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would tickle the boy almost to death. Anything yon could
do toward getting him a position in a large bank that la
nafled down securely, would be thoroughly appreciated by
me, and I should be glad to retaliate at any time.

Yours candidly,

Wtxan Datton.
To Mr. K. O. Peck, London.

A beautiful feature of this invaluable system
is the understanding to which everybody is com*
mitted, that the original letter is entirely worth-
less on its presentation unless the letter of ad*
Ticehas been akeady received.



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Jlou; to 5eac^ Jourpalisfn.

1AM GLAD to know Cornell University is to
establish a department of journalism next
September. I have always claimed that jour-
nalism could be taught in universities and col-
leges just as successfully as any other athletic
exercise. Of course you cannot teach a boy how
to jerk a giant journal from the clutches of decay
and make of it a robust and ripsnorting shaper
and trimmer of public opinion, in whose count-
ing-room people will walk all over each other in
their mad efforts to insert advertisements. Yon
cannot teach this in a school any mora than you
can teach a boy how to discover the open Polar
Sea, but you can teach him the rudiments and
save him a good deal of time experimenting with
himself.

Boys spend small fortunes and the best years
of their lives learning the simplest truths in
relation to journalism. We grope on blindly,
learning this year perhaps how to distinguish
an italic shooting-stick when we see it, or how



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BOW TO TEACHyOUBNALISJU. tu«

to eradicate type lice from a standiog galley,
kaming next year how to sustain life on an
annual pass and a sample early-rose potato
weighing four pounds and measuring eleven
inches in circumference. This is a slow and
tedious way to obtain journalistic training. If
this can be avoided or abbreviated it will be a
great boon.

As I understand it, the department in Cornell
University will not deal so much with actual
newspaper experience as it will with construction
and style in writing. This is certainly a good
move, for we must admit that we can improve
very greatly our style and the purity of our
English. For instance, I select an exchange at
random, and on the telegraphic page I find the
details of a horrible crime. It seems that an
old lady, who lived by herself almost, and who
had amassed between $16 and $17, was awakened
by an assassin, dragged from her bed and cruelly
murdered. The large telegraph headline reads :
^' Drug from her bed and murdered I " This is
incorrect in orthography, syntax and prosody,
bad in form and inelegant in style. Carefully
parsing the word drug as it appears here, I find
that it does not agree with anything in number,
gender or person. I do not like to criticise the



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106 BILL NYE^S SPARKS.

ftyle of others when I know that my own is so
faulty, but I am sure that the word drug should
not be used in this way.

Take the following, also, from the Kansas cor^
respondence of the Statesville (N. C.) La/ndr
mark:

''There were several bad accidents in and
around Clear Water during my absence from
home. The saddest one was the shooting of one
Peter Peterson by his father. They were out
rabbit-hunting in the snow. A rabbit got up
and started to run. The son was in a swag of a
place and the father was taking aim at the
rabbit. The son at the same time was trying to
get a shot at it and, not knowing that his father
was shooting, ran between the rabbit and his
father and was killed dead, falling on the snow
with his gun ^rrasped in his hands and never
moved. He t. carried that pleasant smile
which he had )d in expectation of shooting that
jack rabbit, whe: put in the grave. Wheat is
selling at about 60 cents ; corn, 40 to 50 cents;
fat hogs, gross, 4i to 42 ; fat steers, 4i ; butcher's
stock, 2 cents."

It is hard to .ay just exactly wherein this is
faulty, but something is the matter with it. I
would like to get an expression of oninion from



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HOW TO TEAUE JOUiCNALISM. Iffl

those who take an interest in such things, as to
whether the fault is in orthoepy, orthography,
anatomy, obituary or price current, or whether
it consists in writing several features too closely
in the same paragraph.

It would also be a good idea to establish a
chair for advertisers in some practical college,
in order that they might run in for a few hours
and learn how to write an advertisement so that
it would express in the most direct way what
they desired to state. Here is an advertisement,
for instance, which is given exactly as written
and punctuated :

Mrs. Dr. Bdwabds,
7hx great wbstbrn olaibtotant,

Has arrived, and will remain only a short time. Call a^
onoe at HOTEL WINDSOR, 119, m and 1S& Bast State
street. Boom 19, third floor. Please take elevator.

The greatest and most natural horn, and highly cele-
brated, and well-known all over the country, Olairvoyant,
now traveling on the road, and Wonder from the Padflo
ooast.

Seventh Daughter of the Seventh Daughter ; bom with
veil and second sight; every mystery revealed ; if one you
love is true or false; removes trouble; settles lovers' quar-
rels; causes a speedy marriage with one you love; valu-
able information to gentlemen on all business transact'
tlons; how to make profitable investments for speedy
riches; lucky numbers; Bgyptian tAllsman for the un
laoky; cmres mysterious and chronic diseases. All wbe



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108 BILL NYE'S SPARKS.

aie skdE or in troubto from any cause are Invited to oatt
without delay.

I have always claimed that clairvoyance could
be made a success if we could find some one who
was sufficiently natural bom to grapple with it.
Now, Mrs. Edwards seems to know what is re-
quired. She was bom utterly without affecta-
tion. When she was bom she just seemed to
say to those who happened to be present at the
time, "Fellow citizens, you will have 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 bom 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. Bobinson, of Hartford,
€onn., 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
aeemstobeineamest, andlamgladof it. The
letters received from day to day by editors, and
written to them by men engaged in other pur^
suits, practically admit and prove that there is



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EOW TO TEACH JOUBNALISM. im

not now in existence an editor who knows
enough to carry liver to a bear.

That is the reason why every means shonld
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 was
Lorenzo Dow Pease, and we had carried on an
acrimonious warfare for two years. He had
that I was a reformed Prohibitionist and



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Sr BILL NYRS SPARK&

lk»t I had left a neglected wife in every Stalt
in the Union. I had atated that he would girm
better satiafaction if he would wear bis brains
breaded. Then he had said something else that
was personal and it had gone on so for some time.
We deroted fifteen minutes each day to the
management of oar respectlTe papers, and the
Mlanoe of the day to doiaf eash eibsr v bi a
wsQr to please ofu snbsoribsn.

Ons sifaning Lorenio Dow P^ass
my oOoe and said he wanted to sse ma ]
ally. I said that would suit me enaotly and that
if he had asked to sse me in any other way I did
not know how I oould have arranged il Ha
said he meant that he would like to sse me by
myselt I therstote disebaiged the tonm, turned
cnt the dog and we had the office to ourselyes.
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^donea very good job either. *'I have
came here for a favor. I wrote a reply to your
venomous attack of to^as and I expected to



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HOW TO TEACH J0UBNALI8M. 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
havent 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 bills
struck off Friday and just as good as the wh^t?"

'^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.

'Tive issues and a little over," he said, filling
his pipe from a small box on the desk.

'^But you could cut off your exchapges and
then it would last longer," I remarked.

'* Yes, but only for one additional issue. I am
very anxious to appear to-morrow, because my
sulmcribers 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 con»
here to get you to retract, I wouJd 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



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fl2 BILL NYE'S SPA£KS.

tt? It wouldn't take long," I said in a ^^ond
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 :
JklUor qf the Boofnerang:

Will yoa allow me through your oolnnms to state that in
your issue of yesterday you did me a Tgreat injustioe by le-
ferting to me as a journalistic baoteiia looking for some-
thing to infect; also, as a lop-^ared germ of contagion, and
warning people to yaocinate in order to prevent my spread?
I denounce the whole article as a malicious f aIsehood« and
state that if youwiU only give me a chance I will fight you
on sight. All I ask is that you will wait till I can overtake
you, and I am able and willing to knock greatchunlLS off the
universe with you. I do not ask any favors of an editor who
misleads his subscribers and Intentionally misunderstands
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 tliinks with a fungus growth;
a man the bleak andbarren exterior of whose head is only
•quailed 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



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jIOW TO TE ACE JOURNALISM, 118

print it for Mm 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 Ck)mell
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 divide<7
between the managing editor and the tutor. I
will also give the aspiring sons of wealthy
parents a chance to toy with journalism without
interferin^r with those who are actually engaged
in it



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I ALWAYS enjoy a yegetable garden, 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 the
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
scufSe. Up to that time we had never ex-
changed a harsh word. That morning I noticed
that my early climbing horse-radish and my
dwarf army worms were looking a little av



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HIS GABDEN. 115

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
of scene.

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 comer. He was
singing softly to himself :
O, yei, I'll meet you ;
ru meet yoa when the san goes down.

He was also jamming an old pair of Rem-
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



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no BILL NYES SPAJc..^

altogetber. At that nMHnent his wife came out
and shrieked two pure womanly rfiriftirff^ and
hiflBed in my ear : ^ You have killed me
husband ! ^'

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 !

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
the parties.

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-jumi)-ups reared their
heads to drink the mountain wat^ 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



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HIS QAEDEN. lli

18 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 yeara,
and I owe my robust health and rich olive cono
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
eaclosing lock of hair and $10.



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U/ritt?9 to tl7? Boy. '

ASHBYTLLE, N. C, Feb. 16, 1887.

mY DEAB HENBY : Your last issue of
the Betina^ 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 80 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 laugjh
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



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WRITTEN TO THE BOY. 11«

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 have
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^
leave a fang into it.

Well, after that I saw an advertisement in the
Buiral BustleT - 9k paper I used to take then— of a
place where you could get a set of teeth for $8*



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120 BILL NYE'S SPAEK:^

I didn't want to buy a high-priced and gaudy
set of teeth at the tail end of such a lifeasl had
\bdy 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.



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WBITTENTO THE BOY. 121

ThfQT 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
case.

• 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 a
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 o^ 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 i»nd my gums like a pale red stone-
bruise.

A yeat ago, Henry, about two-thirty in the
afttttnooi^ \ think it was, I left that set of teeth



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122 BOX NYE^S SPARKS.

in the rare flank of a barbecue 1 was to in our
town.

Since then I have oot been so pretty, perhaps,
but I have no more uniAoms on the rafters of
my mouth and my note is jnst 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.
.Tla,ta>a8thefeliersay« YoorfathMre



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f\T)Sw^n to ^orr^spopd^pts,

George R. Beath, Areola, 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 receive
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 :



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124 BILL NYE^S SPARKS.

A is for Antediluvian, Anarchistic and Aga*
memnon.

B is for Bucephalus, Burgundy and Bull-head.

C is 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 Fundar
mental.

G is for Garrulous, Gastric and Gangrene.

n 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-
potamia.

N is for Narragansett, Neapolitan and Nix-
comarous.

O is for Oleander, Oleaginous and Oleomar*
garine.

P is for Phlebotomy, Phthisic and Parabola.

Q is for Query, Quasi and Quits.

h is for Rejuvenate, Begina and Bequiescat.

S is for Simultaneous, Sigauche and Saleratus.

T is for Tubercular, Themistocles and There-
abouts.

U is for Ultramarine, Uninitiated and Utopian.



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AN8WEB8 TO CORRESPONDENTS. 12S

V is for Voluminous, Voltaire and Vivisection.
W is for Witherspoon, Woodcraft and Washer-
woman.

X is for Xenophon, Xerxes and Xmas.

Y is for Ysdle, Yahoo and Yellowjacket.
Z is for Zoological, Zanzibar and Zacatecas.



In this way tne eye of the child is first ai^aled
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


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