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"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may!"
The Señor swore to carry the day,
To capture the beautiful Princess May,
With his battery of treasure;
Velvet and lace she should not lack;
Tiffany, Haughwout, Ball & Black,
Genin and Stewart his suit should back,
And come and go at her pleasure;
Jet and lava - silver and gold - -
Garnets - emeralds rare to behold - -
Diamonds - sapphires - wealth untold - -
All were hers, to have and to hold:
Enough to fill a peck measure!

He didn't bring all his forces on
At once, but like a crafty old Don,
Who many a heart had fought and won,
Kept bidding a little higher;
And every time he made his bid,
And what she said, and all they did - -
'Twas written down,
For the good of the town,
By Jeems, of _The Daily Flyer_.

A coach and horses, you'd think, would buy
For the Don an easy victory;
But slowly our Princess yielded.
A diamond necklace caught her eye,
But a wreath of pearls first made her sigh.
She knew the worth of each maiden glance,
And, like young colts, that curvet and prance,
She led the Don a deuce of a dance,
In spite of the wealth he wielded.

She stood such a fire of silks and laces,
Jewels and gold dressing-cases,
And ruby brooches, and jets and pearls,
That every one of her dainty curls
Brought the price of a hundred common girls;
Folks thought the lass demented!
But at last a wonderful diamond ring,
An infant Kohinoor, did the thing,
And, sighing with love, or something the same,
(What's in a name?)
The Princess May consented.

Ring! ring the bells, and bring
The people to see the marrying!
Let the gaunt and hungry and ragged poor
Throng round the great cathedral door,
To wonder what all the hubbub's for,
And sometimes stupidly wonder
At so much sunshine and brightness which
Fall from the church upon the rich,
While the poor get all the thunder.

Ring, ring! merry bells, ring!
O fortunate few,
With letters blue,
Good for a seat and a nearer view!
Fortunate few, whom I dare not name;
_Dilettanti! Crême de la crême!_
We commoners stood by the street façade,
And caught a glimpse of the cavalcade.
We saw the bride
In diamond pride,
With jeweled maidens to guard her side - -
Six lustrous maidens in tarletan.
She led the van of the caravan;
Close behind her, her mother
(Dressed in gorgeous _moire antique_,
That told as plainly as words could speak,
She was more antique than the other)
Leaned on the arm of Don Rataplan
Santa Claus de la Muscovado
Señor Grandissimo Bastinado.
Happy mortal! fortunate man!
And Marquis of El Dorado!

In they swept, all riches and grace,
Silks and satins, jewels and lace;
In they swept from the dazzled sun,
And soon in the church the deed was done.
Three prelates stood on the chancel high:
A knot that gold and silver can buy,
Gold and silver may yet untie,
Unless it is tightly fastened;
What's worth doing at all's worth doing well,
And the sale of a young Manhattan belle
Is not to be pushed or hastened;
So two Very-Reverends graced the scene,
And the tall Archbishop stood between,
By prayer and fasting chastened.
The Pope himself would have come from Rome,
But Garibaldi kept him at home.
Haply these robed prelates thought
Their words were the power that tied the knot;
But another power that love-knot tied,
And I saw the chain round the neck of the bride - -
A glistening, priceless, marvelous chain,
Coiled with diamonds again and again,
As befits a diamond wedding;
Yet still 'twas a chain, and I thought she knew it,
And halfway longed for the will to undo it,
By the secret tears she was shedding.

But isn't it odd to think, whenever
We all go through that terrible River - -
Whose sluggish tide alone can sever
(The Archbishop says) the Church decree,
By floating one in to Eternity
And leaving the other alive as ever - -
As each wades through that ghastly stream,
The satins that rustle and gems that gleam,
Will grow pale and heavy, and sink away
To the noisome River's bottom-clay!
Then the costly bride and her maidens six
Will shiver upon the bank of the Styx,
Quite as helpless as they were born - -
Naked souls, and very forlorn;
The Princess, then, must shift for herself,
And lay her royalty on the shelf;
She, and the beautiful Empress, yonder,
Whose robes are now the wide world's wonder,
And even ourselves, and our dear little wives,
Who calico wear each morn of their lives,
And the sewing-girls, and _les chiffonniers_,
In rags and hunger - a gaunt array - -
And all the grooms of the caravan - -
Ay, even the great Don Rataplan
Santa Claus de la Muscovado
Señor Grandissimo Bastinado - -
That gold-encrusted, fortunate man - -
All will land in naked equality:
The lord of a ribboned principality
Will mourn the loss of his _cordon_;
Nothing to eat and nothing to wear
Will certainly be the fashion there!
Ten to one, and I'll go it alone;
Those most used to a rag and bone,
Though here on earth they labor and groan,
Will stand it best, as they wade abreast
To the other side of Jordan.

* * * * *

When Grant's army crossed the Rappahannock Lee's veterans felt sure of
sending it back as "tattered and torn" as ever it had been under the new
general's numerous predecessors. After the crossing, the first prisoners
caught by Mosby were asked many questions by curious Confederates.

"What has become of your pontoon train?" said one such inquirer.

"We haven't got any," answered the prisoner.

"How do you expect to get over the river when you go back?"

"Oh," said the Yankee, "we are not going back. Grant says that all the
men he sends back can cross on a log."




JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL


WHAT MR. ROBINSON THINKS

Guvener B. is a sensible man;
He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks;
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wun't vote fer Guvener B.

My! ain't it terrible? Wut shall we du?
We can't never choose him o' course - thet's flat;
Guess we shall hev to come round (don't you?)
An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all that;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wun't vote for Guvener B.

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
He's ben on all sides thet give places or pelf;
But consistency still wuz a part of his plan - -
He's ben true to _one_ party - an' thet is himself;
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.

Gineral C. he goes in fer the war;
He don't vally principle more'n an old cud;
Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

We were gittin' on nicely up here to our village,
With good old idees o' wut's right an' wut ain't,
We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an pillage,
An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez this kind o' thing's an exploded idee.

The side of our country must ollers be took,
An' President Polk, you know, _he_ is our country.
An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book
Puts the _debit_ to him, an' to us the _per contry_;
An' John P.
Robinson he
Sez this is his view o' the things to a T.

Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest _fee, faw, fum_:
An' thet all this big talk of our destinies
Is half on it ign'ance an' t'other half rum;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez it ain't no sech thing; an', of course, so must we.

Parson Wilbur sez _he_ never heerd in his life
Thet th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
To git some on 'em office, and some on 'em votes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

Wal, it's a marcy we've gut folks to tell us
The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow - -
God sends country lawyers, an' other wise fellers,
To start the world's team w'en it gits in a slough;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez the world'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!

* * * * *

_Old Gentleman_ (to driver of street-car): "My friend, what do you do
with your wages every week - put part of it in the savings bank?"

_Driver:_ "No, sir. After payin' the butcher an' grocer an' rent, I pack
away what's left in barrels. I'm 'fraid of them savin's banks."


MUSIC BY THE CHOIR

After the church organist had played a voluntary, introducing airs from
"1492" and "The Black Crook" - which, of course, were not recognized by
the congregation - the choir arose for its first anthem of the morning.

The choir was made up of two parts, a quartette and a chorus. The former
occupied seats in the front row - because the members were paid. The
chorus was grouped about, and made a somewhat striking as well as
startling picture. There were some who could sing; some who thought they
could; and there were others.

The leader of this aggregation was the tenor of the quartette. He was
tall, but his neck was responsible for considerable of his extreme
height. Because he was paid to lead that choir he gave the impression to
those who saw him that he was cutting some ice. A greater part of his
contortions were lost because the audience did not face the choir.

The organist struck a few chords, and without any preliminary
wood-sawing the choir squared itself for action. Of course, there were a
few who did not find the place till after rising - this is so in all
choirs - but finally all appeared to be ready. The leader let out another
link in his neck, and while his head was taking a motion similar to a
hen's when walking, the choir broke loose. This is what it sang:

"Abide-e-e - bide - ab - abide - with abide
with - bide - a-a-a-a-bide - me - with me-e-e - abide with - with
me - fast - f-a-a-s-t falls - abide fast the even - fast fa-a-a-lls
the - abide with me - eventide - falls the e-e-eventide - fast - the - the
dark - the darkness abide - the darkness deepens - Lor-r-d with
me-e-e - Lord with me - deepens - Lord - Lord - darkness deepens - wi-i-th
me - Lord with me - me a-a-a-a-abide."

That was the first verse.

There were three others.

Every one is familiar with the hymn, hence it is not necessary to line
the verses.

During the performance, some who had not attended the choir rehearsal
the Thursday evening previous were a little slow in spots. During the
passage of these spots some would move their lips and not utter a sound,
while others - particularly the ladies - found it convenient to feel of
their back hair or straighten their hats. Each one who did this had a
look as if she could honestly say, "I could sing that if I saw fit" - and
the choir sang on.

But when there came a note, a measure or a bar with which all were
familiar, what a grand volume of music burst forth. It didn't happen
this way many times, because the paid singers were supposed to do the
greater part of the work. And the others were willing.

At one point, after a breathing spell - or a rest, as musicians say - the
tenor started alone. He didn't mean to. But by this break the deacons
discovered that he was in the game and earning his salary. The others
caught him at the first quarter, however, and away they went again, neck
and neck. Before they finished, several had changed places. Sometimes
"Abide" was ahead, and sometimes "Lord," but on the whole it was a
pretty even thing.

Then the minister - he drew a salary, also - read something out of the
Bible, after which - as they say in the newspapers - "there was another
well-rendered selection by the choir."

This spasm was a tenor solo with chorus accompaniment. This was when he
of the long neck got in his deadly work. The audience faced the choir
and the salaried soloist was happy.

When the huddling had ceased, the soloist stepped a trifle to the front
and, with the confidence born of a man who stands pat on four aces, gave
a majestic sweep of his head toward the organist. He said nothing, but
the movement implied, "Let 'er go, Gallagher."

Gallagher was on deck and after getting his patent leather shoes well
braced on the sub-bass pedals, he knotted together a few chords, and the
soloist was off. His selection was - that is, _verbatim_,

"Ge-yide me, ge-yide me, ge-yide me, O-,
Thor-or gra-ut Jaw-aw-hars-vah,
Pi-il-grum thraw-aw this baw-aw-raw-en larnd."

And he sang other things.

He was away up in G. He diminuendoed, struck a cantable movement, slid
up over a crescendo, tackled a second ending by mistake - but it
went - caught his second wind on a moderato, signified his desire for a
raise in salary on a trill, did some brilliant work on a maestoso,
reached high C with ease, went down into the bass clef and climbed out
again, quavered and held, did sixteen notes by the handful - payable on
demand - waltzed along a minor passage, gracefully turned the dal segno,
skipped a chromatic run, did the con expressione act worthy of a De
Reszke, poured forth volumes on a measure bold, broke the centre of an
andante passage for three yards, retarded to beat the band, came near
getting applause on a cadenza, took a six-barred triplet without turning
a hair - then sat down.

Between whiles the chorus had been singing something else. The notes
bumped against the oiled natural-wood rafters - it was a modern
church - ricochetted over the memorial windows, clung lovingly to the new
$200 chandelier, floated along the ridgepole, patted the bald-headed
deacons fondly, and finally died away in a bunch of contribution boxes
in the corner.

Then the minister preached.

* * * * *

A Chicago man who has recently returned from Europe was asked by a
friend what he thought of Rome.

"Well," he replied, "Rome is a fair-sized town, but I couldn't help but
think when I was there that she had seen her best days."




MARK TWAIN


THE NOTORIOUS JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY[B]

In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from
the East, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and
inquired after my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley, as requested to
do, and I hereunto append the result. I have a lurking suspicion that
Leonidas W. Smiley is a myth; that my friend never knew such a
personage; and that he only conjectured that if I asked old Wheeler
about him, it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smiley, and he would
go to work and bore me to death with some exasperating reminiscence of
him as long and as tedious as it should be useless to me. If that was
the design, it succeeded.

[Footnote B: By permission of the American Publishing Company.]

I found Simon Wheeler dozing comfortably by the barroom stove of the
dilapidated tavern in the decayed mining camp of Angel's, and I noticed
that he was fat and bald-headed, and had an expression of winning
gentleness and simplicity upon his tranquil countenance. He roused up,
and gave me good day. I told him a friend of mine had commissioned me to
make some inquiries about a cherished companion of his boyhood named
_Leonidas W_. Smiley - _Reverend Leonidas W._ Smiley, a young minister of
the Gospel, who he had heard was at one time a resident of Angel's Camp.
I added that if Mr. Wheeler could tell me anything about this Reverend
Leonidas W. Smiley I would feel under many obligations to him.

Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and blockaded me there with his
chair, and then sat down and reeled off the monotonous narrative which
follows this paragraph. He never smiled, he never frowned, he never
changed his voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he tuned his
initial sentence, he never betrayed the slightest suspicion of
enthusiasm; but all through the interminable narrative there ran a vein
of impressive earnestness and sincerity which showed me plainly that, so
far from his imagining that there was anything ridiculous or funny about
his story, he regarded it as a really important matter, and admired its
two heroes as men of transcendent genius in _finesse_. I let him go on
in his own way, and never interrupted him once.

Reverend Leonidas W. H'm, Reverend Le - well, there was a feller here
once by the name of _Jim_ Smiley, in the winter of '49 - or maybe it was
the spring of '50 - I don't recollect exactly, somehow, though what makes
me think it was one or the other is because I remember the big flume
warn't finished when he first come to the camp; but anyway, he was the
curiosest man about always betting on anything that turned up you ever
see, if he could get anybody to bet on the other side; and if he
couldn't he'd change sides. Any way that suited the other man would suit
_him_ - any way just so's he got a bet, _he_ was satisfied. But still he
was lucky, uncommon lucky; he most always come out winner. He was always
ready and laying for a chance; there couldn't be no solit'ry thing
mentioned but that feller'd offer to bet on it, and take ary side you
please, as I was just telling you. If there was a horse-race, you'd find
him flush or you'd find him busted at the end of it; if there was a
dog-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was a cat-fight, he'd bet on it; if
there was a chicken-fight, he'd bet on it; why, if there was two birds
setting on a fence, he would bet you which one would fly first; or if
there was a camp-meeting he would be there reg'lar to bet on Parson
Walker, which he judged to be the best exhorter about here, and so he
was too, and a good man. If he even see a straddle-bug start to go
anywhere, he would bet how long it would take him to get to - to wherever
he was going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that
straddle-bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for
and how long he was on the road. Lots of the boys here has seen that
Smiley and can tell you about him. Why, it never made no difference to
_him_ - he'd bet on _any_thing - the dangdest feller. Parson Walker's wife
laid very sick once, for a good while, and it seemed as if they warn't
going to save her; but one morning he come in, and Smiley up and asked
him how she was, and he said she was considable better - thank the Lord
for His inf'nite mercy - and coming on so smart that with the blessing of
Prov'dence she'd get well yet; and Smiley, before he thought, says,
"Well, I'll resk two-and-a-half she don't anyway."

Thish-yer Smiley had a mare - the boys called her the fifteen-minute nag,
but that was only in fun, you know, because of course she was faster
than that - and he used to win money on that horse, for all she was slow
and always had the asthma, or the distemper, or the consumption, or
something of that kind. They used to give her two or three hundred yards
start, and then pass her under way; but always at the fag end of the
race she'd get excited and desperate like, and come cavorting and
straddling up, and scattering her legs around limber, sometimes in the
air and sometimes out to one side among the fences, and kicking up
m-o-r-e dust and raising m-o-r-e racket with her coughing and sneezing
and blowing her nose - and _always_ fetch up at the stand just about a
neck ahead, as near as you could cipher it down.

And he had a little small bull-pup, that to look at him you'd think he
warn't worth a cent but to set around and look ornery and lay for a
chance to steal something. But as soon as money was up on him he was a
different dog; his under-jaw'd begin to stick out like the fo'castle of
a steamboat, and his teeth would uncover and shine like the furnaces.
And a dog might tackle him and bully-rag him, and bite him, and throw
him over his shoulder two or three times, and Andrew Jackson - which was
the name of the pup - Andrew Jackson would never let on but what _he_ was
satisfied, and hadn't expected nothing else - and the bets being doubled
and doubled on the other side all the time, till the money was all up;
and then all of a sudden he would grab that other dog just by the j'int
of his hind leg and freeze to it - not chaw, you understand, but only
just grip and hang on till they throwed up the sponge, if it was a year.
Smiley always come out winner on that pup, till he harnessed a dog once
that didn't have no hind legs, because they'd been sawed off in a
circular saw, and when the thing had gone along far enough, and the
money was all up, and he come to make a snatch for his pet holt, he see
in a minute how he'd been imposed on, and how the other dog had him in
the door, so to speak, and he 'peared surprised, and then he looked
sorter discouraged-like, and didn't try no more to win the fight, and so
he got shucked out bad. He give Smiley a look, as much as to say his
heart was broke, and it was _his_ fault, for putting up a dog that
hadn't no hind legs for him to take holt of, which was his main
dependence in a fight, and then he limped off a piece and laid down and
died. It was a good pup, was that Andrew Jackson, and would have made a
name for hisself if he'd lived, for the stuff was in him and he had
genius - I know it, because he hadn't no opportunities to speak of, and
it don't stand to reason that a dog could make such a fight as he could
under them circumstances if he hadn't no talent. It always makes me feel
sorry when I think of that last fight of his'n, and the way it turned
out.

Well, thish-yer Smiley had rat-tarriers, and chicken cocks, and
tom-cats, and all them kind of things till you couldn't rest, and you
couldn't fetch nothing for him to bet on but he'd match you. He ketched
a frog one day, and took him home, and said he cal'lated to educate him;
and so he never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard
and learn that frog to jump. And you bet you he _did_ learn him, too.
He'd give him a little punch behind, and the next minute you'd see that
frog whirling in the air like a doughnut - see him turn one summerset, or
maybe a couple, if he got a good start, and come down flat-footed and
all right, like a cat. He got him up so in the matter of ketching flies,
and kep' him in practice so constant, that he'd nail a fly every time as
fur as he could see him. Smiley said all a frog wanted was education and
he could do 'most anything - and I believe him. Why, I've seen him set
Dan'l Webster down here on this floor - Dan'l Webster was the name of the
frog - and sing out, "Flies, Dan'l, flies!" and quicker'n you could wink
he'd spring straight up and snake a fly off'n the counter there, and
flop down on the floor ag'in as solid as a gob of mud, and fall to
scratching the side of his head with his hind foot as indifferent as if
he hadn't no idea he'd been doin' any more'n any frog might do. You
never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard as he was, for all he was
so gifted. And when it come to fair and square jumping on a dead level,
he could get over more ground at one straddle than any animal of his
breed you ever see. Jumping on a dead level was his strong suit, you
understand; and when it come to that, Smiley would ante up money on him
as long as he had a red. Smiley was monstrous proud of his frog, and
well he might be, for fellers that had traveled and been everywheres all
said he laid over any frog that ever _they_ see.

Well, Smiley kep' the beast in a little lattice box, and he used to
fetch him downtown sometimes and lay for a bet. One day a feller - a
stranger in the camp, he was - come acrost him with his box, and says:

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

And Smiley says, sorter indifferent-like, "It might be a parrot, or it
might be a canary, maybe, but it ain't - it's only just a frog."

And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and turned it round
this way and that, and says, "H'm - so 'tis. Well, what's _he_ good for?"

"Well," Smiley says, easy and careless, "he's good enough for _one_
thing, I should judge - he can outjump any frog in Calaveras County."

The feller took the box again, and took another long, particular look,
and give it back to Smiley, and says, very deliberate, "Well," he says,


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