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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :3163

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14


I told Josiah this mornin' I wanted to go to the place where they had flowers, and plants, and roses, and things--I felt that duty wuz a-drawin' me.

For, as I told him, old Miss Mahew wanted me to get her a slip of monthly rose if they had 'em to spare--she said, "If they seemed to have quite a few, I might tackle 'em about it, and if they seemed to be kinder scrimped for varieties, she stood willin' to swap one of her best kinds for one of theirn--she said she spozed they would have as many as ten or a dozen plants of each kind."

And I thought mebby I could get a tulip bulb--I had had such poor luck with mine the year before.

But sez I, "Mebby they won't have none to spare--I d'no how well they be off for 'em," but I spozed mebby I would see as many as a dozen or fifteen tulips, and as many roses.

He kinder wanted to go and see the plows and horse-rakes that mornin', but I capitulated with him by sayin' if he would go there first with me, anon we would go together to the horse-rake house.

So we sot out the first thing for the Horticultural Buildin', and good land! good land! when we got to it I wuz jest browbeat and frustrated with the size on't--it is the biggest buildin' that wuz ever built in the world for plants and flowers.

And when you jest think how big the world is, and how long it has stood, and how many houses has been built for posies from Persia and Ingy, down to Chicago and Jonesville, then you will mebby get it into your head the immense bigness on't--yes, that buildin' is two hundred and sixty thousand square feet, and every foot all filled up with beauty, and bloom, and perfume. It faces the risin' sun, as any place for flowers and plants ort to. Like all the rest of the Exposition buildin's, it has sights of ornaments and statutes. One of the most impressive statutes I see there wuz Spring Asleep. It struck so deep a blow onto my fancy that I thought on't the last thing at night, and I waked up in the night and thought on't.

There never wuz a better-lookin' creeter than Spring wuz, awful big too--riz way up lofty and grand, and hantin' as our own dreams of Spring are as we set shiverin' in the Winter.

Her noble face wuz perfect in its beauty, and she sot there with her arms outstretched; and grouped all round her wuz beautiful forms--lovely wimmen, and babies, and children, all bound in slumber, but, as I should imagine, jest on the pint of wakin' up.

I guess they wuz all a-dreamin' about the song of birds a-comin' back from the south land, and silky, pale green willers a-bendin' low over gurglin' brooks, and pink and white may-flowers a-hidin' under the leafy hollows of Northern hills, and the golden glow of cowslips down in the dusky brown shallows in green swamps, and white clouds a-sailin' over blue skies, and soft winds a-blowin' up from the South.

They wuz asleep, but the cookoo's notes would wake 'em in a minute or two; and then I could see by their clothes that they wuz expectin' warmer weather. It wuz a very impressive statute. Mr. Tafft done his very best--I couldn't have done as well myself--not nigh. Wall, to go through that buildin' wuz like walkin' through fairyland, if fairyland had jest blown all out full of beauty and greenness.

Right in the centre overhead, way up, way up, is a crystal ruff made to represent the sky, and it seems to be a-glitterin' in its crystal beauty way up in the clouds; underneath wuz the most beautiful pictures you ever see, or Josiah, or anybody. They wuz painted in Paris--not Paris in the upper end of Lyme County, but Paris in France, way over the billowy Atlantic; and under this magnificent dome wuz all kinds of the most beautiful palms, bamboos and tree ferns, with their shiny, feathery foliage, and big leaves. Why some of them long, feathery leaves wuz so big, if the tree wuz in the middle of our dooryard the ends of 'em would go over into the orchard--one leaf; the idee! Why, you would almost fancy you wuz in a tropical forest, as you looked up into the great feathery masses and leaves as big as a hull tree almost; and risin' right in the centre wuz a mountain sixty feet high all covered with tropical verdure; leadin' into it wuz a shady, cool grotto, where wuz all kinds of ferns, and exquisite plants, that love to grow in such spots.

And way in through, a-flashin' through the cool darkness of the spot, you could see the wonderful rays of that strange light that has a soul.

And if you will believe it--I don't spoze you will--but there is plants here grown by that artificial light--the idee!

I sez to Josiah, "Did you ever see anything like the idee of growin' plants by lamplight?" and he sez--

"It is a new thing, but a crackin' good one," and he added--

"What can be done in one place can in another," and he got all excited up, and took his old account-book out of his pocket and went to calculatin' on how many cowcumbers he could raise in the winter down suller by the light of his old lantern.

I discouraged him, and sez I, "You can't raise plants by the light of that old karsene lantern, and there hain't no room, anyway, in our suller."

And he said, "He wuz bound to spade up round the pork barrel and try a few hills, anyway;" and sez he, dreamily, "We might raise a few string-beans and have 'em run up on the soap tub."

But I made him put up his book, for we wuz attractin' attention, and I told him agin that we hadn't got the conveniences to home that they had here.

He put up his book and we wended on, but he had a look on his face that made me think he hadn't gin up the idee, and I spoze that some good cowcumber seed will be wasted like as not, to say nothin' of karsene.

Wall, all connected with this house is two big open courts, full and runnin' over with beauty and wonder; on the south is the aquatic garden, showin' all the plants and flowers and wonderful water growth.

Here Josiah begun to make calculations agin about growin' flowers in our old mill-pond, but I broke it up.

On the north court is a magnificent orange grove. Why, it makes you feel as though you wuz a-standin' in California or Florida, under the beautiful green trees, full of the ripe, rich fruit, and blossoms, and green leaves.

Wall, the hull house, take it all in all, is such a seen of wonder, and enchantment, and delight, that it might have been transplanted, jest as it stood, from the Arabian nights entertainment.

And you would almost expect if you turned a corner to meet Old Alibaby, or a Grand Vizier, or somebody before you got out of there.

But we didn't; and after feastin' our eyes on the beauty and wonder on't, we sot off to see the rest of the flowers and plants, for we laid out when we first went to the World's Fair to see one thing at a time so fur as we could, and then tackle another, though I am free to confess that it wuz sometimes like tacklin' the sea-shore to count the grains of sand, or tacklin' the great north woods to count how many leaves wuz on the trees, or measurin' the waters of Lake Ontario with a teaspoon, or any other hard job you are a mind to bring up.

But this day we laid out to see as much as we could of the immense display of flowers.

But where there is milds and milds of clear flowers, what can you do? You can't look at every one on 'em, to save your life.

Why, to jest give you a small idee of the magnitude and size, jest think of five hundred thousand pansies from every quarter of the globe, and every beautiful color that wuz ever seen or drempt of. You know them posies do look some like faces, and the faces look like "the great multitude no man could number," that we read about, and every one of them faces a-bloomin' with every color of the rainbow. And speakin' of rainbows, before long we did see one--a long, shinin', glitterin' rainbow, made out of pure pansies, of which more anon and bimeby.

And then, think of seein' from five to ten millions of tulips. Why, I had thought I had raised tulips; I had had from twenty to thirty in full blow at one time, and had realized it, though I didn't mean to be proud nor haughty.

But I knew that my tulips wuz fur ahead of Miss Isham's, or any other Jonesvillian, and I had feelin's accordin'.

But then to think of ten millions of 'em--why, it would took Miss Isham and me more'n a week to jest count 'em, and work hard, too, all the time.

Why, when I jest stretched out my eye-sight to try to take in them ten millions of globes of gorgeous beauty, my sperits sunk in me further than the Queen of Sheba's did before the glory of Solomon; I felt that minute that I would love to see Miss Sheba, and neighbor with her a spell, and talk with her about pride, and how it felt when it wuz a-fallin'. I could go ahead of her, fur, fur, and I thought I would have loved to own it up to her, and if Solomon had been present, too, I wouldn't have cared a mite--I felt humble. And I jest marched off and never said a word about gittin' a root for me or Miss Isham--I wuz fairly overcome.

And still we walked round through milds and milds of solid beauty and bloom. Every beautiful posey I had ever hearn on, and them I had never hearn on wuz there, right before my dazzled eyes.

The biggest crowd we see in the Horticultural Hall wuz round what you may call the humblest thing--a tree, something like old Bobbetses calf, with five legs.

There wuz a fern from Japan, two separate varieties growin' together in one plant.

There wuz Japanese dwarf trees one hundred years old and about as big as gooseberries.

A travellin' tree from Madagascar wuz one of the most interestin' things to look at.

And then there wuz a giant fern from Australia that measured thirty-two feet--the largest, so I wuz told, in Europe or America. Thirty-two feet! And there I have felt so good and even proud-sperited over my fern I took up out of our woods and brung home and sot out in Mother Smith's old blue sugar-bowl. Why, that fern wuz so large and beautiful, and attracted the envious and admirin' attention of so many Jonesvillians, that I had strong idees of takin' it to the Fair!

Philury said she "hadn't a doubt of my gittin' the first prize medal on't." "Why," sez she, "it is as long as Ury's arm!" And it wuz. Miss Lum thought it would be a good thing to take it, to let Chicago and the rest of the world see what vegetation wuz nateral to Jonesville, feelin' that they would most likely have a deep interest in it.

And Deacon Henzy thought "it might draw population there."

And the schoolmaster thought that "it would be useful to the foreign powers to see to what height swamp culture had attained in the growth of its idigenious plants."

I didn't really understand everything he said--there wuz a number more big words in his talk--but I presoom he did, and felt comforted to use 'em.

Why, as I said, I had boasted that fern wuz as long as my arm.

But thirty-two feet--as high as Josiah, and his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, and his great-great-grandfather, and Ury on top.

Where, where wuz my boastin'? Gone, washed away utterly on the sea of wonder and or.

And then there wuz a century plant with a blossom stem thirty feet high, and a posey accordin', one posey agin as high as my Josiah, and his father, and etc., etc., etc., and Ury.

Oh, good gracious! oh, dear me suz!

That plant wuzn't expected to blow out in several years, but all of a sudden it shot up that immense stalk, up, up to thirty feet.

It wuz as if the Queen of the Flowery Kingdom had come with the rest of the kings and princesses of the earth to the Columbus World's Fair.

Had changed her plans to come with the rest of the royal family. It wuz a sight.

Wall, after roamin' there the best part of two hours, I said to my companion, "Less go and see the Wooded Island." And he said with a deep sithe, "I am ready, and more than ready. The name sounds good to me. I would love to see some good plain wood, either corded up or in sled length."

I see he wuz sick of lookin' at flowers, and I d'no as I could blame him; for my own head seemed to be jest a-turnin' round and round, and every turnin' had more colors than any rainbow you ever laid eyes on.

He wuz dretful anxious to git out-doors himself. He said it wuz all for himself that he wuz hurryin' so.

I d'no that, but I do know that in his haste to help me git out he stepped on my foot, and almost made a wreck of that valuable member.

I looked bad, and groaned, and sithed considerable 'fore he got to the sheltered bench he'd sot out for.

He acted sorry, and I didn't reproach him any.

I only sez, "Oh, I don't lay it up aginst you, Josiah. It jest reminds me of Sister Blanker."

And he sez, "I don't thank you to compare me to that slab-sided old maid."

Sez I, "I believe she's a Christian, Josiah."

And so I do. But sez I, "Folks must be megum even in goodness, Josiah Allen, and in order to set down and hold a half orphan in your arms, you mustn't overset yourself and come down on the floor on top of a hull orphan or a nursin' child.

"You mustn't tromple so fast on your way to the gole as to walk over and upset two or three lame ones and paryletics."

Sez I, "Do you remember my eppisode with Sister Blanker, Josiah?"

He did not frame a reply to me, but sot off to look at sunthin' or ruther, sayin' that he would come back in a few minutes.

And as I sot there alone Memory went on and onrolled her panorama in front of my eyeballs, about my singular eppisode with Drusilla Blanker.

Sister Blanker is a good woman and a Christian, but she never so much as sot her foot on the fair plains of megumness, whose balmy, even climate has afforded me so much comfort all my life.

No; she is a woman who stalks on towards goles and don't mind who or what she upsets on her way.

She is a woman who a-chasin' sinners slams the door in the faces of saints.

And what I mean by this is that she is in such a hurry to git inside the door of Duty (a real heavy door sometimes, heavy as iron), she don't see whether or not it is a-goin' to slam back and hit somebody in the forward.

A remarkable instance of this memory onrolled on her panorama--a eppisode that took place in our own Jonesville meetin'-house.

The session room where we go to session sometimes and to transact other business has got a heavy swing door. And everybody who goes through it always calculates to hold it back if there is anybody comin' behind 'em, for that door has been known to knock a man down when it come onto him onexpected and onbeknown to him.

Wall, Sister Blanker wuz a-goin' on ahead of me one night; it wuz a charitable meetin' that we wuz a-goin' to--to quilt a bedquilt for a heathen--and she knew I wuz jest behind her--right on her tracts, as you may say, for we had sot out together from the preachin'-room, and we had been a-talkin' all the way there on the different merits of otter color or butnut for linin' for the quilt, and as to whether herrin'-bone looked so good as a quiltin' stitch as plain rib.

She favored rib and otter; I kinder leaned toward herrin'-bone and butnut.

We had had a agreeable talk all the way, though I couldn't help seein' she wuz too hard on butnut, and slightin' in her remarks on herrin'-bone.

Anyway, she knew I wuz with her in the body; but as she ketched sight of the door that wuz a-goin' to let her in where she could begin to do good, her mind jest soared right up, and she forgot everything and everybody, and she let that door slam right back and hit me on my right arm, and laid me up for over five weeks.

And I fell right back on Edna Garvin, and she is lame, and it knocked her over backwards onto Sally Ann Bobbetses little girl, and she fell flat down, and Miss Gowdey on top of her, and Miss Gowdey, bein' a-walkin' along lost in thought about the bedquilt, and thinkin' how much battin' we should need in it, and not lookin' for a obstacle in her path, slipped right up and fell forwards. Wall, a-tryin' to save little Annie Gowdey from bein' squashed right down, Miss Gowdey throwed herself sideways and strained her back. She weighs two hundred, and is loose-jinted.

And she hain't got over it to this day. She insists on't that she loosened her spine in the affair.

And I d'no but she did!

But the child wuz gin up to die. So for weeks and weeks the Bobbetses and all of Sally Ann's relations (she wuz a Henzy and wide connected in the Methodist meetin'-house) had to give up all their time a-hangin' over that sick-bed.

And the Garvins wuz mad as hens, and they bein' connected with most everybody in the Dorcuss Society--and it wuzn't over than above large--why, take it with my bein' laid up and the children havin' to be home so much, Sister Blanker in that one slam jest about cleaned out the hull Methodist meetin'-house.

The quilt wuzn't touched after that night, and the heathen lay cold all winter, for all I know.

I had all I could do to take care of my own arm, catnip and lobela alternately and a-follerin' after each other I pursued for weeks and weeks, and the pain wuz fearful.

Sister Blanker wuz about the only one who come out hull, and she had plenty of time to set down and mourn over a lack of opportunities to do good, and to talk a sight about the lukewarmness of members of the meetin'-house in good works. And there they wuz to home a-sufferin', and it wuz her own self who had brung it all on.

You see, as I have said more formally, in our efforts to march forwards to do good it is highly neccessary to see that we hain't a-tromplin' on anybody; and in order to help sinners in Africa it hain't neccessary to knock down Christians in New Jersey and Rhode Island, or to stomp onto professors in Maine.

Howsumever, that is some folkses ways.

Wall, I'd a been a-lookin' at the panorama with one half of my mind and admirin' the beauty round me with the other half.

But at this minute--and it wuz lucky my eppisode had come to an end, for if there is anything I hate it is to be broke up in eppisodin'--my Josiah returned.

In front of Horticultural Hall is a flower terrace for out-door exhibits of loveliness, and then in front of that is the beautiful, cool water, and down in the centre of that, below the terrace, and its beauty, and vases, is a boat-landin'. The water did look dretful good to me after lookin' at so many gorgeous colors--more than any rainbow ever boasted of, enough sight--it did seem good to me to look down into them cool waters; and I sez to my pardner--

"The water does look dretful good and sort o' satisfyin', don't it, Josiah?"

A bystander a-standin' by sez, "I guess if you would go into the south pavilion here and look at the display of wine you wouldn't talk about lookin' at water; why," sez he, "to say nothin' of the display of our own country, the exhibit of wine from France, Italy, Spain, and Germany is enough to set a man half crazy to look at."

I looked at him coldly--his nose wuz as red as fire--and I sez, "I hain't got no call to look at wine.

(Illustration: His nose wuz as red as fire.)

"I wouldn't give a cent a barrel for the best there is there, if I had got to consoom it myself.

"Though," sez I, reasonably, "I wouldn't object to havin' a pint bottle on't to keep in the house in case of sickness, or to make jell, or sunthin'.

"But I will not go and encourage the makin' of such quantities as there is there, I will not encourage 'em in makin' that show."

He looked mad, and sez he, "I guess they won't stop their show because you won't go and see it."

"Probable not," sez I; but sez I, real eloquent, "I will hold up my banner afoot or on horseback."

And then I sez to my husband, with quite a good deal of dignity--

"Less proceed to the Wooded Island, Josiah Allen."

But alas! for Josiah's hope of seein' sunthin' plain and simple. When we got there, that seemed to be the very central garden of the earth for flowers, and beauty, and bloom, and there it wuz that we see the most gorgeous rainbow--all made of pansies--glow and dazzlement.

The island contains seventeen acres, and it stands on such a rise of ground, that every buildin' on the Fair ground can be seen plain.

In the centre of the south end wuz the rose garden, where the choicest and most beautiful roses from all over the world bloom in their glowin' richness.

When I thought how much store I had sot by one little monthly rose a-growin' in a old earthen teapot of Mother Allen's--and when it wuz all blowed out I had reason to be proud on't--

But jest think of seein' fifty thousand of the choicest roses in the world, all a-blowin' out at one time.

Why, I had a immense number of emotions.

I thought of the ancient rose gardens we read of, and Solomon's Songs, and most everything.

It wuz surrounded on all four sides with a wire trellis, with archways openin' on four sides, and all over these pretty trellises climbin' roses and honeysuckles, and all lovely climbin' plants covered it into four walls of perfect beauty.

It wuz truly the World's Rose Garden.

Well might Josiah say he wuz sick of flowers, and wanted to see some plain cord wood! Why, that day we see in one batch twenty thousand orchids, six thousand Parmee violets, and one man--jest one man--sent 'leven hundred ivies and one thousand hydarangeas, and every flower you ever hearn on in proportion, let alone what all the other men all over the earth had sent.

On the north side of the island Japan jest shows herself at her very best, and lets the world see her in a native village, and how she raises flowers, and makes shrubs and trees look curious as anything you ever see, and curiouser, too; all surrounded a temple where she keeps what she calls her religion, and lots of other things.

Japan is one of the likeliest countries that are represented in Columbuses doin's. She wuz the first country to respond to the invitation to take part in it, and I spoze mebby that is the reason that Chicago gin her this beautiful place to hold her own individual doin's in. The temple is a gorgeous-lookin' one, but queer as anything--as anything I ever see.

But then, on the other hand, I spoze them Japans would call the Jonesville meetin'-house queer; for what is strange in one country is second nater in another.

This temple is built with one body and two wings, to represent the Phoenix--or so they say; the wood part wuz built in Japan and put up here by native Japans, brung over for that purpose.

It is elaborate and gorgeous-lookin' in the extreme, and the gorgeousness a-differin' from our gorgeousness as one star differeth from a rutabaga turnip.

Not that I mean any disrespect to Japan or the United States by the metafor, but I had to use a strong one to show off the difference.

In one wing of the temple is exhibited articles from one thousand to four thousand years old--old bronzes, and arms, and first attempts at pottery and lacquer.

Some of these illustrate arts that are lost fur back in the past--I d'no how or where, nor Josiah don't.

In the other wing are Japan productions four hundred years old, showin' the state of the country when Columbus sot out to discover their country; for it wuz stories of a wonderful island--most probable Japan--that wuz one thing that influenced Columbus strong.

In the main buildin' are sights and sights of goods from Japan at the present day.

All of the north part of the island is a marvellous show of their skill and ingenuity in landscape gardenin', and dwarf trees, and the wonderful garden effects for which they are noted.

They make a present of the temple and all of these horticultural works to Chicago.

To remain always a ornament of Jackson Park, which I call very pretty in 'em.

Take it all together, the exhibits of Japan are about as interesting as that of any country of the globe.

In some things they go ahead of us fur. Now in some of their meetin'-houses I am told they don't have much of anything but a lookin'-glass a-hangin', to show the duty and neccessity of lookin' at your own sins.

To set for a hour and a half and examine your own self and meditate on your own shortcomin's.

How useful and improvin' that would be if used--as it ort to be--in Jonesville or Chicago!

But still the world would call it queer.

I leaned up hard on that thought, and wuz carried safe through all the queer sights I see there.

I see quite a number of the Japans there, pretty, small-bonded folks, with faces kinder yellowish brown, dark eyes sot considerable fur back in their heads, their noses not Romans by any means--quite the reverse--and their hair glossy and dark, little hands and feet. Some on 'em wuz dressed like Jonesvillians, but others had their queer-shaped clothin', and dretful ornamental. Josiah wuz bound to have a sack embroidered like one of theirn, and some wooden shoes, and caps with tossels--he thought they wuz dressy--and he wanted some big sleeves that he could use as a pocket; and then sez he--

"To have shoes that have a separate place for the big toe, what a boon for that dum old corn on that toe of mine that would be!"

But I frowned on the idee; but sez he--

"If you mind the expense, I could take one of your old short night-gowns and color it black, and set some embroidery onto it. I could cut some figgers out of creton--it wouldn't be much work. Why," sez he, "I could pin 'em on--no, dum it all," sez he, "I couldn't set down in it, but I could glue 'em on."

But I sez, "If you want to foller the Japans I could tell you a custom of theirn, and I would give ten cents willin'ly to see you foller it."

"What is that?" sez he, ready, as I could see, to ornament himself, or shave his hair, or dress up his big toe, or anything.

But I sez, "It is their politeness, Josiah Allen."

"I'd be a dum fool if I wuz in your place," sez he. "What do I want to foller 'em for? I am polite, and always wuz."

I looked coldly at him, and sez I--

"Japans wouldn't call their wives a dum fool no quicker than they would take their heads off."

Sez he, conscience-struck, "I didn't call you one. I said _I would be one if I wuz in your place--I wuz a-demeanin' myself, Samantha."

Sez I, not mindin' his persiflage, "The Japans are the politest nation on the earth; they say cheatin' and lyin' hain't polite, and so they don't want to foller 'em; they hitch principle and politeness right up in one team and ride after it."

"Wall," sez he, "I do and always have."

I wouldn't deign to argue with him, only I remarked, "Wall, the team prances, and throws you time and again, Josiah Allen."

Sez I, "The Japans are neat, industrious, studious, and progressive, ardent in desirin' knowledge."

"Wall," sez he, "if you think so much on 'em, why don't you buy a pipe--they all smoke, men and wimmen."

He didn't love to hear me praisin' even a nation, that man didn't, but I soothed him down by drawin' his attention to the housen of the little village.

They wuz low, and had broad eaves, and a sort of a piazza a-runnin' all round 'em; they seemed to be kinder plastered on the outside; and the doors and winders--I wouldn't want to swear to it--but they did seem to be wood frames covered with paper, that would slide back and forth, and the partitions of the housen seemed to be made of paper that could be slipped and slided every way, or be took down and turn the hull house into one room.

And the little gardens round the housen looked curious as a dog, and curiouser, with trees and shrubs dwarfed and trained into forms of animals and so forth.

But I leaned heavy on the thought that my house and garden in Jonesville would look jest as queer to 'em, and got along without bein' too dumbfoundered. As I wuz a-walkin' along there I did think of the errant Old Miss Baker sent by me.

She wanted me to git her a japanned dust-pan. She said that "them she bought of tin-peddlers wuzn't worth a cent--the japan all wore off of 'em."

"But," sez she, "you buy it right at headquarters--you'd be apt to git a good one;" and she told me that I might go as high as twenty-five cents if I couldn't git it for no less.

And I spoke on't there, but Josiah said "that he wouldn't go a-luggin' round dust-pans for nobody to this Fair."

But I sez, "I guess that Columbus went through more than that."

But I did in my own mind hate to go round before the nations a-carryin' a dust-pan--they're so kinder rakish-lookin'.

But if I'd seen a good one I should have leaned on duty and bought it.

But we didn't see no signs of any.

But we see pictures and ornaments so queer that I felt my own eyes a-movin' round sideways a-beholdin' of 'em, or would have if we had stayed there long enough. We see as we wended along that all round the island wuz another garden all full of flowers, and ornamental grasses, and beautiful shrubs, and windin' walks, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth--an Eden of beauty.

And in one place we see in a large tank the Victoria Regia. Its leaves wuz ten feet long, and when in the water in its own home, the River Amazon in Brazil, the leaves will hold up a child six years old.

Then there wuz the lotus from Egypt, and Indian lilies, and that magnificent flower, Humboldt's last discovery, "the water poppy."

It wuz a sight--a sight.

But of all the sights I see that day I guess the one that stayed by me the longest, and that I thought more on than any of the other contents of Horticultural Hall, as I lay there on my peaceful pillow at Miss Plankses, wuz the reproduction of the Crystal Cave of Dakota.

(Illustration: My peaceful pillow at Miss Plankses.)

The original cave, so fur as they have discovered it, is thirty-three milds long--

Three times as long as the hull town of Lyme--the idee!

Thirty lakes of pure water has been found in it, and one thousand four hundred rooms have been opened up.

Here is a reproduction of seven of them rooms. Two men of Deadwood of Dakota wuz over a year a-gittin' specimens of the stalactites and stalagmites which they have brought to the Exposition.

One of the rooms is called "Garden of the Gods;" another is "Abode of the Fairies," and one is the "Bridal Chamber;" another is the "Cathedral Chimes."

Language can't paint nor do anything towards paintin' the dazzlin' glory of them rooms, with the great masses of gleamin' crystal, and slender columns, and all sorts of forms and fancies wrought in the dazzlin' crystalline masses.

The chimes wuz perfect in their musical records--the guide played a tune on 'em.

They wuz all lit up by electricity, and it wuz here that the plants wuz a-growin' by no other light but electricity.

By windin' passages a-windin' through groups of fairy-like beauty and grandeur, you at last come out into the principal chamber, and here indeed you did feel that you wuz in the Garden of the Gods, as you looked round and beheld with your almost dazzled eyes the gorgeous colors radiatin' from the crystals, and the gleamin' and glowin' fancies on every side of you.

And I sez to Josiah--

"The hull thirty-three milds that this represents wuz considered till about a year ago as only a small hole in the ground, so little do we know." Sez I, "What glorious and majestic sights are about us on every side, liable to be revealed to us when the time comes."

And then he wuz all rousted up about a hole down in our paster. Sez he, "Who knows what it would lead to if it wuz opened up?" Sez he, "I'll put twenty men to diggin' there the minute I git home."

Sez I, "Josiah, that is a woodchuck hole--the woodchuck wuz took in it; you have got to be megum in caves as much as anything. Be calm," sez I, for he wuz a-breathin' hard and wuz fearful excited, and I led him out as quick as I could.

But he wuz a-sleepin' now peaceful, forgittin' his enthusiasm, while I, who took it calm at the time, kep awake to muse on the glory of the spectacle.

After we left the Horticultural Buildin' I proposed that we should branch out for once and git a fashionable dinner.

"Dinner!" sez Josiah. "Are you crazy, or what does ail you? Talk about gittin' dinner at this time of day--most bedtime!"

But I explained it out to him that fashion called for dinner at the hour that we usually partook of our evenin' meal at Jonesville.

Sez I, "Josiah, I would love for jest once to go to a big fashionable restaurant and mingle with the fashionable throng--jest for instruction and education, Josiah, not that I want to foller it up."

But sez he, "We'd better go to the same old place where we've got good, clean dinners and supperses, and enough on 'em, and at a livin' price."

But he argued warm at the foolishness of the enterprise.

But onlucky creeter that I wuz, I argued that, bein' a woman in search of instruction and wisdom, I wanted to see life on as many sides as I could; while I was at Columbuses doin's I wanted to look round and see all I could in a social and educational way.

Poor deceived human creeters, how they will blind their own eyes when they pursue their own desires!

I do spoze it wuz vanity and pride that wuz at the bottom of it.

And truly, if I desired to see life on a new side I wuz about to have my wish; and if I had a haughty sperit when I entered that hall of fashion, it wuz with droopin' feathers and lowered crest that I went out on't.

Josiah wuz mad when he finally gin up and accompanied and went in with me.

It wuz a beautifully decorated room, and crowds of splendidly dressed men and wimmen wuz a-settin' round at little tables all over the room.

And as we went in, a tall, elegant-lookin' man, who I spozed for a long time wuz a minister, and I wondered enough what brung him there, and why he should advance and wait on me, but spozed it wuz because of the high opinion they had of me at Chicago, and their wantin' to use me so awful well.

But for all his white collar, and necktie, and sanctimonious look, I found out that he wuz a waiter, for all on 'em looked jest as he did, slick enough to be kept in a bandbox, and only let out once in a while to air.

Wall, he led the way to a little table, and we seated ourselves, Josiah still a-actin' mad--mad as a hen, and uppish.

And then the waiter put some little slips of paper before us, one with printin' and one with writin' on it, and a pencil, and sez he, "I will be back when you make out your order."

And Josiah took out his old silver spectacles and begun to read out loud, and his voice wuz angry and morbid in the extreme.

Sez he, loud and clear, "Blue pints--pints of what, I'd love to know? If it wuz a good pint of sweetened vinegar and ginger, I'd fall in with the idee."

Sez I, "Keep still, Josiah; they're a-lookin' at you."

"Wall, let 'em look," sez he, out loud and defiant.

"Consomme of chicken a la princess--what do we want of Princesses here, or Queens, or Dukesses--we want sunthin' to eat! Devilish crabs--do you want some, Samantha?"

I looked over his shoulder, in wild horrer at them awful words, and then I whispered, "Devilled crabs--and do you keep still, Josiah Allen; I'd ruther not have anythin' to eat at all than to have you act so--it hain't devilish."

"Wall, what is the difference?" he sez, out loud and strong; "devilish or bedevilled, they both mean the same.

"And it is true, too--too true; they are all bedevilled," sez he, gloomily eyin' the bill.

I allers hated crabs from the time they used to fasten to my bare toes down in the old swimmin' hole in the creek. "Wall, you don't want any bedevilled crabs, do you?"

(Illustration: "I allus hated crabs!")

"No," sez I, faintly; for I wuz mortified enough to sink through the floor if there had been any sinkin' place, and I whispered, "I'd ruther go without any dinner at all than to have you act so."

"Oh, no," sez he, loud and positive, "you don't want to go without your dinner; you want to be fashionable and cut style--you want to make a show."

"Wall," sez I, faint as a cat, "I am apt to git my wish."

For three men looked up and laughed, and one girl snickered, besides some other wimmen.

Sez I, hunchin' him, "Do be still and less go to our old place."

"Oh, no," sez he, speakin' up to the top of his voice, "don't less leave; here is such a variety!"

"Potatoes surprise," sez he; "it must be that they are mealy and cooked decent; that would be about as much of a surprise as I could have about potatoes here, to have 'em biled fit to eat; we'll have some of them, anyway.

"Philadelphia caperin'--I didn't know that Philadelphia caperin' wuz any better than Chicago a-caperin' or New York a-caperin'. Veal o just! I guess if he had been kicked by calves as much as I have, he wouldn't talk so much about their Christian habits.

"Leg of mutton with caper sass--wall, it is nateral for sheep to caper and act sassy, and it is nobody's bizness.

"Supreme pinted bogardus--what in thunder is that? Supreme--wall, I've hearn of a supreme ijiot, and I believe that Bogardus is his name.

"Terrapin a-layin' on Maryland--I never knew that terrapin wuz a hen before, and why is it any better to lay on Maryland than anywhere else? Mebby eggs are higher there; wall, Maryland hain't much too big for a good-sized hen's nest, nor Rhode Island neither."

"Josiah Allen," I whispered, deep and solemn, "if you don't stop I will part with you."

Folks wuz in a full snicker and a giggle by this time.

"Oh, no," sez he, loud and strong, "you don't want to part with me till I git you a fashionable dinner, and we both cut style.

"Tenderloin of beef a-tryin' on"--a-tryin' on what, I'd love to know?--style, most probable, this is such a stylish place."

"Will you be still, Josiah Allen?" sez I, a-layin' holt of his vest.

"No, I won't; I am tryin' to put on style, Samantha, and buy you sunthin' stylish to eat."

"Wall, you needn't," sez I; "I have lost my appetite."

"Siberian Punch! Let him come on," sez Josiah; "if I can't use my fists equal to any dum Siberian that ever trod shoe leather, then I'll give in."

Then three wimmen giggled, and the waiters began to look mad and troubled.

"English rifles"--wall, I shouldn't have thought they would have tried that agin. No, trifles," sez he, a-lookin' closer at it.

"English trifles!--lions' tails and coronets, mebby--English trifles and tutty-frutty. Do have some tutty-frutty, Samantha, it has such a stylish sound to it, so different from good pork and beans and roast beef; I believe you would enjoy it dearly.

"Waiter," sez he, "bring on some tutty-frutty to once."

The waiter approached cautiously, and made a motion to me, and touched his forehead.

He thought he wuz crazy, and he whispered to me, "Is it caused by drinkin'? or is it nateral and come on sudden--"

Josiah heard it, and answered out loud, "It wuz caused by style, by bein' fashionable; my only aim has been to git my wife a fashionable dinner, but I see it has overcome her."

The waiter wuz a good-hearted-lookin' man--a kind heart beat below that white necktie (considerable below it on the left side), and sez he to me--

"Shall I bring you a dinner, Mom, without takin' the order?"

And I replied gratefully--

"Yes, so do;" and so he brung it, a good enough dinner for anybody--good roast beef, and potatoes, and lemon pie, and tea, and Josiah eat hearty, and had to quiet down some, though he kept a-mournin' all through the meal about its not bein' carried on fashionable and stylish, and that it wuz my doin's a-breakin' it up, and etc., etc., and the last thing a-wantin' tutty-frutty, and etc., etc.

And I paid for the meal out of my own pocket; the waiter thought I had to on account of my companion's luny state, and he gin the bill to me.

And Josiah a-chucklin' over it, as I could see, for savin' his money.

And I got him out of that place as quick as I could, the bystanders, or ruther the bysetters, a-laughin' or a-lookin' pitiful at me, as their naters differed.

And as we wended off down the broad path on the outside, I sez, "You have disgraced us forever in the eyes of the nation, Josiah Allen."

And he sez, "What have I done? You can't throw it in my face, Samantha, that I hain't tried to cut style--that I didn't try to git you a stylish meal."

I wouldn't say a word further to him, and I never spoke to him once that night--not once, only in the night I thought there wuz a mouse in the room, and I forgot myself and called on him for help.

And for three days I didn't pass nothin' but the compliments with him; he felt bad--he worships me. He did it all to keep me from goin' to a costly place--I know what his motives wuz--but he had mortified me too deep.

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15 Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15
CHAPTER XVWall, this mornin' I said that I would go to see the Palace of Art if I had to go on my hands and knees. And Josiah sez, "I guess you'd need a new pair of knees by the time you got there." And I do spoze it wuz milds and milds from where I wuz. But I only wanted to let Josiah Allen know my cast-iron determination to not be put off another minute in payin' my devours to Art. He see it writ in my mean and didn't make no moves towards breakin' it up. Only he muttered

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,