Should Royal Lightning Hit Me

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AN ANTI-IMPERIALIST’S REMARKS

THERE’S a tremble and a shiver and a dark, portentous quiver, that has side-stepped through the vitals of these great United States. For we’re up against a crisis, if there’s truth in our advices, and we see, athwart the future forms of haughty potentates.

YES, sir! Danger grim and murky, like an axe above a turkey, lurks just in the dim horizon, and its shadow will not down. And unless we stop our fooling, after while we’ll know the ruling of the cruel, crafty monarch who is topped off with a crown.

‘TWOULD be easy to arrange it, and we’d never get to change it, once the grasping hands of schemers held our country in its clutch, for the minute we suggested that we felt that we had tested kings and queens and wished to stop it, they would smile and say: “Not much!”

DON’T you see? If they’d abolish congress, with its stately polish, and should overturn the statutes — I shiver when I pen it — they should bounce the solemn senate, then the country’d feel the power of the reckless royal hand.

THEN, by some wild resolution they could down the constitution, and could oust each high official in the states we call our own. Then they’d have us, and they’d boss us, with a grip on our proboscis, and beneath imperialism we would sigh and slave and groan.

THUS, we know not the occasion when we’ll see the dire invasion of our rights as free-born people, be we white or black or brown. Perhaps I, or you, my neighbor, may be called to toil and labor with the scepter and the signet and the heavy golden crown.

I’M opposed to such an outcome, but, should any vexing doubt come as to who should bear the burdens as the ruler of the states — well, should royal lightning hit me, any royal robe would fit me, and a crown to set right easy should be six-and-seven-eighths.

— Josh Wink in Baltimore American.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 5, 1900

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