Hans Breitmann
by Charles G. Leland. 1889

Hans Breitmann in Politics
Breitman's Great Speech

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Dis tale dat Schmit hafe sell de vight cot so mooch put apout,
Dat many of his beoples vere in fery tupious toubt;
'Pove all, dose who were on de make, and easy change deir lodge,
Und, pein awfool smart demselfs, pelieve in efery dodge.

Vhen de meeding vas gesempled, und dey found no Schmit vas dere,
Dey looket at von anoder mit a ganz erstaunished air;
But dey saw it glear as taylighd, und around a vink dere ran,
Vhen pefore dem rose de shiant form of Copitain Breitemann!

Denn Breitemann vent los at dem: "He could nichts vell exbress
De rapdure dat besqueezed his hearts - de wonnevol hoppiness-
To meed in friendtlich council and glasp de hand of dose,
Who had peen mit most oonreason and unkindly galled his foes.

"Berhaps o'er all dis shmilin' eart' - he vould say it dere un denn-
Soosh shpecdagles couldt nod pe seen of soosh imbardial men,
So tefoid of base sospicion, so apofe all betty dricks,
Ash to gome und lisden vairly to a voe in poledicks;

"Dat ish to say, a so-galled voe - for he feeled id in his soul
Dat de brinciples vitch mofed dem vere de same oopon de whole;
But he lack a vord to exbress dem in manners opportunes"-
Here a veller in de gallery gry oud, oonkindly, "Shpoons!"

Und dere der Breitmann goppled him: "If shpoons our modifes pe.
Dere's nod a man pefore oos who lossed a shpoon by me:
Far rader had I gife you all a shpoons to eaten mit,
Und I hope to ged a ladle for mein friendt, der Mishder Schmit."

Dis fetch das Haus like doonder - it raise der tyfel's dust,
Und for sefen-lefen minudes dey ooplouded on a bust;
Und de chaps dat dinked of hedgin' saw a ring as round as O;
So dey boked each oder in de rips und said, "I dold you so!"

For dis d'lusion to de ladle vas as glear ash city milk,
Und drawd it on de beoples so vine ash flossen silk,
Dat Hans und Schmit vere rollin' locks, und de locks vere ready cut;
Only Breitmann hafe de liddle end, und Schmitsy dake de butt!

Denn Breitmann he crack onward: "If any 'lightened man
Vill seeken in his Bibel, he'll find dat a publican
Is a barty ash sells lager; und de ding is fery blain,
Dat a re-publican ish von who sells id 'gain und 'gain.

"Now since dat I sells lager, I gant agreën mit
De demprance brinciples I hear dishtriputet to Schmit;
Boot dis I dells you vairly, und no one to teseife-
If I were Schmit, I'd pliefen shoost vot der Schmit peliefe.

"And to mine Sharman liperal friendts I might mention in dis shpot,
Dat I hear an oonfoundet rumor dat der Schmit peliefe in Gott;
Und also dat he coes to shoorsh - mit a brayer-book - for salfadion:
I vould not for die welt say dings to hoort his repudation.

"Und noding is more likely dat it all a shlander pe,
So also de rumor dat vhen young he shtoody divinidy:
I myself, ash a publican, moost pe a sinner py fate,
Und in dis sense I denounce mineself ash Republican-didate!

"Ash Deutschers say - und Yankees doo - vhen der wein ish in der man,
So ish oopon de oder part, de wise-hood in de can,
Vhitch brofes dat wein und wise-hood ish all de same, py shinks!
Und de only real can-didate ish der veller ash coes for trinks:

"Und dat ve may meed in gommon, I deglare here in dis hall-
Und I shvears mineself to holt to it, votefer may pefall-
Dat any man who gifes me his fote - votefer his boledics pe-
Shall alfays pe regartet ash bolidigal friendt py me."

(Dis voonderfol Condescension pring down drementous applause,
Und dose who catch de nodion gife most derriple hooraws:
Eshbecially some Amerigans ash vas shtandin' near de door,
Und who in all deir leben long nefer heard so moosh sense pefore.)

"Dese ish de brinciples I holts, and dose in vitch I run:
Dey ish fixed firm und immutaple ash de course of de 'ternal sun:
Boot if you ton't approve of dem - blease nodice vot I say-
I shall only pe too happy to alder dem right afay.

"Und undo my Demogratic friendts I vould fery glearly shtate-
Since dis useless mit oop-geclearéd minds to hold a long depate-
Dat dere's no man in de cidy who sells besser liquor ash I,
Und I shtand de treadts free-gradis vhenefer mine friendts ish try.

"Ad finem - in de ende - I moost mendion do you all,
Dat a dootzen parrels of lager bier ish a-gomin' to dis hall:
Dere ish none of mine own barty here, bot we'll do mitout deir helfs;
Und I kess, on de whole, 'twill pe shoost so goot if ve trink it all ourselfs."

Soosh drementous up-loudation pefore vas nefer seen,
Ash dey svored dat der Copitain Breitmann vas a brickpat, und no sardine;[34]
Und dey trinked demselfs besoffen, sayin', "Hobe you wird sookceed!"-
De nexter theil will pe de ent of dis historisch lied.

[34] "No more interlect than a half-grown shad," is a phrase which occurs, if the author remembers aright, in the Charcoal Sketches, by J. C. Neal. The Western people have carried this idea a step further, and applied it to sardines, as "small fishes," all of an average size, packed closely together in tin cans and excluded from the light of day. A man who has never travelled, and has during all his life been packed tightly among those who were his equals in ignorance and inexperience, is therefore a "sardine."

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