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Poor Old Texas Post by :ke398 Category :Essays Author :William Cowper Brann Date :July 2011 Read :1942

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Poor Old Texas

'Twas said in days of old that misfortune never comes singly. The fates are turning upon Texas an unkindly eye. She is o'erwhelmed quite, sunk in the Serbonian bogs of dark despair. First our mighty Democratic majority slipped up on the Hoggeian banana peel and drove its vertebrae through the crown of its convention plug, while unfeeling Populists and Republicans jeered and flouted us. Then our blessed railway kermishen lost its linchpin and the soulless corporations heaped coals of fire upon our heads by reducing rates, thereby making our boasted wisdom a byword and a reproach. The cyclone swooped down upon us from Kansas and swiped our crops, making our boasts that here was an Elysium beyond the storm-belt sound as hollow as Adam's dream of Eden after he was lifted over the garden wall. Still we bore up and presented a bold, if not an unbroken front to a carping world. But the vials of wrath were not yet exhausted. Pandora's box had not yet emptied itself of all its plagues. Our sorrow's crown of sorrow was yet to come. It is here; our humiliation is accomplished, our agony is complete. A lone highwayman has held up and robbed a populous passenger train in Texas--in West Texas, the rendezvous of the sure-enough bad man, who catches catamounts and clips their claws,-- who defies whole barrels o' Jersey lightning and uses the bucking-broncho for his laughter, yea, his sport! Shades o' Ben Thompson and Luke Short, has it come to this,--that a rank stranger can lasso a Texas train, drive the passengers under the seats, plunder them at his pleasure, with no one to molest or make him afraid! Half a hundred Texans trembling at sight of one gun were a sight worth seeing,-- and they did not even know it was loaded! Gone is our ancient glory--our rep. is irretrievably in the tureen. Henceforth when a pilgrim from the pathless Southwest registers at an Eastern hotel the bell-boys will not fall over each other to do him honor as a dime-novel hero, nor the gilded clerk insure his life before politely requesting him to pay in advance. The last lingering shadow of our greatness hath departed. The tenderfoot will trample upon us, and the visiting capitalist neglect to ask us up to the bar. The fair ladies of other lands will no longer worship us as the picturesque knights of a reckless but romantic chivalry. They will remember that in a whole trainload of Texans there was not one who would fight even on compulsion,-- will sweep by with frigid hauteur, leaving us to weep for the days that are no more. Alas, poor Texas!

(The end)
William Cowper Brann's essay: Poor Old Texas

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