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for manliness. This is equally undesirable. It will break one's constitution, and between a good constitution broken and one never strong there is but little choice. Wise care blended with hearty earnestness should rule our winter enjoyments. And a kindly consideration for less favored ones should never be neglected. Many need our help, and should have it freely while we ourselves rejoice.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
Hate, and scorn, and hunger follow
Forth into the night he hurled it,
And with bitter smile did mark How the surly tempest whirled it
Swift into the hungry dark. Foam and spray drive back to leeward,
And the gale, with dreary moan, Drifts the helpless blossom seaward,
Through the breaking, all alone.
Musing by the wave-beat strand, Half in hope, and half in sorrow
Tracing words upon the sand: "Shall I ever then behold him
Who hath been my life so long,— Ever to this Bick heart fold him,—
Be the spirit of his song?
Up the beach the ocean slideth
And the moon in silence glideth,
Through the peaceful blue of night.
Rippling o'er the poet's shoulder
Flows a maiden's golden hair, Maiden lips, with love grown bolder,
Kiss his moonlit forehead bare. "Life is joy, and love is power,
Death all fetters doth unbind, Strength and wisdom only flower
When we toil for all our kind.
Hope is truth, the future giveth
More than present takes away, And the soul forever liveth
Nearer God from day to day." Not a word the maiden muttered,
Fullest hearts are slow to speak, But a withered rose-leaf fluttered
Down upon the poet's cheek.
BUCK FANSHAW'S FUNERAL. 671
BUCK FANSHAW'S FUNERAL.
S. L. CLEMENS.
JUjHEKE was a grand time over Buck Fanshaw when he died. He S^s was a representative citizen. On the inquest it was shown that, in the delirium of a wasting typhoid fever he had taken arsenic, shot himself through the body, cut his throat, and jumped out of a + four-story window and broken his neck, and, after due deliberation, * the jury, sad and tearful, but with intelligence unblinded by its sorrow, brought in a verdict of "death by the visitation of Providence." What could the world do without juries!
Prodigious preparations were made for the funeral. All the vehicles in town were hired, all the saloons were put in mourning, all the municipal and fire-company flags were hung at half-mast and all the firemen ordered to muster in uniform, and bring their machines duly draped in black.
Regretful resolutions were passed and various committees appointed; among others, a committee of one was deputed to call on the minister—a fragile, gentle, spiritual new fledgling from an eastern theological seminary, and as yet unacquainted with the ways of the mines. The committee-man, "Scotty" Briggs, made his visit.
Being admitted to his presence, he sat down before the clergyman, placed his fire-hat on an unfinished manuscript sermon under the minister'3 nose, took from it a red silk handkerchief, wiped his brow, and heaved a sigh of dismal impressiveness, explanatory of his business. He choked and even shed tears, but with an effort he mastered his voice, and said, in-lugubrious tones:
"Are you the duck that runs the gospel-mill next door?"
"Am I the —pardon me, I believe I do not understand."
With another sigh and a half sob, Scotty rejoined:
"Why you see we are in a bit of trouble, and the boys thought maybe you'd give us a lift, if we'd tackle you, that is, if I've got the rights of it, and you're the head clerk of the doxology works next door."
"I am the shepherd in charge of the flock whose fold is next door."
"The spiritual adviser of the little company of believers whose sanctuary adjoins these premises."
Scotty scratched his head, reflected a moment, and then said:
672 BUCK FANSHAWS FUNERAL.
"You ruther hold over me, pard. I reckon I can't call that card. Ante and pass the buck."
"How? I beg your pardon. What did I understand you to say?"
"Well, you've ruther got the bulge on me. Or maybe we've both go; the bulge, somehow. You don't smoke me and I don't smoke you. You see one of the boys has passed in his checks, and we want to give him a good send off, and so the thing I'm on now is to roust out somebody to jerk a little chin-music for us, and waltz him through handsome."
"My friend, I seem to grow more and more bewildered. Your observations are wholly incomprehensible to me. Can you not simplify them some way? At first I thought perhaps I understood you, but I grope now. Would it not expedite matters if you restricted yourself to the categorical statements of fact unincumbered with obstructing accumulations of metaphor and allegory?"
Another pause and more reflection. Then Scotty said: "I'll have to pass, I judge."
"You've raised me out, pard."
"I still fail to catch your meaning."
"Why, that last lead of your'n is too many for me—that's the idea. I can't neither trump nor follow suit."
The clergyman sank back in his chair perplexed. Scotty leaned his head on his hand, and gave himself up to reflection. Presently his face came up, sorrowful, but confident.
"I've got it now, so's you can savvy," said he. "What we want is a gospel-sharp. See?"
"Oh! Why did you not say so before? I am a clergyman—a parson."
"Now you talk! You see my blind, and straddle it like a man. Put it there !"—extending a brawny paw, which closed over the minister's small hand and gave it a shake indicative of fraternal sympathy and fervent gratification.
"Take him all round, pard, there never was abullier man in the mines. No man ever know'd Buck Fanshaw to go back on a friend. But it's all up, you know; it's all up. It ain't no use. They've scooped him!"
"Yes—death has. Well, well, well, we've got to give him up. Yes, indeed. It's a kind of a hard world after all, ain't it? But, pard, he was BUCK FANSHAWS FUNERAL. 675
a rustler. You ought to seen him get started once. He was a bully boy with a glass eye! Just spit in his face, and give him room according to his strength, and it was just beautiful to see him peel and go in. He was the worst son of a thief that ever draw'd breath. Pard, he was on it. He was on it bigger than an injun!"
"On it? On what?"
"On the shoot. On the shoulder. On the fight. Understand? He didn't give a continental—for anybody. Beg your pardon, friend, for coming so near saying a cuss word—but you see I'm on an awful strain in this palaver, on account of having to cramp down and draw everything so mild. But we've got to give him up. There ain't any getting around that, I don't reckon. Now if we can get you to help plant him—"
"Preach the funeral discourse? Assist at the obsequies?"
"Obs'quies is good. Yes. That's it; that's our little game. We are going to get up the thing regardless, you know. He was always nifty himself, and so you bet you his funeral ain't going to be no slouch; solid silver door-plate on his coffin, six plumes on the hearse, and a nigger on the box, with a biled shirt and a plug hat on—how's that for high? And we'll take care of you, pard. We'll fix you all right. There will be a kerridge for you; and whatever you want you just 'scape out, and we'll tend to it. We've got a shebang fixed up for you to stand behind in No. l's house, and don't you be afraid. Just go in and toot your horn, if you don't sell a clam. Put Buck through as bully as you can, pard, for anybody that know'd him will tell you that he was one of the whitest men that was ever in the mines. You can't draw it too strong to do him justice. Here once when the Micks got to throwing stones through the Methodist Sunday-school windows, Buck Fanshaw, all of his own notion, shut up his saloon, and took a couple of six-shooters and mounted guard over the Sunday-school. Says he, 'No Irish need apply.' And they didn't. He was the bulliest man in the mountains, pard; he could run faster, jump higher, hit harder, and hold more tangle-foot whiskey without spilling it than any man in sevente'en counties. Put that in, pard; it'll please the boys more than anything you could say. And you can say, pard, that he never shook his mother."
"Never shook his mother?"
"That's it—any of the boys will tell you so."
"Well, but why should he shake her?"
"That's what I say—but some people does."
"Not people of any repute?"
"Well, some that averages pretty so-so."