FUNERAL ORGIES. 217
" You dear good souls !—how lovely !—how could you !"
Well, then, pretty soon all hands got to talking about the diseased again, and how good he was, and what a loss he was, and all that; and before long a big iron-jawed man worked himself in there from outside, and stood a listening and looking, and not saying anything; and nobody saying anything to him either, because the king was talking and they was all busy listening. The king was saying—in the middle of something he'd started in on—
"—they bein' partickler friends o' the diseased. That's why they're invited here this evenin'; but to-morrow we want all to come—everybody ; for he respected everybody, he liked everybody, and so it's fitten that his funeral orgiess h'd be public."
And so he went a-mooning on and on, liking to hear himself talk, and every little while he fetched in his funeral orgies again, till the duke he couldn't stand it no more ; so he writes on a little scrap of paper, " obsequies, you old fool," and folds it up and goes to goo-gooing and reaching it over people's heads to him. The king he reads it, and puts it in his pocket, and says :
" Poor William, afflicted as he is, his heart's aluz right. Asks me to invite everybody to come to the funeral—wants me to make 'em all welcome. But he needn't a worried—it was jest what I was at."
Then he weaves along again, perfectly ca'm, and goes to dropping in his funeral orgies again every now and then, just like he done before. And when he done it the third time, he says :
"I say orgies, not because it's the common term, because it ain't—obsequies bein' the common term—but because orgies is the right term. Obsequies ain't used in England no more, now—it's gone out. We say orgies now, in England. Orgies is better, because it means the thing you're after, more exact. It's a word that's made up out'n the Greek or go, outside, open, abroad ; and the Hebrew jeesum, to plant, cover up ; hence inter. So, you see, funeral orgies is an open er public funeral."
He was the worst I ever struck. Well, the iron-jawed man he laughed right in his face. Everybody was shocked. Everybody says, "Why doctor!" and Abner Shackleford says:
"Why, Robinson, hain't you heard the news ? This is Harvey Wilks."