The Complete Works of Artemus Ward

The Complete Works of Artemus Ward


Suddinly they kommensed fur to larf and holler in a boysterious stile.Sez I good peple what's up? Sez thay them's grate wax wurks, isn't they, old man.I immejitly looked up ter whare the wax works was, and my blud biles as I think of the site which then met my Gase.I hope two be dodrabbertid (Dod-rabit is an American euphemism for a profane expression which is quite as common in this country as on the other side of the Atlantic.) if them afoursed raskals hadent gone and put a old kaved in hat onter George Washington's hed and shuved a short black klay pipe inter his mouth.His noze thay had painted red and his trowsis legs thay had shuved inside his butes.My wax figger of Napoleon Boneypart was likewise mawltreatid.His sword wus danglin tween his legs, and his cockd hat was drawn klean down over his ize, and he was plased in a stoopin posishun lookin zactly as tho he was as drunk as a biled owl.

Ginral Taylor was a standin on his hed and Wingfield Skott's koat tales ware pind over his hed and his trowsis ware kompleetly torn orf frum hisself.My wax works representin the Lord's Last Supper was likewise aboozed.Three of the Postles ware under the table and two of um had on old tarpawlin hats and raggid pee jackits and ware smokin pipes.Judus Iskarriot had on a cocked hat and was appeerently drinkin, as a Bottle of whisky sot befour him.This ere specktercal was too much fur me.I klosed the show and then drowndid my sorrers in the flowin Bole.


The Sences taker in our town bein taken sick, he deppertised me to go out for him one day, and as he was too ill to giv me informashun how to perceed, I was consekently compelled to go it blind.Sittin down by the road side, I drawd up the follerin list of questions, which I proposed to ax the peple Ivisited:

Wat's your age?

Whar was you born?

Air you marrid, and if so how do you like it?

How many children hav you, and do they resemble you or your naber?

Did you ever hav the measels, and if so how many?

Hav you a twin brother several years older than yourself?

How many parents hav you?

Do you read Watt's Hims regler?

Do you use boughten tobacker?

(I.e., that which has been bought.A very common word in the interior of New England and New York.It is applied to articles purchased from the shops, to distinguish them from articles of home manufacture.Many farmers make their own sugar from the maple-tree, and their coffee from barley or rye.

West India sugar or coffee is then called "boughten sugar," &c.

"This is a home-made carpet; that a 'boughten' one," i.e., one bought at a shop.In the North of England, baker's bread is called "bought bread."Wat's your fitin wate?

Air you trubeld with biles?

How does your meresham culler?

State whether you air blind, deaf, idiotic, or got the heaves?

Do you know any Opry singers, and if so how much do they owe you?

What's the average of virtoo on the Ery Canawl?

If 4 barrils of Emptins pored onto a barn floor will kiver it, how many plase can Dion Bourcicault write in a year?

[Emptyings, pronounced "emptins," the lees of beer, cider, &c.;yeast or anything by which bread is leavened:-"'Twill take more emptins, by a long chalk, than this new party's got, To give such heavy cakes as these a start, I tell ye what.""The Biglow Papers."]

Is Beans a regler article of diet in your family?

How many chickins hav you, on foot and in the shell?

Air you aware that Injianny whisky is used in New York shootin galrys instid of pistols, and that it shoots furthest?

Was you ever at Niagry Falls?

Was you ever in the Penitentiary?

State how much pork, impendin crysis, Dutch cheeze, popler suvrinty, standard poetry, children's strainers, slave code, catnip, red flannel, ancient history, pickled tomaters, old junk, perfoomery, coal ile, liberty, hoop skirt, &c., you hav on hand?

But it didn't work.I got into a row at the fust house I stopt to, with some old maids.Disbelieven the ansers they giv in regard to their ages, I endevered to open their mouths and look at their teeth, same as they do with hosses, but they floo into a vilent rage and tackled me with brooms and sich.Takin the sences requires experiunse, like any other bizniss.


I was on my way from the mines to San Francisco, with a light puss and a hevy hart.You'd scacely hav recognized my fair form, so kiverd was I with dust.Bimeby I met Old Poodles, the all-firdist gambler in the country.He was afoot and in his shirt-sleeves, and was in a wuss larther nor any race hoss Iever saw.("All-fired," enormous, excessive, a low Americanism, not improbably a puritanical corruption of "hell-fired,"designed to have the virtue of an oath without offending polite ears.)"Whither goist thow, sweet nimp?" sez I, in a play-actin tone.

"To the mines, Sir," he unto me did say, "to the mines, TO EARNAN HONEST LIVIN."

Thinks I that air aint very cool, I guess, and druv on.


I want the editers to cum to my Show free as the flours of May, but I don't want um to ride a free hoss to deth.Thare is times when Patience seizes to be virtoous.I had "in my mind's eye, Hurrashio" (cotashun from Hamlick) sum editers in a sertin town which shall be nameless, who air Both sneakin and ornery.

They cum in krowds to my Show and then axt me ten sents a line for Puffs.I objectid to payin, but they sed ef I didn't down with the dust thay'd wipe my Show from the face of the earth!

Thay sed the Press was the Arkymedian Leaver which moved the wurld.I put up to their extorshuns until thay'd bled me so Iwas a meer shadder, and left in disgust.

Artemus Ward