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merchants are princes,"-_1 quote from the Twenty- the world. I have one hundred and seventeen third of Isaiah,-here, in these free states, I am shut parodies on Mr. Edgar Allan Poe's poem “The up, cribbed, cabined and confined, and not allowed Raven,'—No, no! now don't! please don't!” to see a newspaper. Have you a book or a paper I looked at the flippant young man in astonishwith you, sir? Please let me see it! I need some- ment and said nothing. thing new,-I must have something fresh. I am “Ah, thank you. I am glad you didn't say the sure I shall find something old in it. I beseech you, one hundred and seventeen authors were ravin' sir, take pity on me."
mad. I congratulate you. People generally say He looked so sad and so savage that I hastily felt it. Very often they think it is an original joke. my pockets, desiring to comply with his wish. Un- Poor things ! To continue: I have of course all fortunately the only printed thing about me was a the parodies of the . Heathen Chinee,'-over one small pocket reprint of Horace Walpole's letters, hundred. No, no! now don't! please don't!” which I must have thrust into my coat-pocket un. Again I looked at the flippant young man in amazewittingly. The binding was modern and rather ment, again the flippant young man thanked me for gaudy. I supposed that Mr. Quin Siddons would refraining probably have read i:, but still I drew the volume “I am really very much obliged to you for not from my pocket, and handing it to him, I said, pleas- doing it.
I congratulate you.
When I speak antly:
of the hundred parodies of the original Ah Sin, "I am sorry that I have only this old book. I people generally say there are a hundred a-sinregret having nothing new, but I like old books; ine writers. And they think the poor puny pun indeed, I think that I love everything that's old.” original. Bah! To continue, I have also over
He had greedily taken the book from my hand fifty parodies ot “We are Seven', thirteen of the and was already glancing at it as I said this but he • Chatge of the Light Brigade,' including my own, looked up at once and hastily rejoined:
which is of course the best, and twenty-one of “To "Ah yes,-that's from Goldsmith. “She Stoops be or not to be.' At this moment I saw Mr. Keesir to Conquer.' Scene 1. Act 1. Thank you, how- was coming toward me leading two boys by the hand. ever, for the loan of the volume. I will see that “Well, how do you find them ?” said the warden, it is returned to you. Good afternoon." And coming up. “Curious folks, eh? But you have with a stately bow he left me, as a jaunty young not seen the worst case. Here they are! These man stepped up briskly and said :
two boys are the only ones I ever knew who were " Has old Quin Siddons been talking to you afflicted at so young an age ! about stealing the great thoughts of others, and The children, apparently twins, were about ten plagiarizing, and all that sort of nonsense ?” years old, and there seemed to be nothing remark
I told the rather flippant young man that I had able about them. just heard a few admirable remarks from Mr. Quin “ They are both afflicted," said the warden," with Siddons on the subject of plagiarism, and that I- palindromes !”
“ Yes-of course,” interrupted the flippant young “Palindromes ?” man, “of course that's all very well—but after all “Yes, palindromes. A palindrome is a word or plagiarism is only one form of parody!”
sentence that reads the same backward as forward. I suggested that perhaps parody was only one Whatever you may ask of these boys, their answer form of plagiarism.
will be a palindrome. Mr. Pughney has suggested “Of course," rejoined the flippant young man. that being twins, they ought to be called the palin“I see you have never studied the subject of parody. Dromios!” He is a mere plagiarist,-1 should say he merely “What are your names," I asked. collects plagiarisms, while I not only gather paro- “Mat & Tam,” immediately replied one of the dies, the stray coins from the mint of genius, but I afflicted urchins. am also a parodist myself. It's a great thing, of “Who brought you here?” course, to have a collection. But it is greater to be “ Dad!” able to parody yourself.”
Do you like it?" I did not mention that this remark was suscepti- “O so-so!” ble of two meanings; I only said:
"Have you any other relatives ? " “Indeed ?”
“ Anna." That was all he was waiting for; it was enough “ That's their sister!” remarked Mr. Keesir, to open the sluice gates of his eloquence.
adding: “What has become of her ?” and the "Of course, I don't despise a colleotion. Why twins immediately answered: should I ? Mine is the best in this country. Perhaps “Nun!” M. Octave Delepierre's is better-but I doubt it. "Have you no other relatives ?” Then of course mine is the best in the world. It “O, no!" cost a great deal of time and trouble to collect - Every answer certainly was a palindrome. It and money. Cash covers a multitude of sins. was remarkable. I began to wonder if they could That remark itself is a parody. I was in Wall be asked any question to which they could not make street working hard, toiling and moiling for several answer in a palindrome. years making the money to make my collection. “ How did your father bring you here ?" And now I have made it it is of course the best in Gig."
“Is there anything that you desire ?
and his equanimity was not disturbed even when Mr. They hastily answered, both together :
Keesir remarked, “I think there is a mistake!"
“Mistake ?" ejaculated Mr. Quin Siddons. “Why, Suddenly I noticed Mr. Quin Siddons rushing gentlemen, no mistake is possible. You all know rapidly toward us. He had an open book in his Macaulay's New Zealander, and here you have hand. He appeared excited, as though flushed by just heard me read you this fellow Walpole's most some great victory or discovery. As soon as he re- impudent plagiarism.” covered his breath, he said to me:
“Excuse me, I think there must be some mis“Ah, sir, I am glad you have not gone. I am take,” insisted the cheery little warden. “Lord really very happy to see you again, and to be able Macaulay was born in the year 1800, and this letter to tell you of a horrible outrage !”
of Mr. Walpole's is dated-please let me see the “ Has there been a murder?” I asked, and he book." gravely replied, “Not of anything merely corporeal, Mr. Quin Siddons handed it to him, and after sir, but an outrage on the work of a great man; the glancing at the open page, Mr. Keesir continued : brilliant thought of a great writer has been stolen. “And this letter of Mr. Walpole's is dated the Worse even than theft, it is a 'murder most foul,'— 14th of November, 1774." of course I quote. Here in this book, which you Mr. Quin Siddons was thoroughly astonished; be were so good as to lend me,,here in the letters of hesitatingly observed : this Walpole, I find a glaring plagiarism. Listen, “I did not look at the date !" gentlemen, listen, and I will prove it to you. This “ This paragraph of Walpole's," continued the fellow has stolen the striking and original thought warden, “was, therefore, written twenty-six years of Lord Macaulay about the New Zealander some before Macaulay was born; so that, if plagiarism day viewing the ruins of St. Paul's. And this petty there be, the English historian is the plagiarist." plagiarist, this empty imitator copies this, steals this, Mr. Quin Siddons was confounded; but suddenly alters this, mutilates this, and serves up this fine a light seemed to break in upon him; he breathed a thought to his readers with his own weak sauce. sigh of relief and said, hastily: Listen to Mr. Walpole," and Mr. Quin Siddons, “Ah, well, I always did suspect that Macaulay of raising the book, read as follows: “At last some stealing, and now I know it!" curious traveler from Lima will visit England, and I wonder if Mr. Quin Siddons will ever see these give a description of the ruins of St. Paul's, like lines, and I wonder if he has ever read of the visit the editions of Baalbec and Palmyra ! ” Then he Dr. Holmes once paid to the Asylum for Aged and paused and looked at us with evident self-satisfaction, | Decayed Punsters? J. BRANDER MATTHEWS.
“Oh, Uncle George, aint that monkey good ? He gives all his pennies to his papa."
CONSIDERING the nearness of the Central | interesting region has been gathered chiefly American states to our own land, there is from the diplomatic representatives of our but little generally known of the people, government, and a few merchants whose climate, government, productions, and gen- | interests have made necessary occasional eral characteristics of the country. Travel- visits to that part of the world. ing there simply for pleasure or instruction There are three ways of reaching Guateis almost unheard of, and what little knowl- mala from New York, viz., by Pacific Mail edge we have obtained of this beautiful and steamers, via Aspinwall and Panama, to the Vol. XV.-42.
(Copyright, Scribner & Co., 1878. All rights reserved.)
port of San José; by sailing vessel to Belize, from the cocoa-nut tree. Back of this steamer to Izabel, and thence overland to the street are pools of stagnant water, concapital; and overland to San Francisco, and stantly poisoning the air with miasma; the thence down the Pacific by steamer or sailing temperature is generally about 90° and vessel to San José or Champerico. The first the atmosphere is heavy and oppressive. is the most direct route and the one chosen by The place is very sickly, and it is almost our party.
impossible for any foreigner to live there It was the morning of the 29th of No- more than a few months at a time without vember, 1875, when, after fourteen days of seriously impairing his health. travel from New York and five days from We found the “captain” of the diliPanama, we reached the port of San José gences was not willing to start for the de Guatemala. There was a good deal capital until the following morning, and all
of bustle and commotion on board, as we the available mules were engaged to take • steamed up to our anchorage, for, besides up our baggage. Nearly fifty of us were
our own party and a few Spaniards, we had packed for the night into a miserable little an opera-troupe with us also bound for Gua- hotel, which had only accommodations for temala City. We were fortunate in getting fifteen or twenty. We rose at three the next ashore in the agent's boat rather sooner than morning, but the eight diligences that were to the other passengers. A pier, nine hundred convey us to the capital were not in readiness feet in length and forty feet high, runs out before seven. After much scrambling, pushfrom the shore; but the steamers cannot lie ing and fighting for seats, we finally got alongside of it on account of the heavy surf under way. The country near the coast is which usually prevails there, as San José has very flat, but the vegetation is rich, and no harbor but is simply an open roadstead. tropical fruits and flowers abound. The We men managed well enough, by watch- road is good, but excessively dusty in the ing our opportunity, to jump from the boat dry season. Jerking and jolting along all and scramble up the side of this pier by day in the rickety old diligence, through the means of a little narrow iron ladder; for the dust and intense heat, we were very glad to ladies, this was of course out of the question, reach Escuintla a little before sunset. The and we were rather curious to see how they town is only about three hundred feet above would be able to land. We found on the the sea, but perceptibly cooler than San pier forty nuns, who had been turned out of José, and comparatively healthy. It is a the country by the government, and were place of considerable size, and quite prettily about to embark for California on the situated in a valley about half way between steamer which we had just left. To accom- the port and Guatemala. modate all these ladies, what they call “ la We were on the road next day before silla" (the chair) was brought into requi- sunrise; the morning dawned brightly, the sition. This is a sort of open cage with four air was fresh and pleasant, and our road seats in the center and an iron rail running now wound about among the mountains around to hold on by, and is worked by the through a magnificent country, affording us small steam-engine which supplies the power some splendid views of the volcanoes of for hoisting and lowering freight. It was Agua and Fuego. As we continued to indeed a strange and amusing sight; the ascend, the air became clearer and cooler, tearful and somber-looking nuns entered the and our spirits rose, with the change, to 3 “ chair" with evident misgiving, and clung full appreciation of the richness and beauty to the iron rail in fear and trembling as they of the scenery about us. At noon the town were gently let down into the lighter below, of Amatitlan is pointed out, situated far while the gayly clad sopranos, contraltos, below us, near beautiful lake of the same danseuses, etc., of the opera-troupe, came name, in a rich valley about six leagues up laughing and screaming by the return from Guatemala. As we wind down the trip.
mountain into the valley, past picturesque One's first impressions of Central America, sugar-mills, and through cochineal plantaas obtained at San José, are not very en- tions, with the glistening lake ever before couraging The town consists of a few us, and the sunlit town beyond, the scene wooden houses, built down close to the is one of rare beauty, which could hardly beach, with one street running back three fail to impress even the dullest mind. We or four blocks from the shore. On either rest here for an hour or so, and then begins side of this street are native huts, made the last stage of our journey to the capital
, of bamboo-sticks, and covered with leaves Our road still wound about through the
mountains for a couple of hours, when we and, half an hour later, were comfortably reached the summit of a high ridge, whence quartered at the Grand Hotel. we obtained our first view of the great plain The streets of Guatemala are tolerably in which is situated the so-called “ Paris of clean, and the city is well laid out in blocks • Central America.” It was a beautiful scene, of about three hundred feet square. The and one which I shall not soon forget. The houses are mostly white, with tiled roofs, city lay some distance below us, the domes and are very solidly built with thick walls and steeples of its many churches looming of stone, or brick and plaster, and generally up in marked contrast to the rows of low of only one story, being so constructed as a white buildings gleaming in the slanting protection against the earthquakes which rays of the sinking sun. The surrounding are sometimes very severe. There are no hills were almost dazzling in their bright blinds or shutters, but the fact that almost suit of green; and, here and there, what every window in the town is carefully appeared at this distance to be clusters of guarded by an iron grating, is somewhat rich foliage, indicated the locations of small suggestive of the character of the people. coffee plantations and orange-groves in the Most of the better-class dwellings are suburbs. The great volcanoes to the west- entered by heavy double wooden doors ward were already casting long shadows opening from the narrow sidewalk into toward the city, softening the general bright- a paved passage which leads into the ness of the scene, and thus completing a “ patio," or large court-yard, in the center of picture truly grand and beautiful. As we the building. These patios are always paved, neared the city we passed long trains of and, in some few instances, borders of shrubs pack-mules, laden with the produce of the and flowers are planted around the edges. surrounding country, which they were bring- Facing the court-yard on every side are wide ing for sale to the markets of the capital. corridors, from which doors open into the We entered the gates just before sunset, I various apartments of the dwelling. The