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from Some Mysterious Influence


There is nothing in universal nature
so well calculated to draw people
together as the sound of a fiddle.
The lame fiddler was fond of the bottle,

and was now off snoring in the hayloft.
I made off with his little instrument,
its wood worn beat, as if two stags had been
engaged upon it. I tickled its ribs

with my hunting knife to convince it to squeak,
but found that it was nothing but a shell
on the outside, and all doted in the middle,
as too many of our great men are these days.

What could have induced me to think I might
take up fiddling at a time of such peril?