Sunday, March 10, 2013

The editor of the Schoharie (N. Y.) Patriot thinks . . .

. . . the federal government represents the locomotive, and the seceding states the cow in the following story:

When George Stephenson, the celebrated Scotch engineer, had completed his model of a locomotive he presented himself before the British Parliament, and asked the attention and support of that body.  The grave M. P.’s looking sneeringly at his invention asked

“”So you have made a carriage to run only by steam have you?”

“Yes my lords.”

“And you expect your carriage to run on parallel rails so that it can’t go off do you?”

“Yes my lords.”

“Well, now, Mr. Stephenson, let us show you how absurd your claim is.  Suppose when your carriage is running upon these rails at the rate of twenty or thirty miles per hour, if you’re extravagant enough to even suppose such a thing possible, a cow should get [in] its way.  You can’t turn out for her – what then?”

“Then ‘twill be bad for the cow, my lords.”

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2

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