Слике страница
PDF
ePub

6. This is a place of gloom; where are the gloomy?

The gloomy are not citizens of death;
Approach and look, where the long grass is plumy;

See them above! they are not found beneath;
For these low denizens, with artful wiles,

Nature, in flowers, contrives her mimic smiles. 7. This is a place of sorrow! friends have met

And mingled tears o'er those who answered not;
And where are they whose eyelids then were wet?

Alas! their griefs, their tears, are all forgot:
They, too, are landed in the silent city,

Where there is neither love, nor tears, nor pity. 8. This is a place of fear; the firmest eye

Hath quailed to see its shadowy dreariness;
But Christian hope, and heavenly prospects high,

And earthly cares, and nature's weariness,
Have made the timid pilgrim cease to fear,
And long to end his painful journey here.

HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.

LXXXIII.—THE SOLILOQUY OF KING RICH

ARD III.

1. Give me another horse : bind up my wounds:

Have mercy, Jesu! Soft: I did but dream!
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue! It is now dead midnight!
What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by.
Richard loves Richard ; that is, I am I.

Is there a murderer here? No- yes, I am. 2. Then fly. What ! From myself? Great reason !

why?
Lest I revenge.

What? Myself on myself ?

I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself ?
O, no, alas! I rather hate myself,
For hateful deeds committed by myself.

I am a villain : yet I lie; I am not. 3. Fool, of thyself speak well :- fool, do not flatter:

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And
every

tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the highest degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree,

Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty ! 4. I shall despair! There is no creature loves me,

And, if I die, no soul will pity me:
Nay; wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murdered
Came to my tent, and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

SHAKESPEARE.

LXXXIV.- ORIGIN OF YANKEE DOODLE.

1. In 1755 simultaneous attacks were made

upon

the French posts in America. That against the fort on the Ohio, where the city of Pittsburgh now stands, was corducted by General Braddock; and those against Niagara and Frontenac by Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, and General Johnson, of New York. The army of Shirley and Johnson, during the summer of 1755, lay on the eastern bank of the Hudson, a little south of the city of Albany.

2. In the early part of June the troops of the eastern provinces began to pour in, company after company; and such a motley assembly of men never before thronged together on such an occasion, unless an example may be found in the ragged regiment of Sir John Falstaff.

3. It would have relaxed the gravity of an anchorite to have seen the descendants of the Puritans marching through the streets of that ancient city (Albany), and taking their situations to the left of the British army: some with long coats, some with short coats, and others with no coats at all ; with colors as varied as the rainbow: some with their hair cropped like the army of Cromwell, and others with wigs, the locks of which floated with grace around their shoulders.

4. Their march, their accouterments, and the whole arrangement of the troops furnished matter of amusement to the rest of the British army. The music played was the airs of two centuries ago; and their appearance, on the whole, exhibited a sight to the wondering strangers, to which they had been unaccustomed.

5. Among the club of wits that belonged to the British army there was a Dr. Shackburg attached to the staff, who combined with the science of a surgeon the skill and talent of a musician. To please the new comers, he

. composed a tune, and with much gravity recommended it to the officers as one of the most celebrated airs of martial music.

6. The joke took, to the no small amazement of the British. Brother Jonathan exclaimed it was " mighty fine,” and in a few days nothing was heard in the provincial camp but the air of Yankee Doodle.

7. Little did the author, in his composition, then think that an air, made for the purpose of levity and ridicule, would be marked for such high destinies. In twenty years from that time the national march inspired the heroes of Bunker Hill, and in less than thirty Lord Cornwallis and his army marched into the American lines to the tune of Yankee Doodle.

8. This tune, however, was not original with Dr. Shackburg: he made it from an old song, which can be traced back to the reign of Charles 1,-a song which has, in its day, been used for a great variety of words.

LXXXV.-HOW THE UNITED STATES CAME

TO BE CALLED “UNCLE SAM."

[ocr errors]

1. I have often puzzled myself as to the origin of the term “Uncle Sam," now in very common use, in designating the Government of the United States; but the following account of the matter, which has recently come under my notice, seems quite satisfactory.

2. Immediately after the declaration (June 19, 1812) of the last war with England, Elbert Anderson, a contractor of provisions to supply the army of the United States, visited Troy, on the Hudson, where he purchased a large quantity of beef, pork, etc. The inspectors of these articles at that place were Messrs. Ebenezer and Samuel Wilson. The latter gentleman, known as “Uncle Sam,” generally superintended, in person, a large number of workmen, who were employed in overhauling the provisions purchased by the contractor for the army.

3. The casks were marked “E. A.-U. S.” This work of marking fell to the lot of a facetious fellow in the employ of the Messrs. Wilson, who, on being asked by soine of his fellow-workmen the meaning of the mark, (for the letters U. S. for the United States were entirely new to them,) said that he did not know, unless it meant “Elbert Anderson and Uncle Sam ;” meaning by “Uncle Sam” simply Samuel Wilson.

4. The joke took among the workmen, and passed currently; and Mr. Wilson, being a good-natured man, was often rallied by them on the increasing extent of his possessions. Many of these workmen were found shortly after following the recruiting drum, and pushing toward the frontier lines, for the double purpose of meeting the enemy and of eating the provisions they had labored to put in good order.

5. Their old jokes accompanied them; and before the first campaign ended, this identical one appeared in print. It gained favor very rapidly, till it penetrated, and was recognized in every part of our country, and will, no doubt, continue, so long as the United States remain a nation.

WOODWORTH.

LXXXVI.-NIAGARA FALLS.

Hail! Monarch of the World of Floods! whose majesty

and might First dazzles, then enraptures, then o'erawes the aching

sight: The pomp of kings and emperors, in every clime and

zone, Grows dim beneath the splendors of thy glorious watery

throne.

No fleets can stop thy progress, no armies bid thee stay, But onward, onward, onward — thy march still holds its

sway; The rising mist that vails thee, as thy herald goes be

fore, And the music that proclaims thee is the thundering

cataract's roar.

« ПретходнаНастави »