I. JOSH BILLINGS ON THE MULE.
[figure description] Page 013.[end figure description]
The mule is haf hoss, and haf Jackass, and then -- 014 --
kums tu a full stop, natur diskovering her mistake.
Tha weigh more, akordin tu their heft, than enny
other kreetur, except a crowbar. Tha kant hear
enny quicker, nor further than the hoss, yet their
ears are big enuff for snow shoes. You kan trust
them with enny one whose life aint worth enny
more than the mules. The only wa tu keep them
into a paster, is tu turn them into a medder jineing,
and let them jump out. Tha are reddy for use,
just as soon as they will du tu abuse. Tha haint
got enny friends, and will live on huckel berry
brush, with an ockasional chanse at Kanada thissels.
Tha are a modern invenshun, i dont think the Bible
deludes tu them at tall. Tha sel for more
money than enny other domestik animile. Yu
kant tell their age by looking into their mouth,
enny more than you kould a Mexican cannons.
[figure description] Page 014.[end figure description]
Tha never hav no dissease that a good club wont
heal. If tha ever die tha must kum rite tu life
agin, for i never herd nobody sa “ded mule.” Tha
are like sum men, very korrupt at harte; ive known
them tu be good mules for 6 months, just tu git a
good chanse to kick sumbody. I never owned one,
nor never mean to, unless there is a United Staits
law passed, requiring it. The only reason why
tha are pashunt, is bekause tha are ashamed ov
themselfs. I have seen eddikated mules in a sirkus.
Tha kould kick, and bite, tremenjis. I would not
sa what I am forced tu sa again the mule, if his
birth want an outrage, and man want tu blame for
it. Enny man who is willing tu drive a mule,
ought to be exempt by law from running for the
legislatur. Tha are the strongest creeturs on earth,
and heaviest, ackording tu their sise; I herd tell
ov one who fell oph from the tow path, on the Eri
kanawl, and sunk as soon as he touched bottom, but
he kept rite on towing the boat tu the nex stashun,
breathing thru his ears, which stuck out ov the water
about 2 feet 6 inches; i did'nt see this did, but
an auctioneer told me ov it, and i never knew an
auctioneer tu lie unless it was absolutely convenient.
II. JOSH BILLINGS INSURES HIS LIFE.
[figure description] Page 015.[end figure description]
I kum to the conclusion, lately, that life waz so
onsartin, that the only wa for me tu stand a fair
chance with other folks, was to git my life insured,
and so i kalled on the Agent of the “Garden Angel
life insurance Co.,” and answered the following
questions, which waz put tu me over the top ov a
pair of goold specks, by a slik little fat old feller,
with a little round gray head, and az pretty a little
belly on him az enny man ever owned: —
1st—Are yu mail or femail? if so, Pleze state
how long you have been so.
2d—Are yu subjec tu fits, and if so, do yu hav
more than one at a time?
3d—What is yure precise fiteing weight?
4th—Did yu ever have enny ancestors, and if
-- 016 --
so, how much?
[figure description] Page 016.[end figure description]
5th—What iz yure legal opinion ov the constitutionality
ov the 10 commandments!
6th—Du yu ever hav enny nite mares?
7th—Are you married and single, or are yu a
8th — Do yu beleave in a futer state? if yu du,
9th—What are yure private sentiments about a
rush ov rats tu the head; can it be did successfully?
10th—Hav yu ever committed suiside, and if so,
how did it seem to affect yu?
After answering the above questions, like a man
in the confirmatif, the slik little fat old fellow with
goold specks on, ced I was insured for life, and
proberly would remain so for a term ov years. I
thanked him, and smiled one ov my moste pensive
[figure description] Page 017.[end figure description]
Tha tell me that them who hav the harte diseaze
are liable tu di at enny time, but i hav known
thousands tew reach a mean old age with it.
Fust appearances are ced tu be everything. I
dont put all mi fathe into this saying; i think
oysters and klams, for instanze, will bear looking
It strains a man's philosophee the wust kind tew
laff when he gits beat.
Love aint one ov the vartues, bekauze it kant be
Wimmin are like flowers, a little dust ov squeezing
-- 018 --
makes them the more fragrant.
[figure description] Page 018.[end figure description]
Charitee kant alwus be administered delikately.
If you want to extrikate a crab from a dilemmer,
yu hav got to take holt ov him just rite.
Men liv tu a ripe old age bi keeping green.
Dont hav enny more sekrets than yu kan keep
“Truth is mitey and will prevail;” so iz cider
mitey, but yu hav got tew tap the barrell before it
IV. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
[figure description] Page 019.[end figure description]
“Amelia.” — Yure inquiry, about the moste
best time tu marry, dus yu grate credit, it iz a subject
which i hav swet over a good deal, and i am
real glad you spoke about it, mi spase wont allow
me tu go into the thing, clean up to the hub, az i
wud like tu, but in a few wurds, i will sa, i hav
alwus considered cool weather, the moste best time.
“Fred.” — Yu aint obliged tu ask a gals mother,
-- 020 --
if yu ma go home with her from a partee, git
the gals endorsement, and sale in; it iz proper
enuff tu ask her tu take yure arm, but you haint
got no rite tu put yure arm around her waste, unless
yu meet a Bear on the rode, and then yu are
bound tu take yure arm away, just az soon az the
Bear gits safely by.
[figure description] Page 020.[end figure description]
“Whip.” — Yu are rite. Mules live tu a long
age, iv'e known them miself, tu live 100 years, and
not half tri. Yu are rite also, about their being
sure footed, iv'e known them tu kick a man, twise
in a sekund, 10 feet oph.
“Gertrude.” — Yure inquiry stumps me, the
darndest. The more i think on it, the more i kant
tell. Az near az i kan rekolek now, i think i dont
kno. Much mite be ced both ways, and neether wa
be rite. Upon the whole i rather reckon i wud, or
i wuddent, jist az i thought best, or otherwise.
“Plutark.” — Yu'are mistaken, the Shakers
dont marry. If young Shakers fall in luv tha are
sot tu weeding onions, and that kures them forthwithly.
I kant tell yu now, how much it dus kost
tu jine the Shakers but i beleave the expenze used
tu be, inkluding having yure hair cut and larning
how tu danse, about $65.00. I disreckoleckt what
their religun iz, but if mi memry sarves me rite, it
iz making almitey good brooms, and sellin devilish
poor grape cuttings, for 75 cents a foot.
“Sportsman.” — Yure inquiry iz not edzackly in -- 021 --
[figure description] Page 021.[end figure description]
mi line, but i haste tu repli, as follers, to wit:
The rite length tu cut oph a dog's tale haz never
yet bin fully diskovered, but iz undoubtedly somewhare
bak ov hiz ears, provided yu git the dog's
consent. N. B. — It aint absolutely necessara the
dog's consent should be in riteing.
“Kate.” — I think Lord Biron waz the author
ov the lines yu speke ov; 'twas either him or 'twas
Captain Kid, one or tother. Biron waz dredful
limber at riteing potri, so waz Kidd, but Biron waz
V. A TABLOWS IN 4 ACKS.
[figure description] Page 022.[end figure description]
Ack Fust.—Enter a lap dorg, carrying a boarding
skool miss in his arms, about 16 hands high —
it makes the dorg puff — the dorg lays down the
boarding skool miss, and orders mint juleks for 2,
with the usual suckshun. The dorg begins tew loll,
the boarding skool miss tells him “tew dri up,” (in
French,) and the dorg sez “he be darned if he
will,” (in Dorg.) [Grate sensashun among the
awjence, with cries, “put him out!”] Finally a
compromize iz affected, the boarding skool miss kisses
the dorg, with tears in his eyes. Konlusion —
Lap dorg diskovers a wicked flee at work on his tale—
pursues him — round and round tha go — dorg
a leettle ahead — sumbody hollers out, “mad
dorg!” — boarding skool girl faints standing — the
Ack number 2.—Curtin highsts — sevral blind -- 023 --
men in the distanse, looking thru a key whole — one
[figure description] Page 023.[end figure description]
ov them sez, “he don't see it!” A shanghi ruseter
cums out, with epaulets on, and crows Yankee
Doodle — musik bi the band. The shanghi lays an
egg on the stage, about the size ov a wasps nest,
and then limps oph, very much tired and redused.
Curtin falls agin.
Ack number 3.—Curtin rizes sloly — big bolona
sarsage on a tabel — bolona sarsage lifts up her hed,
and begins tew bark — band plays “Old Dorg
Tray.” Cat cums in — cat's tail begins tew swell
bad — bolona sarsage and cat haz a fite — tha fite
14 rounds — the stage iz covered with cats and
dorgs. Konlusion — tha awl jine hands, and walk tew
the foot lights — an old Bull Tarrier reads the President's
call for “300 000 more” — band plays “Go
in Lemons!” — a bell rings, and the curtin drops.”
Ack number 4. — A scene on the Eri kanall — a -- 024 --
terribel storm rages — the kanall acks bad — sevral
line botes go down hed fust, with awl their boarders
on board — kant make a lee shore — tha drag their
ankers — sum ov the kaptins tri tew pra, but moste
ov them hav the best luck at swareing — the water
iz strewd with pots and kittles — sevral ov the cook
maids swim ashore, with their cook stoves in their
teeth — tha hav tew draw oph the kanal tew stop
[figure description] Page 024.[end figure description]
the storm. Konlusion — men are seen along on
the banks ov the kanall spearing ded hosses and eels—
band plays “a life on the oshun wave.” Amid
tremduous applauze the curtin falls, and the awjence
disperce, single file.
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
VI. FEMALE EDDIKASHUN.
[figure description] Page 025.[end figure description]
Thare iz so mutch ced about the importanze ov
female eddikashun, now a daze, that a near-sighted
person wud suppoze that wimmin, was running tu
waist. The more that wimmin ar elevated, the
more men ar histed up too, so tha sa, and them who
maik this statement, ain't fur from out ov the wa
fur men hav bin clus after the wimmin, ever sinse
humin beins waz perpetrated. Dear reader, dear,
don't be maid a fool uv, by beleaving for the space
ov a half-grown seckond, that Josh Billings, (more
properly Joshua Billings, Esq.,) don't love, respeck,
adore, and worship the sex, and ain't willing tu fite,
even with the belly-ake onto him, two hundred
pounds ov any kind ov man, in behalf ov enny vartuous,
and worthy, or even good-looking woman.
I beleave in femail eddikashun, clear up tu the -- 026 --
handle, provided the woman hankers for it, but if
[figure description] Page 026.[end figure description]
she don't hanker for it, i kant see why she shud be
histed up into a posishun, where men has got to
cease luving her, just in proposhun az tha are asked
to wonder at her. Tha tell us that thare aint enny
posishun that man kan fill, but what wimmin kan
fill it tu; but iz that enny reson why it iz best to
prove it. I haven't enny doubt, that you could
eddicate wimmin so muchly, that tha wouldn't kno
enny more about getting dinner, than sum ministers
ov the gospil kno about preaching, and while tha
mite translate one ov Virgils ecklogs tu a spot, tha
couldn't translate a baby out ov a kradle, without
letting it cum apart.
I hold that natur haz its laws and programmy, all -- 027 --
the wa down, from the biling over ov a volkano tu
the wiggle ov a lam's tale. — Suppose you shud
take 100 yung injuns and eddikate them tu the
highest pint, and then turn them luce! 95 ov them
wud throw a blanket ontu their shoulders, bid fairwell
tu civilizashun, and dive intu the wildnerness;
the uther 5 wud wander about among the pail faces,
az far from hum az a Bufferlo wud be among a herd
ov short tailed durhams. I believe in femail eddikashun,
but i had ruther a woman cud beet me
nussing a baby than tu feel that she cud beet me or
[figure description] Page 027.[end figure description]
enny other man in a stump speech or a lektur on
If Billings understands human natur, and he
thinks he duz, thare aint nothing that a true woman
luvs more than the hole ov a man's harte; and, in
order tu git this, she haz got tu kno less than he
duz, or maik him think so. I thank the lord that
thare aint menny wimmin in the wurld who want
tu know evry thing. I kalkerlate that 9 out ov
evry 10 ov the wimmin who luv their huzbands and
glory in their children, will sa that tha had ruther
be looked down upon in luving tenderniss than tu be
looked up tu in silent aw.
If Josh Billings haz ced a wurd, in what he haz
now rit, wich iz kalkulated tu damp the arder ov
one single aspirin' woman, he iz reddy tu shed tears,
but i hav alwus thort that the very highly eddikated
wimmin work best in single harniss. In konklusion,
i sa, elevate the wimmin, but if their heds and their
hartes bekum antagonicks in the operashun, i shall
continner tu think that luv, swapped for wizdom, iz
a doutful gain to the wimmin and a pozatif loss to
us poor mail-claid devils. Mi christian friends,
[figure description] Page 028.[end figure description]
Josh Billings being duly sworn deposes as follows:
That, John Brown haz halted a fu days for refreshment.
That, moste men had ruther sa a smart thing than
tew dew a good one.
That, baksliding iz a big thing, espeshila on ice.
That, a live traitor smells wuss than a ded one.
That, there iz 2 things in this life for which we
are never fully prepared, and that iz twins.
That, yu kant judge a man bi hiz religgun -- 029 --
[figure description] Page 029.[end figure description]
eny more than yu kan judge hiz shurt bi the size ov
the collar and ristbands.
That, the devil iz alwus prepared tew see kompany.
That, it iz treating a man like a dog tew cut him
oph short in hiz narrative.
That, “ignoranse iz bliss,” ignoranse of sawing
wood, for instanse.
That, menny will fale tew be saved simpla bekause
tha haint got ennything tew saive.
That, the vartues ov woman are awl her own, but
her frailities hav bin taught her.
That, dry pastors are the best for flocks; flocks ov
sheep i mean.
That, men ov genius are like eagles, tha live on
-- 030 --
what tha kill, while men ov talents are like crows,
tha live on what haz bin killed for them.
[figure description] Page 030.[end figure description]
That, some peoples are fond ov bragging about
their ansesstors, and their grate descent, when in
fack, their grate descent iz jist what's the matter
That, a woman kant keep a sekret nor let ennybody
else keep one.
That, “a little larning iz a dangerous thing; this
iz az tru az it iz common.
That, sider brandee taken inwardly in large quantitys
iz good — for a rat hole.
That, a grate menny folks have bin eddikated
oph from their feet.
VIII. WAR AND ARMY PHRAZES.
[figure description] Page 031.[end figure description]
“A suckcessful Rade,”—cutting oph a turnpike
within the enama's lines, and bringing in a blind
mule, and 2 niggers tu board.
“Reserv'd Korps,”—this i take it means our
ophisers; who die at the tavern stands, and are
stuffed, and cent home tu berry.
“Bace of supplize,”— Unkle Samuel's pocketBook.
“Pickitts,”—these are surplus chaps, who ar
cent out tu borry turbacker, and to see if the kussed
rebels hav got enny pass.
“An Armstise,”—giving the enema tu chances
-- 032 --
tu git licked instead ov one.
[figure description] Page 032.[end figure description]
“Militara Stratergee,”—trying to reduse a swamp
by ketching the bilyus fever out ov it.
“Lite Hoss Calvary,”—picked men who ride the
hosses tu drink, when tha git thin.
“Rekrutin Ophisers,”—individuals who are cent
into the rural destriks, on a furlong, to rekrute —
“Armee Rashuns,”—back pay, and preserved
“Quartring on the enemee,” this phraze is defunkted,
bekaze its contraree tu Hoyle.
“War Hoops,”—jist the things fur a hot da, the
injuns used tu hav them.
“Corte Marshall,”—where tha tri the misdemeners
out ov an ophiser, so that he'll du to promoat.
“Forage Partee,”—Them who goes out to kech
-- 033 --
a hastack, and gits lost in a forage ov treeze and
haint been herd from sinse.
[figure description] Page 033.[end figure description]
“On tu Richmond,”—that's tu sa if the kussed
rebels will allow it.
“Parralel lines,”—are them kind of lines that
never cum together.
“Militara necessita,”—ten ophisers and a gallon
ov whiski to every three privates.
“Onluce the dogs ov war;”—but muzzle the
darn kritters; if you don't, somebody will get hurt.
“War of Exterminashun,”—this fraze belongs
holey tu the Kommissara Department.
“Advance Gard,”—this is a gard tha hav tu hav
in our army tu keep our fellers from pichin in tu
the enema frontwards.
“Rere Gard,”—this is a gard that hav tu keep
our fellers, when tha are surrounded from pitching
intu the enema backwards.
“Awl quiet on the Potermuck,”—this shows
-- 034 --
what perfect subjekshun our fellers are under.
IX. PASHUNCE OV JOB.
[figure description] Page 034.[end figure description]
Evryboddy iz in the habit ov bragging on Job,
and Job did hav konsiderable bile pashunce, that's
a fac, but did he ever keep a distrik skule for 8 dollars
a month, and borde 'round? Did he ever reap
lodged oats down hill in a hot da, and hav all hiz
gallus buttons bust oph at once? Did he ever hav
the jumpin teethake, and be made tu tend baby
while hiz wife was over tu Perkinses tu a teasquall?
Did he ever git up in the morning awful dri and
turf it 3 miles befoar brekfast tu git a drink, and
find that the man kep a tempranse hous? Did he
ever undertaik tu milk a kicking hefer with a bushy
tail, in fli time, out in the lot? Did he ever sot
down onto a litter ov kittens in the old rockin cheer,
with hiz summer pantyloons on without saing “damnashun!”
If he cud du all theze things, and praze
the Lord at the same time, all i hav got tu sa, iz,
Bully for Job!
X. FRIENDLY LETTER.
[figure description] Page 035.[end figure description]
Friend Elias:—You ask me menny questions
about the draft that bothers me. It iz curis how it
duz act, but it waz jist so in scripter times, “2 wimmin
waz at a mill a grinding (corn i reckon), one
waz took, and t'other want took.” There aint enny
dout but the draft iz for 3 years, or thereabouts, but
i think a person would hav a rite to sell out hiz
chanse at enny time during the 3 years, or thereabouts,
for a premium, provided he could show tu
the government that he waz conscientzly oppozed tu
hard tak and bilyus fever.
Again: Aleyens aint liable for the draft, espeshila
if tha cum from the city ov Ireland, and hav bin
in the habit, for the laste 5 years, ov voting the
Againly: Widder-wimmin, and their only son iz -- 036 --
exempt, provided the widder's husband haz alreddy
[figure description] Page 036.[end figure description]
sarved 2 years in the war, and iz willing tu go agin;
i beleave the supreme corte haz desided this thing
Onse more: If a drafted man shud run awa with
hiz draft, he proberly wouldn't ever be allowed to
stand a draft agin, this looks severe at fust site, but
the more yu look at it, the more yu can see the
wisdom into it.
Onse morely: Xempts are thoze who hav bin
drafted into the stait prizzen, for triing tu git an
honest living bi supporting 2 wives at onst; also,
all them people who are crazee, and unsound on the
goose; also, all nusepaper korrespondents and fools
Onse morely again: No substidude will be acksepted,
who iz less than 3, or more than 10 feet
high, he must know how to chaw terbacker and
drink whiskee, and must'nt be afeered ov the itch
nor the rebels. Moral Karakter aint required, the
government furnishes that, and rashuns.
Conclusively: No person kan be drafted but twice
in 2 different plases without hiz consent, but awl
men haz a rite tu be drafted at least onst; i don't
think even a rit ov habus corpus could deprive a
man ov this laste, blessed privlege.
[figure description] Page 037.[end figure description]
Truth iz the onla thing I kno ov that kant be
If yu want tew git a sure krop, and a big yield
for the seed, sow wilde oats.
An insult tew one man iz an insult tew aul men.
Cunning is curiosity satisfied, and curiosity satisfied
Wize men don't expeck tu do away with the visisitudes
ov life, they onla expeck tew blunt the edge
Yu kan gorge avaris, but ambishun knows no
gorge but the grave.
A sarkastic wit iz a kind ov human pole-cat.
-- 038 --
[figure description] Page 038.[end figure description]
If thare is enny thing on this arth that angels
kant imitate 'tis a vartuous yung man trampling
temtashun under hiz feet.
I had rather be a reseiver ov stolen goods than
the keeper ov men's sekrets.
Fame iz jist about az mutch use tew a ded man
as 5.20's wud be, interest payable in goold.
Sum people hav the power ov saing a good deal
in a fu words, while others hav the power ov saing
a little in a good menny wurds.
Slander iz played on a tin horn, while truth steals
forth like the dieing song ov a lute.
Yu kan judge ov sum men's karakters onla bi
what they eat and drink.
“Truth iz stranger than ficshun” — that iz tew
I hav found a grate menny things in this wurld
-- 039 --
that waz free — free az a well tew git into, but like
a rat trap, not edzackly free tu git out ov.
[figure description] Page 039.[end figure description]
“Meet me bi moonlite alone,” iz awl well enuff
under sum circumstances; but moonlite me for meat
alone, iz not so well ennuff, under enny circumstances.
I don't kno ov but one thing on arth that kan
improve a good wife, and that iz buty.
After you hav made up yure mind jist what you
are going to du, then iz a good time tew dew it.
We often hear ov men, who hav cum within an
mch ov dieing, and i haint enny dout thare iz sum,
that evry boddy wuld lik tew hear had cum within
an inch ov bein born.
“The lapse ov ages,” iz a pleasant thing tew
dwell upon, but after awl, verry mutch depends
upon the ages ov the laps.
It iz not differkult tew find augers that wont bore,
but yu seldom cum across a bore that wont auger.
“Faith that iz founded on an arnest and truthful
convickshun, iz butiful tu behold; but faith that iz
founded simpla on courage, aint enny thing more
than good grit.
XII. JOSH BILLINGS ON CATS.
[figure description] Page 040.[end figure description]
I hav studdyed cats clussly for years, and hav found -- --
them adikted tew a wild state. Tha haint got affek
shun, nor vartues ov enny kind, tha will skratch
their best friends, and wont ketch mice unless tha
are hungry. It haz bin sed that tha are good tu
make up into sassages; but this iz a grate mistake,
i hav bin told bi a sassage maker that
tha dont kompare with dogs. Thare is one thing
sartin, tha are verry anxious tew liv, yu ma
turn one inside out, and hang him up bi the tale,
and az soon az yu are out ov sight, he will manage
tew turn back summerset and cum around awl rite
in a fu days. It iz verry hard wurk tew looze a
cat. If one gits carried oph in a bag bi mistake a
grate ways into the kuntry, tha wont sta lost onla a
short time, but soon appear tew make the family
happy with their presence. Old maids are very
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description] -- --
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description] -- 041 --
[figure description] Page 041.[end figure description] -- 042 --
fond ov cats, for the reason i suppose that cats never
marry if tha hav ever so good a chanse. Thare iz
one thing about cats i dont like, if yu step on their
tales by acksident tha git mad rite oph, and make a
grate fuss about it. Thare iz anuther thing about
them which makes them a good investment for poor
folks. A pair ov cats will yield each year, without
any outlay, something like eight hundred per cat.
It iz a verry singular fack that cats dont like a millpond,
i never knu one tew git drowned bi acksident.
Tha luv cream, but it seems tew be agin their religgun
tew tutch soap. Cats and dogs have never bin
able tew agree on the main question, tha both seem
tew want the affirmatiff side to onst. I think if i
could hav mi way thare wouldn't be enny more cats
born unless tha could sho a certifikate ov good moral
karakter. Thare is one more thing about cats which
seems tew me tew be awl affektashun, and that iz
making sich a devlish noise under a fellers window
nights, and then kall it musik. If i waz tew hav
mi choise between a cat and a striped snake, i would
take the snake bekause I could git rid ov the snake
bi letting him go. Thare aint no sartin wa tew kill
a cat, if yu git one wurked up into sassage, and yu
think yu are awl right, jist az likely az not tha will
[figure description] Page 042.[end figure description]
cum to and take off a whole lot of good sassage with
them.—Theze are mi views about cats, rather hastily
hove together, and if i haint said enuff agin them it
iz onla bekause i lack the informashun.
[figure description] Page 043.[end figure description]
Impudense iz the affek ov tew little knollege, and
modesta, iz az often the affek ov tew mutch.
We dont question a persons rite tew be a fule,
but if he klaims wisdom, we kompare it with our
Not one man in a thousand iz known while living,
yet awl expeck tew be well remembered, when tha
Men are very often ashamed tu tell the truth, bekause
tha dont kno how.
Moste ov the advise we reseave from others, iz not
-- 044 --
so mutch an evidense ov their affeckshun for us, az
it iz an evidense ov their affeckshun for themselves.
[figure description] Page 044.[end figure description]
Aul ov us komplain ov the shortness ov life, yet
we all waste more time than we uze.
Aboutaz good a wa az enny tew be happee, iz
tew pity thoze who are below us, and forgit that
there iz enny boddy above us
Wit iz a pleasant surprize ov Truth.
No man haz a rite tu be proud till he bekums entirely
vartuous and then he wont feel like being
The power ov oratory lays more in the manner,
than in the matter; yu kant reduse it tew riting,
enny more than yu kan pla a streak ov lightning on
a hand organ.
Sum folks when tha fite, will throw the fust brik
bat tha kan git hold ov, jist so sum folks will du
when tha argy.
Epitaff — here lies John Ferguson, Esq., died
wurth half a million — less the kingdom ov heaven.
Avaris eats up all the good things in a man, and
then feeds on his vices.
XIV. JOSH BILLINGS ADDRESSES THE “FEMAIL BILLINGSVILLE SOWING SOSIETY. ”
[figure description] Page 045.[end figure description]
Feller Sisters:—When I caste mi eye on a -- 046 --
sirkle of luvely wimmin bizzy with their needles, mi
harte seems tew stretch clean akross mi buzzum.
And when i reflek for a minnit, that tha are tew
work for nothing, and find themselfs, and that a yung
heathin stans reddy yelping around the corner, for
the very shirt tha are wurking on, it duz seem tu
me, that i cud shout hozzanner for 3 weeks on a
strech. Feller Sisters, yu kan kount on Josh Billings
az a frend; he luves charitee, az a pup hankers
for nu milk; his verry natur looks out onto the
horizen ov the poor folks, jist as the lite ov a tin
lantern shines akross a bog meddow. And he sees
the little bare bak yung ones shivering for a krust
ov bread, and hungry for a shirt; then he looks at
the Sisters, a talking and sowing, and sowing and
talking, and he kounts a hole parcil ov little shirts
[figure description] Page 046.[end figure description]
on the tabil, and then he thinks ov the widders cruise,
and the bred hove onto the waters, menshioned in
the good Book, and he feels jist az tho he wud like
tew own awl the femail sowing sosieties in the wurld
hisself, and put hiz hole fortin in the little reddy
made cottin shirt bizziness. Oh Charitee! Oh Chartee!
When Josh Billings communes with you, he
feals az tho he had jist been tried out, and sot awa
tew cool. Feller Sisters don't be skeered, let the
ritch and the hawty stik up their nozes, and let the
eddicated larf. Josh wud like no better fun than
jiss to bet his 9 dollars, that enny Sister, in full
communion with this ere sowing sosiety, who puts in
full time, and cuts the cotting tew advantage, wil
git her final reward. Tew konklude, Feller Sisters,
pitch in; remember Mr. Lots wife, she that was
salted for looken bak. Cum together arly, and oftin,
buy yure cottin by the pease; be keerful how yu
deal out youre shirts, for thare iz evry now and then
a bogus heathin. Stan bi yure konstitushion, and bi
laws, dew awl this, and the “Femail Billingsville
Sowing Sosiety” will go down tew futer prosterita,
like a wide-awake torchlite possession. I bid yu
[figure description] Page 047.[end figure description]
In gazeing at the different kind ov noshuns that
-- 048 --
prevale jist now, we are struck with the vitality, and
permiskuousness, ov the Yankee noshuns. These
are a kind ov noshuns that reside in Nu England,
but travel awl over the world. They are for the
present known az the lead gimblet, the basswood
sperm-kandle, and the sole leather juise harp noshun,
relieved at times, by the hickory lossenge, the charkole
led pensil, and the lard bears ile noshun, and
okasionally interlined, tew keep up the appetite,
with paper razor straps, plaster-paris sheep shears,
and the sour milk opedeldock noshun, which iz warranted
tew kure the attack ov a 50 cent shinplaster,
in 4 seckunds; to which has lately bin added, pewter
jak knives, with pork rhine handles, and itch
intement, made out ov strong butter, and lamblak.
Yankee noshuns are the affek ov tew mutch genius.
[figure description] Page 048.[end figure description]
It iz really curis how folks differ in their noshuns
about hosses, sum wants a bob-tailed hoss, and sum
dont, sum wants a bay, and sum wants a yaller, and
sum wants any culler so bad that they hav tew be
sent tew state prizon, tew be healed ov their pashion
for the nobel animal, the hoss. I knu ov one old
feller who waz very noshunal, he wouldn't hav a
hoss only jist so high, he never stabled him, and let
him git hiz own fodder, he kept him for 47 years,
and the hoss outlived him, the last time I saw the
hoss he waz alive, but poor az wood; the old feller
called the hoss “saw-buck,” and sed he waz sired bi
carpenter, out ov a white ash skantling. Hoss noshuns
are well enuff, but they never ought tew be
allowed tew interfere with a man's final salvashun.
Perhaps thare iz no subjek that moste men agree -- --
on so well bi the gallon, but when it comes down tew
a drink, that they are so full ov noshuns about, az
their rum. I hav seen lots ov old-fashioned people,
who never thought ov drinking tanzy, unless they
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description] -- --
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description] -- 049 --
[figure description] Page 049.[end figure description]
put rum into it, and wouldn't no more drink a gincoktale
without nutmeg on the top ov it, than they
would skim milk. Then agin their iz sum who must
hav Jamaka, or the bronkeetis, one, or tuther; and
sum who must hav the belly-ake 3 or 4 times a day,
or they kant relish brandee and sugar. But thare
waz one beardless boy, over whose hed skase 14 summers
had melted, who beats them awl, he aktually
hove a fust class mint julek away, and called for
anuther, jist bekause it wouldn't suk fast enuff,
through the straw; I call this letting a man's good
sense git the better ov his judgment. Rum noshuns
are like gitting struk with litening, the theory iz
well enuff, but the praktis is a bad one tew git into.
Religious Creed Noshuns.
The idee that thare iz onla one way tew git tew -- 050 --
Heaven iz awl rong, but the idee that there iz but
one Heaven tew git tew, iz awl right. Az a gineral
thing nations go tew war for the most ornary things,
so men will fite the wust kind, for a religious noshun,
that they hain't got the fust smell of. I dont
care, for mi part, whether a man iz a piscopaleyen,
or a soft shell baptiss, nor I don't think the Lord
[figure description] Page 050.[end figure description]
duz nuther. Religious creed noshuns for man, are
like the scent the foxes leave for the hounds, the less
thare iz ov it, the more kerful the dorg hunts, and
the less likely he iz tew take enny uther trak.
[figure description] Page 051.[end figure description]
If yu hav got a real good wife, kepe perfectly
still, and thank God evry twenty minnitts for it.
A man with one idee alwus put me in mind ov an
old goose a tryin to hatch out a paving stun.
“Honesta is the best polisy,” but dont take mi
wurd for it, tri it.
Menny a book has bin writ, which proved tu be an
obituara notis ov the author.
Tha tells us “that munny is the rute ov all evil;”
and then tell us “tu rute hog or di.”
A man running for offiss puts me in minde ov a
-- 052 --
dog that's lost — he smells ov everybody he meets,
and wags hisself all over.
[figure description] Page 052.[end figure description]
Look out, galls! the Jack of hartes is alwus a
Gravity is very often mistakin for wisdum, but
thare is as much differ as thare is between a gide
board and the man who maid it.
Evra man has a goose that lays golden eggs, if he
only nu it.
XVII. ANSWERS TO CONTRIBUTORS.
[figure description] Page 053.[end figure description]
“Lines tu a sleeping infant, bi Alice,” receaved.
Tha are tender, dredful tender, almost tu
tender, tu keep thru this hot spel; yu hav talons ov
the highest order, but yu must kross yure t's, or yu
kant suckeed in portri; good bi Alice!
“Reverie ov a Bachelor,” Anonimous. — Received,
and kontents noted. Thare iz only one
trubble with this produckshun, which time will correckt,
and that iz, “it wont du at all for our collums,”
respekfully declined, (on the part ov the edditurs,
by J. B.) on account ov its length and thickness.
“The Sea, the roarin Sea.” — A sublime standzas, -- 054 --
wurth at least 7 dollars, intended, undoubtedly,
for The Atlantic Monthly, and cent tu us bi
[figure description] Page 054.[end figure description]
mistake, we wud like tu accept it, but dassent, fur fere
folks mite sa we stole it.
“Will yu Kiss me Dearest,” Bi Mary Ann. —
Acksepted. We take all them kind ov chanses.
The potri ain't fust rate, but we expect the kissin
kan't be beat, till then, fair Maid ajew!
“A gealogikal synopsorum ov the heavenly
spears,” Bi Paul Vernon — Will appere in our nex
issu. This writer haz attaked a subjeck ov grate
differkilty, with the biggest kind ov energee, and
haz suckceeded; his thesis is admirable, hiz argyment
iz clus, and his stile is camphene. We sa
“Mount Vernon! on eagil wings, beyond the klouds,
and paint yure name rite over the top ov the door
that leads tu glory, Mount Vernon, mi boy!”
We predick grate poplarity for this writer, if he
aint kut oph by a frost.
“A Prairie on fire,” Bi Diogoneze. — Rejeckted -- 055 --
to onst. Tu hot for the sezon — cool artikles take
the best now. It made me swet tu rede the manuskrip.
“Dont despair Diogoneze,” if yu find literature
aint yure stile, tri sawing wood; iv'e known
[figure description] Page 055.[end figure description]
hundreds ov men make a dust sawing wood, who
want worth a cuss tu write for the nusepapirs.
“Wait a little longer,” Bi Eugene. — This potri
wants greasing. Thare aint nothin so eaza tu rite
az potri, if yu know how. Our advise tu this author
iz tu take pills, and if tha dont release him ov
his potri, he kan konklude he haz got the potri dizeaze
the natral wa, and iz liable tu brake out at
In konklusion, Fustly, we would sa tu moste
writers, “write often, and publish seldom.” Secondly,
tu sum writers, “write seldom and publish
XVIII. THE DEVIL'S PUTTY AND VARNISH.
[figure description] Page 056.[end figure description]
When a man cums tew the konklusion that he -- 057 --
would like tew kill sumboddy at thirty paces, he imagines
that he haz bin wronged, and sends hiz best
friend a challenge tew fite a dewell; tha meet, and
an elegant murder iz committed; the cracks, in this
transaktion are puttyed up, and then varnished over,
bi being kalled, “an affair ov honnor.” When a
man robs a saving bank, or goes tew urope on the
last steamer, with the stolen reseipts ov a sanitary
kommittee in his pocket, a kommittee ov investigashun
are got together tew examine the stait ov affairs,
and unanimously report “a diskrepansy in hiz
akounts.” 2 yung men hire a hoss and buggy at
a livri stable, and go into the kuntry on Sunda.
Tha stop at the fust tavern tha meet, and invest
in sum ardent speerits. They stop agin pretty
soon, and histe in sum more ardent speerits. The
more tha histe in, the more tha drive, till bi and bi
[figure description] Page 057.[end figure description] -- 058 --
a devilish bridge tips them over into a devilish gutter
that sumboddy haz left bi the side ov the road, and
tha are awl killed, including the hoss and buggy.
This is kalled a “Fatal acksident.” A man and
hiz wife are living in the middle ov joy and consolashun,
tha are surrounded on awl sides bi a yung
and interesting familee, their bread iz cut thin, and
buttered on both sides and the edges, but the destroyer
enters the family, the wife wants a nu silk
gown, the man sez he “be d—d if she duz,” and
she “be d—d if she dont.” One word brings on
another, till tha fite, both ov them lose awl the hair
in their heds, and 2 full setts ov false teeth, the
thing ends in a divorse, the man runs awa tew Australia
bi the overland route, the woman marry's a
cirkus rider at 40 Dollars a month, the children are
adopted bi sum sunda school, and are brought up on
homopathy. This furnishes a collum and a half in
the nusepaper, under the hed ov “Disturbanse ov
the marrid relation.” A youth ov 21 summer begins
life with 36 thousand dollars. Sevral fast
hosses belong tew him, there iz sevral fast wimmin
that he belongs tew, awl the tavern keepers are hiz
patrons, faro banks are bilt for hiz amuzement, consolidated
lotterys are chartered on purpiss tew make
[figure description] Page 058.[end figure description]
him happee; nothing iz left undun tew make him feel
good. He wakes up about the 25th ov next May,
without a dollar in hiz pocket, and a host ov warm
friends on hiz hands, without enny visible means ov
supporting them. He takes an akount ov stock, he
buys a pint ov rum and 4 yards ov bed kord, the
one makes him limber, while the other makes him
stiff. The putty and varnish in this kase iz,
“Driven tew desperashun on akount of finanshul
preshure.” A rale rode trane stands snorting in
front ov the depoe, the last bel iz ringing, the kars
are full ov souls that belong tew different individuals,
the konducktor iz full ov Bourbon, that belongs tew
the devil, the engineer labors under an attack ov
Jamaka for the broketis, the switchmen likes a leetle
good old rye, the kars diskount 45 miles a hour,
2 trains tri tew pass each other on the same track; it
kant be did suckcessfully; the mangled and ded are
kounted bi skores, a searching investigashun takes
plase, the community iz satizfied, bekause it waz,
“an unavoidable katastrophe.” The Devil furnishes
putty and varnish, free ov expense, tew hide
the frauds and guilt ov men. Aul ov which iz respekfully
XIX. MANIFEST DESTINY.
[figure description] Page 059.[end figure description]
Manifest destiny iz the science ov going tew the
-- 060 --
devil, or enny other place before yu git thare. I
may be rong in this centiment, but that iz the way
it strikes me, and i am so put together that when enny
thing strikes me i immejiately strike back. Manifest
destiny mite perhaps be blocked out agin az the
condishun that man and things find themselfs in with
a ring in their nozes and sumboddy hold ov the
ring. I may be rong agin, but if i am, awl i hav
got tew sa iz, i don't kno it, and what a man don't
kno ain't no damage tew enny boddy else. The tru
way that manifess destiny had better be sot down iz,
the exact distance that a frog kan jump down hill
with a striped snake after him; i dont kno but i may
be wrong onst more, but if the frog don't git
ketcthed the destiny iz jist what he iz a looking
[figure description] Page 060.[end figure description]
When a man falls into the bottom ov a well and
makes up hiz minde tew stay thare, that ain't manifess
destiny enny more than having yure hair cut
short iz; but if he almoste gits out and then falls
down in agin 16 foot deeper and brakes off his neck
twice in the same plase and dies and iz buried thare
at low water, that iz manifess destiny on the square.
Standing behind a bull in fly time and gitting kicked
twice at one time, must feel a good deal like manifess
destiny. Being about 10 seckunds tew late
tew git an express train, and then chasing the train
with yure wife, and an umbreller in yure hands, in
a hot day, and not getting az near tew the train az
you waz when yu started, looks a leetle like manifess
destiny on a rale rode trak. Going into a tempranse
house and calling for a little old Bourbon
on ice, and being told in a mild way that “the
Bourbon iz jist out, but they hav got sum gin that
cost 72 cents a gallon in Paris,” sounds tew me like
the manifess destiny ovmoste tempranse houses.
Mi dear reader, don't beleave in manifess destiny -- 061 --
untill yu see it. Thare iz such a thing az manifess
destiny, but when it occurs it iz like the number ov
rings on the rakoon's tale, ov no grate consequense
onla for ornament. Man wan't made for a machine,
[figure description] Page 061.[end figure description]
if he waz, it waz a locomotiff machine, and manifess
destiny must git oph from the trak when the bell
rings, or git knocked higher than the price ov gold.
Manifess destiny iz a disseaze, but it iz eazy tew
heal; i hav seen it in its wust stages cured bi sawing
a cord ov dri hickory wood. I thought i had it
onse, it broke out in the shape ov poetry; i sent a
speciment ov the disseaze tew a magazine, the magazine
man wrote me nex day as follers,
“Dear Sur: Yu may be a dam phule, but yu
are no poeck. Yures, in haste.”
XX. ANSWERS TO CONTRIBUTORS.
[figure description] Page 062.[end figure description]
Perkins — I hav red yure peace, on “Wimmins
Rites,” thru, and thru, and must say that i luv it.
In mi opinyun, wimmin haz a rite to tu dew enny
thing well, but saw wood; sawin wood, ain't their
stile; speshially if the sawbuk iz a high one, it must
mortify them the wust wa.
Harrold. — Yure genus iz not fully born yet, -- 063 --
when it gits awl born, i think yu will be a poeck.
Yu hav got imaginashun enuff tew keep a livery
stable. Yure landguage iz a leetle too florid; did
you ever travel in Florida? Tri agin — I notis
one ov yure lines, haz 10 feet into it, and the nex
one, haz only got 9 feet, six inches. Sum poiks
air born, and sum are manafaktured; the manafaktured
ones, are the moste stiddyest, tha aint so ap
tew hanker after mint juleps. Yu ought to go up
[figure description] Page 063.[end figure description]
garrett when yu praktis, moste awl good poeckry
haz bin rit up garrett.
Hard Road.—Yure essa has sum good hits intu it,
but iz not jis the thing for a religus nuzepaper, like
ours; send it tu “Wilkes Spirit,” a paper that
knows how tu talk hoss. I will merely suggess,
that pedigree iz not important for a fast trotting
hoss; if he kan trot fast, never minde the pedigree.
Thare iz a grate menny fast men, even, who haint
got no pedigree. Thare aint mutch art in driving a
trotting hoss, jist hold them bak hard, and holler
them ahead hard, thats awl. A hoss will trot the
fastest down hill, espeshila, if the briching brakes.
Kuller is no kriterion. I hav seen awful mean
hosses, ov awl kullers, excep green, i never cee a
mean one ov this kuller. Hosses liv tew an honarabil
old age, and i hav often seen them, that apeared
fully prepared for deth. Heathins are alwus
kind tew hosses; it iz only among christian people,
that a hoss haz tew trot 3 mile heats, in a hot da,
for $25,000 in kounterfit munny.
XXI. ON DOGS.
When fickle frends and fickler fortin fales,
Dogs, unfickle still, for you will wag their tales.
[figure description] Page 064.[end figure description]
Dogs are various in kind, and thanks tew an allwise -- 065 --
Providence, tha are various in number. Tha
are the onla animil ov the brute perswashun, who
hav voluntary left a wilde stait ov natur, and cum
in under the flag ov man. Tha are not vagabones
bi choise, and luv tew belong tu sumbody. This
fac endears them tew us, and i hav alwas rated the
dog az about the seventh cusin tew the humain specious.
Tha kant talk, but tha kan lick yure hand,
this shows that their hearts iz in the plase where
uther folks' tungs iz. Dogs in the lump are useful,
but tha are not alwas proffittable in the lump. The
Nufoundlin dog is useful tew saive chldiren from
drowning, but yu hav got tew hav a pond or water,
[figure description] Page 065.[end figure description] -- 066 --
and children running around kareless, or else the
dog aint profitable. Thare aint nothing maid boarding
a Nufoundlin dog. Rat Tarries air useful tew
kech rats, but the rats aint proffittable after yu hav
keched them. The Shepard dog is useful tew drive
sheep, but if yu hav got tew go and buy a flock ov
sheep, and pay more than tha are wurth, jist to keep
the dog bizzy, the dog aint proffittable, not mutch.
Lap dogs are very useful, but if yu dont hold them
in yure lap awl the time, tha aint proffittable at all.
Bull dogs are extremely useful, but yu hav got tew
keep a bull too, or else yu kant make ennnything
on the dog. The Coach dog iz one ov the moste
usefullest ov dogs i kno ov, but yu hav got to hav a
coach, (and that aint alwus pleasant) or yu kant
realize from the dog. Thus we cee, that while dogs
are ginerally useful, thare are times, when tha aint
ginerally proffittable. I dont really luv a Yaller
dog, nor a mad dog, but with these two unfortunate
excepshuns, it is dredful hard work for me to sa a
hard word agin a dog; the wag ov their tails is
what takes me. Enny man who will abuze a dog,
neadn't ask me to luv him, or pra for him. Enny
man who will abuze a dog will abuse a woman, and
enny man who will abuse a woman is thirty-five or
[figure description] Page 066.[end figure description]
forty miles miles meaner than — a pale paller dog.
These are my centiments, and i shant change them,
until i receive notice that the camel has smoothed
down the hump on his back, and the sarpent ceases
tew wiggle when he wanders.
XXII. SAYINGS OF JOSH BILLINGS.
[figure description] Page 067.[end figure description]
I think the fools do more hurt in this world than
The prinsipal differense between a luxury and a
necesaary iz, the prise.
Awl men hav cunning, and sum men hav wisdum.
If I aint mistaken, the best wa tew git religion,
iz tew git honesta, and truth, and a sprinklin ov
morality fust, and see how they agree with us.
What a man spends in this life, he saves: what
he dont git want ment for him, and what he saves,
Fame iz like a crop ov kanada thissells, very eazy
-- 068 --
tew sow, but hard tew reap.
[figure description] Page 068.[end figure description]
“Familiarity breeds contempt.” this iz so — jist
as soon az we git familiarized with castor ile, for instance
we contempt it.
Life is short, but it iz long enuff to ruin enny
man who wants tew be ruined.
When the soul iz in grief, it iz taking root, and
when it iz in smiles, it iz taking wing.
The grate art in writing well, iz tew kno when
Every time yu forgive a man yu weaken him, and
Mi private opinion iz. that i should prefer boned
fish tew boned turkey.
“Giv the devil his due,” but be very kerful that
thare aint mutch due him.
It haz bin obsarved, “that corporashuns haint
-- 069 --
got enny souls.” Thare iz excepshuns tew this rule,
for i kno ov several that hav got the meanest kind
[figure description] Page 069.[end figure description]
After a man has rode fast onse, he never wants
tew go slow agin.
“Sparks fly upward.” Old maids will pleaze
make a note ov this.
“What will it proffit a man, if he gain the whole
wurld, and loze his own soul? i answer, nothing:
but thare are cases, whare thare wouldn't be enny
loss tew speek ov.
“Think twice before yu speak onse,” but don't
think, “d—n it.”
Thare iz onla one thing that i blame Adam for,
and that iz, when he had the onla woman on arth,
he didn't git her warranted.
[figure description] Page 070.[end figure description]
Fashion is a compound mixtur ov much taist, and
sum vanitee. The taist that is into it, saives it
from ridikule. Fashun iz just az necessara tu govern
men and wimmin with, az sivil law; in fack
menny folks wud ruther brake a statu than tu ware
a cut tale tu short, or a bunnet tu obtuze.
Exsentrisity iz one thing, and fashun iz anuther
thing. We haint got no more rite tu laff at fashun,
than we hav tu laff at vittels. What a man, or
woman eats, if it iz well cooked, iz all rite, and
what tha ware, if it iz well cooked, is ditto. —
After fashuns hav had their da, then iz the time tu
despize them; just so it iz with vittels; cold vittels
Nobody iz tu blame for old fashuns. If our -- 071 --
grate grand mother shud meet our present mother,
both ov them dressed in the fashun ov their
[figure description] Page 071.[end figure description]
respektif daze, tha wud go tu kalling each other old Fools,
and we should stan by, and offer tu bet on it. If
evry boddy had a fashun ov their own, it wud make
az mutch trubble az a shinplaster kurrensy. Them
that sett the fashun, aught tu be vartuous and big
minded, bekauze the morals ov a people are just about
az mutch inflooensed by fashun az tha are by religun.
In them daze, when tha had no partiklar fashun,
tha didn't hav partiklar enny thing else. It iz more
evidense ov vanitee to rejek fashun, than it iz tu
Evra boddy, more or lessly, hankers after fashun. -- 072 --
Fashun makes the poor ambishus, and it makes the
rich affabil; it makes the the vartuous cheerful, and
it makes the humbly kind ov handsum, and thare
iz no reson why it shud make the modest bold, enny
more than elegense shud make the butiful wicked.
Thare has alwus bin wolfs in sheeps clothing, and
fashun will okasionally be used for the same purpis,
but that aint enny reson why mutton aint good, nor
why fashun shud be hipokrasy. Bekauze sum peopil
are slaves tu fashun only proves its power, and yu will
find that thoze who are its slaves are ginerally free
from moste ov the big sins that humin natur iz subjec
tu. The big minded, and the noble, adopt
[figure description] Page 072.[end figure description]
fashun jist az tha du enny uther proper kustom, simpla
bekause it iz the fashun.
It is tru that sum ov the fashuns are absurd, and
it is tru that sum ov the vartues are absurd also.
If a fashun kant be maid tu square itself tu the
rules ov either good cense or good taist, it aint fashun,
it is consait. A grate menny folks ced that
whoops was a failure, but tha held their own, and
grew nisely; tha are realy evra thing in a hot da.
I shud like tu set in one all thru Juli and August;
a feller wud be as cool as a dog's nose in a wire
The essa is thru.
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Page 073.[end figure description]
Marrying a woman for her munny is vera mutch
like setting a rat-trap, and baiting it with yure own
“Between tew evils chuze the least.” Brandee
and gin, for instance, which will yu hav?
Perhaps sum philosophick mind kan tell me why
the Jews never eat whats on the left side ov a baked
If men had a good deal more faith than tha had
kommon sense, moste ov them wud expek tu liv, as
Eliger ov old did.
When a man's harte gits up into his hed, his -- 074 --
charitees will smell tu mutch ov wisdom; and when
[figure description] Page 074.[end figure description]
his hed gits down into his harte, his wisdom smells
tu much ov charitee.
I wud as soon take a ten dollar kounterfit bill on
the Kodfish Bank ov Nufoundland, as tu marry a
woman with false hare, false teeth or a false buzzum.
Men don't repli tu real sarkasm.
Ginowine proverbs ar like good kambrick needles—
short, sharp, and shiny.
The fust man who was born inter the wurld,
killed the sekund one, and i aint sure but it wud
hav bin a good plan if the men had tuk their turns
at killing ever sinse.
Art improves a diamond, but kant make one.
“Gra hares are honarabil,” but I kno ov a grate
menny gra heds that the devil will keep under a
glas kase, tu sho the curous in theze matters.
XXV. PROVERBIAL PIG.
[figure description] Page 075.[end figure description]
Az the white rose wakens intu buty, so dus the -- 076 --
white Pig cum tu gladden us. His ears are like
the lilac leaf, played upon bi the young zephurs at
eventide, his silkaness is the woof ov buty, and his
figger is the outline ov lovlaness. His food is white
nectar, drawn from the full fountain ov affecshun.
He waxes fatter, and more slik, evra da, and hangs
from the buzzum ov his muther like an image ov
alabastur. He laffeth at forms, and curleth his tale
still clusser, as his feast goeth on, then he riseth
with gladness, and wandereth with his kindred, beside
the still waters. His brothers and sisters are
az like him as flakes ov snow, and all the day long,
amung the red klover, and beneath the white thorn,
he maketh his joy, and leadeth a life arkadian.
His words are low musik, and his language the untutored
freshness ov natur. His pastime is the
[figure description] Page 076.[end figure description]
history ov innersence, and his lessure is elaganse. He
walketh whare grase leadeth, and gambles tew the
dallianse ov dewy fragranse. He gathereth straws
in his mouth, and hasteneth awa on errants ov gladness.
He listeneth tu the reproof of hiz parent;
his ackshuns are the laws ov perliteness, and his
logick is the power ov instinkt. His datime is
pease and his evening is gentle forgitfullness. As
he taketh on years, he loveth kool plases, and delveth
in liquids, and stirreth the arth tew a fatness,
and painteth hisself in dark cullers, a reffuge from
flize, and the torments ov life. He forgetteth his
parent, and bekumeth his own master, and larneth
the mistery ov food, and groweth hugely. Men
gaze at his porkyness, and kount his vallu bi pounds,
and la in wate for him, and sacrifise him, and give
his flesh salt for its safety. This is Pig life.
[figure description] Page 077.[end figure description]
Preeching the gospel for nothin, is easy enuff,
but preeching it fur 5 thousand a yere, and hav it
sute, is anuther thing entirely.
A ded traitor makes a sweete korps.
Matches, ma be made in heavin, but tha ar ginerally
sold down here.
Yu ma make a whissel out ov a pig's tale, but if
you du, you'll find you've spilte a verry worthy tale,
and got a devilish poor whissel.
I consait thare is this difference between bashfullness,
-- 078 --
and modesta, the one soon wares oph, the other
[figure description] Page 078.[end figure description]
A vartuous, and ekonomikal, and knooing, and
butiful woman is — is, all that kan be sed on the
Fitckshun is a kind ov haf wa hous, betwen the
temples ov Truth and Fallshood, whare the good and
the bad meet tu lie a little.
Praing, and Charitee, ought tu be dun on the sli.
The moste intensely butiful scene i ever perused,
was a clene, fat, haf dressed baby, on the floor,
kicking up its little heels, and pounding a lookin
glass, and a gold watch together.
Munny is like promises, easier maid than kept.
The fules in this wurld make about as much trubble
as the wicked du.
Misfortin and twins hardly ever cum singly.
XXVII. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
[figure description] Page 079.[end figure description]
Bolivar. — Yu are rite about it, courtin a yung
widder iz no boys play. Yu hav got to stick and
hang. Feed them well, and take them tu the circus,
and go out into the avenu with a kupple ov
blood ba lightning calculators, that's the wa!
Dont waste enny time waiting for a full moon nuther.
Widders luv oysters and gass lite the best.
Dont flatter them much, but pitch in, and rush
matters. Menny a widder has bin lost, bi fuleing
around, gitting reddy tu court. Maids luv centiment,
but widders luv muscle.
Fanny. — Pork and beans are good, that's a fack, -- 080 --
but yu must go down suller and eat them, don't let
ennybody cee yu du it. Sassage grease iz ap tu
rise on the stummuk, and if yu eat raw onions, and
dont swaller them hull, tha are ap tu make yure
[figure description] Page 080.[end figure description]
breth defensive, so tha sa. If yu want tew katch
yure bo, run rite tuther wa, and skream a small-sized
skream, and dont look bak till yu katch him.
If yure bo wants tew marry yu, and yu ar enny
whar near reddy, it iz a good genral rule tew let
him du it.
David.—The best kind ov a dog tew hav for awl
purposes iz a wooden one. Tha dont kost much,
and aint liable tew git out ov repair. They are
easy kep, and yu alwus kno whare tu find them.
Tha aint kross tu children when yu step on their
tales. Bi awl means git a small one. I never knu
one ov this breed tu foller ennybody oph.
Citizen.—I think yu hav cum tu just konklusion
-- 081 --
from the premisis. Yu sa, “enny man who will
chaw plug terbakker, will drink santa kruize rum;
enny man who will drink santa kruize rum, will go
tew the devil; and enny man who will go tu the
devil, is mean enuff tu du enny thing.” Bi thunder,
i think yure more than ¾ rite, I will think the
thing over clus, and if i find you are rite, i'll telegraff
[figure description] Page 081.[end figure description]
Richard,—Thare aint no sich thing az a munny
aristokrat in this free Amerikan land ov freedum.
If a man knows more than anuther man, he has got
a rite tew throw his hed bak and brag onto it a little.
But if a man haint got onla munny, he haint got no
more rite tu brag onto it then he wud hav tu brag
onto a big pile ov manure that wanted spreading.
Gipsey.—I kant giv yu enny partikler rule for
riteing for the nuzepapers. Korrekt spelling iz the
verry bowels ov suckcess. This art is onkomon
hard tew obtain; but few ever reach it, and liv.
If yu want yure name tew go down tu posterita untarnished,
dont rite for the nusepapers, but go and
hav yure name painted in red letters onto a board,
and la it awa up garrett.
XXVIII. PROVERBS OF THE BILLINGS FAMILY.
[figure description] Page 082.[end figure description]
Humin natur is the same all over the world, cept in
Nu England, and thar its akordin tu sarcumstances.
A kodfish aristokrat alwus puts me in mind ov a
drunken man a tryin tu walk a krack.
Rum is good in its plase, and hel is the plase for
Akordin tu skripter thar will be just about as
many Kammills in heavin as rich men.
When yu korte a widder, yu want tu du it with
Larfin at yure own story, while yu are tellin on
-- 083 --
it, is a good dele like firing a gun oph thru the
[figure description] Page 083.[end figure description]
A pet lam, alwus makes a kross ram.
A live harte sumtimes gits intu a ded body, so
dus perls git intu jersa clams.
“Glory enuff for one da,” attendin a nigger
He who skorns to be inflooensed at tall by fashun
is a wize fool.
I am prepaired tu say tu sevin ov the rich men
out ov evry ten, makes the most ov yure money for
it makes the most ov yu.
If i had a boy who didn't lie well enuff tu sute
me, i wud set him tu tendin a retale dri good store.
Man was kreated a little lower than the angells
and has bin gittin a little lower ever sinse.
The moste oneasy kreetur i ever perused, was a
bob tale bull, in fli time.
When a feller gits a goin down hil, it dus seem
-- 084 --
as tho evry thing had bin greased for the okashun.
[figure description] Page 084.[end figure description]
I hav known folks whose calibre was very small,
but whose bore was very big.
The meanest man i ever nu was the one who stole
a suggar whissel from a nigger baby tu sweeten a
kup ov rye koffee with.
Pluk is a nise kompound ov pride, vanitee and
Robbers are like rane, tha fall on the just and
We hate those who will not take our advise, and
despise them who do.
XXIX. A FU REMARKS.
[figure description] Page 085.[end figure description]
Moral swashun consis in asking a man tu do what
he aught tu do without askin, and then beggin hiz
pardon if he refuses tu do it.
I hav finally kum tu the konklusion, that a good
reliable sett ov bowels, iz wurth more tu a man,
than enny quantity ov brains.
Musick hath charms tu soothe a savage; this may
be so, but i wud rather tri a revolver on him fust.
It alwus seemed to me that a left handed fiddler
must pla the tune backwards.
I hav often bin told that the best wa iz tu take a
-- 086 --
“Bull bi the horns,” but i think in many instanzes
i shud prefer the “tale holt.”
[figure description] Page 086.[end figure description]
The fust law ov natur iz tu steal; the sekund law
is tu hide, and the third iz tu — steal agin.
Poverta acts the same onta a man's branes, az exercise
dus onto hiz boddy, gives an appetite.
I never could cee any use in making wooden gods
mail and femail.
If the harte iz rite, the hed cant be very rong.
Tha tell me that femails are so skarse, in the far
western country, that a grate menny married wimmin
are alreddy engaged tu their sekund and third
N. B. The above remarks are not intended to be
XXX. A LEKTURE TO MALE YOUNG MEN ONLY.
[figure description] Page 087.[end figure description]
Yu are about 2 begin life, yung men, for the fust -- 088 --
time, and I suppose thare wud be no impropriety in
mi saing, for the last time tew. It is hily important
or thereabouts, that yu set down in sum kool
plase, and take an honest akount ov stok, or in other
wurds, less poetick but equally tru, yu sarch out
the ramifikashun ov natur, and see what natur haz
ramified yu for. Now skriptur will tell yu, that
men don't gether pigs from thissels, neither dus the
husband, nor hiz wife, nor enny ov his relashuns,
plant korn when tha are after pumpkins, nor sow
bukwheat, when he iz a lookin for old rye. Kauze
and affeck iz anuther awful good thing to studdy;
yu will find this talked ov in Dan Webster's dicktionary.
Having follered the above advise, and having
hefted the above reasoning, yu will cum tew the
konklusion, whether it iz best for yu tu studdy law,
[figure description] Page 088.[end figure description] -- 089 --
or studdy shumaking, both ov them honerabil biznisses,
and equally kondusiv tew helth. Yu will
also be enabled tew bet with dispatch, whether yu
hav a kall, tew preach the gospil, or sel yankee noshuns
at auction, both ov them respektuous, if honestla
follared, and both ov them liabel tew be led
estra, and end at laste in the bronkeetis. The studdy
ov medisin will present itself and flap its wings
and crow, but it kant fule yu, bekause yu have sot
down, as rekomended above, and tuk akount ov yure
liabilitys, and kno tew a spot whether yu air konstructed
rite for a veteran surgeon amung hosses, or
hav the rite natur for dealing out kalamil & gallup
amung men, wimmin & childrin. Yu will likewize
hav it in yure power tew gess clussly between being
a kolporter or keeping a billiard tabil; if yu find
that yure goose iz morally sound, yu will itinerate
at onst, but if yu diskiver a leak in yure base, yu
will take up yure cue, naturally & akordinly. Selling
dri goods and blaksmithing wil klaim yure especial
notis, and wil bother yu dredfully for a verdik;
but if yu find yu hav kalico on the brain, &
aint afraid tew stretch the cloth & the truth a little,
when yu mezure it, yu will straddle the kounter like
an ingyrubber clothes pin, and smile on yure
[figure description] Page 089.[end figure description]
kustomers like a sleeping babe trubbled with wind.
Yu wil, without doubt, be asked tu sa whether yu
wil be a pollytisian or a blakleg, both equally honorabil.
If yu hav enny reasonable douts about
cheatin yure moste intimate frends, and aint willing
tew be seen in low grogerys on lecktion daze, buying
votes with cheap whiska and kounterfit munny,
and dont expek tew buy yure elekshun, and then
sell yure prinsiples tew git even; if yu kant go this,
and tend awl the churches near yu in rotashun, and
hear folks sa, “What an ornyment to sosiety he
iz!” i sa, if yu kant go all this without blushing,
yu will ov course adopt the blakleg, and gain an
honest living bi cheatin on the square.
Yung men yu will awl detek in this lekture a
frendla feeling towards yu bi the author, and if yu
foller the direckshuns laid down above, yu wil diskiver
the wigglings ov yure genius, in time perhaps,
tew saive yureselfs from cuming the govenor ov sum
state, when natur kindly ramified yu for a carpenter
XXXI. CLEVER FELLOWS.
[figure description] Page 090.[end figure description]
It is perfectly astounding how full ov clever fellows -- 091 --
the world iz. Yu kan find them almost ennywhere,
on the korner ov the streets, reddy tew say,
“mi dear fellow how are yu?” and adjourn at onst
tew the hotell and take a drink with yu. Yu can
find them in the churches, reddy tew slap yu on the
back and take yure meazure for a front pew, next
tew the Hon. Hannibal Herring Hallibut, Esq., at
the lucid figger ov $450 Dollars per year, and a
liberal chanse at the contribushun plate, twice evry
Sunda. Yu kan find them in the lucky possession
ov a blood bay pair ov geldings sired by Casshus M.
Klay, and jist refused tu the widder ov a defunk
sope biler, at $2700 dollars, but tew yu! confidensially!
tew yu!! tha will be placed at $2000. Yu
kan find them in nominashun for congress, bland,
fond, and peculiar, kneeling tew acksep yure sufrage
[figure description] Page 091.[end figure description]
as limber az a lover, ov the milk weed genus, at the
balmorell ov a $30,000 Dollars maiden.— Yu can
find them reddy tew indorse yure paper, yesterday,
for awl the munny in the institushun. Good Lord!
Good Lord! how thick tha are. I alwus treat theze
fellers kindly, jist az tho i loved them, but i alwus
stand in frunt ov them, az i do when i admire a
mule. I dont think tha hav az mutch malis az impudense,
and sum ov them are so innersent, that i
really beleaf tha think tha are honest. I dont think
the wurld could git along without theze clever feller,
tha ar jist what keep truth above par, and furnish
the romanse ov life with a continual freshness.
I sa, long live theze clever fellers! and when tha
die, if tha kan manage tew wiggle themselves into
the better land, i am the last man who will desire to
step on their tales.
[figure description] Page 092.[end figure description]
God save the phools! and don't let them run out,
for if it want for them, wise men couldn't get a
Sum peoples branes are located in their heds.
We are told “that there want ennything maid in
vain,” but i hav thought that awl the time spent in
manufakturing striped snaix, and muskeeters, waz
If thare waz nothing but truth in this wurld, a
fool would stand just as good a chanse az a wize
True perlitenes consists in being anxus about the
-- 093 --
welfair ov uthers; false perliteness consists in being
verry anxus about nothing.
[figure description] Page 093.[end figure description]
Robbers are like rain, tha fall on the just, and
If a man iz az wize az a sarpent, he can afford
to be as harmless as a dove.
We are ap tu hate them, who wont take our advise,
and despize them who do.
It iz dredful eazy tew be a phool — a man kan be
one and not know it.
Real happiness dont consiss so mutch in what a
man dont hav, az it duz, in what he dont want.
Fear iz the fust lesson larnt, and the laste one
Noboddy but a phool, gits bit twise bi the same
XXXIII. ANSWERS TO CONTRIBUTORS.
[figure description] Page 094.[end figure description]
Josh Billings wants it respekfully understood,
that, tho hiz duta az sensor ov a vartuous press
ockasionally kauses him tew lite onto sum contributors
at a high rate ov speed, he dus it, not out
ov malis tu those who rite, but thru grate luv and
tribulashun for thoze who read:
“I Hear an Angell Whispre,” by Clemantha.—
Theze lines contain more poeckry, and less truth.
The fact is, Angells don't whispre, if tha hav got
enny thing tew sa, tha sa it rite out loud. Tri agin,
Clemantha; rite onto kontentment, or happiness, or
sum sich subjec, that haint never bin rit onto.
“Slavery, ordained ov God,” bi A. D. P.— -- 095 --
This produckshion we cant accept. We are bound
[figure description] Page 095.[end figure description]
in our insuranse polisy not tew hav on hand “enny
article extra hazardus on akount ov fire,” and we
don't want tu be struk bi litenin, nor sent tu purgatory,
and looze our insurance besides. Furthermore,
writers must giv us their names in full;
A. D. P. mite stand for A. D—m Phule, and we
aint a doing enny bizness with them kind not if we
are credibly informed.
`On Pisgers nobil hites i stood, communin
with our ansesters,” bi Clarense.—Blank varse, bi
grashus! If my memry dont fule me, this iz the
same spot whare Noer stood, with the Ark previously.
We aint mutch on blank varse, but think we
smel a rat. We hav sent the peace tew the “Kommitty
on forrin relashuns,” and if tha sa the peace iz
on the square, it will be published, ackompanied
with a full sized 3 dollar puff.
“Epitaff on a friend,” bi Emeline Parsons.—
-- 096 --
Epitaffs are played out with us. We continu tew
publish them, at 25 cents ahed, az we du deth and
weddings, and dont hold ourself resposible for truth
or damage. We luv tu enkurage genius tho, and
advise Emeline Parsons tu diet, and keep her hand
in bi riteing for the Nu York Leger.
[figure description] Page 096.[end figure description]
“Essa on Hurrykanes,” bi Tempest Jun'.—
Wil appear jist az soon az the hurrykane softens
down a little. This writer handles a hurrykane the
best we ever see it did. Hiz deskripshun resembles
chain litening quietly. He maiks the grate oaks
tew wiggle lik mad sarpents, and the roks tew bile
and bust open, and the hole arth tew rumbil az tho
it had the kolick. This writer could git up a ghost
that would be wurth having. Tempest Jun' will
pleze send us his photergraff, we want a personal
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
XXXIV. A SHORT AND VERY AFFEKTING ESSA ON MAN.
[figure description] Page 097.[end figure description]
Man iz a problem not yet solved, made out ov -- 098 --
dirt, and smells ov the material. He waz kreated a
little lower than the angells, and haz bin gittin a
little lower ever sinse. He waz given a butiful hum,
clus tew the borders ov heaven, the fruit and the
flower waz planted for him, and the sweet waters
were led along hiz futpath, birds sung onla for him,
and woman was bilt tew make hiz joy komplete.
The lam laid her hed on the lion's buzzum, and the
viper knu not ov his sting. The winds waz tempered
with soft fragranse, and awl things had onla the
soul ov innersence in them. Guile there waz none,
fear there waz none, even hope thare waz none, for
thare waz nothing tew want. This waz butiful tew
behold, but it didn't prove enny thing, but the kindness
ov God: Could the arth be peopled? could
[figure description] Page 098.[end figure description] -- 099 --
the oseans be crossed? could the forest be chopped
down? could sittys be built? could enny boddy be
made tew work when thare waz nothing to hope for
and nothing tew want? Man waz created tew govern
a world ov ruggidness, and he couldn't dew it bi
being as harmless as a dove; he must hav a touch
ov a good sized sarpent in him, or he would hav
lived, he and hiz wife, growing butiful and useless,
forever, in the Garden ov Eden. Man never waz
bilt for the Garden ov Eden; he waz onla put thare
tew see its buty, but not tew enjoy it till he had
arnt it; not tew liv thare untill a weary round had
bin paced. Eden waz hiz kradle, Eden was the pla
ground ov hiz yung Adamhood, and under hiz vine
and fig treeze waz hiz old age tew be gathered.
How menny ov the countless millions, who hav gone
forth from the pearly gate ov the garden hav ever
entered agin? Sum few, perhaps hav got back,
weary and worn, sum few hav got back within sight
ov its glory, and sleep thare, but legions lay whare
they hav fell az far from their hum az wandering feet
could carry them; and man after 5,000 years ov
birthrite tew awl the glora ov heaven, and arth, iz
az mutch ov a problem az ever. If he governs the
arth — if the lightnings obey him — if art iz the
[figure description] Page 099.[end figure description]
monark ov natur, and if even the angels are at
times tempted tew admire him, struggling with the
sarpent, iz he not, at this day, a moste magnificent
failure? kan he, who haz governed so mutch, that
even angels would shudder tew attack, can he govern
himself. This iz the problem. It iz but a step
from the furtherest grave tew the garden ov Eden,
but how few will take it. We awl know the wa
back tew the kradle ov Eden. We awl long tew be
thare asleep, but if God dont take us in hiz arms,
az froward children are taken, how few thare will
be, who will ever git hum. Man iz the problem,
God iz the solution.
XXXV. THE RASE KOARSE.
“Grate rase! at Sulphur Flat trotting Park, on
Thursda, April 9th, for a puss ov 13 dollars, and a
bulls-eye watch, free for awl hosses, mares, geldings,
mules, and Jackasses!”
[figure description] Page 100.[end figure description]
Seeing the above anounsement, pasted up on a
-- 101 --
gide board, at “Jamaka rum four corners,” and
having never saw a hoss trot, on a well regulated
rase koarse, for the improvement ov the breed ov
hosses, i agreed i wud go, jist tew encourage the
breeding ov good hosses. I found the village of
Sulphur Flats located in a lot and well watered bi a
griss-mill and 2 tannerys. The prinsipal buildings
seem tu consiss ov a tavern stand, 3 groserys, an insurance
offiss, and anuther tavern stand, awl condukted
on strik whiskee prinsiples. I found the
inhabitants a good deal tired in their religus views,
and i thought the opening wud admit 3 or 4 missionarys
[figure description] Page 101.[end figure description]
The moste prinsipal bizness ov the peopil waz
pealing bark in the winter, and pitchin cents az soon
az warm wether sot in. I asked a gentleman present,
who ced he waz a reporter for “The Yung
Man's Christian Gide,” if he knew what the poplashun
ov the plase definitely waz, and he ced he
definitely didn't, but if i would set out a pail ov
whiskee, with a dipper into it, on the top ov a hemlock
stump, that grew in front ov the tavern, it
wouldn't be 60 minnits befour i cud count the whole
ov them, and then we both ov us smiled, az it were,
tew onst. Having asked sum uther inquirys, ov a
mexed natur, i santered down tu where the rase
I found the track waz about a mild in circumferense,
-- 102 --
and ov a sandy disposishun, fensed in by a
kranbury mash on one side, and a brush fense on
tuther, and in jist about 3 minnet condishun. The
judge's stand waz an ox cart surrounded on the
sides bi a ha rigging, and the reporters waz invited
tew git intu the cart.
[figure description] Page 102.[end figure description]
Waz a gra mare, about the usual stature, not verry
fat, and laboring under a spring halt, which tha ced
she had caught ov anuther hoss, about 10 days ago.
Tha ced she had trotted tu a kamp-meeting last fall
inside ov a verry short time, and that her back bone
waz awl game. I asked a yung man with long
yeller hair and bedtick pantyloons on, who waz
currying oph the mare, what her pedigree was, and
he with a wink tew anuther feller who stood clus bi,
ced, “she waz got bi the Landlord out ov a Methdiss
minister,” and then tha both laffed. I found
out bi inquirin, that her name waz “Fryin-Pan.”
The uther hoss waz a red hoss, rather hastily konstructed,
with a spare tale on him, which tha ced
waz kaused by his trotting so fast, in a windy day; i
shud think he waz about 5 feet and a haf in hite,
and ov a kickin natur. Tha ced he waz a stranger in
theze parts, and that his rite name waz “Juise Harp.”
The hosses both cum up tew the skore in the immejiate -- 103 --
visinity ov each uther, and got the wurd
[figure description] Page 103.[end figure description]
tew go, the fust time. The gra mare waz druv bi
“Dave Larkin,” and the hoss was handled bi
“Ligh Turner.” Tha trotted sublimely, az clus az
the Siamese twins; the mare with her hed hi up and
her noze full ov winde; the hoss waz stretched out
tite, like a chalk line; tha passed the haf mile pole
simultaneously, time, 2 minnits. Now the kontest
becum exsiting, “Dave” hollered, and “Ligh”
yelled — on tha kum, the mare gru higher, and the
hoss gru longer — tha make the last turn tew onst—
tha look like a dubble team — the exsitement
grows more intensely — the crowd sways to and fro—
the ox cart trembles — tha cum! tha cum! sich
shouting, sich yelling, sich swearing, sich chawing
terbacker, waz never herd before; the mare iz ahed!—
no, the hoss iz ahed! 'tis even, 'tis a ded hete, tha
pass the ox-kart — the hoss wins bi 3 quarters ov an
inch, time 4 minnits lacking 2 seckunds.
The hosses ar surrounded bi a crowd ov men, -- 104 --
wimmin, and children. Each party are sanguinary
ov suckces. The bettin iz 2 quarts ov whiskee to
anything, on the red hoss. At this junkture the
[figure description] Page 104.[end figure description]
gentleman, reporter for the Young Man's Christian
Gide, propozed tew bet 75 cents that the mare wud
win the nex heat; i tuk the proposishun forthwithly,
and the steaks, bi mutual consent, was placed in mi
hat and sot under the kart, and here let me stait,
before i forget it, that i haint saw the steaks nor the
The hosses oth sho signs ov distress. The gra -- 105 --
mare's ears hang down the side ov her hed, like two
wet rags, and the hoss rests his tale on the ground.
Tha go slola bak tew the distanse pole, and cum up
agin tew the skore, az tho tha waz yoked together.
Awa tha go; the hoss a leetle ahed. The hoss
leads tew the haf mild pole in 2:30. On the bak
stretch, “Dave” went at the mare with hiz long
purswader; she trots like litening, she passes the
hoss! no! she busts! she busts! and befour
“Dave” cud flatten her down tew her work, she
broke from the trak and trotted clean up tew her
hips in the krambery mash. The hoss cum in awl
alone, trotting fast, and so clus down, that 2 feet
ov his tale dragged on the ground. Time ov this
[figure description] Page 105.[end figure description]
heat, not fur from 5 minnits, “Juise Harp” winning,
bi a quartev ov a mild. Thus ended the grate
rase at “Sulphur Flats.” I immejiately started on
foot for “Jamaka Rum four corners,” bare headed,
but fully impressed that, tho men, and even whiskee
mite deteryoate, the breed ov hosses must begin tew
improve in that seckshun ov the kuntry in a fu dais.
XXXVI. “GIV THE DEVIL HIZ DUE. ”
[figure description] Page 106.[end figure description]
This iz good advise. I don't kno who waz the
auther ov it, if I did, i wud go for rewarding him,
either with a sett ov plated ware, or a prize in the
art union. No man kould giv better advise, or consolashun;
he ought tew hav a 2 story monament,
when he dize, with an epitaff on it, founded on fack;
he ought tew hav at leaste fifteen hundred little
children named after him each year; he ought tew
be nussed in men's memorys like a plesant dreme,
that afterwards turned out tew be true. He ought
to hav his fotograph taken bi evry new sky-lite in
the land, he ought tew be sett tew musick, and be
sung in conneckshun with the docksaloger; he ought
tew be stereotyped, so that nu edishuns could constantly
be worked oph tew meet the pressing demand.
“Giv the Devil hiz due.” Yung man, this -- 107 --
[figure description] Page 107.[end figure description]
advise was got up for yu. If yu owe the Devil ennything
pay him off at onse, and then discharge him,
and dont hire him over agin at enny prise. That's
what the author ment. Be honest, pay even the
devil, if yu owe him, but dont owe him agin. If
the proprietor ov this most worthy proverb, “Giv
the devil hiz due,” still lives, altho i haint had the
pleasure ov an introducksion tew him, if he ever
wants enny thing, even good advise, he kan git it in
awl natiff purity and innersense, bi dropping a line
tu his everlasting well wisher.
XXXVII. WATCH DOGS.
[figure description] Page 108.[end figure description]
Mi dearly beloved christian friend, did yu ever -- 109 --
visit enny body? Did yu ever visit enny boddy
who resided in the subburbs? Did yu ever visit
enny boddy who resided in the subburbs, and kept a
grate lank, watery-eyed, yeller dog, with very long
hare on hiz bak? — Did yu ever hav this grate lank,
yeller-devil dog cum loping down tu the frunt gate,
tu welcum yu with a hiena yowl, and with the long
hare on hiz bak pitching forward az tho it wud cum
out bi the rutes, and his tale awl swelled up like a
settin hen's? Kan yu rekolek the horrid fear that
seized upon yu, and froze yu fast tu the arth, az the
monster foamed in rage around yu? Yu gaze in
agny tords the hous — it seems 3 weeks at least.
At last the frunt door kautiously opens — yure
lady friend recognizes yu: “Bless me! Mrs. Bingler,
how glad i am tew cee yu! dew cum rite in.
[figure description] Page 109.[end figure description]
How pale the walk has made yu! Tiger! Tiger!
hush yu! He is onla glad tew cee yu. Dew cum
rite in, Mrs. Bingler.” Mrs. Bingler, let me ask
yu a question, privately: “Dew yu kandidly think
that the luv yu bare for yure lady friend, Mrs.
Baremore, who livs in the subberbs, iz enny kind ov
atonement for the hate and horror that yu will alwus
hav for the grate lank, watery-eyed, yeller dog
Tiger that she keeps tew welcum her visitors with?
If yu dew, please address, postage paid, Josh Billings,
Box 467, Pokeepsie sitty.
XXXVIII. ANSWER TO CONTRIBUTORS.
[figure description] Page 110.[end figure description]
Amerikus.—Your contribushun is in hand. We -- 111 --
like its fluidness. It is like ile on a side hill. Natur
haz did a good thing for yu, and yu ought tew
be willing tew dew a good thing for natur. This
line in your produkshun strikes us as very butiful
and original; “And larn the luxury of dewing
good.” Gold smith hisself mite hav bin proud ov
sich a line. And again; “Oh would sum power the
gifty giv us, ov seeing oursels as uthers cee us;”
yure idee ov indroducing the skotch acksent into
yure stile, is verry happee. If yu never hav red
Robert Burns, yu will be suprised to larn that his
style verry mutch resembles yures. Onse more yu
sa; “If ignoranse is bliss, tis folly tew be wise.”
This sentiment is jist as tru as tis common. Pope,
I think, has sumthing similar; but awl grate minds
sometimes express theirselfs alike. Yure
[figure description] Page 111.[end figure description]
contribushun will appear in our nex issu, with a wood cut
piktur ov a saw buck at the top ov it.
Beta—I think sumly as yu do, “this wurld is all
a fleetin cirkus, for man's illushun given,” but that
aint no rezon for not pitching in and being illusioned
onse in a while. I wouldn't giv a cent for a man
who hadn't bin illusioned, and who didn't expect tew
be several times agin.
Mathew.—I see bi yure letter that yu hav determined
tew studdy ministry. Yu sa yu hav
doubts about yure talents being enuffly tew make a
minister; i don't think that ought tew bluff yu oph,
for i hav saw menny men ov almity mean tallents,
who got tew be first rate ministers.
Philander.—Yu ask me which iz the most best, -- 112 --
the marrid or the single condishun? — Most evry
boddy, at sum time in their life, has tried the single
state; also, moste evry boddy haz hankered after
the double state, or married condishun. I hav
tried both states, and am reddy to sware, that if a
man kan git a woman who kan fri pancakes on both
sides without burning them, and dont hanker tew
[figure description] Page 112.[end figure description]
be a wimmin's kommitty, the marrid state iz a heaven
and arth, awl tew onst. But after awl the married
state is a good deal like falling out ov a cherry
tree, if a person don't happen tew git hurt, it is a
good reason for not trieing it agin.
[figure description] Page 113.[end figure description]
It is highly important, when a man makes up his
minde tew bekum a raskall, that he shud examine
hisself clusly, and see if he aint better konstructed
for a phool.
I argy in this way, if a man is right he cant be
too radikal, if he is rong he kant be too conservatiff.
“Tell the truth, and shame the Devil;” i kno
lots ov people, who can shame the devil easy enuff
but the tother thing bothers them.
If yu don't beleaf in “total depravity,” buy a
quart ov gin and studdy it.
Their is one advantage in a plurality ov wifes;
-- 114 --
tha fite each other, insted ov their hustbands.
[figure description] Page 114.[end figure description]
It is a verry delicate job to forgive a man, without
lowering him in his own estimashun, and yures
As a gineral thing, when a woman wares the
britches, she has a good rite tew them.
I am poor, and I am glad that i am, for i find
that wealth makes more people mean, than it duz
Woman's inflooense is powerful — espeshila when
she wants enny thing.
No man luvs tu git beat, but it is better tew git
beat than tew be rong.
Awl kind ov bores are a nuisance, but it is better
tew be bored with a 2 inch auger, than a
“Be sure yu are rite then go ahed;” but in
kase ov doubt go ahed enny wa.
Sekts and creeds ov religion, are like pocket -- 115 --
[figure description] Page 115.[end figure description]
compesses, good enuff tu pinte out the direction, but
the nearer the pole yu git the wuss tha wurk.
The rode tew Ruin, is alwus kept in good repair,
and the travellers pay the expense ov it.
If a man begins life bi being fust Lutenant in his
familee, he never need to look for promoshun.
I hav got as much munny as sum folks, but i hav
got as much impudence as enny ov them, and that
is the next thing tew munny.
It aint often that a man's reputashun outlasts his
Dont mistake arroganse for wisdum; menny people
hav thought tha was wise, when tha was onla
The man who kant git ahed, without pulling
others back, iz a limited cuss.
Woman will sumtimes confess her sins, but i never
-- 116 --
knu one tu confess her faults.
[figure description] Page 116.[end figure description]
Thare is onla one advantage, that i kan see, in
going tew the Devil, and that is, the rode is easy,
and yu are sure tew git thare.
Lastly — i am violently opposed tu arden speerits
as a bevridge, but for manufaktering purposes,
i think a leetle of it tastes good.
XL. AN ESSA ONTO MUSIK.
“Musick hath charms to sooth a savage.
To rend a rok or split a kabbage.”
[figure description] Page 117.[end figure description]
So tha tell me, but i shud rather try a revolver -- 118 --
on the savage, a blast ov powder on the rok, and
good sharp vinegar on the kabbage. I haint searched
history tew diskiver who giv the first consert ov
musik. We are told, that in those days “the stars
sang together,” but in theze days yu kant git stars
tew sing together. We often hear it said, “that
such a person haz a good ear for musik.” I don't
fellership this remark; awl a person wants tew understand
musik with, is a good soul; a “good ear”
haint got enny more tew du with it than a good sett
ov brains has tu do with charity. Musical crickets
insist that if the gammut aint rite, the musik aint
rite; this is awl nonsense; the gammut haint got
enny more tew du with a musick-hungry man, than
[figure description] Page 118.[end figure description] -- 119 --
a knife and fork has with his dinner, if he is real
hungry he can eat with his fingers. Musick want
got up tew make us wise, but better natured. How
much opera musick dew you suppose it wud taik
tu make a man cry? Folks will tell yu that such
an “overture fria dabulo” (or sum uther furrin big
named thing) “waz moste heavenly rendered,” tha
mite as well tell me that a pumpkin pie was heavenly
rendered. What do i care about the rendering,
if i don't git a piece ov the pie? Let some Prime
Donner, or Mezzer Soapraner, or Barrytown Base,
or some sich latin individual, cum into this village,
and histe their flag, and hav a programmy ov singing
as long as a sarch warrant, and as hard tu spell
out as a chinese proklamashun ritten upside down,
and taxed seventy-five cents for a preserved seat,
and moste evrybody will go tu hear it, bekause
moste everybody else dus, and will sa, evry now and
then, (out loud) “how bewitching! how delishus!
how egstatick!” and nineteen out ov evry twenty-one
ov them wouldn't kno it if the performance was
a burlesk on their grandmother. Wouldn't it be
fun tew cee one ov these opera singers undertake tu
rok a baby tu sleep? i gess thare wud be two parts
carried tu that song about that time. Suppoze yu
[figure description] Page 119.[end figure description]
shud come home at nite, a weary boy, and la yure
hed in mother's lap, and she shud let out a opera,
good Lord! wouldn't yu think yure mother was a
lunatik, or ought to be one at onst, tu save her karacter.
“Korrect taist,” iz anuther big wurd; ive
herd folks uze it whose finger nales wanted cleaning.
Musik, after all, is sumthing like vittels, the more
cooking and seasoning we uze, the more we have to
hav, till after awhile we kant enjoy ennything ov the
vittels but the pepper. — Opera dont hav enny more
loosening affeck on me, than caster ile wud on a graven
image. I set and gaze, and hark, and cee the
whole aujence in hirogliphicks, and awl i kan do iz
tu git mad that sich stuff is called musik. But awl
the reasoning in the wurld wont convince menny people
that tha haint got a rite tew go into fits over an
opera tha dont understand a word ov; it iz the fashion
tew expire and hav their souls dissolve in latin at
the rate ov seventy-five cents, an it haz got to be did,
“sink or swim, survive or perish.” If enny boddy
wants tu go and hear a man or woman disgorge musik,
that has more kolik than melody into it, i suppose
(under the constitushun) tha hav jist the same
rite tew crusifi themselves enny uther wa, for sumbody's
else sins that tha dont kno the natur of.
XLI. “MAN WAZ MADE TEW MOURN. ”
[figure description] Page 120.[end figure description]
This waz the private opinion ov one Burns, a -- --
Skotchman, who waz very edikated tew poetri from
his infansy. I and he differ, which is not uncommon
among grate minds. The ornary minds in this
wurld are disposed tew coinside, which iz the reson
whi superstitions prevale so mutch. Tew differ upon
matters with anuther is a fair presumpshun that
yu are in the habit ov smelling ov things before yu
swaller them. Man warnt made tew mourn, man
waz made tew laff. He iz the onla creeter or thing
that God made tew laff out loud. It iz tru he
knows how to mourn, so duz the animills kno how,
the birds can tell their sorrows, and the flowers kan
hang their pretty heds. Man waz made tew smile,
tew laff, tew haw! tew thro up his hat, and sing
halleluger. Man waz made tew praze God, and he
cant dew it bi mourning. Awl the mourning thare
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description] -- --
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description] -- 121 --
[figure description] Page 121.[end figure description]
iz in this wurld was introduced bi man; man warnt
made tew mourn any more than he was made to
crawl. Tharfore i sa tew awl men and women, stop
crying and go tew laffing, yu will last longer, and
git fatter and stand jist as good a chanse tew git tew
heaven with a smile on your countenanse, as yu
will with yure fase leaking at every pore. I sa
man want made tew mourn, if he had bin he would
not hav bin put in Paradise, whare every thing else
was made in the image ov smiles.
P. S.—I don't want ennybody tew think that i
am down on Burns, for i dew consider him the most
Poet that ever lived. I had ruther be the authur ov
one poum i kno ov, that he rit, than tew be king
and queen ov England, and keep a hoss and carriage;
but “man warnt made tew mourn” Robert
Burns, he iz the kause of hiz own sorrow. For
enny further informashun tutching this subjek, address,
post paid, with stamp enclosed.
[figure description] Page 122.[end figure description]
What a sarkasm it is tew a ded man's memory,
tew ask “how much munny he left?”
I don't like tew be alwus a asking questions, but
i would really like tu kno whi it is that so manny
wimmin who are so thin in the face, stick out so
every where else!
Tha tell ov an orful sharp feller out west, who
broke out ov an alms houze and made sixteen hundred
and thirty two 75/100 dollars, in the substitute
bizness, before tha kould ketch him.
The bible asks us, “what will it proffitt a man,
-- 123 --
if he gain the whole world and loze hiz own soul?”
i suppose this depends sumwhat upon the size ov the
soul, i think thare are kases whare the trade would
[figure description] Page 123.[end figure description]
The term “shunked,” which we often hear applied
tew them that gits beat, waz diskovered in
this wa: a Radikal and a Conservatiff, went out
hunting shunks. The Radikal diskovered one at
sum distanse off and without trieing tew git nearer,
drew up his musquet, and shot him ded. The Consarvatiff
undertook tew ketch his skunk alive, and
the konsequents waz, he got — skunked.
The old proverb sez, “Giv the Devil his due!”
if this is put thru, what will bekum ov yu, mi
friend? and the rest ov the — nabors?
XLIII. KISSING CONSIDERED.
[figure description] Page 124.[end figure description]
“Man was made tew mourn,” so warbled Burns,
“and woman was made tew kiss,” so warbles Billings.
One ov these centiments haz bin alreddy immortalised,
and the other i intend shall be as soon
as the Legislater meets. I am not yet lusid how i
shall bring the matter befoar that honorabil boddy;
but i dew kno how the honorabel boddy feals on the
subject, and how tha will act if ever tha hav a good
chanse. To give a fertile and golden opinyun, upon
kissing in the lump, and kissing in the detale, requires
a man ov truth, and sum experiense in tasteing.
IN THE LUMP.
Kissing iz one ov those fu things that is easier -- 125 --
dun than deskribed; in fack, about the onla way
[figure description] Page 125.[end figure description]
-- 126 --
tew deskribe it well is tew do it well. It iz, without
doubt, a verry anshunt enterprise; and judgeing
from what we kno ov human natur in this latitude,
it must hav struk Adam as a good investment when
he fust diskovered hiz wife. If Adam didn't kiss
Eve at sight he aint the man i take him tew be;
and if Eve didn't relish it, it must hav bin bekause
it want well did. Thare iz one thing about kissing
in the lump, diffrent from the rest ov the fine arts
and that iz, it don't require enny eddikashun tew
dew it; i hav even thort that the more unedikated
it waz did (provided it didn't miss the mark) the
more touching it was tew behold. But kissing is a
good deal like eating; thare is not much fun (when
a person iz hungry) in standing by, and see it did
bi anuther fellow, if it iz did ever so well. It is
one ov the cheapess and healthyess luxurys ov the
season, and don't sho enny disposishun tew go out
ov fashion, and will keep sweet in enny climate.
Upon the whole, if yu examine kissing in the lump,
clussly, yu will be led tew exclaim: Fustly, that it
iz as easy tew hav it did, az it is handy tew dew it.
Sekundly, that it is like Cowpers tea, it cures a
man without corning him; and, Thirdly, it is a
frugal, highly consentrated, and reverend luxury.
[figure description] Page 126.[end figure description]
When we cum tew thro oph glittering generalitys -- 127 --
and approach our subjeck in single file, it is then
that the divinitee ov the art seems to be spotted;
and reveals tew us awl the shades ov pomp and sirkumstanze,
from the sublime and tender, clear down
tew the redikilus and tuff. Mother's kiss and little
baby's kiss are az pure az the utterance ov angells;
so is the artless kiss ov sister Mary and — couzin
Fanny; but thare iz one cold, blu, lean kiss, that
alwus makes me shiver tew see. Two persons (ov
the femail perswashun) who hav witnesst a grate
menny younger and more pulpy daze, meet in sum
publik plase, and not having saw each uther for 24
hours tha kiss immegiately; then tha talk about
the weather, and the young man who preached yesterday,
and then tha kiss immegiately, and then
tha blush and laff at what tha sa tew each other,
and kiss agin immegiately. I would not objeckt
tew awl this if it want sich a waste ov swetness
on the dessart air. I am willing tew be sworn
that this kind ov kissing alwus puts me in minde
ov two olde flints trieing tew strike fire. How
different this from the konnubial kiss i witnesst
[figure description] Page 127.[end figure description]
laste nite. I knu he wast a husband jist got back
from a bizzness tower, bi hiz haste. He passt me
at the korner below, and awl unexpected enkountered
hiz wife, and as natral as the bee tew the
the flower, tha flu together. Thare want enny thing
sentimental about that kiss; thare want enny thing
criminal about it. It rang out on the air as clear
as the challenge ov a perlice offiser — it filled a
whole block. Thare want mutch prelimnary about
it neither, for it smashed a 50 dollar bonnett, and
muxed up a barricade ov edging and frizzled tucker.
It want the fust one, it waz tew well did for that.
It want the sipping ov two trembling lovers, afraid
ov the echo; it want studdyed out nor stolen, but it
wast full ov honest ripeness and chastened struggle
which made me hanker for — for, one oph from the
same peace. Jist one more remark and I am thru.
Thare is one kind ov kissing that has alwus been
deeemd extra hazardous (on akount ov fire) and
that is kissing yure naber's wife. Gitting the
wife's consent don't seem tew make the matter enny
the less risky.
Moral.—Don't eat onions during the kissing
seazon unless yu chew them well.
XLIV. FOR A FU MINNITS AMUNG THE SPEERITS.
[figure description] Page 128.[end figure description]
Bi invitashun i had the happiness tew attend a
speerit cirkle in the good old town ov Billingsville
last week. A long haired feller bi the name of Professer
McGuire, with a face that looked like a
sucked lemon, waz the midwife ov the okasion. It
seemed that a Mister Bloodgood wanted a dispatch
from Miss Jerusha Perkins, who, he claimed, was in
the speerit land. After the kandel waz subdued
and strikt silence ensued, sum ov the alfiredest
thumps took plase on the tabel; mi hair begin tew
stan up, and i wished i waz out ov the consarn; but
after taking an akount ov stock i cum tew the inference
that i could knock the spots oph from the whole
bileing ov them, if it cum to actooal bizzness i
agreed tew set still and see the whole sport.
In a fu space ov time McGuire begin tew git news -- 129 --
[figure description] Page 129.[end figure description]
from Jerusha, which he ced waz official and waz in the
shape ov a letter, and he wud translate it as follers:
May 20th, Speerit Land, 1846.
“Dear Augustus Sidney Bloodgood: Having a
fu spare time tew devote terestial things, i take mi
pen in hand tew rite yu a fu lines. I am well, and
hope theze fu lines will find yu enjoying the same
blessin. I hav jist returned from the gardin ov
Eden whare i hav bin with Dave Sturgiss, who was
killed at the battell ov Gettisburg bi gitting choked
with a pease ov hard tacks. The weather iz fine,
and there iz evry prospeck ov krops; I never see
the potaters look finer. Dri goods is cheap here, yu
can buy good factory cottin cloth, yard wide, for
eleven cents a yard and hav thred thrown in. I see
the Widder Bostwick yesterday, she looks as starched
up as ever.
“Would yu beleaf it, dear Augustus, that ugly -- 130 --
Miss Snubdin is here, how yu used tew hate her!
yu kno yu used tew sa that she wud go tew that uther
land ov speerits. Let me hear from yu oftin thru
the dear McGuire. Me and anuther speerit bi the
name of Julia roost on the same celestial tree, and
we oftin talk over the fellers we used tu know, and
yu kan bet high, dear Augustus, that yu are the
[figure description] Page 130.[end figure description]
one that i brag on. Don't let enny ov them terestial
mortals fool yu with their luv, for Jerusha's essence
has no affinitee but for her corporeal jewell,
Augustus Sidney Bloodgood.”
At this junkter thare waz 6 raps on the tabel
about az fast and loud az tho there waz playing
kards, and sumboddy about being eukered; then
awl was still and the kandels waz lit, and evry boddy
sot in aw and amazement. The sircle broke up immejiately,
and i passed out with mi frend, who asked
me what i thought ov speerit manifestashuns now.
I told him i thought if evrything waz on the square,
that Bloodgood had a ded sure thing on Jerush.
[figure description] Page 131.[end figure description]
A gest is sumthin that is sharp enuff to be notised,
and not rude enuff tu be resented.
“Solaman was a wize man,” but when he ced thar
warnt enny thing nu under the sun, he hadn't herd
ov Hudsin River time tables.
“Large bodys move slo,” this ere proverb dont apply
tu lies, for the bigger tha ar, the faster tha go.
The only wa tu pleze evra boddy, is tu make evry
boddy think yu ar a bigger fule than tha ar.
Ignorance is ced tu be bliss, this ma be so, I never
It's just as natral for lawyers tu lie, as it is for a
-- 132 --
white hared yung one's nose tu run.
[figure description] Page 132.[end figure description]
The man who kan ware a shirt a hole week, and
keap, it klean, aint fit for enny thing else.
The more we hav, the more we want, and the
more we want, the less we hav.
“The law ov nashuns;” iron klad gun botes.
Evra sorrow has its twin joy; the fun of skraching
almost pays for having the ich.
XLVI. JOSH GOES TO LONG BRANCH.
[figure description] Page 133.[end figure description]
“Hum agin! Hum agin! from a forrin shore!” -- 134 --
or in uther wurds less juicy but equally tru, i hav
got back from Long Branche, whither i went tew
git mi buty and health restored. I waz thare 2
weeks, and lost 50 pounds in munny, and gained 10
pounds in meat. i feal like a fur tippet. I shall
go down nex summer, if mi life iz spared also. I
made a grate menny nu ackquaintance, that will be
hard tew fergit, amung which, waz a nu kind of likker,
which they kall apple toddy; this likker would
be an invaluable dockument tew take amung the
heathen tew convert them; 2 horns ov it would set
them crazy — for civilizashun. The natur ov the
sile or land there iz impregnated with sand, which iz
adapted tew raisin a dust when the wind bloze, and
also iz capabel ov produsing, (az i see bi the statisticks
ov the state sensus) more fleas tew the aker
[figure description] Page 134.[end figure description] -- 135 --
without the aid ov manure, than iz needed for hum
consumption. The two prinsipal attrackshuns there
iz the air, and the water, which are to be had in enny
quantity, at a slite advanse from fust cost. The
men and wimmin go in swimming together which at
the fust sight looks a leetle risky, but az soon az they
git used tew it, tha tell me, tha aint afrade ov each
other at all. Thare iz 15 taverns at Long Branch,
and thare iz ground room tew build more ov them, and
az far az i kno, no man need tew go away without
spending awl ov hiz munny, if he haz got enny ambishun
about him. Thare waz sevral verry fashionable
wimmin on exhibishun thare, and altho they didn't
hav on mutch clothes, what they did hav, waz wuth
the munny. I also saw sevral diamonds thare, which
they ced were discovered at little falls, in this state,
and waz wuth respectfully, from 2, to 5 dollars.
One verry pleazing feeter waz the fast trotting hosses
which belonged tew the natives ov the surrounding
country, which were brought down in front ov the
taverns evry day, tew trot for the amuzement, &
instruktion, ov the guests. The Hosses didn't seem to
me tew trot az fast az the drivers did, but i dont think
enny body ever saw more dust raized, still, if hollering
out loud iz enny sign that the hosses waz a
[figure description] Page 135.[end figure description] -- 136 --
trotting fast, then Flory Temple never had any bizness
at Long Branch, unless it waz for her health. Hoss
trotting iz at best a cruel enterprize, but when it iz
gone into, with slow hosses, and unskillful drivers,
it iz about az disgusting az the opening ov Rockaway
clams, with a shoe-hammer. You will find awl the
different styles ov docktrine and pollyticks, at Long
Branche. One feller asked me “if i didn't think
that the southern confederasy would be recognized before
long,” and i ced, that the southren confederasy
had bin recognized, for more than 3 years, bi awl
sensibel & honest people, az the moste cussidest ov
awl things cussid. And another feller asked me what
i thought ov the doktrine ov poligamy. i replied
tew him, in a few wurds, that it waz tew mutch
doktrine, for enny one man tew hav, and dew the
subjeck justiss. Az good a way az enny tew git tew
Long Branch, iz bi the steam Bote Jesser Hoyt, and
the Delaware Ba ralerode. The cars on this rale
rode will put enny man in minde ov one ov the
cages in which van amburgh's trained animels are
carried around the kuntry, and az for speed, thare iz
but one thing on arth slower, and that iz a bread
pill. In konclusion, Long Branch iz about the onla
thing in the state ov Nu Jersee, that dont belong tew
[figure description] Page 136.[end figure description]
Yours at sight, Josh Billings.
the Camptown, and Amboy Ralerode, and ought tew
be visited as a natral curiosity on that vera akount,
if for no uther. The prinsipel amuzements ov the
plase are pitching cents, and walking a mile and a
half, back into the kuntry, tew see a liberty pole,
Thare iz one custom thare that mite be altered, if it
couldn't be improved, and that iz awl the niggers
seem tew hav bin born for the express purpiss ov
standing around when a guest leaves, with evry feature
in their fase resembling a 25 cent shinplaster
in distress, and even the Landlord's look, and act
az tho you waz going oph, without paying them awl
the munny yu had. Visiting Long Branch, in this
respeck, iz like going down into a marsh, in muskeeter
time, awl the inhabitants stick a bill into you.
Thare iz no ingenuity in this wa ov skinning a man,
it iz like skinning a cat, a little evry day, tew make
it hurt less.
XLVII. TO MY LADY CORRESPONDENTS.
[figure description] Page 137.[end figure description]
Cora.—Now yu ask me tew mutch. I kant giv
no sartin resippee tew make a feller pop the question.
Sum men are awful slow on a court, tha are
like olde houn dogs, all tha want iz to be sure tha are
on the rite track, and don't seem tew kare if tha
don't never cum up with the game. If i was a gal,
and one ov this kind ov dogs got after me, i wud
hole rite off, and if he didn't commense tu dig me
out at onst, i shud kno he waz only hunting for fun.
Rebekar. — I am dredful sorry tew hear yu are a
-- 138 --
widder. I kno how tu pity yu, i haint never bin a
widder miself, but i hav bin in a habit ov pittying
widders, for a grate length ov time. And yu tell me
yu are a yung widder too, wuss and wusser. If yu
find that thare aint nobody in yure naberhood who
understands pittying yung widders, let me kno at
onst, and i will see what kan be did for yu.
[figure description] Page 138.[end figure description]
Flora.— I like yure spirit, yu hav got a soul.
Thare aint no diskount on to it. Stan yure ground,
don't giv an inch, the olde man will cum to hiz milk
bimeby. The idee that yu kant hav a bonnet az
good as Sal Parker haz got, iz darned likely. If i
waz a gal, and mi olde man wouldn't go 50 dollars for
me a plane bonnet, blame me if i wouldn't go into a
dekline, spit blood, or have a pane in the bak, or see a
ghost, and set and shiver till the olde man cum doun
with the bonnet.
Lizzy.— Yu sa yu are sixteen years old, and aint
marrid yet. That looks a little dusty, but don't dispare,
az long az thare iz life theres hope. If i hear
ov enny boddy looking around for a woman, ill let
yu kno forthwithly. Send me forty or fifty ov yure
fotograffs, tha are good things tu skatter around luce.
Az i ced in mi last letter i kant la doun no rule tu
kech a hustband, men kant tell themselves half the
time what ketched them, awl tha kno iz that tha
git keched the cussedest evra now and then.
Matilda.— Lap dogs are verry skase jist now -- 139 --
prinsipally owing tew the skasity ov them. I see
one yesterda that was almost heavenly. The owner
[figure description] Page 139.[end figure description]
asked 50 dollars for him, he had sore eys, and the
itch, but tha tell me that awl lap dogs haz theze
trifling komplantes. I saw anuther one, which the
owner onla asked thirty-five dollars for, he had small
sized fits, but waz warrented not tew hav more than
three fits in enny one da. I think this dog iz jist
what yu are looking for; i offered thirty-seven dollars
for him, if the owner wud heave in a vial ov fits
medisin. He is tew giv me an anser tomorrow.
P. S.—I hav bought the dog and will send him bi
xpress. hiz name iz Agusty Seazer.
XLVIII. ON WIDDERS.
[figure description] Page 140.[end figure description]
Widders are an interesting studdy. Tha ma be
-- 141 --
dividid (tew anser our purpis,) into 3 classes: The
Lone, The Grass, and The Star Spangled Banner
Widder. The Lone Widder iz ginerally selebrated
for her piety, she haz passed the middle ov life,
she knows she haz got gra hairs in her hed, she will
tell her age, and talks tenderla ov her ded husband.
Her grief iz sober, her weeds are rank, if she iz ritch,
she is charitable, if she is poor, she is humble. She
seldum marrys the sekund time. Her cheerfulness
never bekums gayety, and her sorrow never bekums
lamentashun. If she has children, she treats them
as the partners ov her bereavment, if she has none,
she bends down tew those she meets as she wud tew
the arly flower in her pathway. Her hole life is a
glora tew her sek, and an honour evra da tew him
whose good memry amung men she perpetuates.
[figure description] Page 141.[end figure description]
The Grass Widder is marrid without enny husband.
She keeps house at a hotel, and kalls the servants bi
familiar names. She sez that her husband is a kurnel
in the armee. Her thesis is unkongenial tempraments,
she kan repeat Don Juan, and hides Boccassio's
tales under her pillow. If she wud ride out
she orders a coach, and a gentleman; if she is ritch,
she is arrogant, if she is poor, she is brasen. She
kalls virtue prudery, and sez she wouldn't swop chastity
with Dianner. If her kurnel is fortunate enuff
tew git shot in battle, yu ma meet her and hiz Lutenant
at Nuport nex summer, married — for the
The Star Spangled Widder iz yung, ornamental, -- 142 --
and — a fule. She married her husband bekauze
hiz name waz Alphonzo, and she mourns for him in
at least 50 feet ov krape. Her fingers are as jewelled
as the hilt ov a spanish dagger. She was eddikated
at a fust klass seminare, with a 9 months' vakashun
in it evry year, and talks awl the languages,
excep english, bravely. She gases on you from beneath
her limber eyelashes, as pensiv as a wel fed
kitten. Yu ma think she wants tew marry, but
she thinks she onla wants a friend. If she shud
snare some old feller, with a full puss, she wil make
[figure description] Page 142.[end figure description]
him a good toddy stik for his beverage. She has
more chastity than sens, and more vartue than affeckshun.
Upon refleckshun i am disposed tew sa that there
iz no condishun that a woman iz kalled upon tew fill
so delikate, and so diffikult, as the widder; a condishun
in which the lovlaness ov their naturs kan be
made tew challenge our respek and admirashun, az
alzo, a condishun in which their frailties may exsite
our abhorrense, and their weakness, our disguss —
XLIX. THINGS THAT I DON'T HANKER AFTER TO SEE.
[figure description] Page 143.[end figure description]
A man out at the elbows, and his wife out tew a
woman's rites convenshun.
A yung lady ov more circumference than the diameter
ov her father's real estate.
A boy under 15 with over 15 bad habits.
A long bill at the tailor's, that belongs tew a short
Bill at the St. Nicholas.
A man who haz more hair under his nose than
knows under his hair.
A virgin who haz beat 40, afrade ov a rane bo.
A pollytision leading in prayer.
-- 144 --
[figure description] Page 144.[end figure description]
A man whoze houze wants painting a different culler
from hiz noze.
Charitee that evra boddy knowz ov.
A house so divided agin itself, that it dont kno
which wa tew fall.
“Augers that won't bore,” unless tha kan hav
the privilege ov splitting.
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
L. ON COURTING.
[figure description] Page 145.[end figure description]
Courting is a luxury, it is sallad, it is ise water, it is -- 146 --
a beveridge, it is the pla spell ov the soul. The man
who has never courted haz lived in vain; he haz bin
a blind man amung landskapes and waterskapes; he
has bin a deff man in the land ov hand orgins, and
by the side ov murmuring canals. Courting iz like
2 little springs ov soft water that steal out from under
a rock at the fut ov a mountain and run down
the hill side by side singing and dansing and spatering
each uther, eddying and frothing and kaskading,
now hiding under bank, now full ov sun and
now full ov shadder, till bimeby tha jine and then tha
go slow. I am in faver ov long courting; it gives
the parties a chance to find out each uther's trump
kards, it iz good exercise, and is jist as innersent as
2 merino lambs. Courting iz like strawberries and
cream, wants tew be did slow, then yu git the flaver.
[figure description] Page 146.[end figure description]
I hav saw folks git ackquainted, fall in luv, git marrid,
settel down and git tew wurk, in 3 weeks from
date. This is jist the wa sum folks larn a trade,
and akounts for the grate number ov almitey mean
mechanicks, we hav and the poor jobs tha turn out.
Perhaps it iz best i shud state sum good advise
-- 147 --
tew yung men, who are about tew court with a final
view to matrimony, az it waz. In the fust plase,
yung man, yu want tew git yure systen awl rite, and
then find a yung woman who iz willing tew be courted
on the square. The nex thing is tew find out how
old she is, which yu kan dew bi asking her and she
will sa that she is 19 years old, and this yu will find
won't be far from out ov the wa. The nex best thing
iz tew begin moderate; say onse evry nite in the
week for the fust six months, increasing the dose as
the pasheint seems to require it. It is a fust rate wa
tew court the girl's mother a leetle on the start, for
there iz one thing a woman never despizes, and that
iz, a leettle good courting, if it is dun strikly on the
square. After the fust year yu will begin to be well
ackquainted and will begin tew like the bizzness.
Thare is one thing I alwus advise, and that iz not to
swop fotograffs oftener than onse in 10 daze. unless
yu forgit how the gal looks.
[figure description] Page 147.[end figure description]
Okasionally yu want tew look sorry and draw in
yure wind az tho yu had pain, this will set the gal
tew teazing yu tew find out what ails yu. Evening
meetings are a good thing tu tend, it will keep yure
religgion in tune; and then if the gal happens tew be
thare, bi acksident, she kan ask yu tew go hum with
Az a ginral thing i wouldn't brag on uther gals
mutch when i waz courting, it mite look az tho yu
knu tew mutch. If yu will court 3 years in this wa,
awl the time on the square, if yu don't sa it iz a
leettle the slikest time in yure life, yu kan git measured
for a hat at my expense, and pa for it. Don't
court for munny, nor buty, nor relashuns, theze things
are jist about az onsartin as the kerosene ile refining
bissness, liabel tew git out ov repair and bust at enny
Court a gal for fun, for the luv yu bear her, for -- 148 --
the vartue and bissness thare is in her; court her
for a wife and for a mother, court her as yu wud
court a farm — for the strength ov the sile and the
parfeckshun ov the title; court her as tho she want a
fule, and yu a nuther; court her in the kitchen, in
the parlor, over the wash-tub, and at the pianner;
court this wa, yung man, and if yu don't git a good
[figure description] Page 148.[end figure description]
wife and she don't git a good hustband, the falt
won't be in the courting.
Yung man, yu kan rely upon Josh Billings, and
if yu kant make these rules wurk jist send for him
and he will sho yu how the thing is did, and it shant
kost yu a cent.
[figure description] Page 149.[end figure description]
Piety iz a good kind ov dissease for a man tew
hav, but when he has so mutch ov it that he has tew
go behind the door on Sunday to drink his whiskee,
it will dew tew watch him the rest of the week.
Menny think tha luv their husbands almost tew
deth, when in fack, tha are only jealous ov them.
Thoze familys who are really fust class, never are
afraid that tha shall git cheated out ov their respektability,
while the codfish familys are alwus nervous
lest tha mite.
The onla sure resipee tew govern mankind with,
-- 150 --
iz the rod; yu ma festoon it with flowers and case it
with velvet, if yu pleze, but it iz the rod, after all,
that duz the bizzness.
[figure description] Page 150.[end figure description]
I kant conseive a more despikable opjek than a
proud and arrogant man; he makes me think ov an
old Tom Turkey trieing tew git mad at a red flannel
pettycoat on a clothes line.
It iz not onla highly natral tew luv the femail sek,
but 'tis highly pleasant.
Verry few people enjoy munny, bekauze tha kant
git enuff ov it.
We are told that a contented man is happy, and
we mite hav bin told, at the same, that a mudturkle
could fly if it onla had wings.
It wont dew tew stir up a man when he is thinking,
enny more than it will a pan ov milk when the
cream is rising.
Thare is one time when awl men are comparitiffly
pure, and that is when tha are in luv.
Humbolt was a man ov verry high attainments.
It iz eazy enuff tew raize the devil, but he iz a
-- 151 --
hard crop tew reap.
[figure description] Page 151.[end figure description]
It appears tew me that a poor story iz a good deal
like a grist, the oftner it iz told, the less thare iz ov
it; but then, perhaps, i am mistaken.
I hav bin told that swine Lager iz the Dutch for
LII. THE FAULT-FINDER.
[figure description] Page 152.[end figure description]
Good Lord, deliver us from the Falt finder! one -- 153 --
ov yure kronick grunters. i mean. Theze kind ov humin
critters are alwuss full ov self consait; if tha waz
humble and wud dam themself okasionally, i wud try
tew pity them. Yure falt-finding old-bachelor, for
instanze, odars a pair ov No. 8 boots, and then
kolides with his shumaker insted ov his big feet; he
walks tew the depo tew saive hack-hire and misses
the trane, and then kolides with the time-table; he
kourts a gal till she has tew marry sumboddy else
tew keep from spileing, and then he don't believe
thare is a vartuous woman living. If he enjoys ennything
he dus it under protess, and if ennyboddy else
enjoys ennything he knows tha lie about it. He is
like a seckund rate bull tarrier, alwus a fiteing, and
alwus gitting licked. These kind ov critters never
are reddy tew die, bekause tha haint never begun
[figure description] Page 153.[end figure description]
tew live. I never maik their ackquaintanse enny
more than i dew sumboddy's small pox, bekause i am
a looking after bright things and haint got enny to
lose. Thare aint enny remedee for this dissease but
hunger, and that aint parmanent unless it results in
starvashun. Good Lord, deliver us from the falt-finder!
if yu undertake tew argy with them yu onla
flatter them, and if yu jine in with them yu onla
maik them mad with themselfs.
I had rather be a target for awl the bad luk in
this wurld than tew go thru life shuteing a pizen arrow
at awl the good luk. The more i think ov it, the
more i keep thinking that falt-finding iz verry much
like bobing for eels with a raw potater; a fust rate
wa tew git out ov consait ov awl kinds ov fishing, and
a fust rate wa not tew ketch enny eels.
[figure description] Page 154.[end figure description]
Chastity iz like an isikel. if it onse melts that's
the last ov it.
Dew a good turn whenever yu kan even if yu hav
tew turn sumboddy's grinstun tu dew it.
When a man dies the fust thing we talk about iz
hiz welth, the nex thing hiz failings, and the last
thing hiz vartues.
I suppose the “bone of contenshun” iz the collar
An ungrateful childe is the revenge of Heaven.
After awl ced and dun the gran sekret of winning
is tew win.
The studdy ov humin natur is a good deal like -- 155 --
[figure description] Page 155.[end figure description]
the studdy ov dessekshun, yu finde out a good menny
curis things, but it is a nasty job after awl.
When a man's dog deserts him on akount ov his
poverty, he kant git enny lower down in this world,
not bi land.
Sekrets maik a dungin of the harte, and a jailor
ov its owner.
Don't let us forgit that the higher up we git the
smaller will things look tew us here belo.
Natur haz no artifise, she plants her flowers in the
gardin and in the wilderness, and endows them alike.
It iz tru that welth won't maik a man vartuous,
but i notis thare ain't ennyboddy who wants tew be
poor jist for the purpiss ov being good.
Luv iz like the meazels, we kant alwus tell when
we ketched it and ain't ap tew hav it severe but onst,
and then it ain't kounted mutch unless it strikes inly.
Tew be a suckcessful pollytysian, a man shud be
butterd on both sides and then keep awa from the fire.
[figure description] Page 156.[end figure description]
The wurd “kolide,” used bi ralerode men, haz an
indefinit meaning tew menny folks. Thru the kindness
of a nere and dear frend, i am able tew translate
the wurd so that enny man ken understand it at onst.
The term “kolide” is used tew explain the sarkumstanse
ov 2 trains ov cars triing tew pass each
uther on a single trak. It is ced that it never yet
haz bin did suckcessfully, hence a “kolide.”
LV. ON SNAIKS AND MUDTURKLES.
[figure description] Page 157.[end figure description]
I divide snaiks into one class, to wit, the devilish:
They are ov much antiquity, having appeared
about the same time that Adam did. The exact
purpis for which tha was built hain't been explored
yet; but one thing is sartin, tha are quite slippery
and eazy to bend. Tha travel on thair bellys, and
go down hill the moste eazyest; this is owing tew
the fack that tha hain't got enny good rigging tew
hold back with.
Snaix have but few warm friends, altho thare is
folks who flatter them; sich persons ought tew be
obliged to ware a pair ov them for a cravat. Thare
is but one thing that makes me more horrible thar
a striped snaik, and that is a big black one jest sliding
away from the place whare I was going tew si
down on the grass.
We are told that Eve waz sedused bi a snaik, -- 158 --
don' beleave thare is a woman living now, in thez
parts, that it could be did tew without spileing th
snaik. I hav bin in the habit, ov late years, o
[figure description] Page 158.[end figure description]
sedusing snaiks miself evvry chanse i could git; i
ginerally dew it bi gitting them tew put their heds
under a stone, and then i cruelly desert them; sich
Snaiks are amphibicus and thoze which dwell in
the water are called eels. Tha are ov awl cullers,
and sum are pizen tew behold; amung theze are the
koperheds, but tha never bite enny ov their own
folks. Snaiks hav got a big appertite, akordin tew
their size; i hav saw them no thicker than your
finger, with 4 inches wide ov toad in them, tha stuck
out like 2 quarts ov milk that had got into a young
pup bi acksident.
The largest snaik in the wurld iz kept at Newport,
he iz owned bi the landlords, he never haz bin
shown tew but one person tew a time, and then he is
generally 110 feet long; thousands go thare tew see
him summers, and pay 3 dollars a da for board and 2
dollars a week tew the servants for something tew
I beleave a snaik never dies onla bi mistake, and
-- 159 --
never ventures out mutch in the winter when the
travling iz bad, and lays eggs like a small hen, but
don't set on them bekauze tha hain't got enny more
heat in their body than a ramrod haz.
[figure description] Page 159.[end figure description]
Almoste evry humin being haz got a nateral appertite
agin snaix, and i will bet, if you shud put a
striped snaik in a 10 aker lot, whare there was 27
wimmin picking strawberries, and holler out, “striped
snaik! striped snaik!” evry woman would
skream, and go to feeling rite oph for the snaik. It
is ced that snaik ile applied to the back ov a man's
neck, will cure him from lieing. This is wuth trieing,
even if it wont wurk, but mi individoal presentiment
iz, that when the lieing disease gits familiar
with a man, deth alone will put an eend to his sufferings.
But I dont want it understood that I am agin
snaik ile, for this one reason if no other, the more
snaik ile there is in the market, the less snaiks.
Mudturkles liv in a shell, which tha git verry -- 160 --
mutch attached to. Tha are not fond ov company,
and seldom receive visitors in their houses. Their
food consists prinsipally of what they eat, which tha
find wharever tha kan git it. Their style iz haf land,
and haf water, and tha are at home on the banks or
at the bottom ov a kanal. Tha hav sum eggs, which
tha lay in sum warm sand, and ginerally hav them
hatched out tew the halves. Tha belong tew the
[figure description] Page 160.[end figure description]
class known az “close korporashuns,” and are a
hard animil tew whip, bekause tha alwus fite under
cover. The mudturkle kant climb very well, and
therefore seldum iz found up a tree. Tha are verry
tuff ov life, and will outlive an injun rubber shoe,
and don't seem tew gro old enny faster than a paving
stone duz. Tha kan be domestikated without enny
trubble; awl yu hav tew dew, iz tew put them into
a barrel, and tha aint ap tew stray off far. Mudturkles
hav their faults, but tha won't lie, nor drink
rum, nor chaw terbacker, and tho tha cant trot as
fast az sum hosses kan, thare sure tew git tew
whare tha go tew, and never brake down on the rode.
I take a deep interest in moste awl the animils, and
particularly in mudturkles, and i dew hope that the
Legislature in their wisdum won't pass a law “prohibiting
enny more mudturkles.” I regret tew
hear, that in sum parts ov the kuntry, the people
are in the habit of using mudturkles tew pitch
quoits with, but I think this wants an affidavy with
a revenew stamp onto it.
In theze mi remarks about snaix and mudturkles i
hav tried hard tew tell the truth, but if i hav failed,
it is owing tew the grate skasity ov truth in theze
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
LVI. TRUE BILLS.
[figure description] Page 161.[end figure description]
Tru dignity is the effeck ov the conscious possession
ov ability and vartue. False dignity is the
effeck ov nu clothes, no branes and mutch vittles.
Tru currage is the knowledge ov right and the determination
tew dew it. False currage is a willingness
tew dew what is rong bekauze others sa it iz
Tru religgun iz tew fear God, love man and hate
the devil. False religgun iz tew hate God, fear
man and luv the devil.
True faith is a parfeck trust in what we are satisfied
-- 162 --
iz truth. False faith is a craziness tew beleave,
simpla bekauze we kant understand.
[figure description] Page 162.[end figure description]
Tru liberta is the possession ov our own rights
and due respek for the rights ov uthers. False liberta
iz a desire tew possess uther's rights and no
respek for our own.
Tru wisdum iz a plenta ov experiense, observashun
and reflekshun. False wisdom iz a plenta ov ignorance,
arogance and impudence.
[figure description] Page 163.[end figure description]
Wunce as I was travling thru tioga keounty, a -- 164 --
peddlin, selebrated pills,” I was akosted by a individual
whose dress indikated, that he was in the kolporter
bisness. We met, and stopped smoltaneously, as it
war; we looked into each others phases, sarching as
it war, for a linamont, a oasus, that we nu, or had
hearn tell of, but the trak pedlar, and pill pedlar,
had evidently met for the first time on arth. The
dela that was thus instituted, giv me a margin for a
clus communion with the kolporturs feturs, and stile
of habiliment, and tru to natur, tuk the chance — he
was about 59 years old, was very lite in the karkass,
and wore his close very much as a methodis dus, and
had one of them kountenances that Moses was celebrated
for. I felt at the first site, that he wud do tu
mi to. He komensed as follers: — “Wafarin man,
monament of sparin mersa, du yu feel as tho yu had
[figure description] Page 164.[end figure description] -- 165 --
enny intrest in yurself, hev yu ever been tried by
the fire that takes awa the spiritoal dross, and had
yur soal a flutterin agin the ribbid prisin bars of yur
body, like a kaged song bird of heavin? If yu
haint, read and peroose this trak; the ile that it kontains,
will permoate thru the resesses of yur hart,
like the quicksilver of luv, and lukrubrate the loose
roaling stuns, that ly in yur jordanick pathwa.” As
he cum to a stop, he bent on tu me one of those meller
looks, that a tom kat gives tu the mouse, as it
lays pantin afore him, with a skin full of broken
bones, and a reachin around, he pulled from his sadle
bags, a trak of four pages, and give it tu me, with
(if I ma be aloud the expresshun) a angelik tenderness,
and as he did so, he karlessly tuk a look at my
hoss, who stood quietly in the harness, a restin wun
of his hine fete. I thanked him, and sed I wud peroose
the trak, an hoped to find the ile, and silver, he
spoak of. Not tu be bete in generosity, I opened
the lid of mi waggin, and selekted a box of pills,
with a full kount, and arisin from mi sete, I kommenced
as follers, “respected kolportur, allou me tu disiprookate,
by plasin at yur disposal a full kount box,
of the selebrated antydiluvion pills, begot by Josh
Billings (late of this tioga keounty,) who now stans
[figure description] Page 165.[end figure description] -- 166 --
befoor yu. These pills are friendla tu the innards of
enny man, are holy made of rootes, are as saif tu
take as a fotograph, and at the same time, are as
thoro as a sarch warrant, there ar 26 ov them in a
box, an tha sel, with a ful size fax similer of the
author on the lid ov the box. He tuk the antydiluvions,
and summed up as follers, “docter Billings,
the perfeshun which you hav chose, is wone ov the
most anshient as wel as wone of the most humain, it
speaks volumes in yur praze, and as i winde mi wa
on errants of soal mersa, upon mi noble hoss (whose
only falt, or rather misfortin is a paneful saddil
gaul,) swete gushes of jowus thout will wel up from
mi happer harte, that praps our auspicious meeting
tu da ma bee the menes of awakin in yu, a arnest kry
what shal i du tu bee saved.” At the kloze ov this
speach, i wud have bin willin tu bet a Box of antydiluvions
agin a 10 rowed papir of solid headed pins, that
the kolporter was nasty on a hoss swap, and i kum tu
the konklusion that i wud just feal of his stile in
that wa. Pretendin tu hav just notised his hoss i
went inter fits over the diskivery, and soon found i
had struc a lead, for the star spangle bannor, never
had at one time enny more sed in its praze, than the
kolporter let of in favor ov his old hoss. Not
[figure description] Page 166.[end figure description]
edzackly disposed tu swaller, without stirrin, all he sed, i
thout i wud look the kritter over, and jumpin out ov
my waggin, fur that purpis, soon found out that the
trak pedler was after Jonas, insted of me. After i
had got the full size of the sarkumstanses in the kase,
i kum tu one of the brisk konklusions that the Billings
family are subject tu, by hintin in oktave, “that the
kolporter was a dam hiperkrit, and his spavined hoss
a dam old pelter.” This suddint bust of centiment
on mi part, awoke the sleapin pieta of the trak pedlar,
and he at wunst tuk me tu do for swarin. After i
had told him, that his prain and my swarin, was oph
of the same peace, an neather ov us ment any thing
we sed, we parted, — the kolporter to save soals, and
swap hosses, and Josh Billings tu sell, for 25 sents a
box, the antidiluvion pills, as saif as rute beer, and
as sartin as the bight ov a mogasin.
[figure description] Page 167.[end figure description]
Enclosed yu will be pleazed tew find my fotograff, -- 168 --
taken from life, on the spot, whare the circumstanze
occurred. I take the liberta tew send yu the picter,
for the 7 different ensuing reasons: 1 — Photograffs
are gitting skase. 2 — If you should ever meet me
by mistake, yu wud be able to kno me rite oph, bi asking
me if I resembled the pictur. 3 — I am a marrid
man, and am the author ov a familee, and therefore
the danger ov any femail fallin in luv with me, bi
cuming in contak with the picter, will be painfully
redused. 4 — It iz better that 99 humbly cusses
should eskape, than that one decent looking man
should suffer bi not having hiz fotograff taken.
5 — A grate menny folks, jist now at this time, are
troubled with a literature on the brane. This pictur
will put yu in clus communion with a man who haz
had this diseaze, but who haz so far rekovered, that
[figure description] Page 168.[end figure description]
he iz able to sit up and laff at others, who are trieing
to ketch the same disorder. 6 — I resembel this
pictur, and that ken be ced ov so few things in this
wurld, that i thought noboddy would git mad and
call me a verry d — n fule, for sirkulating the pictur.
7 — The artiss said I was hard tew take, and this
pictur was a triumph ov the art; he alzo added that
some ware so eazy tew take that it was actooally
dangerous tew leave ennything in their reach. These
reasons must be mi excuse for sending yu my pictur;
if it don't look as yu expekted i did, jist let me kno,
and i will have one taken that duz. Verry highly i
[figure description] Page 169.[end figure description]
I suppoze the reazon why wimmin are so fast talkers,
is bekause tha dont hav tew stop tew spit on
After Joseph's bretheren had beat him out ov hiz
cut ov menny cullers, what did tha dew nex? Tha
Thare is nothing in this life that will open the
pores ov a man so mutch, as tew fall in luv, it makes
him fluent as a tin whissell, as limber as a boy's watch
chain, and as perlite as a dansing master; his harte
is as full ov sunshine as a hay field, and there aint any
more guile in him than there is in a stik ov merlasses
Thare dont seem tew be enny end tew the -- 170 --
[figure description] Page 170.[end figure description]
ambishun ov men, but thare is one thing that sum ov them
will find out if tha ever dew get tew heaven, and that
is tha cant git enny further.
He who kan hold awl he gits, kan most generally
Conshense, is onla another name for truth.
Yu kant alwus tell a gentleman by his clothes, but
yu kan bi his finger nails.
Adam invented “Luv at first sight,” one ov the
gratest laber saving masheens the world ever saw.
It is a grave question whether, in curtailing superfluitys
in these hard times, we have a moral right tew
cut oph a dorg's tale tew save the expense ov boarding
Are Greenbacks a lawful tender? If yu dont believe
it tri one on me, espeshila one ov the heavy
Dont never parade yure good luck, nor yure bad -- 171 --
[figure description] Page 171.[end figure description]
luck before men, the first will make them think less
ov yu, and the second will make them think more of
Thare are a grate multitude ov individuals who are
like blind mules, anxious enough to kick, but kant
I hav herd a grate deal ced about “broken hartes,”
and thare may be a fu ov them, but mi experiense is
that nex tew the gizzard, the harte is the tuffest peace
ov meat in the whole critter.
LX. JOSH GITS ORFULLY BIT
I du consider musketers,
The moste pesky, ov all God's creeters.
[figure description] Page 172.[end figure description]
I hav finally ketched it. I hav bin like a lam
led sudden tu the slauter and had mi blood sucked
out ov me, az though it waz only sweet sider, and belonged
tu sumbody else. I am a man ov peace, but
low, and behold! there aint a peace in me now, but
what iz bit, punkterd, and tore.
When muskeeters whisper in yure ear,
The devils angels are hovring near.
I retired laste nite tu rest, at the usual time; on -- 173 --
the north side ov me, and about 2 feet adjacent, waz
the side ov the hous, on the south side ov me, and
about 2 feet adjacent la mi wife. I dropt tu sleep, az
a snoflake dus on the buzzum ov a silvery Lake, (i
[figure description] Page 173.[end figure description]
have a faint idee that this laste sentense, for lovlaness,
kant be beat, handy.) I dreamed a good-sized,
It felt like the breth ov a kanada Thissell,
A round mi hed, a triing tu Whissell.
Suddenly i awoke.
The room waz full ov yels, and skreams, responsiv
I dashed wildly akross the room, ackompanied by
mi shirt tale. i lit a lite. I harked, one ov mi
moste reliable harks. Awl waz still; still az a crows
nest, in the ded ov winter. I gazed a gaze, az tho i
waz triing tu thread the rong end ov a kambrik needle.
Awa in the distance, solitara, and alone, clus up tu
the ceiling, chawing hiz cud, sot a little grey cuss.
I dipped a koars towel into a basen ov water, and
rung it out, i krept up under the little grey cuss, i
tuk aim, and fired,
And hit the spot,
Whare the little grey cuss had sot.
Awl waz still again. I onlighted the kandle, and
saught mi kouch.
LXI. THINGS THAT SUIT ME.
[figure description] Page 174.[end figure description]
I like an aimabel man, (not one who will let yu
spit on him,) but one who don't want tew spit on enny
I like a stirring man, (not one who stirs up musses,)
but one who haz got sumthing tew dew and duz
I like a good looking man, (not a pretty man), but
one who looks well — into things, one whom yu can't
phule with a mare's nest, unless he sees the old mare
I like a gritty man, (not a dirty one), but one that
-- 175 --
pitches in like a frog oph from a saw log, no matter
how deep the water iz.
[figure description] Page 175.[end figure description]
I like a fass hoss, (one that goes fass bekauze he
luvs tew), sich a critter iz half human; he never
ought to be hitched tew a plough, he ought tew be
took out ov hiz stable az a wild pigeon had out of hiz
cage, and let him — go.
I like a rat tarrier with hiz hair awl combed forward,
hiz eyes on fire, hiz tale straight out stiff, evry
muscle alive, and the entire dorg only 3 feet off from
a rat hole.
I like a woman, (handsum if it iz convenient,) with
more wisdum than larning, chaste, but not frozen,
soft, but not silly, and fond, but not fussy, sich wimmin
are skase, and are going tew be skaser.
I like religion, (the kind that wurks 6 days and
rests on the 7,) which acks on a man's soul, az congriss
water duz on hiz boddy, phesicks him well, but
dont make him enny weaker.
I like good order — good morals — good frends —
and awl things well dun, except beefsteak, and that
I want rare dun.
LXII. MY FUST GONG.
[figure description] Page 176.[end figure description]
I never kan eradicate holy from mi memry the sound -- 177 --
ov the first gong I ever herd — i was setting on the
frunt stupe ov a tavern in the sitty ov Bufferlo, pensively
a smokin. The sun was a goin tu bed, and the
heavens fur and nere was blushing at the purformanse.
The Eri kanall with its goldin waters was on
its windin wa tu albany, and i was perusin the line
botes, a flotin by, and thinkin ov Italy, (whare i used
tu live,) and her gondolers, and gallus wimmin. Mi
entire sole was, as it ware in a swet, i wanted tu climb,
i felt grate, i aktually grew. Thar ar things in this
life tu big tu be trifled with, thar ar times when a
man brakes luce from hisself, when he sees speerits,
when he kan almost tuch the moon, and feels as tho
he kud fill both hands with the stars ov heavin and
almost sware he was a bank president. Thats what
ailed me. But the korse ov tru luv never did run
[figure description] Page 177.[end figure description]
smoove, (this iz Shakesperes opinion too, i and he
often think thru one quill) just az i was duing my
best,.... dummer, dummer, spat, bang, beller,
crash, roar, ram, dummer, dummer, whang, rip, rare
rally; dummer dummer, dummer dum,.... with
one tremenjis jump, i struck the senter ov the side
walk, with anuther i kleared the gutter and with
anuther, i stud in the middle ov the strets snorting
like a injin poney, at a band ov musik; i gazed in
wilde dispare at the tavern stand, mi harte swelled
up as big as an out door oven, mi teeth were as luce
as a string ov prairy beads. I thout all the crokery in
the tavern stand had fell down, i thout ov fenomenoms,
i thought ov gabrel and his horn. i was just
on the pint ov thinking ov sumthing else when the
landlord cum out to the frunt stupe ov the tavern
stand holding by a string the bottom ov an old brass
kittle. He called me gentla with his hand i went
slola and sadla tu him, he calmed mi feres, he ced
it was a gong; i saw the cussed thing, he ced supper
was reddy, he axed me if i would hav black or
green tea and i ced i would.
[figure description] Page 178.[end figure description]
Up-and-down men are skase, but the horizontal
are less skaser.
Thare iz sum disseazes that kant be kured even bi
deth, for we oftin see them brake out on a man's
tombstun more violent than ever.
The burden ov menny ov the songs that are ritten
iz the song itself.
Thare iz no better kompliment tew vartue than
this: “That Vise alwus konkocts her grate plans in
the naim ov vartue.”
The tempel ov Fame iz lokated on an exceeding hi
-- 179 --
mountin, and yu hav got tew fli or kreep tew git tew
it. (N. B. This provarb haz bin ced before, and
ain't one ov mine, but it iz jiss as tru as tho it was.)
[figure description] Page 179.[end figure description]
Buty iz a short suckcess, but while it lastes it iz
“The flour ov the familee,” iz, alas! quite oftin a
If innersense iz onla the result ov ignoranse, it
ain't enny more one ov the vartues than buty iz;
but if it iz the effek ov eddikashun it iz the queen ov
Vartue needs awl the enemys she haz got, tew
keep her tools bright and in order.
I never beleaved mutch in spirits unless tha kum
direk from Jamaka, and then onla in small-sized ones.
“Absense ov mind;” about 2 thirds ov the humin
rase are trubbled with this kalamitee.
It taiks 2 tew maik a bargin; it ought tew taik 2
tew brake it.
Yu ma differ as mutch as yu plese about the stile -- 180 --
ov a yung lady's figger, but i tell yu konfidenshally,
[figure description] Page 180.[end figure description]
if she has got $40,000, the figger is about as near
rite as yu wil git it.
“Glory enuff for one day;” attending a kamp
Goldsmith sez, “Larn the luxury ov dewing
good;” but the luxury, now a daze, consiss in larning
how tew du a leetle better.
I often hear affekshunate husbands kall their wifes
“Mi Duck,” i wunder if this ain't a sli delusion tew
their big bills?
LXIV. DISIPLIN IZ EVRATHING — IN 2 PARTS.
[figure description] Page 181.[end figure description]
Part Fust — I dont suppoze thare is enny dout
-- 182 --
about this assershun. A man who haint got propper
disiplin, iz jist about ov az mutch uze tew hiz fellow
critters az a wether cock wud be amung a parcil ov
barnyard pulletts. Injuns haint got enny disciplin,
and, konsequentla, the more injuns a man had tew
run a kotton faktory with, the wus he wud be oph.
Turning a grinstone iz fust rate disiplin. If a man
ov ornary mind haint got disiplin, he bekums a lofer
the fust good chanse he gits. Thare haz bin, perhaps,
a fu individoals born into the world that did'nt want
mutch disiplin — Homer, and Virgil, and Shakesper,
and sich like, if tha had bin sot to turning a grinstone
it mite hav spilt them — tha waz like Eagles,
made tu fli without enny praktis. Disiplin iz evrathing.
The thurer bred Hoss wants the smoothe bit
ov disiplin — the mule wants the sled-stake disiplin.
[figure description] Page 182.[end figure description]
Part Seckunt.—Majer Spenser had leaf ov abscense
from his regiment, and was glad enuff, i tell yu,
tew swap the pesky air ov the suthern konfederasy
for the brittle breth ov Nu England. He spent his
time a climeing the mountains ov his natiff land, and
looking way down into the hollers; he worryed the
trouts as tha swum up and down hill in the brooks,
and he gethered penroyal for his good old Ma tu
hang up in the wood hous chamber, tew make arb tea
ov next winter. Majer Spenser had a brother who
was a minister ov the gospil, and the Majer boarded
with him. One Sunda nite the minister and the
Majer sot kommuning together. The moon cum up
out ov the East, as big as an old fashund kart wheel
(one ov the ox kind ov kart wheels, i mean,) the stars
stuk clean out ov the ski, and the air was filled
with the musick ov the cows a chawing their cuds in
the distance. All natur la undisturbed. “Brother,”
ced Parson, a braking the paws, “how did yu like
divine sarvice to-day?” Very well, sir, very well,
sir,” ced the Majer, “if that dam deakin ov yurs
hadn't refused to pra when yu asked him. Disiplin,
sir, disiplin iz evry thing.
[figure description] Page 183.[end figure description]
Olivia — I never have visited the Mormons, but
my friend Artemus Ward has, and he tells me they
are a healthy people, and fond ov femail society.
He says they hav more religion, akordin to their
populashun, than tha kno what to dew with. They
marry young and often. The produkshun ov the
country iz Mormons. They beleaf in a hereafter,
but it iz genrally a hereafter of wimmin. They are
fond ov amusements, sich az pitching cents and sliding
Scipio — If I had the dyspepsy I would buy me -- 184 --
a hard trotting hoss (off from the kanawl,) and ride
him bare back 40 miles a day for a spase ov time.
If that didn't seem tew influense me, I would soke in
cold water for 12 months. If that didn't seem tew
influense me, I would issue proposals tew the lowest
bidder to be fed for one year on bran bred and
[figure description] Page 184.[end figure description]
slippery elm tea. If that didn't seem tew influense
me, I would sell my house and lot, and invest the
proceeds in pattent medisin, and take the whole lot
in rotashun. If that didn't seem tew influense me,
I would cum tew the konklusion that I had the
water brash, or some other thing, I didn't care which,
and take a job ov thrashing out wet rye for evry
tenth bushel, and git — well.
Clarence — We never undertake tew return rejekted
manuskrip. The fact iz, we don't read more
than half we reject. It iz a way we hav got.
Matty — It iz very natral that you should ask me
in what manner you should reseave the proposal
from your lover. It iz sumthing ov a trick tew dew
it nice. You don't ought tew jump into the collar
suddin, nor fly back suddin, like a bocky hoss, but
yu ought tew take it kind, looking down hill, with
an expreshun, about half tickled and half scart.
After the pop iz over, if your luvver wants tew kiss
you, I dont think I would say yes or no, but let the
thing kind ov take its own course. There iz one
thing I hav alwus stuck tew, and that iz, give
me long courtships and engagements.
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
-- 185 --
[figure description] Page 185.[end figure description]
Stujent—We never furnish ortograffs in less quantity
than bi the package. It iz a bizness that grate
men hav got into, but it dont strik us az being profitable
nor amuzing. We furnished a near and very
dear friend our ortograff a few years ago, for 90
days, and it got into the hands ov one of the banks,
and it kost us $275 tew get it back. We went out
of the bizzness then, and have not hankered for it
LXVI. JOSH BILLINGS AT SARATOGA SPRINGS.
[figure description] Page 186.[end figure description]
It will probely fill you with an arnest solisitude for
mi fate, az it dus me with emoshuns of stupenjus
grander, tu find miself at this grate modern Siloam,
this august whirlpool ov wine, wimmin and hosses;
this fairy sceen ov poetry, dreams, and natural fisick.
Upon mi arival, i took immegiate rooms at the tavern
called the “Union now and forever,” and commensed
at onst tu kreate a sensashun — “Dignatum
hok hanimum disisimo.” This centiment is from
the Chocktaw ov Raphael, and is one ov mi faverite
The town is about haf full ov folks, menny of them -- 187 --
hav been highly renowned. I kould name them
personaly by name, but this wud look like affekshun
in me, az tha hav alreddy sent in their kard, and
begged the privilege ov kalling on me, at mi moste
soonest spare time. It will be impossible for me,
[figure description] Page 187.[end figure description]
my amiable friends, tu give yu ennything like a
well digested orashun, ov the eckstatick wonders
that hover around me, among which i am permitted
tu menshun the pensiv modesta ov the unmarried;
the gushing rapture ov the married; the shadowy
tenderness ov the widders, and the universal fisick
that fills up the pauzes. Theze are subjecks which
hav bin writ onto so much that all the good things
haz bin said.
It iz a source ov grate pride tu see so menny -- 188 --
here from youre citty, and what fills me with gratitude
tu an overruling Providence, iz the fac that
their festiv naturs develop into such lovelyness
here; thare iz dekon L—, and Elder P—, for
instanze, with whom i take a drink evry time tha
ask me. I think now that i shall remain here for
sevral years. I am allmost sorry i didn't bring mi
jewelry trunk with me; i'll bet i could hav sold a
thousand Dollars worth a da, ov brest pins. It iz a
fust rate place here tu buy hosses cheap. i waz offered
2 carriage hosses for onla 25 hundred dollars;
i shud hav tuk them, but i couldn't hire enny
boddy tu take them hum for me. There iz a grate
menny here who talk with a forrin tung. I am
trieing it. My wife laffs at me, and kalls me “her
[figure description] Page 188.[end figure description]
dark komplekted one!” — Tha hav got here alreddy
tu or three billyard tabils in suckcessful operrashun,
and i am told that, if pease iz declared, nex season
tha intend tu start a 10-pin allee.
Congriss Spring is lokated here; it tasts verry
much like sumthing or ruther, i kant tell which, and
iz now generally admitted tu be kartharticus. I
am partiklar impressed with the moral centiment that
pervades things here. I am told a man wanted tu
hire a room tu gamble in with dominoze, but the authoritize
immejiately burnt him in effigee. Dimonds
are trumps here, and menny good hands are held.
Thare is no end tu the number ov selebrated belles
here. Thare is one that cums out about 3 o'clock
every day, that takes them all down. I allude now
in a kind ov burleskish wa tu the dinner-bell.
But, after all, Solomon gits mi time when he bust
out in this fashun, “All is vanitee and vexashun of
spirits.” Good for Solomon! Mi christain friends,
LXVII. NOT ENNY SHANGHI FOR ME.
[figure description] Page 189.[end figure description]
The shanghi ruseter is a gentile, and speaks in a -- 190 --
forrin tung. He is bilt on piles like a Sandy Hill
crane. If he had bin bilt with 4 legs, he wud resembel
the peruvian lama. He is not a game animil, but
quite often cums off sekund best in a ruff and tumble
fite; like the injuns, tha kant stand sivilization,
and are fast disappearing. Tha roost on the ground,
similar tew the mud turkle. Tha oftin go to sleep
standing, and sum times pitch over, and when tha
dew, tha enter the ground like a pickaxe. Thare
food consis ov korn in the ear. Tha crow like a
jackass, troubled with the bronskeesucks. Tha will
eat as mutch tu onst as a district skule master, and
ginerally sit down rite oph tew keep from tipping
over. Tha are dredful unhandy tew cook, yu hav
tu bile one eend ov them tu a time, yu kant git
them awl into a potash kittle tu onst. The femail
[figure description] Page 190.[end figure description]
ruster lays an eg as big as a kokernut, and is sick for a
week afterwards, and when she hatches out a litter
of yung shanghis she has tew brood them standing,
and then kant kiver but 3 ov them — the rest stand
around on the outside, like boys around a cirkus tent,
gitting a peep under the kanvas when ever tha kan.
The man who fust brought the breed into this kuntry
ought tew own them all and be obliged tew feed
them on grasshoppers, caught bi hand. I never
owned but one and he got choked tu deth bi a kink
in a clothes line, but not until he had swallered 18
feet ov it. Not enny shanghi for me, if yu pleze; i
wuld rather board a travelling kolporter, and as for
eating one, giv me a biled owl rare dun, or a turkee
buzzard, roasted hole, and stuffed with a pair ov injun
rubber boots, but not enny shanghi for me, not a
LXVIII. IS DISPOSING OV THINGS FOR CHARITABEL PURPOSES BI “LOT” A SIN?
[figure description] Page 191.[end figure description]
EXAMINED BY JOSH BILLINGS.
Fustly — I think it is a sin. So it is a sin tew dew
a sin, that good may cum out ov it, but the good
that comes out ov it aint a sin, is it? Ha!
Sekundly — I think it is a sin onse more. So i
think the manefakter ov sider brandee is a sin, but
the use ov it tew kure the rhumatiz aint a sin
Thirdly — I think it is a sin onse morely. So is
this war a sin, but we awl of us are in hopes that its
fruits will be righteousness, and righteousness aint
Fourthly — I keep thinking that it is a sin. So is
-- 192 --
cutting oph a dog's tale tew keep it from gitting stepped
on, a sin, but it dont hurt the dog for ketching
rats, duz it?
[figure description] Page 192.[end figure description]
Fifthly and lastly, i kno it is a sin. Bekase awl
those who make the most fuss about it, are the verry
ones, who if tha shud be misled into buying a tiket
for one dollar and didn't draw a mowing masheen,
wud feal rite off as tho the Lord warnt on their side.
Moral.— Dont engage in a “Lot,” unless yu are
parfekly willing the Lord shud have the tiket and
the mowing masheen too.
[figure description] Page 193.[end figure description]
I kan sell for eighteen hundred and thirty-nine -- 194 --
dollars, a pallas, a sweet and pensive retirement, lokated
on the virgin banks ov the Hudson, kontaining
85 acres. The land is luxuriously divided by the
hand of natur and art, into pastor and tillage, into
plain and deklivity, into stern abruptness, and the
dallianse ov moss-tufted medder; streams ov sparkling
gladness, (thick with trout,) danse through this
wilderness ov buty, tew the low musik ov the kricket
and grasshopper. The evergreen sighs az the evening
zephir flits through its shadowy buzzum, and
the aspen trembles like the luv-smitten harte ov a
damsell. Fruits ov the tropicks, in golden buty,
melt on the bows, and the bees go heavy and sweet
from the fields to their garnering hives. The manshun
iz ov Parian marble, the porch iz a single diamond,
set with rubiz and the mother ov pearl; the
[figure description] Page 194.[end figure description]
-- 195 --
floors are ov rosewood, and the ceilings are more butiful
than the starry vault of heavin. Hot and cold
water bubbles and squirts in evry apartment, and
nothing is wanting that a poet could pra for, or art
could portray. The stables are worthy of the steeds
ov Nimrod or the studs ov Akilles, and its henery
waz bilt expressly for the birds of paradice; while
somber in the distance, like the cave ov a hermit,
glimpses are caught ov the dorg-house. Here poets
hav cum and warbled their laze — here skulptors
hav cut, here painters hav robbed the scene ov
dreamy landskapes, and here the philosopher diskovered
the stun, which made him the alkimist ov natur.
Nex northward ov this thing ov buty, sleeps the residense
and domain ov the Duke John Smith; while
southward, and nearer the spice-breathing tropicks,
may be seen the barronial villy ov Earl Brown, and
the Duchess, Widder Betsy Stevens. Walls ov
primitiff rock, laid in Roman cement, bound the estate,
while upward and downward, the eye catches
far away, the magesta and slow grander ov the Hudson.
As the young morn hangs like a cutting ov
silver from the blu brest ov the ski, an angel may be
seen each night dansing with golden tiptoes on the
green. (N. B. This angel goes with the place.)
[figure description] Page 195.[end figure description]
Biagrams kan be seen at the offiss ov the broker.
Terms flattering. None but principals delt with.
Title as pure as the breth ov a white male infant,
and possession given with the lark. For more full
deskripshun, read Ovid's Art ov Luv, or kall (in
yure carriage) on Josh Billings, Real Estate Agent.
LXX. OUT WEST!
[figure description] Page 196.[end figure description]
Tha sa the praree chickens are so thik, out West,
tha hav tew put up poles awl over the kuntry for
them tew roost on.
When tha bust up, out there, tha pay their debts,
by jineing the church.
It being agin the law tew carry consealed weepons,
evry man carrys one in his hand.
A man who don't kno how tew pla uker, would not
be believed under oath.
It iz 5 dollars fine, in Cinsinnatti, tew strike a
hog, in anger.
Tha don't bore for ile, out thare, tha bore for
whiskee, and hav the best luk in the visinity ov the
In sum parts, out West, it iz almoste unpossibel -- 197 --
tew git water; one man in Pike County dug a well
90 feet deep, and then struk a bed ov sawdust; he put
[figure description] Page 197.[end figure description]
in an injine, and iz pumping out a 1000 bushel a da,
which he sells tew the Government, for hoss feed.
The prinsipal produkshuns or the kuntry are,
whiskee in the ear, and rale rode stok in the bundle.
[figure description] Page 198.[end figure description]
About the only difference between the poor and
the ritch, is this, the poor suffer mizery, while the
ritch hav tu enjoy it.
“Bee yee as wize as a sarpint, and as harmlis as a
duve,” and then if a feller cums a fooling around
yure duve, yu kan set yure sarpint at him.
Rize arly, work hard, and late, live on what yu
kant sell, giv nothing awa, and if yu dont die ritch,
and go tu the devil, yu ma sue me for damages.
Marrin for love ma be a little risky, but it is so
honest, that God kant help but smile on it.
There is one thing I kant never forgit nor I hain
-- 199 --
tried to, and that is, the fust time I kissed a gal.
[figure description] Page 199.[end figure description]
If I was asked, “what is the chief end of man
now a daze,” I should immegiatly repli, “10 per
Yu may argy a bull Tarrier out ov a bone, but yu
kant argy a woman out ov her will.
Mi advise tu them who are about tu begin, in arnest,
the jurney ov life, is tu take their harte in one
hand and a club in the other.
The biggest glutton I ever herd tell ov, was the
feller out in Indianny, who eat a pair ov twin lams
for brekfast, and then chased the ole yew three miles
and a haf.
The peacock has one ov the most butifullest tails
in the world, but i tak notis he dont drag it on the
ground when he walks out.
LXXII. A WIMMIN'S LEAGUE MEETIN.
[figure description] Page 200.[end figure description]
I don't kno when i hav bin filled so near up tew
the brim with a fond feelink for the fair sek az i was
last nite at mi natiff plase, the good old borough ov
Billingsville, whither i had gone on a visit tew git mi
boots tapped. The wimmin had called a meetin' ov
the fair sekts tew take into konsiderashun the propriety
ov not wareing enny more clothes, that is, forrin
bilt clothes. The meetin waz got into shape bi kalling
Mrs. Peleg Pewter tew the chair. The fust
thing she did waz tew create a silence, which she did
after about 30 minnits, awl excep a fu whispering,
which she could not dry up.
The style ov the meetin' having bin sot up in big -- 201 --
type bi the Mrs. Peleg Pewter, she ced thare waz an
opening, and no less than 4 wimmin started for the
opening at onst; but the president decided that
Mrs. Cynthee Coon waz about one neck ahed, and
[figure description] Page 201.[end figure description]
tharefore, waz entitled tew the fust heat. She waz a
woman about 14 hands hi, and wore wollen stockings.
She ced she waz for home manafakter and waz agin
awl luxury excep a nu shawl, and that she must hav.
She ced she waz willing tew giv up silk, but she
must hav 1 more nu shawl if it bust her.
She ced she thought thare ought tew be sum diskriminashun
between what folks didn't want and
what tha did, and for her part she was reddy tew go
her length or ennyboddy else's length agin the noshun
that poor people had ov hankering after imported
Her speech lasted for about 2 hours, and was listened
to with breathless expense. When she sot
down the wimmin gathered around her; sum ov
them held camphor tew her noze, sum ov them unhooked
her dress, and one ov them, more thoughtful
than the rest, mixed up a gin sling, which she struggled
with for a minnit, and then ced it did her soul
good. A committee ov 3 ov the heavyest wimmin
was appointed bi the chair with power tew draw up a
sett ov resolushuns which was reported as follows:
Whereas, resolved, that silks, and shawls, and so
-- 202 --
forth, are a luxury from imported kuntrys, and we
are down on them.
[figure description] Page 202.[end figure description]
Resolved, that we are down on silks and shawls.
Resolved, that we wont uze silks and shawls onla
in case ov sickness.
Resolved, that the foregoing resolushuns be published
3 times a week in the Billingsville Weekly,
and that our husbands foot the bills or we foot
them — the bills.
Resolved, that we pledg ourselfs, our fortins, and
our natiff land, tew sustane the above sett ov resolushuns.
After taking a pinch ov snuff, and kissing awl
around, the meeting broke up tew meet “sine die “on
the next Teusday.....: Ov course no male man
was allowed at the meetin', but i receaved a koppa ov
the resolushuns the nex morning, accompanyed with
LXXIII. A TRUE FISH STORY FOUNDED ON FAK
[figure description] Page 203.[end figure description]
In a little town awa out wes whar i used tew liv, -- 204 --
thare wast two elders resided. One ov them wast a
Babtiss, Gaffit bi name, and the other wast a Methodis,
Sturgiss bi name, and both ov them wast as good
fellers as ever sarved the Lord. As good luk wud
hav it tha both had a revival ov religion in their floks
at the same time. Gaffit was a cunning critter, besides
being as harmless as the duv. Thare was but one
pond in the town, and that was used for babtizing by
agreement, on wensday ov each week, bi Gaffit, and
on saturday bi Sturgiss. One wensday, as Gaffit
was engaged in marking his sheep, or in uther wurds,
was bi the side ov the little pond ov water adminstering
the rite ov babtism tew a goodla number, whom
he had coaxed awa from the wiles ov the devil, Sturgiss
looked in upon the happy scene, with eys brimful
ov luv. Amung the menny who ware waiting
[figure description] Page 204.[end figure description]
tew be babtized, Sturgiss diskovered sevral whom he
had convikted, and whom he expetked tew add tew
his flok on the cumming saturda. The nex da the
two elders met, Sturgiss charged Gaffit with the
pious fraud he had detekted bi the side ov the little
pond. Gaffit's eyes puckered with delite, as he listened
tew the charge, then seezin the methodis elder
bi the hand with an extra pucker in his eye, whispered:
“Brother Sturgiss, mi father larnt me when i
was but a little fisher-boy, tew string mi fish as fast
as i ketched 'em.”
LXXIV. AT SARATOGA SPRINGS.
[figure description] Page 205.[end figure description]
I arrived here nite before last at arly kandle lite. -- 206 --
Mi wife and 2 children ackompanyed me. The fust
thing that i did was tu call for a tavern; i got one
immegiately, and took a room, from choice, in the
Seventh story, all the rooms above wer took. The
tavern whare i stop, is called the Union, one, and
inseprable. The bar is stocked with the choicest
lickers. Thare must be 3 or 4 hundred black serviants
here, tha all wear white aporns, and hav their
hair curled clos. The tavern keeper rings a gong
with a klub when the vittles is reddy, and then the
boarders march in; 'tis a moste effecting site! I
havent et enynthing yet but briled chickens. I
gess evry body here knows me, tha look at me so.
I kreated a sensashun yesterday after dinner, on the
front stupe ov the tavern, by calling a cullard servant
tu pick mi teeth. I herd one ov the ladys
[figure description] Page 206.[end figure description] -- 207 --
sa, “i was an English Lord, she had saw me at
Nuport laste seson.” I shall sta here as long as i
can injuce mi females tu remain. This is the place
where the congriss water cums from; tha dip it up
out ov a hole in the ground, with a roof over it, you
can drink 4 or 5 tumblers ov it tu onst, without
swallering; it tastes a good deal like sumthing i
never tasted before, and it operates on the inwards
for all the world, just like pills. It dus look so
funny tu see 8 or 9 hundred mails, and femails, all
taking fisick tu once; 'tis a pensiv sight! The
town kontains about 6 thousand folks, and about as
menny more individuals; the individuals spend their
time going up and down the back stairs and taking
fisick. The natur ov the sile around here is sandy,
and pine trees, about half and half. Thare is a rase
course here, built in a sircile, whare tha make hosses
go round and round; tis delitesum tu behold!
Three miles out east of the village tha hav built a
fashionable pond; evrybody goes thare tu spend
their munny; tha ask 8 cents a glass for their
whiska! The sosietah here is permiskus, blaklegs
and deakons, divines and pugerlistics, judges and
jockeys, congressmen and harlots, devils and Quakers,
so judciously mixed up, 'tis food for the
[figure description] Page 207.[end figure description]
Aju, Josh Billings.
filosopick mind. A grate menny young wimmin are
brought here annually tu git married: the kourting
is all did by the mothers, in fac the wimmin du it all
here excep pay the bills. A man at Saratoger don't
hav enny more tu sa, or du, than an old gander dus
when a goose is setting. The citizens ov this place
hav onla one kind ov religion or pollyticks, and that
is congriss water. I kant rite enny more just now,
i hav got tu go down stairs.
LXXV. SPIRITUAL BELIEF OV THE BILLINGSES.
[figure description] Page 208.[end figure description]
We beleaf in ardent spirits — sich az charitee, parsaveranse,
and patrotism. We beleaf in animil spirits—
sich az fast hosses, vigerous cats, and ambishus
rat terriers. We beleaf in the spirits ov 76 —
sich az ole Jamaka, and Santa Cruize, jist a little
for the rumatiz. We beleaf in the evidence ov departed
spirits, a good deal — sich az temprance houses,
lemonade picknix, and water kure establishments.
We beleaf in the spirits of just men — but beleaf
they ar skase. We beleaf in the spirit ov revenge —
if a muskeeter bites you without provocation, kill awl
the muskeeters, nex ov kin, in the naberhood. We
beleaf in the spirit ov forgiveness — if we owe a
man, and we won't pay him, let him forgiv the
LXXVI. JOSH BILLINGS CORRESPONDS WITH A “HAIR OIL AND VEGETABLE BITTERS MAN. ”
[figure description] Page 209.[end figure description]
Dear Doktor Hirsute: — I reseaved a tin cup -- 210 --
ov yure “Hair purswader,” also a bottle ov yure
Salvashum Bitters,” bi express, for which, I express
my thanks. The greenbak, which yu enklozed waz
the kind ov purswader that we ov the press fully
understand. Yur hair greese, shall hav a reglar
gimnastik puff, jist az soon az i kan find a spare
time. I tried a little ov it on an old counter brush
in my offiss, this morning, and in 15 minnitts, the
brussells grew az long az a hosses tale, and i notis
this afternoon, the hair begins tew cum up thru,
on bak ov the brush, 'tis really wonderful! 'tis almoste
Eureka! I rubbed a drop or two on the head ov mi
cane, which haz bin bald for more than 5 years, and
beggar me! if I don't hav to shave the cane handle,
[figure description] Page 210.[end figure description]
evry day, before I can walk out with it. I hav a
verry favrite cat, she iz one ov the Hambletonian
breed ov cats, and altho she iz young, and haint bin
trained yet, she shows grate signs ov speed. I
thought I would just rob the corck ov the bottle on
the floor, in the corner ov the room whare the cat
generally repozes. The consequents waz, sum ov
the “purswader” got onto the hair ov the cat's tale.
When the cat aroze from her slumbers she caught
sight ov her tale, which had growed tew an exalted
size; taking one more look at the tale, she started,
and bi the good olde Mozes! sich running; across
the yard! over the fence! up wun side ov an apple
tree! and down the other! out into the fields, away!
away! The laste i saw ov the cat, she waz pretty
mutch awl tale. I wouldn't hav took 10 dollars for
the cat, with her old tale on her. In a fu daze,
i shall find a spare time, and then i shall write up,
for our paper sumthing pyroteknik, which will make
the hair grow on the head ov a number 2 mackrel,
to read it.
Dear Doktor, the fact iz, “sum men are born -- 211 --
grate, sum men git grate after they are born, and
sum men hav grateness hove upon them.” Doctor,
you are awl 3 ov these men, in one. You are a
[figure description] Page 211.[end figure description]
kind ov vegatable trinity, sassyfrass, pokeroot, and
elderberry. It waz a happee thought in you, tew call
your “Salvashun Bitters” a “vegatabel tonicks,”
although, old rye aint one ov the vegatabels,
whiskee iz one ov the tonicks. The peopel must
hev tonicks, and the more vegatabels you kan git
into the gratest amount ov whiskee, the more the peopel
will luv you. Thare is nothing the christian world
long for so mutch, just now, as a vegatabel bitter.
Sassyfrass is good for a lonesum stummuk, pokeroot is
an alteratiff, and Elderberry was known to the anshients,
but what! oh tell me what! yee whispring
winds, what! are awl these without whiskee. Thank
the Lord, that at laste, we hav got a bitter, that
will tonick a man up. Nothing, sinze the good old
daze ov Jamaka Rum, and sider Brandee, haz sent
sich a thrill ov joy thru the wurld, az “Hirsute's Salvashun
Bitters,” sold respektably bi awl druggists,
far and near.
Go on Doktur, manafaktring, and selling, let the
cod liver, and pattent truss men, howl out in envy,
let pills rant, and plasters rave, you hav got what
the wurld wants, and will have, and that iz, an erb
bitter, with a broad whiskee basis.
N. B. — Bizziness, Doctor, iz bizziness. The hi -- 212 --
[figure description] Page 212.[end figure description]
prise ov material, and laber, haz put up puffs with
us, but upon the reseipt ov 50 Dollars more, yu kan
rely upon sumthing, in our weekly, that will send
“Salvashun, and Purswashun” whirling thru the
P. S.— Let me advize yu az a friend; if it iz
indispensible necessary tew cheat a little, in the
manufakter ov the “Salvashun Bitters,” let it by
awl means be in the rutes, dont lower the basis.
[figure description] Page 213.[end figure description]
He who buys begrudgingly, pays the higest prise
and gits nothing that sutes him.
It iz jist about az mutch mizery tew want a dimond
ring, as tew want a shirt.
The author who rites for bred, wil giv hiz reeders a
taste ov emptins.
I never knu a fool who hadn't a good voice.
Thieves hunt in couples, but a liar has no accomplice.
Az men gro older, their opinyuns, like their disseazes,
-- 214 --
[figure description] Page 214.[end figure description]
Wimmin luv their hustbands, but tha worship
The man who kant liv a week on hope, and then
maik a harty meal on the result is no philozopher.
I often cum akross inidividoals, quite oftenly, who
think tha hav never committed enny sins or indiscreshuns
in this life, such people i pitty, for they
wont kno when they git to heaven.
Az a gineral thing, if yu want tew git at the
truth ov a perlitikal argyment, hear both sides and
Thare iz a multitude of folks who mean well enuff
but how like the devel tha act.
Opportunitays, like eggs don't kum but one at a
I luv to gaze upon a hily eddikated and intilektooal
-- 215 --
woman, but I kant sa that I want tew belong tew
one ov this klass.
[figure description] Page 215.[end figure description]
True honour iz a keen perception ov what iz rite,
falze honour iz a keen affectashun ov what iz rong.
“Giv the devil hiz due,” reads wel enuff in a
proverb, but mi friend what will bekum ov you and me
if this arrangement iz carried out?
If yu are happy, dont proklaim it tew the world,
the world dont luv tew hear about sich things.
A jest iz sumthing that a fule admires, and a
wize man laffs at.
Vartue that haint bin tempted, and wine that
haint bin tasted, iz verry good vartue, and verry
good wine, in bottles.
Thare iz jist this difference between a fule and a
hen, the fule cackels before, and the hen not till
after the egg iz lade.
LXXVIII. DOMESTIK RECEIPTS IN FULL.
[figure description] Page 216.[end figure description]
Tew sarve up cowcumbers — pick them when the
dew is on them, pare them neatly, slice them thin,
add salt and let them stand for 60 minnitts, pepper
them freely, add good sharpe vinegar, and then —
raze up the window carefully, and throw them out.
Tew make watermelons the old fashioned wa —
steal them bi moonlite, and eat them in the next lot.
Lobsters want tew be boiled whole till they are
ded, pour ice cream over them, send for the docktor,
eat them before going tu bed, and tell yure friends
the next da, that yu hav bin threatened with an attak
ov the — rebbels.
Tew remove goose pimples — skin the goose.
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description]
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description]
-- 217 --
[figure description] Page 217.[end figure description]
Tew kure hams — bathe them in Hostetter's Bitters.
Tew bring up a child in the wa he should go —
travel that wa yourself.
[figure description] Page 218.[end figure description]
Josh Billings, begs leaf tu state:
That onions are good for a bad breth.
That Rockawa clams are a good opening for enny
That ships are kalled she bekauze tha alwus keep
a man on the lookout.
That “turning water into wine” is a mirakle in
theze days worth, at least, 300 per cent.
That boys aint ap to turn out well who dont git up
till 10 o'clock in the morning.
That, if a man is agoing tu make a bizness ov
sarving the Lord, he likes tu see him du it when he
measures up onions as well as when he hollers glory
That wisdum aint nothing more than edikated
LXXX. ON LECTURES.
[figure description] Page 219.[end figure description]
Dec. 9, 1864.
I take my pen in hand, to inform you, that i am in
the Lekturing bizzness. I have jined the army ov
martyrs, and am having a healthy time. I lektured
laste nite, tew a flooded house. Had a revival, evry
fu minnits, it would hav did yu good, tew hear the people
holler. The way things look now, i think i shall
be able tew retire from private life, in a fu months,
and keep 3 or 4 dogs, and a fish pond. Yesterday, i
reseaved a dunnin letter, from mi fashionable tailor,
for a coat, that has bin wore out, more than 2 years.
I replied tew the limited cuss, briefly, as follers:
“Dear sur — Enklozed, pleze find 20 dollars — if
yu can. Yures, sum, Josh Billings.
I thought i would try a tragik lektur at fust, but -- 220 --
tragediz are gitting so common, now a daze, that yu
kan git them done, and warrented, for 25 dollars.
[figure description] Page 220.[end figure description]
Mi Lektur is the normal comick, with an okasional
effort tew be witty.
I hope you are well, and hav a good appetight.
Remember me kindly tew Reub Fenton, when yu see
him.— I also reseaved 2 letters bi to daez male,
which i will let yu answer for me, thru yure valuable
collums.— One ov them is from an individoal, who
sines his name “Hennery,” and tuther is from a person
bi the name ov “Mirakle.”
Hennery: — The best time tew sett a hen, is when -- 221 --
the hen is reddy. I kant tell you what the best
breed is, but the shanghigh is the meanest. It kosts
as mutch tew board one, as it duz a stage hoss, and
yu mite as well undertake tew fat a fanning-mill, by
running oats thru it. Thare aint no proffitt in keeping
a hen for his eggs, if he laze less than one a day.
Hens are very long lived, if they dont contrakt the
thrut disseaze, — thare is a grate menny goes tew pot,
evry year, bi this melankolly disseaze. I kant tell
exactly how tew pick out a good hen, but as a genral
thing, the long-eared ones, are kounted the best.
The one-legged ones, i kno, are the lest up tew
skratch up the garden. Eggs packed in eqnal parts
ov salt, and lime water, with the other end down,
will keep from 30, or 40, years, if they are not
[figure description] Page 221.[end figure description]
disturbed. Fresh beef-stake is good for hens; i serpoze
4 or 5 pounds a day, would be awl a hen would need,
at fust along. I shall be happee tew advise with yu,
at enny time, on the hen question, and — take it in
Mirakle: — Yu sa “yu kant understand the mirakle
ov the whale, that swallered Joner. I dont serpoze
that Joner, nor the whale, ever fully understood
it themselfs. I hav thought that it was eazyer for
the whale tew swaller Joner, than it was for the outsiders,
tew swaller the mirakel. I kant tell yu what
Joner did while in the whale's sosiety; but i kno what
a yankee would hav did, he would hav rigged a rudder
on the animal, and run him into port, and either
klaimed the ile for salvage, or sold out his chanse
tew a petroleum grease company.
LXXX. YANKEE NOSHUNS.
[figure description] Page 222.[end figure description]
The noshun that skule houzens are cheaper than
The noshun that men are a better krop tew raize
than enny thing else.
The noshun that the whole wurld is the markit
for a man's wits.
The noshun that a people who hav branes enuff
kant be governed bi enny body but themselfs.
The noshun that if yu kant make a man think az
yu do, try and make him do az yu think.
The noshun that the United States iz liable at
-- 223 --
any time tew be doubled, but aint liable at enny
time tew be divided.
[figure description] Page 223.[end figure description]
The noshun that Uncle Sam kan thrash hiz own
children when tha need it, and kan thrash the hole
The noshun that Yankees are a fourordained rase,
and kant be kept from spredding, and striking in,
enny more than turpentine kan when it once gits
LXXXII. ATTENTION! SQUAD!
[figure description] Page 224.[end figure description]
Men kalkulate with perfek accurasy, the rate ov -- --
speed attained bi earthly boddys, and ov moste matter,
whether sublunary, or ov a heavenly natur.
They tell us how long a ra ov light is on the way
from the sun — how fass a comet travels — the best
time that lightning can make — when the stars visit,
and how long they are about it — the fraktional
lapse kontained in the hop ov a flea — the flite ov a
swallow — the velosity ov sound, and the smartness
ov a hurrycane. They kan tell us how long it
takes old Borus, after he leaves his cave, to reach
this earth, and button up the coats ov shivring mortals.
But i hav sarched their theorys and ransacked
their mathematicks in vain, tew diskover the haste
ov a Slander. But we kno ov nothing, on the earth,
or above it, that equals it in quickness. It travels
as well in the dark, as in the light — knows no law
[figure description] Illustration page.[end figure description] -- --
[figure description] Blank Page.[end figure description] -- 225 --
[figure description] Page 225.[end figure description]
ov gravitashun, nor ov heat, or cold — is not traceable,
or definable — has no parentage, and frequently
no objek — is not matter, nor an essence — may fly
in the glance ov an eye, or be felt in the point ov a
finger — is the pet ov almost evry one — can hav
the ear when charity, love, and the delikate pashuns,
plead in vain — is everywhare in an instant — feeds
upon nothing but sweet things, has more friends than
truth, is a lie, faster than the wings ov the wind,
and twin racer to thought — steals into the sakred
pulpit — at midnite, robs the chaste maiden ov the
ruddy truth in her cheeks — hangs sackcloth upon
the manly form ov honesta — cums in a whisper —
is misterious as an echo — will betray for a prise —
has made kings tremble — has dried up the warm
pulse ov hope, and driven modesta shreeking away—
is a skorpion, invisible, but full ov madness, and
menny stings. Who kan tell its whereabouts?
Who can rate its speed? Who kan annylize its
meanness? Who has not listened tew its preshious
falsehoods? and who will not, with me, pronounse it
a renegade, the common enemy ov humanitee? and
who that kan shoot flieing, will not help tew bring
down the base bird? Attenshun, squad!
LXXXIII. THE FUST BABY.
[figure description] Page 226.[end figure description]
The fust baby has bekum one ov the fixed stars -- 227 --
ov life; and ever since the fust one was born, on the
rong side of the gardin ov Eden, down tew the little
stranger ov yesterday, they hav never failed tew be
a budget ov mutch joy — an event ov mutch gladness.
Tew wake up some cheerful morning, and cee
a pair ov soft eyes looking into yours — to wonder
how so mutch buty could have been entrusted to
you — to sarch out the father, or the mother, in the
sweet little fase, and then loze the survey, in an instant
of buty, as a laffing Angel lays before you — tew
pla with the golden hare, and sow fond kisses upon
this little bird in yure nest — tiz this that makes the
fust baby, the joy ov awl joys — a feast ov the harte.
Tew find the pale Mother again bi yure side, more
luvly than when she was wooed — tew see a new tenderness
in her eye, and tew hear the chastened
[figure description] Page 227.[end figure description]
sweetness ov her laff, as she tells something new about
`Willie”— tew luv her far more than ever, and tew
find oftimes a prayer on yure lips — tiz this that
makes the fust baby a fountain ov sparkling plezzure.
Tew watch the bud on yure rosebush, tew ketch the
fust notes ov yure song-bird, tew hear the warm
praze ov kind frends, and tew giv up yure hours tew
the trezzure — tiz this that makes the fust baby a
gift that Angels hav brought yu. Tew look upon
the trak that life takes — tew see the sunshine and
shower — tew plead for the best, and shrink from
the wust — tew shudder when sikness steals on, and
tew be chastened when death comes — tiz this — oh!
tiz this that makes the fust baby a hope upon arth,
and a gem up in heaven.
[figure description] Page 228.[end figure description]
Laughing is strikly an amuzement, altho some -- 229 --
folks make a bizzness ov it. It haz bin considered
an index ov karakter, and thare iz sum, so
close at reasoning, that they say, they kan tell
what a man had for dinner, by seeing him laff. I
never saw two laff alike. While thare are some,
who dont make enny noise, thare are sum, who dont
make ennything but noise; and sum agin, who
hav musik in their laff, and others, who laff just az
a rat duz, who haz caught a steel trap, with his tale.
Thare is no mistake in the assershun, that it is a
cumfert tew hear sum laffs, that cum rompin out ov
a man's mouth, just like a distrik school ov yung
girls, let out tew play. Then agin thare iz sum
laffs, that are az kold and meaningless az a yesterday's
bukwheat pancake, — that cum out ov the
mouth twisted, and gritty, az a 2 inch auger,
[figure description] Page 229.[end figure description]
drawed out ov a hemlok board. One ov these kind
ov laffs haz no more cumfert in it than the — stummuk
ake haz, and makes yu feel, when yu hear it,
az though yu waz being shaved bi a dull razer,
without the benefit ov soap, or klergy. Men who
never laff, may have good hearts, but they are deep
seated, — like sum springs, they hav their inlet and
outlet from below, and show no sparkling bubble on
the brim. I don't like a gigler, this kind ov laff
iz like the dandylion, a feeble yeller, and not a bit
ov good smell about it. It iz true that enny kind
ov a laff iz better than none, — but giv me the laff
that looks out ov a man's eyes fust, to see if the
coast is clear, then steals down into the dimple ov
his cheek, and rides in an eddy thare awhile, then
waltzes a spell, at the korners ov his mouth, like a
thing ov life, then busts its bonds ov buty, and fills
the air for a moment with a shower ov silvery
tongued sparks, — then steals bak, with a smile, to
its lair, in the harte, tew watch agin for its prey, —
this it is the kind ov laff that i luv, and aint afrade
[figure description] Page 230.[end figure description]
God bless the pironeers — the whole ov them — -- 231 --
inkluding the man who fust rode a mule. Hiz
name waz Stickfasst, he will be remembered az long
az black wax will be, hiz posterity have aul bin
good stickers, sum ov the best clothes-pins the world
ever saw, cum from this familee..... I remember
olde Buffaloo. He waz a sunsett pironeer; he
started tew discover, “out west,” 40 years ago, hiz
property was a wife, with the side ake, 2 galls, just
busting thru their clothes into womanhood, 2 boys,
who kould kill a skunk at 3 paces, and dodge the
smell, a one-hoss wagging, a rifle, and a brass-kittle,
he squat at Rock River, in the Illinoise, for
6 months, and then moved on more westly, the last
that ware seen ov him, was the hind-board ov hiz
wagging, just doubling the top ov the rocky mountains.....
And thare waz Beltrigging, who fust
[figure description] Page 231.[end figure description] -- 232 --
diskovered the tempranse question, he had bin a
suckcessful rumdrinker, and seller for 36 years, and
had retired with a pile, he diskovered kold water
one day, on the back side ov hiz farm, digging out
foxes; he lektured nex day, in a 7-day babtiss
church, and told his xperiense; he made 13 hundred
dollars lekturing, and died 9 years afterwards,
in grate agony, having drank 4 drops ov french
brandee, on a lump ov brown sugar bi mistake. He
begot Springwater, and Springwater begot Rainwater,
and Rainwater begot Dewdrow, and Dewdrop
begot Morning-Mist, awl ov them selebrated
tempranse lekturers..... And there waz Solomon
Saw-dust, the author ov bran-bred, and nailrodsoup;
he waz a champion ov lite weights; he fit
the dispepshee in aul its forms; he lived for 18
months, at one heat, on the smell ov a red herring,
and gained 9 pounds in wind. He had menny admirers
and immitaturs the moste grate ov which
was Wet Pack and Water Kure..... And there
waz Mehitable Saffron, the virgin-hero ov wimmins'
rights; i herd her fust orashun, in the town hall;
she spoke without notes, at arms' length. She ced,
“woman had a destiny that man kouldn't fill for
her, and az for her, she could go it alone, she didn't
[figure description] Page 232.[end figure description]
want no he-creeter around her, she had on a pair of
kowhide pegged boots, and closed up bi holding hi
in the air, a pair ov corduroy breeches, which she
swore bi the good olde Mozes, waz awl enny man
had to brag ov... She waz the first pironeer in the
corduroy britches business, she died celibate, and
haz had menny followers amung her sexes, but none
that had the jism she had..... And then thare
waz Old Perpetual; he got crazee at last, but not
till he had invented a pitch-pine dog, with a basswood
tail, that would bark and chase every wagging
that cum along, clean down to the bridge over bean
kreek. He got out a patent for a sorrel horse, and
a nu milch cow, and lived till he was 90 years olde,
and then died from a kold he had caught, down
seller, trieing tew make soft sope, out ov bull's liver.
On hiz grave stun waz these affekting paragraph:
“State, and county rights for sale, enquire ov —