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Billings, Josh, 1818-1885 [1866], Josh Billings, hiz sayings. With comic illustrations. (Carleton, New York) [word count] [eaf674T].
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“Musick hath charms to sooth a savage.
To rend a rok or split a kabbage.”

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So tha tell me, but i shud rather try a revolver
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

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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

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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.

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Billings, Josh, 1818-1885 [1866], Josh Billings, hiz sayings. With comic illustrations. (Carleton, New York) [word count] [eaf674T].
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