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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 12
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 12 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :3450

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 12


After 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 goes a-runnin' through it, besides a piece of wood lot.

And then, think to have one buildin' cover a place as large as Elam's farm! Why, jest the idee on't would, I believe, stunt Amanda Bobbet, or else throw her into spazzums.

For she has always felt dretful proud of their farm, and the size of it; she has always said that it come hard on Elam to do all the work himself on such a big farm. She has acted haughty.

And then, if I could have took Amanda by the hand, and sez--

"Here, Amanda, is one house that covers as much ground as your hull farm!"

I believe she would have fell right down in a coniption fit.

But Amanda wuzn't there; I had only my faithful pardner to share my emotions, as I went into one of its four great entrances, under its triumphal arches, each one bein' 40 feet wide and 80 feet high--as long as from our house to the back pasture.

The idee! the idee!

Why, to change my metafor a little about the bigness of this buildin', so's to let foreign nations git a little clearer idee of the size on't, I will state--

This one house is bigger than all those of Jonesville, and Loontown, and Shackville, and Zoar. It is the biggest house on this planet. Whether they have got any bigger ones in Mars, or Jupiter, or Saturn, I don't know; but I will say this--if they have, and the Marites, and Jupiterians, and Satens, are made up as we be, and calculate to go through the buildin's, I am sorry for their legs.

It faces the lake, in plain view of all admirin' mariners, the long row of arches, and columns; is ornamented beyend anything that Jonesville ever drempt of, or Zoar, and a gallery fifty feet wide runs all round the buildin'; and from this gallery runs eighty-six smaller galleries, so nothin' hinders folks from lookin' down into the big hall below, and seein' the gorgeous seen of the Exposition, and the immense throng of people admirin' it.

As Josiah and I wuz a-wendin' along on the gallery a-frontin' the lake, I heard a man--he looked some like a minister, too--say to another one, sez he, "The style of this buildin' is Corinthian."

(Illustration: "This Buildin' is Corinthian.")

And I spoke right up, bein' determined that Josiah and I too should be took for what we wuz--good, Bible-readin' Methodists.

I said to Josiah, but loud enough so that the man should hear--

"The New Testament hain't got a better book in it than Corinthians--it is one of my favorites; I am glad that this buildin' takes after it."

He looked kinder dumfoundered, and then he looked tickled; he see that we wuz congenial, though we met only as two barks that meet on the ocean, or two night-hawks a-sailin' past each other in the woods at Jonesville.

But true it is that a good-principled person is always ready to stand by his colors.

But the crowd swept us on, and we wuz divided--he to carry his good, solid principles out-doors, and disseminate 'em under the open sky; I to carry mine inside that immense--immense buildin'.

Why, a week wouldn't do justice at all to this buildin'--you ort to come here every day for a month at least, and then you wouldn't see a half or a quarter of what is in it.

Why, to stand and look all round you, and up and down the long aisles that stretch out about you on every side, you feel some as a ant would feel a-lookin' up round it in a forest, (I mean the ant "Thou sluggard" went to, not your ma's sister.)

Fur up, fur up the light comes down through the immense skylight, so it is about like bein' out-doors, and in the night it is most as light as day, for the ark lights are so big that, if you'll believe it, there are galleries of 'em up in the chandliers, and men a-walkin' round in 'em a-fixin' the lights look like flies a-creepin' about. The idee!

And the exhibits in that buildin' are like the sands of the sea for number, and it would be harder work to count 'em if you wuz a-goin' to tackle the job, for they hain't spread out smooth, like sea sand, but are histed up into the most gorgeous and beautiful pavilions, fixed off beyend anything you ever drempt on, or read of in Arabian Nights, or anywhere else.

They wuz like towerin' palaces within a palace, and big towers all covered with wonderful exhibits, and cupalos, and peaks, and scollops, and every peak and every scollop ornamented and garnished beyend your wildest fancy.

The United States don't make such a big show as Germany duz, right acrost, but come to look clost, you'll see that she holds her own.

Why, Tiffany's and Gorham's beautiful pavilion, that rises up as a sort of a centre piece to the United States exhibit, some think are the most beautiful in the hull Exposition.

Big crowds are always standin' in front of that admirin'ly; the decoration and colorin' are perfect.

The pavilions of the different nations tower up in all their grandeur that their goverments could expend on 'em, and they rival each other in beauty; but private undertakin's show off nobly.

There wuz one man who sells stoves who has built a stove as big as a house--put electric lights in it, to show off its name, and he asks folks to step into the stove, which is a pavilion, to see what he has to sell.

(Illustration: He asks folks to step into the stove.)

And then one man--a trunk-maker--has made a glass trunk as big as a house, and shows off his exhibits there.

And take the thousands and thousands of pavilions and pagodas on every side of you, and every one of 'em filled with thousands and millions of beautiful exhibits, and you can see what a condition your head would be in after a half a day in that buildin', let alone your legs.

Some think that the German Pavilion is the most notable of any. Never wuz such iron gates seen in this country, a-towerin' up twenty feet high, and ornamented off in the most elaborate manner, and high towers crowned by their gold eagles; and high up in the back is a majestic bronze Germania. On either side, and in the centre, are other wonderful pavilions. If you go through these gates you will want to stay there a week right along, examinin' the world of objects demandin' your attention--marvellous tapestry, porcelain, paintin', statuary, furniture, hammered iron, copper, printin', lithographin', etc., and etcetry.

It wuz here that we see the Columbian diamond, a blue brilliant, the finest diamond at the Exposition.

The French pavilion is a dream of beauty. It rises up in white, marble-like beauty, not excelled by any country, it seems to me, and is filled with the very finest things to be found in the French shops, and that is sayin' the finest in the world.

Here are beautiful figgers in wax, wearin' the most magnificent dresses you ever hearn on--Papa, Mama, Grandma, Baby, and Nurse--all fitted out in clothes suitable, and the hite of beauty and elegance.

Why, in goin' through this section you can jest imagine the most beautiful and perfect things you ever hearn on in dress, furniture, jewelry, etc., etc., and multiply 'em by one hundred, and then you wouldn't figger out the result half gorgeous enough.

Why, it is insured for ten millions, and it is worth it. I wouldn't take a cent less for it--not a cent; and so I told Josiah.

Why, there is one baby's cradle worth thirty-one thousand dollars, and a vase at twenty thousand, and a parasol at two thousand five hundred, and other things accordin'--the idee!

The Gobelin tapestries that are loaned by the French Goverment are absolutely priceless.

Austria's big pavilion has her double eagles reared up over it; it stands up sixty-five feet high, and is full of splendor.

Bohemian glass in every form and shape bein' one of its best exhibits, and terry-cotty figgers, and beautiful gifts of Honor loaned by the Emperor, and etc.

And you can tell the Russian pavilion as fur as you can see it by its dark, strong architecture.

Along the outer court runs a long platform ornamented with urns and vases of hewn marble and other hard stuns, from the exile mines of Siberia.

I wondered how many tears had wet the stuns as they wuz hewn out.

But, howsumever, the Russians did well; their enamel in this exhibit is the best shown anywhere. They are dretful costly, but not any too much for the value of 'em. They don't want to cheat America, the Russians don't--they remember the past.

One giant punch-bowl of gilt enamel is claimed to be the finest thing of the kind ever done in the Empire.

Their bronzes are wonderful--there is vigor and life in 'em. A Laplander in his sledge, drawn by reindeers over the frozen sea, and a dromedary and his driver on the sandy desert, shows plain how fur the Zar's dominions extend.

A Laplander killin' a seal in a ice hole--Two horses a-goin' furiously, tryin' to drag a sleigh away from pursuin' wolves--Mounted Cossacks--Farmers ploughin' the fields--A woman ridin' a farm horse, with a long rake in her hand--

A woman standin' on tiptoe to kiss her Cossack as he bends from his saddle--A rough rider out on the steepes a-catchin' a wild horse.

After ten or twelve acres of Nymphs and Venuses in bronze, these are real refreshin' to see, and a change. And in furs and such their display is magnificent.

Russia shows eight hundred schools in the Liberal Art Department, and it is here that the beautiful pieces of embroidery made by the larger scholars for Mrs. Grover Cleveland are displayed.

No, Russia don't forgit the past.

And the display of laces in the Belgian exhibit is sunthin' to remember for a hull lifetime, and its pottery, and gems, and bronzes. And the exhibit of Switzerland, though not so large as some of the rest, is uneek. Their exhibit is all surrounded by a panorama of the Alps, the high mountains a-lookin' down into the peaceful valley, with its arts and industries.

Great Britain don't make so much show in her pavilions and in showin' off her things; but come to examine it clost, and you'll see, as is generally the case with our Ma Country, the sterling, sound qualities of solid worth.

Her immense display of furniture, jewelry, and all objects of art and industry are worth spendin' weeks over, and then you'd want to stay longer.

They don't make any attempt at display in pavilions and show winders. But in the plain, rich cases you find some of the most wonderful and gorgeous works of man.

I spoze, mebby, as is the nater of showin' off, the Ma Country felt some as if she wuz right in the family, and she and her daughter America hadn't ort to dress up and try to put on so many ornaments as the visitors.

I make a practice of that myself, to try to not dress up quite so ornamental as my company duz.

But for solid worth and display, as I say, Great Britain and the United States are where they always are--in the first rank.

But, speakin' of the visitors of the nation, if you want to git a good sight of 'em, jest stand in the clock tower, which looms up in the centre of the forty-acre buildin', as high as a Chicago house (and that is sayin' enough for hite), and you'll see all round you all the nations of the earth.

The guests of the nation occupy the place of honor, as they ort to.

Lookin' down, you see the flags of Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Austria, Japan, India, Switzerland, Persia, Mexico, etc., etc., etc.

Wall, Josiah wanted to go up to the top of the buildin' on the elevator, and though I considered it resky, I consented, and would you believe it--I don't suppose you will--but to look down from that hite, human bein's don't look much larger than flies. There they wuz, a-creepin' round in their toy-house fly-traps; it wuz a sight never to be forgot as long as Memory sets upon her high throne.

Wall, as I said, in them pavilions and gorgeous glass cases in that vast buildin' you can find everything from every country on the globe.

Everything you ever hearn on, and everything you ever didn't hearn on, from the finest lace to iron gates and fences--

From big, splendid rooms, all furnished off in the most splendid manner with the most gorgeous draperies and furniture, to a tiny gold and diamond ring for a baby, and everything else under the sun, moon, and stars, from a pill to a monument.

Pictures, and statuary, and bronzes, and every other kind of beautiful ornament, that makes you fairly stunted with admiration as you look on 'em.

At one place a silver fountain wuz sendin' up constantly a spray of the sweetest perfume, and when I first looked at it, Josiah wuz a-holdin' his bandana handkerchief under it, and he wuz a-dickerin' with the girl that stood behind it as to what such a fountain cost, and where he could git the water to run one.

Sez he, "I'd give a dollar bill to have such a stream a-runnin' through our front yard."

I hunched him, and sez I, "Keep still; don't show your ignorance. It hain't nateral water; it is manafactured."

"Wall, all water is manafactured! Dum it, the stream that runs through our beaver medder is made somehow, or most probable it wouldn't be there."

But I drawed him away and headed him up before some lovely dresses--the handsomest you ever see in your life--all trimmed with gold and pearl trimmin'. The price of that outfit wuz only twenty thousand dollars.

And when I mentioned how becomin' such a dress would become me, I see by his words and mean that he had forgot the fountain.

The demeanin' words that he used about my figger would keep females back from matrimony, if they knew on 'em.

But I won't tell. No, indeed!

And then there wuz all sorts of art work on enamel and metal, and all sorts of dazzlin' jewelry that wuz ever made or thought on, and all the silverware that wuz ever hearn or drempt of--why, jest one little service of seven pieces cost twenty thousand dollars.

In Tiffany's gorgeous display wuz a case that illustrated the arts in Ireland in the fourteenth century.

They said that it contained a tooth of St. Patrick. Mebbe it wuz his tooth; I can't dispute it, never havin' seen his gooms.

Then there wuz a Latin book of the eighth century, containin' the four gospels; and in another wuz St. Peter's cross, they said. Mebby it wuz Peter's!

And every kind of silk fabric that wuz ever made--raw silk, jest as the worm left it when she sot up as a butterfly, and jest what man has done to it after that--spinnin', weavin', dyein'--up to the time when it appears in the finest ribbon, and glossiest silk, and crapes, and gauzes, and velvets, and knit goods of every kind, and etc., and so forth.

And every kind of cloth, and felt, and woollen, and carpets enough to carpet a path clear from Chicago to Jonesville for me and Josiah to go home in a triumphal procession, if they had felt like it.

In front of the French section I see another statute of the Republic.

She wuz a-settin' down. Poor creeter, she wuz tired; and then agin she had seen trouble--lots of it.

Her left arm was a-restin' firm on a kind of a square block, with "The Rights of Man" carved on it, and half hidin' them words wuz a sword, which she also held in her left hand.

The rights of Man and a sword wuz held in one hand, jest as they always have been.

But, poor creeter! her right arm wuz gone--her good right hand wuz nowhere to be seen.

I don't like to talk too glib about the judgments of Providence. The bad boys don't always git drownded when they go fishin' Sundays--they often git home with long strings of trout, and lick the good boys on their way home from Sunday-school. Such is real life, too oft.

But I couldn't help sayin' to Josiah--

"Mebby if they had put onto that little monument she holds, 'The Rights of Man and Woman'--mebby she wouldn't had her arm took off."

But anyway, judgment or not, anybody could see with one eye how one-sided, and onhandy, and cramped, and maimed, and everything a Republic is who has the use of only one of her arms. Them that run could read the great lesson--

"Male and female created He them."

Both arms are needed to clasp round the old world, and hold it firm--Justice on one side, Love on the other.

I felt sorry for the Republic--sorry as a dog.

But that wuz the first time I see her. The next time she had had her arm put on.

I guess Uncle Sam done it. That old man is a-gittin' waked up, and Eternal Right is a-hunchin' him in the sides.

She wuz a-holdin' that right arm up towards the Heavens; the fingers wuz curved a little--they seemed to be begenin' to sunthin' up in the sky to come down and bless the world.

Mebby it wuz Justice she wuz a-callin' on to come down and watch over the rights of wimmen. Anyway, she looked as well agin with both arms on her.

Amongst the wonders of beauty in the French exhibit we see that vase of Gustave Dore's. That attracted crowds of admirers the hull time; it stood up fifteen feet high, and every inch of it wuz beautiful enough for the very finest handkerchief pin!

There wuz hundreds of figgers from the animal and vegetable kingdom, and Mythology--cupids, nymphs, birds, and butterflies disportin' themselves in the most graceful way, and such beautiful female figgers!--Venuses as beautiful as dreams, and over all, and through all, wuz a-trailin' the rich clusters of the vine.

The figgers seemed at first sight to kind o' encourage wine-makin' and wine-drinkin'. But look clost, and you'd see on one side, workin' his stiddy way up through the fairy landscape, up through the gay revellers, a venemous serpent wuz a-creepin'.

He wuz bound to be there, and Venus or Nymph, or any of 'em that touched that foamin' wine, had to be stung by his deadly venoms. Mr. Dore made that plain.

Wall, we tried to the best of our ability to not slight a single country, but I'm afraid we did; I tried to act the part of a lady and pay attention to the hull on 'em, but I'm afraid that fifty or sixty countries had reason to feel that we slighted 'em; but I hope that this will explain matters to 'em.

I felt that I hadn't done justice to our own country and our Ma Country, not at all; but when you jest think how big the United States is, and how many firms try to show off in every county of every State--why, it tires anybody jest to think on't; and Great Britain too; for, as I thought, what good duz visitors do when their brain is a-reelin' under their head-dresses, and stove-pipe hats! And truly that wuz our condition before we fairly begun to go through the countries.

Beautiful works of art--marvellous exhibits to the right of us, to the left of us, and before us and behind us--forty-five acres on 'em. What wuz two small pair of eyes and four ears to set up aginst this colossial and imeasureable show!

We went till we wuz ready to drop down, and then Josiah sez, "Less take the rest of the grandeur for granted, and less go somewhere and git a cup of tea, and a nip of sunthin' to eat."

I said sunthin' about hurtin' the different countries feelin's by not payin' attention to 'em.

And he sez, "Dum it all, I don't know as it would make 'em any happier to have two old folks die on their hands; and I feel, Samantha, that the end is a-drawin' near," sez he.

He did look real bad. So we went to the nearest place and got a cup of tea, and rested a spell, and when we come back we kinder left the Manafactures part, and tackled the Liberal part, and I declare that wuz the best of all by fur.

That wuz enough to lift up anybody's morals, and prop 'em up strong, to see how much attention is paid to education and trainin' right from the nursery up--devolipin' the mind and the body.

It wuz some as if the Manafactures part tended to the house and clothin', and this part tended to the livin' soul that inhabited it.

It wuz dretful interestin' to see everything about devolipin' the strength and muscle in gymnasiums, skatin', rowin', boatin', and every other way. Food supply and its distribution, school kitchens. How to make buildin's the best way for health and comfort for workin'men, school-housen, churches, and etc. How to heat and ventilate housen, how to keep the sewers and drains all right, and how neccessary that is! Some folkses back doors are a abomination when their front doors are full of ornament.

All kinds of instruction in infant schools, kindergartens; domestic and industrial trainin' for girls, models for teachin' and cookery, housework, dressmakin', etc.; how neccessary this is to turn out girls for real life, so much better than to have 'em know Greek, but not know a potatoe from a turnip; to understand geology, but not recognize a shirt gusset from a baby's bib!

Books, literature, examples of printin' paper, bindin', religion, natural sciences, fine arts, school-books, newspapers, library apparatus, publications by Goverment, etc.

And wuzn't it a queer coincidence? that right where books wuz all round me, right while my eyes wuz sot on 'em--

I hearn a voice I recognized. It wuz a-givin' utterance to the words I had heard so often--

"Two dollars and a half for cloth--three for sheep, and four for morocco."

I turned, and there she wuz; there stood Arvilly Lanfear. She wuz in front of a good, meek-lookin' freckled woman, a-canvassin' her.

Or, that is, she wuzn't exactly applyin' the canvas to her, but she wuz a-preparin' her for it.

It seemed that she had been introduced to her, and wuz a-goin' to call on her the next day with the book.

Sez I, advancin' onto her, "Arvilly Lanfear, did you really git here alive and well?"

"Wall," sez she, "I shouldn't have got here, most likely, if I wuzn't alive, and I never wuz so well in my life, in body and in sperits. Hain't it glorious here?" sez she.

"Yes," sez I; and, sez I, "Arvilly, did you walk afoot all the way here?"

And then she went on and related her experience.

She said that she wuz five weeks on her way, and made money all the way over and above her expenses. She walked the most of the way.

She wuz now a-boardin' with a old acquaintance at five dollars a week, and she canvassed three days in the week, and come three days to the Fair, and more'n paid her way now.

Sez I, "Arvilly, you look better than I ever knew you to look; you look ten years younger, and I don't know but 'leven."

Sez I, "Your face has got a good color, and your eyes are bright." Sez I, "You hain't enjoyin' sech poor health as you did sometimes in Jonesville, be you?"

Sez she, "I never wuz so well before in my life!"

Sez I, "You've somehow got a different look onto you, Arvilly." Sez I, "Somehow, you look more meller and happy."

"I be happy!" sez she.

Sez I, "I spoze you are still a-sellin' the same old book, the 'Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man'?"

She kinder blushed, and, sez she, "No; I have took up a new work."

"What is it?" sez I, for she seemed to kinder hang back from tellin', but finally she sez, "It is the 'Peaceful, Prosperous, and Precious Performances of Man.'"

"Wall," sez I, "I'm glad on't. Men should be walked round and painted on all sides to do justice to 'em.

"'Im real glad that you're a-goin' to canvas on his better side, Arvilly."

"Yes," sez she, "men are amiable and noble creeters when you git to understand 'em."

The change in her mean and her sentiments almost made my brain reel under my slate-colored straw bunnet, and my knees fairly trembled under my frame.

And, sez I, "Arvilly, explain to a old and true friend the change that has come onto you."

So we withdrew our two selves to a sheltered nook, and there the story wuz onfolded to me in perfect confidence, and it _must be _kep. I will tell it in my own words, for she rambles a good deal in her talk, and that is, indeed, a fault in female wimmen.

Thank Heaven! I hain't got it.

It seems that when she sot out for the World's Fair with the "Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man," she had only a dollar in her pocket, but hoards and hoards of pluck and patience.

She canvassed along, a-walkin' afoot--some days a-makin' nothin' and bein' clear discouraged, and anon makin' a little sunthin', and then agin makin' first rate for a day or two, as the way of agents is.

Till one day about sundown--she hadn't seen a house for milds back--she come to a little house a-standin' back on the edge of a pleasant strip of woods. A herd of sleek cows and some horses and some sheep wuz in pastures alongside of it, and a little creek of sparklin' water run before it, and she went over a rustic bridge, up through a pretty front yard, into a little vine-shaded porch, and rapped at the door.

Nobody come; she rapped agin; nobody made a appearance.

But anon she hearn a low groanin' and cryin' inside.

So, bein' at the bottom one of the kindest-hearted creeters in the world, but embittered by strugglin' along alone, Arvilly opened the door and went in. She went through a little parlor into the back room, and wuzn't that a sight that met her eyes?

A good-lookin' man of about Arvilly's age laid there all covered with blood and fainted entirely away, and on his breast wuz throwed the form of a little lame girl all covered with blood, and a-cryin' and a-groanin' as if her heart would break.

She thought her Pa wuz dead.

It seemed that he had cut his head dretfully with a tree branch a-fallin' onto it, and had jest made out to git to the house before he fainted; and his little girl, havin' never seen a faint, thought it wuz death; and it _is its first cousin.

Wall, here wuz a place for Arvilly's patience, and pluck, and faculty, to soar round in.

The first thing, she took up the little lame girl in her arms--a sweet little creeter of five summers--and sot her in a chair, and comforted her by tellin' her that her Pa would be all right in a few minutes.

And she then, (and I don't spoze that she had ever been nigher to a good-lookin' man than from three to five feet,) but she had to lift up his head and wash the blood from the clusterin' brown hair, with some threads of silver in it, and tear her own handkerchief into strips to bind up his wounds; and she had some court-plaster with her and other neccessaries, and some good intment, and she is handy at everything, Arvilly is.

Wall, by the time that a pair of good-lookin' blue eyes opened agin on this world, Arvilly had got the pretty little girl all washed and comforted, and a piller under his head; and the minute his blue eyes opened a spark flew out of 'em right from that piller that kindled up a simultanous one in the cool gray orbs of Arvilly.

Wall, although he had his senses, he couldn't move or be moved for a day and a half. He didn't want nobody sent for, and Arvilly dassent leave 'em alone to go; so as a Christian she had to take holt and take care on 'em.

Wall, Arvilly always wuz, and always will be, I spoze, as good a housekeeper and cook as ever wuz made.

So I spoze it wuz a sight to see how quick she got that disordered settin'-room to lookin' cozy and home-like, and a good supper on a table drawed up to the side of the little lame girl.

And I spoze that it wuz one of the strangest experiences that ever took place on this planet, and I d'no as they ever had any stranger ones in Mars or Jupiter. Arvilly had to kinder feed the invalid man, Cephus Shute by name--had to kinder kneel down by him and hold the plate and teacup, and help him to eat.

And, strange to say, Arvilly wuzn't skairt a mite--she ruther enjoyed it of the two; for before two days wuz over she owned up that if there wuz any extra good bits she'd ruther he'd have 'em than to have 'em herself.

(Illustration: And, strange to say, Arvilly wuzn't skairt a mite--she ruther enjoyed it.)

The world is full of miracles; Sauls breathin' out vengeance are dropped down senseless by the power of Heaven.

Pilgrim Arvilly's displayin' abroad the "Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man" are struck down helpless and mute by the power of Love.

In less than three days she had promised to marry Cephus in the Fall.

He had a good little property--his wife had been dead two years. His hired girl--a shiftless creeter--had flown the day Arvilly got there, and nothin' stood in the way of marriage and happiness.

Arvilly's heart yearned over the little girl that had never walked a step, and she loved her Pa, and the Pa loved her.

When she sot off from there a week later--for she wuz bound to see the Fair, and quiltin' had to be done, and clothin' made up before marriage, no matter how much Cephus plead for haste--he had got well enough to carry her ten milds to the cars, and she had come the rest of the way by rail; and she said, bein' kinder sick of canvassin' for that old book, she had tackled this new one, and wuz havin' real good luck with it.

Wall, I wuz tickled enough for Arvilly, and I made up my mind then and there to give her a good linen table-cloth and a pair of new woollen sheets for a weddin' present, and I subscribed for the "Precious Performances" on the spot. I didn't spoze that I should care much about readin' "The Peaceful, Prosperous, and Precious Performances of Man"--

But I bought it to help her along. I knew that she would have to buy her "true so" (that is French, and means weddin' clothes), and I thought every little helped; but she said that it wuz "A be-a-u-tiful book, so full of man's noble deeds."

"Wall," sez I, "you know that I always told you that you run men too much."

"But," sez she, "I never drempt that men wuz such lovely creeters."

"Oh, wall," sez I, "as for that, men have their spells of loveliness, jest like female mortals, and their spells of actin', like the old Harry."

"Oh, no," sez she; "they are a beautiful race of bein's, almost perfect."

"Wall," sez I, "I hope your opinion will hold out." But I don't spoze it will. Six months of married life--dry days, and wet ones, meals on time, and meals late, insufficient kindlin' wood, washin' days, and cleanin' house will modify her transports; but I wouldn't put no dampers onto her.

I merely sez, "Oh, yes, Arvilly, men are likely creeters more'n half the time, and considerable agreeable."

"Agreeable!" sez she; "they're almost divine." Arvilly always wuz most too ramptious in everything she undertook; she never loved to wander down the sweet, calm plains of Megumness, as I do.

And then I spoze Cephus made everything of her, and it wuz a real rarity to her to be made on and flattered up by a good-lookin' man.

But well he might make of her--he will be doin' dretful well to git Arvilly; she's a good worker and calculator, and her principles are like brass and iron for soundness; and she's real good-lookin', too, now--looks 'leven years younger, or ten and a half, anyway.

But jest as Arvilly and I wuz a-withdrawin' ourselves from each other, I sez,

"Arvilly, have you been to the Fair Sundays?"

"No," sez she; "I didn't lay out to, for I could go week days. 'The Precious Performances' yields money to spare to take me there week days, and you know that I only wanted it open for them that couldn't git there any day but Sundays. And also," sez she honestly,

"I talked a good deal, bein' so mad at the Nation for makin' such dretful hard work partakin' of a gnat, and then swallerin' down Barnum's hull circus, side-shows and all.

"Why didn't the Nation shet up the saloons?" sez she, in bitter axents. "Folks can have their doubts about Sunday openin' bein' wicked, but the Lord sez expressly that 'no drunkard can inherit Heaven.' The nation wuz so anxious to set patterns before the young--why wuzn't it afraid to turn human bein's into fiends before 'em, liable to shoot down these dear young folks, or lead 'em into paths worse than death?

"And it wuz so anxious to show off well before foreign nations. Wuz it any prettier sight to reel round before 'em, drunk as a fool, a-committin' suicide, and rapinin', and murder, and actin'? I wuz so mad," sez Arvilly, "that I felt ugly, and spoze I talked so."

"Wall," sez I, "they've acted dretful queer about Sunday openin', take it from first to last.

"But," sez I, reasonably, "takin' such a dretful big thing onto their hands to manage would be apt to make folks act queer.

"I spoze," sez I, fallin' a little ways into oritory--"I spoze that if Josiah and me had took a rinosterhorse to board durin' the heated term, our actions would often be termed queer by our neighbors. To begin with, it's bein' such new business to us, we shouldn't know what to feed it, to agree with its immense stomach; we should, I dare presoom to say, try experiments with it before we got the hang of its feed, and peek through the barn doors dretful curious at it to see how it wuz a-actin', and how its food wuz agreein' with it.

"We shouldn't dast to ride it to water, or holler at it, as if it wuz a calf; and if it should happen to break loose, Heaven knows what we should do with it!

"And I spoze every fence would be full of neighbors a-standin' safe on their own solid premises, a-hollerin' out to us what to do, and every one on 'em mad as hens if we didn't foller their directions.

"Some on 'em hollerin' to us to mount up on it and ride it back into the barn, when they knew that it would tear us to pieces if we went nigh it when it wuz mad. And some on 'em orderin' us to git rid of it. And how could we dispose of a ragin' rinosterhorse at a minute's notice? And some on 'em a-yellin' at us to kill it. How could we kill it, when the creeter didn't belong to us?

"And some on 'em, not realizin' that our rinosterhorse boardin' wuz new business to us, and we wuz liable to make mistakes, standin' up on the ruff of their own barns, safe and sound, a-readin' the Bible to us and warnin' us, and we tuggin' away and swettin' with this wild creeter on our hands, and tryin' to do the best we could with it.

"And then, right on top of this, Jonesville might serve a injunction onto us, that we had no right to let such a dangerous creeter into the precincts of Jonesville; and then we, feelin' kinder sorry, mebby, that we had ondertook the job, tried to git rid on't; and the rinosterhorse owner serves another injunction on us, makin' us keep it, sayin' that he'd paid its board in advance, and that he wouldn't take it back.

"And there we would be, all wore out with our job, and not pleasin' nobody, nor nothin', but makin' the hull caboodle mad as hens at us; and we a-not meanin' any hurt, none of the time, a-meanin' well towards Jonesville and rinosterhorses. Wouldn't we be in a situation to be pitied, Arvilly?"

"Yes," sez she, "it is jest so as I tell you; Cephus sez that he won't wait a minute longer than September."

I see how it wuz--she hadn't hearn a word of my remarkable eloquence. Like all the rest, she had vivid idees about Sunday closin'; but come to the p'int, her own affairs wuz of the most consequence. She forgot all about the struggles of the Directors in their efforts to do what wuz right and best, in thoughts of Cephus.

But I considered it human nater, and forgive her. Wall, after Arvilly left me, I returned agin to the sights in the noble Liberal Arts Department, and see everything else that wuz riz up and helpful; and finding out everything about the land and sea, the Heavens, and depths below the earth and seas.

And oh, what queer, queer feelin's that sight gin me; they hain't to be described upon, and I hain't a-goin' to try to; it would be too much--too much for the public to hear about it, and for me to record 'em; though there wuz plenty of weights, measures, and balances, if I had tried to tackle the job of weighin' 'em.

Now, what I have said of the liberal part, and especially of the trainin' of the young, you can see plain that it wuz as much more interestin' than the manafactures part as the soul is superior to the body, or eternity is longer than time.

So, the world bein' such a sort of a curious place, it didn't surprise me a mite to see that this department, that wuz the most important in the hull Columbian World's Fair, wuz dretful cramped for room, and kinder put away upstairs.

For, as I sez to myself, the old world has such dretful curious kinks in it, it didn't surprise me a mite to have this department sort o' squeezed into the end o' one buildin', and upstairs kinder, while the display for horned cattle covered over sixty acres.

A good many farmers are as careful agin of their blooded stock as they are of the welfare of their wives and children.

They will put work and hardship on the mother of their children that they wouldn't think of darin' to venture with their cows with a pedigree, for they would say, such overwork will injure the calf.

How is it with their own children, when the delicate mother does all the household drudgery of a farm, and milks seven or eight cows night and mornin'?

Toilin' till late bedtime, gettin' up before half rested, and takin' up agin the hard toil till the little feeble child-life is born into the world.

How is it with the mother and the child?

For answer, I refer you to countless newspaper files, under the headin' of "mysterious dispensations of Providence," and to old solitary churchyards, and to the insane statisticks of the country.

The bereaved husband, a-blamin' Providence, but takin' some comfort in the thought that "the Lord loveth whom He chasteneth," walks out under his mournin' weed, and pats the sleek sides of his Alderney cow, and its fat, healthy young one, and ponders on how he could improve their condition, and better the stock, and mebby has passin' thoughts on some bloomin' young girl, who he could persuade to try the fate of the first.

And he'll have no trouble in doin' so--not at all; putty is hard in comparison to wimmin's heads and hearts, sometimes.

But I am, indeed, eppisodin', and to resoom, and proceed.

In this world, where the material, the practical, so oft overshadows the spiritual, it didn't surprise me a mite to have this noble--noble liberal art display crowded back by less riz up and exalted ones.

And oh, what curious things we did see in this Hall of Wonders--curious as a dog, and curiouser.

The New South Wales exhibit in the west gallery is awful big, and divided into five courts, and all full of Beauty and Use.

These Australians are pert and kinder sassy; they look on our country as old, and wore out--some as we look at our Ma Country.

But their exhibit is a wonderful one--exhibit of their mines, that they say are a-goin' to be the richest in the World.

And lots of pictures showin' their strange, melancholy Australian scenery.

And their big trees. Why, one of these trees, they say, is the biggest yet discovered in the World; it is 400 and 80 feet high.

And it wuz here that I see the very queerest thing that I ever did see in my life; it wuz in their collection of strange stuffed birds, and animals which wuz large, and complete, and rangin' from the Emu down to a pure white hummin'-bird.

It wuz here that I see this Thing that Scientists hain't never classified; it is about the size of a beaver--has fur like a seal, eyes like a fish, is web-footed, lays eggs, and hatches its young and lives in the water.

It is called a Platypus--there wuz four on 'em.

Queer creeter as I ever see. No wonder that Scientists furled their spectacles in front of it, and sot down discouraged.

Wall, we hung round there till most night, and Josiah and I went home as tired as two dogs, and tireder. And we both gin in that we hadn't seen nothin' to what we might have seen there; as you may say, we hadn't done any more justice to the contents of that buildin' than we would if we had undertook to count the slate-stuns in our old creek back of our house clear from Jonesville to Zoar--- more'n five miles of clear slate-stun. What could we do to it in one day?

But fatigue and hunger--on Josiah's part, a prancin' team--bore us away, and we went home in pretty good sperits after all, though some late.

Miss Plank had a good supper. We wuz late, but she had kept it warm for us--some briled chicken, and some green peas, and a light nice puddin', and other things accordin'; and Josiah _did indeed do justice to it.

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 13 Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 13

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 13
CHAPTER XIIIWall, the next day after our visit to the Manafactures and Liberal Arts Buildin', I told Josiah to-day I wouldn't put it off a minute longer, I wuz goin' to see the Convent of La Rabida; and sez I, "I feel mortified and ashamed to think I hain't been before." Sez I, "What would Christopher Columbus say to think I had slighted him all this time if he knew on't!" And Josiah said "he guessed I wouldn't git into any trouble with Columbus about it, after he'd been dead four hundred years." "Wall," sez I, "I don't spoze I would,

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11 Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 11
CHAPTER XIWall, 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