your name is 
Smith — you don't know me and I don't know 
you, but I am willing to be friendly. I am ac- 
quainted with a good many of your family — I 
know John as well as I know any man — and I 
think we can come to an understanding about 
your little game without any hard feelings. 
For instance : 

Do you allow the same money on a dog-bite 
that you do on an earthquake % Do you take 
special risks for specific accidents ? — that is to 
say, could I, by getting a policy for dog -bites 
alone, get it cheaper than if I took a chance in 
your w^hole lottery ? And if so, and supposing 
I got insured against earthquakes, would you 



78 ^N IHQUIMY ABOUT INSURANCES. 

charge any more for San Francisco earthqualves 
than for those that prevail in places that are 
better anchored down ? i\nd if I had a policy 
on earthquakes alone, I couldn't collect on a 
dog-lbite, may l)e, could I ? 

If a man had such a policy, and an earth- 
quake shook him up and loosened his joints a 
good deal, hut not enough to incapacitate him 
from engaging in pursuits which did not re 
quire him to be tight, wouldn't you pay him 
some of his pension ? I notice you do not men- 
tion Biles. How about Biles ? Why do you 
discriminate between Provoked and Unpro- 
voked Assaults by Burglars ? If a burglar en- 
tered my house at dead of night, and I, in the 
excitement natural to such an occasion, should 
forget myself and say something that provoked 
him, and he should cripple me, wouldn't I get 
any thing? But if I provoked him. by pure 
accident, I would have you there, I judge ; be- 
cause you would have to pay for the Accident 
part of it any how, seeing that insuring against 
accidents is just your strong suit, you know. 
Now, that item about protecting a man against 
freezing is good. It will procure you all the 
custom you want in this country. Because, 



Alf INQUIBY ABOUT INSURANCES. 79 

you understand, tlie peoi^le lierea"bouts liave 
suffered a good deal from just sucli climatic 
drawbacks as tliat. Wliy, tiiree years ago, if 
a man — being a small fisli in tlie matter of 
money — went over to Wasiioe, and bouglit into 
a good silver mine, tliey would let that man go 
on and pay assessments till Ms purse got down 
to about tliirty-two Fahrenlieit, and then the 
big fish would close in on him and freeze him 
out. And from that day forth you might con- 
sider that man in the light of a bankrupt com- 
munity ; and you would have him down to a 
spot, too. But if you are ready to insure 
against that sort of thing, and can stand it, you 
can give Washoe a fair start. You might send 
me an agency. Business \ Why, Smith, 1 
could get you more business than you could 
attend to. With such an understanding as 
that, the boys would all take a chance. 

You don't appear to make any particular 
mention of taking risks on blighted affections. 
But if you should conclude to do a little busi- 
ness in that line, you might put me down for 
six or seven chances. I wouldn't mind ex- 
pense — you might enter it on the extra hazard- 
ous. J suppose I would get ahead of you in 



80 -A.N INQUIBT ABOUT INSUBANCES. 

the long run any liow, likely. I liave been 
blighted a good deal in my time. 

But now as to those ''Effects of Lightning." 
Suppose the lightning were to strike out at one 
of your men and miss him, and fetch another 
party — could that other party come on you for 
damages ? Or could the relatives of the party 
thus suddenly snaked out of the bright world 
in the bloom of his youth come on you in case 
he was crowded for time ? as of course he would 
be, you know, under such circumstances. 

You say you have ' ' issued over sixty thou- 
sand policies, forty -five of which have proved 
fatal and been paid for." Now, do you know, 
Smith, that that looks just a little shaky to me, 
in a measure ? You appear to have it pretty 
much all your own way, you see. It is all 
very well for the lucky forty -five that have died 
" and been paid for," but how about the other 
fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and fifty-five ? 
You have got their money, haven't you? but 
somehow the lightning don't seem to strike 
them and they don't get any chance at you. 
Won't their families get fatigued waiting for 
their dividends ? Don't your customers drop 
off rather slow, so to speak ? 



AN INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCE. 81 

You will ruin yourself publishing sucli dam- 
aging statements as tTiat, Smith. I tell you as 
a friend. If you had said that the fifty-nine 
thousand nine hundred and fifty-five died, and 
that forty-five lived, you would have issued 
ahout four tons of policies the next week. But 
people are not going to get insured, when you 
take so much pains to prove that there is such 
precious little use in it. Good- by Smith I 




LITERATURE IN THE DRY DIGGINGS. 

LTHOUGH a resident of San Fran- 
cisco, I never heard mncli abont 
tlie "Art Union Association" of 
tliat city until I got liold of some old news- 
papers during my three months' stay in the 
Big Tree region of Calaveras county. Up 
there, you know, they read every tiling^ 
Ibecause in most of those little camps they have 
no libraries, and no hooks to speak of, except 
now and then a patent office report or a prayer- 
book, or literature of that kind, in a general 
way, that will hang on and last a good while 
when people are careful with it, like miners ; 
but as for novels, they pass them around and 
wear them out in a week or two. N'ow there 
was Coon, a nice, bald-headed man at the hotel 
in Angels' Camp, I asked him to lend me a 
book, one rainy day ; he was silent a moment, 
and a shade of melancholy flitted across his 



LITEEATURE IN THE DRY DIGGINGS. 83 

fine face, and tlien lie said: ''Well, I've got 
a miglity responsible old Webster Unabridged, 
what there is left of it, but tliey started lier 
sloshing around and sloshing around and 
sloshing around the camp before ever I got a 
chance to read her myself ; and next she went 
to Murphy' s, and from there she went to Jack- 
ass Gulch, and now she's gone to San An- 
dreas, and I don't expect I'll ever see that 
book again. But what makes me mad is, that 
for all they're so handy about keeping her 
sashshaying around from shanty to shanty and 
from camp to camp, none of 'em's ever got a 
good word for her. Now Coddington had her 
a week, and she was too many for Jiim — he 
couldn't spell the words ; he tackled some of 
them regular busters, tow'rd the middle, you 
know, and they throwed him ; next, Dyer, lie 
tried her a jolt, but he couldn't pronoitnce 'em 
— Dyer can hunt quail or play seven-up as well 
as any man, understand, but he can't pro- 
nounce worth a cuss ; he used to worry along 
well enough, though, tiU he' d flush one of them 
rattlers with a clatter of syllables as long as a 
string of sluice-boxes, and then he'd lose his 
grip and throw up his hand ; and so, finally, 



84 LITERATURE JN THE DRY DIGGINGS. 

Dick Stoker harnessed ker, up tkere at kis 
cakin, and sweated over ker and cussed over 
ker and rastled witk ker for as muck as tkree 
weeks, nigkt and day, till ke got as far as E, 
and tken passed ker over to 'Lige Pickerell, 
and said ske was tke all-firedest dryest reading 
tkat ever lie struck. Well, well, if ske' s come 
kack fi'om San Andreas, you can get ker, 
and prospect ker, kut I don't reckon tkere' s 
a good deal left of ker ky tkis time, tkougk 
time was wken ske was as kkely a kook as 
any in tke State, and as kefty, and kad an 
amount of general information in ker tkat 
was astonisking, if any of tkese cattle kad 
known enougk to get it out of ker.'- And 
ex-corporal Coon proceeded ckeerlessly to scout 
witk kis krusk after tke straggling kairs on tke 
rear of kis kead and drum tkem to tke front 
for inspection and roll-call, as was kis usual 
custom kefore turning in for liis regular after- 
noon nap. 




"AFTER" JENKINS. 
GRAND affair of a Iball— tlie Pio- 



some time ago. The following notes 
of the costumes worn loy the "belles of the 
occasion may not Ibe uninteresting to the gen- 
eral reader, and Jenkins may get an idea 
therefrom : 

Mrs. W. M. was attired in an elegant pate de 
foie gras, made expressly for her, and. was 
greatly admired. 

Miss S. had her hair done up. She was the 
center of attraction for the gentlemen and the 
envy of all the ladies. 

Miss G. W. was tastefully dressed in a tout 
enserrible^ and was greeted with deafening ap- 
plause wherever she went. 

Mrs. C. !N". was superl)ly arrayed in white 
kid gloves. Her modest and engaging manner 
accorded well with the unpretending simplicity 



86 "AFTER" JENKINS. 

of lier costume, and caused lier to be regarded 
witli absorbing interest by every one. 

The cliarming Miss M. M. B. appeared in a 
thrilling waterfall, whose exceeding grace and 
volume compelled the homage of pioneers and 
emigrants alike. How beautiful she was ! 

The queenly Mrs. L. R. was attractively at- 
tired in her new and beautiful false teeth, and 
the 'bonjouT effect they naturally produced was 
heightened by her enchanting and well sus- 
tained smile. The manner of the lady is 
charmingly pensive and melancholy, and her 
troops of admirers desired no greater happiness 
than to get on the scent of her sozodont-sweet- 
ened sighs, and track her through her sinuous 
course among the gay and restless multitude. 

Miss K. P., with that repugnance to ostenta- 
tion in dress, which is so peculiar to her, was 
attired in a simple white lace collar, fastened 
with a neat pearl-button solitaire. The line 
contrast between the sparkling vivacity of her 
natural optic and the steadfast attentiveness of 
her placid glass eye, was the subject of general 
and enthusiastic remark. 

The radiant and sylph-like Mrs. T. wore 
hoops. She showed to good advantage, and 



"AFTER" JENKINS. 87 

created a sensation wherever slie appeared. 
She was tlie gayest of the gay. 

Miss C. L. B. had her line nose elegantly en- 
ameled, and the easy grace with which she 
blew it from time to time, marked her as a cul- 
tivated and accomplished woman of the world ; 
its exquisitely modulated tone excited the 
admu^ation of all who had the happiness to 
hear it. 

Being offended with Miss X. and our ac- 
quaintance having ceased permanently, I will 
take this opportunity of observing to her that 
it is of no use for her to be sloj)ping off to 
every ball that takes place, and flourishing 
around with a brass oyster-knife skewered 
through her waterfall, and smiling her sickly 
smile through her decayed teeth, with her dis- 
mal pug nose in the air. There is no u^e in it 
— she don't fool any body. Every body knows 
she is old ; every body knows she is repaired 
(you might almost say built) with artificial 
bones and hair and muscles and things, from 
the ground up — put together scrap by scrap ; 
and every body knows, also, that all one would 
have to do would be to pull out her key -pin 
and she would go to pieces like a Chinese puz- 



88 ''AFTER'' JENKINS. 

zle. There, now, my faded flower, take tliat 
paragraph home with you and amuse yourself 
with it ; and if ever you turn your wart of a 
nose up at me again, I will sit down and write 
something that will just make you rise up and 
howl. 




LUCRETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 

AM an ardent admirer of tliose nice, 
sickly war stories whicli have lately 
been so popular, and for the last 
three months I have been at work upon one of 
that character, which is now completed. It can 
be relied npon as true in every particular, inas- 
much as the facts it contains were compiled 
from the official records in the War Depart- 
ment at Washington. It is but just, also, that 
I should confess that I have drawn largely on 
JominVs Art of War, the Message of the Pres- 
ident and Accompanying Documents, and sun- 
dry maps and military works, so necessary foi 
reference in building a novel like this. To the 
accommodating Directors of the Overland Tele- 
graph Company I take pleasure in returning 
my thanks for tendering me the use of their 
wires at the customary rates. And finally, to 
all those kind friends who have, by good deeds 



90 LUCBETIA SMITH'S SOLDIEB. 

or encoiiragiDg words, assisted me in my labors 
upon this story of '' Lucretia Smith's Soldier," 
during the past three months, and whose names 
are too numerous for special mention, I take 
this method of tendering my sincerest grati- 
tude. 



CHAPTER I. 

On a balmy May morning in 1861, the lit- 
tle village of Bluemass, in Massachusetts, lay 
wrapped in the splendor of the newly-risen sun. 
Reginald de Whittaker, confidential and only 
clerk in the house of Bushrod & Ferguson, gen- 
eral drygoods and grocery dealers and keep- 
ers of the post-office, rose from his bunk under 
the counter, and shook himself. After yawn- 
ing and stretching comfortably, he sprinkled 
the floor and proceeded to sweep it. He had 
only half finished his task, however, when he 
sat down on a keg of nails and fell into a reve- 
rie. "This is my last day in this shanty," said 
he. ''How it will surprise Lucretia when she 
hears I am going for a soldier ! How j)roud 
she will be, the little darling!" He pictured 



LUOBETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 91 

liiinself in all manner of warlike situations ; the 
liero of a thousand extraordinary adventures ; 
the man of rising fame ; the pet of Fortune at 
last ; and beheld himself, finally, returning to 
his own home, a iDronzed and scarred brigadier- 
general, to cast his honors and his matured and 
perfect love at the feet of his Lucretia Borgia 
Smith. 

At this point a thrill of joy and pride suf- 
fused his system ; but he looked down and saw 
his broom, and blushed. He came toppling 
down from the clouds he had been soaring 
among, and was an obscure clerk again, on a 
salary of two dollars and a half a week. 



CHAPTER II. 

At eight o'clock that evening, with a heart 
pal]Ditating with the proud news he had brought 
for his beloved, Reginald sat in Mr. Smith's 
parlor awaiting Lucretia' s appearance. The 
moment she entered, he sprang to meet her, his 
face lighted by the torch of love that was blaz- 
ing in his head somewhere and shining through, 



92 LUCllETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 

and ejaculated, "Mine own !" as lie opened Ms 
arms to receive her. 

" Sir !" said slie, and drew herself up like an 
offended queen. 

Poor Reginald was stricken dumb with as- 
tonishment. This chilling demeanor, this angry 
rebuff, where he had expected the old, tender 
welcome, banished the gladness from his heart 
as the cheerful brightness is swept from the 
landscape when a dark cloud drifts athwart 
the face of the sun. He stood bewildered a 
moment, with a sense of goneness on him like 
one who finds himself suddenly overboard upon 
a midnight sea, and beholds the ship pass into 
shrouding gloom, while the dreadful conviction 
falls upon his soul that he has not been missed. 
He tried to speak, but his pallid lips refused 
their office. At last he murmured : 

" Lucretia ! what have I done ; what is the 
matter ; why this cruel coldness ? Don't you 
love your Reginald any more ?" 

Her lips curled in bitter scorn, and she re- 
plied, in mocking tones : 

" Don't I love my Reginald any more ? No, 
I clonH love my Reginald any more ! Go back 
to your pitiful junk-shop and grab your pitiful 



LUCBETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 93 

yard- stick, and stuif cotton in your ears, so that 
yon can't hear your country shout to you to 
fall in and shoulder arms. Go !" And then, 
unheeding the new light that flashed from his 
eyes, she fled from the room and slammed the 
door behind her. 

Only a moment more ! Only a single mo- 
ment more, he thought, and he could have told 
her how he had already answered the summons 
and signed his name to the muster-roll, and all 
would have iDeen well ; his lost bride would 
have come Iback to his arms with words of 
praise and thanksgiving upon her lij)s. He 
made a step forward, once, to recall her, but 
he remembered that he was no longer an effemi- 
nate drygoods student, and his warrior soul 
scorned to sue for quarter. He strode from 
the place with martial firmness, and never 
looked behind him. 



CHAPTER III. 

When" Lucretia awoke next morning, the 
faint music of fife and the roll of a distant drum 



94 LUCBETm SMITH'S SOLDIER. 

came floating upon tlie soft spring Ibreeze, and 
as sli8 listened the sounds grew more subdued, 
and finally passed out of hearing. She lay ab- 
sorbed in tliought for many minutes, and then 
she sighed and said : ' ' Oh ! if he were only 
Avitli that band of fellows, how I could love 
him!" 

In the course of the day a neighbor dropped 
in, and when the conversation turned uj^on the 
soldiers, the visitor said : 

' Reginald de Whittaker looked rather 
down-hearted, and didn't shout when he 
marched along with the other boys this morn- 
ing. I expect it's owing to you. Miss Loo, 
though when I met him coming here yesterday 
evening to tell you he'd enlisted, he thought 

you'd like it and be j)roud of Mercy ! 

what in the nation's the matter with the girl ?" 

IS'othing, only a sudden misery had fallen 
like" a blight upon her heart, and a deadly 
pallor telegraphed it to her countenance. She 
rose up without a word and walked with a 
firm step out of the room ; but once within the 
sacred seclusion of her own chamber, her 
strons: will erave way and she burst into a flood 
of passionate tears. Bitterly she upbraided 



LUCRETTA SMITIPS SOLDIER. 95 

herself for her foolish haste of the night before, 
and her harsh treatment of her lover at the 
very moment that he had come to anticipate the 
proudest wish of her heart, and to tell her that 
he had enrolled himself nnder the battle-flag, 
and Avas going forth to fight as Jier soldier. 
Alas ! other maidens would have soldiers in 
those glorious fields, and be entitled to the 
sweet pain of feeling a tender solicitude for 
them, but she would be unrepresented. No 
soldier in all the vast armies would breathe her 
name as he breasted the crimson tide of war ! 
She wept again — or, rather, she went on weep- 
ing where she left oiT a moment before. In her 
bitterness of spirit she almost cursed the pre- 
cipitancy that had brought all this sorrow upon 
her young life. "Drat it!" The words were 
in her bosom, but she locked them there, and 
closed her lips against their utterance. 

For weeks she nursed her grief in silence, 
while the roses faded from her cheeks. And 
through it all she clung to the hope that some 
day the old love would bloom again in Regi- 
nald's heart, and he would write to her ; but 
the long summer days dragged wearily along, 
and still no letter came. The newspapers 



96 LUCRETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 

teemed witli stones of battle and carnage, and 
eagerly she read tliem, but always with the 
same result : the tears welled up and blurred 
the closing lines — the name she sought was 
looked for in vain, and the dull aching returned 
to her sinking heart. Letters to the other girls 
sometimes contained brief mention of him, and 
presented always the same picture of him — a 
morose, unsmiling, desperate man, always in 
the thickest of the fight, begrimed with powder, 
and moving calm and unscathed through tem- 
pests of shot and shell, as if he bore a charmed 
life. 

But at last, in a long list of maimed and 
killed, poor Lucretia read these terrible words, 
and fell fainting to the floor: '^ B. D. Whitta- 
Icer, private soldier^ desperately wounded P^ 



CHAPTER ly. 

On a couch in one of the w^ards of a hospital 
at Washington lay a wounded soldier ; his head 
was so profusely bandaged that his features 
were not visible ; but there was no mistaking 
the happy face of the young girl who sat be- 



[ 



LUGBETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. . 97 

side liim — it was Lucretia Borgia Smith's. She 
liad liunted him out several weeks before, and 
since that time she had patiently watched by 
him and nursed him, coming in the morning as 
soon as the surgeon had finished dressing his 
wounds, and never leaving him until relieved 
at nightfall. A ball had shattered his lower 
jaw, and he could not utter a syllable ; through 
all her weary vigils she had never once been 
blessed v/ith a grateful word from his dear lips ; 
yet she stood to her post bravely and without 
a murmur, feeling that when he did get well 
again she would hear that which would more 
than reward her for all her devotion. 

At the hour we have chosen for the opening 
of this chapter, Lucretia was in a tumult of 
happy excitement ; for the surgeon had told her 
that at last her Whittaker had recovered suffi- 
ciently to admit of the removal of the ban- 
dages from his head, and she was now waiting 
with feverish impatience for the doctor to come 
and disclose the loved features to her view. At 
last he came, and Lucretia, with beaming eyes 
and fluttering heart, bent over the couch with 
anxious ex^Dectancy. One bandage was re- 
moved, then another and another, and lo ! the 



98 LUGRETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 

poor wounded face was revealed to the light of 
day. 

' ' my own dar ' ' 

What have we here ! What is the matter I 
Alas ! it was the face of a stranger ! 

Poor Lucretia ! With one hand covering her 
upturned eyes, she staggered back with a moan 
of anguish. Then a spasm of fury distorted 
her countenance as she brought her fist down 
with a crash that made the medicine bottles on 
the table dance again, and exclaimed : 

'*0h! confound my cats, if I haven't gone 
and fooled aw^ay three mortal weeks here, snuf- 
fling and slobbering over the wrong soldier !" 

It was a sad, sad truth. The wretched but 
innocent and unwitting impostor was R. D., or 
Richard Dilworthy Whittaker, of Wisconsin, 
the soldier of dear little Eugenie Le Mulligan, 
of that State, and utterly unknown to our un- 
happy Lucretia B. Smith. • 

Such is life, and the tail of the serpent is 
over us all. Let us draw the curtain over this 
melancholy history — for melancholy it must 
still remain, during a season at least, for the 
real Reginald dp Whittaker has not turned up 

yet. 



THE 



KILLING OP JULIUS Ci:SAR " LOCALIZED/^ 



BEINa THE OI^LY TEUE AIs^D RELIABLE AC- 
COUNT EVER PUBLISHED ; TAKEIT FROM THE 



ROMATT 

DATE OF THAT TREMEI^'DOUS OCCURRETTCE. 




OTHING in tlie world affords a news- 
paper reporter so mucli satisfaction 
i^^^^mi as gathering np tlie details of a 
bloody and mysterious murder, and writing 
tliem up with, aggravated circumstantiality. 
He takes a living delight in this labor of love — 
for such it is to him^especially if he knows 
that all the other papers have gone to press, 
and his will be the only one that will contain 
the dreadful intelligence. A feeling of regret 
has often come over me that I was not report- 



100 KILLING OF JULIUS C^SAH. 

ing in Kome when CaBsar was killed — reporting 
on an evening paper, and tlie only one in the 
city, and getting at least twelve honrs ahead 
of the morning paper boys with this most mag- 
nificent ^'item" that ever fell to the lot of the 
craft. Other events have happened as startling 
as this, l)ut none that possessed so peculiarly 
all the characteristics of the favorite "item" of 
the present day, magnified into grandeur and 
sublimity by the high rank, fame, and social 
and political standing of the actors in it. In 
imagination I have seen myself skirmishing 
around old Rome, button-holing soldiers, sen- 
ators, and citizens by turns, and transferring 
"all the particulars" from them to my note- 
book ; and, better still, arriving at the base of 
Pompey' s statue in time to say persuasively to 
the dying Csesar, "Oh ! come now, you an't so 
far gone, you know, but what you could stir 
yourself up a little and tell a fellow just how 
this thing happened, if you was a mind to, 
couldn't you ? — now do !" and get the "straight 
of it" from his own li];)S, and be envied by the 
morning paper hounds ! 

Ah! if I had lived in those days, I would 
have written up that item gloatingly, and spiced 



KILLING OF JULIUS C^SAB. 101 

it with a little moralizing liere and plenty of 
blood there ; and some dark, shuddering mys- 
tery ; and praise and pity for some, and mis- 
representation and abnse for others, (who did 
not patronize the paper,) and gory gashes, and 
notes of warning as to the tendency of the 
times, and extravagant descriptions of the ex- 
citement in the Senate-house and the street, 
and all that sort of thing. 

However, as I w^as not permitted to report 
Csesar's assassination in the regular way, it has 
at least afforded me rare satisfaction to trans- 
late the following able account of it from the 
original Latin of the Roman Daily Evening 
Fasces of that date — second edition. 

'' Our usually quiet city of Rome was thrown 
into a state of wild excitement yesterday by 
the occurrence of one of those bloody affrays 
which sicken the heart and fill the soul with 
fear, while they inspire all thinldng men with 
forebodings for the future of a city where hu- 
man life is held so cheaply, and the gravest 
laws are so openly set at defiance. As the re- 
sult of that affray, it is our painful duty, as 
public journalists, to record the death of one 
of our most esteemed citizens — a man whose 



102 KILLING OF JULIUS C^SAR. 

name is known wherever this paper ckcnlatea, 
and whose fame it has Ibeen onr pleasure and 
our privilege to extend, and also to protect 
from the tongue of slander and falsehood, to 
the Ibest of our poor al)ility. We refer to Mr. 
J. Caesar, the Emperor-elect. 

^'The facts of the case, as nearly as our re- 
porter could determine them from the conflict- 
ing statements of eye-witnesses, w^ere about as 
follows : The afiair w^as an election row, of 
course. Mne tenths of the ghastly butcheries 
that disgrace the city nowadays grow out of 
the bickerings and jealousies and animosities 
engendered by these accursed elections. Rome 
would be the gainer by it if her very constables 
were elected to serve a century ; for in our ex- 
perience we have never even been able to 
choose a dog-pelter without celebrating the 
event with a dozen knock-downs and a general 
cramming of the station-house with drunken 
vagabonds over night. It is said that when the 
immense majority for Caesar at the polls in the 
market was declared the other day, and the 
crown was offered to that gentleman, even his 
amazing unselfishness in refusing it three times 
was not sufficient to save him from the whis- 



KILLING OF JULIUS GJESAR. 103 

pered insults of sucli men as Casca, of the Tenth 
Ward, and other heelings of the disappointed 
candidate, hailing mostly from the Eleventh 
and Thirteenth and other outside districts, who 
were overheard speaking ironically and con- 
temptuously of Mr. Csesar's conduct upon that 
occasion. 

"We are further informed that there are 
many among us who think they are justified in 
believing that the assassination of Julius Csesar 
was a put-up thing — a cut-and-dried arrange- 
ment, hatched by Marcus Brutus and a lot of 
his hired roughs, and carried out only too faith- 
fully according to the programme. Whether 
there be good grounds for this suspicion or not, 
we leave to the people to judge for themselves, 
only asking that they will read the following 
account of the sad occurrence carefully and 
dispassionately before they render that judg- 
ment. 

"The Senate was already in session, and 
Csesar was coming down the street toward the 
capitol, conversing with some personal friends, 
and followed, as usual, by a large number of 
citizens. Just as he was passing in front of De- 
mosthenes & Thucydides's drug-stoie, he was 



10-1 KILLING OF JULIUS C^SAR. 

observing casually to a gentleman, who, our in- 
formant thinks, is a fortune-teller, that the Ides 
of March Avere come. The reply was, ' Yes, 
they are come, but not gone yet.' At this mo- 
ment Artemidorus stepped up and passed the 
time of day, and asked Csesar to read a sche- 
dule or a tract, or something of the kind, which 
he had brought for his perusal. Mr. Decius 
Brutus also said something about an ' humble 
suit ' which he wanted read. Artemidorus beg- 
ged that attention might be paid to his first, be 
cause it was of personal consequence to Csesar. 
The latter replied that what concerned him- 
self should be read last, or words to that effect. 
Artemidorus begged and beseeched him to read 
the paper instantly."^ However, Csesar shook 
him off, and refused to read any petition in the 
street. He then entered the capitol, and the 
crowd followed him. 

*' About this time the following conversation 
was overheard, and we consider that, taken in 
connection with the events which succeeded it. 



* Mark tliat : it is liinted by William Shakespeare, yw\\o saw 
tlie beginning and tlie end of tlie unfortunate affray, tliat tliis 
" schedule " was simply a note discovering to Ciesar that a plot 
was brewing to take his life. 



KILLING OF JULIUS CJESAB. 105 

it bears an appalling significance : Mr. Papilius 
Lena remarked to George 'W. Cassius, (com- 
monly known as tlie ' Nobby Boy of tlie Third 
Ward,') a bruiser in tlie pay of tlie Opioositiou, 
that he hoped his enterprise to-day might 
thrive ; and when Cassius asked, ' What en- 
terprise'^' he only closed his left eye tempo- 
rarily and said with simulated indifierence, 
' Fare you well,' and sauntered toward Cfiesar. 
Marcus Brutus, wdio is suspected of being the 
ringleader of the band that killed Csesar, asked 
wdiat it was that Lena had said. Cassius told 
him, and added in a low tone, ^I fear our jpur- 
pose is discover ed.^ 

' ' Brutus told his wretched accomplice to keep 
an eye on Lena, and a moment after Cassius 
urged that lean and hungry vagrant, Casca, 
whose reputation here is none of the best, to be 
sudden, for Tie feared ])reT>ention. He then 
turned to Brutus, apparently much excited, 
and asked what should be done, and swore 
that either he or Csesar sliould never turn Ijack 
— he would kill himself first. At this time 
Csesar was talking to some of the back-country 
members about the approaching fall elections, 
and paying little attention to what was going 



100 KILLING OF JULIUS CJEJSAM. 

Oil around Mm. Billy Trebouius got into con- 
versation with tliQ people's friend and Caesar's 
— Mark Antony — and nnder some pretense or 
otlier got liim away, and Brutus, Decius Casca, 
Cinna, Metellus Cimber, and others of the gang 
of infamous desperadoes that infest Rome at 
present, closed around the doomed Csesar. 
Then Metellus Cimber knelt down and begged 
that his brother might be recalled from banish- 
ment, but Csesar rebuked him for his fawning, 
sneaking conduct, and refused to grant his pe- 
tition. Immediately, at Cimber' s request, first 
Brutus and then Cassius begged for the return 
of the banished Publius ; but CaBsar still re- 
fused. He said he could not be moved ; that 
he was as fixed as the North Star, and pro- 
ceeded to speak in the most complimentary 
terms of the firmness of that star, and its steady 
character. Then he said he was like it, and he 
believed he was the only man in the country 
tha-t was ; therefore, since he was ' constant ' 
that Cimber should be banished, he was also 
* constant' that he should stay banished, and 
he'd be d — d if he didn't keep him so ! 

" Instantly seizing uj)on this shallow pretext 
for a fight, Casca sprang at Ca3sar and struck 



KILLING OF JULIUS GJiSAR. 10? 

liini witli a dirk, Csesar gra"bbing liiin "by the 
arm witli his right hand, and launching a blow 
straight from the shoulder with his left, that 
sent the reptile bleeding to the earth. He 
then backed vo^ against Pompey's statue, and 
squared himself to receive his assailants. Cas- 
sius and Cimber and Cinna rushed upon him 
with their daggers drawn, and the former suc- 
ceeded in inflicting a wound upon Ms body ; 
but before he could strike again, and before 
either of the others could strike at all, Csesar 
stretched the three miscreants at his feet with 
as many blows of his powerful fist. By this 
time the Senate was in an indescribable uproar ; 
the throng of citizens in the lobjjies had block- 
aded the doors in their frantic efforts to escape 
from the building, the sergeant-at-arms and his 
assistants were struggling with the assassins, 
venerable senators had cast aside their encum- 
bering robes, and were leaping over benches 
and flying down the aisles in wild confusion 
toward the shelter of the committee-rooms, and 
a thousand voices were shouting, ' Po-lice ! 
Po-lice !' in discordant tones that rose above 
the frightful din like shrieking winds above 
the roaring of a tempest. And amid it all, 



108 KILLING OF JULIUS CjESAB. 

great Caesar stood with liis back against tlie 
statue, like a lion at bay, and fonglit Lis assail- 
ants weaponless and liand to Land, with tlie 
defiant bearing and tlie nnwavering courage 
wLicli lie Lad sLown before on many a bloody 
field. Billy Trebonius and Caius Legarius 
struck liim witli tlieir daggers and fell, as tlieir 
brother- conspirators before tliem Lad fallen. 
But at last, wLen Csesar saw Lis old friend 
Brutus step forward, armed with a murderous 
knife, it is said he seemed utterly overpowered 
with grief and amazement, and dropping his in- 
vincible left arm by his side, he hid his face in 
the folds of his mantle and received the treach- 
erous blow witlK)ut an effort to stay the hand 
that gave it. He only said, '• Et tu^ Brute f^ 
and fell lifeless on the marble pavement. 

'' We learn that the coat deceased had on 
when he was killed was the same he wore in his 
tent on the afternoon of the day he overcame the 
ISTervii, and that when it was removed from the 
corpse it was found to be cut and gashed in no 
less than seven different places. There was noth- 
ing in the pockets. It will be exhibited at the 
coroner' s inquest, and will be damning proof of 
the fact of the killing. These latter facts may 



KILLING OF JULIUS C^SAR. 109 

be relied on, as we get tliem from Mark Antony, 
wliose position enables liim to learn every item 
of news connected witli tlie one snbject of ab- 
sorbing interest of to-day. 

" Latee. — While tlie coroner was summon- 
ing a jury, Mark Antony and other friends of the 
late Csesar got hold of the body, and lugged it 
off to the Forum, and at last accounts Antony 
and Brutus were making speeches over it and 
raising such a row among the people that, as 
we go to press, the chief of police is satisfied 
there is going to l)e a riot, and is taking mea- 
sures accordingly." 




AN ITEM WHICH THE EDITOR HIMSELF COULD 
NOT UNDERSTAND. 

UE, esteemed friend, Mr. John WHliani 
Skae, of Virginia City, walked into 
the office where we are sub-editor at 
a late hour last night, with an expression of 
profound and heartfelt suffering upon his coun- 
tenance, and, sighing heavily, laid the following 
item reverently upon the desk, and walked 
slowly out again. He paused a moment at the 
door, and seemed struggling to command his 
feelings sufficiently to enable him to speak, and 
then, nodding his head toward his manuscript, 
ejaculated in a broken voice, '' Friend of mine 
— oh ! how sad !' ' and burst into tears. We were 
so moved at his distress that we did not think 
to call him back and endeavor to comfort him 
until he was gone and it was too late. The 
paper had already gone to press, but knowing 
that our friend would consider the publication 



MR. SKAE'S ITEM. HI 

of this item important, and cherishing the hope 
that to print it would afford a melancholy satis- 
faction to his sorrowing heart, we stopped the 
press at once and inserted it in onr colnmns : 

Distressing Accident. — Last evening about 6 o'clock, as 
Mr. William Scliuyler, an old and respectable citizen of South 
Park, was leaving his residence to go down town, as has been 
his usual custom for many years, with the exception only of a 
short interval in the spring of 1850, during which he was con- 
fined to his bed by injuries received in attempting to stop a run- 
aAvay horse by thoughtlessly placing himself directly in its v/ake 
and throwing up his hands and shouting, which, if he had done 
so even a single moment sooner, must inevitably have frightened 
the animal still more instead of checking its speed, although 
disastrous enough to himself as it was, and rendered more mel- 
ancholy and distressing by reason of the presence of his wife's 
mother, who was there and saw the sad occurrence, notwith- 
standing it is at least likely, though not necessarily so, that she 
should be reconnoitering in another direction when incidents 
occur, not being vivacious and on the lookout, as a general 
thing, but even the reverse, as her own mother is said to have 
stated, who is no more, but died in the full hope of a glorious 
resurrection, upwards of three years ago, aged 86, being a 
Christian woman and without guile, as it were, or property, in 
consequence of the fire of 1849, which destroyed every blasted 
thing she had in the world. But such is life. Let us all take 
warning by tliis solemn occurrence, and let us endeavor so to con- 
duct ourselves that when we come to die we can do it. Let us 
place our hands upon our hearts, and say with earnestness and 
sincerity that from this day forth we will beware of the intox- 
icating bowl. — First Edition of the Califorrdan. 

The l30SS-editor has l^een in here raising the 
very miscliief, and tearing his hau' and kicking 



112 MR. SKAE'S ITEM. 

the furniture al)out, and albusing me like a 
pickpocket. He says tliat every time lie leaves 
me in charge of the paper for half an hour. I 
get imposed upon by the first infant or the first 
idiot that comes along. And he says that dis- 
tressing item of Johnny Skae' s is nothing hut 
a lot of distressing hosh, and^ has got no point 
to it and no sense in it and no information in it, 
and that there was no earthly necessity for stop- 
ping the press to publish it. He says every 
man he meets has insinuated that somebody 
about The CALiFOEiNriAK ofiice has gone crazy. 
N"ow all this comes of being good-hearted. If 
I had been as unaccommodating and unsympa- 
thetic as some people, I would have told Johnny 
Skae that I wouldn't receive his communica- 
tion at such a late hour, and to go to blazes 
with it ; but no, his snuffling distress touched 
my heart, and I jumped at the chance of doing 
something to modify his misery. I never read 
his item to see whether there was any thing 
wrong about it, but hastily wrote the few lines 
which preceded it, and sent it to the printers. 
And what has my kindness done for me ? It 
has done nothing but bring down upon me a 
storm of abuse and ornamental blasphemy. 



MR. SKAE'S ITEM. US 

► Novf, I will just read tliat item myself, and 
see if there is any foundation for all this fuss. 
And if there is, the author of it shall hear 
from me. 



I have read it, and I am iDound to admit that 
it seems a little mixed at a first glance. How- 
ever, I will peruse it once more. 

I have read it again, and it does really seem 
a good deal more mixed than ever. 

I have read it over five times, Ibut if I can get 
at the meaning of it, I wish I may get my just 
deserts. It won't Ibear analysis. There are 
things about it which I cannot understand at all. 
It don't say whatever became of William Schuy- 
ler. It just says enough ah out him to get one 
interested in his career, and then drops him. 
Who is William Schuyler, any how, and what 
part of South Park did he live in, and if he 
started down-town at six o'clock, did he ever 
get there, and if he did, did any thing happen 
to him ? Is 7ie the individual that met with the 



114 MR. SKAE'S ITEM. 

''distressing accident"? Considering the ela-* 
borate circumstantiality of detail observable in 
the item, it seems to me that it ought to contain 
more information than it does. On the con- 
trary, it is obscure — and not only obscure, bat 
utterly incomprehensible. Was the breaking 
of Mr. Schuyler's leg, fifteen years ago, the 
''distressing accident" that plunged Mr. Skae 
into unspeakable grief, and caused him to come 
up here at dead of night and stop our press to 
acquaint the world with the unfortunate cir- 
cumstance ? Or did the ' ' distressing accident ' ' 
consist in the destruction of Schuyler's mother- 
in-law's property in early times ? Or did it con- 
sist in the death of that person herself three 
years ago ? (albeit it does not appear that she 
died by accident.) In a word, what did that 
''distressing accident" consist in? What did 
that driveling ass of a Schuyler stand in tlie 
wake of a runaway horse for, with his shouting 
and gesticulating, if he wanted to stop him ? 
And how the mischief could he get run over by 
a horse that had already passed beyond him ? 
And what are we to " take warning" by? and 
how is this extraordinary chapter of incompre- 
hensibilities going to be a " lesson' ' to us ? And 



MB. SKAE'S ITEM. 115 

above all, what lias tlie "intoxicating bowl" 
got to do witli it, any liow ? It is not stated that 
Sclniyler drank, or that his wife drank, or that 
his mother-in-law drank, or that the horse 
drank — wherefore, then, the reference to the 
intoxicating bowl ? It does seem to me that, 
if Mr. Skae had let the intoxicating bowl alone 
himself, he never wonld have got into so much 
trouble about this infernal imaginary distress- 
ing accident. I have read his absurd item over 
and over again,* with all its insinuating plausi- 
bility, until my head swims ; but I can make 
neither head nor tail of it. There certainly 
seems to have been an accident of some kind or 
other, but it is impossible to determine what 
the nature of it was, or who was the sufferer by 
it. I do not like to do it, but I feel compelled 
to request that the next time any thing happens 
to one of Mr. Skae's friends, he will append 
such explanatory notes to his account of it as 
will enable me to find out what sort of an acci- 
dent it was and whom it happened to. I had 
rather all his friends should die than tliat I 
should be driven to the verge of lunacy again 
in trying to cipher out the meaning of another 
such production as the above. 



AMONG THE SPIRITS. 

TnERE was a seance in town a few nights 
since. As I was making for it, in company 
with the reporter of an evening paper, he said 
he had seen a gambler named Gus Graham 
shot down in a town in Illinois years ago by a 
mob, and as he was j)i'obably the only 2:)erson 
in San Francisco who knew of the circumstance, 
he thought he would "give the spirits Graham 
to chaw on awhile." [N". B. — This young crea- 
ture is a Democrat, and speaks with the native 
strength and inelegance of his tribe.] In the 
course of the show he wrote his old pal's name 
on a slip of paper, and folded it up tightly and 
put it in a hat which was passed around, and 
which already had about five hundred similar 
documents in it. The pile was dumped on the 
table, and the medium began to take them up 
one by one and lay them aside, asking, "Is 



AMONG THE SPIRITS. 117 

this spirit i)resent? or tliis ? or tliis ?" About 
one ill fifty would rap, and tlie person wlio sent 
up tlie name would rise in his place and ques- 
tion the defunct. At last a spirit seized the 
medium's hand and wrote " Gus Graham " 
backward. Then the medium w^ent skirmish- 
ing through the papers for the corresponding 
name. And that old sport knew his card by 
the back ! When the medium came to it, after 
picking up fifty others, he rapped ! A commit- 
teeman unfolded the paper, and it was the right 
one. I sent for it and got it. It was all right. 
However, I suppose all Democrats are on so- 
ciable terms with the devil. The young man 
got up and asked : 

" Did you die in '51 ? '52 ? '53 ? '54 ? " 

Gliost — "Rap, rap, rap." 

'' Did you die of cholera ? diarrhea ? dysen- 
tery ? dog-bite ? small-pox ? violent death ? " 

''Rap, rap, rap." 

''Were you hanged? drowned? stabbed? 
shot? " 

"Rap, rap, rap." 

"Did you die in Mississippi? Kentucky? 
New- York ? Sandwich Islands ? Texas ? Illi- 
nois? " 



118 AMONG THE SPIRITS. 

'^Raj), rap, rap." 

" In Adams county ? Madison ? Ran 
dolpli? " 

"Rap, rap, rap." 

It was no nse trying to catch the departed 
gambler. He knew Ms hand, and played it 
like a major. 

About this time a couple of Germans stepped 
forward, an elderly man and a spry young fel- 
low, cocked and primed for a sensation. They 
wrote some names. Then young Ollendorff 
said something which sounded like — 

'' 1st ein geist hieraus ?" [Bursts of laughter 
from the audience.] 

Three raps— signifying that there was a geist 
hieraus. 

" Yollen sie schriehen ?" [More laughter.] 

Three raps. 

'Tinzig stollen, linsowfterowlickterhau^owf- 
terfrowleineruhackfolderol ?" 

Incredible as it may seem, the spirit cheer- 
fully answered Yes to that astonishing propo- 
sition. 

The audience grew more and more boister- 
ously mirthful with every fresh question, and 
they were informed that the performance could 



AMONa THE SPIRITS. 119 

not go on in tlie midst of so mucli levity. Tliey 
became quiet. 

Tlie German gliost didn't appear to kno^v 
any thing at all — couldn't answer tlie simplest 
questions. Young Ollendorff finally stated 
some numbers, and tried to get at tlie time 
of the spirit's death ; it appeared to be con- 
siderably mixed as to whether it died in 
1811 or 1812, which was reasonable enough, 
as it had been so long ago. At last it wrote 
"12." 

Tableau ! Young Ollendorff sprang to his 
feet in a state of consuming excitement He 
exclaimed : 

"Laties nnd shentlemen ! I write de name 
fon a man vot lifs ! Speerit-rabbing dells me 
he ties in yahr eighteen hoondred nnd dwelf, 
but he yoos as live nnd lielty as " 

The Medium—" Sit down, sir !" 

Ollendorff— "But I vant to " 

Medium — "Yon are not here to make 
speeches, sir — sit down !" [Mr. O. had sqnared 
himself for an oration.] 

Mr. O. "But de speerit cheat! — dere m no 

such speerit " [All this time applause and 

laughter by turns from the audience.] 



120 AMONG THE SPIRITS. 

Medium — ''Take your seat, sir, and I ^Yill 
exj)lain this matter." 

And slie explained. And in that explana- 
tion she let off a blast which was so terrific that 
I half expected to see young Ollendorff shot up 
through the roof. She said he had come up 
there with fraud and deceit and cheating in his 
heart, and a kindred spirit had come from the 
land of shadows to commune with him 1 She 
was terribly bitter. She said in substance, 
though not in words, that perdition was full of 
just such fellows as Ollendorfi*, and they were 
ready on the slightest pretext to rush in and 
assume any body's name, and rap and write 
and lie and swindle with a perfect looseness 
whenever they could rope in a living afiinity 
like poor Ollendorff to communicate with ! 
[Great applause and laughter.] 

Ollendorff stood his ground with good pluck, 
and was going to open his batteries again, when 
a storm of cries arose all over the house, "Get 
down ! Go on ! Clear out ! Speak on — we'll 
hear you ! Climb down from that platform ! 
Stay where you are ! Yamose ! Stick to your 
post — say your say !" 

The medium rose up and said if Ollendorff 



A3I0Na THE SPIRITS. 121 

remained, slie would not. She recognized no 
one's riglit to come tliere and insnlt lier "by 
practicing a deception npon lier, and attempting 
to bring ridicule upon so solemn a tiling as lier 
religious belief. The audience then became 
quiet, and the subjugated Ollendorff retired 
from the platform. 

The other German raised a spirit, questioned 
it at some length in his own language, and said 
the answers were correct. The medium claimed 
to be entirely unacquainted with the German 
language. 

Just then a gentleman called me to the edge 
of the platform and asked me if I were a 
Spiritualist. I said I was not. He asked me 
if I were prejudiced. I said not more than any 
other unbeliever ; but I could not believe in a 
thing which I could not understand, and I had 
not seen any thing yet that I could by any pos- 
sibility cipher out. He said, then, that he didn't 
think I was the cause of the diffidence shown 
by the spirits, but he knew there was an an- 
tagonistic influence around that table some- 
■v^here ; he had noticed it from the first ; there 
was a painful negative current passing to Ms 
sensitive organization from that direction con- 



122 AMONG THE SPIRITS. 

stantly. I told liim I guessed it was that otlier 
fellow ; and I said, Blame a man wlio was all 
tlie time sliedding these infernal negative cur- 
rents ! This appeared to satisfy the mind of 
the inquiring fanatic, and he sat down. 

I had a very dear friend, who, I had heard, 
had gone to the spirit- land, or perdition, or some 
of those places, and I desired to know some- 
thing concerning him. There was something so 
awful, though, about talking with living, sinful 
lips to the ghostly dead, that I could hardly 
bring myself to rise and speak. But at last I 
got tremblingly up and said with a low and 
trembling voice : 

'' Is the spirit of John Smith present?" 
(You never can depend on these Smiths ; you 
c?Jl for one, and the whole tribe will come clat- 
tering out of hell to answer you.) 

'^ Whack! whack! whack! whack!" 
Bless me ! I believe all the dead and damned 
John Smiths between San Francisco and perdi- 
tion boarded that poor little table at once ! I 
v^as considerably set back — stunned, I may 
say. The audience urged me to go on, how- 
ever, and I said : 

" What did you die of «" 



AMONG TUE SPIRITS. 123 

Tlie femitlis answered to every disease and 
casualty tliat men can die of. 

"Where did you die?" 

They answered Yes to every locality I could 
name while my geography held out. 

" Are you happy where you are ?" 

There was a vigorous and unanimous "JSTo !" 
from the late Smiths. 

" Is it warm there ?" 

An educated Smith seized the medium' s hand 
and wrote : 

"It's no name for it." 

"Did you leave any Smiths in that place 
when you came aAvay !" 

"Dead loads of them !" 

I fancied I heard the shadowy Smiths 
chuckle at this feeble joke — the rare joke that 
there could Ibe live loads of Smiths where all 
are dead. 

"How many Smiths are present ?" 

"Eighteen millions — the procession now 
reaches from here to the other side of China." 

"Then there are many Smiths in the king- 
dom of the lost ?" 

"The Prince AjDoUyon calls all new comers 
Smith on general principles ; and continues to 



124 AMONG THE SPIRllS. 

do SO until lie is corrected, if lie cliances to "be 
mistaken." 

"What do lost spirits call their dread 
abode?" 

"They call it the Smithsonian Institute." 

I got hold of the right Smith at last — the par- 
ticular Smith I was after — my dear, lost, la- 
mented friend — and learned that he died a vio- 
lent death. I feared as much. Se said his 
wife talked him to death. Poor wretch ! 

By and by up started another Smith. A gen- 
tleman in the audience said that this was his 
Smith. So he questioned him, and this Smith 
said he too died by violence. He had been a 
good deal tangled in his religious belief, and was 
a sort of a cross between a Universalist and a 
Unitarian ; has got straightened out and 
changed his opinions since he left here ; said 
he was perfectly happy. We proceeded to 
question this talkative and frolicsome old par- 
son. Among spirits I judge he is the gayest 
of the gay. He said he had no tangible body ; 
a bullet could pass through him and never make 
a hole ; rain could pass through him as through 
vapor, and not discommode him in the least, 
(so I suppose he don't know enough to come 



AMONa THE SPIEIT8. 125 

in when it rains — or don't care enougli ;) says 
heaven and hell are simply mental conditions ; 
spirits in the former have happy and contented 
minds, and those in the latter are torn l^y re- 
morse of conscience ; says as far as he is con- 
cerned, he is all right — he is happy ; wonld not 
say whether he was a very good or a very bad 
man on earth, (the shrewd old water-proof non- 
entity ! I asked the question so that I might 
average my own chances for his luck in the 
other world, but he saw my drift ;) says he has 
an occupation there — puts in his time teaching 
and being taught ; says there are spheres — 
grades of perfection — he is making very good 
progress — has been promoted a sphere or so 
since his matriculation ; (I said mentally, ' ' Go 
slow, old man, go slow, you have got all eter- 
nity before you," and he replied not ;) he don't 
know how many spheres there are, (but I sup- 
pose there must be millions, because if a man 
goes galloping through them at the rate this 
old Universalist is doing, he mil get through 
an infinitude of them by the time he has been 
there as long as old Sesostris and those ancient 
mummies ; and there is no estimating how high 
he will get in even the iu fancy of eternity — I 



126 AMONG THE SPIRITS 

am afraid tlie old man is scouring along rather 
too fast for tlie style of liis surroundings, and 
the length of time he has got on his hands ;) 
says spirits can not feel heat or cold, (which 
militates somewhat against all my notions of 
orthodox damnation — fire and l^rimstone ;) says 
spirits commune with each other by thought — 
they have no language ; says the distinctions 
of sex are preserved there— and so forth and 
so on. 

The 0I4 parson wrote and talked for an hour, 
and showed l)y his quick, shrewd, intelligent 
replies, that he had not been sitting up nights 
in the other world for nothing; he had heen 
prying into every thing worth knowing, and 
finding out every thing he possibly could — as 
he said himself — when he did not understand a 
thing he hunted up a spuit who could explain 
it, consequently he is pretty thoroughly posted. 
And for his accommodating conduct and his 
uniform courtesy to me, I sincerely hope he 
will continue to progress at his present velocity 
until lie lands on the very roof of the highest 
sphere of all, and thus achieves perfection. 



BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF GEORGE 
WASHINGTOi^. 



HIS clay, many years ago precisely, 
George Wasliington was Iborn. How 
full of significance the tlionglit ! Es- 




pecially to those among ns who have had a 
similar experience, though subsequently; and 
still more especially to the young, who should 
take him for a model, and faithfully try to 
l)e like him, undeterred by the frequency with 
which the same thing has been attempted by 
American youths before them and not satis- 
factorily accomplished. George Washington 
was the youngest of nine children, eight of 
whom were the offspring of his uncle and his 
aunt. As a boy, he gave no promise of the 
greatness he was one day to achieve. He 
was ignorant of the commonest accomplish- 
ments of youth. He could not even lie. But 
then he never had any of those precious advan- 



128 SKETCH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON: 

tages wliicli are witliin the reach of the hum- 
blest of the boys of the present day. Any boy 
can lie now. I could lie before I could stand — 
yet this sort of sprightliness was so common in 
our family that little notice was taken of it. 
Young George appears to have had no sagacity 
whatever. It is related of him that he once 
chopped down his father' s favorite cherry-tree, 
and then didn't know enough to keep dark 
about it. He came near going to sea once, as a 
midshipman ; but when his mother represented 
to him that he must necessarily be absent when 
he was away from home, and that this must 
continue to be the case until he got back, the 
sad truth struck him so forcibly that he or- 
dered his trunk ashore, and quietly but firmly 
refused to serve in the navy and fight the bat- 
tles of his king so long as the efiect of it would 
be to discommode his mother. The great rule 
of his life was, that procrastination was the 
thief of time, and that we should always do 
unto others somehow. Tliis is the golden 
rule. Therefore, he would never discommode 
his mother. 

Young George Washington was actuated in 
all things by the highest and purest principles 



SKETCH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. 129 

of morality, justice, and right. He was a 
model in every way worthy of the emulation 
of youth. Young George was always prompt 
and faithful in the discharge of every duty. It 
has been said of him, 'hj the historian, that he 
w^as always on hand, like a thousand of brick. 
And well deserved was this compliment. The 
aggregate of the building material specified 
might have been largely increased — might have 
been doubled, even — without doing full justice 
to these high qualities in the subject of this 
sketch. Indeed, it would hardly be possible 
to express in bricks the exceeding promptness 
and fidelity of young Gfeorge Washington. His 
was a soul whose manifold excellencies were 
beyond the ken and computation of mathe- 
matics, and bricks are, at the least, but an in- 
adequate vehicle for the conveyance of a com- 
prehension of the moral sublimity of a nature 
so pure as his. 

Young George W. was a surveyor in early 
life— a surveyor of an inland port — a sort of 
county surveyor ; and under a commission from 
Governor Dinwiddle, he set out to survey his 
way four hundred miles through trackless for- 
ests, infested with Indians, to procure the liber- 



130 SKETCH OF GEORGE WASIIIWGTOJS'. 

ation of some Englisli prisoners. Tlie historian 
says the Indians were the most depraved of 
their species, and did nothing but lay for white 
men, whom they killed for the sake of robbing 
them. Considering that white men only tra.v- 
eled through the country at the rate of one a 
year, they were probably unable to do what 
might be termed a land-office business in their 
line. They did not rob young Q. W. ; one 
savage made the attempt, but failed ; he fired 
at the subject of this sketch from behind a tree, 
but the subject of this sketch immediately 
snaked him out from behind the tree and took 
him prisoner. 

The long journey failed of success ; the 
French would not give up the prisoners, and 
Wash went sadly back home again. A regi- 
ment was raised to go and make a rescue, and 
he took command of it. He caught the French 
out in the rain and tackled them with great in- 
trepidity. He defeated them in ten minutes, 
and their commander handed in his checks. 
This was the battle of Great Meadows. 

After this, a good while, George Washington 
became Commander-in-Chief of the American 
armies, and had an exceedingly dusty time of 



SKETCH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. 131 

it all tliroiigli tlie Revolution. But every now 
and then he turned a Jack from the bottom 
and surprised the enemy. He kept up his lick 
for seven long years, and hazed the British 
from Harrisburg to Halifax — and America was 
free ! He served two terms as President, and 
would have been President yet if he had lived 
— even so did the peoj)le honor the Father of 
his Country. Let the youth of America take 
his incomparable character for a model, and 
try it one jolt, any how. Success is possible 
— ^let them remember that — success is possible, 
though there are chances against it. 

I could continue this biography with profit 
to the rising generation, but I shall have to 
drop the subject at present, because of other 
matters which must be attended to. 




A TOUCHING STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S 
BOYHOOD. 

F it please your neiglibor to break tlie 
sacred calm of niglit witli the snort- 
ing of an unholy trombone, it is 
your duty to put up with his wretched music 
and your privilege to pity him for the unhappy 
instinct that moves him to delight in such dis- 
cordant sounds. I did not always think thus : 
this consideration for musical amateurs was 
born of certain disagreeable personal exper- 
iences that once followed the development of a 
like instinct in myself. Now this infidel over 
the way, who is learning to play on the trom- 
bone, and the slowness of whose progress is al- 
most miraculous, goes on with his harrowing 
work every night, uncursed by me, but ten- 
derly pitied. Ten years ago, for the same 
offense, I would have set fire to his house. At 
that time I was a prey to an amateur violinist 



GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 133 

for two or tliree weeks, and tlie sufferings I en- 
dured at Ms hands are inconceivable. He 
played "Old Dan Tucker," and lie never 
played any tiling else ; but lie performed that 
so badly that lie could throw me into fits with 
it if I were awake, or into a nightmare if I 
were asleep. As long as he confined himself to 
''Dan Tucker," though, I bore with him and 
abstained from violence ; but when he pro- 
jected a fresh outrage, and tried to do "Sweet 
Home," I went over and burnt him out. My 
next assailant was a wretch who felt a call to 
play the clarionet. He only played the scale, 
however, with his distressing instrument, and I 
let him run the length of his tether, also ; but 
finally, when he branched out into a ghast- 
ly tune, I felt my reason deserting me under the 
exquisite torture, and I sallied forth and burnt 
him out likewise. During the next two years I 
burned out an amateur cornet player, a bugler, 
a bassoon-sophomore, and a barbarian whose 
talents ran in the base-drum line. 

I would certainly have scorched this trom- 
bone man if he had moved into my neighbor- 
hood in those days. But as I said before, I 
leave him to his own destruction now, because 



13-1 GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 

I have liad experience as an amateur myself, 
and I feel nothing Ibut compassion for that kind 
of people. Besides, I have learned that there 
lies dormant in the souls of all men a penchant 
for some particular musical instrument, and an 
unsuspected yearning to learn to play on it, 
that are bound to wake up and demand atten- 
tion some day. Therefore, you who rail at 
such as disturb your slumbers with unsuccess- 
ful and demoralizing attempts to subjugate a 
fiddle, beware ! for sooner or later your own 
time will come. It is customary and popular 
to curse these amateurs when they wrench you 
out of a pleasant dream at night with a pe- 
culiarly diabolical note ; but seeing that we are 
all made alike, and must all develop a distort- 
ed talent for music in the fullness of time, it is 
not right. I am charitable to my trombone 
maniac ; in a moment of inspiration he fetches 
a snort, sometimes, that brings me to a sitting 
posture in bed, broad awake and weltering in 
a cold perspiration. Perhaps my first thought 
is, that there has been an earthquake ; perhaps 
I hear the trombone, and my next thought is, 
that suicide and the silence of the grave would 
be a happy release from this nightly agony ; 
perhaps the old instmct comes strong upon me 



OEOIiGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. Ig5 

to go after my matclies ; Ibut my first cool, col- 
lected tliouglit is, tliat the trombone man' s des- 
tiny is upon liim, and lie is working it ont in 
suffering and tribulation ; and I banisli from 
me tlie unwortliy instinct tliat would prom2:)t 
me to burn liim out. 

After a long immunity from tlie dreadful in- 
sanity tliat moves a man to become a musician 
in defiance of tlie will of God tliat lie sliould 
confine liimself to sawing wood, I finally fell a 
victim to tlie instrument they call the accordeon. 
At this day I hate that icontrivance as fervently 
as any man can, but at the time I speak of I 
suddenly acquired a disgusting and idolatrous 
affection for it. I got one of powerful capacity, 
and learned to play '' Auld Lang Syne " on it. 
It seems to me, now, that I must have been 
gifted with a sort of inspiration to be enabled, 
in the state of ignorance in which I then was, 
to select out of the whole range of musical 
composition the one solitary tune that sounds 
vilest and most distressing on the accordeon. 
I do not suppose there is another tune in the 
world with which I could have inflicted so 
much anguish upon my race as I did with that 
one during my short musical career. 

After I had been playing '' Lang Syne " 



136 GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 

about a week, I liad the vanity to think I 
could improve the original melody, and I set 
about adding some little flourishes and varia- 
tions to it, but with rather indifferent success, I 
suppose, as it brought my landlady into my 
presence with an expression about her of being 
opposed to such desperate enterprises. Said 
she, "Do you know any other tune but that, 
Mr. Twain?" I told her, meekly, that I did 
not. "Well, then," said she, "stick to it just 
as it is ; don't put any variations to it, because 
it' s rough enough on the boarders the way it is 
now." 

The fact is, it was something more than sim- 
23ly "rough enough" on them; it was alto- 
gether too rough ; half of them left, and the 
other half would have followed, but Mrs. Jones 
saved them by discharging me from the prem- 
ises. 

I only staid one night at my next lodgmg- 
house. Mrs. Smith was after me early in the 
morning. She said, "You can go, sk ; I don't 
want you here ; I have had one of your kind 
before — a poor lunatic, that played the banjo 
and danced breakdowns, and jarred the glass 
all out of the windows. You kept me awake all 



GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 137 

niglit, and if you was to do it again, I'd take 
and masli that thing over your head !" I could 
see that this woman took no delight in music, 
and I moved to Mrs. Brown's. 

For three nights in succession I gave my new 
neighbors "Auld Lang Syne," plain and un- 
adulterated, save by a few discords that rather 
improved the general effect than otherwise. 
But the very first time I tried the variations the 
boarders mutinied. I never did find any body 
that would stand those variations. I was very 
well satisfied with my efforts in that house, 
however, and I left it without any regrets ; I 
drove one boarder as mad as a March hare, 
and another one tried to scalp his mother. I 
reflected, though, that if I could only have been 
allowed to give this latter just one more touch 
of the variations, he would have finished the 
old woman. 

I went to board at Mrs. Murphy's, an Italian 
lady of many excellent qualities. The very 
first time I struck up the variations, a haggard, 
care-worn, cadaverous old man walked into my 
room and stood beaming upon me a smile of 
ineffable happiness. Then he placed his hand 
upon my head, and looking devoutly aloft, he 



138 GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 

said with feeling unction, and in a voice trem- 
bling witli emotion, "God bless you, young 
man ! God bless you ! for you have done that 
for me which is beyond all praise. For years 
I have suffered from an incurable disease, and 
knowing my doom was sealed and that I must 
die, I have striven with all my power to resign 
myself to my fate, but in vain — the love of life 
was too strong within me. But Heaven bless 
you, my benefactor ! for since I heard you play 
that tune and those variations, I do not want to 
live any longer — I am entirely resigned — I am 
willing to die — in fact, I am anxious to die." 
And then the old man fell upon my neck and 
wept a flood of happy tears. I was surprised 
at these things ; but I could not help feeling a 
little proud at wdiat I had done, nor could I 
help giving the old gentleman a parting blast 
in the way of some peculiarly lacerating varia- 
tions as he w^ent out at the door. They doubled 
him up like a jack-knife, and the next time he 
left his bed of pain and suffering he was all 
right, in a metallic coffin. 

My passion for the accordeon finally spent 
itself and died out, and I was glad when I 
found myself free from its unw^holesome in- 



QEOEQE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 139 

flueiice. While the fever was upon me, I was 
a living, breathing calamity wherever I went, 
and desolation and disaster followed in my 
wake. I Ibred discord in families, I crushed 
the spirits of the light-hearted, I drove the mel- 
ancholy to despair, I hurried invalids to prem- 
ature dissolution, and I fear me I disturl^ed the 
very dead in their graves. I did incalculable 
harm, and inflicted untold suff"ering upon my 
race with my execrable music ; and yet to atone 
for it all, I did but one single blessed act, in 
making that weary old man willing to go to his 
long home. 

Still, I derived some little benefit from that 
accordeon ; for while I continued to practice on 
it, I never had to pay any board — landlords 
were always willing to compromise, on my 
leaving before the month was up. 

'Now, I had two objects in view in v/riting the 
foregoing, one of which was to try and recon- 
cile people to those poor unfortunates who feel 
that they have a genius for music, and who 
drive their neighbors crazy every night in try- 
ing to develop and cultivate it; and the other 
was to introduce an admirable story about Lit- 
tle G-eorge Washington, who could JSTot Lie, 



140 GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD. 

and the Cheny-Tree — or tlie Apple-Tree — I 
liave forgotten now wliicli, although it was told 
me only yesterday. And writing such a long 
and elaborate introductory has caused me to 
forget the story itself ; but it was very touching. 




A PAGE FROM A CALIFORNIAN ALMAMC. 

T tlie instance of several friends who 
feel a boding anxiety to know be- 
forehand what sort of phenomena we 
may expect the elements to exhibit during the 
next month or two, and who have lost all con- 
fidence in the various patent medicine alma- 
nacs, because of the unaccountable reticence of 
those works concerning the extraordinary event 
of the 8th inst., I have compiled the following 
almanac expressly for the latitude of San Fran- 
cisco : 

Oct. 17. — Weather hazy ; atmosphere murky 
and dense. An expression of profound melan- 
choly will be observable upon most coun- 
tenances. 

Oct 18. — Slight earthquake. Countenances 
grow more melancholy. 

Oct. 19.— Look out for rain. It would be ab- 



142 ^ PAGE FROM A CALIFOBNIAN ALMANAC. 

surd to look iu for it. The general depression 
of spirits increased. 

Oct. 20.— More weather. 

Oct. 21.— Same. 

Oct 22. — Light winds, perhaps. K they blow, 
it will Ido from the '' east'ard, or the nor'ard, or 
the west'ard, or the snth'ard," or from some 
general direction approximating more or less 
to these points of the compass or otherwise. 
Winds are uncertain — more especially when 
they Iblow from whence they cometh and whither 
they listeth. N. B. — Such is the nature of winds. 

Oct. 23. — Mild, l)almy earthquakes. 

Oct. 24.— Shaky. 

Oct. 25. — Occasional shakes, followed l>y light 
showers of l)ricks and plastering. N. B. — 
Stand from under ! 

Oct. 26. — Considerahle phenomenal atmos- 
pheric foolishness. Al)Out this time erxj)ect 
more earthquakes ; but do not look for tliem, 
on account of the bricks. 

Oct. 27. — Universal despondency, indicative 
of approaching disaster. Abstain from smil- 
ing, or indulgence in humorous conversation, 
or exasperating jokes. 

Oct. 28. — Misery, dismal forebodings, and 



A PAGE FMOM A CALIFOBNIAN ALMANAC. 143 

despair. Beware of all ligM discourse— a joke 
uttered at tliis time would produce a popular 
outlDreak. 

Oct 29.— Beware ! 

Oct. 30.— Keep dark ! 

Oct. 31.— Go slow ! 

Nov. 1. — Terrific earthquake. Tliis is the 
great earthquake month. More stars fall and 
more worlds are slathered around carelessly 
and destroyed in Il^ovember than in any other 
month of the twelve. 

JSfov. 2. — Spasmodic but exhilarating earth- 
quakes, accompanied by occasional showers of 
rain and churches and things. 

Nov. 3. — Make your will. 

Nov. 4.— Sell out. 

Nov. 5. — Select your "last words." Those 
of John Qui]icy Adams wdll do, with the addi- 
tion of a syllable, thus : ' ' This is the last of 
earthquakes." 

Nov. 6. — Prepare to shed this mortal coil. 

Nov. 7.— Shed ! 

Nov. 8. — The sun will rise as usual, perhaps ; 
but if he does, he will doubtless be staggered 
some to find nothing but a large round hole eight 
thousand miles in diameter in the place where he 
saw this world serenely spinning the day before. 




INFORMATION FOR THE MILLION. 

YOUNG man anxious for information 
writes to a friend residing in Yirginia 
City, Nevada, as follows : 

" Sjpiungfield, Mo., April 12. 
" Dear Sir : My object in WTiting to you is to liave you give 
me a full history of Nevada. What is the character of its cli- 
mate ? What are the productions of the earth ? Is it healthy ? 
What diseases do they die of mostly ? Do you think it would 
he advisable for a man who can make a living in INIissouri to 
emigrate to that part of the country ? There are several of us 
who would emigrate there in the spring if we could ascertain to 
a certainty that it is a much better country than this. I suppose 
you know Joel H. Smith ? He used to live here ; he lives in 
Nevada now ; they say he owns considerable in a mine there. 
Hoping to hear from you soon, etc., I remain yours, truly, 

William ." 

The letter was handed in to a newspaper 
office for reply. For the benefit of all who con- 
template moving to IN'evada, it is perhaps best 
to publish the correspondence in its entirety : 

Deaeest William : Pardon my familiarity 
— hut that name touchingly reminds me of the 



INFOBMATION FOR THE MILLION. 145 

loved and lost, wliose name was similar. I 
have taken tlie contract to answer yonr letter, 
and altlioiigli we are now strangers, I feel we 
shall cease to be so if we ever become acquaint- 
ed with each other. The thought is worthy of 
attention, William. I will now respond to 
your several propositions in the order in which 
you have fulminated them. 

Your object in writing is to have me give you 
a full history of J^evada. The flattering con- 
fidence you repose in me, William, is only 
equaled by the m^odesty of your request. I 
could detail the history of Nevada in five hun- 
dred pages octavo ; but as you have never done 
me any harm, I will spare you, thougli it will 
be apparent to every body that I would be jus- 
tified in taking advantage of you if I were a 
mind to. However, I will condense. K'evada 
v/as discovered many years ago by the Mor^ 
mons, and was called Carson county. It only 
became l^evada in 1861, by act of Congress. 
There is a popular tradition that the Almighty 
created it ; but v/hen you come to see it, Wil- 
liam, you will think differently. Do not let 
that discourage you, tliough. The country 
looks something like a singed cat, owing to the 



146 INFOBMATION FOR THE MILLION. 

scarcity of slirulblbeiy, and also resemlbles that 
animal in the respect that it has more merits 
than its personal appearance would seem to in- 
dicate. The Groscli brothers found the first 
silver lead here in 1857. They also founded 
Silver City, I l)elieve. Signify to your friends, 
however, that all the mines here do not pay 
dividends as yet ; you may make this state- 
ment with the utmost unyielding inflexibility — 
it will not be contradicted from this quarter. 
The population of this Territory is about 35,000, 
one half of which number reside in the united 
cities of Virginia and Gold Hill. However, I 
will discontinue this history for the present, lest 
I get you too deeply interested in this distant 
land, and cause you to neglect your family or 
your religion. But I will address you again 
upon the subject next year. In the mean time, 
allow me to answer your inquiry as to the char- 
acter of our climate. 

It has no character to speak of, William, and 
alas ! in this respect it resembles many, ah ! 
too many chambermaids in this wretched, 
wretched world. Sometimes we have the sea- 
sons in their regular order, and then again we 
have winter all the summer, and summer all 



INFOBMATION FOB THE MILLION. 147 

winter. Consequently, we liave never yet come 
across an almanac that would just exactly fit 
tills latitude. It is miglity regular about not 
raining, tliougli, William. It will start in here 
in l^J'ovember and rain about four, and some- 
times as much as seven days on a stretch; 
after that you may loan out your umbrella for 
twelve months, with the serene confidence which 
a Christian feels in four aces. Sometimes the 
winter begins in N'ovember and v/inds up in 
June ; and sometimes there is a bare suspicion 
of winter in March and April, and summer all 
the balance of the year. But as a general 
thing, William, the climate is good, what there 
is of it. 

AVhat are the productions of the earth % You 
mean in Nevada, of course. On our ranches 
here any thing can be raised that can be pro- 
duced on the fertile fields of Missouri. But 
ranches are very scattering — as scattering, per- 
haps, as lawyers in heaven. ISTevada, for the 
most part, is a barren waste of sand, embel- 
lished with melancholy sage-brush, and fenced 
in with snow-clad mountains. But these ghast 
ly features were the salvation of the land, W^il- 
liam ; for no rightly constituted American would 



148 INFORMATION FOB THE MILLION. 

have ever come liere if the phace had been easy 
of access, and none of our pioneers would have 
staid after they got here, if they had not felt 
satisfied that they could not find a smaller 
chance for making a living anywhere else. 
Such is man, William, as he crops out in 
America. 

" Is it healthy V Yes, I think it is as healthy 
here as it is in any part of the West. But never 
permit a question of that kind to vegetate in 
your brain, William ; because as long as Prov- 
idence has an eye on you, you will not be likely 
to die until your time comes. 

"What diseases do they die of mostly?" 
Well, they used to die of conical balls and cold 
steel, mostly, but here lately erysipelas and the 
intoxicating bowl have got the bulge on those 
things, as w^as very justly remarked by Mr. 
Rising last Sunday. I will observe, for your 
information, William, that Mr. Rising is our 
Episcopal minister, and has done as much as 
any man among us to redeem this community 
from its pristine state of semi-barbarism. We 
are afiiicted with all the diseases incident to the 
same latitude in the States, I believe, with one 
or two added and half a dozen subtracted on 



INFORMATION FOR THE MILLION. 149 

account of our superior altitude. However, 
tlie doctors are about as successful here, both 
in killing and curing, as tliey are anywhere. 

Now, as to whether it would be advisable for 
a man who can make a living in Missouri to 
emigrate to Nevada, I confess I am somewhat 
mixed. If you are not content in your present 
condition, it naturally follows that you would 
be entirely satisfied if you could make either 
more or less than a living. You would exult in 
the cheerful exhilaration always produced by a 
change. Well, you can find your opportunity 
here, where, if you retain your health, and are 
sober and industrious, you will inevitably make 
more than a living, and if you don't, you won't. 
You can rely upon this statement, William. 
It contemplates any line of business except the 
selling of tracts. You can not sell tracts here, 
William ; the people take no interest in tracts ; 
the very best efforts in the tract line— even with 
pictures on them — ^liave met with no encourage- 
ment. Besides, the newspapers have been in- 
terfering; a man gets his regular text or so 
from the Scriptures in his paj)er, along Avitli the 
stock sales and the war news, every day now. 
If you are in the tract business, William, take 



150 INFORMATION FOR THE MILLION. 

no cliances on Waslioe ; Ibut you can succeed 
at any thing else here. 

*' I suppose you know Joel H. Smith?-' 
Well — the fact is — I believe I don't. Now isn' t 
that singular ? Isn't it very singular ? And he 
owns "considerable " in a mine here too. Hap- 
py man ! Actually owns in a mine here in IS'e- 
vada Territory, and I never even heard of him. 
Strange — strange — do you knov/, William, it is 
the strangest thing that ever happened to me % 
And then he not only owns in a mine, but 
owns "considerable ;" that is the strangest part 
about it — how a man could own considerable 
in a mine in Waslioe, and I not know any thing 
about it. He is a lucky dog, though. But I 
strongly suspect that you have made a mistake 
in the name ; I am confident you have ; you 
mean John Smith — I know you do ; I know it 
from the fact that he owns considerable in a 
mine here, because I sold him the property at 
a ruinous sacrifice on the very day he arrived 
here from over the plains. That man will be 
rich one of these days. I am just as well satis- 
fied of it as I am of any precisely similar in- 
stance of the kind that has come under my no- 
tice. I said as much to him yesterday, and he 



INFORMATION FOB THE MILLION 151 

said he was satisfied of it also. But lie did not 
say it with, that air of triumphant exultation 
wliich a heart lilie mine so delights to behold 
in one to whom I have endeavored to be a ben- 
efactor in a small way. He looked pensive 
awhile, but, finally, says he, ''Do you know, I 
think I'd a been a rich man long ago if they'd 
ever found the d — d ledge?" That was my 
idea about it. I always thought, and I still 
think, that if they ever do find that ledge, his 
chances will be better than they are now. I 
guess Smith will be all right one of these cen- 
turies, if he keeps up his assessments — he is a 
young man yet. JSTow, William, I have taken 
a liking to you, and I would like to sell you 
"considerable" in a mine in Washoe. Let me 
hear from you on the subject. Greenbacks at 
par is as good a thing as I want. But seri- 
ously, William, don't you ever invest in a 
mining stock which you don' t know any thing 
about ; beware of John Smith' s experience ! 

You hope to hear from me soon ? Very good. 

I shall also hope to hear from you soon, about 

that little matter above referred to. ITow, Wil- 

Ham, ponder this epistle well ; never mind the 

'.arcasm here and there, and the nonsense, but 



152 INFORMATION FOB THE MILLION. 

reflect upon tlie plain facts set fortli, because 
tliey are facts, and are meant to Ibe so under- 
stood and "believed. 

Remember me affectionately to your friends 
and relations, and especially to your venerable 
grandmother, witli wliom I have not the pleas- 
ure to be acquainted — ^but that is of no conse- 
quence, you know. I have been in your town 
many a time, and all the towns of the neigh- 
boring counties — the hotel-keepers will recol- 
lect me vividly. Eemember me to them — I 
bear them no animosity. 

Yours affectionately. 



THE lAMGR OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL 

r GET MR. MUFF NICKERSOIT TO GO WITH ME 
AND ASSIST IlSr EEPORTIIN-G THE GREAT STEAM- 
BOAT LAUI^TCH. — HE RELATES THE II^TEREST- 
IISTG HISTORY OF THE TRAVELING PANORA- 
MIST. 



WAS just starting off to see the 
launcii of the great steamboat Cap- 
ital, on Saturday week, when I came 
across Mnlph, Mulff, Muff, Mumph, Murph, 
Mumf, Murf, Mumford, Mulford, Murphy 
Mckerson — (he is weU known to the public by 
all these names, and I can not say which is the 
right one) — bound on the same errand. 
This was the man I wanted. 
We set out in a steamer whose decks were 
crowded with persons of all ages, who were 
happy in their nervous anxiety to behold the 
novelty of a steamboat launch. 



154 LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. 

As we approaclied the spot Avliore the launch 
was to take place, a gentleman from Reese 
River, by the name of Thompson, came np, 
with several friends, and said he had been pros- 
pecting on the main deck, and had found an 
object of interest — a bar. This was all very 
well, and showed him to be a man of parts ; 
but like many another man who produces a 
favorable impression by an introductory re- 
mark replete with wisdom, he followed it up 
with a vain and unnecessary question — Would 
we take a drink ? This to me !— This to M. M. 
M., etc., Mckerson ! 

We proceeded, two by two, arm-in-arm, 
down to the bar in the nether regions, chattmg 
pleasantly and elbowing the restless multitude. 
We took pure, cold, health-giving water, with 
some other things in it, and clinked our glasses 
together, and were about to drink, when Smith, 
of Excelsior, drew forth his handkerchief and 
wiped away a tear ; and then, noticing that the 
action had excited some attention, he explained 
it by recounting a most affecting incident in the 
history of a venerated aunt of his — now de- 
ceased — and said that, although long years had 
passed since the touching event he had nar- 



LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. 155 

rated, lie could never take a drink witliont 
thinking of the kind-hearted old lady. 

Mr. Mckerson Hew his nose, and said with 
deep emotion that it gave him a iDetter opinion 
of hnman nature to see a man who had had 
a good aunt, eternally and forever thinking 
albout her. 

This episode reminded Jones, of Mud Springs, 
of a circumstance which happened many years 
ago in the home of his childhood, and we held 
our glasses untouched and rested our elbows 
on the counter, while we listened with rapt 
attention to his story. 

There was sometliing in it about a good-na- 
tured, stupid man, and this reminded Thomp- 
son, of Reese River, of a person of the same 
kind whom he had once fallen in with while 
traveling through the back settlements of one 
of the Atlantic States, and we postponed drink- 
ing until he should give us the facts in the case. 
The hero of the tale had unintentionally creat- 
ed some consternation at a camp-meeting by 
one of his innocent asinine freaks ; and this 
reminded Mr. M. Nickerson of a reminiscence 
of his temporary sojourn in the interior of Con- 
necticut some months ago ; and again our up- 



156 LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. 

lifted glasses were staid on tlieir way to our 
lips, and we listened attentively to 

THE ENTERTAINII^a HISTORY OF THE SCKIP- 
TUPwAL PAIS-OEAMIST. 

[I give the history in Mr. Mckerson s own 
language.] 

There was a fellow traveling around, in that 
country, (said Mr. JSTickerson,) with a moral 
religious show — a sort of a scriptural panora- 
ma — and he hired a wooden-headed old slal) to 
play the piano for him. After the first night's 
performance, the showman says : 

"My friend, you seem to know pretty much 
all the tunes there are, and you worry along 
first-rate. But then didn't you notice that 
sometimes last night the piece you hap^Dened to 
be playing was a little rough on the proprieties, 
so to speak — didn't seem to jibe with the gener- 
al gait of the picture that was passing at the 
time, as it were — was a little foreign to the sub- 
ject, you know— as if you didn't either trump 
or follow suit, you understand?" 

''Well, no," the fellow said; he hadn't 
noticed, but it might be ; he had played along 
just as it came handy. 



LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. IJ,? 

So tliey put it up that the smiple old dummy 
was to keep his eye on the panorama after tii:^:, 
and as soon as a stunning picture was reeled 
out, he was to fit it to a dot with a piece of mu- 
sic that would help the audience get the idea 
of the sul^ject, and warm them up like a camp- 
meeting revival. That sort of thing would cor- 
ral their sympathies, the showman said. 

There was a big audience that night — mostly 
middle-aged and old people v/ho belonged to 
the church and took a strong interest in Bible 
matters, and the balance were pretty much 
young bucks and heifers — t7iey always come 
out strong on panoramas, you know, because it 
gives them a chance to taste one another' s mugs 
in the dark. 

Well, the shov^^man began to swell himself 
up for his lecture, and the old mud-dobber 
tackled the piano and run his fingers up and 
down once or twice to see that she was all right, 
and the fellows behind the curtain commenced 
to grind out the panorama. The showman bal- 
anced his weight on his right foot, and propped 
his hands on his hips, and flung his eye over 
his shoulder at the scenery, and says : 

"Ladies and gentlemen, the painting now be- 



158 LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. 

fore you illustrates tlie beautiful and touching 
parable of tlie Prodigal Son. Observe the 
happy expression just breaking over the fea- 
tures of the poor suffering youth — so worn and 
weary with his long march ; note also the ec- 
stasy beaming from the uplifted countenance 
of the aged father, and the joy that sparkles 
in the eyes of the excited group of youths 
and maidens, and seems ready to, burst in a 
welcoming chorus from their lips. The lesson, 
my friends, is as solemn and instructive as the 
story is tender and beautiful." 

The mud-dobber was all ready, and the 
second the speech was finished he struck up: 



" oil ! we'll all get blind drunk 
When Jolinny comes marcliing home !" 



Some of the people giggled, and some 
groaned a little. The showman couldn't say a 
word. He looked at the piano-sharp ; but he 
was all lovely and serene — lie didn't know 
there was any thing out of gear. 

The panorama moved on, and the showman 
drummed up his grit and started in fresh : 

'' Ladies and gentlemen, the fine picture now 



LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. I59 

unfoldiDg itself to your gaze exhibits one of 
the most notable events in Bible history — our 
Saviour and his disciples upon the Sea of Gali- 
lee. How grand, how awe-inspiring are the 
reflections which the subject invokes ! "VYhat 
sublimity of faith is revealed to us in this les- 
son from the sacred writings ! The Saviour 
rebukes the angry waves, and walks securely 
upon the bosom of the deep !" 

All around the house they were whispering, 
"Oh! how lovely! how beautiful!" and the 
orchestra let himself out again : 

" oil ! a life on tlie ocean wave, 
And a home on tlie rolling deep !" 

There was a good deal of holiest snickering 
turned on this time, and considerable groaning, 
and one or two old deacons got up and went 
out. The showman gritted his teeth and cursed 
the piano man to himself ; but the fellow sat 
there like a knot on a log, and seemed to tliir.k 
he was doing first-rate. 

After things got quiet, the showman thought 
he would make one more stagger at it, any 
how, though his confidence was beginning to 
get mighty shaky. The supes started the 



100 LAUNCH OF TEE STEAMER CAPITAL. 

panorama to grinding along again, and Jie 

sajs : 

'' Ladies and gentlemen, tins exquisite paint- 
ing illustrates tlie raising of Lazarus from the 
dead by our Saviour. The subject has been 
handled with rare ability by the artist, and 
such touching sweetness and tenderness of ex- 
pression has he thrown into it, that I have 
known peculiarly sensitive persons to be even 
affected to tears by looking at it. Observe the 
half-confused, haK-inquiring look, upon the 
countenance of the awakening Lazarus. Ob- 
serve, also, the attitude and expression of the 
Saviour, who takes him gently by the sleeve of 
his shroud with one hand, while he points with 
the other toward the distant city." 

Before any body could get off an opinion 
in the case, the innocent old ass at the piano 
struck up : 

" Come, rise up, William Ei-i-ley 
And go along witli me !" 

It was rough on the audience, you bet you. 
All the solemn old flats got up in a huff to go, 
and every body else laughed till the windows 
rattled. 



LAUNCH OF THE STEAMER CAPITAL. 161 

Tlie sliowman went down and gra'blbed the 
orchestra, and shook Mm up, and says : 

''That lets you out, you know, you chow- 
der-headed old clam ! Go to the doorkeeper 
and get your money, and cut your stick ! 
vamose the ranche ! Ladies and gentlemen, 
circumstances over which I have no control 
compel me prematurely to dismiss ' ' 

"By George! it was splendid! Come! all 
hands ! let's take a drink !" 

It was Phelim O'Flannigan, of San Luis 
Obispo, who interrupted. I had not seen him 
before. 

"What was splendid?" I inquired. 

"The launch!" 

Our party clinked glasses once more, and 
drank in respectful silence. 

P. S. — You will excuse me from making a 
model report of the great launch. I was with 
Mulf Mckerson, who was going to "explain 
the whole thing to me as clear as glass ;" but, 
you see, they launched the boat with such in- 
decent haste, that we never got a chance to see 
it. It was a great pity, because Mulpli Mcker- 
son understands launches as well as any man. 



ORIGIN OF ILLUSTRIOUS MEN. 




OHN" SMITH was the son of liis 
fatlier. He formerly lived in JSTew- 
York and other places, but he has 
removed to San Francisco now. 

AYilliam Smith was the son of his mother. 
This party's grandmother is deceased. She 
was a hrick. 

John Brown was the son of old Brown. 
The body of the latter lies mouldering in the 
grave. 

Edward Brown was the son of old Brown by 
a particular friend. 

Henry Jones was the son of a sea-cook. 

Ed Jones was a son of a gun. 

John Jones was a son of temperance. 

In early life Gabriel Jones was actually a 
shoemaker. He is a shoemaker yet. 

Previous to the age of eighty-five, Caleb 



OBIGIN OF ILLUSTRIOUS MEN. 163 

Jones liad never given evidence of extraordi- 
nary albilitj. He has never given any since. 

Patrick Murphy is said to have been of Irish 
extraction. 

James Peterson was the son of a common 
weaver, who was so miraculously poor that his 
friends were encouraged to iDelieve that in case 
the Scriptures were carried out he would ' ' in- 
herit the earth." He never got his property. 

John Davis's father was the son of a soap- 
Iboiler, and not a very good soap-boiler at that. 
John never arrived at maturity — died in child- 
birth — ^he and his mother. 

John Johnson was a blacksmith. He died. 
It was published in the j)apers, with a head 
over it, "Deaths." It was, therefore, thought 
he died to gain notoriety. He has got an aunt 
living somewhere. 

Up to the age of thirty-four Hosea Wilker- 
son never had any home but Home Sweet 
Home, and even then he had it to sing himself. 
At one time it was believed that he would have 
been famous if he became celebrated. He 
died. He was greatly esteemed for his many 
virtues. There was not a dry eye in the crowd 
when they planted him. 




ADVICE FOR GOOD LITTLE GIRLS. 



OOD little girls ouglit not to make 
moutlis at their teachers for every 
trifling offense. This kind of retal- 



iation should only l)e resorted to under pe- 
culiarly aggravating circumstances. 

If you have nothing but a rag doll stuffed 
with saw-dust, while one of your more fortu- 
nate little playmates has a costly china one, 
you should treat her with a show of kindness, 
nevertheless. And you ought not to attempt to 
make a forcible swap with her unless your con- 
science would justify you in it, and you know 
you are able to do it. 

You ought never to take your little brother's 
" chawing-gum " away from him by main 
force ; it is better to rope him in with the pro- 
mise of the first two dollars and a half you 
find floating down the river on a grindstone. 
In the artless simplicity natural to his time 



ADVICE FOE GOOD LITTLE GIRLS. 165 

of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair 
transaction. In all ages of the world this 
eminently plausible fiction has lured the ob- 
tuse infant to financial ruin and disaster. 

If at any time you find it necessary to correct 
your brother, do not correct him with mud — 
never on any account throw mud at him, be- 
cause it will soil his clothes. It is better to 
scald him a little ; for then you attain two de- 
sirable results — you secure his immediate at- 
tention to the lesson you are inculcating, and, 
at the same time, your hot water will have 
a tendency to remove impurities from his per- 
son — and possibly tlie skin also, in spots. 

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it 
is wTong to reply that you won't. It is better 
and more becoming to intimate that you will 
do as she bids you, and then afterw^ard act 
quietly in the matter according to the dictates 
of your better judgment. 

You should ever bear in mind that it is to 
your kind parents that you are indebted for 
your food and your nice bed and your beau- 
tiful clothes, and for the privilege of staying 
home from school Avhen you let on that you are 
sick. Therefore you ought to respect their 



160 ADVICE FOR GOOD LITTLE GIRLS. 

little prejudices and liiimor tlieir little Avliims 
and put up with their little foibles, until they 
get to crowding you too much. 

Good little girls should always show marked 
deference for the aged. You ought never to 
"sass" old people — unless they "sass" you 
first. 




COXCERNIKG CHAMBERMAIDS. 

GAINST all cliambermaids, of whatso- 
ever age or nationality, I launcli the 
curse of bachelordom ! Because : 

They always put the pillows at the opposite 
end of the Ibed from the gas-burner, so that 
while you read and smoke before sleeping, (as 
is the ancient and honored custom of bache- 
lors,) you have to hold your book aloft, in an 
uncomfortable position, to keep the light from 
dazzling your eyes. 

When they find the pillows removed to the 
other end of the bed in the morning, they re- 
ceive not the suggestion in a friendly spirit ; but, 
glorying in their absolute sovereignty, and un- 
pitying your helplessness, they make the bed 
just as it was originally, and gloat in secret 
over the pang their tyranny will cause you. 

Always after that, when they find you have 
transposed the pillows, they undo your work, 



168 CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS. 

and thus defj and seek to embitter tlie life 
tliat God has given you. 

If they can not get the light in an incon- 
venient position any other Vv^ay, they move the 
bed. 

If you pull your trunk out six inches from 
the wall, so, that the lid will stay up when you 
open it, they always shove that trunk hack 
again. They do it on purpose. 

If you want the spittoon in a certain spot, 
where it will be handy, they don't, and so they 
move it. 

They always put your other boots into inac- 
cessible places. They chiefly enjoy depositing 
them as far under the bed as the v/all will per- 
mit. It is because this compels you to get 
down in an undignified attitude and make wild 
sweeps for them in the dark with the boot-jack, 
and swear. 

They always put the match-box in some 
other place. They hunt up a new place for it 
every day, and put up a bottle, or other per- 
ishable glass thing, where the box stood before. 
This is to cause you to break that glass thing, 
groping in the dark, and get yourself into 
trouble. 



CONGEBNINQ CHAMBERMAIDS. 169 

They are forever and ever moving the furni- 
ture. When you come in, in the night, .you can 
calculate on finding the iDureau where the ward- 
robe was in the morning. And when you go 
out in the morning, if you leave the slop- 
bucket by the door and rocking-chair Iby the 
window, when you come in at midnight, or 
thereabouts, you will fall over that rocking- 
chaii-, and you will proceed toward the window 
and sit down in that slop-tub. This will dis- 
gust you. They like that. 

JN'o matter where you put any thing, they are 
not going to let it stay there. They will take 
it and move it the first chance they get. It is 
their nature. And, besides, it gives them 
pleasure to be mean and contrary this way. 
They would die if they couldn't be villains. 

They always save up all the old scraps of 
printed rubbish you throw on the floor, and 
stack them up carefully on the table, and start 
the fire with your valuable manuscripts. If 
there is any one particular old scrap that you 
are more down on than any other, and which 
you are gradually wearing your life out trying 
to get rid of, you may take all the p'ains you 
possibly can in that direction, but it won't be 



170 CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS. 

of any use, because they will always fetch that 
old scrap Iback and put it in the same old place 
again every time. It does them good. 

And they use up more hair-oil than any six 
men. If charged with purloining the same, 
they lie about it. What do they care about a 
hereafter ? Absolutely nothing. 

If you leave your key in the door for con- 
venience sake, they will carry it down to the 
office and give it to the clerk. They do this 
under the vile pretense of ixjmg to protect 
your property from thieves ; but actually they 
do it because they want to make you tramp 
back down- stairs after it when you come home 
tired, or put you to the trouble of sending 
a waiter for it, which waiter will expect you to 
pay him something. In which case I suppose 
the degraded creatures divide. 

They keep always trying to make your bed 
before you get up, thus destroying your rest 
and inflictmg agony upon you ; but after you 
get up, they don't come any more till next 
day. 

They do all the mean things they can think 
of, and they do them just out of pure cussed- 
ness, and nothing else. 



CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS. 17] 

Cliambermaids are dead to every human in- 
stinct.. 

I have cursed them in behalf of outraged 
bachelordom. They deserve it. If I can get a 
bill through the Legislature abolishing cham- 
bermaids, I mean to do it 




REMARKABLE INSTANCES OF PRESENCE 
OF MIND. 

HE steamer Ajax encountered a ter- 
rible storm on lier down trip from 
San Francisco to the Sandwicli Isl- 
ands. It tore lier liglit sjDars and rigging all 
to slireds and splinters, upset all furniture 
tliat could be upset, and spilled passengers 
around and knocked them hither and thither 
with a perfect looseness. For forty-eight hours 
no table could be set, and every body had to 
eat as best they might under the circumstances. 
Most of the party went hungry, though, and 
attended to their praying. But there was one 
set of ''seven-up" players who nailed a card- 
table to the floor and stuck to their game 

through thick and thin. Captain F , of a 

great banking-house in San Francisco, a man 
of great coolness and presence of mind, was of 
this party. One night the storm suddenly cul- 



INSTANCES OF PRESENCE OF MIND. 173 

minated in a climax of nnparalleled fury ; tlie 
vessel went down on lier l)eam ends, and every 
tiling let go with a crash — passengers, talbles, 
cards, bottles — every thing came clattering to 
the floor in a chaos of disorder and confusion. 
In a moment fifty sore distressed and pleading 
voices ejaculated, ^'O Heaven! help us in our 
extremity!" and one voice rang out clear and 
sharp above the plaintive chorus and said, 
"Remember, boys, I played the tray for low !" 
It was one of the gentlemen I have mentioned 
who spoke. And the remark showed good 
presence of mind and an eye to business. 

Lewis L , of a great hotel in San Francis- 
co, was a passenger. There were some savage 
grizzly bears chained in cages on deck. One 
night, in the midst of a hurricane, which was 
accompanied by rain and thunder and light- 
ning, Mr. L. came up, on his way to bed. Just 
as he stepx)ed into the pitchy darkness of the 
deck and reeled to the still more pitchy mo- 
tion of the vessel, (bad,) the captain sang out 
hoarsely through his speaking-trumpet, '' Bear 
a hand aft, there !" The words were sadly 
marred and jumbled by the roaring wind. Mr. 
L thought the captain said, " The bears are 



174 INSTANCES OF PBESENCE OF MIND. 

after you there!" and lie "let go all holts" 
and went down into his boots. He murmured, 
" I knew how it was going to be — I just knew 
it from the start — I said all along that those 
bears would get loose some time ; and now I'll 
be the jSrst man that they'll snatch. Captain ! 
captain ! — can't hear me — storm roars so ! O 
God ! what a fate ! I have avoided wild beasts 
all my life, and now to be eaten by a grizzly 
bear in the middle of the ocean, a thousand 
miles from land ! Captain ! O captain ! — bless 
my soul, there's one of them — I've got to cut 
and run !" 'And he did cut and run, and 
smashed through the door of the first state- 
room he came to. A gentleman and his wife 
were in it. The gentleman exclaimed, "Who's 
that?" The refugee gasped out, "O great Scot- 
land ! those bears are loose, and just raising 
merry hell all over the ship !" and then sank 
down exhausted. The gentleman sprang out 
of bei and locked the door, and prepared for a 
siege. After a while, no assault being made, a 
reconnoissance was made from the window, and 
a vivid flash of lightning revealed a clear deck. 
Mr. L then made a dart for his own state- 
room, gained it, locked himself in, and felt that 



INSTANCES OF PRESENCE OF MINI). 175 

Ms body' s salvation was accomplislied, and by 
little less tlian a miracle. The next day the sub- 
ject of this memoir, though still very feeble and 
nervous, had the hardihood to make a joke 
upon his adventure. He said that when he 
found himself in so tight a place (as he thought) 
he didn't bear it with much fortitude, and when 
he found himself safe at last in his state-room, 
he regarded it as the bearest escape he had 
ever had in his life. He then went to bed, and 
did not get up again for nine days. This un- 
questionably bad joke cast a gloom over the 
whole ship's company, and no effort was suf- 
ficient to restore their wonted cheerfulness until 
the vessel reached her port, and other scenes 
erased it from their memories. 




HONORED AS A CURIOSITY IN HONOLULU. 

MF you get into conversation with a. 
stranger in Honolulu, and experience 
tliat natural desire to know what sort 
of ground you are treading on Iby finding out 
what manner of man your stranger is, strike 
out boldly and address him as "Captain." 
Watch him narrowly, and if you see by his 
countenance that you are on the wrong track, 
ask him where he preaches. It is a safe bet 
that he is either a missionary or captain of a 
whaler. I became personally acquainted with 
seventy-two captains and ninety-six mission- 
aries. The captains and ministers form one 
half of the population ; the third fourth is com- 
posed of common Kanakas and mercantile for- 
eigners and their families ; and the final fourth 
is made up of high ofiicers of the Hawaiian 
government. And there are just about cats 
enough for three apiece all around. 



HONORED A8 A GUBIOSITT IN HONOLULU. 177 

A solemn stranger met me in the subnrlbs one 
day, and said : 

"Good morning, your reverence. Preacli 
in the stone church yonder, no doulbt?" 

" J^o, I don't. I'm not a preacher." 

*' Really, I l)eg your pardon, captain. I 
trust you had a good season. How much 
on " 

'' Oil ! Why, what do you take me for ? I'm 
not a whaler." 

'' Oh ! I beg a thousand pardons, your Ex- 
cellency. Major-General in the household 
troops, no doubt ? Minister of the Interior, 
likely ? Secretary of War ? First Gentleman 
of the Bed-chamber % Commissioner of the 
Royal " 

'' Stuff ! man. I'm no official. I'm not con- 
nected in any way with the government." 

" Bless my life ! Then who the mischief are 
you ? what the mischief are yon ? and how the 
mischief did you get here ? and where in thun- 
der did yon come from?" 

"I'm only a private personage — an nnas- 
suming stranger — lately arrived fiom Amer- 
ica." 

"No! IN'ot a missionary! not a whaler! 



178 HONORED AS A CURIOSITY IN HONOLULU. 

not a memlber of liis Majesty's government! 
not even Secretary of tlie IN'avy ! Ah ! heaven ! 
it is too Iblissful to "be true ; alas ! I do "but 
dream. And yet that nolble, honest counte- 
nance — those oblique, ingenuous eyes — that 
massive head, incapable of— of— any thing ; 
your hand ; give me your hand, bright waif. 
Excuse these tears. For sixteen weary years I 

have yearned for a moment like this, and " 

Here his feelings were too much for him, and 
he swooned away. I pitied this poor creature 
from the bottom of my heart. I was deeply 
moved. I shed a few tears on him, and kissed 
him for his mother. I then took what small 
change he had, and "shoved." 



THE STEED "OAHU." 




HE landlord of the American hotel at 
Honolulu said the party had heen 
gone nearly an hour, but that he 
could give me my choice of several horses that 
could easily overtake them. I said, Never mind 
— I preferred a safe horse to a fast one — I 
would like to have an excessively gentle horse 
— a horse with no spirit whatever — a lame one, 
if he had such a thing. Inside of ^ve minutes 
I was mounted, and perfectly satisfied with my 
outfit. I had no time to lahel him, " This is a 
horse," and so if the puMic took him for a 
sheep I can not help it. I was satisfied, and 
that was the main thing. I could see that he 
had as many fine points as any man's horse, 
and I just hung my hat on one of them, be- 
hind the saddle, and swahhed the perspiration 
from my face and started. I named him after 
this island, " Oahu," (pronounced 0-waw-hoo.) 



180 THE STEED " OAHU." 

The first gate lie came to lie started in ; I had 
neither whij) nor spur, and so I simply argued 
the case with him. He firmly resisted argu- 
ment, iDut ultimately yielded to insult and 
abuse. He backed out of that gate and 
steered for another one on the other side of the 
street. I triumphed by my former process. 
Within the next six hundred yards he crossed 
the street fourteen times, and attempted thir- 
teen gates, and in the mean time the tro^Dical 
sun was beating down and threatening to cave 
the top of my head in, and I was literally drip- 
ping with perspiration and profanity. (I am 
only human, and I was sorely aggravated; I 
shall behave better next time.) He quit the gate 
business after that, and v^ent along j)eaceably 
enough, but absorbed in meditation. I noticed 
this latter circumstance, and it soon began to 
fill me with the gravest apprehension. I said 
to myself. This malignant' brute is planning 
some new outrage — some fresh deviltry or other ; 
no horse ever thought over a subject so pro- 
foundly as this one is doing just for nothing. 
The more this thing preyed upon my mind the 
more uneasy I became, until at last the sus- 
pense became unbearable, and I dismounted to 



THE STEED " OASU." 181 

see if tliere was any thing wild in Ms eye ; for 
I had heard that the eye of this noblest of our 
domestic animals is very expressive. I can not 
describe what a load of anxiety was lifted from 
my mind when I found that he was only asleep. 
I woke him up and started him into a faster 
walk, and then the inborn villainy of his na- 
ture c?Lme out again. He tried to climb over a 
stone wall ^vq or six feet high. I saw that I 
must apply force to this horse, and that I 
might as well begin first as last. I plucked a 
stout switch from a tamarind tree, and the mo- 
ment he saw it he gave in. He broke into a 
convnlsive sort of a canter, which had three 
short steps in it and one long one, and remind- 
ed me alternately of the clattering shake of the 
great earthquake and the sweeping plunging 
of the Ajax in a storm. 



A STRANGE DREAM. 

DEEAMED AT THE VOLCAITO HOUSE, CEATER 
OF ^'KI 

1, 1866. 



KILAUEA," SAITDWICH ISLAT^-DS, APEIL 




LL day long I liave sat apart and pon- 
dered over tlie mysterious occur- 
rences of last niglit. . . There is no 
link lacking in the chain of incidents — my 
memory presents each in its proper order with 

perfect distinctness, Ibnt still 

However, never mind these reflections — I will 
drop them and proceed to make a simple state- 
ment of the facts. 

Toward eleven o' clock, it was suggested that 
the character of the night was peculiarly suited 
to viewing the mightiest active volcano on the 
earth's surface in its most impressive sulblimity. 
There was no light of moon or star in the inky 



A STRANGE DREAM. 183 

lieavens to mar the effect of the crater's gor- 
geous pyroteclmics. 

In due time I stood, with, my companion, on 
the wall of the vast cauldron which the natives, 
ages ago, named Hale mau man — the al)yss 
wherein they were wont to throw the remains 
of their chiefs, to the end that vulgar feet might 
never tread alDove them. We stood there, at 
dead of night, a mile ahove the level of the sea, 
and looked down a thousand feet upon a boil- 
ing, surging, roaring ocean of fire ! — shaded our 
eyes from the blinding glare, and gazed far 
away over the crimson waves with a vague no- 
tion that a supernatural fleet, manned by de- 
mons and freighted with the damned, might 
presently sail up out of the remote distance ; 
started when tremendous thunder-bursts shook 
the earth, and followed with fascinated eyes the 
grand jets of molten lava that sprang high up 
toward the zenith and exploded in a world of 
fiery spray that lit up the sombre heavens with 
an infernal splendor. 

^' What is your little bonfire of Vesuvius to 
this?" 

My ejaculation roused my companion from 
his reverie, and we fell into a conversation ap- 



184 ^ STRANGE DREAM. 

propriate to the occasion and the surroundings. 
We came at last to speak of tlie ancient custom 
of casting tlie bodies of dead chieftains into this 
fearful caldron ; and my comrade, who is of 
the blood royal, mentioned that the founder of 
his race, old King Kamehameha the First — that 
invincible old pagan Alexander — had found 
other sepulture than the burning depths of the 
Hale man mau. I grew interested at once ; I 
knew that the mystery of what became of the 
corpse of the warrior king had never been fath- 
omed ; I was aware that there was a legend 
connected with this matter ; and I felt as if there 
could be no more fitting time to listen to it than 
the present. The descendant of the Kameha- 
melias said : 

''The dead king was brought in royal state 
down the long, winding road that descends from 
the rim of the crater to the scorched and chasm- 
riven plain that lies between the Hale mau mau 
and those beetling walls yonder in the distance. 
The guards were set and the troops of mourn- 
ers began the weird wail for the departed. In 
the middle of the night came a sound of innu- 
merable voices in the air, and the rush of invis- 
ible wings ; the funeral torches wavered, burned 



A STRANGE DREAM. 185 

blue, and went out. The mourners and watch- 
ers feJl to the ground paralyzed Iby fright, and 
many minutes elapsed before any one dared to 
move or speak ; for they believed that the phan- 
tom messengers of the dread Goddess of Fire 
had been in their midst. When at last a torch 
was lighted, the bier was vacant — the dead 
monarch had been spirited away ! Consterna- 
tion seized upon all, and they fled out of the 
crater. When day dawned, the multitude re- 
turned and began the search for the corpse. 
But not a footprint, not a sign was ever found. 
Day after day the search was continued, and 
every cave in the great walls, and every chasm 
in the plain, for miles around, was examined, 
but all to no purpose ; and H'om that day to 
this the resting-place of the lion king's bones is 
an unsolved mystery. But years afterward, 
when the grim prophetess Wiahowakawak lay 
on her deathbed, the Groddess Pele appeared to 
her in a vision, and told her that eventually the 
secret would be revealed, and in a remarkable 
manner, but not until the great KauliuJitc, the 
Shark God, should desert the sacred cavern 
Aua Pu7ii, in the Island of Molokai, and the 
waters of the sea should no more visit it, and 



186 ^ STBANGE DREAM. 

its floors should "become diy. Ever since that 
time the simple, confiding natives have watched 
for the sign. And now, after many and many 
a summer has come and gone, and they who 
were in the flower of youth then have waxed 
old and died, the day is at hand ! The great 
Shark God has deserted the Aua PuM : a 
month ago, for the first time within the records 
of the ancient legends, the waters of the sea 
ceased to flow into the cavern, and its stony 
pavement is l)ecome dry ! As you may easily 
believe, the news of this event spread like wild- 
fire through the islands, and now the natives 
are looking every hour for the miracle which 
is to unvail the mystery and reveal the secret 
grave of the dead hero." 



After I had gone to bed I got to thinking 
of the volcanic magnificence we had witnessed, 
and could not go to sleep. I hunted up a book 
and concluded to pass the time in reading. 
The first chapter I came upon related several 
instances of remarkable revelations, made to 
men through the agency of dreams — of roads 
and houses, trees, fences, and all manner of 
landmarks, shown in visions and recognized 



A STRANGE DREAM. 187 

jifterward in waking liours, and whicli served 
to point tlie way to some darii mystery or other. 
At length I fell asleep, and dreamed that I 
was abroad in the great plain that skirts the 
Hale mau man. I stood in a sort of twilight 
which softened the outlines of surrounding ob- 
jects, hut still left them tolerably distinct. A 
gaunt, muiSed figure stepped out from the 
shadow of a rude column of lava, and moved 
away with a slow and measured step, beckon- 
ing me to follow. I did so. I marched down, 
down, down, hundreds of feet, upon a narrow 
trail which wound its tortuous course through 
piles and pyramids of seamed and blackened 
lava, and under overhanging masses of sulphur 
formed by the artist hand of nature into an in- 
finitude of fanciful shapes. The thought crossed 
my mind that possibly my phantom guide 
might lead me down among the bowels of the 
crater, and then disappear and leave me to 
grope my way through its mazes, and work out 
my deliverance as best I might ; and so, with 
an eye to. such a contingency, I picked up a 
stone, and ''blazed" my course by breaking 
off a projecting corner, occasionally, from lava 
walls and festoons of sulphur. Finally we 



188 ^ STRANGE DREAM. 

turned into a cleft in tlie crater's side, and par- 
sued our way through its intricate windings for 
many a fathom down toward the home of the 
subterranean fires, our course lighted all the 
while by a ruddy glow which filtered up 
through innumerable cracks and crevices, and 
which afforded me occasional glimpses of the 
flood of molten fire boiling and hissing in the 
profound depths beneath us. The heat was in- 
tense, and the sulphurous atmosphere suffo- 
cating ; but I toiled on in the footsteps of my 
stately guide, and uttered no complaint. At 
last we came to a sort of rugged chamber whose 
sombre and blistered walls spake with mute 
eloquence of some fiery tempest that had spent 
its fury here in a bygone age. The spectre 
pointed to a great boulder at the farther ex- 
tremity — stood and pointed, silent and motion- 
less, for a few fleeting moments, and then dis- 
appeared ! ''The grave of the last Kameha- 
meha !" The words swept mournfully by, from 
unknown source, and died away in the distant 
corridors of my prison-house, and I was alone 
in the bowels of the earth, in the home of deso- 
lation, in the presence of death ! 
My first frightened impulse was to fly, but a 



A STRANGE DBEAM. 189 

stronger impulse arrested me and impelled me 
to approacli the massive "boulder tlie spectre 
liad pointed at. With, hesitating step I went 
forward and stood beside it — nothing there. I 
grew bolder, and walked around and ahout it, 
peering shrewdly into the shadowy half-light 
that surrounded it — still nothing. I paused to 
consider what to do next. While I stood irre- 
solute, I chanced to brush the ponderous stone 
with my elbow, and lo ! it vibrated to my touch ! 
I would as soon have thought of starting a kiln 
of bricks with my feeble hand. My curiosity 
was excited. I bore against the boulder, and 
it still yielded ; I gave a sudden push with my 
whole strength, and it toppled from its founda- 
tion with a crash that sent the echoes thunder- 
ing down the avenues and passages of the dis- 
mal cavern ! And there, in a shallow excava- 
tion over which it had rested, lay the crumbling 
skeleton of King Kamehameha the Great, thus 
sepulchred in long years, by supernatural 
hands ! The bones could be none other ; for 
with them lay the rare and priceless crown of 
pulamalama coral, sacred to royalty, and tabu 
to all else beside. A hollow human groan is- 
sued out of the 



190 ^ STRANGE DREAM. 

I woke up. How glad I vfas to know it waj- 
all a dream ! " Tliis comes of listening to tlie 
legend of tlie noble lord — of reading of tliose 
lying dream revelations — of allowing myseK to 
be carried away by tlie wild beauty of old 
Kileana at midniglit — of gorging too much 
pork and beans for supper !" And so I turned 
over and fell asleep again. And dreamed 
the same dream precisely as before ; followed 
the phantom — "blazed" my course — arrived 
at the grim chamber — heard the sad spirit 
voice — overturned the massy stone — beheld the 
regal crown and the decaying bones of the 
great king ! 

I woke up, and reflected long upon the 
curious and singularly vivid dream, and finally 
muttered to myself, "This — this is becoming 
serious!" 

I fell asleep again, and again I dreamed the 
same dream, without a single variation ! I 
slept no more, but tossed restlessly in bed and 
longed for daylight. And when it came, I wan- 
dered forth, and descended to the wide plain in 
the crater. I said to myself, " I am not super- 
stitious ; but if there is any thing in that dying 
woman's prophecy, I am the instrument ap- 



A 8TBANGE DBEAM. 191 

pointed to uncurtain tliis ancient mystery." 
As I walked along, I even half expected to see 
my solemn guide step out from some nook 
in the lofty wall, and "beckon me to come on. 
At last when I reached the place where 
I had first seen him in my dream, I recognized 
every surrounding object, and there, winding 
down among the iDlocks and fragments of lava, 
saw the very trail I had traversed in my vision ! 
I resolved to traverse it again, come what might. 
I wondered if, in my unreal journey, I had 
"blazed" my way, so that it would stand the 
test of stern reality ; and thus wondering, 
a chill went to my heart when I came to the 
first stony projection I had broken off in my 
dream, and saw the fresh new fracture, and the 
dismembered fragment lying on the ground ! 
My curiosity rose up and banished all fear, 
and I hurried along as fast as the rugged road 
would allow me. I looked for my other 
"blazes," and found them ; found the cleft in 
the wall ; recognized all its turnings ; walked 
in the light that ascended fiom the glowing fur- 
naces visible far below ; sweated in the close, 
hot atmosphere, and breathed the sulphurous 
smokp— and at last I stood hundreds of feet 



192 ^ STRANGE DREAM. 

beneatli tlie peaks of Kileana in tlie ruined 
chamber, and in tlie presence of tlie mysterious 
boulder ! 

" This is no dream," I said ; " this is a reve- 
lation from the realm of the supernatural ; 
and it becomes not me to longer reason, conjec- 
ture, suspect, but blindly to obey the impulses 
given me by the unseen power that guides 
me." 

I moved with a slow and reverent step 
toward the stone and bore against it. It yield- 
ed perceptibly to the pressure. I brought my 
full weight and strength to bear, and surged 
against it. It yielded again ; but I was so en- 
feebled by my toilsome journey that I could 
not overthrow it. I rested a little, and then 
raised an edge of the boulder by a strong, 
steady push, and placed a small stone under it, 
to keep it from sinking back to its place. I 
rested again, and then repeated the process. 
Before long, I had added a third prop, and had 
got the edge of the boulder considerably ele- 
vated. The labor and the close atmosphere 
together were so exhausting, however, that 
I was obliged to lie down then, and recuperate 
my strength by a longer season of rest. And 



A STRANGE DREAM. I93 

sOj liour after hour I lalbored, growing more 
and more weary, but still nplield by a fascina- 
tion wMch I felt was infused into me by the in- 
visible powers w^liose will I was working. At 
last I concentrated my strengtli in a final effort, 
and tlie stone rolled from its position. 

I can never forget the overpowering sense of 
awe that sank down like a great darkness upon 
my spirit at that moment. After a solemn 
pause to prepare myself, witli bowed form and 
uncovered kead, I slowly turned my gaze till it 
rested upon the spot where the great stone had 
lain. 

There wasn't any bones there ! 

I just said to myself, "Well, if this an't 
the blastedest, infernalest swindle that ever I've 
come across yet, I wisli I may never !" 

And then I scratched out of there, and 
marched up here to the Volcano House, and 
got out my old raw-boned fool of a horse, 
"Oahu," and ''lammed" him till he couldn't 
stand up without leaning against something. 

You can not bet any thing on dreams. 




SHORT AND SINGULAR RATIONS. 

S many will remem'ber, tlie clipper- sliip 
Hornet, of J^ew-York, was iDurned at 
sea on lier passage to San Francisco. 
The disaster occurred in lat. 2° 20' north, long. 
112° 8' west. After Toeing forty -three days 
adrift on the broad Pacific, in open boats, the 
crew and passengers succeeded in making Ha- 
waii. A trionte to the courage and brave en- 
durance of these men has been paid in a letter 
detailing their sufferings, (the particulars being 
gathered from their own lips,) from which the 
following excerpt is made : 

On Monday, the thirty-eighth day after the 
disaster, '^we had nothing left," said the third 
mate, "but a pound and a half of ham — the 
bone was a good deal the heaviest part of it — 
and one soup-and-buUy tin." These things 
were divided among the fifteen men, and they 



SHORT AND SINQULAB BATIONS. I95 

ate it all — two ounces of food to eacli man. I 
do not connt the liam-bone, as tliat was saved 
for next day. For some time, now, tlie poor 
wretclies had been cutting their old boots into 
small pieces and eating them. They would 
also pound wet rags to a sort of pulp and eat 
them. 

On the thirty-ninth day the ham-bone was 
divided up into rations, and scraped with knives 
and eaten. I said, "You say the two sick men 
remained sick all through, and after a while two 
or three had to be relieved from standing watch ; 
how did you get along without medicines ?" 

The reply was, " Oh ! we couldn't have kept 
them if we' d had them ; if we' d had boxes 
of pills, or any thing like that, we'd have eaten 
them. It was just as well — we couldn't have 
kept them, and we couldn't have given them 
to the sick men alone — we'd have shared them 
around all alike, I guess." It was said rather 
in jest, but it was a pretty true jest, no doubt. 

After apportioning the ham-bone, the cap- 
tain cut the canvas cover that had been around 
the ham into fifteen equal pieces, and each man 
took his portion. This was the last division of 
food the captain made. The men broke up the 



196 SHORT AND SINGULAR RATIONS 

small oaken Ibutter tub, and divided tlie staves 
among themselves, and gnawed them np. The 
shell of a little green turtle was scraped with 
knives, and eaten to the last shavmg. The third 
mate chewed pieces of boots, and spit them out, 
but ate nothing except the soft straps of two 
pairs of boots — ate three on the thirty-ninth 
day, and saved one for the fortieth. 

The men seem to have thought in their own 
minds of the shipwrecked mariner' s last dread- 
ful resort — cannibalism ; but they do not ap- 
pear to have conversed about it. They only 
thought of the casting lots and killing one 
of their number as a possibility ; but even when 
they were eating rags, and bone, and boots, 
and shell, and hard oak wood, they seem to 
have still had a notion that it was remote. 
They felt that some one of the company must 
die soon — which one they well knew ; and 
during the last three or four days of their ter- 
rible voyage they were patiently but hungrily 
waiting for him. I wonder if the subject of 
these anticipations knew what they were think- 
ing of 1 He must have known it — he must have 
felt it. They had even calculated how long he 
would last. They said to themselves, but not 



SHORT AND SINOULAIl RATIONS. 197 

to each other — I think they said, "He will die 
Saturday — and then !" 

There was one exception to the spirit of 
delicacy I have mentioned — a Frenchman — who 
kept an eye of strong personal interest npon 
the sinldng man, and noted his failing strength 
with untiring care and some degree of cheerful- 
ness. He frequently said to Thomas, " I think 
he will go off pretty soon now, sir ; and then 
we'll eat him !" This is very sad. 

Thomas, and also several of the men, state 
that the sick "Portyghee," during the five days 
that they were entirely out of provisions, actu- 
ally ate two silk handkerchiefs and a couple of 
cotton shirts, l)esides his share of the boots, and 
bones, and lumber. 

Captain Mitchell was fifty- six years old on 
the twelfth of June — the fortieth day after the 
burning of the ship and the third day before 
the boat' s crew reached land. He said it looked 
somewhat as if it might be the last one he was 
going to enjoy. He had no birthday feast ex- 
cept some bits of ham-canvas — no luxury but 
this, and no substantial save the leather and 
oaken bucket-staves. 

Speaking of the leather diet, one of the men 



198 SHORT AND SINGULAR RATIONS. 

told me lie was obliged to eat a pair of boots 
wliicli were so old and rotten that they were 
full of holes ; and then he smiled gently and 
said he didn't know, though, but what the 
holes tasted about as good as the balance of 
the boot. This man was very feeble, and after 
saying tMs he went to bed.