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And when I went in the house the table was set for me-
As good a supper's I ever saw, or ever want to see;
And I crammed the agreement down my pocket as well as I could,
And fell to eatin' my victuals, which somehow didn't taste good.

And Betsey, she pretended to look about the house,

But she watched my side coat pocket like a cat would watch a mouse;

And then she went to foolin' a little with her cup,

And intently readin' a newspaper, a-holdin' it wrong side up.

And when I'd done my supper I drawed the agreement out,
And give it to her without a word, for she knowed what 'twas


And then I hummed a little tune, but now and then a note
Was bu'sted by some animal that hopped up in my throat.

Then Betsey she got her specs from off the mantel-shelf,
And read the article over quite softly to herself;
Read it by little and little, for her eyes is gettin' old,
And lawyers' writing ain't no print, especially when it's cold.

And after she'd read a little she give my arm a touch,

And kindly said she was afraid I was 'lowin' her too much;

But when she was through she went for me, her face a-streamin'

with tears,

And kissed me for the first time in over twenty years!

I don't know what you'll think, Sir-I didn't come to inquire-
But I picked up that agreement and stuffed it in the fire;
And I told her we'd bury the hatchet alongside of the cow;
And we struck an agreement never to have another row.

And I told her in the future I wouldn't speak cross or rash
If half the crockery in the house was broken all to smash;
And she said, in regards to heaven, we'd try and learn its worth
By startin' a branch establishment and runnin' it here on earth.

And so we sat a-talkin' three-quarters of the night,

And opened our hearts to each other until they both grew light;

And the days when I was winnin' her away from so many men
Was nothin' to that evenin' I courted her over again.

Next mornin' an ancient virgin took pains to call on us,
Her lamp all trimmed and a-burnin' to kindle another fuss ;
But when she went to pryin' and openin' of old sores,
My Betsey rose politely, and showed her out-of-doors.

Since then I don't deny but there's been a word or two;
But we've got our eyes wide open, and know just what to do:
When one speaks cross the other just meets it with a laugh,
And the first one's ready to give up considerable more than half.

Maybe you'll think me soft, Sir, a-talkin' in this style,

But somehow it does me lots of good to tell it once in a while;
And I do it for a compliment-'tis so that you can see
That that there written agreement of yours was the makin' of me.

So make out your bill, Mr. Lawyer: don't stop short of an X;
Make it more if you want to, for I have got the cheques.
I'm richer than a National Bank, with all its treasures told,
For I've got a wife at home now that's worth her weight in gold.


SOME men were born for great things,

Some were born for small;

Some-it is not recorded

Why they were born at all;

But Uncle Sammy was certain he had a legitimate call.

Some were born with a talent,

Some with scrip and land;
Some with a spoon of silver,

And some with a different brand;

But Uncle Sammy came holding an argument in each hand.

Arguments sprouted within him,
And twinkled in his little eye;

He lay and calmly debated

When average babies cry,

And seemed to be pondering gravely whether to live or to die.

But prejudiced on that question

He grew from day to day,

And finally he concluded

'Twas better for him to stay;

And so into life's discussion he reasoned and reasoned his way.

Through childhood, through youth into manhood

Argued and argued he;

And he married a simple maiden,

Though scarcely in love was she;

But he reasoned the matter so clearly she hardly could help but


And though at first she was blooming,
And the new firm started strong,

And though Uncle Sammy loved her,

And tried to help her along,

She faded away in silence, and 'twas evident something was wrong.

Now Uncle Sammy was faithful,

And various remedies tried ;

He gave her the doctor's prescriptions,

And plenty of logic beside;

But logic and medicine failed him, and so one day she died.

He laid her away in the church-yard,

So haggard and crushed and wan;
And reared her a costly tombstone

With all of her virtues on;

And ought to have added, “A victim to arguments pro and con."

For many a year Uncle Sammy

Fired away at his logical forte :
Discussion was his occupation,

And altercation his sport;

He argued himself out of churches, he argued himself into court.

But alas for his peace and quiet,

One day, when he went it blind,
And followed his singular fancy,

And slighted his logical mind,

And married a ponderous widow that wasn't of the arguing kind!

Her sentiments all were settled,

Her habits were planted and grown,

Her heart was a starved little creature
That followed a will of her own;

And she raised a high hand with Sammy, and proceeded to play it alone.

Then Sammy he charged down upon her

With all of his strength and his wit,

And many a dextrous encounter,

And many a fair shoulder-hit;

But vain were his blows and his blowing: he never could budge her a bit.

He laid down his premises round her,

He scraped at her with his saws;

He rained great facts upon her,

And read her the marriage laws;

But the harder he tried to convince her, the harder and harder

she was.

She brought home all her preachers,

As many as ever she could—

With sentiments terribly settled,

And appetites horribly good—

Who sat with him long at his table, and explained to him where

he stood.

And Sammy was not long in learning
To follow the swing of her gown,
And came to be faithful in watching

The phase of her smile and her frown;

And she, with the heel of assertion, soon tramped all his arguments down.

And so, with his life-aspirations

Thus suddenly brought to a check

And so, with the foot of his victor

Unceasingly pressing his neck

He wrote on his face "I'm a victim," and drifted—a logical wreck.

And farmers, whom he had argued

To corners tight and fast,

Would wink at each other and chuckle,

And grin at him as he passed,

As to say, "My ambitious old fellow, your whiffletree's straightened at last."

Old Uncle Sammy one morning

Lay down on his comfortless bed,

And Death and he had a discussion,

And Death came out ahead;

And the fact that SHE failed to start him was only because he was dead.

The neighbors laid out their old neighbor,

With homely but tenderest art;

And some of the oldest ones faltered,

And tearfully stood apart;

For the crusty old man had often unguardedly shown them his heart.

But on his face an expression

Of quizzical study lay,

As if he were sounding the angel

Who travelled with him that day,

And laying the pipes down slily for an argument on the way.

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