The Universal Reciter - 81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems
192 Pages
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The Universal Reciter - 81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems


Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
192 Pages


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Published 08 December 2010
Reads 56
Language English


The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Universal Reciter, by Various
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: The Universal Reciter  81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems
Author: Various
Release Date: July 21, 2009 [EBook #29477]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
Produced by Lesley Halamek, Jason Isbell, Afra Ullah and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
[Transcriber's Note]
When the voice is weak, it should be strengthened by frequent practice, by exercising it in the open air, and upon all convenient occasions.
It is necessary not only to practise a little, but to practise a great deal. In this way ease, grace, and fluency are acquired.
[page 6]
A Horse Car Incident A love of a Bonnet An Eruption of Mount Vesuvius A Plea for the Ox A Pleasure Exertion A Precious Pickle A Psalm of Life Bell of the "Atlantic" Big Oyster, The Black Regiment, The Boy Archer, The David and Goliath David's lament over Absalom Drafted Dying Hebrew, The Enlisting as Army Nurse Falstaff's Boasting Forging of the Anchor Flowers, The Give me back my Husband Graves of a Household Green Goose, The Gridiron, The Here she goes, and there she goes How we hunted a Mouse Hypochondriac, The Ignorance is bliss Injured Mother, The Juvenile Pugilists Knife Grinder, The Last Man, The Lord Dundreary at Brighton Mantle of St. John De Matha, The Mariner's Wife, The Menagerie, The Migratory Bones Mills of God, The Miser's Fate, The Miss Maloney on the Chinese Question Murdered Traveller, The My Mother's Bible My Friend's Secret One Hoss Shay, The Only Sixteen On to Freedom
PAGE. 194 87 100 103 203 125 231 243 122 162 72 109 71 98 41 139 64 148 246 44 249 175 144 105 38 247 58 50 221 191 232 151 234 11 56 177 55 16 119 70 138 156 46 143 68
[page 7]
On the Shores of Tennessee Owl, The Pat and the Fox Pat-ent Gun Patrick's Colt Paul Revere's Ride Pauper's Death Bed Pledge with Wine Polish Boy, The Preaching to the Poor Rain Drops, The Red Chignon Sambo's Dilemma San Francisco Auctioneer Satan's Address to the Sun Scolding Old Dame Shamus O'Brien She would be a Mason Snyder's Nose Socrates Snooks That Hired Girl There's but one pair of Stockings to mend to night Thief of Time, The The Old Man in the Stylish Church The Old Man in the Model Church The World for Sale To my Mother Two Weavers, The Vain Regrets Ventriloquist on a Stage Coach Voices at the Throne Vulture of the Alps, The What ailed "Ugly Sam" Which am de Mightiest Widow Bedott's Poetry Wilkins on Accomplishments
159 245 22 229 34 200 193 250 237 192 172 180 20 227 32 174 214 18 13 198 241
164 223 225 37 27 117 158 76 155 62 29 219 112 7
[page 8]
A DUOLOGUE. JOHN QUILL. MR. WILKINSWilkins, of all the aggravating women I ever cam e. Mrs. across, you are the worst. I believe you'd raise a riot in the cemetry if you were dead, you would. Don't you ever go prowling aroun d any Quaker meeting, or you'll break it up in a plug muss. You? Why you'd put any other man's back up until he broke his spine. Oh! you're too ann oying to live; I don't want to bother with you. Go to sleep.
MRS. WILKINSWilkins dear, just listen a minute. We must have that. But, piano, and—
MR. W. Oh! don't "dear" me; I won't have it. You're the only dear thing around here—you're dear at any price. I tell you once for all that I don't get any new piano, and Mary Jane don't take singing lessons as long as I'm her father. There! If you don't understand that I'll say it over again. And now stop your clatter and go to sleep; I'm tired of hearing you cackle.
MRSBut, Wilk—. W.
MR. W. Now don't aggravate me. I say Mary Jane shan't learn to sing and plant another instrument of torture in this house, while I'm boss of the family. Her voice is just like yours; it's got a twang to it like blowing on the edge of a piece of paper.
MRS. W. Ain't you ashamed, Wilk—
MR. W. It's disgrace enough to haveyou sitting down and pretending to sing, and trying to deafen people, without having the children do it. The first time I heard you sing I started round to the station-ho use and got six policemen, because I thought there was a murder in your house, and they were cutting you up by inches. I wish somebody would! I wou ldn't go for any policeman now, not much!
MRSI declare, you are a perfect brute!. W.
MR. W. Not much, I wouldn't! But Smith, he told me yesterday that his family were kept awake half the night by the noise you made; and he said if I didn't stop those dogs from yowling in my cellar, he'd be obliged to complain to the board of health.
MRS. W. What an awful story, Mr Wilk—
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MR. W. Then I told him it was you, and you thought you could sing; and he advised me as a friend to get a divorce, because he said no man could live happily with any woman who had a voice like a cross-cut saw. He said I might as well have a machine-shop with a lot of files at work in my house as that, and he'd rather any time.
MRS. W. Phugh! I don't care what Smith says.
MR. W. And you a-talking about a new piano! Why, haven't we got musical instruments enough in the house? There's Holofernes Montgomery been blowing away in the garret for ten days with that old key bugle, until he got so black in the face that he won't get his colour back for a month, and then he only gets a spurt out of her every now and then. He's blown enough wind in her to get up a hurricane, and I expect nothing else but he'll get the old machine so chock full that she'll blow back at him some day and burst his brains out, and all along of your tomfoolery. You're a pretty mother, you are! You'd better go and join some asylum for feeble-minded idiots, you had.
MRS. W. Wilkins! I declare you're too bad, for—
MRYes—and there's Bucephalus Alexander, he's got his head full of. W. your sentimental nonsense, and he thinks he's in love with a girl round the corner, and he meanders about and tries to sigh, and won't eat his victuals, and he's got to going down into the cellar and trying to sing "No one to love" in the coal-bin; and he like to scared the hired girl out of her senses, so that she went upstairs and had a fit on the kitchen door-mat, and came near dying on my hands.
MRSThat's not true, Mr. Wil—. W.
MRAnd never came to until I put her head under the hydrant. And then. W. what does Bucephalus Alexander do but go round, night before last, and try to serenade the girl, until the old man histed up the sash and cracked away at Bucephalus Alexander with an old boot, and hit him in the face and blacked his eye, because he thought it was two cats a-yelping. Hang such a mother as you are! You go right to work to ruin your offspring.
MRS. W. You're talking nonsense, Wilk—
MR. W. You're about as fit to bring up children as a tadpole is to run a ferry boat, you are! But while I'm alive Mary Jane takes no singing lessons. Do you understand? It's bad enough to have her battering away at that piano like she had some grudge against it, and to have her visitors wriggle around and fidget and look miserable, as if they had cramp colic, while you make her play for them and have them get up and lie, and ask what it was, and say how beautiful it is, and steep their souls in falsehood and hypocrisy all on account of you. You'll have enough sins to answer for, old woman, without that.
MRSI never did such a thing, and you—. W.
MRYes—and you think Mary Jane can play, don't you? You think she. W. can sit down and jerk more music than a whole orchestra, don't you? But she can't. You might about as well set a crowbar to opening oysters as set her to playing on that piano. You might, indeed!
[page 11]
MRSYou talk like a fool, Wilkins!. W.
MR. W. Play! She play? Pshaw! Why, she's drummed away at that polka for six months and she can't get her grip on it yet. You might as well try to sing a long-metre hymn to "Fisher's Hornpipe," as to undertake to dance to that polka. It would jerk your legs out at the sockets, certain, or else it would give you St. Vitus' dance, and cripple you for life.
MRSMr. Wilkins, I'm going to tell you a secret.. W.
MROh! I don't want to hear your secrets—keep them to yourself.. W.
MRSIt's about Mary Jane's singing.. W.
MR. W. What?
MRSMary Jane, you know—her singing.. W.
MRI don't know, and I don't want to; she shan't take lessons, so dry up.. W.
MRS. W. But she shall take them!
MR. W. I say she shan't!
MRSShe shall, and you can't help it.. W.
MR. W. By George! What do you mean? I'm master in this house I'd like you to know.
MRS. W. Yes—but she's been taking lessons for a whole quarter, while you were down town, and I paid the bill out of the market money.
MRWell! I hope I may be shot! You don't mean to say that? Well, if you. W. ain't a perfectly abandoned wretch, hang me! Farewell, Mrs. Wilkins, farewell! I'm off by the first express-train for the West! I'll stop at Chicago, where the cars wait fifteen minutes for refreshments and a divorce—I'll take the divorce, that will be indeed refreshing! Farewell! F-a-r-e-well! Fare-r-r-r-r-r-r-well! Mrs. Wil-l-l-l-l-l-l-kins!
A NDare ye sure the news is true? And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark? Make haste, lay by your wheel; Is this a time to spin a thread, When Colin's at the door? Reach down my cloak, I'll to the quay, And see him come ashore.
[page 12]
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For there's nae luck about the house, There's nae luck at a'; There's little pleasure in the house When our gudeman's awa'.
And gie to me my bigonet, My bishop's satin gown; For I maun tell the baillie's wife, That Colin's in the town. My Turkey slippers maun gae on, My stockings pearly blue; It's a' to pleasure our gudeman, For he's baith leal and true.
Rise, lass, and mak a clean fireside, Put on the mukle pot; Gie little Kate her button gown And Jock his Sunday coat; And mak their shoon as black as slaes, Their hose as white as snaw; It's a' to please my own gudeman, For he's been long awa.
There's twa fat hens upo' the coop, Been fed this month and mair; Mak haste and thraw their necks about, That Colin weel may fare; And mak our table neat and clean, Let everything look braw, For wha can tell how Colin fared When he was far awa?
Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech, His breath like caller air; His very foot has music in't As he comes up the stair. And shall I see his face again? And shall I hear him speak? I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought, In troth I'm like to greet!
The cold blasts o' the winter wind, That thirléd through my heart, They're a' blown by, I hae him safe, 'Till death we'll never part; But what puts parting in my head? It may be far awa! The present moment is our ain, The neist we never saw.
Since Colin's weel, and weel content, I hae nae mair to crave; And gin I live to keep him sae, I'm blest aboov the lave. And will I see his face again? And will I hear him speak?
[page 14]
[page 15]
I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought, In troth I'm like to greet. For there's nae luck about the house, There's nae lack at a'; There's little pleasure in the house When our gudeman's awa.
NYDERkept a beer saloon some years ago "over the Rhine." Snyder S was a ponderous Teuton of very irascible temper—"sudden and quick in quarrel"—get mad in a minute. Nevertheless his saloon was a great resort for "the boys"—partly because of the excellence of his beer, and partly because they liked to chafe "Old Snyder," as they call ed him; for, although his bark was terrific, experience had taught them that he wouldn't bite.
One day Snyder was missing; and it was explained by his "fra u," who "jerked" the beer that day, that he had "gone out fishing mit der poys." The next day one of the boys, who was particularly fond of "ro asting" old Snyder, dropped in to get a glass of beer, and discovered Snyder's nose, which was a big one at any time, swollen and blistered by the sun, until it looked like a dead-ripe tomato.
"Why, Snyder, what's the matter with your nose?" said the caller.
"I peen out fishing mit der poys," replied Snyder, laying his finger tenderly against his proboscis; "the sun it pese hot like ash never vas, und I purns my nose. Nice nose, don't it?" And Snyder viewed it with a look of comical sadness in the little mirror back of his bar. It entered at once into the head of the mischievous fellow in front of the bar to play a joke upon Snyder; so he went out and collected half a dozen of his comrades, with whom he arranged that they should drop in at the saloon one after another, and ask Snyder, "What's the matter with that nose?" to see how long he would stand it. The man who put up the job went in first with a companion, and seating themselves at a table called for beer. Snyder brought it to them, and the new-comer exclaimed as he saw him, "Snyder, what's the matter with your nose?"
"I yust dell your friend here I peen out fishin' mit der poys, unt de sun he purnt 'em—zwi lager—den cents—all right."
Another boy rushes in. "Halloo, boys, you're ahead of me this time; s'pose I'm in, though. Here, Snyder, bring me a glass of lage r and a pret" —(appears to catch a sudden glimpse of Snyder's nose, looks wonderingly a moment and then bursts out laughing)—"ha! ha! ha! Why, Snyder—ha! —ha!—what's the matter with that nose?"
Snyder, of course, can't see any fun in having a burnt nose or having it laughed at; and he says, in a tone sternly emphatic:
"I peen out fishin' mit der poys, unt de sun it yust ash hot ash blazes, unt I
[page 16]
purnt my nose; dat ish all right."
Another tormentor comes in, and insists on "setting 'em up" for the whole house. "Snyder," says he, "fill up the boys' glasses, and tak e a drink yourse——ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! Snyder, wha—ha! ha!—wh at's the matter with that nose?"
Snyder's brow darkens with wrath by this time, and his voice grows deeper and sterner:
"I peen out fishin' mit der poys on the Leedle Miami. De sun pese hot like ash—vel, I burn my pugle. Now that is more vot I don't got to say. Vot gind o' peseness? Dat ish all right; I purn myownnose, don't it?"
"Burn your nose—burn all the hair off your head for what I care; you needn't get mad about it."
It was evident that Snyder wouldn't stand more than one tweak at that nose; for he was tramping about behind his bar, and growling like an exasperated old bear in his cage. Another one of his tormentors wal ks in. Some one sings out to him, "Have a glass of beer, Billy?"
"Don't care about any beer," says Billy, "but, Snyder, you may give me one of your best ciga—Ha-a-a! ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! he! he! he! ah-h-h-ha! ha! ha! ha! Why—why—Snyder—who who—ha-ha! ha! what's the matter with that nose?"
Snyder was absolutely fearful to behold by this time; his face was purple with rage, all except his nose, which glowed like a ball of fire. Leaning his ponderous figure far over the bar, and raising his arm aloft to emphasize his words with it, he fairly roared:
"I peen out fishin' mit ter poys. The sun it pese hot li ke ash never was. I purnt my nose. Now you no like dose nose, you yust take dose nose unt wr-wr-wr-wring your mean American finger mit 'em. That's the kind of man vot I am!" And Snyder was right.
In the year 1762 a miser, of the name of Foscue, in France, having amassed enormous wealth by habits of extortion and the most sordid parsimony, was requested by the government to advance a sum of money as a loan. The miser demurred, pretending that he was poor. In order to hide his gold effectually, he dug a deep cave in his cellar, the descent to which was by a ladder, and which was entered by means of a trap-door, to which was attached a spring-lock.
He entered this cave one day to gloat over his gold, when the door fell upon him, and the spring-lock, the key to which he had left on the outside, snapped, and held him a prisoner in the cave, where heperished miserably. Some months