One day Elfonzo sent Ambulinia another note--a note proposing elopement No. 16. This time the plan is admirable; admirable, sagacious, ingenious, imaginative, deep-- oh, everything, and perfectly easy. One wonders why it was never thought of before. This is the scheme. Ambulinia is to leave the breakfast-table, ostensibly to "attend to the placing of those flowers, which should have been done a week ago"--artificial ones, of course; the others wouldn't keep so long--and then, instead of fixing the flowers, she is to walk out to the grove, and go off with Elfonzo. The invention of this plan overstrained the author that is plain, for he straightway shows failing powers. The details of the plan are not many or elaborate. The author shall state them himself-- this good soul, whose intentions are always better than his English:

"You walk carelessly toward the academy grove, where you will find me with a lightning steed, elegantly equipped to bear you off where we shall be joined in wedlock with the first connubial rights."

Last scene of all, which the author, now much enfeebled, tries to smarten up and make acceptable to his spectacular heart by introducing some new properties--silver bow, golden harp, olive branch--things that can all come good in an elopement, no doubt, yet are not to be compared to an umbrella for real handiness and reliability in an excursion of that kind.

And away she ran to the sacred grove, surrounded with glittering pearls, that indicated her coming. Elfonzo hails her with his silver bow and his golden harp. The meet--Ambulinia's countenance brightens-- Elfonzo leads up the winged steed. "Mount," said he, "ye true-hearted, ye fearless soul--the day is ours." She sprang upon the back of the young thunderbolt, a brilliant star sparkles upon her head, with one hand she grasps the reins, and with the other she holds an olive branch. "Lend thy aid, ye strong winds," they exclaimed, "ye moon, ye sun, and all ye fair host of heaven, witness the enemy conquered." "Hold," said Elfonzo, "thy dashing steed." "Ride on," said Ambulinia, "the voice of thunder is behind us." And onward they went, with such rapidity that they very soon arrived at Rural Retreat, where they dismounted, and were united with all the solemnities that usually attended such divine operations.

There is but one Homer, there is but one Shakespeare, there is but one McClintock--and his immortal book is before you. Homer could not have written this book, Shakespeare could not have written it, I could not have done it myself. There is nothing just like it in the literature of any country or of any epoch. It stands alone; it is monumental. It adds G. Ragsdale McClintock's to the sum of the republic's imperishable names.

- - -

1. The name here given is a substitute for the one actually attached to the pamphlet.

2. Further on it will be seen that he is a country expert on the fiddle, and has a three-township fame.

3. It is a crowbar.




[The foregoing review of the great work of G. Ragsdale McClintock is liberally illuminated with sample extracts, but these cannot appease the appetite. Only the complete book, unabridged, can do that. Therefore it is here printed.--M.T.]


Sweet girl, thy smiles are full of charms,

Thy voice is sweeter still,

It fills the breast with fond alarms,

Echoed by every rill.

I begin this little work with an eulogy upon woman, who has ever been distinguished for her perseverance, her constancy, and her devoted attention to those upon whom she has been pleased to place her AFFECTIONS. Many have been the themes upon which writers and public speakers have dwelt with intense and increasing interest. Among these delightful themes stands that of woman, the balm to all our sighs and disappointments, and the most pre-eminent of all other topics. Here the poet and orator have stood and gazed with wonder and with admiration; they have dwelt upon her innocence, the ornament of all her virtues.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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