The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. IV: American
The Showmans Courtship
By Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) (18341867)
From Complete Works of Artemus Ward
THARE was many affectin ties which made me hanker arter Betsy Jane. Her fathers farm jined ourn; their cows and ourn squencht their thurst at the same spring; our old mares both had stars in their forreds; the measles broke out in both famerlies at nearly the same period; our parients (Betsys and mine) slept reglarly every Sunday in the same meetin-house, and the nabers used to obsarve, How thick the Wards and Peasleys air! It was a surblime site, in the Spring of the year, to see our sevral mothers (Betsys and mine) with their gowns pind up so thay couldnt sile em, affecshunitly Bilin sope together & aboozin the nabers.
Altho I hankerd intensly arter the objeck of my affecshuns, I darsunt tell her of the fires which was rajin in my manly Buzzum. Id try to do it but my tung would kerwollup up agin the roof of my mowth & stick thar, like deth to a deseast Afrikan or a country postmaster to his offiss, while my hart whanged agin my ribs like a old fashioned wheat Flale agin a barn floor.
Twas a carm still nite in Joon. All nater was husht and nary a zeffer disturbed the sereen silens. I sot with Betsy Jane on the fense of her farthers pastur. Wed bin rompin threw the woods, kullin flours & drivin the woodchuck from his Nativ Lair (so to speak) with long sticks. Wall, we sot thar on the fense, a swingin our feet two and fro, blushin as red as the Baldinsville skool house when it was fust painted, and lookin very simple, I make no doubt. My left arm was ockepied in ballunsin myself on the fense, while my rite was woundid luvinly round her waste.
I wish thar was winders to my Sole, sed I, so that you could see some of my feelins. Theres fire enuff in here, sed I, strikin my buzzum with my fist, to bile all the corn beef and turnips in the naberhood. Versoovius and the Critter aint a circumstans!
Ar could you know the sleeplis nites I worry threw with on your account, how vittles has seized to be attractiv to me & how my lims has shrunk up, you wouldnt dowt me. Gase on this wastin form and these ere sunken cheeks
Ive parst threw many tryin ordeels sins then, but Betsy Jane has bin troo as steel. By attendin strickly to bizniss Ive amarsed a handsum Pittance. No man on this foot-stool can rise & git up & say I ever knowinly injered no man or wimmin folks, while all agree that my Show is ekalled by few and exceld by none, embracin as it does a wonderful colleckshun of livin wild Beests of Pray, snaix in grate profushun, a endliss variety of life-size wax figgirs, & the only traned kangaroo in Amerikythe most amoozin little cuss ever introjuced to a discriminatin public.