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CHAPTER I Once upon a time, more years ago than anybody can remember, before the first hotel had been built or the first Englishman had taken a photograph of Mont Blanc and brought it home to be pasted in an album and shown after tea to his envious friends, Switzerland belonged to the Emperor of Austria, to do what he liked with. One of the first things the Emperor did was to send his friend Hermann Gessler to govern the country. Gessler was... more...

Don’t be ashamed to let us knowWhy you tried matrimony,For others brave the under-towFor reasons quite as funny;We give these little facts away,Perhaps it is a treason,Don’t marry in an off-hand way,Be sure “there’s a reason!” THE AUTHOR     STUNG! He was a gentle and sensitive chap,He married the forceful Miss Howe,He wanted her sympathy, did the poor yap—He has everyone’s sympathy... more...

Trust no prayer or promise,Words are grains of sand;To keep your heart unbrokenHold your child in hand. "Al-f-u-r-d!" "Al-f-u-r-d!!" "Al-f-u-r-d!!!" The last syllable, drawn out the length of an expiring breath, was the first sound recorded on the memory of the First Born. Indeed, constant repetition of the word, day to day, so filled his brain cells with "Al-f-u-r-d" that it was years after he realized his given patronymic was Alfred.... more...

My Old Yaller Almanac Hangin' on theKitchen WallI'M sort of fond of readin' onething and another,So I've read promiscus likewhatever cum my way,And many a friendly argument's cum up 'tweenme and mother,'Bout things that I'd be readin' settin' rounda rainy day.Sometimes it jist seemed to me thar wa'ntno end of books,Some made fer useful readin' and some jistmade fer looks;But of all the different books I've read,thar's none comes up at allTo My... more...

VOLUME 1GROTESQUE SKETCHES       VOLUME 1GROTESQUE SKETCHES   INDEX TO ALL 16 VOLUMES            


JACK THE KAISER KILLER Camp Grant, Sept. 23. FRIEND AL: Well Al I am writeing this in the recreation room at our barracks and they's about 20 other of the boys writeing letters and I will bet some of the letters is rich because half of the boys can't talk english to say nothing about writeing letters and etc. We got a fine bunch in my Co. Al and its a cinch I won't never die in the trenchs because I will be murdered in my bed before we ever... more...

ON THE POSSESSION OF A SENSE OF HUMOR "Man," says Hazlitt, "is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be." The sources, then, of laughter and tears come very close together. At the difference between things as they are and as they ought to be we laugh, or we weep; it would depend, it seems, on the point of view, or the temperament. And if,... more...

THIS SIMIAN WORLD   ONE Last Sunday, Potter took me out driving along upper Broadway, where those long rows of tall new apartment houses were built a few years ago. It was a mild afternoon and great crowds of people were out. Sunday afternoon crowds. They were not going anywhere,--they were just strolling up and down, staring at each other, and talking. There were thousands and thousands of them. "Awful, aren't they!" said Potter. I... more...

PROEM. We are coming to the rescue,Just a hundred strong;With fun and pun and epigram,And laughter, wit, and song; With badinage and repartee,And humor quaint or bold,And stories that are stories,Not several æons old; With parody and nondescript,Burlesque and satire keen,And irony and playful jest,So that it may be seen That women are not quite so dull:We come—a merry throng;Yes, we're coming to the rescue,And just a hundred... more...

by Various
Never rains where Jim is—People kickin', whinin';He goes round insistin',—"Sun is almost shinin'!"Never's hot where Jim is—When the town is sweatin';He jes' sets and answers,—"Well, I ain't a-frettin'!"Never's cold where Jim is—None of us misdoubt it,Seein' we're nigh frozen!He "ain't thought about it"!Things that rile up othersNever seem to strike him!"Trouble-proof," I call it,—Wisht that I was like him!... more...