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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :783

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11

CHAPTER XI

Wall, the next mornin'--such is the wonderful balm of onbroken sleep that any one takes in onbeknown to themselves--we felt considerable brisk.

And Josiah proposed that we should go and pay attention to the Buildin' of Liberal Arts and Manafactures that day.

Havin' had my way the day before on goin' to the home and headquarters of my sect first, I thought it wuzn't no more than right that my pardner should have his way that day as to what buildin' we should pay attention to, and he wanted to go to the biggest one next.

He said that, "When he wuz a-shearin' sheep he always wanted to tackle the biggest one first, and he felt jest so about any hard job."

I kinder wanted to go to the Art Gallery that mornin'; first wimmen, and then Art--them wuz my choices. But Love prevailed. And the feelin' that, after seein' the display that wimmen had wrought, that mebby it wuz best to go next to the largest house on the grounds, and the most liberal one.

So we sot off, after a good breakfast.

We thought we would meander kinder slow that mornin', and examine things closely. Truly we had been too much overcome by that first visit the day before to take much notice of things in particular.

When that seen had bust onto us it wuz some like a blind man comin' to his sight in the middle of a June day. He wouldn't pay any particular attention to each separate glory that made up the seen--blue sky, green fields, sunshine, white clouds, sparklin' waters, rustlin' trees, wavin' grass, roses, green fields, and so forth and so forth.

No, it would all mingle in one dazzlin' picture before his astounded eyeballs. So it had been with us, or with me, at any rate.

Now we laid out to go slower and take things in more separate--one by one, as it were; and we seemed to realize more than we had sensed it the immense--immense size of the depot, the rumble of the elevated trains overhead, and the abundance of the facilities to git into the Columbian World's Fair.

Why, there is about fifty places right there to git tickets, and ninety-six turnstiles--most a hundred! The idee!

Wall, with no casualities worth enumeratin', we found ourselves in that glorious Court of Honor, and pretty nigh that gorgeous fountain of MacMonnies. This matchless work of art occupies the place of honor amidst the incomparable group of wonders in that Court of Honor, and it deserves it. Yes, indeed! its size is immense, but it don't show it, owin' to the size of the buildin's surroundin' it.

Here in this fountain, as elsewhere at Columbus's doin's, female wimmen are put forward in the highest and loftiest places.

High up, enthroned in a mammoth boat, stately and beautiful in design, sets a impressive female figger, her face all lit up with Truth and Earnest Purpose as she towers up above the others. The boat seems to be a-goin' aginst the wind, as boats that amount to anything and git there always have in the past, and most likely will in the future. And the keen wind wuz a-blowin' hard aginst the female figger that wuz a-standin' up in front of the boat, but she didn't care; it blowed her drapery back some, but it only floated out her wings better.

She held a bugle in her hand, a-soundin' out, I should judge from her looks--

"How goes the world? I am comin' to help, but you needn't wait for me--I will overtake you!"

She wuz bound to help the old world along, as you could see by her looks.

I thought when I first looked at it that the hull thing wuz to show forth the powers of electricity. I thought that that wuz Electricity on top of that throne, and the woman in front wuz a-gazin' out fur ahead, a-tryin' to catch sight of that most wondrous New World that that strange Magician is a-goin' to sail us into. And I didn't wonder that she wuz a-gazin' so intent fur off ahead.

For we don't know no more about that strange, onknown world than Columbus did when he sot sail from Genoa.

A few strange birds have flown from it and lighted on the heads of the Discoverers, a few spars of wisdom has been washed ashore, and some strange leaves and sea-weeds, all tellin' us that they have come from a new world different from ours, and one more riz up like--more like the Immortal.

But of the hull world of wonder, it is yet to be discovered; and I thought, as I looked at it, I shouldn't wonder if they will get there--the figger on the throne wuz so impressive, and the female in front so determined.

Wisdom, and courage, and joyful hope and ardor.

Helped by 'em, borne along by 'em in the face of envy, and detraction, and bigotry, and old custom, the boat sails grandly.

"Ho! up there on the high mast! What news?"

"Light! light ahead!"

But to resoom: a-standin' up on each side of that impressive figger wuz another row of females--mebby they had oars in their hands, showin' that they wuz calculatin' to take hold and row the boat for a spell if it got stuck; and mebby they wuz poles, or sunthin'.

But I don't believe they meant to use 'em on that solitary man that stood in back end of the boat, a-propellin' it--it would have been a shame if they had.

No; I believe that they meant to help at sunthin' or ruther with them long sticks.

They wuz all a-lookin' some distance ahead, all a-seemin' bound to get where they started for.

Besides bein' gorgeous in the extreme, I took it as bein' a compliment to my sect, the way that fountain wuz laid out--ten or a dozen wimmen, and only one or two men. But after I got it all fixed out in my mind what that lofty and impressive figger meant, a bystander a-standin' by explained it all out to me.

(Illustration: I took it as bein' a compliment to my sect the way that fountain wuz laid out--ten or a dozen wimmen and only one or two men.)

He said that the female figger way up above the rest wuz Columbia, beautiful, strong, fearless.

And that it wuz Fame that stood at the prow with the bugle, and that it wuz Father Time at the hellum, a-guidin' it through the dangers of the centuries.

And the female figgers around Columbia's throne wuz meant for Science, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Music, Drama, Paintin', and Literature, all on 'em a-helpin' Columbia along in her grand pathway.

And then I see that what I had hearn wuz true, that Columbia had jest discovered Woman. Yes, the boat wuz headed directly towards Woman, who stood up one hundred feet high in front.

And I see plain that Columbia couldn't help discoverin' her if she wanted to, when she's lifted herself up so, and is showin' plain in 1893 jest how lofty and level-headed, how many-sided and yet how symmetrical she is.

There she stands (Columbia didn't have to take my word for it), there she wuz a-towerin' up one hundred feet, lofty, serene, and sweet-faced, her calm, tender eyes a-lookin' off into the new order of centuries.

And Columbia wuz a-sailin' right towards her, steered by Time, the invincible.

I see there wuz a great commotion down in the water, a-snortin', and a-plungin', and a-actin' amongst the lower order of intelligences.

But Columbia's eyes wuz clear, and calm, and determined, and Old Time couldn't be turned round by any prancin' from the powers below.

_Woman is discovered.

But to resoom. This immense boat wuz in the centre, jest as it should be; and all before it and around wuz the horses of Neptune, and mermaids, and fishes, and all the mystery of the sea.

Some of the snortin' and prancin' of the horses of the Ocean, and pullin' at the bits, so's the men couldn't hardly hold 'em, wuz meant, I spoze, to represent how awful tuckerin' it is for humanity to control the forces of Nater.

Wall, of all the sights I ever see, that fountain wuz the upshot and cap sheaf; and how I would have loved to have told Mr. MacMonnies so! It would have been so encouragin' to him, and it would have seemed to have relieved that big debt of gratitude that Jonesville and America owed to him; and how I wish I could make a good cup of tea for him, and brile a hen or a hen turkey! I'd do it with a willin' mind.

I wish he'd come to Jonesville and make a all-day's visit--stay to dinner and supper, and all night if he will, and travel round through Jonesville the next day. I would enjoy it, and so would Josiah. Of course, we couldn't show off in fireworks anything to what he does, havin' nothin' but a lantern and a torchlight left over from Cleveland's campain. No; we shouldn't try to have no such doin's. I know when I am outdone.

Bime-by we stood in front of that noble statute of the Republic.

And as I gazed clost at it, and took in all its noble and serene beauty, I had emotions of a bigger size, and more on 'em, than I had had in some time.

Havin' such feelin's as I have for our own native land--discovered by Christopher Columbus, founded by George Washington, rescued, defended, and saved by Lincoln and Grant (and I could preach hours and hours on each one of these noble male texts, if I had time)--

Bein' so proud of the Republic as I have always been, and so sot on wantin' her to do jest right and soar up above all the other nations of the earth in nobility and goodness--havin' such feelin's for her, and such deep and heartfelt love and pride for my own sect--what wuz my emotions, as I see that statute riz up to the Republic in the form of a woman, when I went up clost and paid particular attention to her!

A female, most sixty-five feet tall! Why, as I looked on her, my emotions riz me up so, and seemed to expand my own size so, that I felt as if I, too, towered up so high that I could lock arms with her, and walk off with her arm in arm, and look around and enjoy what wuz bein' done there in the great To-Day for her sect, and mine; and what that sect wuz a-branchin' out and doin' for herself.

But, good land! it wuz only my emotions that riz me up; my common sense told me that I couldn't walk locked arms with her, for she wuz built out in the water, on a stagin' that lifted her up thirty or forty feet higher.

And her hands wuz stretched out as if to welcome Columbia, who wuz a-sailin' right towards her. On the right hand a globe was held; the left arm extended above her head, holdin' a pole.

I didn't know what that pole wuz for, and I didn't ask; but she held it some as if she wuz liable to bring it down onto the globe and gin it a whack. And I didn't wonder.

It is enough to make a stun woman, or a wooden female, mad, to see how the nation always depicters wimmen in statutes, and pictures, and things, as if they wuz a-holdin' the hull world in the palm of their hand, when they hain't, in reality, willin' to gin 'em the right that a banty hen has to take care of their own young ones, and protect 'em from the hoverin' hawks of intemperance and every evil.

But mebby she didn't have no idee of givin' a whack at the globe; she wuz a-holdin' it stiddy when I seen her, and she looked calm, and middlin' serene, and as beautiful, and lofty, and inspirin' as they make.

She wuz dressed well, and a eagle had come to rest on her bosom, symbolical, mebby, of how wimmen's heart has, all through the ages, been the broodin' place and the rest of eagle man, and her heart warmed by its soft, flutterin' feathers, and pierced by its cruel beak.

The crown wore on top of her noble forehead wuz dretful appropriate to show what wuz inside of a woman's head; for it wuz made of electric lights--flashin' lights, and strange, wrought of that mysterious substance that we don't understand yet.

But we know that it is luminous, fur-reachin' in its rays, and possesses almost divine intelligence.

It sheds its pure white light a good ways now, and no knowin' how much further it is a-goin' to flash 'em out--no knowin' what sublime and divine power of intelligence it will yet grow to be, when it is fully understood, and when it has the full, free power to branch out, and do all that is in it to do.

Jest like wimmen's love, and divine ardor, and holy desires for a world's good--jest exactly.

It wuz a good-lookin' head-dress.

Her figger wuz noble, jest as majestic and perfect as the human form can be. And it stood up there jest as the Lord meant wimmen to stand, not lookin' like a hour-glass or a pismire, but a good sensible waist on her, jest as human creeters ort to have.

I don't know what dressmakers would think of her. I dare presoom to say they would look down on her because she didn't taper. And they would probable be disgusted because she didn't wear cossets.

But to me one of the greatest and grandest uses of that noble figger wuz to stand up there a-preachin' to more than a million wimmen daily of the beauty and symmetry of a perfect form, jest as the Lord made it, before it wuz tortured down into deformity and disease by whalebones and cosset strings.

Imagine that stately, noble presence a-scrunchin' herself in to make a taper on herself--or to have her long, graceful, stately draperies cut off into a coat-tail bask--the idee!

Here wuz the beauty and dignity of the human form, onbroken by vanity and folly. And I did hope my misguided sect would take it to heart.

And of all the crowds of wimmen I see a-standin' in front of it admirin' it, I never see any of 'em, even if their own waists did look like pismires, but what liked its looks.

Till one day I did see two tall, spindlin', fashionable-lookin' wimmen a-lookin' at it, and one sez to the other:

"Oh, how sweet she would look in elbow-sleeves and a tight-fittin' polenay!"

"Yes," sez the other; "and a bell skirt ruffled almost to the waist, and a Gainsboro hat, and a parasol."

"And high-heel shoes and seven-button gloves," sez the other.

And I turned my back on them then and there, and don't know what other improvements they did want to add to her--most likely a box of French candy, a card-case, some eye-glasses, a yeller-covered novel, and a pug dog. The idee!

(Illustration: "How sweet she would look!")

And as I wended on at a pretty good jog after hearin' 'em, I sez to myself--

"Some wimmen are born fools, some achieve foolishness, and some have foolishness thrust on 'em, and I guess them two had all three of 'em."

I said it to myself loud enough so's Josiah heard me, and he sez in joyful axents--

"I am glad, Samantha, that you have come to your senses at last, and have a realizin' sense of your sect's weaknesses and folly."

And I wuz that wrought up with different emotions that I wuz almost perfectly by the side of myself, and I jest said to him--

"Shet up!"

I wouldn't argy with him. I wuz fearful excited a-contemplatin' the heights of true womanhood and the depths of fashionable folly that a few--a very few--of my sect yet waded round in.

But after I got quite a considerable distance off, I instinctively turned and looked up to the face of that noble creeter, the Republic.

And I see that she didn't care what wuz said about her.

Her face wuz sot towards the free, fresh air of the future--the past wuz behind her. The winds of Heaven wuz fannin' her noble fore-top, her eyes wuz lookin' off into the fur depths of space, her lips wuz wreathed with smiles caught from the sun and the dew, and the fire of the golden dawn.

She wuz riz up above the blame or praise--the belittlin', foolish, personal babblin' of contemporary criticism.

Her head wuz lifted towards the stars.

But to resoom, and continue on.

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CHAPTER XIIAfter we reluctantly left off contemplatin' that statute of Woman, we wended along to the buildin' of Manafactures and Liberal Arts, that colossial structure that dwarfs all the other giants of the Exposition. This is the largest buildin' ever constructed by any exposition whatsoever. It covers with its galleries forty acres of land--it is as big as the hull of Elam Bobbet's farm--and Elam gets a good livin' offen that farm for him and Amanda and eight children, and he raises all kinds of crops on it, besides cows, and colts, and hens, grass land and pasture, and a creek
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CHAPTER VIIChristopher Columbus Allen got along splendid with his railroad business, and by the time the rest of us wuz ready for the World's Fair, he wuz. We didn't have so many preparations to make as we would in other circumstances, for Ury and Philury wuz goin' to move right into our house, and do for it jest as well as we would do for ourselves. They had done this durin' other towers that we had gone off on, and never had we found our confidence misplaced, or so much as a towel or a dish-cloth missin'. We have always done
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