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3. N. I have always understood that it was very hot that day.
4. Cap. Bless you, boy, it makes my crutch sweat to think of it; and if I did not hate long stories I would tell you things about that battle such as you would not believe, you rogue, if I did not tell you. It beats all nature how hot it was.
5. N. I wonder you did not all die of heat and fatigue.
6. Cap. Why, so we would, if the regulars had only died first; but you see they never liked the Jerseys, and would not lay their bones there. Now, if I did not hate long stories I would tell you all about that business, for you see they do not do things so now-a-days.
7. N. How so? Do not people die as they used to? 8. Cap. Bless you, no. It beat all nature to see how long the regulars would kick after we killed them.
9. N. What! kick after they were killed! That does beat all nature, as you say.
10. Cap. Come, boy, no splitting hairs with an old continental, for you see, if I did not hate long stories, I would tell you things about this battle that you would never believe. Why, bless you, when General Washing ton told us we might give it to them, we gave it to them, I tell you.
Why, bless you, we and if I did not hate
11. N. You gave what to them? 12. Cap. Cold lead, you rogue. fired twice to their once, you see; long stories I would tell you how we did it. You must know, the regulars wore their close-bodied red coats, because they thought we were afraid of them; but we did not wear any coats, you see, because we had none. 13. N. How happened you to be without coats? 14. Cap. Why, bless you, they would wear out, and the States could not buy us any more, you see, and so we
marched the lighter and worked the freer for it. Now, if I did not hate long stories I would tell you what the general said to me the next day, when I had a touch of the rheumatism from lying on the field without a blanket all night. You must know it was raining hard just then, and we were pushing on like all nature after the regulars.
15. N. What did the general say to you!
16. Cap. Not a syllable says he, but off comes his coat, and he throws it over my shoulders: "There, captain," says he, "wear that, for we can not spare you yet." Now that beat all nature, hey?
17. N. So you wore the general's coat, did you?
18. Cap. Lord bless your simple heart, no. I did not feel sick after that, I tell you. "No, general," says I, "they can spare me better than they can you just now, and so I will take the will for the deed," says I.
19. N. You will never forget this kindness, captain. 20. Cap. Not I, boy! I never feel a twinge of the rheumatism, but what I say, God bless the general. Now, you see, I hate long stories, or I would tell you how I gave it to a regular who tried to shoot the general at Monmouth. You know we were at close quarters, and the general was right between the two fires.
21. N. I wonder he was not shot.
22. Cap. Bless your ignorant soul, nobody could kill the general; but you see a sneaking regular did not know this, and so he leveled his musket at him; and you see I knew what he was after, and I gave the general's horse a slap on the haunches, and it beats all nature how he sprung, and the general all the while as straight as a gunbarrel.
23. N. And you saved the general's life.
24. Cap. Did I not tell you nobody could kill the general? but you see his horse was in the rake of my
gun, and I wanted to get the start of that cowardly regular.
25. N. Did you hit him?
26. Cap. Bless your simple soul, does the thunder hit where it strikes!-though the fellow made me blink a little, for he carried away part of this ear-See there! (Showing his ear.) Now does not that beat all nature?
27. N. I think it does. But tell me, how is it that you took all these things so calmly? What made you so contented under your privations and hardships?
28. Cap. O, bless your young soul, we got used to it. Besides, you see the general never flinched nor grumbled.
29. N. Yes, but you served without being paid.
30. Cap. So did the general, and the States, you know, were poor as all nature.
31. N. But you had families to support.
32. Cap. Aye, aye, but the general always told us that God and our country would take care of them, you see. Now, if I did not hate long stories, I would tell you how it turned out just as he said, for he beat all nature for guessing right.
33. N. Then you feel happy, and satisfied with what you have done for your country, and what she has done for you?
34. Cap. Why, bless you, if I had not left one of my legs at Yorktown I would not have touched a stiver of the State's money; and as it is, I am so old that I shall not need it long. You must know, I long to see the general again, and if he does not hate long stories as bad as I do, I shall tell him all about America, you see, for it beats all nature how things have changed since he left
1. The gall-nuts of commerce are found on the branches of shrubby oaks. By the phrase "gall-nuts of commerce” is meant simply those which are of sufficient value to be bought and sold.
2. Gall-nuts are usually round, varying from the size of a pea to that of a hazel-nut. The best of them are heavy and brittle, of a deep olive color or black. In commerce they are known as white, green and blue gall-nuts.
3. The white ones are those which were not gathered till the insect had made its escape. These are not as heavy as the others, and, being of a lighter color, are not worth as much. The green and blue gall-nuts, or galls, as they are often called, are gathered before the insect leaves them. These are heavier and darker than the white ones, and yield about one third more coloring
4. These curious excrescences, and all similar ones found on the leaves, branches and roots of trees, are caused by the sting of insects when depositing their eggs. There are many kinds of insects that produce these excrescences, which form protection and nourishment to the eggs and the young insects. The oak, which bears the gall-nuts of commerce, is a shrub not more than four or five feet in height.
5. These galls are very astringent, and have an unpleasant, bitter taste. The best of them are imported from Aleppo and Smyrna, in Asia Minor. They are used in medicine and in dyeing, and also in making ink, which enables us, among other things, to converse with our friends, be their distance never so great.
6. The human voice extends over a small circle only; but the pen, dipped in a liquid dyed with the gall-nut, sends forth winged words across seas and over distant
lands, bearing our thoughts and telling the words we would speak.
7. Thus, wherever we turn our eyes in nature we may behold the hand of an Infinite Creator, in the wonderful adaptation and usefulness of every thing, even of the most inferior of creatures.
LXVIII. THE PRAIRIE ON FIRE.
1. The long grass, burned brown
Snaps brittle and dry
'Neath the traveler's feet,
Through all the long day,
2. Safe and snug with the goods
3. But hark! in the distance
It is not the moon.