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Mr. Dooley: In the Hearts of His Countrymen Finley Peter Dunne

“Whin we plant what Hogan calls th’ starry banner iv Freedom in th’ Ph’lippeens,” said Mr. Dooley, “an’ give th’ sacred blessin’ iv liberty to the poor, down-trodden people iv thim unfortunate isles,—­dam thim!—­we’ll larn thim a lesson.”

“Sure,” said Mr. Hennessy, sadly, “we have a thing or two to larn oursilves.”

“But it isn’t f’r thim to larn us,” said Mr. Dooley. “’Tis not f’r thim wretched an’ degraded crathers, without a mind or a shirt iv their own, f’r to give lessons in politeness an’ liberty to a nation that mannyfacthers more dhressed beef than anny other imperyal nation in th’ wurruld. We say to thim: ‘Naygurs,’ we say, ’poor, dissolute, uncovered wretches,’ says we, ‘whin th’ crool hand iv Spain forged man’cles f’r ye’er limbs, as Hogan says, who was it crossed th’ say an’ sthruck off th’ comealongs? We did,—­by dad, we did. An’ now, ye mis’rable, childish-minded apes, we propose f’r to larn ye th’ uses iv liberty. In ivry city in this unfair land we will erect school-houses an’ packin’ houses an’ houses iv correction; an’ we’ll larn ye our language, because ’tis aisier to larn ye ours than to larn oursilves yours.

An’ we’ll give ye clothes, if ye pay f’r thim; an’, if ye don’t, ye can go without. An’, whin ye’re hungry, ye can go to th’ morgue—­we mane th’ resth’rant—­an’ ate a good square meal iv ar-rmy beef. An’ we’ll sind th’ gr-reat Gin’ral Eagan over f’r to larn ye etiquette, an’ Andhrew Carnegie to larn ye pathriteism with blow-holes into it, an’ Gin’ral Alger to larn ye to hould onto a job; an’, whin ye’ve become edycated an’ have all th’ blessin’s iv civilization that we don’t want, that ’ll count ye one. We can’t give ye anny votes, because we haven’t more thin enough to go round now; but we’ll threat ye th’ way a father shud threat his childher if we have to break ivry bone in ye’er bodies. So come to our ar-rms,’ says we.

“But, glory be, ‘tis more like a rasslin’ match than a father’s embrace. Up gets this little monkey iv an’ Aggynaldoo, an’ says he, ‘Not for us,’ he says. ‘We thank ye kindly; but we believe,’ he says, ‘in pathronizin’ home industhries,’ he says. ‘An,’ he says, ’I have on hand,’ he says, ‘an’ f’r sale,’ he says, ’a very superyor brand iv home-made liberty, like ye’er mother used to make,’ he says. ’’Tis a long way fr’m ye’er plant to here,’ he says, ‘an’ be th’ time a cargo iv liberty,’ he says, ‘got out here an’ was handled be th’ middlemen,’ he says, ‘it might spoil,’ he says. ‘We don’t want anny col’ storage or embalmed liberty,’ he says. ‘What we want an’ what th’ ol’ reliable house iv Aggynaldoo,’ he says, ‘supplies to th’ thrade,’ he says, ’is fr-esh liberty r-right off th’ far-rm,’ he says. ’I can’t do annything with ye’er proposition,’ he says. ‘I can’t give up,’ he says, ‘th’ rights f’r which f’r five years I’ve fought an’ bled ivry wan I cud reach,’ he says. ‘Onless,’ he says, ‘ye’d feel like buyin’ out th’ whole business,’ he says. ‘I’m a pathrite,’ he says; ’but I’m no bigot,’ he says.

“An’ there it stands, Hinnissy, with th’ indulgent parent kneelin’ on th’ stomach iv his adopted child, while a dillygation fr’m Boston bastes him with an umbrella. There it stands, an’ how will it come out I dinnaw. I’m not much iv an expansionist mesilf. F’r th’ las’ tin years I’ve been thryin’ to decide whether ‘twud be good policy an’ thrue to me thraditions to make this here bar two or three feet longer, an’ manny’s th’ night I’ve laid awake tryin’ to puzzle it out.

But I don’t know what to do with th’ Ph’lippeens anny more thin I did las’ summer, befure I heerd tell iv thim. We can’t give thim to anny wan without makin’ th’ wan that gets thim feel th’ way Doherty felt to Clancy whin Clancy med a frindly call an’ give Doherty’s childher th’ measles. We can’t sell thim, we can’t ate thim, an’ we can’t throw thim into th’ alley whin no wan is lookin’. An’ ’twud be a disgrace f’r to lave befure we’ve pounded these frindless an’ ongrateful people into insinsibility. So I suppose, Hinnissy, we’ll have to stay an’ do th’ best we can, an’ lave Andhrew Carnegie secede fr’m th’ Union. They’se wan consolation; an’ that is, if th’ American people can govern thimsilves, they can govern annything that walks.”

“An’ what ’d ye do with Aggy—­what-d’ye-call-him?” asked Mr. Hennessy.

“Well,” Mr. Dooley replied, with brightening eyes, “I know what they’d do with him in this ward. They’d give that pathrite what he asks, an’ thin they’d throw him down an’ take it away fr’m him.”



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