Archive for February, 2012

A Modern Valentine

February 14, 2012

Image from Swing Fashionista


By Berton Braley

Oh Lady, be my Valentine and hearken to this plea of mine
Which will not be
Perfervid or impassioned;
For should I pull that kind of stuff you’d doubtless call it all a bluff
And calmly say
“Oh, run away,
That line of talk’s old fashioned.”

And so to you, dear Valentine, I will not write a single line
In which “My heart”
Is rhymed with “dart”
Or such-like tender folly; –
That style of wooing girls is dead;
I’ll simply ask you “Will you wed?”
If you’d say “Yes,”
I must confess
I’d think it rather jolly!

Then you, my modern Valentine, would keep your flat, and I keep mine;
You’d be content
To pay your rent,
I mine — just as at present,
And now and then by happy chance we might meet at a play or dance
Or at a tea,
And that would be
Indubitably pleasant
Oh Lady, Lady Valentine, I can’t adopt that modern line,
I love you, dear;
I want you near,
A sweet and loving woman!
What’s that? You will! Oh, gosh, that’s good — but still, I kinda thought you would,
You’re modern, yes;
But none the less
You’ve got a heart that’s human!

(Copyright, 1922)

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Feb 9, 1922

Hearts! How Many Can You Find?


Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Feb 14, 1927

Also from the Feb, 9, 1922 Lima News

I’m not so sure Mother would be happy to get this particular Valentine!

‘Twas Ever Thus

February 13, 2012


Folks all thot Hank was a fool
Never knew a thing in school
Traded jacknives when he should
Have been a studyin’ up good.
Never reached the seventh grade
Folks all said they were afraid
Hank would pan out mighty bad
Ignorance that was his fad.

Brother Elmer he was bright
Studied hard both day and night
Took the honors of his class
Ne’er a doubt that he woud pass.
Folks viewed Elmer with great pride
He had all the great men tied
They said he would reach the top
Naught on earth would make him stop.

Somehow things seems to go wrong
Hank grew rich ere very long.
Owned a trust and proudly sat
In the senate calm and fat.
Owned three autos and a yacht
What he hankered for he got.
That’s what happened to the fool
Elmer? Oh, he’s teachin’ school.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Mar 16, 1912

All Animals are Equal, but…

February 13, 2012

Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

From George Orwell‘s Animal Farm

Never Again

February 13, 2012

Image from Quote a Gentleman


The poets sing
Of gentle spring
In language that is rich
They hand a bluff
And sell the stuff
To magazines and sich.
They rave and shout
And rhyme about
The fragrance of the air,
And of the joy
Without alloy
That lingers everywhere.
But when it snows
And rains and blows
And does a dozen stunts
With hail and sleet,
and lightning sheet
and does ’em all at once;
When nature drops
And deftly flops
A back-hand somersaults
I think right now
You will allow
It’s time to call a halt.
My lyre is still
And never will
Twang for you as of yore
Oh, gentle spring
You fickle thing
I’ll boost your game no more.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Mar 16, 1912

Flute Songs

February 12, 2012


By George Ellisten

All of the secret’s the wind finds out
A silver flute can know;
Joy of water on old mill-wheels,
Flower songs and words that glow.

Silver on silver and weeping sighs
Of the wistful willow trees,
Melodies of the butterflies,
The gaiety of bees.

Wee little songs the heart forgot,
Out of its childhood days,
Youthful songs remembered not
That were learned in happy ways.

Star notes, music of color and dreams
Will whisper out from a flute,
Magic of skies and stars and streams —
It is voice for all that is mute.

Hamilton Daily News (Hamilton, Ohio) Feb 26, 1926

Eggs and Egos

February 11, 2012

Image from Knitty Bliss

Egotists are like eggs — too full of themselves to hold anything else.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Feb 15, 1933

Dorothea L. Dix – Worked to Alleviate the Sufferings of Humanity

February 10, 2012

Miss Dorothea L. Dix.
[From the Galaxy, March 15.]

Who is Miss Dix? The name has, for over a quarter of a century, been a household word in our land, as a symbol of philanthropy, of unselfish heroic devotion in alleviating the sufferings of humanity. Yet how little does the public know of her personality, her habits, where she was born, or where she resides. Like Shakespeare, she has lost her individuality in the greatness of her work. Her presence is felt but not perceived, just as a single grain of subtle perfume fills a whole room, but is itself unseen.  Still, Miss Dix is no myth, but only a flesh and blood marvel.

When her achievements are stated in the aggregate they suggest miraculous power, but are in fact, a practical illustration of what one woman can do in thirty years, when inspired by a noble purpose, and working unceasingly for the good of the race.

She has been instrumental in establishing thirty-two public hospitals for the insane: one in Rome, one in Dalmatia, one on the Isle of Jersep, one in Nova Scotia, one in New Foundland, and the remainder chiefly in our own country. With the episode of four years and a half of service in the military hospitals during the rebellion, this stupendous labor constitutes the story of her life. Her career as a philanthropist is all that the world has any right to know, and yet, apart from all vulgar curiosity, it feels a natural desire to learn something of the personnel of this angel of mercy. Her carte de visite is seen in none of the shops, few people seem to have met her, and the sketch given of her in the American Encyclopedia is very incorrect, was written by one who never saw her, and even mistakes the place of her birth.

Boston is the city of her nativity. Her grandfather was a physician, but her father, owing to delicate health, never adopted a profession. General John A. Dix in not, as is often stated in the papers, her brother, but is a near blood relative.

Miss Dorothea L. Dix was once a young lady of the American Athens, in affluent circumstances, and, like a thousand others, in a situation to lead a life of aimless ease. Like Jno. Howard, she had, when young a very frail and impaired constitution. She was sent to England, and on several voyages to warmer climates, to recover her health. When she first arrived in Liverpool she was prostrated with illness, and it was eighteen months before she was able to be borne in the arms of her nurses to the home bound ship. It is probable that she rescued herself from chronic invalidism by her strong will and the inspiration of the philanthropic labors which she began before her girlhood was ended.

One Sabbath, as she was coming out of Dr. Lowell’s church in Boston, the steps were crowded in front, and she overheard two benevolent gentlemen talking about the horrible condition of the jail in East Cambridge, where there was a number of young prisoners awaiting trial. Early that week, although under the care of a physician, she visited this institution and there found, in addition to other inmates, thirty insane persons, in the most wretched state of filth and rags, breathing a pestilential air, shut up in dark, damp cells, and receiving no treatment whatever.

The surroundings of the others confined there were not much better. She began her task by conducting religious services in the jail on the Sabbath, which had been wholly neglected. soon after, she set about relieving the physical sufferings of these unfortunate outcasts of society.

As the accommodations for the insane were insufficient in her own State, she applied to its Legislature, and on the facts being brought to their knowledge, an appropriation was made for enlarging their asylums. In her younger days Miss DIX was very intimate in the family of William Ellery Channing, the celebrated Unitarian divine, but it does not appear that he gave direction to her philanthropic enterprises, for while sympathizing fully with their purposes, he rather opposed her exhaustive exertions, on the ground that she would destroy her health. But she had received a thorough education, which had taught her to rely on her own powers, and when resolve had been deliberately formed, opposition only increased its strength.

After her success in Massachusetts, she went on a visit to Washington, and while there examined into the condition of the insane, and found sad need of reformation. She called on John Quincy Adams, then a Representative in Congress, after having held the highest office in the gift of the nation, and the sympathies of the “old man eloquent” were at once excited. He secured at her suggestion, the passage of a bill making a very adequate appropriation for the cure of the insane in the District of Columbia.

Her life work was now fairly begun. She comprehended its scope and magnitude, she prosecuted it with system, practical method, and indomitable energy. With a quiet persistency that excited no opposition, and a persuasive earnestness which won the support of those whose aid she required, she gave up her home, her friends, quiet; renounced the literary leisure for which she had a decided taste, the joys of domestic life, the fascinating pleasure of society — she consecrated everything which had in it any element of selfishness to the service of humanity.

Alton Weekly Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Apr 26, 1867

Image from Find-A-Grave


The Worcester Woman Who Devoted Her Life to the Unfortunate

TRENTON, N.J., July 20 — Dorothea L. Dix, who acquired a national reputation by her efforts to relieve the condition of the pauper, criminal and insane classes of the country has died of heart disease at the Trenton asylum, aged 85.

She was instrumental in having the asylum founded as well as many other similar institutions throughout the country. While visiting here five years ago, she was taken sick, and the state authorities, in recognition of her services, offered her a home for life at the asylum.

In 1848, MISS DIX petitioned congress for an appropriation of public lands to endow hospitals for the insane in the various states, and in 1854 a bill was passed granting 10,000,000 acres for the purpose but the measure was vetoed by President Pierce.

Miss Dix was born at Worcester, Mass., and for many years resided at Boston, to which city her remains will be sent.

The Fitchburg, Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 20, 1887

Little Country Hospital

February 10, 2012


By Edgar A. Guest

The little country hospital is hidden out of view
And people seldom notice it as pleasure they pursue,
But let an accident befall — which is the fate of men —
The proudest man is glad to see the small-town doctor then.
And in that little hospital which humble folk maintain
He’ll find that hearts are merciful and quick to comfort pain.

It isn’t like the city place, with sections blocks apart,
Where every patient’s listed as a number on a chart
And specialists for this and that convene to thumb him o’er
And ask a thousand questions of the ills he’s had before.
For in the country hospital, which lacks all pomp and style,
The surgeon on his morning round had time to chat awhile.

And whether pain be in your groin, your stomach or your toe,
The cause of it the doctor there assuredly will know.
He will not shunt you round the plays for rays of that and this,
He’ll diagnose your case himself and very seldom miss.
And whosoe’er shall tread the hall when you are free from pain
Will stoop to speak a cheery word and wish you well again.

So little country hospital, which humble folks support,
Which struggles for existence, since its funds are always short,
I pay this simple tribute now to all your tender care
In lessening the hurt and pain which mortals have to bear,
And pray for God’s rich blessing on the men and women brave
Who give their every ounce of strength another’s life to save.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Oct 11, 1932

Feeding the Animals

February 9, 2012

Last August, on the nineteenth day, the Democratic Union, the Democratic Clubs, the Democratic Veterans and the Democratic Lawyers of the State of New York met in their annual joint convention in the city of Elmira.

The outcome of that session was a historic resolution, adopted UNANIMOUSLY, which is known as the Elmira Declaration.

It pledged the entire Democratic Party of the State to a complete reform of our obsolete, cumbersome, ridiculous, extravagant and inefficient “system” of local and county government. The resolution said:

The State of New York, outside of New York City, is divided into FIFTY-SEVEN COUNTIES, which are cut up into 932 towns, 59 cities and 535 villages, and in which there have been organized fire, water, lighting, sidewalk and improvement districts to the number of 2,467 districts and 9,504 school districts — a total number of 13,497 municipal units outside of New York City.

“Each levies taxes, the same property often being levied upon by FIVE OR MORE AUTHORITIES.

“The towns and counties alone have 15,000 OFFICIALS, mostly elective. There are OVER 11,000 tax collectors. They have been appropriately called the ‘regular army of occupation.'”

The tax burden of this devouring collection of governmental absurdities is rapidly becoming UNBEARABLE.

Demands for TAX REFORM are becoming more and more insistent.

But the plain fact is, NO tax reform can be extensive or really effective until the enormous expense of useless government is abolished.

The Legislature meets in January. The Democratic party should proceed FORTHWITH to carry out its Elmira Declaration — and the Republican Party should give its patriotic assistance to the reform.

This issue transcends party lines. The tax-oppressed people must have RELIEF from the ruinous burden — and the time for that relief is NOW.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Dec 15, 1933

Musical Catechism

February 8, 2012

Image from Family Tree MagazinePhoto Detective


1. What is a slur?
Almost any remark which one singer makes about another.

2. What notes require more time than others?
Notes of hand signed by bankrupt debtors.

3. What is beating time?
Singing so fast that time cannot keep up with you.

4. What is a rest?
Going out of the choir to get some refreshment during sermon time.

5. What is singing with the understanding?
Marking time on the floor with the foot.

6. What is a staccato movement?
Leaving the choir in a huff, because one is dissatisfied with the leader’s requirements.

7. What is figured base?
The scribbling usually found on the blank pages of singing books, supposed to  be executed usually during sermon time.

8. What is a swell?
A professor of music who pretends to know everything about the science, while he cannot conceal his ignorance.

9. With what propriety may a clarionet be used as an accompaniment of church music?
With about the same as a tin kettle, beat with a pair of tongs, might be used with an AEolian harp.

10. What is a leg-ato movement?
The escape of Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo.

Lynn News.

American Freeman (Prairieville, Wisconsin) Apr 5, 1848