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The light has come upon the dark benighted way. Dead.
Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen, Dead, Right Reverends and Wrong Reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.-CHARLES DICKENS.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT.
SCENE.—At the mouth of the shaft.
And if you are a man, sir,
Penrhyn, sir, Joe
Since we came here
Well, I am quiet
Please—I'll be strong
If you'll just let me wait
Inside o' that gate
Laws to protect such as we?
I won't raise my voice,
I won't make no noise :
Why do they call ?
Why are they all
I'll take it.
I'll break it. “Foreman!”
Ay, ay !
“Out by and by"“ Just saved his life.” “Say to his wife,
Soon he'll be free." Will I ?-God bless you, It's me!
F. BRET HARTE
it as a wonder the pof every stahey know't
EXPERIENCE WITH EUROPEAN GUIDES. DUROPEAN guides know about enough English to
U tangle everything up so that a man can make neither head nor tail of it. They know their story by heart,—the history of every statue, painting, cathedral, or other wonder they show you. They know it and tell it as a parrot would, and if you interrupt and throw them off the track, they have to go back and begin over again. All their lives long they are employed in showing strange things to foreigners and listening to their bursts of admiration.
It is human nature to take delight in exciting admiration. It is what prompts children to say “smart” things and do absurd ones, and in other ways "show off” when company is present. It is what makes gossips turn out in rain and storm to go and be the first to tell a startling bit of news. Think, then, what a passion it becomes with a guide, whose privilege it is, every day, to show to strangers wonders that throw them into perfect ecstasies of admiration! He gets so that he could not by any possibility live in a soberer atmosphere.
After we discovered this, we never went into ecstasies anymore,—we never admired anything, we never showed any but impassable faces and stupid indifference in the presence of the sublimest wonders a guide had to display. We had found their weak point. We have made good use of it ever since. We have made some of those people savage at times, but we never lost our serenity.
The doctor asks the questions generally, because he can keep his countenance, and look more like an inspired idiot, and throw more imbecility into the tone of his voice than any man that lives. It comes natural to him.
The guides in Genoa are delighted to secure an American party, because Americans so much wonder, and deal so much in sentiment and emotion before any relic of Columbus. Our guide there fidgeted about as if he had swallowed a spring mattress. He was full of animation, -full of impatience. He said :
“Come wis me, genteelmen !-come! I show you ze letter writing by Christopher Colombo !-write it himself!—write it wis his own hand !come !"
He took us to the municipal palace. After much impressive fumbling of keys and opening of locks, the stained and aged document was spread before us. The guide's eyes sparkled. He danced about us and tapped the parchment with his finger :
“What I tell you, genteelmen! Is it not so ? See ! handwriting Christopher Columbo !-write it himself!"
We looked indifferent, -unconcerned. The doctor examined the document very deliberately, during a painful "pause. Then he said, without any show of interest,
"Ah,-Ferguson,what-what did you say was the name of the party who wrote this ?”
“Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Colombo !”
Another deliberate examination.
“He write it himself !-Christopher Colombo! he's own handwriting, write by himself !”
Then the doctor laid the document down and said, “Why, I have seen boys in America only fourteen years old that could write better than that.”
“But zis is ze great Christo "
“I don't care who it is! It's the worst writing I ever . saw. Now you mustn't think you can impose on us because we are strangers. We are not fools, by a good deal. If you have got any specimens of penmanship of
real merit, trot them out !-and if you haven't, drive
We drove on. The guide was considerably shaken up, but he made one more venture. He had something which he thought would overcome us. He said,
“Ah, genteelmen, you come wis us! I show you beautiful, oh, magnificent bust Christopher Colombo !-splendid, grand, magnificent!"
He brought us before the beautiful bust,-for it was beautiful,--and sprang back and struck an attitude:
“Ah, look, genteelmen !-beautiful, grand, -bust Christopher Colombo !-beautiful bust, beautiful pedestal !”.
The doctor put up his eye-glass,-procured for such occasions:-
“Ah,—what did you say this gentleman's name was ?”
“Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Co. lombo !"
“ Christopher Colombo,—the great Christopher Colombo. Well, what did he do ?”
“ Discover America !- discover America-oh, ze diable!”
“ Discover America ? No,-that statement will hardly wash. We are just from America ourselves. Christo. pher Colombo,-pleasant name,-is-is he dead ?”
“Oh, corpo di Baccho !-three hundred year!"
“I do not know, genteelmen,–I do not know what he die of.”
“Measles, likely ?"
“Maybe,-maybe. I do not know, I thing he die of something."
“Parents living ?”