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147 Works of Bill Nye (Edgar W. Nye)

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“I believe I’ve got about the most instinct bulldog in the United States,” said Cayote Van Gobb yesterday. “Other pups may show cuteness and cunning, you know, but my dog, the Duke of Rawhide Buttes, is not only generally smart, but he keeps up with the times. He’s not only a talented cuss, but his […]

Etiquette at hotels is a subject that has been but lightly treated upon by our modern philosophy, and yet it is a subject that lies very near to every American heart. Had I not already more reforms on hand than I can possibly successfully operate I would gladly use my strong social influence and trenchant […]

The American Indian approximates nearer to what man should be–manly, physically perfect, grand in character, and true to the instincts of his conscience–than any other race of beings, civilized or uncivilized. Where do we hear such noble sentiments or meet with such examples of heroism and self-sacrifice as the history of the American Indian furnishes? […]

Dessicated Mule

Story type: Essay

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The red-eyed antagonist of truth is not found alone in the ranks of the newspaper phalanx. You run up against him in all walks of life. He flourishes in all professions, and he is ready at all times to entertain. There is quite a difference between a malicious falsehood and the different shades of parables, […]

Warriors! We are met here to-day to celebrate the white man’s Fourth of July. I do not know what the Fourth of July has done for us that we should remember his birthday, but it matters not. Another summer is on the wane, and so are we. We are the walleyed waners from Wanetown. We […]

The Holy Terror

Story type: Essay

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While in New England trying in my poor, weak way to represent the “rowdy west,” I met a sad young man who asked me if I lived in Chi-eene. I told him that if he referred to Cheyenne, I had been there off and on a good deal. He said he was there not long […]

Strolling through the Public Garden and the famous Boston Common, the untutored savage from the raw and unpolished West is awed and his wild spirit tamed by the magnificent harmony of nature and art. Everywhere the eye rests upon all that is beautiful in nature, while art has heightened the pleasing effect without having introduced […]

This world is filled with woe everywhere you go. Sorrow is piled up in the fence corners on every road. Unavailing regret and red-nosed remorse inhabit the cot of the tie-chopper as well as the cut-glass cage of the millionaire. The woods are full of disappointment. The earth is convulsed with a universal sob, and […]

A recent article in the London Post on the subject of somnambulism, calls to my mind several little incidents with somnambulistic tendencies in my own experience. This subject has, indeed, attracted my attention for some years, and it has afforded me great pleasure to investigate it carefully. Regarding the causes of dreams and somnambulism, there […]

Dear Sir.–Your courteous letter of the 1st instant, in which you cordially consent to share my wealth and dwell together with me in fraternal sunshine, is duly received. While I dislike to appear cold and distant to one who seems so yearnful and so clinging, and while I do not wish to be regarded as […]

Since the investigation of Washington pension attorneys, it is a little remarkable how scarce in the newspapers is the appearance of advertisements like this. Pensions! Thousands of soldiers of the late war are still entitled to pensions with the large accumulations since the injury was received. We procure pensions, back pay, allowances. Appear in the […]

It would please me very much, at no distant day, to issue a small book filled with choice recipes and directions for making home happy. I have accumulated an immense assortment of these things, all of general use and all excellent in their way, because they have been printed in papers all over the country–papers […]

The following selections are from the advance sheets of a forthcoming work with the above title, to be published by M. Foll de Roll. It is possible that other excerpts will be made from the book, in case the present harmonious state of affairs between France and America is not destroyed by my style of […]

There are a good many difficult things to ride, I find, beside the bicycle and the bucking Mexican plug. Those who have tried to mount and successfully ride a wheelbarrow in the darkness of the stilly night will agree with me. You come on a wheelbarrow suddenly when it is in a brown study, and […]

“There’s a big difference in doctors, I tell you,” said an old-timer to me the other day. “You think you know something about ’em, but you are still in the fluff and bloom, and kindergarten of life, Wait till you’ve been through what I have.” “Where, for instance?” I asked him. “Well, say nothing about […]

Absent Minded

Story type: Essay

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I remember an attorney, who practiced law out West years ago, who used to fill his pipe with brass paper fasteners, and try to light it with a ruling pen about twice a day. That was his usual average. He would talk in unknown tongues, and was considered a thorough and revised encyclopedia on everything […]

“Woman wields a wonderful influence over man’s destinies,” said Woodtick William, the other day, as he breathed gently on a chunk of blossom rock and then wiped it carefully with the tail of his coat. “Woman in most cases is gentle and long suffering, but if you observe close for several consecutive weeks you will […]

We are now rapidly approaching the date of our great national thanksgiving. Another year has almost passed by on the wings of tireless time. Since last we gathered about the festive board and spattered the true inwardness of the family gobbler over the table cloth, remorseless time, who knows not the weight of weariness, has […]

The State of Maine is a good place in which to experiment with prohibition, but it is not a good place to farm it in very largely. In the first place, the season is generally a little reluctant. When I was up near Moosehead Lake, a short time ago, people were driving across that body […]

At this season of the year, we are forcibly struck with the earnest and honest effort that is being made by the publisher of the American newspaper. It is a healthy sign and a hopeful one for the future of our country. It occurs to me that with the great advancement of the newspaper, and […]

Railroads have made the Rocky Mountain country familiar and contiguous, I may say, to the whole world; but the somber canon, the bald and blackened cliff, the velvety park and the snowy, silent peak that forever rests against the soft, blue sky, are ever new. The foamy green of the torrent has whirled past the […]

Taxidermy

Story type: Essay

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This name is from two Greek words which signify “arrangement” and “skin,” so that the ancient Greeks, no doubt, regarded taxidermy as the original skin-game of that period. Taxidermy did not flourish in America prior to the year 1828. At that time an Englishman named Scudder established a museum and general repository for upholstered beasts. […]

Spartacus, whose given name seems to have been torn off in its passage down through the corridors of time, was born in Thrace and educated as a shepherd. While smearing the noses of the young lambs with tar one spring, in order to prevent the snuffies among them, he thought that he would become a […]

“Amateur” writes me that he is about to publish a book, and asks me if I will be kind enough to suggest some good, reliable publisher for him. This would suggest that “Amateur” wishes to confer his book on some deserving publisher with a view to building him up and pouring a golden stream of […]

A Calm

Story type: Essay

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The old Greeley Colony in Colorado, a genuine oasis in the desert, with its huge irrigating canals of mountain water running through the mighty wheat fields, glistening each autumn at the base of the range, affords a good deal that is curious, not only to the mind of the gentleman from the States, but even […]

My name is Kaulbach. William J. Kaulbach is my name, and I am spending the summer in Canada. I may remain here during the winter, also. My parents are very poor. They had never been wealthy, and at the time of my birth they were even less wealthy than they had been before. As soon […]

A young man, with a plated watch-chain that would do to tie up a sacred elephant, came into Denver the other day from the East, on the Julesburg Short line, and told the hotel clerk that he had just returned from Europe, and was on his way across the continent with the intention of publishing […]

December 3, 1764.–I am determined to keep a diary, if possible, the rest of my life. I fully realize how difficult it will be to do so. Many others of my acquaintance have endeavored to maintain a diary, but have only advanced so far as the second week in January. It is my purpose to […]

"Heap Brain"

Story type: Essay

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Much trouble has been done by a long haired phrenologist in the West who has, during his life, felt of over a hundred thousand heads. A comparison of a large number of charts given in these cases shows that so far no head examined would indicate anything less than a member of the lower house […]

The following letter has been received, and, as it encloses no unsmirched postage stamp to insure a private reply, I take great pleasure in answering it in these pages: Christiana, Kas., Sept. 22nd, 1884 Dear Sir.–I am studying for a Humorist. Could you help me to some of the Joliest Books that are written? With […]

What We Eat

Story type: Essay

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On 3d street, St. Paul, there stands a restaurant that has outside as a sign, under a glass case, a rib roast, a slice of ham and a roast duck that I remembered distinctly having seen there in 1860 and before the war. I asked an epicure the other day if he thought it right […]

A Peaceable Man

Story type: Essay

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Will L. Visscher always made a specialty of being a peaceable man. He would make most any sacrifice in order to secure general amnesty. I’ve known him to go around six blocks out of his way, to avoid a stormy interview with a belligerant dog. He was always very tender-hearted about dogs, especially the open-faced […]

Squaw Jim

Story type: Essay

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“Jim, you long-haired, backslidden Caucasian nomad, why don’t you say something? Brace up and tell us your experience. Were you kidnapped when you were a kid and run off into the wild wickyup of the forest, or how was it that you came to leave the Yankee reservation and eat the raw dog of the […]

Referring to religious matters, the other day, Squaw Jim said: “I was up at the Post yesterday to kind of rub up against royalty, and refresh my memory with a few papers. I ain’t a regular subscriber to any paper, for I can’t always get my mail on time. We’re liable to be here, there […]

"I Spy"

Story type: Essay

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Dear reader, do you remember the boy of your school who did the heavy falling through the ice and was always about to break his neck, but managed to live through it all? Do you call to mind the youth who never allowed anybody else to fall out of a tree and break his collar […]

Mark Anthony

Story type: Essay

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Marcus Antonius, commonly called Mark Antony, was a celebrated Roman general and successful politician, who was born in 83 B.C. His grandfather, on his mother’s side, was L. Julius Caesar, and it is thought that to Mark’s sagacity in his selection of a mother, much of his subsequent success was due. Young Antony was rather […]

Man Overbored

Story type: Essay

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“Speaking about prohibition,” said Misery Brown one day, while we sat lying on the damp of the Blue Tail Fly, “I am prone to allow that the more you prohibit, the more you–all at once–discover that you have more or less failed to prohibit. “Now, you can win a man over to your way of […]

At Greeley a young man with a faded cardigan jacket and a look of woe got on the train, and as the car was a little crowded he sat in the seat with me. He had that troubled and anxious expression that a rural young man wears when he first rides on the train. When […]

Camping out in summer for several weeks is a good thing generally. Freedom from social restraint and suspenders is a great luxury for a time, and nothing purifies the blood quicker, or makes a side of bacon taste more like snipe on toast, than the crisp ozone that floats through the hills and forests where […]

Nero

Story type: Essay

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Nero, who was a Roman Emperor from 54 to 68 A.D., was said to have been one of the most disagreeable monarchs to meet that Rome ever had. He was a nephew of Culigula, the Emperor, on his mother’s side, and a son of Dominitius Ahenobarbust, of St. Lawrence county. The above was really Nero’s […]

The name of George Washington has always had about it a glamour that made him appear more in the light of a god than a tall man with large feet and a mouth made to fit an old-fashioned, full-dress pumpkin pie. I use the word glamour, not so much because I know what glamour means, […]

I went into the Chicago Board of Trade awhile ago to see about buying some seed wheat for sowing on my farm next spring. I heard that I could get wheat cheaper there than anywhere else, so I went over. The members of the Board seemed to be all present. They were on the upper […]

The Cow-Boy

Story type: Essay

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So much amusing talk is being made recently anent the blood-bedraggled cow-boy of the wild West, that I rise as one man to say a few things, not in a dictatorial style, but regarding this so-called or so esteemed dry land pirate who, mounted on a little cow-pony and under the black flag, sails out […]

Last night I was awakened by the cry of fire. It was a loud, hoarse cry, such as a large, adult man might emit from his window on the night air. The town was not large, and the fire department, I had been told, was not so effective as it should have been. For that […]

With the moist and misty spring, with the pink and white columbine of the wildwood and the breath of the cellar and the incense of burning overshoes in the back yard, comes the little barefoot boy with fawn colored hair and a droop in his pantaloons. Poverty is not the grand difficulty with the little […]

Will Taylor, the son of the present American Consul at Marseilles, was a good deal like other boys while at school in his old home, at Hudson, Wis. One day he called his father into the library, and said: “Pa, I don’t like to tell you, but the teacher and I have had trouble.” “What’s […]

About Geology

Story type: Essay

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Geology is that branch of natural science which treats of the structure of the earth’s crust and the mode of formation of its rocks. It is a pleasant and profitable study, and to the man who has married rich and does not need to work, the amusement of busting geology with the Bible, or busting […]

A Wallula Night

Story type: Essay

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I have just returned after a short tour in the far West. I made the tour with my new lecture, which I am delivering this winter for the benefit, and under the auspices, of a young man who was a sufferer in the great rise-up-William-Biley-and-come-along-with-me cyclone, which occurred at Clear Lake, in this State, a […]

Flying Machines

Story type: Essay

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A long and exhaustive examination of the history of flying machines enables me to give briefly some of the main points of a few, for the benefit of those who may be interested in this science. I give what I do in order to prepare the public to take advantage of the different methods, and […]

The general passenger agent of a prominent road leading out of Chicago toward the south, tells me that he is getting a good many letters lately asking for passes, and he complains bitterly over the awkward and unsatisfactory style of the correspondence. Acting on this suggestion and though a little late in the day, perhaps, […]

I have just formed the acquaintance of a blase young man. I have been on an extended trip with him. He is about twenty-two years old, but he is already weary of life. He was very careful all the time never to be exuberant. No matter how beautiful the landscape, he never allowed himself to […]

The history of Babylon is fraught with sadness. It illustrates, only too painfully, that the people of a town make or mar its success rather than the natural resources and advantages it may possess on the start. Thus Babylon, with 3,000 years the start of Minneapolis, is to-day a hole in the ground, while Minneapolis […]

Lovely Horrors

Story type: Essay

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I dropped in the other day to see New York’s great congress of wax figures and soft statuary carnival. It is quite a success. The first thing you do on entering is to contribute to the pedestal fund. New York this spring is mostly a large rectangular box with a hole in the top, through […]

A “Family Physician,” published in 1883, says, for the bite of a mad dog: “Take ash-colored ground liverwort, cleaned, dried, and powdered, half an ounce; of black pepper, powdered, a quarter of an ounce. Mix these well together, and divide the powder into four doses, one of which must be taken every morning, fasting, for […]

This great man lived in the old romantic days when it was a common thing for a patriot to lay down his life that his country might live. He knew not fear, and in his noble heart his country was always on top. Not alone at election did Arnold sacrifice himself, but on the tented […]

Gov. Murray, the gritty Gentile governor of Utah, would be noticed in a crowd. He is very tall, yet well proportioned, square-built and handsome. He was called fine looking in Kentucky, but the narrow-chested apostle of the abnormally connubial creed does not see anything pretty about him. Murray moves about through Salt Lake City in […]

During the past season I was considerably interested in agriculture. I met with some success, but not enough to madden me with joy. It takes a good deal of success to unscrew my reason and make it totter on its throne. I’ve had trouble with my liver, and various other abnormal conditions of the vital […]

This autograph business is getting to be a little bit tedious. It is all one-sided. I want to get even some how, on some one. If I can’t come back at the autograph fiend himself, perhaps I might make some other fellow creature unhappy. That would take my mind off the woes that are inflicted […]

A Resign

Story type: Essay

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Postoffice Divan, Laramie City, W.T., Oct. 1, 1883. To the President of the United States: Sir.–I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resignation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The safe combination is set […]

My Mine

Story type: Essay

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I have decided to sacrifice another valuable piece of mining property this spring. It would not be sold if I had the necessary capital to develop it. It is a good mine, for I located it myself. I remember well the day I climbed up on the ridge-pole of the universe and nailed my location […]

Mush And Melody

Story type: Essay

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Lately I have been giving a good deal of attention to hygiene–in other people. The gentle reader will notice that, as a rule, the man who gives the most time and thought to this subject is an invalid himself; just as the young theological student devotes his first sermon to the care of children, and […]

Office of Daily Boomerang, Laramie City, Wy., Aug. 9, 1882. My Dear General.–I have received by telegraph the news of my nomination by the President and my confirmation by the Senate, as postmaster at Laramie, and wish, to extend my thanks for the same. I have ordered an entirely new set of boxes and postoffice […]

Most everyone who has tried the publication of a newspaper will call to mind as he reads this item, a similar experience, though, perhaps, not so pronounced and protuberant. Early one summer morning a gawky young tenderfoot, both as to the West and the details of journalism, came into the office and asked me for […]

In my opinion every professional man should keep a chest of carpenters’ tools in his barn or shop, and busy himself at odd hours with them in constructing the varied articles that are always needed about the house. There is a great deal of pleasure in feeling your own independence of other trades, and more […]

The Average Hen

Story type: Essay

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I am convinced that there is great economy in keeping hens if we have sufficient room for them and a thorough knowledge of how to manage the fowl property. But to the professional man, who is not familiar with the habits of the hen, and whose mind does not naturally and instinctively turn henward, I […]

We had about as ornery and triflin’ a crop of kids in Calaveras county, thirty years ago, as you could gather in with a fine-tooth comb and a brass band in fourteen States. For ways that was kittensome they were moderately active and abnormally protuberant. That was the prevailing style of Calaveras kid, when Mr. […]

In Washington

Story type: Essay

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I have just returned from a polite and recherche party here. Washington is the hot-bed of gayety, and general headquarters for the recherche business. It would be hard to find a bontonger aggregation than the one I was just at, to use the words of a gentleman who was there, and who asked me if […]

I take occasion at this time to ask the American people as one man, what are we to do to prevent the spread of the most insidious and disagreeable disease known as hydrophobia? When a fellow-being has to be smothered, as was the case the other day right here in our fair land, a land […]

Probably few people have been more successful in the discovering line than Christopher Columbus. Living as he did in a day when a great many things were still in an undiscovered state, the horizon was filled with golden opportunities for a man possessed of Mr. C.’s pluck and ambition. His life at first was filled […]

Having at last yielded to the entreaties of Great Britain, I have decided to make a professional farewell tour of England with my new and thrilling lecture, entitled “Jerked Across the Jordan, or the Sudden and Deserved Elevation of an American Citizen.” I have, therefore, already written some of the cablegrams which will be sent […]

Receiving another notice of assessment on my stock in the Aladdin mine the other day, reminded me that I was still interested in a bottomless hole that was supposed at one time to yield funds instead of absorbing them. The Aladdin claim was located in the spring of ’76 by a syndicate of journalists, none […]

Last week we went up to the Coliseum, at Minneapolis, to hear Theodore Thomas’ orchestra, the Wagner trio and Christine Nilsson. The Coliseum is a large rink just out of Minneapolis, on the road between that city and St. Paul. It can seat 4,000 people comfortably, but the management like to wedge 4,500 people in […]

John Adams

Story type: Essay

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After viewing the birthplace of the Adamses out at Quincy I felt more reconciled to my own birthplace. Comparing the house in which I was born with those in which other eminent philanthropists and high-priced statesmen originated, I find that I have no reason to complain. Neither of the Adamses were born in a larger […]

“Ethel” has written a letter to me and asked for a printed reply. Leaving off the opening sentences, which I would not care to have fall into the hands of my wife, her note is about as follows: “—- Vt., Feb. 28, 1885. My Dear Sir: [Tender part of letter omitted for obvious reasons.] Would […]

Bunker Hill

Story type: Essay

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Last week for the first time I visited the granite obelisk known all over the civilized world as Bunker Hill monument. Sixty years ago, if my memory serves me correctly. General La Fayette, since deceased, laid the corner-stone, and Daniel Webster made a few desultory remarks which I cannot now recall. Eighteen years later it […]

A Lumber Camp

Story type: Essay

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I have just returned from a little impromptu farewell tour in the lumber camps toward Lake Superior. It was my idea to wade around in the snow for a few weeks and swallow baked beans and ozone on the 1/2 shell. The affair was a success. I put up at Bootjack camp on the raging […]

When you come to think of it, it is surprising that so many newspaper men write so that any one but an expert can read it. The rapid and voluminous work, especially of daily journalism, knocks the beautiful business college penman, as a rule, higher than a kite. I still have specimens of my own […]

The Wild Cow

Story type: Essay

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When I was young and used to roam around over the country, gathering water-melons in the light of the moon, I used to think I could milk anybody’s cow, but I do not think so now. I do not milk a cow now unless the sign is right, and it hasn’t been right for a […]

So many people have shown a pardonable curiosity about the above named disease, and so few have a very clear idea of the thrill of pleasure it affords the patient, unless they have enjoyed it themselves, that I have decided to briefly say something in answer to the innumerable inquiries I have received. Up to […]

THE COMET. The comet is a kind of astronomical parody on the planet. Comets look some like planets, but they are thinner and do not hurt so hard when they hit anybody as a planet does. The comet was so called because it had hair on it, I believe, but late years the bald-headed comet […]

A pleasing anecdote is being told through the press columns recently, of an encounter on the South Platte, which occurred some years ago between a Texan and a buffalo. The recital sets forth the fact that the Texans went out to hunt buffalo, hoping to get enough for a mess during the day. Toward evening […]

I have just returned from a brief visit to Duluth. After strolling along the Bay of Naples and watching old Vesuvius vomit red-hot mud, vapor and other campaign documents, Duluth is quite a change. The ice in the bay at Duluth was thirty-eight inches in depth when I left there the last week in March, […]

I Tried Milling

Story type: Essay

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I think I was about 18 years of age when I decided that I would be a miller, with flour on my clothes and a salary of $200 per month. This was not the first thing I had decided to be, and afterward changed my mind about. I engaged to learn my profession of a […]

Our Forefathers

Story type: Essay

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Seattle, W.T., December 12.–I am up here on the Sound in two senses. I rode down to-day from Tacoma on the Sound, and to-night I shall lecture at Frye’s Opera House. Seattle is a good town. The name lacks poetic warmth, but some day the man who has invested in Seattle real estate will have […]

Boys should never be afraid or ashamed to do little odd jobs by which to acquire money. Too many boys are afraid, or at least seem to be embarrassed when asked to do chores, and thus earn small sums of money. In order to appreciate wealth we must earn it ourselves. That is the reason […]

About Portraits

Story type: Essay

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Hudson, Wis., August 25, 1885. Hon. William F. Vilas, Postmaster-General, Washington, D.C. Dear Sir,–For some time I have been thinking of writing to you and asking you how you were getting along with your department since I left it. I did not wish to write you for the purpose of currying favor with an administration […]

The Old South

Story type: Essay

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The Old South Meeting House, in Boston, is the most remarkable structure in many respects to be found in that remarkable city. Always eager wherever I go to search out at once the gospel privileges, it is not to be wondered at, that I should have gone to the Old South the first day after […]

A Rubber Esophagus

Story type: Literature

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Puget Sound is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sheets of water in the world. Its bosom is as unruffled as that of an angel who is opposed to ruffles on general principles. To say that real estate was once active at certain places on its shores is just simply about as powerful as the […]

Over at Kasota Junction, the other day, I found a living curiosity. He was a man of about medium height, perhaps 45 years of age, of a quiet disposition, and not noticeable or peculiar in his general manner. He runs the railroad eating-house at that point, and the one odd characteristic which he has, makes […]

Advice To A Son

Story type: Literature

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MY DEAR SON: I just came here to New York on business, and thought I would write to you a few lines, as I have a little time that is not taken up. I came here on a train from Chicago the other day. Before I started, I got a lower berth in a sleeping […]

The Automatic Bell Boy

Story type: Literature

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Little did B. Franklin wot when he baited his pin hook with a good conductor and tapped the low browed and bellowing storm nimbus with his buoyant kite, thus crudely acquiring a pickle jar of electricity, that the little start he then made would be the egg from which inventors and scientists would hatch out […]

If there be one thing above another that I revel in, it is science. I have devoted much of my life to scientific research, and though it hasn’t made much stir in the scientific world so far, I am positive that when I am gone the scientists of our day will miss me, and the […]

On Broadway

Story type: Literature

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Once when in New York I observed a middle-aged man remove his coat at the corner of Fulton street and Broadway and wipe the shoulders thereof with a large red handkerchief of the Thurman brand. There was a dash of mud in his whiskers and a crick in his back. He had just sought to […]

The Crops

Story type: Essay

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I have just been through Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, on a tour of inspection. I rode for over ten days in these States in a sleeping-car, examining crops, so that I could write an intelligent report. Grain in Northern Wisconsin suffered severely in the latter part of the season from rust, chintz bug, Hessian fly […]

My Trip To Dixie

Story type: Literature

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I once took quite a long railway trip into the South in search of my health. I called my physicians together, and they decided by a rising vote that I ought to go to a warmer clime, or I should enjoy very poor health all winter. So I decided to go in search of my […]

Literary Freaks

Story type: Essay

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People who write for a livelihood get some queer propositions from those who have crude ideas about the operation of the literary machine. There is a prevailing idea among those who have never dabbled in literature very much, that the divine afflatus works a good deal like a corn sheller. This is erroneous. To put […]

The Thought Clothier

Story type: Literature

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General Dado has been sharply criticised–roundly abused, even–for making a claim against the Grant estate for alleged assistance in preparing the “Memoirs” that have added to that estate some half-million of dollars. The Philadelphia Bulletin says:–“There is no mark of contempt so strong that it ought not to be fixed on so shameless and unblushing […]

My dear Henry.–Your pensive favor of the 20th inst., asking for more means with which to persecute your studies, and also a young man from Ohio, is at hand and carefully noted. I would not be ashamed to have you show the foregoing sentence to your teacher, if it could be worked, in a quiet […]

A Medieval Discoverer

Story type: Literature

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Galilei, commonly called Galileo, was born at Pisa on the 14th day of February, 1564. He was the man who discovered some of the fundamental principles governing the movements, habits, and personal peculiarities of the earth. He discovered things with marvelous fluency. Born as he was, at a time when the rotary motion of the […]

I have just received the following letter, which I take the liberty of publishing, in order that good may come out of it, and that the public generally may be on the watch: William Nye, Esq.– Dear Sir: There has been a great religious upheaval here, and great anxiety on the part of our entire […]

Every American youth has been told repeatedly by his parents and his teachers that he must be a good boy and an exemplary young man in order to become the president of the United States. There is nothing new in this statement, and I do not print it because I regard it in the light […]

I have not written much for publication lately, because I did not feel well, I was fatigued. I took a ride on the cars last week and it shook me up a good deal. The train was crowded somewhat, and so I sat in a seat with a woman who got aboard at Minkin’s Siding. […]

On Cyclones

Story type: Essay

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I desire to state that my position as United States Cyclonist for this Judicial District is now vacant. I resigned on the 9th day of September, A.D. 1884. I have not the necessary personal magnetism to look a cyclone in the eye and make it quail. I am stern and even haughty in my intercourse […]

Grains Of Truth

Story type: Literature

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A young friend has written to me as follows: “Could you tell me something of the location of the porcelain works in Sevres, France, and what the process is of making those beautiful things which come from there? How is the name of the town pronounced? Can you tell me anything of the history of […]

The Arabian language belongs to what is called the Semitic or Shemitic family of languages, and, when written, presents the appearance of a general riot among the tadpoles and wrigglers of the United States. The Arabian letter “jeem” or “jim,” which corresponds with our J, resembles some of the spectacular wonders seen by the delirium […]

Last week Colonel Bill Root, formerly Duke of Council Bluffs, paid me a visit, and as I desired to show him Central Park, I took him to Fifty-Eighth street and hired a carriage, my own team being at my country place. I also engaged the services of a dark-eyed historical student, who is said to […]

Hints To The Traveler

Story type: Literature

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Every thinkful student has doubtless noticed that when he enters the office, or autograph department, of an American inn, a lithe and alert male person seizes his valise or traveling-bag with much earnestness. He then conveys it to some sequestered spot and does not again return. He is the porter of the hotel or inn. […]

Verona

Story type: Essay

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We arrived in Verona day before yesterday. Most every one has heard of the Two Gentlemen of Verona. This is the place they came from. They have never returned. Verona is not noted for its gentlemen now. Perhaps that is the reason I was regarded as such a curiosity when I came here. Verona is […]

The Dubious Future

Story type: Literature

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Without wishing to alarm the American people, or create a panic, I desire briefly and seriously to discuss the great question, “Whither are we drifting, and what is to be the condition of the coming man?” We can not shut our eyes to the fact that mankind is passing through a great era of change; […]

My dear son.–I tried to write to you last week, but didn’t get around to it, owing to circumstances. I went away on a little business tower for a few days on the cars, and then when I got home the sociable broke loose in our once happy home. While on my commercial tower down […]

Earning A Reward

Story type: Literature

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Those were troublous times indeed. All-wool justice in the courts was impossible. The vigilance committee, or Salvation army, as it called itself, didn’t make much fuss about its work, but we all knew that the best citizens belonged to it, and were in good standing. It was in those days that young Stewart was short-handed […]

My name is Twombley, G.O.P. Twombley is my full name and I have had a checkered career. I thought it would be best to have my career checked right through, so I did so. My home is in the Wasatch Mountains. Far up, where I can see the long, green, winding valley of the Jordan, […]

A Plea For Justice

Story type: Literature

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To the Honorable Mayor of New York: SIR–I suppose you are mayor of this whole town, and if so you are the mayor of the hosspitals as well as of the municipality of New York. I am a citizen of this place that has always been square towards every man and paid my bills as […]

Many people have traveled all their lives and yet do not know how to behave themselves when on the road. For the benefit and guidance of such, these few crisp, plain, horse-sense rules of etiquette have been framed. In traveling by rail on foot, turn to the right on discovering an approaching train. If you […]

“We kep’ summer boarders the past season,” said Orlando McCusick, of East Kortright, to me as we sat in the springhouse and drank cold milk from a large yellow bowl with white stripes around it; “we kep’ boarders from town all summer in the Catskills, and that is why I don’t figger on doing of […]

Benjamin Franklin, formerly of Boston, came very near being an only child. If seventeen children had not come to bless the home of Benjamin’s parents, they would have been childless. Think of getting up in the morning and picking out your shoes and stockings from among seventeen pairs of them. Imagine yourself a child, gentle […]

Life insurance is a great thing. I would not be without it. My health is greatly improved since I got my new policy. Formerly I used to have a seal-brown taste in my mouth when I arose in the morning, but that has entirely disappeared. I am more hopeful and happy, and my hair is […]

Three Open Letters

Story type: Literature

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Colonel John L. Sullivan, at large: DEAR SIR–Will you permit me, without wishing to give you the slightest offense, to challenge you to fight in France with bare knuckles and police interference, between this and the close of navigation? I have had no real good fight with anybody for some time, and should be glad […]

The Opium Habit

Story type: Essay

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I have always had a horror of opiates of all kinds. They are so seductive and so still in their operations. They steal through the blood like a wolf on the trail, and they seize upon the heart at last with their white fangs till it is still forever. Up the Laramie there is a […]

The Hateful Hen

Story type: Literature

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The following inquiries and replies have been awaiting publication and I shall print them here if the reader has no objections. I do not care to keep correspondents waiting too long for fear they will get tired and fail to write me in the future when they want to know anything. Mr. Earnest Pendergast writes […]

I am glad to notice that in the East there is a growing disfavor in the public mind for selecting a practicing physician for the office of coroner. This matter should have attracted attention years ago. Now it gratifies me to notice a finer feeling on the part of the people, and an awakening of […]

As A Candidate

Story type: Literature

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The heat and venom of each political campaign bring back to my mind with wonderful clearness the bitter and acrimonious war, and the savage factional fight, which characterized my own legislative candidacy in what was called the Prairie Dog District of Wyoming, about ten years ago. This district was known far and wide as the […]

Down East Rum

Story type: Essay

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Rum has always been a curse to the State of Maine. The steady fight that Maine has made, for a century past, against decent rum, has been worthy of a better cause. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow and some more things of that kind? He that monkeyeth with Maine rum; he that goeth to […]

A Flyer In Dirt

Story type: Literature

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I have just returned from a visit to my property at Minneapolis, and can not refrain from referring to its marvelous growth. The distance between it and the business center of the city has also grown a good deal since I last saw it. This is the property which I purchased some three years ago […]

A Singular "hamlet"

Story type: Literature

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The closing debut of that great Shakespearian humorist and emotional ass, Mr. James Owen O’Connor, at the Star Theater, will never be forgotten. During his extraordinary histrionic career he gave his individual and amazing renditions of Hamlet, Phidias, Shylock, Othello, and Richelieu. I think I liked his Hamlet best, and yet it was a pleasure […]

The following paper was read by me in a clear, resonant tone of voice, before the Academy of Science and Pugilism at Erin Prairie, last month, and as I have been so continually and so earnestly importuned to print it that life was no longer desirable, I submit it to you for that purpose, hoping […]

I presume that I could write an entire library of personal reminiscences relative to the eminent people with whom I have been thrown during a busy life, but I hate to do it, because I always regarded such things as sacred from the vulgar eye, and I felt bound to respect the confidence of a […]

My Matrimonial Bureau

Story type: Literature

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The following matrimonial inquiries are now in my hands awaiting replies, and I take this method of giving them more air. A few months ago I injudiciously stated that I should take great pleasure in booming, or otherwise whooping up, everything in the matrimonial line, if those who needed aid would send me twenty-five cents, […]

To the President.–I write this letter not on my own account, but on behalf of a personal friend of mine who is known as a mugwump. He is a great worker for political reform, but he cannot spell very well, so he has asked me to write this letter. He knew that I had been […]

A Prophet And A Piute

Story type: Literature

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I have bought some more real estate. It occurred in Oakland, California. In making the purchase I had the assistance of a prophet, and I hope the prophet will not be overbalanced by the loss. It came about in this way: A prophet on a bicycle came to Oakland suddenly very hard up a few […]

I awake at an unearthly hour on Sunday morning, after which I turn over and go to sleep again. This second, or beauty sleep, I find to be almost invaluable. I do it also with much more earnestness and expression than that in the earlier part of the night. All the other people in the […]

While visiting Naples, last fall, I took a great interest in the wonderful museum there, of objects that have been exhumed from the ruins of Pompeii. It is a remarkable collection, including, among other things, the cumbersome machinery of a large woolen factory, the receipts, contracts, statements of sales, etc., etc., of bankers, brokers, and […]

Broncho Sam

Story type: Essay

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Speaking about cowboys, Sam Stewart, known from Montana to Old Mexico as Broncho Sam, was the chief. He was not a white man, an Indian, a greaser or a negro, but he had the nose of an Indian warrior, the curly hair of an African, and the courtesy and equestrian grace of a Spaniard. A […]

I once decided to visit an acquaintance who had named his country place “The Elms.” I went partly to punish him because his invitation was so evidently hollow and insincere. He had “The Elms” worked on his clothes, and embossed on his stationery and blown in his glass, and it pained him to eat his […]

Anatomy

Story type: Essay

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The word anatomy is derived from two Greek spatters and three polywogs, which, when translated, signify “up through” and “to cut,” so that anatomy actually, when translated from the original wappy-jawed Greek, means to cut up through. That is no doubt the reason why the medical student proceeds to cut up through the entire course. […]

Robert Ormsby Sweeney is a druggist of St. Paul, and though a recent chronological record reveals the fact that he is a direct descendant of a sure-enough king, and though there is mighty good purple, royal blood in his veins that dates back where kings used to have something to do to earn their salary, […]

A Great Cerebrator

Story type: Literature

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Being at large in Virginia, along in the latter part of last season, I visited Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, also his grave. Monticello is about an hour’s ride from Charlottesville, by diligence. One rides over a road constructed of rip-raps and broken stone. It is called a macadamized road, and twenty miles […]

There will always be a slight difference in the opinions of the young and the mature, relative to the general plan on which the solar system should be operated, no doubt. There are also points of disagreement in other matters, and it looks as though there always would be. To the young the future has […]

They Fell

Story type: Essay

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Two delegates to the General Convocation of the Sons of Ice Water were sitting in the lobby of the Windsor, in the city of Denver, not long ago, strangers to each other and to everybody else. One came from Huerferno county, and the other was a delegate from the Ice Water Encampment of Correjos county. […]

A Journey Westward

Story type: Literature

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I once visited my old haunts in Colorado and Wyoming after about seven years of absence. I also went to Utah, where spring had come in the rich valley of the Jordan and the glossy blackbird, with wing of flame, scooted gaily from bough to bough, deftly declaring his affections right and left, and acquiring […]

My dear son.–Your letter of last week reached us yesterday, and I enclose $13, which is all I have by me at the present time. I may sell the other shote next week and make up the balance of what you wanted. I will probably have to wear the old buffalo overcoat to meetings again […]

Dear Sir.–The painful duty of turning over to you the administration of these United States and the key to the front door of the White House has been assigned to me. You will find the key hanging inside the storm-door, and the cistern-pole up stairs in the haymow of the barn. I have made a […]

A Guest At The Ludlow

Story type: Literature

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We are stopping quietly here, taking our meals in our rooms mostly, and going out very little indeed. When I say we, I use the term editorially. We notice first of all the great contrast between this and other hotels, and in several instances this one is superior. In the first place, there is a […]

To Her Majesty

Story type: Essay

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To Queen Victoria, Regina Dei Gracia and acting mother-in-law on the side: Dear Madame.–Your most gracious majesty will no doubt be surprised to hear from me after my long silence. One reason that I have not written for some time is that I had hoped to see you ere this, and not because I had […]

The editor of an Eastern health magazine, having asked for information relative to the habits, hours of work, and style and frequency of feed adopted by literary men, and several parties having responded who were no more essentially saturated with literature than I am, I now take my pen in hand to reveal the true […]

My School Days

Story type: Essay

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Looking over my own school days, there are so many things that I would rather not tell, that it will take very little time and space for me to use in telling what I am willing that the carping public should know about my early history. I began my educational career in a log school […]

Mr. Webster, no doubt, had the best command of language of any American author prior to our day. Those who have read his ponderous but rather disconnected romance known as “Websters Unabridged Dictionary, or How One Word Led on to Another.” will agree with me that he was smart. Noah never lacked for a word […]