The Prince of Humbugs: Phineas Taylor Barnum

"If the whole world of animated nature—human or brute—at any time produces a monstrosity or a wonder, she has but one object in view—to benefit BARNUM. BARNUM, under the happy influence of a tallow candle in some corner or other of Yankee land, was born sole heir to all her lean men, fat women, dwarfs, two-headed cows, amphibious sea-maidens, large-eyed owls, small-eyed mice, rabbit-eating anacondas, bugs, monkies and mummies. His domain extends even to the forest, and he claims exclusive right to all wooden legs lost, as estrays on the field of battle, and, as a matter of course, to the boots in which they are encased."
- Anonymous piece attributed to Herman Melville
in Yankee Doodle, II, no.43 (July 31, 1847), p.168.