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leave room for you. I'll just tell a little story or so, to amuse them, and then sit down."
"What story, for instance?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing, nothing; only a little yarn I happened to remember about a farmer who married a woman who said she could cut four cords of wood, when she couldn't."
My worst fears were realized. I turned to the man next to me, and said, with suppressed emotion, " May I ask your name, my friend?" _
He said his name was Gumbs.
"May I inquire what your Christian name is?"
He said it was William Henry.
"Well, William Henry Gumbs," I exclaimed, "gaze at me! Do I look like a man who would slay a human being in cold blood?"
"Hm-m-m, n-no; you don't," he replied, with an air of critical consideration.
"But I AM!" said I, fiercely—" I AM; and I tell you now that if you undertake to relate that anecdote about the farmer's wife I will blow you into eternity without a moment's warning; I will, by George!"
"Mr. Gumbs instantly jumped up, placed his hand on the railing of the porch, and not over suddenly into the crowd. He stood there pointing me out to the bystanders, and doubtless advancing the theory that I was an original kind of a lunatic, who might be expected to have at any moment a fit which would be interesting when studied from a distance.
The chairman looked around, intending to call upon my friend Mr. Gumbs; but not perceiving him, he came to me and said:
"Now is your chance, sir; splendid opportunity; crowd worked up to just the proper pitch. We have paved the way for you; go in and do your best."
"Oh yes; but hold on lor a few moments, will you? I • can't speak now; the fact is I am not quite ready. Iiun out some other man."
"Haven't got another man. Kept you for the last purposely, and the crowd is waiting. Come ahead and pitch in, and give it to 'em hot and heavy."
It was very easy for him to say "give it to them," but I had nothing to give. Beautifully they paved the way for me! Nicely they had worked up the crowd to the proper pitch! Here I was in a condition of frantic despair, with a crowd of one thousand |,eo|ile expecting a brilliant oration from me who had not a thmg in my mind but a beggarly story about a fire-extinguisher and a worse one about a farmer's wife. I groaned in spirit and wished I had been born far away in some distant clime among savages who knew not of mass meetings, and whose language contained such a small number of words that speech-making was impossible.
But the chairman was determined. He seized me by the arm and fairly dragged me to the front. He introduced me to the crowd in flattering, and I may say outrageously ridiculous terms, and then whispering in my ear, " Hit 'em hard, old fellow, hit 'em hard," he sat down.
The crowd received me with three hearty cheers. As I heard them I began to feel dizzy. The audience seemed to swim around and to increase tenfold in size. By a resolute effort I recovered my self-possession partially, and determined to begin. I could not think of anything but the two stories, and I resolved to tell them as well as I could. I said:
"Fellow-citizens: It is so late now that I will not attempt to make a speech to you." [Cries of " Yes!" "Go ahead!" "Never mind the time!" etc., etc.] Elevating my voice, I repeated: "I say it is so late now that I can't make a speech as I intended on account of its being so late that the speech which I intended to make would keep you here too late if I made it as I intended to. So I will tell you a story about a man who bought a patent fire-extinguisher which was warranted to split four cords of wood a day; so he set fire to his house to try her, and— No, it was his wife who was warranted to split four cords of wood—I got it wrong; and when the flames obtained full headway, he found she could only split two cords and a half, and it made him— What I mean is that the farmer, when he bought the exting—courted her, that is, she said she could set fire to the house, and when he tried her, she collapsed the first time—the extinguisher did, and he wanted a divorce because his house—Oh, hang it, fellow-citizens, you understand that this man, or farmer, rather, bought a—I should say courted a—that is, a fire-ex—" (Desperately.) "Fellow-citizens! If Any Man Shoots The American Flag, Pull Him Down Upon The Spot; Rut As For Me, Give Me Lirerty Or Give Me Death!"
As I shouted this out at the top of my voice, in an ecstasy of confusion, a wild, tumultuous yell of laughter came up from the crowd. I paused for a second beneath the spell of that cold eye in the band, and then, dashing through the throng at the back of the porch, I rushed down the street to the depot, with the shouts of the crowd and the uproarious music of the band ringing in mv ears. I got upon a freight train, gave the engineer five dollars to take me along on the locomotive, and spent the night riding to New Castle.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.—George W. Bungat.
The circling century has brought
One hundred years ago!
Lights all the world below!
At break of day again we hear
And shots that shake the throne
Our King is God alone!
"Load well with powder and with ball,
A shot from every one—"
The world heard Lexington!
Militia and brave minute-men
Of tire and leaden sleet;
From war's red winding-sheet!
Hancock and Adams glory won,
With yeomen whose best work was done
At Concord and at Lexington,
When first they struck the blow.
One hundred years ago!
HE DOETH HIS ALMS TO BE SEEN OF MEN.
A poor little girl in a tattered gown
By the side of the way to rest;
Her hands on her bosom pressed.
The night was approaching,—the winter's chill blast
From the poor little maiden's eye,—
Unheeded her plaintive cry.
Now hurriedly passing along the street,
Some aid from the passer by;
Repelled by the glance of his eye.
He saw the wind tempest resistlessly hurl
Was swept by the breath of the. storm;
His raiment was ample and warm!
He went to a charity meeting that nighi
The suffering poor to relieve;
He handed the check to the treasurer, when
This sentence methinks did record: "He doeth his alms to be seen of men,
Their praise is his only reward."
The paper next morning had much to say
So much for the poor man's cause.
And thought of the night's applause.
Near by, the same paper went on to repeat
A story they'd heard, of how, out on the street,
A watchman at dawning of morn on his beat,
A poor little child had found,—
Frozen to death on the ground!
Ah! who can declare that when God shall unfold
Eternity's records, he will not hold
Him guilty of murder, who seeks with his gold,
In charty's name to buy
He leaves a poor child to die.
NATIONS AND HUMANITY—Geo. W. Curtis.
It was not his olive valleys and orange groves which mad© the Greece of the Greek, it was not for his apple orchards or potato fields that the farmer of New England and New York left his plough in the furrow and marched to Bunker Hill, to Bennington, to Saratoga. A man's country is not a certain area of land, but it is a principle; and patriotism i.. loyalty to that principle. The secret sanetification of the soil and symbol of a country is the idea which they represent; and this idea the patriot worships through the name and the symbol.
So with passionate heroism, of which tradition is never weary of tenderly telling, Arnold von Winkelried gathers into his bosom the sheaf of foreign spears. So, Nathan Hale, disdaining no service that duty demands, perishes untimely with no other friend than God and the satisfied sense of duty. So, through all history from the beginning, a noble army of martyrs has fought fiercely, and fallen bravely, for that unseen mistress, their country. So, through all history to the end, that army must still march, and fight, and fall.
But countries and families are but nurseries and influences. A man is a father, a brother, a German, a Roman, an American; but beneath all these relations, he is a man. The end of his human destiny is not to be the best German, or the best Roman, or the best father; but the best man he can be.