by Bill Nye
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Possibly I did wrong, but I hate to be a burden on anyone. It seemed odd to me to go to a first-class dance and find the supper and the band and the rum all paid for. It must cost a good deal of money to run this government.

My Experience as an Agriculturist.

During the past season I was considerably interested in agriculture. I met with some success, but not enough to madden me with joy. It takes a good deal of success to unscrew my reason and make it totter on its throne. I've had trouble with my liver, and various other abnormal conditions of the vital organs, but old reason sits there on his or her throne, as the case may be, through it all.

Agriculture has a charm about it which I can not adequately describe. Every product of the farm is furnished by nature with something that loves it, so that it will never be neglected. The grain crop is loved by the weevil, the Hessian fly, and the chinch bug; the watermelon, the squash and the cucumber are loved by the squash bug; the potato is loved by the potato bug; the sweet corn is loved by the ant, thou sluggard; the tomato is loved by the cut-worm; the plum is loved by the curculio, and so forth, and so forth, so that no plant that grows need be a wall-flower. [Early blooming and extremely dwarf joke for the table. Plant as soon as there is no danger of frosts, in drills four inches apart. When ripe, pull it, and eat raw with vinegar. The red ants may be added to taste.]

Well, I began early to spade up my angle-worms and other pets, to see if they had withstood the severe winter. I found they had. They were unusually bright and cheerful. The potato bugs were a little sluggish at first, but as the spring opened and the ground warmed up they pitched right in, and did first-rate. Every one of my bugs in May looked splendidly. I was most worried about my cut-worms. Away along in April I had not seen a cutworm, and I began to fear they had suffered, and perhaps perished, in the extreme cold of the previous winter.

One morning late in the month, however, I saw a cut-worm come out from behind a cabbage stump and take off his ear muff. He was a little stiff in the joints, but he had not lost hope. I saw at once now was the time to assist him if I had a spark of humanity left. I searched every work I could find on agriculture to find out what it was that farmers fed their blamed cut-worms, but all scientists seemed to be silent. I read the agricultural reports, the dictionary, and the encyclopedia, but they didn't throw any light on the subject. I got wild. I feared that I had brought but one cut-worm through the winter, and I was liable to lose him unless I could find out what to feed him. I asked some of my neighbors, but they spoke jeeringly and sarcastically. I know now how it was. All their cut-worms had frozen down last winter, and they couldn't bear to see me get ahead.

All at once, an idea struck me. I haven't recovered from the concussion yet. It was this: the worm had wintered under a cabbage stalk; no doubt he was fond of the beverage. I acted upon this thought and bought him two dozen red cabbage plants, at fifty cents a dozen. I had hit it the first pop. He was passionately fond of these plants, and would eat three in one night. He also had several matinees and sauerkraut lawn festivals for his friends, and in a week I bought three dozen more cabbage plants. By this time I had collected a large group of common scrub cut-worms, early Swedish cut-worms, dwarf Hubbard cut-worms, and short-horn cut-worms, all doing well, but still, I thought, a little hide-bound and bilious. They acted languid and listless. As my squash bugs, currant worms, potato bugs, etc., were all doing well without care, I devoted myself almost exclusively to my cut-worms. They were all strong and well, but they seemed melancholy with nothing to eat, day after day, but cabbages.

I therefore bought five dozen tomato plants that were tender and large. These I fed to the cut-worms at the rate of eight or ten in one night. In a week the cut-worms had thrown off that air of ennui and languor that I had I formerly noticed, and were gay and light-hearted. I got them some more tomato plants, and then some more cabbage for change. On the whole I was as proud as any young farmer who has made a success of anything,

One morning I noticed that a cabbage plant was left standing unchanged. The next day it was still there. I was thunderstruck. I dug into the ground. My cut-worms were gone. I spaded up the whole patch, but there wasn't one. Just as I had become attached to them, and they had learned to look forward each day to my coming, when they would almost come up and eat a tomato-plant out of my hand, some one had robbed me of them. I was almost wild with despair and grief. Suddenly something tumbled over my foot. It was mostly stomach, but it had feet on each corner. A neighbor said it was a warty toad. He had eaten up my summer's work! He had swallowed my cunning little cut-worms. I tell you, gentle reader, unless some way is provided, whereby this warty toad scourge can be wiped out, I for one shall relinquish the joys of agricultural pursuits. When a common toad, with a sallow complexion and no intellect, can swallow up my summer's work, it is time to pause.

A New Autograph Album.

This autograph business is getting to be a little bit tedious. It is all one-sided. I want to get even some how, on some one. If I can't come back at the autograph fiend himself, perhaps I might make some other fellow creature unhappy. That would take my mind off the woes that are inflicted by the man who is making a collection of the autographs of "prominent men," and who sends a printed circular formally demanding your autograph, as the tax collector would demand your tax.

John Comstock, the President of the First National Bank, of Hudson, the other day suggested an idea. I gave him an autograph copy of my last great work, and he said: "Now, I'm a man of business. You gave me your autograph, I give you mine in return. That's what we call business." He then signed a brand new $5 national bank note, the cashier did ditto, and the two autographs were turned over to me.

Now, how would it do to make a collection of the signatures of the presidents and cashiers of national banks of the United States in the above manner? An album containing the autographs of these bank officials would not only be a handsome heirloom to fork over to posterity, but it would possess intrinsic value. In pursuance of this idea, I have been considering the advisability of issuing the following letter:

To the Presidents and Cashiers of the National Banks of the United States.

Gentlemen—I am now engaged in making a collection of the autographs of the presidents and cashiers of national banks throughout the Union, and to make the collection uniform, I have decided to ask for autographs written at the foot of the national currency bank note of the denomination of $5. I am not sectarian in my religious views, and I only suggest this denomination for the sake of uniformity throughout the album.

Card collections, cat albums and so forth, may please others, but I prefer to make a collection that shall show future ages who it was that built up our finances, and furnished the sinews of war. Some may look upon this move as a mercenary one, but with me it is a passion. It is not simply a freak, it is a desire of my heart.

In return I would be glad to give my own autograph, either by itself or attached to some little gem of thought which might occur to my mind at the time.

I have always taken a great interest in the currency of the country. So far as possible I have made it a study. I have watched its growth, and noted with some regret its natural reserve. I may say that, considering meagre opportunities and isolated advantages afforded me, no one is more familiar with the habits of our national currency than I am. Yet, at times my laboratory has not been so abundantly supplied with specimens as I could have wished. This has been my chief drawback.

I began a collection of railroad passes some time ago, intending to file them away and pass the collection down through the dim vista of coming years, but in a rash moment I took a trip of several thousand miles, and those passes were taken up.

I desire, in conclusion, gentlemen, to call your attention to the fact that I have always been your friend and champion. I have never robbed the bank of a personal friend, and if I held your autographs I should deem you my personal friends, and feel in honor bound to discourage any movement looking toward an unjust appropriation of the funds of your bank. The autographs of yourselves in my possession, and my own in your hands, would be regarded as a tacit agreement on my part never to rob your bank. I would even be willing to enter into a contract with you not to break into your vaults, if you insist upon it. I would thus be compelled to confine myself to the stage coaches and railroad trains in a great measure, but I am getting now so I like to spend my evenings at home, anyhow, and if I do well this year, I shall sell my burglars' tools and give myself up to the authorities.

You will understand, gentlemen, the delicate nature of this request, I trust, and not misconstrue my motives. My intentions are perfectly honorable, and my idea in doing this is, I may say, to supply a long felt want.

Hoping that what I have said will meet with your approval and hearty cooperation, and that our very friendly business relations, as they have existed in the past, may continue through the years to come, and that your bank may wallow in success till the cows come home, or words to that effect, I beg leave to subscribe myself, yours in favor of one country, one flag and one bank account.

A Resign.

Postoffice Divan, Laramie City, W.T., Oct. 1, 1883.

To the President of the United States:

Sir.—I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resignation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The safe combination is set on the numbers 33, 66 and 99, though I do not remember at this moment which comes first, or how many times you revolve the knob, or which direction you should turn it at first in order to make it operate.

There is some mining stock in my private drawer in the safe, which I have not yet removed. This stock you may have, if you desire it. It is a luxury, but you may have it. I have decided to keep a horse instead of this mining stock. The horse may not be so pretty, but it will cost less to keep him.

You will find the postal cards that have not been used under the distributing table, and the coal down in the cellar. If the stove draws too hard, close the damper in the pipe and shut the general delivery window.

Looking over my stormy and eventful administration as postmaster here, I find abundant cause for thanksgiving. At the time I entered upon the duties of my office the department was not yet on a paying basis. It was not even self-sustaining. Since that time, with the active co-operation of the chief executive and the heads of the department, I have been able to make our postal system a paying one, and on top of that I am now able to reduce the tariff on average-sized letters from three cents to two. I might add that this is rather too too, but I will not say anything that might seem undignified in an official resignation which is to become a matter of history.

Through all the vicissitudes of a tempestuous term of office I have safely passed. I am able to turn over the office to-day in a highly improved condition, and to present a purified and renovated institution to my successor.

Acting under the advice of Gen. Hatton, a year ago, I removed the feather bed with which my predecessor, Deacon Hayford, had bolstered up his administration by stuffing the window, and substituted glass. Finding nothing in the book of instructions to postmasters which made the feather bed a part of my official duties, I filed it away in an obscure place and burned it in effigy, also in the gloaming. This act maddened my predecessor to such a degree, that he then and there became a candidate for justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket. The Democratic party was able, however, with what aid it secured from the Republicans, to plow the old man under to a great degree.

It was not long after I had taken my official oath before an era of unexampled prosperity opened for the American people. The price of beef rose to a remarkable altitude, and other vegetables commanded a good figure and a ready market. We then began to make active preparations for the introduction of the strawberry-roan two-cent stamps and the black-and-tan postal note. One reform has crowded upon the heels of another, until the country is to-day upon the foam-crested wave of permanent prosperity.

Mr. President, I cannot close this letter without thanking yourself and the heads of departments at Washington for your active, cheery and prompt cooperation in these matters. You can do as you see fit, of course, about incorporating this idea into your Thanksgiving proclamation, but rest assured it would not be ill-timed or inopportune. It is not alone a credit to myself, It reflects credit upon the administration also.

I need not say that I herewith transmit my resignation with great sorrow and genuine regret. We have toiled on together month after month, asking for no reward except the innate consciousness of rectitude and the salary as fixed by law. Now we are to separate. Here the roads seem to fork, as it were, and you and I, and the cabinet, must leave each other at this point.

You will find the key under the door-mat, and you had better turn the cat out at night when you close the office. If she does not go readily, you can make it clearer to her mind by throwing the cancelling stamp at her.

If Deacon Hayford does not pay up his box-rent, you might as well put his mail in the general delivery, and when Bob Head gets drunk and insists on a letter from one of his wives every day in the week, you can salute him through the box delivery with an old Queen Anne tomahawk, which you will find near the Etruscan water-pail. This will not in any manner surprise either of these parties.

Tears are unavailing. I once more become a private citizen, clothed only with the right to read such postal cards as may be addressed to me personally, and to curse the inefficiency of the postoffice department. I believe the voting class to be divided into two parties, viz: Those who are in the postal service, and those who are mad because they cannot receive a registered letter every fifteen minutes of each day, including Sunday.

Mr. President, as an official of this Government I now retire. My term of office would not expire until 1886. I must, therefore, beg pardon for my eccentricity in resigning. It will be best, perhaps, to keep the heart-breaking news from the ears of European powers until the dangers of a financial panic are fully past. Then hurl it broadcast with a sickening thud.

My Mine.

I have decided to sacrifice another valuable piece of mining property this spring. It would not be sold if I had the necessary capital to develop it. It is a good mine, for I located it myself. I remember well the day I climbed up on the ridge-pole of the universe and nailed my location notice to the eaves of the sky.

It was in August that I discovered the Vanderbilt claim in a snow-storm. It cropped out apparently a little southeast of a point where the arc of the orbit of Venus bisects the milky way, and ran due east eighty chains, three links and a swivel, thence south fifteen paces and a half to a blue spot in the sky, thence proceeding west eighty chains, three links of sausage and a half to a fixed star, thence north across the lead to place of beginning.

The Vanderbilt set out to be a carbonate deposit, but changed its mind. I sent a piece of the cropping to a man over in Salt Lake, who is a good assayer and quite a scientist, if he would brace up and avoid humor. His assay read as follows to-wit:

Salt Lake City, U.T., August 25, 1877.

Mr. Bill Nye:—Your specimen of ore No. 35832, current series, has been submitted to assay and shows the following result:

Metal. Ounces. Value per ton.

Gold — — Silver — — Railroad iron 1 — Pyrites of poverty 9 — Parasites of disappointment 90 —

McVicker, Assayer.

Note.—I also find that the formation is igneous, prehistoric and erroneous. If I were you I would sink a prospect shaft below the vertical slide where the old red brimstone and preadamite slag cross-cut the malachite and intersect the schist. I think that would be schist about as good as anything you could do. Then send me specimens with $2 for assay and we shall see what we shall see.

Well, I didn't know he was "an humorist," you see, so I went to work on the Vanderbilt to try and do what Mac. said. I sank a shaft and everything else I could get hold of on that claim. It was so high that we had to carry water up there to drink when we began and before fall we had struck a vein of the richest water you ever saw. We had more water in that mine than the regular army could use.

When we got down sixty feet I sent some pieces of the pay streak to the assayer again. This time he wrote me quite a letter, and at the same time inclosed the certificate of assay.

Salt Lake City, U.T., October 3, 1877.

Mr. Bill Nye:—Your specimen of ore No. 36132, current series, has been submitted to assay and shows the following result:

Metal. Ounces. Value per ton. Gold — — Silver — — Stove polish trace .01 Old gray whetstone trace .01 Bromide of axle grease stain — Copperas trace 5c worth Blue vitrol trace 5c worth

McVicker, Assayer.

In the letter he said there was, no doubt, something in the claim if I could get the true contact with calcimine walls denoting a true fissure. He thought I ought to run a drift. I told him I had already run adrift.

Then he said to stope out my stove polish ore and sell it for enough to go on with the development. I tried that, but capital seemed coy. Others had been there before me and capital bade me soak my head and said other things which grated harshly on my sensitive nature.

The Vanderbilt mine, with all its dips, spurs, angles, variations, veins, sinuosities, rights, titles, franchises, prerogatives and assessments is now for sale. I sell it in order to raise the necessary funds for the development of the Governor of North Carolina. I had so much trouble with water in the Vanderbilt, that I named the new claim the Governor of North Carolina, because he was always dry.

Mush and Melody.

Lately I have been giving a good deal of attention to hygiene—in other people. The gentle reader will notice that, as a rule, the man who gives the most time and thought to this subject is an invalid himself; just as the young theological student devotes his first sermon to the care of children, and the ward politician talks the smoothest on the subject of how and when to plant ruta-bagas or wean a calf from the parent stem.

Having been thrown into the society of physicians a great deal the past two years, mostly in the role of patient, I have given some study to the human form; its structure and idiosyncracies, as it were. Perhaps few men in the same length of time have successfully acquired a larger or more select repertoire of choice diseases than I have. I do not say this boastfully. I simply desire to call the attention of our growing youth to the glorious possibilities that await the ambitious and enterprising in this line.

Starting out as a poor boy, with few advantages in the way of disease, I have resolutely carved my way up to the dizzy heights of fame as a chronic invalid and drug-soaked relic of other days. I inherited no disease whatever. My ancestors were poor and healthy. They bequeathed me no snug little nucleus of fashionable malaria such as other boys had. I was obliged to acquire it myself. Yet I was not discouraged. The results have shown that disease is not alone the heritage of the wealthy and the great. The poorest of us may become eminent invalids if we will only go at it in the right way. But I started out to say something on the subject of health, for there are still many common people who would rather be healthy and unknown than obtain distinction with some dazzling new disease.

Noticing many years ago that imperfect mastication and dyspepsia walked hand in hand, so to speak, Mr. Gladstone adopted in his family a regular mastication scale; for instance, thirty-two bites for steak, twenty-two for fish, and so forth. Now I take this idea and improve upon it. Two statesmen can always act better in concert if they will do so.

With Mr. Gladstone's knowledge of the laws of health and my own musical genius, I have hit on a way to make eating not only a duty, but a pleasure. Eating is too frequently irksome. There is nothing about it to make it attractive.

What we need is a union of mush and melody, if I may be allowed that expression. Mr. Gladstone has given us the graduated scale, so that we know just what metre a bill of fare goes in as quick as we look at it. In this way the day is not far distant when music and mastication will march down through the dim vista of years together.

The Baked Bean Chant, the Vermicelli Waltz, the Mush and Milk March, the sad and touchful Pumpkin Pie Refrain, the gay and rollicking Oxtail Soup Gallop, and the melting Ice Cream Serenade will yet be common musical names.

Taking different classes of food, I have set them to music in such a way that the meal, for instance, may open with a Soup Overture, to be followed by a Roast Beef March in C, and so on, closing with a kind of Mince Pie La Somnambula pianissimo in G. Space, of course, forbids an extended description of this idea as I propose to carry it out, but the conception is certainly grand. Let us picture the jaws of a whole family moving in exact time to a Strauss waltz on the silent remains of the late lamented hen, and we see at once how much real pleasure may be added to the process of mastication.

The Blase Young Man.

I have just formed the acquaintance of a blase young man. I have been on an extended trip with him. He is about twenty-two years old, but he is already weary of life. He was very careful all the time never to be exuberant. No matter how beautiful the landscape, he never allowed himself to exube.

Several times I succeeded in startling him enough to say "Ah!" but that was all. He had the air all the time of a man who had been reared in luxury and fondled so much in the lap of wealth that he was weary of life, and yearned for a bright immortality. I have often wished that the pruning-hook of time would use a little more discretion. The blase young man seemed to be tired all the time. He was weary of life because life was hollow.

He seemed to hanker for the cool and quiet grave. I wished at times that the hankering might have been more mutual. But what does a cool, quiet grave want of a young man who never did anything but breathe the nice pure air into his froggy lungs and spoil it for everybody else?

This young man had a large grip-sack with him which he frequently consulted. I glanced into it once while he left it open. It was not right, but I did it. I saw the following articles in it:

31 Assorted Neckties. 1 pair Socks (whole). 1 pair do. (not so whole). 17 Collars. 1 Shirt 1 quart Cuff-Buttons. 1 suit discouraged Gauze Underwear. 1 box Speckled Handkerchiefs. 1 box Condition Powders. 1 Toothbrush (prematurely bald). 1 copy Martin F. Tupper's Works. 1 box Prepared Chalk. 1 Pair Tweezers for encouraging Moustache to come out to breakfast. 1 Powder Rag. 1 Gob ecru-colored Taffy. 1 Hair-brush, with Ginger Hair in it. 1 Pencil to pencil Moustache at night. 1 Bread and Milk Poultice to put on Moustache on retiring, so that it will not forget to come out again the next day. 1 Box Trix for the breath. 1 Box Chloride of Lime to use in case breath becomes unmanageable. 1 Ear-spoon (large size). 1 Plain Mourning Head for Cane. 1 Vulcanized Rubber Head for Cane (to bite on). 1 Shoe-horn to use in working Ears into Ear-Muffs. 1 Pair Corsets. 1 Dark-brown Wash for Mouth, to be used in the morning. 1 Large Box Ennui, to be used in Society. 1 Box Spruce Gum, made in Chicago and warranted pure. 1 Gallon Assorted Shirt Studs. 1 Polka-dot Handkerchief to pin in side pocket, but not for nose. 1 Plain Handkerchief for nose. 1 Fancy Head for Cane (morning). 1 Fancy Head for Cane (evening). 1 Picnic Head for Cane. 1 Bottle Peppermint. 1 do. Catnip. 1 Waterbury Watch. 7 Chains for same. 1 Box Letter Paper. 1 Stick Sealing Wax (baby blue). 1 do " (Bismarck brindle). 1 do " (mashed gooseberry). 1 Seal for same. 1 Family Crest (wash-tub rampant on a field calico).

There were other little articles of virtu and bric-a-brac till you couldn't rest, but these were all that I could see thoroughly before he returned from the wash-room.

I do not like the blase young man as a traveling companion. He is nix bonum. He is too E pluribus for me. He is not de trop or sciatica enough to suit my style.

If he belonged to me I would picket him out somewhere in a hostile Indian country, and then try to nerve myself up for the result.

It is better to go through life reading the signs on the ten-story buildings and acquiring knowledge, than to dawdle and "Ah!" adown our pathway to the tomb and leave no record for posterity except that we had a good neck to pin a necktie upon. It is not pleasant to be called green, but I would rather be green and aspiring than blase and hide-bound at nineteen.

Let us so live that when at last we pass away our friends will not be immediately and uproariously reconciled to our death.

History of Babylon.

The history of Babylon is fraught with sadness. It illustrates, only too painfully, that the people of a town make or mar its success rather than the natural resources and advantages it may possess on the start.

Thus Babylon, with 3,000 years the start of Minneapolis, is to-day a hole in the ground, while Minneapolis socks her XXXX flour into every corner of the globe, and the price of real estate would make a common dynasty totter on its throne.

Babylon is a good illustration of the decay of a town that does not keep up with the procession. Compare her to-day with Kansas City. While Babylon was the capital of Chaldea, 1,270 years before the birth of Christ, and Kansas City was organized so many years after that event that many of the people there have forgotten all about it, Kansas City has doubled her population in ten years, while Babylon is simply a gothic hole in the ground.

Why did trade and emigration turn their backs upon Babylon and seek out Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City and Omaha? Was it because they were blest with a bluer sky or a more genial sun? Not by any means. While Babylon lived upon what she had been and neglected to advertise, other towns with no history extending back into the mouldy past, whooped with an exceeding great whoop and tore up the ground and shed printers' ink and showed marked signs of vitality. That is the reason that Babylon is no more.

This life of ours is one of intense activity. We cannot rest long in idleness without inviting forgetfulness, death and oblivion. "Babylon was probably the largest and most magnificent city of the ancient world." Isaiah, who lived about 300 years before Herodotus, and whose remarks are unusually free from local or political prejudice, refers to Babylon as "the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldic's excellency," and, yet, while Cheyenne has the electric light and two daily papers, Babylon hasn't got so much as a skating rink.

A city fourteen miles square with a brick wall around it 355 feet high, she has quietly forgotten to advertise, and in turn she, also, is forgotten.

Babylon was remarkable for the two beautiful palaces, one on each side of the river, and the great temple of Belus. Connected with one of these palaces was the hanging garden, regarded by the Greeks as one of the seven wonders of the world, but that was prior to the erection of the Washington monument and civil service reform.

This was a square of 400 Greek feet on each side. The Greek foot was not so long as the modern foot introduced by Miss Mills, of Ohio. This garden was supported on several tiers of open arches, built one over the other, like the walls of a classic theatre, and sustaining at each stage, or story, a solid platform from which the arches of the next story sprung. This structure was also supported by the common council of Babylon, who came forward with the city funds, and helped to sustain the immense weight.

It is presumed that Nebuchadnezzar erected this garden before his mind became affected. The tower of Belus, supposed by historians with a good memory to have been 600 feet high, as there is still a red chalk mark in the sky where the top came, was a great thing in its way. I am glad I was not contiguous to it when it fell, and also that I had omitted being born prior to that time.

"When we turn from this picture of the past," says the historian, Rawlinson, referring to the beauties of Babylon, "to contemplate the present condition of these localities, we are at first struck with astonishment at the small traces which remain of so vast and wonderful a metropolis. The broad walls of Babylon are utterly broken down. God has swept it with the besom of destruction."

One cannot help wondering why the use of the besom should have been abandoned. As we gaze upon the former site of Babylon we are forced to admit that the new besom sweeps clean. On its old site no crumbling arches or broken columns are found to indicate her former beauty. Here and there huge heaps of debris alone indicate that here Godless wealth and wicked, selfish, indolent, enervating, ephemeral pomp, rose and defied the supreme laws to which the bloated, selfish millionaire and the hard-handed, hungry laborer alike must bow, and they are dust to-day.

Babylon has fallen. I do not say this in a sensational way or to depreciate the value of real estate there, but from actual observation, and after a full investigation, I assent without fear of successful contradiction, that Babylon has seen her best days. Her boomlet is busted, and, to use a political phrase, her oriental hide is on the Chaldean fence.

Such is life. We enter upon it reluctantly; we wade through it doubtfully, and die at last timidly. How we Americans do blow about what we can do before breakfast, and, yet, even in our own brief history, how we have demonstrated what a little thing the common two-legged man is. He rises up rapidly to acquire much wealth, and if he delays about going to Canada he goes to Sing Sing, and we forget about him. There are lots of modern Babylonians in New York City to-day, and if it were my business I would call their attention to it. The assertion that gold will procure all things has been so common and so popular that too many consider first the bank account, and after that honor, home, religion, humanity and common decency. Even some of the churches have fallen into the notion that first comes the tall church, then the debt and mortgage, the ice cream sociable and the kingdom of Heaven. Cash and Christianity go hand in hand sometimes, but Christianity ought not to confer respectability on anybody who comes into the church to purchase it.

I often think of the closing appeal of the old preacher, who was more earnest than refined, perhaps, and in winding up his brief sermon on the Christian life, said: "A man may lose all his wealth and get poor and hungry and still recover, he may lose his health and come down close to the dark stream and still git well again, but, when he loses his immortal soul it is good-bye John."

Lovely Horrors.

I dropped in the other day to see New York's great congress of wax figures and soft statuary carnival. It is quite a success. The first thing you do on entering is to contribute to the pedestal fund. New York this spring is mostly a large rectangular box with a hole in the top, through which the genial public is cordially requested to slide a dollar to give the goddess of liberty a boom.

I was astonished and appalled at the wealth of apertures in Gotham through which I was expected to slide a dime to assist some deserving object. Every little while you run into a free-lunch room where there is a model ship that will start up and operate if you feed it with a nickle. I never visited a town that offered so many inducements for early and judicious investments as New York.

But we were speaking of the wax works. I did not tarry long to notice the presidents of the United States embalmed in wax, or to listen to the band of lutists who furnished music in the winter garden. I ascertained where the chamber of horrors was located, and went there at once. It is lovely. I have never seen a more successful aggregation of horrors under one roof and at one price of admission.

If you want to be shocked at cost, or have your pores opened for a merely nominal price, and see a show that you will never forget as long as you live, that is the place to find it. I never invested my money so as to get so large a return for it, because I frequently see the whole show yet in the middle of the night, and the cold perspiration ripples down my spinal column just as it did the first time I saw it.

The chamber of horrors certainly furnishes a very durable show. I don't think I was ever more successfully or economically horrified.

I got quite nervous after a while, standing in the dim religious light watching the lovely horrors. But it is the saving of money that I look at most. I have known men to pay out thousands of dollars for a collection of delirium tremens and new-laid horrors no better than these that you get on week days for fifty cents and on Sundays for two bits. Certainly New York is the place where you get your money's worth.

There are horrors there in that crypt that are well worth double the price of admission. One peculiarity of the chamber of horrors is that you finally get nervous when anyone touches you, and you immediately suspect that he is a horror who has come out of his crypt to get a breath of fresh air and stretch his legs.

That is the reason I shuddered a little when I felt a man's hand in my pocket. It was so unexpected, and the surroundings were such that I must have appeared startled. The man was a stranger to me, though I could see that he was a perfect gentleman. His clothes were superior to mine in every way, and he had a certain refinement of manners which betrayed his ill-concealed Knickerbocker lineage high.

I said, "Sir, you will find my fine cut tobacco in the other pocket." This startled him so that he wheeled about and wildly dashed into the arms of a wax policeman near the door. When he discovered that he was in the clutches of a suit of second-hand clothes filled with wax, he seemed to be greatly annoyed and strode rapidly away.

I returned to view a chaste and truthful scene where one man had successfully killed another with a club. I leaned pensively against a column with my own spinal column, wrapped in thought.

Pretty soon a young gentleman from New Jersey with an Adam's apple on him like a full-grown yam, and accompanied by a young lady also from the mosquito jungles of Jersey, touched me on the bosom with his umbrella and began to explain me to his companion.

"This," said the Adam's apple with the young man attached to it, "is Jesse James, the great outlaw chief from Missouri. How life-like he is. Little would you think, Emeline, that he would as soon disembowel a bank, kill the entire board of directors of a railroad company and ride off the rolling stock, as you would wrap yourself around a doughnut. How tender and kind he looks. He not only looks gentle and peaceful, but he looks to me as if he wasn't real bright."

I then uttered a piercing shriek and the young man from New Jersey went away. Nothing is so embarrassing to an eminent man as to stand quietly near and hear people discuss him.

But it is remarkable to see people get fooled at a wax show. Every day a wax figure is taken for a live man, and live people are mistaken for wax. I took hold of a waxen hand in one corner of the winter garden to see if the ring was a real diamond, and it flew up and took me across the ear in such a life-like manner that my ear is still hot and there is a roaring in my head that sounds very disagreeable, indeed.

The Bite of a Mad Dog.

A "Family Physician," published in 1883, says, for the bite of a mad dog: "Take ash-colored ground liverwort, cleaned, dried, and powdered, half an ounce; of black pepper, powdered, a quarter of an ounce. Mix these well together, and divide the powder into four doses, one of which must be taken every morning, fasting, for four mornings successively in half an English pint of cow's milk, warm. After these four doses are taken, the patient must go into the cold bath, or a cold spring or river, every morning, fasting, for a month. He must be dipped all over, but not stay in (with his head above water) longer than half a minute if the water is very cold. After this he must go in three times a week for a fortnight longer. He must be bled before he begins to take the medicine."

It is very difficult to know just what is best to do when a person is bitten by a mad dog, but my own advice would be to kill the dog. After that feel of the leg where bitten, and ascertain how serious the injury has been. Then go home and put on another pair of pantaloons, throwing away those that have been lacerated. Parties having but one pair of pantaloons will have to sequester themselves or excite remarks. Then take a cold bath, as suggested above, but do not remain in the bath (with the head above water) more than half an hour. If the head is under water, you may remain in the bath until the funeral, if you think best.

When going into the bath it would be well to take something in your pocket to bite, in case the desire to bite something should overcome you. Some use a common shingle-nail for this purpose, while others prefer a personal friend. In any event, do not bite a total stranger on an empty stomach. It might make you ill.

Never catch a dog by the tail if he has hydrophobia. Although that end of the dog is considered the most safe, you never know when a mad dog may reverse himself.

If you meet a mad dog on the street, do not stop and try to quell him with a glance of the eye. Many have tried to do that, and it took several days to separate the two and tell which was mad dog and which was queller.

The real hydrophobia dog generally ignores kindness, and devotes himself mostly to the introduction of his justly celebrated virus. A good thing to do on observing the approach of a mad dog is to flee, and remain fled until he has disappeared.

Hunting mad dogs in a crowded street is great sport. A young man with a new revolver shooting at a mad dog is a fine sight. He may not kill the dog, but he might shoot into a covey of little children and possibly get one.

It would be a good plan to have a balloon inflated and tied in the back yard during the season in which mad dogs mature, and get into it on the approach of the infuriated animal (get into the balloon, I mean, not the dog).

This plan would not work well, however, in case a cyclone should come at the same time. When we consider all the uncertainties of life, and the danger from hydrophobia, cyclones and breach of promise, it seems sometimes as though the penitentiary was the only place where a man could be absolutely free from anxiety.

If you discover that your dog has hydrophobia, it is absolutely foolish to try to cure him of the disease. The best plan is to trade him off at once for anything you can get. Do not stop to haggle over the price, but close him right out below cost.

Do not tie a tin can to the tail of a mad dog. It only irritates him, and he might resent it before you get the can tied on. A friend of mine, who was a practical joker, once sought to tie a tin can to the tail of a mad dog on an empty stomach. His widow still points with pride to the marks of his teeth on the piano. If mad dogs would confine themselves exclusively to practical jokers, I would be glad to endow a home for indigent mad dogs out of my own private funds.

Arnold Winkelreid.

This great man lived in the old romantic days when it was a common thing for a patriot to lay down his life that his country might live. He knew not fear, and in his noble heart his country was always on top. Not alone at election did Arnold sacrifice himself, but on the tented field, where the buffalo grass was soaked in gore, did he win for himself a deathless name. He was as gritty as a piece of liver rolled in the sand. Where glory waited, there you would always find Arnold Winkelreid at the bat, with William Tell on deck.

One day the army of the tyrant got a scoop on the rebel mountaineers and it looked bad for the struggling band of chamois shooters. While Arnold's detachment didn't seem to amount to a hill of beans, the hosts of the tyrannical Austrian loomed up like six bits and things looked forbidding. It occurred to Colonel Winkelreid that the correct thing would be to break through the war front of the enemy, and then, while in his rear, crash in his cranium with a cross gun while he was looking the other way. Acting on this thought, he asked several of his most trusted men to break through the Austrian line, so that the balance of the command could pass through and slaughter enough of the enemy for a mess, but these men seemed a little reticent about doing so, owing to the inclemency of the weather and the threatening aspect of the enemy. The armed foe swarmed on every hillside and their burnished spears glittered below in the canon. You couldn't throw a stone in any direction without hitting a phalanx. It was a good year for the phalanx business.

Then Arnold took off his suspenders, and, putting a fresh chew of tobacco in among his back teeth, he told his men to follow him and he would show them his little racket. Marching up to the solid line of lances, he gathered an armful and put them in the pit of his stomach, and, as he sank to the earth, he spoke in a shrill tone of voice to posterity, saying, "Clear the track for Liberty." He then died.

His remains looked like a toothpick holder.

But he made way for Liberty, and his troops were victorious.

At the inquest it was shown that he might have recovered, had not the spears sat so hard on his stomach.

Probably A. Winkelreid will be remembered with gratitude long after the name of the Sweet Singer of Michigan shall have rotted in oblivion. He recognized and stuck to his proper spear. (This is a little mirthful deviation of my own.)

I can think of some men now, even in this $ age of the world, who could win glory by doing as A.W. did. They could offer themselves up. They could suffer for the right and have their names passed down to posterity, and it would be perfectly splendid.

But the heroes of to-day are different. They are just as courageous, but they take a wheelbarrow and push it from New York to San Francisco, or they starve forty days and forty nights and then eat watermelon and lecture, or they eat 800 snipe in 800 years, or get an inspiration and kill somebody with it.

The heroes of our day do not wear peaked hats and shoot chamois, and sass tyrants and knock the worm out of an apple at fifty-nine yards rise with a cross gun, as Tell did, but they know how to be loved by the people and get half of the gate money. They are brave, but not mortally. The heroes of our day all die of old age or political malaria.

Murray and the Mormons.

Gov. Murray, the gritty Gentile governor of Utah, would be noticed in a crowd. He is very tall, yet well proportioned, square-built and handsome. He was called fine looking in Kentucky, but the narrow-chested apostle of the abnormally connubial creed does not see anything pretty about him. Murray moves about through Salt Lake City in a cool, self-possessed kind of way that is very annoying to the church. Full-bearded, with brown moustache and dark hair parted a little to leeward of center; clothed in a diagonal Prince Albert coat, a silk hat and other clothes, he strolls through Zion like a man who hasn't got a yelping majority of ignorant lepers, led by a remorseless gang of nickel-plated apostles, thirsting for his young blood. I really believe he don't care a continental. The days of the avenging angel and the meek-eyed Danite, carrying a large sock loaded with buckshot, are over, perhaps; but only those who try to be Gentiles in a land of polygamous wives and anonymous white-eyed children, know how very unpopular it is. Judge Goodwin, of the Tribune, feels lonesome if he gets through the day without a poorly spelled, spattered, daubed and profane valentine threatening his life. The last time I saw him he showed me a few of them. They generally referred to him as a blankety blank "skunk," and a "hound of hell." He said he hoped I wound pardon him for the apparent egotism, but he felt as though the Tribune was attracting attention almost everyday. Some of these little billet-doux invited him to call at a trysting place on Tribune avenue and get his alleged brains scattered over a vacant lot. Most all of them threatened him with a rectangular head, a tin ear, or a watch pocket under the eye He didn't seem to care much. He felt pleased and proud. Goodwin was always pleased with things that other men didn't like much. In the old days, when he and Mark Twain and Dan DeQuille were together, this was noticed in him. Gov. Murray is the same way. He feels the public pulse, and says to himself: "Sometime there's going to be music here by the entire band, and I desire to be where I shan't miss a note."

There are people who think the Mormons will not fight. Perhaps not. They won't if they are let alone, and allowed to fill the sage brush and line the banks of the Jordan with juvenile nom de plumes. They are peaceful while they may populate Utah and invade adjoining territories with their herds of ostensible wives and prattling progeny; while they can bring in every year via Castle Garden and the stock yards palace emigrant car, thousands of proselyted paupers from every pest house of Europe, and the free-love idiots of America. But when Murray gets an act of congress at his back and a squad of nervy, gamy, law-abiding monogamous assistants appointed by the president under that act of congress to knock crosswise and crooked the Jim Crow revelations of Utah and Mormondom, you will see the fur fly, and the fragrant follower of a false prophet will rise up William Riley and the regular army will feel lonesome. I asked a staff officer in one of the territories last summer what would be the result if the Mormons, with their home drill and their arms and their devotion to home and their fraudulent religion, should awake Nicodemas and begin to massacre the Gentiles, and the regular army should be sent over the Wasatch range to quell the trouble.

"Why," said he, "the white-eyed followers of Mormonism would kill the regular army with clubs. You can wear out a tribe of hostile Indians when the grass gives out and the antelope hunts the foothills, but the Mormons make everything they eat, drink and wear. They don't care whether there's tariff or free trade. They can make everything from gunpowder to a knit undershirt, from a $250 revelation to a hand-made cocktail. When a church gets where it can make such cooking whisky as the Mormons do, it is time to call for volunteers and put down the hydra-headed monster."

If congress don't step on a technicality and fall down, it looks like amusement ahead, and if a District of Columbia rule, or martial law, or tocsin of war is the result, Gov. Murray is a good style of war governor. He isn't the kind of a man to put on his wife's gossamer cloak and meander over into Montana. He would give the matter his attention, and you would find him in the neighborhood when the national government decided to sit down on disorderly conduct in Utah. The first lever to be used will be the great wealth of which the Mormon church and its members privately are possessed. Then the oleaginous prophet will get a revelation to gird up his loins and to load the double-barrel shotgun, and fire the culverin, and to knock monogamy into a cocked hat. Money first and massacre second. They can draw on their revelation supply house at three days, any time, for authority to fill the irrigation ditches of Zion with the blood of the Gentile and feed his vital organs to the coyote.

About Geology.

Geology is that branch of natural science which treats of the structure of the earth's crust and the mode of formation of its rocks. It is a pleasant and profitable study, and to the man who has married rich and does not need to work, the amusement of busting geology with the Bible, or busting the Bible with geology is indeed a great boon.

Geology goes hand in hand with zoology, botany, physical geography and other kindred sciences. Taxidermy, chiropody and theology are not kindred sciences.

Geologists ascertain the age of the earth by looking at its teeth and counting the wrinkles on its horns. They have learned that the earth is not only of great age, but that it is still adding to its age from year to year.

It is hard to say very much of a great science in so short an article, and that is one great obstacle which I am constantly running against as a scientist.

I once prepared a paper in astronomy entitled "The Chronological History and Habits of the Spheres." It was very exhaustive and weighed four pounds. I sent it to a scientific publication that was supposed to be working for the advancement of our race. The editor did not print it, but he wrote me a crisp and saucy postal card, requesting me to call with a dray and remove my stuff before the board of health got after it. In five short years from that time he was a corpse. As I write these lines, I learn with ill-concealed pleasure that he is still a corpse. An awful dispensation of Providence, in the shape of a large, wilted cucumber, laid hold upon his vitals and cursed him with an inward pain. He has since had the opportunity, by actual personal observation, to see whether the statements by me relating to astronomy were true. His last words were: "Friends, Romans and countrymen, beware of the q-cumber. It will w up." It was not original, but it was good.

The four great primary periods of the earth's history are as follows, viz, to-wit:

1. The Eozoic or dawn of life.

2. The Palaeozoic or period of ancient life.

3. The Mesozoic or middle period of life.

4. The Neozoic or recent period of life.

These are all subdivided again, and other words more difficult to spell are introduced into science, thus crowding out the vulgar herd who cannot afford to use the high priced terms in constant conversation.

Old timers state that the primitive condition of the earth was extremely damp. With the onward march of time, and after the lapse of millions of years, men found that they could get along with less and less water, until at last we see the pleasant, blissful state of things. Aside from the use of water at our summer resorts, that fluid is getting to be less and less popular. And even here at these resorts it is generally flavored with some foreign substance.

The earth's crust is variously estimated in the matter of thickness. Some think it is 2,500 miles thick, which would make it safe to run heavy trains across the earth anywhere on top of a second mortgage, while other scientists say that if we go down one-tenth of that distance we will reach a place where the worm dieth not. I do not wish to express an opinion as to the actual depth or thickness of the earth's crust, but I believe that it is none too thick to suit me.

Thickness in the earth's crust is a mighty good fault. We estimate the age of certain strata of the earth's formation by means of a union of our knowledge of plant and animal life, coupled with our geological research and a good memory. The older scientists in the field of geology do not rely solely upon the tracks of the hadrasaurus or the cornucopia for their data. They simply use these things to refresh their memory.

I wish that I had time and space to describe some of the beautiful bacteria and gigantic worms that formerly inhabited the earth. Such an aggregation of actual, living Silurian monsters, any one of which would make a man a fortune to-day, if it could be kept on ice and exhibited for one season only. You could take a full grown mastodon to-day, and with no calliope, no lithographs, no bearded lady, no clown with four pillows in his pantaloons and no iron-jawed woman, you could go across this continent and successfully compete with the skating rink.

There would be but one difficulty. Tour expenses would not be heavy. The mastodon would be willing to board around, and no one would feel like turning a mastodon out of doors if he seemed to be hungry; but he might get away from you and frolic away so far in one night that you couldn't get him for a day or two, even if you sent a detective for him.

If I had a mastodon I would rather take him when he was young, and then I could make a pet of him, so that he could come and eat out of my hand without taking the hand off at the same time. A large mastodon weighing a hundred tons or so is awkward, too. I suppose that nothing is more painful than to be stepped on by an adult mastodon.

I hope at some future time to write a paper for the Academy of Science on the subject of "Deceased Fauna, Fossiliferous Debris and Extinct Jokes," showing how, when and why these early forms of animal life came to be extinct.

A Wallula Night.

I have just returned after a short tour in the far West. I made the tour with my new lecture, which I am delivering this winter for the benefit, and under the auspices, of a young man who was a sufferer in the great rise-up-William-Biley-and-come-along-with-me cyclone, which occurred at Clear Lake, in this State, a year ago last September.

In said cyclone, said young man was severely caressed by the elements, and tipped over in such a way as to shatter the right leg, just below the gambrel joint. I therefore started out to deliver a few lectures for his benefit, and in so doing have made a 4,000 mile trip over the Northern Pacific railway, and the Oregon River and Navigation company's road. On the former line the passenger is fed by means of the dining-car, a very good style of entertainment, indeed, and well worthy of the age in which we live; but at Wallula Junction I stopped over to catch a west-bound Oregon Railway and Navigation train.

That was where I fooled myself. I should have taken my valise and a rubber door mat from the sleeping-car, and crawled into the lee of a snow fence for the night. I did not give the matter enough thought. I just simply went into the hotel and registered my name as a man would in other hotels. This house was kept, or retained, I should say, by a relative of the late Mr. Shylock. You have heard, no doubt, how some of the American hotels have frowned on Mr. Shylock's relatives. Well, Mr. Shylock's family got even with the whole American people the night I stopped in No. 2, second floor of the Abomination of Desolation. As a representative of the American people, I received for my nation, vicariously, the stripes intended for many generations.

No. 2 is regarded as a room by people who have not been in it. By those who have, it is looked upon as a morgue.

When I stepped into it, I noticed an odor of the dead past. It made me shudder my overshoes off. The first thing that attracted my attention after I was left alone, was the fact that other people had occupied this room before I had, and, although they were gone, they had left a kind of an air of inferiority that clung to the alleged apartment, an air of plug tobacco and perspiration, if you will pardon the expression.

They had also left a pair of Venetian pantaloons. From this clue, my active brain at once worked out the problem and settled the fact that the party who had immediately preceded me was a man. Long and close study of the habits and characteristics of humanity has taught me to reason out these matters, and to reach accurate conclusions with astonishing rapidity.

He was not only a man, but he was a short man, with parenthetical legs and a thoughtful droop to the seat of his pants. I also discovered that more of this man's life had been expended in sitting on a pitch pine log than in prayer.

One of his front teeth was gone, also. This I learned from a large cast of his mouth, shown on the end of a plug of tobacco still left in the pocket.

In Wallula there is a marked feeling of childlike trust and confidence between people. It is a feature of Wallula society, I may say. The people of the junction trust strangers to a remarkable extent. In what other town in this whole republic would a pair of pantaloons be thus left in the complete power of a total stranger, a stranger, too, to whom pantaloons were a great boon? I could easily have caught those pantaloons off the nail, thrust them into my bosom, and fled past the drowsy night clerk, out into the great, sheltering arms of the silent night, but I did not.

Anon through the long hours I would awake and listen fitfully to the wail of damned souls, as it seemed to me, the wail of those who tried to stay there a week, and had starved to death. Here was their favorite wailing place. Here was the place where damned souls seemed to throw aside all restraint and have a good time. I tried to keep out the sound by stuffing the pillow in my ear, but what is a cheap hotel pillow in a man's ear, if he wants to keep the noise out.

So I lay there and listened to the soft sigh of the bath tub, the loud, defiant challenge of the athletic butler down stairs, the last weak death rattle in the throat of the coffee pot in the dining room, and the wail of the damned souls who had formerly stopped at this hotel, but who had been rescued at last, and had hilariously gone to perdition, only to come back at night and torment the poor guest by bragging over the superiority of hell as a refuge from the Wallula hotel.

Now and then in the night I would almost yield to a wild impulse and catch those pantaloons off the hook, to rush out and go to Canada with them, and then I would softly go through the pockets and hang them back again.

It was an awful night. When morning dawned at last, and I took the pillow out of my ear and looked in the delirious and soap-spattered mirror, I saw that my beautiful hair, which had been such a source of pride to me ten years ago, had disappeared in places. I paid my bill, called the attention of the landlord to the fact that I had not taken those pantaloons and 'betrayed' his trust, and then I went away.

Flying Machines.

A long and exhaustive examination of the history of flying machines enables me to give briefly some of the main points of a few, for the benefit of those who may be interested in this science. I give what I do in order to prepare the public to take advantage of the different methods, and be ready at once to fly as soon as the weather gets pleasant.

A Frenchman invented a flying-machine, or dofunny, as we scientists would term it, in 1600 and something, whereby he could sail down from the woodshed and not break his neck. He could not rise from the ground like a lark and trill a few notes as he skimmed through the sky, but he could fall off an ordinary hay stack like a setting hen, with the aid of his wings. His name was Besnier.

One hundred and twenty-five years after that a prisoner at Vienna, named Jacob Dagen, told the jailer that he could fly. The jailer seemed incredulous, and so Jake constructed a pair of double barrel umbrellas, that worked by hand, and fluttered with his machine into the air fifty feet. He came down in a direct line, and in doing so ran one of the umbrellas through his thorax. I am glad it is not the custom now to wear an umbrella in the thorax.

In England, during the present century, several inventors produced flying machines, but in an evil hour agreed to rise on them themselves, and so they died from their injuries. Some came down on top of the machines, while others preceded their inventions by a few feet, but the result was the same. The invention of flying machines has always been handicapped, as it were, by this fact Men invent a flying machine and then try to ride it and show it off, and thus they are prevented by death from perfecting their rolling stock and securing their right of way.

In 1842, Mr. William Henderson got out a "two-propeller" machine, and tried to incorporate a company to utilize it for the purpose of carrying letters, running errands, driving home the cows, lighting the Northern Lights and skimming the cream off the Milky Way, but it didn't seem to compete very successfully with other modes of travel, and so Mr. Henderson wrapped it up in an old tent and put it away in the hay-mow.

In 1853, Mr. J.H. Johnson patented a balloon and parachute dingus which worked on the principle of a duck's foot in the mud. I use scientific terms because I am unable to express myself in the common language of the vulgar herd. This machine had a tail which, under great excitement, it would throw over the dash board as it bounded through the air.

Probably the biggest thing in its way under this head was the revival of flying under the presidency of the Duke of Argyle, the society being called the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. This society made some valuable calculations and experiments in the interest of aerostation, adding much to our scientific knowledge, and filling London with cripples.

In 1869, Mr. Joseph T. Kaufman invented and turned loose upon the people of Glasgow an infernal machine intended to soar considerably in a quiet kind of way and to be propelled by steam. It looked like the bird known to ornithology as the flyupithecrick, and had an air brake, patent coupler, buffer and platform. It was intended to hold two men on ice and a rosewood casket with silver handles. It was mounted on wheels, and, as it did not seem to skim through the air very much, the people of Glasgow hitched a clothes line to it and used it for a band wagon.

Rufus Porter invented an aerial dewdad ten years ago in Connecticut, where so many crimes have been committed since Mark Twain moved there. This was called the "aeraport," and looked like a seed wart floating through space. This engine was worked by springs connected with propellers. A saloon was suspended beneath it, I presume on the principle that when a man is intoxicated he weighs a pound less. This machine flew around the rotunda of the Merchants' Exchange, in New York City, eleven times, like a hen with her head cut off, but has not been on the wing much since then.

Other flying machines have been invented, but the air is not peopled with them as I write. Most of them have folded their pinions and sought the seclusion of a hen-house. It is to be hoped that very soon some such machine will be perfected, whereby a man may flit from the fifth story window of the Grand Pacific Hotel, in Chicago, to Montreal before breakfast, leaving nothing in his room but the furniture and his kind regards.

Such an invention would be hailed with much joy, and the sale would be enormous. Now, however, the matter is still in its infancy. The mechanical birds invented for the purpose of skimming through the ether blue, have not skum. The machines were built with high hopes and a throbbing heart, but the aforesaid ether remains unskum as we go to press. The Milky Way is in the same condition, awaiting the arrival of the fearless skimmer. Will men ever be permitted to pierce the utmost details of the sky and ramble around among the stars with a gum overcoat on? Sometimes I trow he will, and then again I ween not.

Asking for a Pass.

The general passenger agent of a prominent road leading out of Chicago toward the south, tells me that he is getting a good many letters lately asking for passes, and he complains bitterly over the awkward and unsatisfactory style of the correspondence. Acting on this suggestion and though a little late in the day, perhaps, I have erected the following as a guide to those who contemplate writing under similar circumstances:

Office of The Evening Squeal, January 14, 1886.

General Passenger Agent, Great North American Gitthere R.R., Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir.—I desire to know by return mail whether or no you would be pleased to swap transportation for kind words. I am the editor of "The Squeal," published at this place. It is a paper pure in tone, world wide in its scope and irresistible in the broad sweep of its mighty arm.

I desire to visit the great exposition at New Orleans this winter, and would be willing to yield you a few words of editorial opinion, set in long primer type next to pure reading matter, and without advertising marks.

My object in thus addressing you is two-fold. I have always wanted to do your road a kind act that would put it on its feet, but I have never before had the opportunity. This winter I feel just like it, and am not willing, but anxious. Another object, though trivial, perhaps, to you, is vital to me. If I do not get the pass, I am afraid I shall not reach there till the exposition is over. You can see for yourself how important it is that I should have transportation. Day after day the president on to the grounds and ask if I am there. Some official will salute him and answer sadly, "No, your highness, he has not yet arrived, but we look for him soon. He is said to be stuck in a mud hole somewhere in Egypt." Then the exposition will drag on again.

You may make the pass read, "For self, Chicago to New Orleans and return," and I will write the editorial, or you may make it read, "Self and wife" and I will let you write it yourself. Nothing is too good for my friends. When a man does me a kind act or shows signs of affection, I just allow him to walk all over me and make himself perfectly free with the policy of my paper.

The "Evening Squeal" has been heard everywhere. We send it to the four winds of Heaven, and its influence is felt wherever the English language is respected. And yet, if you want to belong to my coterie of friends, you can make yourself just as free with its editorial columns as you would if you owned it.

And yet "The Squeal" is a bad one to stir up. I shudder to think what the result would be if you should incur the hatred of "The Squeal." Let us avoid such a subject or the possibility of such a calamity.

"The Squeal" once opposed the candidacy of a certain man for the office of school district clerk, and in less than four years he was a corpse! Struck down in all his wanton pride by one of the popular diseases of the day.

My paper at one time became the foe of a certain road which tapped the great cranberry vineyards of northern Minnesota, and that very fall the berries soured on the vines!

I might go on for pages to show how the pathway of "The Squeal" has been strewn with the ruins of railroads, all prosperous and happy till they antagonized us and sought to injure us.

I believe that the great journals and trunk lines of the land should stand in with one another. If you have the support and moral encouragement of the press you will feel perfectly free to run over any one who gets on your track. Besides, if I held a pass over your road I should feel very much reserved about printing the details of any accident, delay or washout along your line. I aim to mould public opinion, but a man can subsidize and corrupt me if he goes at it right. I write this to kind of give you a pointer as to how you can go to work to do so if you see fit.

Should you wish to pervert my high moral notions in relation to railways, please make it good for thirty days, as it may take me a week or so to mortgage my property and get ready to go in good style. I will let you know on what day I will be in New Orleans, so that you can come and see me at that time. Should you have difficulty in obtaining an audience with me, owing to the throng of crowned heads, just show this autograph letter to the doorkeeper, and he will show you right in. Wipe your boots before entering.

Yours truly,

Daniel Webster Briggs, Editor of "The Squeal."

It is my opinion that no railroad official, however disobliging, would hesitate a moment about which way he would swing after reading an epistle after this pattern. Few, indeed, are the men who would be impolitic enough to incur the displeasure of such a paper as I have artfully represented "The Squeal" to be.

Words About Washington.

The name of George Washington has always had about it a glamour that made him appear more in the light of a god than a tall man with large feet and a mouth made to fit an old-fashioned, full-dress pumpkin pie. I use the word glamour, not so much because I know what glamour means, but because I have never used it before, and I am getting a little tired of the short, easy words I have been using so long.

George Washington's face has beamed out upon us for many years now, on postage stamps and currency, in marble, and plaster, and bronze, in photographs of original portraits, paintings, end stereoscopic views. We have seen him on horseback and on foot, on the war-path and on skates, cussing his troops for their shiftlessness, and then in the solitude of the forest, with his snorting war-horse tied to a tree, engaged in prayer.

We have seen all these pictures of George, till we are led to believe that he did not breathe our air or eat American groceries. But George Washington was not perfect. I say this after a long and careful study of his life, and I do not say it to detract the very smallest iota from the proud history of the Father of his Country. I say it simply that the boys of America who want to become George Washingtons will not feel so timid about trying it.

When I say that George Washington, who now lies so calmly in the limekiln at Mount Vernon, could reprimand and reproach his subordinates at times, in a way to make the ground crack open and break up the ice in the Delaware a week earlier than usual, I do not mention it in order to show the boys of our day that profanity will make them resemble George Washington. That was one of his weak points, and no doubt he was ashamed of it, as he ought to have been. Some poets think that if they get drunk, and stay drunk, they will resemble Edgar A. Poe and George D. Prentice. There are lawyers who play poker year after year, and get regularly skinned, because they have heard that some of the able lawyers of the past century used to come home at night with poker chips in their pockets.

Whisky will not make a poet, nor poker a great pleader. And yet I have seen poets who relied solely on the potency of their breath, and lawyers who knew more of the habits of a bob-tail flush than they ever did of the statutes in such case made and provided.

George Washington was always ready. If you wanted a man to be first in war, you could call on George. If you desired an adult who would be first baseman in time of peace, Mr. Washington could be telephoned at any hour of the day or night. If you needed a man to be first in the hearts of his countrymen, George's postoffice address was at once secured.

Though he was a great man, he was once a poor boy. How often we hear that in America! It is the place where it is a positive disadvantage to be born wealthy. And yet, sometimes I wish they had experimented a little that way on me. I do not ask now to be born rich, of course, because it is too late; but it seems to me that, with my natural good sense and keen insight into human nature, I could have struggled along under the burdens and cares of wealth with great success. I do not care to die wealthy, but if I could have been born wealthy, it seems to me I would have been tickled almost to death.

I love to believe that true greatness is not accidental. To think and to say that greatness is a lottery is pernicious. Man may be wrong sometimes in his judgment of others, both individually and in the aggregate, but he who gets ready to be a great man will surely find the opportunity.

Many who read the above paragraph will wonder who I got to write it for me, but they will never find out.

In conclusion, let me say that George Washington was successful for three reasons. One was that he never shook the confidence of his friends. Another was that he had a strong will without being a mule. Some people cannot distinguish between being firm and being a big blue jackass.

Another reason why Washington is loved and honored to-day, is that he died before we had a chance to get tired of him. This is greatly superior to the method adopted by many modern statesmen, who wait till their constituency weary of them and then reluctantly and tardily die.

The Board of Trade.

I went into the Chicago Board of Trade awhile ago to see about buying some seed wheat for sowing on my farm next spring. I heard that I could get wheat cheaper there than anywhere else, so I went over. The members of the Board seemed to be all present. They were on the upper floor of the house, about three hundred of them, I judge, engaged in conversation. All of them were conversing when I entered, with the exception of a sad-looking man who had just been squeezed into a corner and injured, I was told. I told him that arnica was as good as anything I knew of for that, but he seemed irritated, and I strode majestically away. Probably he thought I had no business to speak to him without an introduction, but I never stand on ceremony when I see anyone in pain.

I got a ticket when I went in, and began to look around for my wheat. I didn't see any at first. I then asked one of the conversationalists how wheat was.

"Oh, wheat's pretty steady just now, 'specially October, but yesterday we thought the bottom had dropped out. Perfect panic in No. 2, red; No. 2, Chicago Spring, 73-7/8. Dull, my Christian friend, dull is no name for it. More fellers got pinched yesterday than would patch purgatory fifteen miles. What you doing, buying or selling?"


"Better let me sell you some choice Chicago Spring way down. Get some man you know on the Board to make the trade for you."

"Well, if you've got something good and cheap, and that you know will grow, I'd like to look at it," I said.

He took me over by the door where there was a dishpan full of wheat, and asked me how that struck me, I said it looked good and asked him how much he could spare of it at .73. He said he had 50,000 bushels that he wasn't using, and he thought he could get me another 50,000 of a friend, if I wanted it. I said no, 100,000 bushels was more than I needed. I told him that if he would let me have that dishpan full, one-half cash and the balance in installments, I might trade with him, but I didn't want him to sell me his last bushel of wheat and rob himself.

"Very likely you've got a family," said I, "and you mustn't forget that we've got a long, cold, hard winter ahead of us. Hang on to your wheat. Don't let Tom, Dick and Harry come along and chisel you out of your last kernel, just to be neighborly."

I remained in the room an hour and a half, the cynosure of all eyes. There is a great deal of sociability there. Three hundred men all talking diagonally at each other at the same time, reminds me of a tete-a-tete I once had with a warm personal friend, who was a boiler-maker. He invited me to come around to the shop and visit him. He said we could crawl down through the manhole into the boiler and have a nice visit while he worked.

I remember of following him down through the hole into the boiler; then they began to head boiler rivets, and I knew nothing more till I returned to consciousness the next day to find myself in my own luxuriously-furnished apartments.

The family physician was holding my hand. My wife asked: "Is he conscious yet, do you think, doctor?"

"Yes," he replied, "your husband begins to show signs of life. He may live for many years, but his intellect seems to have been mislaid during his illness. Do you know whether the cat has carried anything out of this room lately?"

Then my wife said: "Yes, the cat did get something out of this room only the other day and ate it. Poor thing!"

The Cow-Boy.

So much amusing talk is being made recently anent the blood-bedraggled cow-boy of the wild West, that I rise as one man to say a few things, not in a dictatorial style, but regarding this so-called or so esteemed dry land pirate who, mounted on a little cow-pony and under the black flag, sails out across the green surge of the plains to scatter the rocky shores of Time with the bones of his fellow-man.

A great many people wonder where the cow-boy, with his abnormal thirst for blood, originated. Where did this young Jesse James, with his gory record and his dauntless eye, come from? Was he born in a buffalo wallow at the foot of some rock-ribbed mountain, or did he first breathe the thin air along the brink of an alkali pond, where the horned toad and the centipede sang him to sleep, and the tarantula tickled him under the chin with its hairy legs?

Careful research and cold, hard statistics show that the cow-boy, as a general thing, was born in an unostentatious manner on the farm. I hate to sit down on a beautiful romance and squash the breath out of a romantic dream; but the cow-boy who gets too much moist damnation in his system, and rides on a gallop up and down Main street shooting out the lights of the beautiful billiard palaces, would be just as unhappy if a mouse ran up his pantaloon-leg as you would, gentle reader. He is generally a youth who thinks he will not earn his twenty-five dollars per month if he does not yell, and whoop, and shoot, and scare little girls into St. Vitus's dance. I've known more cow-boys to injure themselves with their own revolvers than to injure anyone else. This is evidently because they are more familiar with the hoe than they are with the Smith & Wesson.

One night while I had rooms in the business part of a Territorial city in the Rocky Mountain cattle country, I was awakened at about one o'clock A. M. by the most blood-curdling cry of "Murder" I ever heard. It was murder with a big "M." Across the street, in the bright light of a restaurant, a dozen cow-boys with broad sombreros and flashing silver braid, huge leather chaperajas,

Mexican spurs and orange silk neckties, and with flashing revolvers, were standing. It seemed that a big, red-faced Captain Kidd of the band, with his skin full of valley tan, had marched into an ice-cream resort with a self-cocker in his hand, and ordered the vanilla coolness for the gang. There being a dozen young folks at the place, mostly male and female, from a neighboring hop, indulging in cream, the proprietor, a meek Norwegian with thin white hair, deemed it rude and outre to do so. He said something to that effect, whereat the other eleven men of alcoholic courage let off a yell that froze the cream into a solid glacier, and shook two kerosene lamps out of their sockets in the chandeliers.

Thereupon, the little Y.M.C.A. Norwegian said:

"Gentlemans, I kain't neffer like dot squealinks and dot kaind of a tings, and you fellers mit dot ledder pantses on and dot funny glose and such a tings like dot, better keep kaind of quiet, or I shall call up the policemen mit my delephone."

Then they laughed at him, and cried yet again with a loud voice.

This annoyed the ice-cream agriculturist, and he took the old axe-handle that he used to jam the ice down around the freezer with, and peeled a large area of scalp off the leader's dome of thought, and it hung down over his eyes, so that he could not see to shoot with any degree of accuracy.

After he had yelled "Murder!" three or four times, he fell under an ice-cream table, and the mild-eyed Scandinavian broke a silver-plated castor over the organ of self-esteem, and poured red pepper, and salt, and vinegar, and Halford sauce and other relishes, on the place where the scalp was loose.

This revived the brave but murderous cow-gentleman, and he begged that he might be allowed to go away.

The gentle Y.M.C.A. superintendent of the ten-stamp ice-cream freezers then took the revolvers away from the bold buccaneer, and kicked him out through a show-case, and saluted him with a bouquet of July oysters that suffered severely from malaria.

All cow-boys are not sanguinary; but out of twenty you will generally find one who is brave when he has his revolvers with him; but when he forgot and left his shooters at home on the piano, the most tropical violet-eyed dude can climb him with the butt-end of a sunflower, and beat his brains out and spatter them all over that school district.

In the wild, unfettered West, beware of the man who never carries arms, never gets drunk and always minds his own business. He don't go around shooting out the gas, or intimidating a kindergarten school; but when a brave frontiersman, with a revolver in each boot and a bowie down the back of his neck, insults a modest young lady, and needs to be thrown through a plate-glass window and then walked over by the populace, call on the silent man who dares to wear a clean shirt and human clothes.

Stirring Incidents at a Fire.

Last night I was awakened by the cry of fire. It was a loud, hoarse cry, such as a large, adult man might emit from his window on the night air. The town was not large, and the fire department, I had been told, was not so effective as it should have been.

For that reason I arose and carefully dressed myself, in order to assist, if possible. I carefully lowered myself from my room, by means of a staircase which I found concealed in a dark and mysterious corner of the passage.

On the streets all was confusion. The hoarse cry of fire had been taken up by others, passed around from one to another, till it had swollen into a dull roar. The cry of fire in a small town is always a grand sight.

All along the street in front of Mr. Pendergast's roller rink the blanched faces of the people could be seen. Men were hurrying to and fro, knocking the bystanders over in their frantic attempts to get somewhere else. With great foresight, Mr. Pendergast, who had that day finished painting his roller rink a dull-roan color, removed from the building the large card which bore the legend:


so that those who were so disposed might feel perfectly free to lean up against the rink and watch the progress of the flames.

Anon the bright glare of the devouring element might have been seen bursting through the casement of Mr. Cicero Williams's residence, facing on the alley west of Mr. Pendergast's rink. Across the street the spectator whose early education had not been neglected could distinctly read the sign of our esteemed fellow-townsman, Mr. Alonzo Burlingame, which was lit up by the red glare of the flames so that the letters stood out plainly as follows:

Alonzo Burlingame,

Dealer in Soft and Hard Coal, Ice-Cream, Wood, Lime, Cement, Perfumery, Nails, Putty, Spectacles, and Horse Radish. Chocolate Caramels and Tar Roofing. Gas Fitting and Undertaking in all Its Branches. Hides, Tallow, and Maple Syrup. Fine Gold Jewelry, Silverware, and Salt. Glue, Codfish, and Gent's Neckwear. Undertaker and Confectioner. Diseases of Horses and Children a Specialty.

Jno. White, Ptr.

The flames spread rapidly, until they threatened the Palace rink of our esteemed fellow-townsman, Mr. Pendergast, whose genial and urbane manner has endeared him to all.

With a degree of forethought worthy of a better cause, Mr. Leroy W. Butts suggested the propriety of calling out the hook and ladder company, an organization of which every one seemed to be justly proud. Some delay ensued in trying to find the janitor of Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company No. 1's building, but at last he was secured, and, after he had gone home for the key, Mr. Butts ran swiftly down the street to awaken the foreman, but, after he had dressed himself and inquired anxiously about the fire, he said that he was not foreman of the company since the 2d of April.

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