Изображения страниц
[blocks in formation]



[Hon. S. S. Cox, of New York, was born at Zanesville, Ohio, September 30, 1824. He was for nearly thirty years a member of the House of Representatives, and was appointed by President Cleveland United States Minister to Turkey in 1885. During his Congressional career he was always prominent in the discussion of the questions which agitated the country, proving an able debater and an eloquent and humorous speaker. He has been a constant contributor to the press and periBesides a great number of odicals, and the author of several popular works. speeches which have been widely read, and as widely admired. Prominent among the latter is his humorous speech against the appropriation of funds from the United States Treasury, toward defraying expenses of United States Commissioners and others, at the "Paris Exposition," delivered in the House of Representatives, November 19, 1877. An extract from this speech is given. Its delivery produced tumultuous laughter and applause.]

It is further charged that my colleague wished to avenge himself on pauperized Europe, by introducing corn as a regular article of diet. It is also hinted that some of our distinguished statesmen will be called upon to minister to the long line of flaneurs and petit-maitres along the boulevards, while they illustrate how the smoking cob can be gnawed, and the dulcet sound of 'hot corn' lull them at night into sweet dreams of home. He then goes so far as to hint that the pop corn' fiend will be introduced upon the railways of France.

[ocr errors]

But, Mr. Chairman, have we no cherished associations with France, growing out of our Revolutionary era, which forbid us to exhibit toward that friendly nation such a spirit of revenge, and lack of comity? I have faith in the stern, repressive power of the French government, under its present military president, aided by the advice of the American Cæsar, General Grant, against such unwarrantable irruptions into Gaul. It is many years since, that an Indiana minister to Berlin labored to qualify the European stomach for this American diet. His experiment was tried upon Humboldt. It failed; failed, sir, upon griddle cakes for breakfast, as the piece de resistance. It failed, even though the Indiana matron compounded it with her own skillful hands. It failed, sir, although the sweet treacle, tinct with the maple of Vermont, with its dulcet sirup, titillated the palate, and enthused the fancy.

Why, sir, since this scheme, which contemplated both hog and hominy, both patriotism and grits, both corn-dodgers and corn-juice failed, even though an American minister, racy of the Western soil, had earnestly endeavored to accomplish it, what can be expected from a body of political Jeremy Diddlers and self-sufficient commissioners who know not a full ear from a nubbin!

The amendment under consideration only proposes to prepare and cook the maize in the presence of the assembled French. This requires an explanation. Why not show how it is grown, how the hills are planted and hoed, the shooting of the tender but not dangerous germ; then the way to protect, with ashes from the grubworm, and frighten off birds with the scarecrow, one of the most interesting images of Western production, requiring a separate exhibition with varieties all along from Virginia, round to Kansas.

If our States are required to send effigies of their great men to fill our niches in this Capitol, why should not our Paris exposition glory in distinct scarecrows from every one of our free and independ. ent States? Why not, under favoring conditions, show the silky fringes of the inchoate corn (is not France the land of silk?) and the roasting ear, ready for the youngster's larceny, and the family succotash? Why not, as an addition to the zoological exhibition, export the sly 'coon and nimble squirrel, enriching their stores like drones or lobbyists from honest toil? Why limit the exhibition to cookery, which the French so well understand?

Let there be a corn-shucking on the Trocadero, when the ear is full ripe for the harvest; then let the bursting corn arise upon the banks of the Seine, aloof from the incursive rat and the waters' flow. Then, O joy! let us show the world the old-fashioned husking, before machinery depoetized the rustic frolic. What a reformatory sight in bad, luxurious Paris! Would that it were permitted the Foreign Affairs Committee to take part in it, with its grave but festive chairman.

How happy to be surrounded by the attractive grisettes and coquettish lorettes, or mayhap by the wooden-shod peasant girls of sweet Normandy by the sea, assisted of course by my colleague as chief interpreter. I think I see these gentle nymphs of Paris, in a beautiful circle, aiding us to tear off the dry envelope from the golden ear, while the song of Lord Lovell, who went far countries for to see, - accompanied by sweet cider, passes around! My honored chairman is in their midst. Shall I omit my colleague from the charmed circle? I should love to be with them when the gentle usage begins. Delicious custom!

[ocr errors]

But never more so than when, with scream and titter, some lucky maiden cries, La rouge! la rouge! I have found the red ear!' Would my honored chairman be reluctant? Suppose a dark-eyed maid of Marseilles had a red ear-would he be reluctant? If he were,

would not my colleague take his place? He would. Would my colleague with modest grace shrink from the penalty which follows? Would not Ceres be dethroned for another goddess? Hominum, divumque voluptas? I hear my colleague sigh. Methinks I hear the merry demoiselle crying 'Embrassez-moi, cher monsieur; embrassez moi!' Would he, could he, refuse the proffered kiss? And if perchance the red ear fell to the ingenious inventor of this 'maizy' planwithout giving way for a reply-I ask him now and here, would he carry out the custom, and kiss the reluctant maids all around? If he will say he would, then there is no need of further appropriation. It will pay for itself.


We measured the riotous baby,

Against the cottage wall-

A lily grew on the threshold,

And the boy was just as tall;

A royal tiger lily

With spots of purple and gold,
And a heart like a jeweled chalice,
The fragrant dew to hold.

Without, the bluebirds whistled
High up in the old roof trees,
And to and fro at the window,
The red rose rocked her bees.
And the wee pink fists of the baby
Were never a moment still,
Snatching at shine and shadow

That danced on the lattice-sill.

His eyes were wide as bluebells-

S. S. COX.

His mouth like a flower unblown-
Two little bare feet, like funny white mice,
Peeped out from his snowy gown;
And we thought, with thrill of rapture
That yet had a touch of pain,

When June rolls around with her roses.

We'll measure the boy again.

Ah, me, in darkened chamber,
With the sunshine shut away,
Through tears that fell like a bitter rain
We measured the boy to-day,

And the little bare feet, that were dimpled

And sweet as a budding rose,

Lay side by side together,

In the hush of a long repose!

Up from the dainty pillow,

White as the risen dawn,

The fair little face lay smiling,

With the light of heaven thereon;
And the dear little hands, like rose leaves
Dropped from a rose, lay still,

Never to snatch at the sunshine
That crept to the shrouded sill.

We measured the sleeping baby
With ribbons white as snow,
For the shining rosewood casket
That waited him below;

And out of the darkened chamber
We went with a childless moan-

To height of the sinless angels

Our little one had grown.



You may talk of horses of renown,
What Goldsmith Maid has done,
How Dexter cut the seconds down,

And Fellowcraft's great run,

Would you hear about a horse that once

A mighty battle won?

'Twas the last fight at Frederiksburg

Perhaps the day you reck,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »