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And the receipts which thence might The spirits seemed exceeding tame, flow,

Call whom you fancied, and he came; We could divide between us;

The shades august of eldest fame Still more attractions to combine,

You summoned with an awful ease; Beside these services of mine,

As grosser spirits gurgled out I will throw in a very fine

From chair and table with a spout, (It would do nicely for a sign)

In Auerbach's cellar once, to flout Original Titian's Venus.

The senses of the rabble rout, Another offered handsome fees

Where'er the gimlet twirled about If Knott would get Demosthenes

Of cunning Mephistopheles, (Nay, his mere knuckles, for more ease) So did these spirits seem in store, To rap a few short sentences;

Behind the wainscot or the door, Or if, for want of proper keys,

Ready to thrill the being's core His Greek might make confusion, Of every enterprising bore Then just to get a rap from Burke,

With their astounding glamour; To recommend a little work

Whatever ghost one wished to hear, On Public Elocution.

By strange coincidence, was near Meanwhile, the spirits made replies

To make the past or future clear To all the reverent whats and whys,

(Sometimes in shocking grammar) Resolving doubts of every size,

By raps and taps, now there, now here And giving seekers grave and wise,

It seemed as if the spirit queer Who came to know their destinies,

Of some departed auctioneer A rap-turous reception;

Were doomed to practise by the year When unbelievers void of grace

With the spirit of his hammer: Came to investigate the place,

Whate'er you asked was answered, yet (Creatures of Sadducistic race,

One could not very deeply get With grovelling intellects and base,) Into the obliging spirits' debt, They could not find the slightest trace Because they used the alphabet To indicate deception;

In all communications, Indeed, it is declared by some

And new revealings (though sublime)
That spirits (of this sort) are glum, Rapped out, one letter at a time,
Almost, or wholly, deaf and dumb,

With boggles, hesitations,
And (out of self-respect) quite mum Stoppings, beginnings o'er again,
To skeptic natures cold and numb,

And getting matters into train,
Who of this kind of Kingdom Come Could hardly overload the brain
Have not a just conception:

With too excessive rations,
True, there were people who demurred Since just to ask if two and two
That, though the raps no doubt were heard | Really make four ? or, How d' ye do?
Both under them and o'er them,

And get the fit replies thereto
Yet, somehow, when a search they made, In the tramundane rat-tat-too,
They found Miss Jenny sore afraid,

Might ask a whole day's patience.
Or Jenny's lover, Doctor Slade,
Equally awestruck and dismayed,

’T was strange ('mongst other things) to Or Deborah, the chambermaid,

find Whose terrors not to be gainsaid

In what odd sets the ghosts combined, In laughs hysteric were displayed,

Happy forthwith to thump any Was always there before them;

Piece of intelligence inspired, This had its due effect with some

The truth whereof had been inquired Who straight departed, muttering, Hum! By some one of the company;

Transparent hoax! and Gammon! For instance, Fielding, Mirabeau,
But these were few: believing souls,

Orator Henley, Cicero,
Came, day by day, in larger shoals, Paley, John Ziska, Marivaux,
As the ancients to the windy holes

Melancthon, Robertson, Junot,
'Neath Delphi's tripod brought their doles, Scaliger, Chesterfield, Rousseau,
Or to the shrine of Ammon.

Hakluyt, Boccaccio, South, De Foe,

Diaz, Josephus, Richard Roe,

Nothing could seem absurder; Odin, Arminius, Charles le gros,

Poor Colonel Jones they all abused Tiresias, the late James Crow,

And finally downright accused Casabianca, Grose, Prideaux,

The poor old man of murder; Old Grimes, Young Norval, Swift, Brissot, 'T was thus; by dreadful raps was shown Main:onides, the Chevalier D'O,

Some spirit's longing to make known Socrates, Fénelon, Job, Stow,

A bloody fact, which he alone The inventor of Elixir pro,

Was privy to, (such ghosts more prone Euripides, Spinoza, Poe,

In Earth's affairs to meddle are;) Confucius, Hiram Smith, and Fo,

Who are you? with awe-stricken looks, Came (as it seemed, somewhat de trop) All ask: his airy knuckles he crooks, With a disembodied Esquimaux,

And raps, “I was Eliab Snooks, To say that it was so and so,

That used to be a pedler; With Franklin's expedition;

Some on ye still are on my books !” One testified to ice and snow,

Whereat, to inconspicuous nooks; One that the mercury was low,

(More fearing this than common spooks,) One that his progress was quite slow,

Shrank each indebted meddler; One that be much desired to go,

Further the vengeful ghost declared One that the cook had frozen his toe, That while his earthly life was spared, (Dissented from by Dandolo,

About the country he had fared, Wordsworth, Cynaegirus, Boileau,

A duly licensed follower La Hontan, and Sir Thomas Roe,)

Of that much - wandering trade that One saw twelve wbite bears in a row,

wins One saw eleven and a crow,

Slow profit from the sale of tins With other things we could not know

And various kinds of hollow-ware; (Of great statistic value, though,)

That Colonel Jones enticed him in, By our mere mortal vision.

Pretending that he wanted tin,

There slew him with a rolling-pin,
Sometimes the spirits made mistakes, Hid him in a potato-bin,
And seemed to play at ducks and drakes And (the same night) him ferried
With bold inquiry's heaviest stakes

Across Great Pond to t' other shore,
In science or in mystery;

And there, on land of Widow Moore, They knew so little (and that wrong) Just where you turn to Larkin's store, Yet rapped it out so bold and strong,

Under a rock him buried; One would have said the unnumbered Some friends (who happened to be by) throng

He called upon to testify Had been Professors of History;

That what he said was not a lie, What made it odder was, that those

And that he did not stir this Who, you would naturally suppose,

Foul matter, out of any spite Could solve a question, if they chose, But from a simple love of right;As easily as count their toes,

Which statements the Nine Worthies, Were just the ones that blundered; Rabbi Akiba, Charlemagne, One day, Ulysses happening down,

Seth, Colley Cibber, General Wayne, A reader of Sir Thomas Browne

Cambyses, Tasso, Tubal-Cain, And who (with him) had wondered The owner of a castle in Spain, What song it was the Sirens sang,

Jebanghire, and the Widow of Nain, Asked the shrewd Ithacan bang! bang! | (The friends aforesaid,) made more plain With this response the chamber rang,

And by loud raps attested; “I guess it was Old Hundred.”

To the same purport testified And Franklin, being asked to name

Plato, John Wilkes, and Colonel Pride The reason why the lightning came, Who knew said Snooks before he died, Replied, " Because it thundered.”

Had in his wares invested,

Thought him entitled to belief On one sole point the ghosts agreed, And freely could concur, in brief, One fearful point, than which,

indeed, In everything the rest did.

Eliab this occasion seized,

In color like molasses, (Distinctly here the spirit sneezed,) Which surgeons, called from far and wide, To say that he should ne'er be eased Upon the horror to decide, Till Jenny married whom she pleased, Having put on their glasses, Free from all checks and urgin's,

Reported thus: “To judge by looks, (This spirit dropt bis final g's)

These bones, by some queer hooks or And that, unless Knott quickly sees

crooks, This done, the spirits to appease,

May have belonged to Mr. Snooks,
They would come back his life to tease, But, as men deepest-read in books
As thick as mites in ancient cheese,

Are perfectly aware, bones,
And let his house on an endless lease If buried fifty years or so,
To the ghosts (terrific rappers these Lose their identity and grow
And veritable Eumenides)

From human bones to bare bones."
Of the Eleven Thousand Virgins !

Still, if to Jaalam you go down, Knott was perplexed and shook his head, You 'll find two parties in the town, He did not wish his child to wed

One headed by Benaiah Brown, With a suspected murderer,

And one by Perez Tinkham; (For, true or false, the rumor spread,) The first believe the ghosts all through But as for this roiled life he led,

And vow that they shall never rue “ It would not answer,” so he said,

The happy chance by which they knew “To have it go no furderer.”

That people in Jupiter are blue,
At last, scarce knowing what it meant,


fond of Irish stew, Reluctantly he gave consent

Two curious facts which Prince Lee Boo That Jenny, since 't was evident

Rapped clearly to a chosen few That she would follow her own bent,

Whereas the others think 'em Should make her own election;

A trick got up by Doctor Slade For that appeared the only way

With Deborah the chambermaid These frightful noises to allay

And that sly cretur Jinny. Which had already turned him gray

That all the revelations wise, And plunged him in dejection.

At which the Brownites made big eyes,

Might have been given by Jared Keyes, Accordingly, this artless maid

A natural fool and ninny, Her father's ordinance obeyed,

And, last week, did n't Eliab Snooks And, all in whitest crape arrayed,

Come back with never better looks, (Miss Pulsifer the dresses made

As sharp as new-bought mackerel hooks, Ànd wishes here the fact displayed

And bright as a new pin, eh?
That she still carries on the trade,

Good Parson Wilbur, too, avers
The third door south from Bagg's Arcade,) (Though to be mixed in parish stirs
A very faint “ I do” essayed

Is worse than handling chestnut-burrs) And gave her hand to Hiram Slade,

That no case to his mind occurs From which time forth, the ghosts were Where spirits ever did converse, laid,

Save in a kind of guttural Erse, And ne'er gave trouble after;

(So say the best authorities;) But the Selectmen, be it known,

And that a charge by raps conveyed Dug underneath the aforesaid stone, Should be most scrupulously weighed Where the poor pedler's corpse

And searched into, before it is thrown,

Made public, since it may give pain And found thereunder a jaw-bone,

That cannot soon be cured again, Though, when the crowner sat thereon, And one word may infix a stain He nothing hatched, except alone

Which ten cannot gloss over, Successive broods of laughter;

Thongh speaking for his private part, It was a frail and dingy thing,

He is rejoiced with all his heart In which a grinder or two did cling,

Miss Knott missed not her lover,



In the note introducing Fitz Adam's Story, infra p. 411, will be found a brief account of the unfinished poem of which this is a fragment.

need n't say,

I Am a man of forty, sirs, a native of East Or would my pilgrim's progress end where Haddam,

Bunyan started his on, And have some reason to surmise that I And my grand tour be round and round the descend from Adam;

backyard of a prison ? But what's my pedigree to you? That II give you here a saying deep and therefore, will soon unravel;

haply true; I've sucked my Haddam-Eden dry, there- 'T is out of Merlin's prophecies, but quite fore desire to travel,

as good as new: And, as a natural consequence, presume I The question boath for men and meates longe

voyage8 yt beginne I wish to write some letters home and have lhes in a notshell, rather sane lhed in a case those letters p

of tinne. [I spare the word suggestive of those grim But, though men may not travel now, as in Next Morns that mount

the Middle Ages, Clump, Clump, the stairways of the brain With self-sustaining retinues of little giltwith- Sir, my small account,"

edged pages, And, after every good we gain Love, Yet one may manage pleasantly, where'er Fame, Wealth, Wisdom -- still,

he likes to roam, As punctual as a cuckoo clock, hold up their By sending his small pages (at so much per

little bill, The garçons in our Café of Life, by dream- And if a staff and scallop-shell won't serve ing us forgot

so well as then, Sitting, like Homer's heroes, full and mus- Our outlay is about as small — just paper, ing God knows what,

ink, and pen. Till they say, bowing, s'il vous plait, voila, Be thankful! Humbugs never die, more Messieurs, la note /

than the wandering Jew; I would not hint at this so soon, but in our Bankrupt, they publish their own deaths, callous day,

slink for a while from view, The tollman Debt, who drops his bar across Then take an alias, change the sign, and the the world's highway,

old trade renew; Great Cæsar in mid-march would stop, if Indeed, 't is wondrous how each Age, Cæsar could not pay;

though laughing at the Past, Pilgriming 's dearer than it was : men Insists on having its tight shoe made on the cannot travel now

same old last; Scot-free from Dan to Beersheba upon a How it is sure its system would break up simple vow;

at once without Nay, as long back as Bess's time, when The bunion which it will believe hereditary Walsingham went over

gout; Ambassador to Cousin France, at Canter- How it takes all its swans for geese, nay, bury and Dover

stranger yet and sadder, He was so fleeced by innkeepers that, ere Sees in its treadmill's fruitless jog a heavenhe quitted land,

ward Jacob's-ladder, He wrote to the Prime Minister to take the Shouts, Lo, the Shining Heights are reached ! knaves in hand.

One moment more aspire ! If I with staff and scallop-shell should try Trots into cramps its poor, dear legs, gets my way to win,

never an inch the higher, Would Bonifaces quarrel as to who should And like the others, ends with pipe and take me in?

mug beside the fire.

There, 'tween each doze, it whiffs and sips Pure Mephistopheles all this ? the vulgar and watches with a sneer

nature jeers ? The green recruits that trudge and sweat Good friend, while I was writing it, my where it had swinked whilere,

eyes were dim with tears; And sighs to think this soon spent zeal Thrice happy he who cannot see, or who should be in simple truth

his eyes can shut, The only interval between old Fogyhood Life's deepest sorrow is contained in that and Youth:

small word there - But ! “Well,” thus it muses, “ well, what odds ? 'T is not for us to warn;

We're pretty nearly crazy here with 'T will be the same when we are dead, and change and go ahead, was ere we were born;

With flinging our caught bird away for Without the Treadmill, too, how grind our

two i'th'bush instead, store of winter's corn ?

With butting 'gainst the wall which we Had we no stock, nor twelve per cent. re- declare shall be a portal,

ceived from Treadmill shares, And questioning Deeps that never yet have We might : but these poor devils at oped their lips to mortal;

last will get our easy-chairs. We're growing pale and hollow-eyed, and High aims and hopes have great rewards, out of all condition, they, too, serene and snug,

With mediums and prophetic chairs, and Shall one day have their soothing pipe and crickets with a mission, their enlivening mug;

(The most astounding oracles since BaFrom Adam, empty-handed Youth hath laam's donkey spoke, always heard the hum

'T would seem our furniture was all of Of Good Times Coming, and will hear un

Dodonean oak.) til the last day come;

Make but the public laugh, be sure 't will Young ears hear forward, old ones back, take you to be somebody; and, while the earth rolls on,

'T will wrench its button from your clutch, Full-handed Eld shall hear recede the steps my densely earnest glum body; of Good Times Gone;

'T is good, this noble earnestness, good in Ah what a cackle we set up whene'er an its place, but why

Make great Achilles' shield the pan to Cack-cack-cack-cackle! rang around, the bake a penny pie?

scratch for worms was stayed, Why, when we have a kitchen-range, insist Cut-cut-ca-dah-cut! from this egg the com

that we shall stop, ing cock shall stalk !

And bore clear down to central fires to The great New Era dawns, the age of broil our daily chop ? Deeds and not of Talk !

Excalibur and Durandart are swords of And every stupid hen of us hugged close price, but then his egg of chalk,

Why draw them sternly when you wish to Thought, - sure, I feel life stir within, trim your nails or pen ?

each day with greater strength, Small gulf between the ape and man; you When lo, the chick ! from former chicks bridge it with your staff; he differed not a jot,

But it will be impassable until the ape can But grew and crew and scratched and

laugh; went, like those before, to pot !” No, no, be common now and then, be senSo muse the dim Emeriti, and, mournful sible, be funny, though it be,

And, as Siberians bait their traps for bears I must confess a kindred thought hath with pots of honey, sometimes come to me,

From which ere they 'll withdraw their Who, though but just of forty turned, have snouts, they'll suffer many a clubheard the rumorous fame

lick, Of nine and ninety Coming Men, all So bait your moral figure-of-fours to catch coming till they came.

the Orson public.

egg was laid !

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