Chanting An Astonishing Lay In Honor Of Clear Weather Once More; Irreverently Likening The Stately Abode Of Congress To A Stomach; Mentioning An Attempted Speculation With Captain Samyule Sa-Mith, In Real Estate. At Ta1kachor Court House; And Sampling Andrew Nelson's Soliloquy.
Washington, D. C, April 25, 1888.
Behold me emerging at last, my boy, from under an umbrella, and rejoicing to find the daily " Sun" issued once more in clear type, and exchanging only with the " Evening Star." To be sure, the recent rain came down in sheets and must have caused quite a rush to reed along the shore; but in our inland places like this we prefer to find the sun on our doorstep of a morning, and as the season advances, it will be more and more red. Surveying it with a speculative American orb of vision, I cannot but regret that it excludes all advertisements weather fair or foul; for who can doubt that, with its rising circulation in the East, and its "set" value in the West, it would be an invaluable medium for dealers in Light literature ? But, after all, it rayses its terms too high for such use; and the gravity of our relations with it need not be disturbed by speculations as to how it can support itself while being furnished so cheaply to all creation as a " cent "-re piece !
I cannot explain just why I have taken such a printer's view of old Sol at this season, unless it is because this season is called "printemps " in French; but I know that these two or three shiny days, after so much wet weather, have at once given me strong hopes of losing the moat from my own eye, and left me disposed for anything rather than the removal of the beam from my brother's eye. I am not a married man; I have no wife of my bosom to bear me little Bills, followed, mayhap, by a little Sue; and it is only natural that I should show some enthusiasm for the only sun I have. If not offspring, it is at least of Spring; and if I am not its father, it certainly cannot get much farther away from me. If not a parent in the ordinary sense to any particular son, this sun makes me apparent to all men, and that, too, without necessitating a mother-in-law, or putting me in peril of the fate of Othello, who, as everybody knows, was finally ruined by his wife's-smother!
And now, before it rains again, let me catch one more glimpse of the stately Capitol in this rare radiance; let my admiring glance rest yet another moment upon that swelling dome, which, like some impressive stomach in profile, with a figure of Liberty resting upon it as a fob watch-seal, catches the tawny lustre of the hour in massive repose. Smile, kindly skies, in lucent glory smile upon that abdomen of our distracted country, nor be tempted to administer any more of thy drops just yet, even though it has several panes across it. Make the watch-seal to glitter as though it really were something diviner than an ornament, and make the stomach to shine as though it were a luminous miracle of good digestion; and we will strive to believe for the moment that political choler might be one degree worse if it were cholera. Alas ! how often do the wisest of us - we who pride ourselves, perchance, upon being the very Congressmen of private life - attribute certain ailings to. our aching heads alone, or our lungs alone, or even to our hearts alone, while, all the time, it is actually the stomach that is deranged. The latter takes great satisfaction in appearing to be immaculate, and is always ready to bring about the impeachment of the head for causing headache, or to induce the reconstruction of the lungs, or heart, for imperfect circulation. Don't trouble yourself at all about Me, says the stomach,-I'm taking perfect care of my part of your Constitution; but you'd better impeach your head for aching, or the other part will be ruined. So, you impeach your head, and reconstruct your lungs; and, after all, it is solely the stomach that is at fault. Smile then, 0 kindly skies, in lucent glory smile upon the dome of yonder Capitol, and let there be clouds for the aching Head of the nation alone.
Thus apostrophized I, in thoughtful soliloquy, as I threw a last look toward the mighty theatre of Impeachment, before getting into one of the cars of the Grand Southern Trunk Railroad, the other day, to go with Captain Samyule Sa-mith to Taikachor Court House, Virginia. Samyule was attracted thither by a report that Pendragon Penruthers, Esq., a celebrated haughty Southerner of that place, had some fine old real estate to sell at great reduction, and I went with him to call a doctor at the places where the train should catch fire or roll down a bank.
The Grand Southern Trunk Railroad is so called because its cars are shaped like those fashionable travelling-trunks which can be thrown out of a third-story window without much breakage below the top and sides, by careful expressmen. When first built, just before the war, it was quite a good road to send your mother-in-law and poor relations over, and its trains seldom ran over a cow when they could get around her by going off the track. During the struggle with our excited national troops, however, the wealth of this great highway was seriously diminished; its daily receipts fell from four dollars to three and fourpence, and the large teakettle used in drawing trains was seized by our vandals to boil their coffee on several sanguinary occasions. Consequently, this famous through-route is now out of repair at some points of the line; and, until the President of the company can make enough money by his present occupation of apple-peddling to purchase a hammer and a few nails, the track will not be entirely safe for a high rate of speed.
Samyule and I wore padded India-rubber suits and fur caps to preserve ourselves from contusions at the stopping-places, and also kept our wills conspicuously pinned upon the breasts of our coats, in case we should go the wrong side of a bridge. Thus prepared, we calmly took our places upon the candle-boxes which served as seats in the first-class cars, and, as we went flying over the broomsticks which had been hastily laid down in place of the rails stolen by our vandals, our knives and watches were the only articles jerked from our pockets.