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Chestnut-trees* were not like his branches, nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty."— £Ezek. xxxi: 8.
Fifteenth.—And now what tree more fair than all
Answer.—" In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river was there the Tree Of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."—[Rev. xxii: 1, 2.
TEMPERANCE DIALOGUE.—E. Murray.
Room in Town Hall. A number of men consulting Chairman at the table. Enter a man with a box, cover tied on.
Applicant.—Good morning, gentlemen.
Chairman.—Will yon take a seat and wait a moment, please? We are making up our estimates of expenses for last year.
Applicant places box down carefully at a little distance and seats himself. Committee write, consult, etc.
Chairman.—Now, sir, what can we do for you? Applicant.—If you please, I would like a permit to raise and exhibit rattlesnakes. Is/. Com.—Raise what? Applicant.—Rattlesnakes, sir. 2d. Com.—What did you say?
Applicant.—Yes, sir, rattlesnakes, like these, sir (lifting the box-lid a hair's breadth).
All the Committee (excitedly).—Shut the lid! Shut it down! I say, sir, shut it, shut it!
Chairman (sternly).—What do you mean by bringing these creatures into our council-room, sir?
Old gentleman.—Don't you think—ah —that box—ah—had better be removed?
Zd. Com.—Second that motion.
Applicant — But, sir, I assure you that they are perfectly harmless, if you do not meddle with them.
4th. Com.—Meddle with them! Why, man alive, what if they meddle with us?
Applicant.—They are in a box, no one need open it that does not choose to.
5th. Com— Suppose they should get loose.
6th Com.—Fortunately I have an umbrella handy.
Old gentleman.—Suppose—ah—with your leave, I'll open— ah—the door. It might be necessary—ah—to retreat precipitately.
Applicant.—Your alarm is entirely unnecessary, gentlemen.
Chairman.—We had better get rid of the man and his snakes together. What do you want?
Applicant.—A license, gentlemen, to keep and exhibit rattlesnakes.
Chairman.—Where do you intend to keep them?
1st Com.—In our council room, it appears.
Applicant.—No, sir, certainly not, sir. In my store on one of the principal squares. I intend to have a show of snakes, tame ones, make a small charge, say five or ten cents for handling them, have a band of music to make it pleasant for the young people. I expect to make such a profit that I can afford to pay a good price for a license. Help to reduce your expenses, gentlemen.
2d. Com.—But what if your tame snakes should bite some of those who handle them?
Applicant.—Oh, well, of course, that is the fault of the person who handles them. They should handle them gently.
3d. Com.—(Poking the box with a cane.) Are they tame now?
Applicant (uneasily).—Take care, please, sir; I am not sure what temper they are in just now. What w ill be the price of the license, please?
4th Com— Now, I like that. "Pretty City Fathers" you must think we are to let young people walk into a store where they can handle poisonous snakes. We would deserve to be hung as hi 'h as Ilaman.
Applicant— But you license whiskey stores.
6th. Com.—Why, the fathers and mothers would mob us.
Applicant.—But, you license—
6th Com.—They would indict us, and justly, too.
Applicant.—But you license whiskey—
Chairman.—Come, you take yourself and your snakes off
Applicant.—But you license whiskey selling, and I can prove by statistics that that poisons more people than all the snakes in the world.
1st. Com.—I move that the petitioner has leave to withdraw.
Applicant.—But you license— 2d. Com.—I second the motion. Applicant.—Whiskey selling. Chairman.—Are you ready for the question? Applicant.—But, sir; no, sir. Committee.—Question! Question! Applicant.—Whiskey selling poisons more people— Chairman.—All in the affirmative say Aye. Applicant.—Than my poor snakes. Committee.—Aye! Aye! Aye! Chairman.—Negative, by the usual sign. Applicant.—But, gentlemen, why do you license whiskey selling?
Chairman.—It is a vote.
Applicant.—But, gentlemen, gentlemen, my rattlers are tame.
Old gentleman.—Tame, fiddlesticks. 3d. Com.—Take thom away, at once, sir. Applicant (matching up the box and untying it).—Just see, gentlemen. Take care, sir.
Fourth Committee tries to push him out, the box falls, and there it a general sta mpede, lea ring old gentleman on a chair, swinging the umbrella and crying "Fire r
the business? How many of the fellows who have " Rattled their bones over the stones" to a pauper's funeral, got their first and last glass from you? And all right, Ketchum, for if you hadn't sold it, somebody else would. Take this for your motto: "If 1 don't sell the liquor, others will."
Ketchum. Bless your soul, Wiley, you needn't lay such things to my charge! Everybody has got to die, and I only do my best to make life jolly for them while it lasts; but all fair and square and honorable, mind you,—a good article, and "scripture measure,"—those are my principles.
Wiley. Principles! (Laughing immoderately.) Principles Ha! ha! ha! ha! Principles! arum-seller's principles! I didn't know they had any,—/ haven't. It's my private opinion that rum is a curse, but who is responsible for its inven tion? Not you; not I. And it is a melancholy sight to see sixty thousand fine fellows, every year, reeling along to ruin; but, we can't help it, and we might as well have the profits.
Ketchum [lounging). Do stop your noise, Wiley! You make my blood run cold. I'd as lief hear a temperance lecture. Enter Lawyer Julep.
Julep. Temperance, eh! How long since you began to preach that here?
Wiley. What'll you take?
Julep. A little something to keep the cold out; make it strong,—not so very strong; just a little, you know, for I'm only a moderate drinker. (Drinks.) That is good; I think I'll have another, just a little stronger and a little more of it, for I'm only a moderate drinker; but these temperance folks have been badgering me, and I'm unstrung; (drinks) yes, kind o' unstrung; yes, all unstrung. Look here (pulling out a pocket-flask); "Wind's in the east," you know; I don't believe in drinking to excess, for I'm a moderate drinker, you see. (Counts the change as Wiley fills the flask.) I always allowance myself. Good-day! (Starts off, stops and drinks from the flask.) Just a little taste, for I assure you I'm a moderate drinker. [Goes out.
Wiley. Wish he'd settle down in these parts. You can rely on the custom of these moderate drinkers.
Ketchum. It strikes me, Wiley, I've seen that man before. Who is he? Yes, now I have it—why, that's Julep,