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'em. But I never could git no good out of Bosaw, with his whisky and meanness. And I went to the Mount Tabor church oncet. I heard a man discussin' baptism and regeneration, and so on. That didn't seem no cure for me. I went to a revival over at Clifty. Well, twarn't no use. First night they was a man that spoke about Jesus Christ in such a way that I wanted to foller him everywhere. But I didn't feel fit. Next night I come back with my mind made up that I'd try Jesus Christ, and see ef he'd have me. But laws! they was a big man that night that preached hell. Not that I don't believe they's a hell. They's plenty not a thousand miles away a deserves it; and I don't know as I'm too good for it myself. But he pitched it at us, and stuck it in our faces in such a way that I got mad. And I says, 'Well, ef God sends me to hell, he can't make me holler 'nough, nohow.' You see, my dander was up. And, when my dander's up, I wouldn't gin up fer the devil hisself. The preacher was so insultin' with his

way of doin' it! He seemed to be kind of glad that we was to be damned; and he preached somethin' like some folks swears. It didn't sound a bit like the Christ the little man preached about the night afore. So what does me and a lot of other fellers do but slip out and cut off the big preacher's stirrups and hang them onto the rider of the fence, and then let his hoss loose! And from that day, sometimes I did, and sometimes I didn't, want to be better. And to-day it seemed to me that you must know somethin' as would help



Nothing is worse than a religious experience kept ready to be exposed to the gaze of everybody, whether the time is appropriate or not. But never was a religious experience more appropriate than the account which Ralph gave to Bud of his “Struggle in the Dark.” The confession of his weakness and wicked selfishness was a great comfort to Bud.

“Do you think that Jesus Christ would-would-well, do

you think he'd help a poor, unlarnt Flat-Cricker like me?"

“I think he was a sort of a Flat-Cricker himself,'' said Ralph, slowly and very earnestly.

* You don't say?'” said Bud, almost getting off his seat.

Why, you see the town he lived in was a rough place. It was called “Nazareth,' which meant ‘Bushtown.'

" You don't say ? '

“And he was called 'a Nazarene,' which was about the same as · backwoodsman.'

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And Ralph read the different passages which he had studied at Sunday-school, illustrating the condescension of Jesus, the stories of the publicans, the harlots, the poor who came to him. And he read about Nathanael, who lived only six miles away, saying, “ Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?”

“Just what Clifty folks say about Flat-Crick!” broke in Bud.

“Do you think I could begin without being baptized ?" he added presently.

Why not? Let's begin now to do the best we can, by

his help.

“ You mean, then, that I'm to begin now to put in my best licks for Jesus Christ, and that he'll help me?"

This shocked Ralph's veneration a little. But it was the sincere utterance of an earnest soul. It may not have been an orthodox start; but it was the one start for Bud. And there be those who have repeated with the finest æsthetic appreciation the old English liturgies, who have never known religious aspirations so sincere as that of this ignorant young Hercules, whose best confession was that he meant hereafter “to put in his best licks for Jesus Christ.” And there be those who can define repentance and faith to the turning of a hair, who never made so genuine a start for the kingdom of heaven as Bud Means did.

Ralph said yes, that he thought that was just it. At least, he guessed, if there was something more, the man that was putting in his best licks would be sure to find it out.

think he'd help a feller ? Seems to me it would be number one to have God help you — not to help you fight other folks, but to help you when it come to fighting the devil inside. But you see I don't belong to no church.”

“Well, let's you and me have one right off. Two people that help one another to serve God make a church."

I am afraid this ecclesiastical theory will not be considered orthodox. It was Ralph's; and I write it down at the risk of bringing him into condemnation.


" Do you


The king was sick. His cheek was red,

And his eye was clear and bright; He ate and drank with a kingly zest,

And peacefully snored at night.

But he said he was sick—and a king should know;

And doctors came by the scoreThey did not cure him. He cut off their heads,

And sent to the schools for more.

At last two famous doctors came,

And one was poor as a rat;
He had passed his life in studious toils

And never found time to grow fat.


The other had never looked into a book;

His patients gave him no trouble; If they recovered, they paid him well,

If they died, their heirs paid double.

Together they looked at the royal tongue,

As the king on his couch reclined ;
In succession they thumped his august chest,

But no trace of disease could find

The old sage said, “You're as sound as a nut.'

· Hang him up!” roared the king, in a gale In a ten-knot gale of royal rage ;

The other leech grew a shadow pale ;

But he pensively rubbed his sagacious nose,

And thus his prescription ran : “ The king will be well if he sleeps one night

In the shirt of a Happy Man.”

Wide o'er the realm the couriers rode,

And fast their horses ran :
And many they saw, and to many they spake,

But they found no Happy Man.

They found poor men who would fain be rich,

And rich who thought they were poor ; And men who twisted their waists in stays, men's clothes

And women that short hose wore.

They saw two men by the roadside sit,

And both bemoaned their lot ; For one had buried his wife, he said,

And the other one had not.

At last they came to a village gate;

A beggar lay whistling there;
He whistled and sang and laughed, and rolled

On the grass in the soft June air.
The weary couriers paused and looked

At the scamp so blithe and gay,
And one of them said, “ Heaven save you, friend

You seem to be happy to-day.”
O yes, fair sirs,” the rascal laughed,

And his voice rang free and glad ; “An idle man has so much to do

That he never has time to be sad.”

“ This is our man,” the courier said,

“Our luck has led us aright.
I will give you a hundred ducats, friend,

For the loan of your shirt to-night.”
The merry blackguard lay back on the grass

And laughed till his face was black;
I would do it, God wot,” and he roared with fun,

“ But I haven't a shirt to my back.”


Each day to the king the reports came in

Of his unsuccessful spies,
And the sad panorama of human woes

Passed daily under his eyes.
And he grew ashamed of his useless life,

And his maladies hatched in gloom ;
He opened the windows, and let in the air

Of the free heaven into his room

And out he went in the world, and toiled

In his own appointed way,
And the people blessed him, the land was glad,
And the king was well and gay.



O SEXTANT of the meetin house, wich sweeps
And dusts, or is supposed to ! and makes fires,
And lites the gass, and sumtimes leaves a screw loose
in wich case it smells orful, worse than lamp ile;
And wrings the Bel and toles it when men dies,
to the grief of survivin pardners, and sweeps paths;
And for the survusses gets $100 per annum,
Wich them that thinks deer, let 'em try it;
Gettin up before starlite in all wethers and
Kindlin fires when the wether is as cold
As zero, and like as not green wood for kindlin;
i wouldn't be hired to do it for no sum,-
But O Sextant! there are 1 kermoddity
Wich's more than gold, wich doant cost nothin
Worth more than anything except the sole of man !
i mean pewer Are, Sextant, i mean pewer are !
O it is plenty out of doors, so plenty it doant no
What on airth to dew with itself, but flys about
Scatterin leaves and bloin off men's hatts !
in short, its jest's as “ free as are” out dores,
But O Sextant, in our church, its scarce as buty,
Scarce as bank bills, when agints beg for mischuns,
Wich some say is purty offten (taint nothin to me, wat I give

aint nothin to nobody) but, O Sextant,
U shet 500 men, wimmin and children,
Speshally the latter, up in a tite place,
Some has bad breths, none aint 2 sweet,
Some is fevery, some is scrofilous, some has bad teeth
And some haint none, and some aint over clean;
But every i on 'em breethes in and out, and out and in,
Say 50 times a minnit, or i million and a half breths an our.
Now how long will a church ful of are last at that rate,


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