Edgar Wilson Nye AKA Bill Nye.

Bill Nye's Red Book online

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Eureka baking-powder, the Eureka suspender, the Eureka bed-bug buster,
the Eureka shirt, and the Eureka stomach bitters. Little did Archimedes
wot, when he invented this term, that it would come into such general

Its origin has been explained before, but it would not be out of place
here for me to tell it as I call it to mind now, looking back over
Archie's eventful life.

King Hiero had ordered an eighteen karat crown, size 7 1/8, and, after
receiving it from the hands of the jeweler, suspected that it had
been adulterated. He therefore applied to Archimedes to ascertain, if
possible, whether such was the case or not. Archimedes had just got in
on No. 3, two hours late, and covered with dust. He at once started for
a hot and cold bath emporium on Sixteenth street, meantime wondering how
the dickens he would settle that crown business.

He filled the bath-tub level full, and, piling up his raiment on the
floor, jumped in. Displacing a large quantity of water, equal to his
own bulk, he thereupon solved the question of specific gravity, and,
forgetting his bill, forgetting his clothes, he sailed up Sixteenth
street and all over Syracuse, clothed in shimmering sunlight and a
plain gold ring, shouting "Eureka!" He ran head-first into a Syracuse
policeman and howled "Eureka!" The policeman said: "You'll have to
excuse me; I don't know him." He scattered the Syracuse Normal school
on its way home, and tried to board a Fifteenth street bob-tail car,
yelling "Eureka!" The car-driver told him that Eureka wasn't on the car,
and refered Archimedes to a clothing store.

Everywhere he was greeted with surprise. He tried to pay his car-fare,
but found that he had left his money in his other clothes.

Some thought it was the revised statue of Hercules; that he had become
weary of standing on his pedestal during the hot weather, and had
started out for fresh air. I give this as I remember it. The story is
foundered on fact.

Archimedes once said: "Give me where I
may stand, and I will move the world." I could write it in the original
Greek, but, fearing that the nonpareil delirium tremens type might get
short, I give it in the English language.

It may be tardy justice to a great mathematician and scientist, but
I have a few resolutions of respect which I would be very glad to get
printed on this solemn occasion, and mail copies of the paper to his
relatives and friends:

"Whereas, It has pleased an All-wise Providence to remove from our
midst Archimedes, who was ever at the front in all deserving labors and
enterprises; and,

"Whereas, We can but feebly express our great sorrow in the loss of
Archimedes, whose front name has escaped our memory; therefore

"Resolved, That in his death we have lost a leading citizen of Syracuse,
and one who never shook his friends - never weakened or gigged back on
those he loved.

"Resolved, That copies of these resolutions will be spread on the
moments of the meeting of the Common Council of Syracuse, and that they
be published in the Syracuse papers eodtfpdq&cod, and that marked copies
of said papers be mailed to the relatives of the deceased."


Dear Sir. - The painful duty of turning over to you the administration
of these United States and the key to the front door of the White
House has been assigned to me. You will find the key hanging inside the
storm-door, and the cistern-pole up stairs in the haymow of the barn. .

I have made a great many suggestions to the outgoing administration
relative to the transfer of the Indian bureau from the department of the
Interior to that of the sweet by-and-by. The Indian, I may say, has been
a great source of annoyance to me, several of their number having jumped
one of my most valuable mining claims on White river. Still, I do not
complain of that. This mine, however, I am convinced would be a good
paying property if properly worked, and should you at any time wish to
take the regular army and such other help as you may need and recapture
it from our red brothers, I would be glad to give you a controlling
interest in it.

You will find all papers in their appropriate pigeon-holes, and a small
jar of cucumber pickles down cellar, which were left over and to which
you will be perfectly welcome. The asperities and heart burnings that
were the immediate result of a hot and unusually bitter campaign are
now all buried. Take these pickles and use them as though they were your
own. They are none too good for you. You deserve them. We may differ
politically, but that need not interfere with our warm personal

You will observe on taking possession of the administration, that the
navy is a little bit weather-beaten and wormy. I would suggest that
it be newly painted in the spring. If it had been my good fortune to
receive a majority of the suffrages of the people for the office which
you now hold, I should have painted the navy red. Still, that need not
influence you in the course which you may see fit to adopt.

There are many affairs of great moment which I have not enumerated in
this brief letter, because I felt some little delicacy and timidity
about appearing to be at all dictatorial or officious about a matter
wherein the public might charge me with interference.

I hope you will receive the foregoing in a friendly spirit, and whatever
your convictions may be upon great questions of national interest,
either foreign or domestic, that you will not undertake to blow out
the gas on retiring, and that you will in other ways realize the fond
anticipations which are now cherished in your behalf by a mighty people
whose aggregated eye is now on to you.

Bill Nye.

P. S. - You will be a little surprised, no doubt, to find no soap in the
laundry or bathrooms. It probably got into the campaign in some way and
was absorbed.

B. N.

[Illustration: 0050]


The word anatomy is derived from two Greek spatters and three polywogs,
which, when translated, signify "up through" and "to cut," so that
anatomy actually, when translated from the original wappy-jawed Greek,
means to cut up through. That is no doubt the reason why the medical
student proceeds to cut up through the entire course.

Anatomy is so called because its best results are obtained from the
cutting or dissecting of organism. For that reason there is a growing
demand in the neighborhood of the medical college for good second-hand
organisms. Parties having well preserved organisms that they are not
actually using, will do well to call at the side door of the medical
college after 10 P. M.

The branch of the comparative anatomy which seeks to trace the unities
of plan which are exhibited in diverse organisms, and which discovers,
as far as may be, the principles which govern the growth and development
of organized bodies, and which finds functional analogies and structural
homologies, is denominated philosophical or transcendental anatomy.
(This statement, though strictly true, is not original with me.)

[Illustration: 0054]

Careful study of the human organism after death shows traces of
functional analogies and structural homologies in people who were
supposed to have been in perfect health all their lives. Probably many
of those we meet in the daily walks of life, many, too, who wear a smile
and outwardly seem happy, have either one or both of these things. A
man may live a false life and deceive his most intimate friends in the
matter of anatomical analogies or homologies, but he cannot conceal it
from the eagle eye of the medical student. The ambitious medical student
makes a specialty of true inwardness.

The study of the structure of animals is called zootomy. The attempt to
study the anatomical structure of a grizzly bear from the inside has not
been crowned with success. When the anatomizer and the bear have been
thrown together casually, it has generally been a struggle between the
two organisms to see which would make a study of the structure of the
other. Zootomy and moral suasion are not homogeneous, analogous, nor

Vegetable anatomy is called phytonomy, sometimes. But it would not be
safe to address a vigorous man by that epithet. We may call a vegetable
that, however, and be safe.

Human anatomy is that branch of anatomy which enters into the
description of the structure and geographical distribution of the
elements of a human being. It also applies to the structure of the
microbe that crawls out of jail every four years just long enough to
whip his wife, vote and go back again.

Human anatomy is either general, specific, topographical or surgical.
These terms do not imply the dissection and anatomy of generals,
specialists, topographers and surgeons, as they might seem to imply, but
really mean something else. I would explain here what they actually do
mean if I had more room and knew enough to do it.

Anatomists divide their science, as well as their subjects, into
fragments. Osteology treats of the skeleton, myology of the muscles,
angiology of the blood vessels, splanchology the digestive organs or
department of the interior, and so on.

People tell pretty tough stories of the young carvists who study anatomy
on subjects taken from life. I would repeat a few of them here, but they
are productive of insomnia, so I will not give them.

I visited a matinee of this kind once for a short time, but I have not
been there since, When I have a holiday now, the idea of spending it in
the dissecting-room of a large and flourishing medical college does not
occur to me.

[Illustration: 0057]

I never could be a successful surgeon, I fear. While I have no
hesitation about mutilating the English, I have scruples about cutting
up other nationalities. I should always fear, while pursuing my studies,
that I might be called upon to dissect a friend, and I could not do
that. I should like to do anything that would advance the cause of
science, but I should not want to form the habit of dissecting people,
lest some day I might be called upon to dissect a friend for whom I had
a great attachment, or some creditor who had an attachment for me.


Robert Ormsby Sweeney is a druggist of St. Paul, and though a recent
chronological record reveals the fact that he is a direct descendant of
a sure-enough king, and though there is mighty good purple, royal blood
in his veins that dates back where kings used to have something to do to
earn their salaries, he goes right on with his regular business, selling
drugs at the great sacrifice which druggists will make sometimes in
order to place their goods within the reach of all.

As soon as I learned that Mr. Sweeney had barely escaped being a crowned
head, I got acquainted with him and tried to cheer him up, and I told
him that people wouldn't hold him in any way responsible, and that as
it hadn't shown itself in his family for years he might perhaps finally
wear it out.

He is a mighty pleasant man to meet, anyhow, and you can have just as
much fun with him as you could with a man who didn't have any royal
blood in his veins. You could be with him for days on a fishing trip and
never notice it at all.

But I was going to speak more in particular about Mr. Sweeney's cat.
Mr. Sweeney had a large cat, named Dr. Mary Walker, of which he was very
fond. Dr. Mary Walker remained at the drug store all the time, and was
known all over St. Paul as a quiet and reserved cat. If Dr. Mary Walker
took in the town after office hours, nobody seemed to know anything
about it. She would be around bright and cheerful the next morning and
attend to her duties at the store just as though nothing whatever had

One day last summer Mr. Sweeney left a large plate of fly-paper with
water on it in the window, hoping to gather in a few quarts of flies
in a deceased state. Dr. Mary Walker used to go to this window during
the afternoon and look out on the busy street while she called up
pleasant memories of her past life. That afternoon she thought she would
call up some more memories, so she went over on the counter and from
there jumped down on the window-sill, landing with all four feet in the
plate of fly-paper.

At first she regarded it as a joke, and treated the matter very lightly,
but later on she observed that the fly-paper stuck to her feet with
great tenacity of purpose. Those who have never seen the look of
surprise and deep sorrow that a cat wears when she finds herself glued
to a whole sheet of fly-paper, cannot fully appreciate the way Dr. Mary
Walker felt.

She did not dash wildly through a $150 plate-glass window, as some cats
would have done. She controlled herself and acted in the coolest manner,
though you could have seen that mentally she suffered intensely. She sat
down a moment to more fully outline a plan for the future. In doing so,
she made a great mistake. The gesture resulted in gluing the flypaper
to her person in such a way that the edge turned up behind in the most
abrupt manner, and caused her great inconvenience.

Some one at that time laughed in a coarse and heartless way, and I wish
you could have seen the look of pain that Dr. Mary Walker gave him.

[Illustration: 0063]

Then she went away. She did not go around the prescription case as the
rest of us did, but strolled through the middle of it, and so on out
through the glass door at the rear of the store. We did not see her go
through the glass door, but we found pieces of fly-paper and fur on the
ragged edges of a large aperture in the glass, and we kind of jumped at
the conclusion that Dr. Mary Walker had taken that direction in retiring
from the room.

Dr. Mary Walker never returned to St. Paul, and her exact whereabouts
are not known, though every effort was made to find her. Fragments of
fly-paper and brindle hair were found as far west as the Yellowstone
National Park, and as far north as the British line, but the doctor
herself was not found.

My own theory is, that if she turned her bow to the west so as to catch
the strong easterly gale on her quarter, with the sail she had set and
her tail pointing directly toward the zenith, the chances for Dr. Mary
Walker's immediate return are extremely slim.


There will always be a slight difference in the opinions of the young
and the mature, relative to the general plan on which the solar system
should be operated, no doubt. There are also points of disagreement in
other matters, and it looks as though there always would be.

To the young the future has a more roseate hue. The roseate hue comes
high, but we have to use it in this place. To the young there spreads
out across the horizon a glorious range of possibilities. After the
youth has endorsed for an intimate friend a few times and purchased the
paper at the bank himself later on, the horizon won't seem to horizon so
tumultuously as it did aforetime. I remember at one time of purchasing
such a piece of accommodation paper at a bank, and I still have it. I
didn't need it any more than a cat needs eleven tails at one and the
same time. Still the bank made it an object for me, and I secured it.
Such things as these harshly knock the flush and bloom off the cheek of
youth, and prompt us to turn the strawberry-box bottom side up before we
purchase it.

Youth is gay and hopeful, age is covered with experience and scars where
the skin has been knocked off and had to grow on again. To the young a
dollar looks large and strong, but to the middle-aged and the old it is
weak and inefficient.

When we are in the heyday and fizz of existence, we believe everything;
but after awhile we murmur: "What's that you are givin' us," or words
of like character. Age brings caution and a lot of shop-worn experience,
purchased at the highest market price. Time brings vain regrets and
wisdom teeth that can be left in a glass of water over night.

Still we should not repine. If people would repine less and try harder
to get up an appetite by persweating in some one's vineyard at so much
per diem, it would be better. The American people of late years seem to
have a deeper and deadlier repugnance for mannish industry, and there
seems to be a growing opinion that our crops are more abundant when
saturated with foreign perspiration. European sweat, if I may be allowed
to use such a low term, is very good in its place, but the native-born'
Duke of Dakota, or the Earl of York State should remember that the
matter of perspiration and posterity should not be left solely to the

There are too many Americans who toil not, neither do they spin. They
would be willing to have an office foisted upon them, but they would
rather blow their so-called brains out than to steer a pair of large
steel-gray mules from day to day. They are too proud to hoe corn, for
fear some great man will ride by and see the termination of their shirts
extending out through the seats of their pantaloons, but they are not
too proud to assign their shattered finances to a friend and their
shattered remains to the morgue.

Pride is all right if it is the right kind, but the pride that prompts
a man to kill his mother, because she at last refuses to black his boots
any more, is an erroneous pride. The pride that induces a man to muss up
the carpet with his brains because there is nothing left for him to do
but labor, is the kind that Lucifer had when he bolted the action of the
convention and went over to the red-hot minority.

Youth is the spring-time of life. It is the time to acquire information,
so that we may show it off in after years and paralyze people with what
we know. The wise youth will "lay low" till he gets a whole lot of
knowledge, and then in later days turn it loose in an abrupt manner. He
will guard against telling what he knows, a little at a time. That is
unwise. I once knew a youth who wore himself out telling people all he
knew from day to day, so that when he became a bald-headed man he was
utterly exhausted and didn't have anything left to tell anyone. Some of
the things that we know should be saved for our own use. The man who
sheds all his knowledge, and don't leave enough to keep house with,
fools himself.


Two delegates to the General Convocation of the Sons of Ice Water were
sitting in the lobby of the Windsor, in the city of Denver, not long
ago, strangers to each other and to everybody else. One came from
Huerferno county, and the other was a delegate from the Ice Water
Encampment of Correjos county.

From the beautiful billiard hall came the sharp rattle of ivory balls,
and in the bar-room there was a glitter of electric light, cut glass,
and French plate mirrors. Out of the door came the merry laughter of the
giddy throng, flavored with fragrant Havana smoke and the delicate odor
of lemon and mirth and pine apple and cognac.

The delegate from Correjos felt lonely, and he turned to the Ice Water
representative from Huerferno:

"That was a bold and fearless speech you made this afternoon on the
demon rum at the convocation."

"Think so?" said the sad Huerferno man.

"Yes, you entered into the description of rum's maniac till I could
almost see the redeyed centipedes and tropical hornets in the air. How
could you describe the jimjams so graphically?"

"Well, you see, I'm a reformed drunkard. Only a little while ago I was
in the gutter."

"So was I."

"How long ago?"

"Week ago day after to-morrow."

"Next Tuesday it'll be a week since I quit."

"Well, I swan!"

"Ain't it funny?"



"It's going to be a long, cold winter; don't you think so?"

"Yes, I dread it a good deal."

* * * * *

"It's a comfort, though, to know that you never will touch rum again."

"Yes, I am glad in my heart to-night that I am free from it. I shall
never touch rum again."

When he said this he looked up at the other delegate, and they looked
into each other's eyes earnestly, as though each would read the other's
soul. Then the Huerferno man said: "In fact, I never did care much for

Then there was a long pause.

Finally the Correjos man ventured: "Do you have to use an antidote to
cure the thirst?"

"Yes, I've had to rely on that a good deal at first. Probably this vain
yearning that I now feel in the pit of my bosom will disappear after

"Have you got any antidote with you?"

"Yes, I've got some up in 232 1/2. If you'll come up I'll give you a

"There's no rum in it, is there?"


Then they went up the elevator. They did not get down to breakfast, but
at dinner they stole in. The man from Huerferno dodged nervously through
the archway leading to the dining-room as though he had his doubts about
getting through so small a space with his augmented head, and the man
from Correjos looked like one who had wept his eyes almost blind over
the woe that rum has wrought in our fair land.

When the waiter asked the delegate from Correjos for his desert order,
the red-nosed Son of Ice Water said: "Bring me a cup of tea, some
pudding without wine sauce, and a piece of mince pie. You may also bring
me a Cork screw, if you please, to pull the brandy out of the mince pie

Then the two reformed drunkards looked at each other, and laughed a
hoarse, bitter and joyous laugh.

At the afternoon session of the Sons of Ice Water, the Huerferno
delegate couldn't get his regalia over his head.

[Illustration: 0073]


To the President. - I write this letter not on my own account, but on
behalf of a personal friend of mine who is known as a mugwump. He is a
great worker for political reform, but he cannot spell very well, so he
has asked me to write this letter. He knew that I had been thrown among
great men all my life, and that, owing to my high social position and
fine education, I would be peculiarly fitted to write you in a way that
would not call forth disagreeable remarks, and so he has given me the
points and I have arranged them for you.

In the first place, my friend desires me to convey to you, Mr.
President, in a delicate manner, and in such language as to avoid giving
offense, that he is somewhat disappointed in your Cabinet. I hate to
talk this way to a bran-new President, but my friend feels hurt and
he desires that I should say to you that he regrets your short-sighted
policy. He says that it seems to him there is very little in the
administration so far to encourage a man to shake off old parties ties
and try to make men better. He desires to say that after conversing with
a large number of the purest men, men who have been in both political
parties off and on for years and yet have never been corrupted by
office, men who have left convention after convention in years past
because those conventions were corrupt and endorsed other men than
themselves for office, he finds that your appointment of Cabinet
officers will only please two classes, viz.: Democrats and Republicans.

Now, what do you care for an administration which will only gratify
those two old parties? Are you going to snap your fingers in disdain
at men who admit that they are superior to anybody else? Do you want
history to chronicle the fact that President Cleveland accepted the
aid of the pure and highly cultivated gentlemen who never did anything
naughty or unpretty, and then appointed his Cabinet from men who had
been known for years as rude, naughty Democrats?

My friend says that he feels sure you would not have done so if you had
fully realized how he felt about it. He claims that in the first week
of your administration you have basely truckled to the corrupt majority.
You have shown yourself to be the friend of men who never claimed to be
truly good.

If you persist in this course you will lose the respect and esteem of
my friend and another man who is politically pure, and who has never
smirched his escutcheon with an office. He has one of the cleanest and
most vigorous escutcheons in that county. He never leaves it out over
night during the summer, and in the winter he buries it in sawdust. Both
of these men will go back to the Republican party in 1888 if you persist
in the course you have thus far adopted. They would go back now if the
Republican party insisted on it.

Mr. President, I hate to write to you in this tone of voice, because
I know the pain it will give you. I once held an office myself, Mr.
President, and it hurt my feelings very much to have a warm personal
friend criticise my official acts.

The worst feature of the whole thing, Mr. President, is that it will
encourage crime. If men who never committed any crime are allowed to

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Online LibraryEdgar Wilson Nye AKA Bill NyeBill Nye's Red Book → online text (page 2 of 14)