The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 64
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A MINIKIN three-and-a-half-feet Colonel, being one day at the drill, was examining a strapper of six feet four. "Come, fellow, hold up your head; higher, fellow!" "Yes, Sir." "Higher, fellow--higher." " What--so, Sir?"
"Yes, fellow." "And am I always to remain so?" "Yes, fellow, certainly."
"Why then, good bye. Colonel, for I never shall see you again."
MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT.--DEATH OF A YOUNG MAN.
MR. MUDGE has just arrived in San Diego from Arkansas; he brings with him four yoke of oxen, seventeen American cows, nine American children, and Mrs. Mudge. They have encamped in the rear of our office, pending the arrival of the next coasting steamer.
Mr. Mudge is about thirty-seven years of age, his hair is light, not a "sable silvered," but a _yaller_ gilded; you can see some of it sticking out of the top of his hat; his costume is the national costume of Arkansas, coat, waistcoat, and pantaloons of homespun cloth, dyed a brownish yellow, with a decoction of the bitter barked b.u.t.ternut--a pleasing alliteration; his countenance presents a determined, combined with a sanctimonious expression, and in his brightly gleaming eye--a red eye we think it is--we fancy a spark of poetic fervor may be distinguished.
Mr. Mudge called on us yesterday. We were eating watermelon. Perhaps the reader may have eaten watermelon, if so, he knows how difficult a thing it is to speak, when the mouth is filled with the luscious fruit, and the slippery seed and sweet though embarra.s.sing juice is squizzling out all over the chin and s.h.i.+rt-bosom. So at first we said nothing, but waved with our case knife toward an unoccupied box, as who should say sit down. Mr. Mudge accordingly seated himself, and removing his hat (whereat all his hair sprang up straight like a Jack in a box), turned that article of dress over and over in his hands, and contemplated its condition with alarming seriousness.
"Take some melon, Mr. Mudge," said we, as with a sudden bolt we recovered our speech and took another slice ourself. "No, I thank you,"
replied Mr. Mudge, "I wouldn't choose any, now."
There was a solemnity in Mr. Mudge's manner that arrested our attention; we paused, and holding a large slice of watermelon dripping in the air, listened to what he might have to say.
"Thar was a very serious accident happened to us," said Mr. Mudge, "as we wos crossin' the plains. 'Twas on the bank of the Peacus river. Thar was a young man named Jeames Hambrick along and another young feller, he got to fooling with his pistil, and he shot Jeames. He was a good young man and hadn't a enemy in the company; we buried him thar on the Peacus river, we did, and as we went off, these here lines sorter pa.s.sed through my mind." So saying, Mr. Mudge rose, drew from his pocket--his waistcoat pocket--a crumpled piece of paper, and handed it over. Then he drew from his coat-tail pocket, a large cotton handkerchief, with a red ground and yellow figure, slowly unfolded it, blew his nose--an awful blast it was--wiped his eyes, and disappeared. We publish Mr. Mudge's lines, with the remark, that any one who says they have no poets or poetry in Arkansas, would doubt the existence of William Shakspeare:
DIRGE ON THE DEATH OF JEAMES HAMBRICK.
BY MR ORION W. MUDGE, ESQ.
it was on June the tenth our hearts were very sad for it was by an awful accident we lost a fine young lad Jeames Hambric was his name and alas it was his lot to you I tell the same he was accidently shot
on the peacus river side the sun was very hot and its there he fell and died where he was accidently shot
on the road his character good without a stain or blot and in our opinions growed until he was accidently shot
a few words only he spoke for moments he had not and only then he seemed to choke I was accidently shot
we wrapped him in a blanket good for coffin we had not and then we buried him where he stood when he was accidently shot
and as we stood around his grave our tears the ground did blot we prayed to G.o.d his soul to save he was accidently shot
This is all, but I writ at the time a epitaff which I think is short and would do to go over his grave:--
here lies the body of Jeames Hambrick who was accidently shot on the bank of the peacus river by a young man
he was accidently shot with one of the large size colt's revolver with no stopper for the c.o.c.k to rest on it was one of the old fas.h.i.+on kind bra.s.s mounted and of such is the kingdom of heaven.
ORION W MUDGE ESQ
A BRACE of partridges being brought in to supper for three gentlemen; "Come, Tom," said one of them, "you are fresh from the schools, let us see how learnedly you can divide these two birds among us three." "With all my heart;" answered Tom, "there is one for _you two_ and here is one for _me too_."
MRS. B. desired Dr. Johnson to give his opinion of a new work she had just written; adding, that if it would not do, she begged him to tell her, for she had other _irons in the fire_, and in case of its not being likely to succeed, she could bring out something else. "Then," said the Doctor, after having turned over a few leaves, "_I advise you, Madam, to put it where your other irons are._"
BLUNDERS OF SIR BOYLE ROCHE.
FROM SIR JONAH BARRINGTON'S SKETCHES.
THE Baronet had certainly one great advantage over all other bull and blunder makers: he seldom launched a blunder from which some fine aphorism or maxim might not be easily extracted. When a debate arose in the Irish house of commons on the vote of a grant which was recommended by Sir John Parnel, chancellor of the exchequer, as one not likely to be felt burdensome for many years to come--it was observed in reply, that the house had no just right to load posterity with a weighty debt for what could in no degree operate to their advantage. Sir Boyle, eager to defend the measures of government, immediately rose, and in a very few words, put forward the most unanswerable argument which human ingenuity could possibly devise. "What, Mr. Speaker!" said he, "and so we are to beggar ourselves for fear of vexing posterity! Now, I would ask the honorable gentleman, and this _still more_ honorable house, why we should put ourselves out of our way for _posterity_: for what has _posterity_ done for _us_?"
Sir Boyle, hearing the roar of laughter which of course followed this sensible blunder, but not being conscious that he had said anything out of the way, was rather puzzled, and conceived that the house had misunderstood him. He therefore begged leave to explain, as he apprehended that gentlemen had entirely mistaken his words: he a.s.sured the house that "by _posterity_, he did not at all mean our _ancestors_, but those who were to come _immediately_ after _them_." Upon hearing this _explanation_, it was impossible to do any serious business for half an hour.
Sir Boyle Roche was induced by government to fight as hard as possible for the union: so he did, and I really believe fancied, by degrees, that he was right. On one occasion, a general t.i.tter arose at his florid picture of the happiness which must proceed from this event.
"Gentlemen," said Sir Boyle, "may t.i.tther, and t.i.tther, and t.i.tther, and may think it a bad measure; but their heads at present are hot, and will so remain till they grow cool again; and so they can't decide right now; but when the _day of judgment_ comes, _then_ honorable gentlemen will be satisfied at this most excellent union. Sir, there is no Levitical degrees between nations, and on this occasion I can see neither sin nor shame in _marrying our own sister_."
He was a determined enemy to the French revolution, and seldom rose in the house for several years without volunteering some abuse of it. "Mr.
Speaker," said he, in a mood of this kind, "if we once permitted the villanous French masons to meddle with the b.u.t.tresses and walls of our ancient const.i.tution, they would never stop, nor stay, Sir, till they brought the foundation-stones tumbling down about the ears of the nation! There," continued Sir Boyle, placing his hand earnestly on his heart, his powdered head shaking in unison with his loyal zeal, while he described the probable consequences of an invasion of Ireland by the French republicans; "There Mr. Speaker! if those Gallican villains should invade us, Sir, 'tis on _that very table_, may-be, these honorable members might see their own destinies lying in heaps a-top of one another!' Here perhaps, Sir, the murderous _Marshallaw-men_ (Ma.r.s.eillois) would break in, cut us to mince-meat, and throw our bleeding heads upon that table, to stare us in the face!"
Sir Boyle, on another occasion, was arguing for the habeas corpus suspension bill in Ireland: "It would surely be better, Mr. Speaker,"
said he, "to give up not only a _part_, but, if necessary, even the _whole_, of our const.i.tution, to preserve _the remainder_!"
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 64
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