Monthly Archives: September 2013

EMILY, JASPER and Patience Worth

HerronCoverThere is an interesting tale to be told concerning Pearl Curran’s best friend Emily Grant Hutchings.  Emily and Pearl were very good friends when the Patience Worth saga began to unfold as Pearl and Emily sat at the Ouija Board together on a hot July night in 1913.  But that friendship eventually soured when Emily was discharged as amanuensis and transcriber for the Patience Worth sessions by Pearl’s husband, John Curran.  This prompted Emily to strike out on her own to contact the spirit world with the help of medium Lola V. Hays and eventually to hook-up with the spirit of Mark Twain who transmitted several short stories to them, including “Up the Furrow to Fortune”, “A Daughter of Mars” andJap Herron.”

The following information was gleaned from a 42-page introduction written by Emily Hutchings to “Jap Herron”.

Emily had been invited to attend a small psychical research society meeting in St. Louis Missouri in March 1915 and it was there that she met Mrs. Irwin Hays (Lola Viola) who had the ability to transmit spirit messages by means of a planchette and “lettered board.”  Emily coyly admitted that the apparatus was familiar to her and that her name had appeared in connection with a “recently detailed series of psychic experiments.”  She acknowledged that, “it is true that I had taken part in another psychic demonstration, but it was in a remote part of the city  .  .  .  .”  Although Emily played a big role in initiating the contact with Patience Worth in 1913 with Pearl Curran using the planchette and lettered board, apparently, because of lingering hurt feelings, she did not wish to acknowledge her partnership in the Patience Worth dictation in her book.  Instead she spent 42 pages detailing her camaraderie with Mark Twain in the production of Jap Herron.  She gave little recognition to the more pivotal role of Lola Viola Hays who was the medium through whom the words of Mark Twain were spoken.

Mrs. Hays (Lola Viola Rodenmayer married Irwin Milton Hays in 1885) was gaining a local reputation in St. Louis as someone with the ability to transmit spirit messages by means of a planchette and a lettered board.  Emily met Lola by chance at a regular meeting of a small psychical research society in St. Louis.  At that initial meeting, Samuel L. Clemens, ‘Lazy Sam’ spelled out, through Lola, a few sentences on the board .  Emily’s heart skipped a beat when she heard the name Samuel L. Clemens since she had some interest in his writing and had grown up in Hannibal Missouri the childhood home of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) so, after the meeting she arranged a private meeting with Mrs. Hays hoping to have a personal conversation with Mark Twain.

Again, not mentioning the name of Patience Worth, Emily told Mrs. Hays that “in my former psychic investigation, it had been my habit to pronounce the letters as the pointer of the planchette indicated them.”  Mrs. Hays urged her to render the same service when she sat with her, because she (Lola) never permitted herself to look at the board, fearing that her own mind would interfere with the transmission.  Apparently, according to Emily, Mark Twain had told Mrs. Hays that he had carried with him much valuable literary material which he yearned to send back (from the spirit world) and that he would transmit stories through her, if she  could find just the right person to sit with her at the transmission board. (This person, according to Emily, of course was—Emily!)

“As far as possible, we sat twice a week on Mondays and Fridays,” Emily reported.  “We usually worked uninterrupted for two hours with no sound save that of my voice as I pronounced the letters and punctuation marks over which the pointer of the planchette paused in its swift race across the board.”  Emily stated that, “Three evenings in succession we had had trouble with the planchette.  It had seemed to me that Mrs. Hays was trying to pull it from beneath my fingers.  Meanwhile she had mentally accused me of digital heaviness.”  Emily said that Mark Twain wanted Lola to be passive and that it is up to the ‘Hannibal girl’ to receive the transmissions.

Although Mrs. Hutchings and Mrs. Hays were seasoned writers; Mrs. Hays having written short stories for one of the large religious publishing houses and Mrs. Hutchings was a well-known writer of articles of interest to women in St. Louis (See ‘That Hannibal Girl’),  Emily explained, “Neither Mrs. Hays nor I could have written the fiction that has come across our transmission board.  .  .  .  Our literary output is well known, and not even the severest psychological skeptic could assert that it bears any resemblance to the literary style ofJap Herron’ “  (This is in sharp contrast to Pearl Curran who had no writing credits to her name and stated that she never had any desires or inclinations to write anything at all!)

Also in contrast to the writing of Patience Worth, the writing of ‘Mark Twain’ through Emily and Lola required a lot of rewriting, with months of juxtaposing of words, sentences and paragraphs.  Mrs. Hays and Emily “discussed the plot at some length.”  Emily states that “I know nothing of Mark Twain’s habits; but in all the work we have done for him, the first draft has been rough and vigorous and sweeping changes have been made by him while the work was undergoing revision  The story had been virtually rewritten twice although a few of the chapters, as they now stand, are exactly as they were transmitted, not so much as a word having been changed.  .  .  .  Sometimes in the course of the revision, we have been interrupted by the jerkily traced words, ‘Try this,’ or ‘We’ll fix that better,’ or ‘I told Emily to take out those repetitions.’  It has happened that he used the same word four times in one paragraph, and in copying I have substituted the obvious synonym.”  Twain added that it was “up to Emily” to give this book to the world.

(Perhaps this kind of behavior on the part of Emily is what got her in trouble with John Curran, resulting in John’s decision to not allow Emily to transcribe the Patience Worth dictation.)

“The revision sheets covered a big table,” claimed Emily “and my husband found it very exasperating to make the corrections.”  “When next we met, we had no thought of any other work than the revision of the story on which we had been working at frequent intervals for about two months.”  According to Emily, Mark Twain stated that, “Emily will know where to fit the revisions in.”  “Once when I implored him to tell me where a certain brief but gripping paragraph belonged, he replied, Emily, that is your job.  I don’t want the Hannibal girl to fall down on it. .  .  .  the entire responsibility had been on me .  .  .  as Mark Twain had said that he didn’t want to be disappointed in the Hannibal girl.”

And so it continued.  Emily seemed to require center stage so she left Pearl Curran and Patience Worth in a huff because John Curran wouldn’t let her rewrite the Patience Worth dictation and then she subjugated Lola V. Hays to allow her to rewrite Mark Twain’s short stories ad libitum.

The following is an example of the writing in “Jap Herron.”  The book has been severely criticized as not worthy of the greatness of Mark Twain but I think if nothing else it does capture the flavor and style of Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.”  The Clemons family of course didn’t like it and sued to prevent it from being distributed and sold,  They were successful and the book was quickly withdrawn from the marketplace.

JAP HERRON

CHAPTER II

“Run out and get a box of sardines,” ordered the boss of the Washington press.  “I’ve got a nickel.  I can’t let you starve.  I lived three months on them—look at me!”

Jap surveyed him apprehensively.

“I’d hate to be so thin,” he complained, “and I don’t like sardines nor any fishes.  My dad fed us them every day.  Allus wanted to taste doughnuts.  Can I buy them?”

Ellis Hinton laughed shortly, and spun the nickel across the imposing stone.  Jap caught it deftly.  An hour later he appeared for work, smiling cheerfully.

“Why the shiner?” queried Ellis, indicating a badly swollen and rapidly discoloring eye.

“Kid called me red-top,” said Jap bluntly.

“Love o’ gracious,” Ellis exclaimed, “what is the shade?”

“It’s red,” quoth Jap, “but it ain’t his business. If I am agoin’ to be a editor, nobody’s goin’ to get familiar with me.”

This was Jap’s philosophy, and in less than a week he had mixed with every youth of fighting age in town.

The office took on metropolitan airs because of the rush of indignant parents who thronged its portals.  Ellis pacified some of the mothers, out talked part of the fathers and thrashed the remainder.  After he had mussed the outer office with “judge” Bowers, and tipped the case over with the final effort that threw him, Jap said, solemnly surveying the wreck:

“If I had a dad like you, I’d ‘a’ been the President some day.”

Ellis gazed ruefully into the mess of pi, and kicked absently at the hell-box.

“I’ll work all night,” cried Jap eagerly.  “I’ll glean it up.”

“We’ll have plenty of time,” said Ellis gloomily.  “We have to hit the road, kid.  Judge Bowers owns the place.  He has promised to set us out before morning.”

But luck came with Jap.  It was Friday again, and Bowers’s wife presented him with twins, his mother-in-law arrived, and his uncle inherited a farm.  There was only one way for the news to be disseminated, and he came in with his truculent son and helped clean up, so that the Herald could be issued on time.  More than that, he made the boys shake hands, and concluded to put Bill to work in the Herald office.  After he had puffed noisily out, Ellis looked whimsically at Bill.

“Are you going to board yourself out of what I am able to pay you? he asked.

“Oh, I don’t reckon Pappy cares about that,” the boy said cheerfully.  “He just wants to keep me out of mischief, and he said that lookin’ at you was enough to sober a sot.”

Months dragged by.  Bill and Jap worked more or less harmoniously.  Once a day they fought; but it was fast becoming a mere function, kept up just for form.  Ellis was doing better.  He had set up housekeeping, since Jap came, in the back room of the little wooden structure that faced the Public Square, and housewives sent them real food once in a while.

Once Ellis feared that Jap was going to quit him for the Golden Shore.  It was on the occasion of Myrtilla Botts’s wedding, when she baked the cakes herself, for practice, and her mother thoughtfully sent most of them to the Editor, to insure a big puff for Myrtilla.  Ellis was afraid; but Jap, with the enthusiasm and in-experience of youth, took a chance.  Bill was laid up with mumps, or the danger would have been lessened.  As it was, it took all the doctors in town to keep Jap alive until they could uncurl him and straighten out his appendix, which appeared to be cased in wedding cake.  This experience gave Jap an added distaste for the state of matrimony

“My dad allus said to keep away from marryin’,” he moaned.  “But how’d I know you’d ketch it from the eatin’s?”

The subscription list grew apace.  There was aload of section ties, two bushel of turnips and six pumpkins paid in November, Bill and Jap went hunting once a week, so the larder grew beyond sardines.  Jap acquired a hatred of turnips and pumpkins that was inafter years almost a mania.  At Christmas, Kelly Jones brought in a barrel of sorghum, “to sweeten ’em,” he guffawed.  Jap had grown to manhood before he wholly forgave that pleasantry.  It was a hard winter.  Everybody said so and when Jap gazed at Ellis across the turnips and sorghum of those weary months, he said he believed it.

“Shame on you,” rebuked Ellis, gulping his turnips with haste.  “Think of the wretched people who would be glad to get this food.”

“Do you know any of their addresses?” asked Jap abruptly.  “Because I can’t imagine anybody happy on turnips and sorghum.  I’d be willin’ to trade my wretched for theirn.”

Kelly said that Jap would be fat as butter if he ate plenty of molasses, and this helped at first; but when the grass came, he begged Ellis to cook it for a change.

When George Thomas came in, one blustery March day, to say that if the turnips were all gone, he would bring in some more, Ellis pied Judge Bowers’s speech on the duties of the Village Fathers to the alleys, when he saw the malignant look that Jap cast upon the cheery farmer.

Once a week Bill and Jap drew straws to determine which one should fare forth in quest of founds, and for the first time in his brief business career, Jap was glad the depressing task had fallen to him.  “Pi” was likely to bring on an acute attack of mental indigestion, and the boy had learned to dread Ellis Hinton’s infrequent but illuminating flame of wrath.

The catastrophe had been blotted out, the last stickful of tope had been set and Biill had gone home to supper when Jap, leg-weary and discouraged, wandered into the office.  Elllis looked up from the form he was adjusting.

“How did you ever pick out this town?”  the boy complained, turning the result of his day’s collection on the table.

Ellis turned from the bit of pine he was whittling, a makeshift depressingly familiar to the country editor.  He scanned the meager assortment of coins with anxious eye.  Jap’s lower jaw dropped.

“I’ll have to fire you if you have’t got enough to pay for the paper.”

“Got enough for that,” said Jap mournfully, “but not enough for meat.”

“Didn’t Loghman owe for his ad?” Ellis demanded.  “Did you ask him for it?”

“Says you owe him more ‘n he’s willin’ for you to owe,” Jap ventured.

Ellis sighed.

“Meat’s not healthy this damp weather,” he suggested.  “Cook something light.”

“It’ll be darned light,” said Jap.  :”There’s one tater.”

“No bread?” asked Ellis.

“Give that scrap to the cat,” Jap returned.  “Doc Hall says she’s done eat all the mice in town and if we don’t feed her she’ll be eating’ off’n the subscribers.”

“Confound Doc Hall,” stormed Ellis.  “You take your orders from me.  That bread, stewed with potato, would have made a dandy dish.”  He shook the form to settle it, and faced Jap.

“How did I come to pick this place?” he said slowly.  “Well, Jap, it was the dirtiest deal a boy ever got.  I had a little money after my father died.  I wanted to invest it in a newspaper, somewhere in the West, where the world was honest and young.  I had served my apprenticeship in a dingy, narrow little New England office, and I thought my lifework was cut out for me.  I had big dreams, Jap.  I saw myself a power in my town.  With straw and mud I wanted to build a town of brick and stone.  Dreams, dreams, Jap, dreams.  Some day you may have the, too.”

He let his lean form slowly down into a chair.  Japbraced himself against the table as the narrative continued:

“In Hartford I met Hallam, the man who started the Bloomtown Herald.  I heard his flattering version.  I inspected his subscription list and studied the columns of his paper, full of ads.  I bought.  The subs were deadheads, the ads—gratuitous, for my undoing.  It was indeed straw and mud, and, lad, it has remained straw and mud.”  He leaned his head on his hand for a moment.

“That was the year after you were born, Jap.  I was only twenty-one.  For a year I was hopeful; then I dragged like a dead dog.  OYou will be surprisedwhen I tell you what brought me to life again.  I tell you this, boy, so that you will never despise Opportunity, though she may wear blue calico, as mine did.

“It was one dark, cold day.  No human face had come inside the office for a week.  That was the period of myh life when I learned how human a cat can be.  We were starving, the cat and me, with the advantage in favor of the cat.  She could eat vermin.  I sat by the table, wondering the quickest way to get out of it.  Yes, Jap, the first and, God help me, the only time that life was worthless.  The door opened and a plump woman dressed in blue calico, a sunbonnet pushed back from her smiling face, entered.”

To jap, who listened with his heart in his throat, it seemed that Ellis was quoting perhaps a page from the memoirs he had written for the benefit of this townsmen.  His deep melodious voice fell into the rhythmic cadence of a reader, as he continued:

” ‘Howdy, Mr. Editor,’ she chirped.  ‘I’ve been keenin’ for a long time to come in to see you.  I think you are aprintin’ the finest paper I ever seen.  I brought you a mess of sassage and a passel of bones from the killin’.  It’s so cold, they’ll keep a spell.  And here’s a dollar for next year’s paper.  I don’t want to miss a number.  I am areadin’ it over and over.  Seems like you are agoin’ to make a real town out of Bloomtown,’ and with a friendly pat on the arm, she was gone.”

Ellis brushed the long hair from his brow, the strange modulation went out of his voice and the fire returned to his brown eyes as he said;

“Jap, I got up from that table and fell on my knees, and right there I determined that starvation nor cold nor any other enemy should rout me.  Jap, I am going to make Bloomtown a real town yet.  My boy, that blue calico lady was Mrs. Kelly Jones.”

 

Casper S. Yost and Patience Worth

CASPER SALATHIEL YOST
CASPER SALATHIEL YOST

Perhaps if it were not for the scholarly Casper S.Yost, the writing of Patience Worth might never have been brought to the public eye.  It was Casper Salathiel Yost who published the first book about Patience Worth which provided a brief history of the coming of Patience Worth and a sampling of her poetry and prose as well as his interpretations of some of it.  His small book was titled “Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery” and was published by Henry Holt and company in 1916.  It was due to this book that the writing of Patience Worth gained some degree of notoriety attracting the attention of other newspaper men, doctors, lawyers, psychologists and college professors.

Other books would eventually be written about Patience Worth and Pearl Curran over the next 100 years or so, but it was Casper Yost, with his gentle trust and belief that Patience Worth was a spirit of a woman who lived 250 years ago, who presented the story of Patience Worth in a simple non-scientific way that enabled Patience Worth to gain a substantial readership during the early 20th century.  It helped of course that Casper Yost was the Editorial Director of the St. Louis Globe Democrat.  He was an accomplished writer himself having written several books among which were “The Carpenter of Nazareth”, “The Making of a Successful Husband; Letters of a Happily Married Man to His Son” and “The Principles of Journalism”.

He was born in Sedalia Missouri on July 1, 1864 and died in St. Louis in 1941.  His career in newspapers started when he was 8 years old when he worked as a type-setter on a weekly newspaper in Lebanon, Missouri.  As a youth of 17 years old he was employed as a reporter in St. Louis where he worked at the Missouri Republican until 1889 when he went to work for the St. Louis Globe Democrat.  He was considered one of the most convincing editorial writers in the country at that time.  Yost was committed to promoting journalism as a profession and was instrumental in organizing in 1922 the “American Society of News Editors” becoming the first president of a membership of nearly 100 newspaper editors.  So, he had a lot of contacts.  He was a man of integrity and as one can discern in his writing and conversations with Patience Worth, he conveyed a certain sweetness and naiveté that made him not only believable but lovable.

Irving Litvag, in his book “Singer in the Shadows” reports that Casper Yost “wrote six books, received honorary degrees from four colleges (he had never attended college), and in 1936 was given the national award for scholarship in journalism by Sigma Delta Chi the national journalism society,” 

Litvag continues by reporting that “When Casper Yost died in 1941 at the age of seventy-seven, his newspaper, which he had served almost fifty-two years, said of him: ‘To those who worked with him, he was not merely a gentleman.  He was in the authentic and original sense of that word a gentle man.  Slight, modest, soft-spoken, courteous  .  .  .  he thought and weighed and wrote.  Beneath the scholar was the thinker, beneath the thinker, the poet, and beneath the poet a deeply religious spirit.  .  .  .  ‘  An editorial the same day described him as ‘an omnivorous reader  .  .  .  and a student of the classics’  He was one of thirty-three noted Missourians for whom a Liberty Ship was named in World War II.’ “

“More to the point,” Litvag believed that, “.  .  .   he was a man of unimpeachable honesty and integrity.  He was the old-fashioned man of virtue, the sort of old newspaperman who sat at a roll-top desk and wrote everything in longhand.  He was the kind of man of whom a fellow St. Louisan would say at a memorial service; ‘If ever, in our day, there lived and labored among us a man of fearless intellectual honesty, it was Casper Yost.’ ”  

The book and Capser Yost were severely criticized by Dr. James Hyslop, head researcher for the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) because strict controls to detect fraud were not in place during the sessions with Patience Worth and Pearl Curran.

Professor Hyslop had been in secret contact with Pearl Curran’s friend, Emily Hutchings and had become her confident.  After Emily channeled “Jap Herron”, a book purportedly dictated by Mark Twain, Professor Hyslop took sides and supported Emily’s work while he blasted the work of Pearl Curran as presented in Yost’s book.

(Actually Hyslop was more opposed to  the work as presented by  Yost, rather than the quality of the writing of Patience Worth itself.  In a letter from Hutchings to Hyslop, Emily stated that Mark Twain wished that 25% of the proceeds from the sale of Jap Herron be used for research of psychic phenomena, probably understood by Hyslop to mean ‘given to the ASPR’.  So—Hyslop praised Hutchings’ book while he trashed the book by Yost.  Interestingly, Hyslop wrote to Emily Hutchings that he too had contacted the spirit of Patience Worth thereby authenticating, I guess, that Patience Worth was what she claimed to be, that is—a spirit of a long dead Puritan lady, so Hyslop’s gripe must have been with Casper Yost, not with Patience Worth—or maybe it was just the bribe offered by Mark Twain.)

Let’s listen to Casper Yost in his preface to “Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery.”  Perhaps if Hyslop had read it carefully, he might have better understood the intent of Casper Yost in publishing the book.  I don’t think that Casper Yost was out to prove anything.  He simply wanted to bring to the public, poetry and prose which in his professional opinion was of high quality.

Casper Salathiel Yost

Casper Salathiel Yost

The compiler of this book is not a spiritualist, nor a psychologist, nor a member of the Society for Psychical Research; nor has he ever had anything more than a transitory and skeptical interest in psychic phenomena of any character.  He is a newspaper man whose privilege and pleasure it is to present the facts in relation to some phenomena which he does not attempt to classify nor to explain, but which are virtually without precedent in the record of occult manifestations.  The mystery of Patience Worth is one which every reader may endeavor to solve for himself.  The sole purpose of this narrative is to give the visible truth, the physical evidence, so to speak, the things that can be seen and that are therefore susceptible of proof by ocular demonstration.  In this category are the instruments of communication and the communications themselves, which are described, explained and, in some cases, interpreted, where an effort at interpretation seems to be desirable.”

Nowhere, in his wildest dreams did Casper Yost ever think that anyone would challenge his presentation of what he believed were the facts about Patience Worth.  He was not a man of science.  He was a newspaper man who revered the written word.  The written word was his medium, not a spiritualist nor a scientist.

At the end of his book, Yost quotes a poem in which Patience Worth  provides a promise of spirit survival after death of the body.

Swift as light-flash o’ storm, swift, swift,
Would I send the wish o’ thine asearch.
Swift, swift as bruise o’ swallows’ wing ‘pon air,
I’d send asearch thy wish, areach to lands unseen;
I’d send aback o’ answer laden.
Swift, swift, would I to flee unto the Naught
Thou knowest as the Here.
Swift, swift I’d bear aback to thee
What thou wouldst seek.  Swift, Swift,
Would I to bear aback to thee.

Dost deem the path ahid doth lead to naught?
Dost deem thy footfall leadest thee to nothingness?
Dost pin not ‘pon His word o’ promising,
And art at sorry and afear to follow HIm?
I’d put athin thy cup a sweet, a pledge o’ love’s-buy.
I’d send aback a glad-song o’ this land.
Sing thou, sing on, though thou art ne’er aheard—
Like love awaked, the joy o’ breath
Anew born o’ His loving.

Set thee at rest, and trod the path unfearing.
For He who putteth joy to earth, aplanted joy
Athin the reach o’ thee, e’en through
The dark o’ path at end o’ journey.
His smile!  His word!  His loving!
Put forth thy hand at glad, and I do promise thee
That Joy o’ earth asupped shall fall as naught,
And thou shalt sup thee deep o’ joys,
O’ Bearer, aye, and Source; And like glad light o’ day
And sweet o’ love, thy coming here shall be!

Yost finishes his book by saying, “With this promise, this covenant, we bring the narrative of Patience to an end.  There will be many and widely varied views of the nature of this intelligence, but surely there can be but one opinion of the beauty of her words and the purity of her purpose.” 

 

PROVERBS AND APHORISMS of Patience Worth

Cat-Blue2In the early years of communication with Patience Worth, she would often utter rather short exclamatory statements, perhaps typical of her time in the 1600s which have subsequently been culled out of the transcriptions of her communications and referred to as proverbs and aphorisms of Patience Worth. Many of these come from her ‘table talk” with Pearl Curran,  John Curran, Mary Pollard, Pearl’s mother and Emily Hutchings Pearl’s close friend and other visitors around the Ouija board.  Now Patience Worth probably had no intent on inventing proverbs but never-the-less she did often come up with some witty responses to questions and comments from people who sat at séances with her and Pearl Curran. According to Walter Franklin Prince in his book The Case of Patience Worth, he states that ” almost immediately after Patience Worth announced herself, especially as annoyed or stimulated by the wonderment, curiosity, and debate of persons present, and in impromptu response to utterances by others, she began to make replies, which in pith, wit, wisdom and generally in terseness, resemble the proverbs of old time, and compare favorably with them. Some are like the homeliest sayings of rural origin, some are philosophical and lofty, some are exquisite in beauty. Some of them indeed contain superfluous words, such as time would wear away if they passed through the process that has been applied to the wise saws of former generations.” 

Apparently Dr. Prince did a little bit of study of proverbs among all peoples that according to Dr. Prince “were imbedded in the literature of the ages.” He had easily found two hundred and thirty collections of proverbs of forty-five peoples with many dialectical subdivisions. He compared the so-called proverbs of Patience Worth with many of those he found in those collections and determined that those of Patience compared favorably with those which had stood the test of time. He states that “It is not so easy as it looks to manufacture, cold-bloodedly, sentences of the genuine proverb quality. . . . Let us put it, for one person to originate many scores of short sentences, ranging from rustic bluntness to philosophical depth and poetic beauty, all corresponding to the definition ‘condensing in witty or striking form the wisdom of experience’ would be an extraordinary achievement. If not, who besides Patience Worth has done it?” Prince goes on to say, “Mrs. Curran never, in her talk with or letters to me, showed any tendency to coin sentences of a proverb-like nature, and I have found no one who remembers of her uttering one before the advent of Patience Worth. That she should be able, under the Patience Worth influence or in the Patience Worth state, to do impromptu, as flashes from the impact of utterances made by others, what is so exceedingly difficult for brilliant writers to do with deliberation and care, namely, to pour out sayings of proverb quality, pith, wisdom, flavor and brevity, fit to have come from the lips of a philosopher, a poet, a saint or a peasant (the last oftenest), places the problem of the subconscious, either as a transmitter or a generator, before us in more imperative terms than ever.”

Dr. Prince went on to list one hundred and seventy proverbs of Patience Worth of which I have culled the ones which interest me the most.  Most of these were impromptu, being called forth by some unexpected remark made by another.  They appear not to have been produced by any conscious effort on the part of Mrs. Curran.

1.  AN OWL IS SILENT, AND CREDITED WITH MUCH WISDOM.
2.  A WISE HEN BETRAYS NOT ITS NEST WITH A LOUD CACKLE.
3.  THISTLE-DOWN IS AS RAINBOWS SPUN, YET FLAX THE LINEN MAKES
4.
  WHEN MANNA FALLS, FILL THYSELF AND QUESTION NOT.
5.  BEAT THE HOUND AND LOSE THE HARE.
6.  TO BREW A POTION, NEEDS MUST HAVE A POT.
7.  SOME FOLK, LIKE THE BELL WITHOUT A CLAPPER, GO CLANGING ON IN GOOD FAITH
        BELIEVING THE GOOD FOLKS CAN HEAR THEM.
8.  A FIERY TONGUE BELONGS TO ONE WORTH BURNING.
9.  A LOLLIPOP IS BUT A BREEDER OF PAIN.
(According to Dr. Prince, Patience Worth meant that flattering utterances are sometimes less beneficial than criticisms or rebukes.)
10. WEAK YARN IS NOT WORTH THE KNITTING.
11. A WISE COOK TELLETH NOT THE BREW.
12. THE BELL-COW DOTH DEEM THE GOOD FOLKS GO TO SABBATH-HOUSE
          FROM THE RINGING OF HER BELL.
13. SHOULD’ST I PRESENT THEE WITH A PUMPKIN,
          WOULD’ST THOU DESIRE TO COUNT THE SEEDS?
(Dr. Prince thought this was similar to ‘It is disgraceful to make difficulties of trifles.’  Well, maybe so, but it seems to me that a better comparison would be ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”  That is, if someone gives you a horse, don’t look to see if the teeth are in good shape.  Just take the horse and be thankful you got it as a gift.  Similarly if someone gives you a pumpkin, don’t judge the quality of the gift by counting the seeds; just take it and go!)
14. THE COCK WHO CROWETH LOUDEST TO CALL THE HENS SELDOM HATH A FAT WORM
          BUT EXPECTETH A LOUD CACKLE.
15. SET THE A DOG TO CARRY MICE TO TABBY?
16. CARDING COTTON DOES NOT WEAVE THE CLOTH.
17. A BASTING BUT TOUGHENS AN OLD GOOSE.
18. A POT OF WISDOM WOULD BOIL TO NOTHING ERE A 
        DOUBTER DEEMED IT WORTH TASTING.
19. TO CATCH A FLEA NEEDS BE A DOG?
20. THE PIGGIE WHO SCRATCHETH UPON AN OAK
          DOTH DEEM HIS FLEAS THE FALLING ACORNS CAUSE.
21. THE JACKASS NE’ER CAN KNOW HIS REFLECTION IN THE POOL.
22. THE COCK ON A LIMB CROWS OVER THE HENS, BUT HE FEEDS ON WORMS
         AS WELL AS THEY.
23. NO MAN IS WEARIED SORER THAN HE WHO IS WEARY OF HIMSELF.
24. A BABE WITHOUT A WAIL IS LIKE A DOG WITHOUT A TAIL.
25. AN ASS WHO KICKETH A LUTE, DEEMETH ‘TIS MUSIC.
26. EACH MAN WRAPPETH HIS THOUGHT WITHIN HIS OWN EGOTRY
         AND CALLETH THE BRAT A NEW NAME.
27. GIVE ME NOT WISDOM ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THE UNIVERSE,
         BUT FOLLY ENOUGH TO TOLERATE IT.
28. WISDOM IS AN AGED BABE AND YOUTH THINKS HE IS ITS SIRE.
29. YOU MAY NOT MEND A SPLIT HEAD BY BEING SORRY.
30. AN ASS MAY BE A GOODISH NEIGHBOR—–WITH A RAILING BETWEEN.
31. HE WHO RIDES O’ER HARD TO MILL MAY LOSE HIS SACKING.
32. LET A WISE MAN SET TO LOVERING AND THE APPLE OF HIS WISDOM ROTS.
33. NO MAN WHOSE BELLY IS SOURED THINKETH SWEET.
34. WHEN A FOOL BECOMES WISE HE FALLS SILENT.
35. HE WHO LACKETH THE POWER TO RAGE, DAMMETH SILENTLY
         AND ROTTETH HIS OWN HEART.
36. NO WISDOM IS A USEFUL THING SAVE IT HATH A PAIR OF HANDS
         THAT ARE FIT FOR WORKING.
37. THE BOBBIN’S STICKING MEANETH NAUGHT TO THE PATTERN.
38. I COULD NOT DOUBT GOD SAVE THAT I DOUBTED MAN.
39. MAN LOSES THE ZEST OF THE GAME IN THE SORTING OF THE DISCUSES.
40. I HAVE OFTEN HEARD HOW WISE A BIRD THE OWL, BUT WHO HATH
        EVER HEARD A WISE THING IT HATH UTTERED?
41. YE MAY NOT COME UNTO THE MART UNLESS YE TRUDGE THE WAY.
42. MAN’S WISDOM IS GOD’S JEST.
43. NO BEGGAR IS SO BLIND AS HE WHO HATH LOVE’S FINGERS ON HIS EYES.
44. LOVE IS AN ARMOR AND A SHIELD; YEA, AND AN ARROW WITH
         DEATH UPON ITS POINT.
45. WISE MEN LISP LEARNING; FOOLS SHOUT FOLLY.
46. THE GOOSE KNOWETH WHERE THE BIN LEAKETH.
47. HE WHO HATH A HOUSE, A HEARTH AND A FRIEND HATH A LUCKY LOT.
48. DEAD WISDOMS SPAKE BY DEADER SAGES.
49. COURT WISDOM WITH FOLLY-SINGING; I WOT THEN WISDOM WILL DANCE.
50. TRUTH HATH A DANGEROUS SISTER, HALF HER FLESH—-NEAR TRUTH.

Dr. Prince sums up his discussion of the proverbs of Patience Worth by saying ” Since the general law is that the subconscious can occasionally surpass the feats of the conscious, but only in fields of effort where the conscious has shown aptitude or at least made effort or cherished desire to act, this mass of proverbial literature either evidences an external mind operating through Mrs. Curran’s subconsciousness or makes her an exceptional case, transcending previous authentic cases and contradicting what had seemed one of the conclusions of psychology.