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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :1818

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 15


Wall, 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 sunthin' about not carin' so much about ile paintin's as he did for lots of other things.

But I heeded him not, and sez I, "We will go early in the mornin' before any one gits there." But I guess that several hundred thousand other folks must have laid on the same plans overnight, for we found the rooms full and runnin' over when we got there.

Before we got to the Art Palace, you'd know you wuz in its neighborhood by the beautiful statutes and groups of figgers you'd see all round you.

The buildin' itself is a gem of art, if you can call anything a gem that is acres and acres big of itself, and then has immense annexes connected with it by broad, handsome corridors on either side.

It is Greek in style, and the dome rises one hundred and twenty-five feet and is surmounted by Martiny's wonderful winged Victory.

Another female is depictered standin' on top of the globe with wreaths in her outstretched hands.

Wall, I hope the figger is symbolical, and I believe in my soul she is!

You enter this palace by four great portals, beautiful with sculptured figgers and ornaments, and as you go on in the colonnade you see beautiful paintin's illustratin' the rise and progress of Art.

And way up on the outside, on what they call the freeze of the buildin' (and good land! I don't see what they wuz a-thinkin' on, for I wuz jest a-meltin' down where I wuz, and it must have been hotter up there).

But that's their way.

Wall, way up there and on the pediment of the principal entrances are sculptures and portraits of the ancient masters of Art in relief.

In relief? That's what they called it, and I spoze them old men must felt real relieved and contented to be sot down there in such a grand place, and so riz up like. You could see plain by their liniments how glad and proud they wuz to be in Chicago, a-lookin' down on that seen of beauty all round 'em. Lookin' down on the terraces richly ornamented with balustrades--down over the immense flight of steps down into the blue water, with its flocks of steam lanches, and gondolas, like gay birds of passage, settled down there ready for flight.

All the light in this buildin' comes down through immense skylights.

There is no danger of folks a-fallin' out of the winders or havin' anybody peek in unless it is the man in the moon.

All round this vast room is a gallery forty feet wide, where you could lock arms and promenade, and talk about hens.

But you wouldn't want to, I don't believe. You'd want to spend every minute a-feastin' your eyes on the Best of the World.

All along the floors of the nave and transepts are displayed the most beautiful sculptures that wuz ever sculped in any part of the world, while the walls are covered with paintin's and sculptured panels in relief.

That's what they call 'em, because it's such a relief for folks to set down and look at 'em.

Between the promenades and naves and transepts are the smaller rooms, where the private collections of picters are kep and the works of the different Art Schools, and the four corners are filled with smaller picter galleries.

Why, to go through jest one of them annexes, let alone the palace itself, would take a week if you examined 'em as you ort to. Josiah told me that mornin', with a encouraged look onto his face--

"Samantha, after we've seen all the ile paintin's we'll go somewhere, and have a good time."

"But good land! see all the ile paintin's!"

Why, as I told him after we'd wandered through there for hours and hours, sez I, "If we spent every minute of the hull summer we couldn't do justice to 'em all."

And we couldn't. Why, it has been all calculated out by a good calculator, that spend one minute to a picter, and it would take twenty-six days to go through 'em. And good land! what is one minute to some of the picters you see. Why, half a day wuzn't none too long to pour over some on 'em, and when I say pour, I mean pour, for I see dozens of folks weepin' quite hard before some on 'em.

(Illustration: I see dozens of folks weepin' quite hard before some on 'em.)

For these picters wuzn't picked out haphazard all over the country. No, they had to, every one on 'em, run the gantlet of the most severe and close criticism.

The Jury of Admittance stood in front of that gallery, and over it, as you may say, like the very finest and strongest wire sieve, a-strainin' out all but the finest and clearest merits. No dregs could git through--not a dreg.

I guess that hain't a very good metafor, and if I wuzn't in such a hurry I'd look round and try to find a better one, not knowin', too, but what that Jury of Admittance will feel mad as hens at me to be compared to sieves; but I don't mean the common wire ones, such as tin-peddlers sell. No, I mean the searchin' and elevatin' process by which the very best of our country and the hull world wuz separated from the less meritorious ones, and spread out there for the inspiration and delight of the assembled nations.

And wuzn't it a sight what wuz to be found there!

Landscapes from every land on the globe--from Lapland to the Orient. Tropical forests, with soft southern faces lookin' out of the verdant shadows. Frozen icebergs, with fur-clad figgers with stern aspects, and grizzly bears and ice-suckles.

Bits of the beauty of all climes under all skies, dark or sunny. Mountains, trees, valleys, forests, plains and prairies, palaces and huts, ships, boats and balloons. The beauty and the sadness of every season of the year, beautiful faces, inspired faces, humbly faces, strikin' powerful means, and mean cowardly sly liniments looked out on every side of us.

Picters illustratin' every phase of human life, in every corner of the globe, from birth to death, from kingly prosperity and luxurious ease to prisons and scaffolds, the throne, the hospital, the convent, the pulpit, the monastery, the home, the battle-field, the mid-ocean, and the sheltered way, and Heaven and Hell, and Life and Death.

Every seen and spot the human mind had ever conceived wuz here depictered.

Every emotion man or woman ever felt, every inspiration that ever possessed their soul, every joy and every grief that ever lifted or bowed down their heads wuz here depictered.

And seens from the literature of every land wuz illustrated, the world of matter, the world of mind, all their secrets laid bare to the eyes of the admirin' nations.

It wuz a sight--a sight!

Gallery after gallery, room after room did we wander through till the gorgeous colorin' seemed to dye our very thoughts and emotions, and I looked at Josiah in a kinder mixed-up, lofty way, as if he wuz a ile paintin' or a statute, and he looked at me almost as if he considered me a chromo.

It wuz a time not to be forgot as long as memory sets up high on her high throne.

Room after room, gallery after gallery, beauty dazzlin' us on every side, and lameness and twinges of rumatiz a-harassin' us in our four extremities.

Why, the sight seemed so endless and so immense, that some of the time we felt like two needles in a haymow, a haymow made up of a vision of loveliness, and the two little needles feelin' fairly tuckered out, and blunted, and browbeat.

Why, we got so kinder bewildered and carried away, that some of the time I couldn't tell whether the masterpiece I wuz a-devourin' with my eyes come from Germany or Jonesville, from France or Shackville, from Holland or from Zoar, up in the upper part of Lyme.

Of course amongst that endless display there wuz some picters that struck such hard blows at the heart and fancy that you can't forgit 'em if you wanted to, which most probable you don't.

And now, in thinkin' back on 'em, I can't sort 'em out and lay 'em down where they belong and mark 'em 1, 2, 3, 4, and etcetry, as I'd ort to.

But I'm jest as likely to let my mind jump right from what I see at the entrance to sunthin' that I see way to the latter end of the buildin', and visa versa.

It kinder worries me. I love to even meditate and allegore with some degree of order and system, but I can't here. I must allegore and meditate on 'em jest as they come, and truly a-thinkin' on these picters, I feel as Hosey Bigelow ust to say:

"I can't tell what's comin'--gall or honey."

But some of them picters and statutes made perfect dents in my memory, and can't be smoothed out agin nohow.

There wuz one little figger jest at the entrance where we went in, "The Young Acrobat," that impressed me dretfully.

It wuz a man's hand and arm that wuz a-risin' up out of a pedestal, and on the hand wuz set the cutest little baby you ever see. I guess it wuz the first time that he'd ever sot up anywhere out of the cradle or his ma's arms.

He looked some skairt, and some proud, and too cunnin' for anything, as I hearn remarked by a few hundred female wimmen that day.

And like as not it is jest like my incoherence in revery that from that little baby my mind would spring right on to the French exhibit to that noble statute of Jennie D. Ark, kneelin' there with her clasped hands and her eyes lifted as if she wuz a-sayin': "I _did hear the voices!"

And so she did hear the language of Heaven, and the dull souls around her wuz too earthly to comprehend the divine harmonies, and so they burnt her up for it.

Lots of folks are burnt up in different fires to-day, for the same thing.

Then mebby my mind will jest jump to the "Age of Iron" or to the "Secrets of the Tomb," or "The Eagle and the Vulture," or "Washington and Lafayette," or "Charity"--a good-lookin' creeter she wuz--she could think of other children besides her own; or mebby it will jump right over onto the "Indian Buffalo Hunt"--a horse a-rarin' right up to git rid of a buffalo that wuz a-pressin' right in under its forelegs.

I don't see how that hunter could stay on his back--I couldn't--to say nothin' to shootin' the arrows into the critter as he's a-doin'.

Or mebby my mind'll jump right over to the "Soldier of Marathon," or "Eve," no knowin' at all where my thoughts will take me amongst them noble marble figgers.

And as for picters, my revery on 'em now is a perfect sight; a show as good as a panorama is a-goin' on in my fore-top now when I let my thoughts take their full swing on them picters.

Amongst them that struck the hardest blows on my fancy wuz them that told stories that touched the heart.

There wuz one in the Holland exhibit, called "Alone in the World," a picter that rousted up my feelin's to a almost alarmin' extent. It wuz a picter by Josef Israel.

It wuz a sight to see how this picter touched the hearts of the people. No grandeur about it, but it held the soul of things--pathos, heart-breakin' sorrow.

A peasant had come home to his bare-lookin' cottage, and found his wife dead in her bed.

He didn't rave round and act, and strike an attitude. No, he jest turned round and sot there on his hard stool, with his hands on his knees, a-facin' the bare future.

The hull of the desolation of that long life of emptiness and grief that he sees stretch out before him without her, that he had loved and lost, wuz in the man's grief-stricken face.

It wuz that face that made up the loss and the strength of the picter.

I cried and wept in front of it, and cried and wept. I thought what if that wuz Josiah that sot there with that agony in his face, and that desolation in his heart, and I couldn't comfort him--

Couldn't say to him: "Josiah, we'll bear it together."

I wuz fearful overcome.

(Illustration: I cried and wept in front of it, and cried and wept.)

And then there wuz another picter called "Breakin' Home Ties."

A crowd always stood before that.

It wuz a boy jest a-settin' out to seek his fortune. The breakfast-table still stood in the room. The old grandma a-settin' there still; time had dulled her vision for lookin' forward. She wuz a-lookin' into the past, into the realm that had held so many partin's for her, and mebby lookin' way over the present into the land of meetin's.

The little girl with her hand on the old dog is too small to fully realize what it all means.

But in the mother's face you can see the full meanin' of the partin'--the breakin' of the old ties that bound her boy so fast to her in the past.

The lettin' him go out into the evil world without her lovin' watchfulness and love. All the love that would fain go with him--all the admonition that she would fain give him--all the love and all the hope she feels for him is writ in her gentle face.

As for the boy, anticipation and dread are writ on his mean, but the man is waitin' impatient outside to take him away. The partin' must come.

You turn away, glad you can't see that last kiss.

Then there wuz "Holy Night," the Christ Child, with its father and mother, and some surroundin' worshippers of both sects.

Mary's face held all the sweetness and strength you'd expect to see in the mother of our Lord. And Joseph looked real well too--quite well.

Josiah said that "the halos round his head and Mary's looked some like big white plates."

But I sez, "You hain't much of a judge of halos, anyway. Mebby if you should try to make a few halos you'd speak better of 'em."

I often think this in the presence of critics, mebby if they should lay holt and paint a few picters, they wouldn't find fault with 'em so glib. It looks real mean to me to see folks find so much fault with what they can't do half so well themselves.

Then there wuz the wimmen at the tomb of the Christ. The door is open, the Angel is begenin' for 'em to enter.

In the faces of them weepin', waitin' wimmen is depictered the very height and depth of sorrow. You can't see the face of one on 'em, but her poster gives the impression of absolute grief and loss.

The quiverin' lips seems formin' the words--"Farwell, farwell, best beloved."

Deathless love shines through the eyes streamin' with tears.

In the British section there wuz one picter that struck such a deep blow onto my heart that its strings hain't got over vibratin' still.

They send back some of them deep, thrillin' echoes every time I think on't in the day-time or wake up in the night and think on't.

It wuz "Love and Death," and wuz painted by Mr. Watts, of London.

It showed a home where Love had made its sweet restin'-place--vines grew up round the pleasant door-way, emblematic of how the heart's deep affection twined round the spot.

But in the door-way stood a mighty form, veiled and shadowy, but relentless. It has torn the vines down, they lay witherin' at its feet. It wuz bound to enter.

Though you couldn't see the face of this veiled shape, a mysterious, dretful atmosphere darkened and surrounded it, and you knew that its name wuz Death.

Love stood in the door-way, vainly a-tryin' to keep it out, but you could see plain how its pleadin', implorin' hand, extended out a-tryin' to push the figger away, wuz a-goin' to be swept aside by the inexorable, silent shape.

Death when he goes up on a door-step and pauses before a door has got to enter, and Love can't push it away. No, it can only git its wings torn off and trompled on in the vain effort.

It wuz a dretful impressive picter, one that can't be forgot while life remains.

On the opposite wall wuz Crane's noble picter, "Freedom;" I stood before that for some time nearly lost and by the side of myself. Crane did first-rate; I'd a been glad to have told him so--it would a been so encouragin' to him.

Then there wuz another picter in the English section called "The Passing of Arthur" that rousted up deep emotions.

I'd hearn Thomas J. read so much about Arthur, and that round extension table of hisen, that I seemed to be well acquainted with him and his mates.

I knew that he had a dretful hard time on't, what with his wife a-fallin' in love with another man--which is always hard to bear--and etcetry. And I always approved of his doin's.

He never tried to go West to git a divorce. No; he merely sez to her, when she knelt at his feet a-wantin' to make up with him, he sez, "Live so that in Heaven thou shalt be Arthur's true wife, and not another's."

I'll bet that shamed Genevere, and made her feel real bad.

And his death-bed always seemed dretful pathetic to me.

And here it wuz all painted out. The boat floatin' out on the pale golden green light, and Arthur a-layin' there with the three queens a-weepin' over him. A-floatin' on to the island valley of Avilion, "Where falls not hail nor rain, nor any snow."

And then there wuz a picter by Whistler, called "The Princess of the Land of Porcelain."

You couldn't really tell why that slender little figger in the long trailin' silken robes, and the deep dark eyes, and vivid red lips should take such a holt on you.

But she did, and that face peers out of Memory-aisles time and time agin, and you wake up a-thinkin' on her in the night.

Mr. Whistler must a been dretful interested himself in the Lady of the Land of Porcelain, or he couldn't have interested other folks so.

And then there wuz another by Mr. Whistler, called "The Lady of the Yellow Buskin."

A poem of glowin' color and life.

And right there nigh by wuz one by Mr. Chase, jest about as good. The name on't wuz "Alice."

I believe Alice Ben Bolt looked some like her when she wuz of the same age, you know--

"Sweet Alice, whose hair was so brown,
Who wept with delight when Mr. Ben Bolt gin her a smile;
And trembled with fear at Mr. Ben Boltses frown."

She ort to had more gumption than that; but I always liked her.

Elihu Vedder's picters rousted up deep emotions in my soul--jest about the deepest I have got, and the most mysterious and weird.

Other artists may paint the outside of things, but he goes deeper, and paints the emotions of the soul that are so deep that you don't hardly know yourself that you've got them of that variety.

In lookin' through these picters of hisen illustratin' that old Persian poem, "Omer Kyham"--

Why, I have had from eighty to a hundred emotions right along for half a day at a time.

Mr. Vedder had here "A Soul in Bondage," "The Young Marysus and Morning," and "Delila and Sampson," and several others remarkably impressive.

And Mr. Sargent's "Mother and Child" looked first-rate in its cool, soft colors. They put me in mind a good deal of Tirzah Ann and Babe.

And "The Delaware Valley" and "A Gray Lowery Day," by Mr. George Inness, impressed me wonderfully. Many a day like it have I passed through in Jonesville.

"Hard Times," also in a American department, wuz dretful impressive. A man and a woman wuz a-standin' in the hard, dusty road.

His face looked as though all the despair, and care, and perplexities of the hard times wuz depictered in it.

He wuz stalkin' along as if he had forgot everything but his trouble.

And I presoom that he'd had a dretful hard time on't--dretful. He couldn't git no work, mebby, and wuz obleeged to stand and see his family starve and suffer round him.

Yes, he wuz a-walkin' along with his hands in his empty pockets and his eyes bent towards the ground.

But the woman, though her face looked haggard, and fur wanner than hissen, yet she wuz a-lookin' back and reachin' out her arms towards the children that wuz a-comin' along fur back. One of 'em wuz a-cryin', I guess. His ma hadn't nothin' but love to give him, but you could see that she wuz a-givin' him that liberal.

And Durant's "Spanish Singing Girl" rousted up a sight of admiration; she wuz _very good-lookin'--looked a good deal like my son's wife.

Well, in the Russian Department (and jest see how my revery flops about, clear from America to Russia at one jump)--

There wuz a picter there of a boat in a storm.

And on that boat is thrown a vivid ray of sunshine. You'd think that it wuz the real thing, and that you could warm your fingers at it, but it hain't--it is only painted sunshine. But it beats all I ever see; I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to use it for a noon-mark.

In the German Exhibit wuz as awful a picter as I want to see. It was Julia, old Mr. Serviuses girl--Miss Tarquin that now is--a-ridin' over her pa and killin' him a purpose, so she could git his property.

To see Miss Tarquin, that wicked, wicked creeter, a-doin' that wicked act, is enough to make a perfect race of old maids and bacheldors.

The idea of havin' a lot of children to take care on and then be rid over by 'em!

But I shall always believe that she wuz put up to it by the Tarquin boys. I never liked 'em--they wuzn't likely.

But the picter is a sight--dretful big and skairful.

And in that section is a beautiful picter by Fritz Uhele, whose figgers, folks say, are the best in the world.

"The Angels Appearing to the Shepherds."

Oh, what glowin' faces the angels had! You read in 'em what the shepherds did:

"Love, Good Will to Man."

There wuz some little picters there about six inches square, and marked:

"Little Picters for a Child's Album."

And Josiah sez to me, "I believe I'll buy one of 'em for Babe's album that I got her last Christmas."

Sez he, "I've got ten cents in change, but probable," sez he, "it won't be over eight cents."

Sez I, "Don't be too sanguine, Josiah Allen."

Sez he, "I am never sanguinary without good horse sense to back it up. They throwed in a chromo three feet square with the last calico dress you bought at Jonesville, and this hain't over five or six inches big."

"Wall," sez I, "buy it if you want to."

"Wall," sez he, "that's what I lay out to do, mom."

So he accosted a Columbus Guard that stood nigh, and sez he--

"I'm a-goin' to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now in my vest pocket?"

(Illustration: "I'm a-goin' to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now in my vest pocket?")

"That picter," sez he, "is twenty thousand dollars. It is owned by the German National Gallery, and is loaned by them," and sez he, with a ready flow of knowledge inherent to them Guards, "the artist, Adolph Menzel, is to German art what Meissonier is to the French. His picters are all bought by the National Gallery, and bring enormous sums."

Josiah almost swooned away. Nothin' but pride kep him up--

I didn't say nothin' to add to his mortification. Only I simply said--

"Babe will prize that picter, Josiah Allen."

And he sez, "Be a fool if you want to; I'm a-goin' to git sunthin' to eat."

(Illustration: "Be a fool if you want to.")

And he hurried me along at almost a dog-trot, but I would stop to look at a "Spring Day in Bavaria," and the "Fish Market in Amsterdam," and the "Nun," and some others, I would--they wuz all beautiful in the extreme.

Wall, after we come back into the gallery agin, the first picter we went to see wuz "Christ Before Pilate," by Mr. Muncaxey.

There He stood, the Man of Sorrows, with His tall figure full of patient dignity, and His face full of love, and pity, and anguish, all bent into a indescribable majesty and power.

His hands wuz bound, He stood there the centre of that sneering, murderous crowd of priests and pharisees. On every side of Him He would meet a look of hate and savage exultation in His misery.

And He, like a lamb before the shearers, wuz dumb, bearing patiently the sins and sorrows of a world.

The fate of a universe looked out of His deep, sweet eyes.

He could bear it all--the hate, all the ignominy, the cruel death drawin' so near--He could bear it all through love and pity--the highest heights love ever went, and the deepest pity.

Only one face out of that jeerin', evil crowd had a look of pity on't, and that wuz the one woman in the throng, and she held a child in her arms.

Mebby Love had taught her the secret of Grief.

Anyway, she looked as if she pitied Him and would have loosed His bonds if she could. It wuz a dretful impressive picter, one that touched the most sacred feelin's of the beholder.

There wuz a great fuss made over Alma Tadema's picter of "Crowning Bachus."

But I didn't approve on't.

The girls' figgers in it wuz very beautiful, with the wonderful floatin' hair of red gold crowned with roses.

But I wanted to tell them girls that after they got Mr. Bachus all crowned, he'd turn on 'em, and jest as like as not pull out hull handfuls of that golden hair, and kick at 'em, and act.

Mr. Bachus is a villain of the deepest dye. I felt jest like warnin' 'em.

I like Miss Tadema's picters enough sight better--pretty little girls playin' innocent games, and dreamin' sweet fancies By the Fireside.

"The Flaggalants," by Carl Marr, is a enormous big picter, but fearful to look at.

It made me feel real bad to see how them men wuz a-hurtin' their own selves. They hadn't ort to.

Another picter by the same artist, called "A Summer Afternoon," I liked as well agin; the soul of the pleasant summer-time looked out of that picter, and the faces of the wimmen and children in it.

The little one clingin' to its mother's hand and feedin' the chickens looked cute enough to kiss. She favored Babe a good deal in her looks.

"The Cemetery in Delmatia" and the "Market Scene in Cairo," by Leopold Muller, struck hard blows onto my fancy. And so did three by Madame Weisenger--

"Mornin' by the Sea-shore," "Breakfast in the Country," and "The Laundress of the Mountain."

"Christ and the Children," by Julius Schmid, wuz beautiful as could be.

And so wuz "The Death of Autumn," by Franz Pensinger--they held in 'em all the sadly glorious beauty of the closing year.

"The Three Beggars of Cordova," by Edwin Weeks, wuz dretful interestin'.

Them tramps set there lookin' so sassy, and lazy, nateral as life. Lots of jest such ones have importuned me for food on my Jonesville door-step.

(Illustration: Them tramps set there lookin' so sassy and lazy, nateral as life.)

Then he had two Hindoo fakirs that wuz real interestin'. The fur-off Indian city, the river, and the fakir a-layin' in the boat, tired out, I presoom, a-makin' folks stand up in the air, and climb up ladders into Nowhere, and eatin' swords, and eatin' fire, and etcetry.

He wuz beat out, and no wonder. The colorin' of this picter is superb.

And so wuz his "Persian Horse Dealers" and others.

Mr. Melcher's "Sermon" and "Communion" wuz very impressive, as nateral as the meetin'-housen and congregation at Jonesville and Zoar.

In the Holland Exhibit wuz all kinds of clouds painted--

Clouds a-layin' low in sombre piles, and clouds with the sun almost a-shinin' through 'em. Wonderful effects as I ever see.

And I wuz a-lookin' at a picter there so glowin' and beautiful that it seemed to hold in it the very secret of summer. The heart fire and glow of summer shone through its fine atmosphere. And sez I, "Josiah, did you ever see anything like it?"

"Oh, yes," sez he; "it's quite fair."

"Fair!" sez I; "can't you say sunthin' more than that?"

"Wall, from fair to middlin', then," sez he.

"But for real beauty," sez he, "give me them picters made in corn, and oats, and beans. Give me that Dakota cow made out of grain, with a tail of timothy grass, and straw legs, and corn ear horns. There is real beauty," sez he.

"Or that picter in the State Buildin' of the hull farm made in seeds. The old bean farm-house, and barley well-sweep, and the fields bounded with corn twig fences, and horses made of silk-weed, and manes and tales of corn-silk--there is beauty," sez he.

"And as for statutes, I'd ruther see one of them figgers that Miss Brooks of Nebraska makes out of butter than a hull carload of marble figgers."

I sithed a deep, curious sithe, and he went on:

"Why," sez he, "it stands to reason they're more valuable; what good would the stun be to you if a marble statute got smashed? A dead loss on your hands.

"But let one of her Iolanthes git knocked over and broke to pieces, why there you are, good, solid butter, worth 30 cents of any man's money.

"Give me statuary that is ornamental in prosperity, and that you can eat up if reverses come to you," sez he.

"Why," sez he, "there is one hundred kinds of grain in that one model farm of Illinois.

"Now, if that picter should git torn to pieces by a cyclone, what would a ile paintin' be? A dead loss.

"But that grain farm-house, what food for hens that would make--such a variety. Why, the hens would jest pour out eggs fed on the ruins of that farm.

"Give me beauty and economy hitched together in one team."

(Illustration: "What food for hens that would make.")

I sithed, and the sithe wuz deep, almost like a groan, and sez I--

"You tire me, Josiah Allen--you tire me almost to death."

"Wall," sez he, "I'm talkin' good horse sense."

Sez I, "I should think it wuz animal sense of some kind--nothin' spiritual about it and riz up."

"Wall," sez he, "you'll see five hundred folks a-standin' round and praisin' up them seed picters where there is one that gits carried away as you do over Wattses 'Love and Death' and Elihu Vedder's dum picters."

"Wall," sez I, in a tired-out axent, "that don't prove anything, Josiah Allen. The multitude chose Barrabus to the Divine One.

"Not," sez I reasonably, "that I would want to compare the seed picters and the butter females to a robber.

"They're extremely curious and interestin' to look at, and wonderful in their way as anything in the hull Exposition.

"But," sez I, "there is a height and a depth in the soul that them butter figgers can't touch--no, nor the pop-corn trees can't reach that height with their sorghum branches. It lays fur beyond the switchin' timothy tail of that seed horse or the wavin' raisen mane of that prune charger. It is a realm," sez I, "that I fear you will never stand in, Josiah Allen."

"No, indeed," sez he; "and I don't want to. I hain't no desires that way."

Again I sithed, and we walked off into another gallery.

Wall, I might write and keep a-writin' from Fourth of July to Christmas Eve, and then git up Christmas mornin' and say truly that the half hadn't been told of what we see there, and so what is the use of tryin' to relate it in this epistle.

But suffice it to say that we stayed there all day long, and that night we meandered home perfectly wore out, and perfectly riz up in our two minds, or at least I wuz. Josiah's feelin's seemed to be clear fag, jest plain wore out fag.

The nights are always cool in Chicago--that is, if the weather is anyways comfortable durin' the day.

And this night it wuz so cool that a good woollen blanket and bedspread wuz none too much for comfort.

And it wuz with a sithe of contentment that I lay down on my peaceful goose-feather pillow, and drawed the blankets up over my weary frame and sunk to sleep.

I had been to sleep I know not how long when a angry, excited voice wakened me. It said, "Lay down, can't you!"

I hearn it as one in a dream. I couldn't sense where I wuz nor who wuz talkin', when agin I hearn--

"Dum it all! why can't you fall as you ort to?"

Wuz some struggle a-goin' on in my room? The bed wuz in an alcove, and I could not see the place from where the voice proceeded.

I reached my hand out. My worst apprehensions wuz realized. Josiah wuz not there.

Wuz some one a-killin' him, and a-orderin' him to lay still and fall as he ort to?

Wuz such boldness in crime possible?

I raised my head and looked out into the room, and then with a wild shriek I covered up my head. Then I discovered that there wuz only one thin sheet over me.

The sight I had seen had driv' the blood in my veins all back to my heart.

A tall white figger wuz a-standin' before the glass, draped from head to foot in heavy white drapery.

I'd often turned it over in my mind in hours of ease which I'd ruther have appear to me in the night--a burglar or a ghost.

And now in the tumultous beatin's of my heart I owned up that I would ruther a hundred times it would be a burglar.

Anything seemed to me better than to be alone at night with a ghost.

But anon, as I quaked and trembled under that sheet, the voice spoke agin--

"Samantha, are you awake?" And I sprung up in bed agin, and sez I--

"Josiah Allen, where are you? Oh, save me, Josiah! save me!"

The white figger turned. "Save you from what, Samantha? Is there a mouse under the bed, or is it a spider, or what?"

"Who be you?" sez I, almost incoherently. "Be you a ghost? Oh, Josiah, Josiah!" And I sunk back onto the pillow and busted into tears. The relief wuz too great.

But anon Wonder seized the place that Fear had held in my frame, and dried up the tear-drops, and I sprung up agin and sez--

"What be you a-doin', Josiah Allen, rigged up as you be in the middle of the night, with the lights all a-burnin'?"

For every gas jet in the room was a-blazin' high.

Sez he, "I am posin' for a statute, Samantha."

And come to look closter, I see he had took off the blanket and bedspread and had swathed 'em round his form some like a toga.

And I see it wuz them that he wuz apostrofizin' and orderin' to lay down in folds and fall graceful.

And somehow the idee of his takin' the bedclothes offen me seemed to mad me about as much as his foolishness and vanity did.

And sez I, "Do you take off them bedclothes offen you, and put 'em back agin, and come to bed!"

But he didn't heed me, he went on with his vain doin's and actin'.

"I am impersonatin' Apollo!" sez he, a-layin' his head onto one side and a-lookin' at me over his shoulder in a kind of a languishin' way.

Sez he, a-liftin' his heel, and holdin' it up a little ways, "I did think I would be Mercury, but I hadn't any wing handy for my off heel. I would be strikin' as Mercury," sez he, "but I think I would be at my best as Apollo. What do you think I had better be, Samantha?"

(Illustration: "I would be strikin' as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo.")

"A loonatick would strike me as the right thing, Josiah Allen, or an idiot from birth.

"Or," sez I, speakin' more ironicler as my fear died away, leavin' in its void a great madness and tiredness, "if you'd brung your scythe along you might personate Old Father Time."

I guess this kinder madded him, and sez he, "Don't you want to pose, Samantha?

"Don't you want to be the Witch of Endor?" sez he.

"Yes," sez I, "I'd love to! If I _wuz her you'd see sights in this room that would bow your old bald head in horrow, and drive you, vain old creeter that you be, back where you belong."

He wuz afraid he'd gone too fur, and sez he, "Mebby you'd ruther be Venus, Samantha? Mebby you'd ruther appear in the nude?"

Sez I, coldly, "I should think that you'd done your best to make me appear in that way, Josiah Allen. There's only one thin sheet to keep me from it.

"But," sez I, spruntin' up, "if you talk in that way any more to me I'll holler to Miss Plank!

"Pardner or no pardner, I hain't a-goin' to be imposed upon this time of night!"

Sez I, "I should be ashamed if I wuz in your place, the father and grandfather of a family, and the deacon in a meetin'-house, to be up at midnight a-posin' for statutes and actin'."

"But," sez he, "I didn't know but they would want to sculp me while I wuz here in Chicago, and I thought I'd git a attitude all ready. You never know what may happen, and it's always well to be prepared, and attitudes are dretful hard to catch onto at a minute's notice."

Sez I, "Do you come back to bed, Josiah Allen. What would they want of you for a statute?"

"Wall," sez he, reluctantly relinquishin' his toga, or, in other words the flannel blanket and bedspread--

"I see many a statute to-day with not half my good looks, and if Chicago wanted me to ornament it, I wanted to be prepared."

I sithed aloud, and sez I--

"Here I be waked up for good, as tired as I wuz, all for your vanity and actin'."

"Wall," sez he, "Samantha, my mind wuz all so stirred up and excited by seein' so many ile paintin's and statutes to-day, that I felt dretful." And as he sez this my madness all died away, as the way of pardners is, and a great pity stole into my heart.

I do spoze he wuz half delirous with seein' too much. Like a man who has oversot himself and come down on the floor.

That man had been led round too much that day, for my own pleasure; to gratify my own esthetik taste I had almost ruined the pardner of my youth and middle age.

His mind had been stretched too fur, for the size on't, so I sez soothin'ly--

"Wall, wall, Josiah, come back to bed and go to sleep, and to-morrow we'll go and see some live stock and some plows and things."

So at last I got him quieted down, though he did murmur once or twice in his sleep--Apollo! Hercules! etc., so I see what his inward state wuz.

But towards mornin' he seemed to git into a good sound sleep, and I did too, and we waked up feelin' quite considerable rested and refreshed.

And it wuzn't till I had a sick-headache bad, and he wuz more than good to me, and I see that he repented deep of it, that I forgive him fully.

But of course it broke up our goin' to fashionable places agin to eat--he come out conqueror, after all--men are deep.

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 16 Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 16

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 16
CHAPTER XVIWall, this mornin'--it bein' kind of a muggy and cloudy one, I proposed that we should go and visit the Fishery Department. And I d'no why I should a thought on it this mornin' more'n another one--only it wuz jest such a day as Josiah and Thomas Jefferson always took for goin' a-fishin' in the creek back of Jonesville. And then we had fish for breakfast too--siscoes--mebby that put me in mind on it some. But anyway, I wuz always interested in the subject of fishin', and the hull world is. For what wuz the Postles? Fishers. For what did

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14 Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14

Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 14
CHAPTER XIVI 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