Artemus Ward 19th Century Comedian
“The Shakers is the strangest religious sex I ever met. I’d hearn tell of ’em and I’d seen ’em, with their broad brim’d hats and long wastid coats; but I’d never cum into immejit contack with ’em, and I’d sot ’em down as lackin intelleck, as I’d never seen ’em to my Show—leastways, if they cum they was disgised in white peple’s close, so I didn’t know ’em.“ from THE SHAKERS
INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT LINCOLN:
“Mr. Linkin, who do you spect I air?” sed I.
“A orfice-seeker, to be sure,” sed he.
“Wall, sir,” sed I, “you’s never more mistaken in your life. You hain’t gut a orfiss I’d take under no circumstances. I’m A. Ward. Wax figgers is my perfeshun. I’m the father of Twins, and they look like me—BOTH OF THEM. I cum to pay a friendly visit to the President eleck of the United States. If so be you wants to see me, say so,—if not, say so & I’m orf like a jug handle.”
“Mr. Ward, sit down. I am glad to see you, Sir.”
“Repose in Abraham’s Buzzum!” sed one of the orfice seekers, his idee bein to git orf a goak at my expense.
“Wall,” sez I, “ef all you fellers repose in that there Buzzum thar’ll be mity poor nussin for sum of you!” whereupon Old Abe buttoned his weskit clear up and blusht like a maidin of sweet 16. Jest at this pint of the conversation another swarm of orfice-seekers arrove & cum pilin into the parler. Sum wanted post orfices, sum wanted collectorships, sum wantid furrin missions, and all wanted sumthin. I thought Old Abe would go crazy. He hadn’t more than had time to shake hands with ’em, before another tremenjis crowd cum porein onto his premises. His house and dooryard was now perfeckly overflowed with orfice seekers, all clameruss for a immejit interview with with Old Abe. One man from Ohio, who had about seven inches of corn whisky into him, mistook me for Old Abe and addrest me as “The Pra-hayrie Flower of the West!” Thinks I YOU want a offiss putty bad. Another man with a gold-heded cane and a red nose told Old Abe he was “a seckind Washington & the Pride of the Boundliss West.”
Sez I, “Square, you wouldn’t take a small post-offiss if you could git it, would you?”
Sez he, “A patrit is abuv them things, sir!”
AND A FINAL BIT OF HUMOR:
“One of the principal features of my Entertainment is that it contains so many things that don’t have anything to do with it.”