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The Bandbox Movement
by [?]

“THERE! Mr. McKenzie, I declare! You are the most oncommon, oncivil man I ever sot eyes on!”

“Peace, my lady! I’ll explain.”

“Then do so.”

“You must know, then, that I have a perfect hatred of bandboxes,–so great, in fact, that if I see one on the walk, I involuntarily raise my foot and kick it.”

“So it appears,” chimed in Mrs: McKenzie, with a significant hunch of the right shoulder.


“Well, go on! what you waitin’ for?”

“Therefore, when I saw Arabella’s bandbox in the entry, as I came down, sitting, as it did, directly at the foot of the stairs, I jumped on it, thinking I would come over it that time–“

“An’ crushed a new spring bonnet, that cost-let me see!”

“No matter!” said Mr. McKenzie; “that will be in the bill.”

Mr. McKenzie, having said thus much, placed his hat on his head and rushed from the house, fearful of another onslaught of “oncommon oncivilities.”

A little shop at the North End,–seven men seated round said shop,–a small dog growling at a large cat, a large cat making a noise resembling that produced by root-beer confined in a stone bottle by a cork bound down with a piece of twine. Reader, imagine you see and hear all this!

[Enter Mr. McKenzie.] “Gentlemen, something must be done to demolish the idea held by the ‘rest of mankind’ that they, the women, cannot exist without owning as personal property an indefinite number of bandboxes. I therefore propose that we at once organize for the purpose; that a committee be appointed to draft resolutions, and report a name for the confederacy.”

Voted unanimously; whereupon, a committee being appointed, after a short session, reported the following “whereas, etc.”

“Whereas, WE, in our perambulations up and down the earth, are frequently, oftentimes, and most always, beset with annoyances of various kinds; and, as the greatest, most perplexing, most troublesome and iniquitous of these, generally assumes the shape of a bandbox, in a bag or out of one; and, whereas, our wives, our daughters, our sisters, and our female acquaintances generally and particularly, manifest a determination to put said boxes in our way, at all times, and under all circumstances, therefore

“Resolved, That-we-wont-stand-it-any-longer!!!

“Resolved, That we form ourselves into a society for the purpose of annihilating this grievous evil, and all bandboxes, of every size and nature.

“Resolved, That this society be known by the name of ‘The Bandbox Extermination Association.'”

The chairman of the committee made a few remarks, in which he stated that, in the performance of the duties which would devolve upon the members, they would, doubtless, meet with some opposition. “But, never mind,” said he; “it is a glorious cause, and if we get the tongs at one time, and the hearth-brush another time, let ’em come!” He defined the duties of members to be,–first and foremost, to pay six and a quarter cents to defray expenses; to demolish a bandbox wherever and whenever there should be one; (for instance, if a fat woman was racing for the cars, with a bandbox in her arms, that box should be forcibly taken and burned on the spot, or whittled into such minute particles that it could no more be seen; if, in an omnibus warranted to seat twelve, fifteen men are congregated, and an individual attempts to enter with a bandbox, the box shall have notice to quit.)

“The manner of demolition,” he said, further, “might be variously defined. If the owner was a nervous lady, to kick the box would wound her feelings, and it were best to apparently unintentionally seat yourself on it; then beg a thousand pardons, and, as you, in your efforts to make it better, only make it worse, give it up in despair, and console the owner by a reference to spilt milk and the uselessness of crying. As to the contents of the boxes, they must look out for themselves. If they get injured, hint that they should keep out of bad company.”

The chairman sat down, and, the question being put, it was more than unanimously voted (inasmuch as one man voted with both hands That was McKenzie. ) to adopt the resolutions, the name, and all the remarks that had been made in connection with them. Members paid their assessments, and with a hearty good will.

Thus we see how “oaks from acorns grow.” Mrs. McKenzie’s fretfulness on account of her husband’s patriotism led to the formation of a society that will make rapid strides towards the front rank of the army now at work for the amelioration of the condition of mankind.