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A Great Cerebrator
by [?]

“He is full of stories and witticisms, and explains the plays to theater parties. He has seen a great deal of life and is a keen critic. He would have enjoyed criticising the Apostle Paul and his elocutionary style if he had been one of the Ephesians. He would have criticised Paul’s gestures, and said, ‘Paul, I like your Epistles a heap better than I do your appearance on the platform. You express yourself well enough with your pen, but when you spoke for the Ephesian Y. M. C. A., we were disappointed in you and we lost money on you.’

“Well, he joined me, and finding out where I was going, he decided to go also. He went along to explain things to me, and talk to me when I wanted to sleep or read the newspaper. He introduced me to large numbers of people whom I did not want to meet, took me to see things I didn’t want to see, read things to me that I didn’t want to hear, and introduced to me people who didn’t want to meet me. He multiplied misery by throwing uncongenial people together and then said: ‘Wasn’t it lucky that I could go along with you and make it pleasant for you?’

“Everywhere he met more new people with whom he had an acquaintance. He shook hands with them, and called them by their first names, and felt in their pockets for cigars. He was just bubbling over with mirth, and laughed all the time, being so offensively joyous, in fact, that when he went into a car, he attracted general attention, which suited him first-rate. He regarded himself as a universal favorite and all-round sunbeam.

“When we got to Washington, he took me up to see the President. He knew the President well–claimed to know lots of things about the President that made him more or less feared by the administration. He was acquainted with a thousand little vices of all our public men, which virtually placed them in his power. He knew how the President conducted himself at home, and was ‘on to everything’ in public life.

“Well, he shook hands with the President, and introduced me. I could see that the President was thinking about something else, though, and so I came away without really feeling that I knew him very well.

“Then we visited the departments, and I can see now that I hurt myself by being towed around by this man. He was so free, and so joyous, and so bubbling, that wherever we went I could hear the key grate in the lock after we passed out of the door.

“He started south with me. He was going to show me all the battle-fields, and introduce me into society. I bought some strychnine in Washington, and put it in his buckwheat cakes; but they got cold, and he sent them back. I did not know what to do, and was almost wild, for I was traveling entirely for pleasure, and not especially for his pleasure either.

“At Petersburg I was told that the train going the other way would meet us. As we started out, I dropped my hat from the window while looking at something. It was a desperate move, but I did it. Then I jumped off the train, and went back after it. As soon as I got around the curve I ran for Petersburg, where I took the other train. I presume you all felt sorry for me, but if you’d seen me fold myself in a long, passionate embrace after I had climbed on the other train, you would have changed your minds.”

He then passed gently from my sight.