tions; bow to make profitable Investments for epeedy
riches; lucky numbers; Egyptian talisman for the un
cures mysterious and chronic disease*. All who
are sick or In trouble from any cause are Invited to oaH
I have always claimed that clairvoyance could
be made a success if we could find some one who
was sufficiently natural born to grapple with it.
Now, Mrs. Edwards seems to know what is re
quired. She was born utterly without affecta
tion. When she was born she just seemed to
say to those who happened to be present at the
time, "Fellow citizens, you will hare to take me
just as you find me. I cannot dissemble or ap
pear to be otherwise than what I am. I am the
most natural born and highly celebrated all over
the country clairvoyant now traveling on the
road, and Wonder from the Pacific coast." She
then let off a whoop that ripped open the sable
robes of night, after which she took a light
lunch and retired to her dressing-room.
Ex-Mayor Henry C. Robinson, of Hartford,
Conn., if I am not mistaken, suggested a school
of journalism at least twelve years ago, but it
did not meet with immediate and practical in
dorsement. Now Cornell comes forward and
seems to be in earnest, and I am glad of it. The
letters received from day to day by editors, and
written to them by men engaged in other pur-
sttits, practically admit and prove that there is
HOW TO TEACH JOURNALISM. 109
not now in existence an editor who knows
enough to carry liver to a bear.
That is the reason why every means should
be used to pull this profession out of the mire of
dense ignorance and place it upon the high, dry
soil which leads to genius and consanguinity.
The above paragraph I quote from a treatise
on journalism which I wrote just before I knew
anything about it.
The life of the journalist is a hard one, and,
although it is not so trying as the life of the
newspaper man, it is full of trials and perplexi
ties. If newspaper men and journalists did not
stand by each other I do not know what joy they
would have. Kindness for each other, gentle
ness and generosity, even in their rivalry, char
acterize the conduct of a large number of them.
I shall never forget my first opportunity to do
a kind act for a fellow newspaper man, nor with
what pleasure I availed myself of it, though he
was my rival, especially in the publication of
large and spirited equestrian handbills and post
ers. He also printed a rival paper and assailed me
most bitterly from time to time. His name waa
Lorenzo Dow Pease, and we had carried on an
acrimonious warfare for two years. He had
said that I was a reformed Prohibitionist and
*> SILL OTE'S SPARKS.
that I had left a neglected wife in every State
In the Union. I had stated that he would give
better satisfaction if he would wear his braina
breaded. Then he had said something elae that
was personal and it had gone on so for some time.
We devoted fifteen minutes each day to the
management of our respective papers, and the
oalanoe of the day to doing eeeh other up in a
way to pleaae our subscribers.
One evening Lorenzo Dow Peaae came into
my office and said he wanted to eee me peron-
ally. I eaid that would suit me exactly and that
if he had asked to see me in any other way I did
not know how I oould have arranged it. He
eaid he meant that he would like to eee me by
myself. I therefore dieoharfed the foroe, tamed
ont the dog and we had the office to ourselves.
I could see that he was in trouble, for every lit
tle while he would brush away a tear in an under
handed kind of way and swallow a large, imag
inary mass of something. I asked Lorenzo why
he felt so depressed, and he said : "William, I
have came here for a favor." He always said
"I have came," for he was a self-made man and
hadn't done a very good job either. "I have
came here for a favor. I wrote a reply to your
venomous attack of t^-rtay and I expected to
HOW TO TEACH JOURNALISM. Ill
publish it to-morrow in my paper, but, to tell
you the truth, -we are out of paper. At least,
we have a few bundles at the freight office, but
they have taken to sending it C. O. D., and I
haven't the means just at hand to take it out.
Now, as a brother in the great and glorious or
der of journalism, would it be too much for you
to loan me a couple of bundles of paper to do
me till I get my pay for some equestrian bill*
struck off Friday and just as good as the wheat?"
"How long would a couple of bundles last
you?" I asked as I looked out at the window and
wondered if he would reveal his circulation.
"Five issues and a little over," he said, filling
his pipe from a small box on the desk.
"But you could cut off your exchanges and
then it would last longer," I remarked.
"Yes, but only for one additional issue. I am
rery anxious to appear to-morrow, because my
subscribers will be looking for a reply to what
you said about me this morning. You stated
that I was 'a journalistic bacteria looking for
something to infect,' and while I did not come
here to get you to retract, I would like it as a
favor if you would loan me enough white paper
to set myself straight before my subscribers."
"Well, why don't you go and tell them about
It? It wouldn't take long," I said in a jocund
way, slapping Lorenzo on the back. But he did
not laugh. I then told him that we only had
paper enough to last us till our next bill came,
and so I could not possibly loan any, but that if
he would write a caustic reply to my editorial I
would print it for him. He caught me in his
arms and then for a moment his head was pil
lowed on my breast. Then he sat down and
wrote the following card :
Editor of the Boomerang:
Will you allow me through your columns to state that in
your issue of yesterday you did me a !great injustice by re
ferring to me as a journalistic bacteria looking for some
thing to infect; also, as a lop-eared germ of contagion, and
warning people to vaccinate in order to prevent my spread?
I denounce the whole article as a malicious falsehood, and
state that if you will only give me a chance I will fight you
on sight. All I aakisthat you will wait till I can overtake
you, and I am able and willing to knock great chunks off the
universe with you. I do not ask any favors of an editor who
misleads his subscribers and intentionally misunderstand!
his correspondents; a man who advises an anxious inquirer
who wants to know "how to get a cheap baby buggy" to
leave the child at a cheap hotel; a man who assumes to
wear brains, but who really thinks with a fungus growth;
a man the bleak and barren exterior of whose head to only
equalled by its bald and echoing interior.
LORENZO Dow PBASB.
I looked it over, and as there didn't seem to
be anything personal in it, I told him I would
HOW TO TEACE. JOUENALISM. 113
print it for him with pleasure. He then asked
that I would, as a further favor, refrain from
putting any advertising marks on it and that I
would make it follow pure reading matter, which
I did. I leaded the card and printed it with a
simple word of introduction, in which I said
that I took pleasure in printing it, inasmuch as
Mr. Pease could not get his paper out of the ex
press office for a few days. It was a kindness tc
him and did not hurt my paper in the end.
There are many reasons why the establish
ment of a department of journalism at Cornell
will be a good move, and I believe that while it
will not take the place of actual experience, it
will serve to shorten the apprenticeship of a
young newspaper man and the fatigue of start
ing the amateur in journalism will be divided
between the managing editor and the tutor. It
will also give the aspiring sons of wealthy
parents a chance to toy with journalism without
interfering with those who are actually engaged
I ALWAYS enjoy a vegetable garden - t and
through the winter I look forward to the
spring days when I will take my cob pipe and
hoe and go joyously afield. I like to toy with
the moist earth and the common squash bug of
the work-a-day world. It is a pleasure also to
irrigate the garden, watering the sauer kraut
plant and the timid tomato vine as though they
were children asking for a drink. I am never
happier than when I am engaged in irrigating
my tropical garden or climbing my neighbor
with a hoe when he shuts off my water supply
by sticking an old pair of pantaloons in tke
canal that leads to my squash conservatory.
One day a man shut off my irrigation that
way and dammed the water up to such a degree
that I shut off his air supply, and I was about
to say dammed him up also. We had quite a
scuffle. Up to that time we had never ex
changed a harsh word. That morning I noticed
that my early climbing horse-radish and my
4warf army worms were looking a little av
JHZS GABDEN. UA
revoir, and I wondered what was the mat
ter. I had been absent several days and
was grieved to notice that my garden had a kind
of blase air, as though it needed rest and change
The Poland China egg-plant looked up sadly
at me and seemed to say : " Pardner, don't you
think it's a long time between drinks ? " The
watermelon seemed to have a dark brown taste
in its mouth, and there was an air of gloom all
over the garden.
At that moment I discovered my next-door
neighbor at the ditch on the corner. He was
singing softly to himself :
O, yea, I'll meet you ;
I'll meet you when the sun goes down.
He was also jamming an old pair of Bem-
brandt pants into the canal, where they would
shut off my supply. He stood with his back to
wards me, and just as he said he would "meet
me when the sun went down," I smote him
across the back of the neck with my hoe handle,
and before he could recover from the first dumb
surprise and wonder, I pulled the dripping pan
taloons out of the ditch and tied them in a true-
lover's knot around his neck. He began to look
black in the face, and his struggles soon ceased
116 BILL NYE'S SPARKS.
altogether. At that moment his wife came out
and shrieked two pure womanly shrieks, and
hissed in my ear : " You have killed me
husband I "
I said, possibly I had. If so, would she please
send in the bill and I would adjust it at an early
day. I said this in a bantering tone of voice,
and raising my hat to her in that polished way
of mine, started to go, when something fell
with a thud on the greensward I
It was the author of these lines. I did not
know till two days afterward that my neighbor's
wife wore a moire antique rolling-pin under
her apron that morning. I did not suspect it
till it was too late. The affair was kind of
hushed up on account of the respectability of
By the time I had recovered the garden
seemed to melt away into thin air. My neigh
bor had it all his own way, and while his proud
hollyhocks and Johnny-jump-ups reared their
heads to drink the mountain water at the
twilight hour, my little, low-necked, summer
squashes curled up and died.
Most every year yet I made a garden. I pay a
man $3 to plow it. Then I pay $7.50 for garden
seeds and in July I hire the same man at
HIS GAEDEN. IT,
$3 to summer-fallow the whole thing while I go
and buy my vegetables of a Chinaman named
Wun Lung. I've done this now for eight year&,
and I owe my robust health and rich olive cone/
plexion to the fact that I've got a garden and
do just as little in it as possible.
Parties desiring a dozen or more of my Shang
hai egg-plants to set under an ordinary domestic
hen can procure the same by writing to me and
enclosing lock of hair and $10.
U/ritt<?i} to tl?<? Boy.
ASHETILLE, N. C., Feb. 16, 1887.
mT DEAR HENRY : Your last issue of
the Retina, your new thought vehicle,
published at New Belony, this state, was
received yesterday. I like this number, I think,
better than I did the first. While the news
in it seems fresher, the editorial assertions are
not BO fresh. You do not state that you " have
come to stay " this week, but I infer that you
occupy the same position you did last week with
reference to that.
I was more especially interested in your piece
about how to rear children and the care of par
ents. I read it to your mother last night while
she was setting her bread. Nothing tickles me
very often at my time of life, and when I laugh
a loud peal of laughter at anything nowadays it's
got to be a pretty blamed good thing, I can tell
you that. But your piece about bringing up chil
dren made me laugh real hard. I enjoy a piece
like that from the pen of a juicy young brain like
WRITTEN TO THE BOY. llfl
yours. It almost made me young again to read
the words of my journalistic gosling son.
You also say that "teething is the most try
ing time for parents." Do you mean that par
ents are more fretful when they are teething
than any other time ? Your mother and me
reckoned that you must mean that. If so, it
shows your great research. How a mere child
hardly out of knee-panties, a young shoot
like you, who was never a parent for a moment
in his life, can enter into and understand the
woes that beset parents is more than I can un
derstand. If you had been through what I hare
while teething I could see how you might un
derstand and write about it, but at present I do
not see through it. The first teeth I cut as a
parent made me very restless. I was sick two
years ago with a new disease that was just out
and the doctor gave me something for it that
made my teeth fall like the leaves of autumn.
In six weeks after I began to convalesce my
mouth was perfectly bald-headed. For days I
didn't bite into a Ben Davis apple that I didn't
leave a fang into it.
"Well, after that I saw an advertisement in the
Bural Rustler a paper I used to take then of a
place where you could get a set of teeth for $6.
I didn't want to buy a high-priced and gaudy
set of teeth at the tail end of such a life as I had
^ed, and I knew that teeth, no matter how ex
pensive they might be, would be of little avail
to coming generations, so I went over to the
place named in the paper and got an impression
of my mouth taken.
There is really nothing in this life that will
take the stiff-necked pride out of a man like
viewing a plaster cast of his tottering mouth.
The dentist fed me with a large ladle full of
putty or plaster of paris, I reckon, and told me
to hold it in my mouth till it set.
I don't remember a time in all my life when
the earth and transitory things ever looked so
undesirable and so trifling as they did while I
sat there in that big red barber-chair with my
mouth full of cold putty. I felt just as a man
might when he is being taxidermied.
After awhile the dentist took out the cast. It
was a cloudy day and so it didn't look much
like me after all. If it had I would have sent
you one. After I'd set again two or three times,
we got a pretty fair likeness, he said, and I went
home, having paid $6 and left my address.
Three weeks after that a small boy came with
my new teeth.
WRITTEN TO THE SOY. 121
They were nice, white, shiny teeth, and
did not look very ghastly after I had become
used to them. I wished at first that the gums
had been a duller red and that the teeth had
not looked so new. I put them in my mouth, but
they felt cold and distant. I took them out and
warmed them in the sunlight. People going by
no doubt thought that I did it to show that I
was able to have new teeth, but that was not the
I wore them all that forenoon while I butch
ered. There were times during the forenoon
when I wanted to take them out, but when u
man is butchering he hates to take his teeth out
just because they hurt.
Neighbors told me that after my mouth got
hardened on the inside it would feel better.
But, oh, how it relieved me at night to take
those teeth out and put them on the top of a
cool bureau, where the wind could blow through
their whiskers I How I hated to resume them
in the morning and start in on another long day,
when the roof of my mouth felt like a big, red
bunion tnd my gums like a pale red stone-
A yeai ago, Henry, about two-thirty in the
afternoon, j think it was, I left that set of teeth
*22 BILL NY&S SPARKS.
In the rare flank of a barbecue I was to in o*u
Since then I have not been so pretty, perhaps,
but I have no more unicorns on the rafters of
my mouth and my note is just as good at thirty
days as ever it was.
You are right, Henry, when you go on to state
in your paper that teething is the most trying
time for parents.
Ta, ta, as the feller says. Your father.
George K. Beath, Arcola, 111., writes to know
"the value of a silver dollar of 1878 with eight
feathers in the eagle's tail."
It is worth what you can get for it, Mr. Beath.
Perhaps the better way would be to forward it
to me and I will do the best I can with it. There
being but eight feathers in the eagle's tail would
be no drawback. Send it to me at once and I
will work it off for you, Mr. Beath.
" Tutor." Tucson, Ariz., asks " What do you
regard as the best method of teaching the
alphabet to children ? "
Very likely my method would hardly receire
your indorsement, but with my own children I
succeed by using an alphabet with the names
attached, which I give below. I find that by
connecting the alphabet with certain easy and
interesting subjects the child rapidly acquires
knowledge of the letter, and it becomes firmly
fixed in the mind. I use the following list of
alphabetical names in the order given below :
134 BILL NY&S SPARKS.
A is for Antediluvian, Anarchistic and Aga*
B is for Bucephalus, Burgundy and Bull-head.
C la for Cantharides, Confucius and Casablanca.
D is for Deuteronomy, Delphi and Dishabille.
E is for Euripedes, European and Effervescent.
F is for Fumigate, Farinaceous and Funda
G is for Garrulous, Gastric and Gangrene.
H is for Hamestrap, Honeysuckle and Hoyle.
I is for Idiosyncrasy, Idiomatic and Iodine.
J is for Jaundice, Jamaica and Jeu-d'esprit.
K is for Kandilphi, Kindergarten and KuKlux.
L is for Lop-sided, Lazarus and Llano Estacado.
M is for Menengitis, Mardi Gras and Meso
K is for N arragansett, Neapolitan and Nix-
O is for Oleander, Oleaginous and Oleomar
P is for Phlebotomy, Phthisic and Parabola.
Q is for Query, Quasi and Quits.
B is for Rejuvenate, Begina and Beqniescat.
8 is for Simultaneous, Sigauche and Saleratus,
T is for Tubercular, Themistodes and There
U is for Ultramarine, Uninitiated and Utopian.
ANSWXE8 TO COBKE8PONDENT8. 125
V is for Voluminous, Voltaire and Vivisection.
W is for Witherspoon, "Woodcraft and Washer
X is for Xenophon, Xerxes and Xmas.
Y is for Ysdle, Yahoo and Yellowjacket.
Z IB for Zoological, Zanzibar and Zacatecas.
In this way the eye of the child is first appealed
to. He becomes familiar with the words which
begin with a certain letter, and before he knows
it the letter itself has impressed itself upon his
Sometimes, however, where my children were
slow to remember a word and hence its cor
responding letter, I have drawn the object on a
blackboard or on the side of the barn. For
instance, we will suppose that D is hard to fix
in the mind of the pupil and the words to which
it belongs as an initial do not readily cling to
memory. I have only to draw upon the
board a Deuteronomy, a Delphi, or a Dishabille,
and he will never forget it. No matter how he
may struggle to do so, it will still continue to
haunt his brain forever. The same with Z,
which is a very difficult letter to remember. I
assist the memory by stimulating the eye, draw
ing rapidly, and crudely perhaps, a Zoological,
*26 BILL NYE'S SPARKS.
a Zanzibar or a Zacatecas.
The great difficulty in teaching children the
letters is that there is really nothing in the
naked alphabet itself to win a child's love. We
must dress it in attractive colors and gaudy
plumage so that he will be involuntarily drawn
Those who have used my method say that
after mastering the alphabet, the binomial
theorum and the rule in Shelly's case seemed
like child's play. This goes to show what method
and discipline will accomplish in the mind of
"Fond Mother," Braley's Fork, asks : " What
shall I name my little girl baby ? "
That will depend upon yourself very largely,
" Fond Mother." Very likely if your little girl
is very rugged and grows up to be the fat woman
In a museum, she will wear the name of Lily.
When a girl is named Lily, she at once manifests
a strong desire to grow up with a complexion
like Othello and the same fatal yearning for
some one to strangle. This is not always thus,
but girls are obstinate, and it is better not to
put a name on a girl baby that she will not live
Again, " Fond Mother," let m urge you tore-
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 121
frain from naming your little daughter a soft,
flabby name like Irma, Geraldine, Bandoline,
Lilelia, Potassa, Valerian, Eosetta or Castoria.
These names belong to the inflammatory pages
of the American novelette. Do not put such
name on your innocent child. Imagine thia
Inscription on a marble slab :
GBHALD AND VASELINE TUBBS,
Died March 27, 1888.
She caught oold in her front name.
I have seen a young lady try faithfully for
years to live down one of these flimsy, cheese
cloth names, but the harsh world would not
have it. A good name is rather to be chosen
than great riches, and while I can imagine your
little girl in future years as a white-haired and
lovely grandmother, wearing the name of Mary
or Euth, with a double chin that seems to ever
beckon the old gentleman to come and chuck
his fat forefinger under it, I cannot, in my
mind's eye, see her as a household deity, wearing
a white cap and the name of Eosette or Penum
bra, or Sogodontia, or Catalpa, or Yoxhumaoia.
Farmer ai}d tl?<? T ar 'ff-
ON BOABD a western train the other day I
held in my bosom for over seventy -five
miles the elbow of a large man whose name
I do not know. He was not a railroad hog or I
would have resented it. He was built wide and
he couldn't help it, so I forgave him.
He had a large, gentle, kindly eye, and when
he desired to spit he went to the car door,
opened it and decorated the entire outside of
the train, forgetting that our speed would help
to give scope to his remarks.
Naturally, as he sat there by my side, holding
on tightly to his ticket and evidently afraid the
conductor would forget to come and get it, I be
gan to figure out in my mind what might be his
business. He had pounded one thumb so that
the nail was black where the blood had settled
under it. This might happen to a shoemaker,
a carpenter, a blacksmith, or almost any one
else. So it didn't help me out much, though It
looked to me as though it might have been done
by trying to drive a f enco-nail through a leather
THE FARMER AND THE TARIFF. 129
jilnge with the back of an ax, and nobody but a
farmer would try to do that. Following tip the
clew, I discovered that he had milk on his boots,
and then I knew I was right. The man who
milks before daylight in a dark barn when the
thermometer is 28 below zero, and who hits
his boots by reason of the uncertain light
and prudishness of the cow, is a marked man.
He cannot conceal the fact that he is a farmer
unless he removes that badge. So I started out
on that theory, and remarked that this would
pass for a pretty hard winter on stock. The
thought was not original with me, for I have
heard it expressed by others either in this coun
try or Europe. He said it would.
" My cattle has gone through a mowful o* hay
ence October and eleven ton o' brand. Hay
don't seem to have the goodness to it thet It hed
last year, and with their new process griss mills
they jerk all the juice out o' brand, so's you
might as well feed cows with excelsior and
upholster your horses with hemlock bark aa to
" Well, why do you run so much to stock ?
Why don't you try diversified farming and rota
tion of crops ? "
* 4 Well, probly you got that idee in the papei*.
130 BILL NYE'S SPARKS.
A man that earns big wages writing 'Farm
Hints' for agricultural papers can make more
money with a soft lead-pencil and two or three
season-cracked idees like that 'n I can carrying
of 'em out on the farm. We used to have a fel
ler in the drug-store in our town that wrote
such good pieces for the Rural Vermonter, and
made up such a good condition powder out of
his own head that two years ago we asked him
to write a nessay for the annual meeting of the