Слике страница

Concerning the subject matter of the Confederate stock, whether political or verses, I have not the leisure at present financial. The always supercilious, often to write so fully as I could wish, my time insulting, and sometimes even brutal tone being occupied with the preparation of a of British journals and publick men has discourse for the forthcoming bicentenary certainly not tended to soothe whatever celebration of the first settlement of Jaa- resentment might exist in America. lam East Parish. It may gratify the publick interest to mention the circumstance,

** Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love,

But why did you kick me down stairs ? " that my investigations to this end have enabled me to verify the fact (of much his- We have no reason to complain that torick importance, and hitherto hotly de- England, as a necessary consequence of her bated) that Shearjashub Tarbox was the clubs, has become a great society for the first child of white parentage born in this minding of other people's business, and we town, being named in his father's will

can smile good-naturedly when she lectures under date August 7th, or 9th, 1662. It other nations on the sins of arrogance and is well known that those who advocate the conceit; but we may justly consider it a claims of Mehetable Goings are unable to breach of the political convenances which find any trace of her existence prior to Oc- are expected to regulate the intercourse of tober of that year. As respects the settle- one well-bred government with another, ment of the Mason and Slidell question, when men holding places in the ministry Mr. Biglow has not incorrectly stated the allow themselves to dictate our domestic popular sentiment, so far as I can judge by policy, to instruct us in our duty, and to its expression in this locality. For myself, stigmatize as unholy a war for the rescue I feel more sorrow than resentment: for I of whatever a high-minded people should am old enough to have heard those talk of hold most vital and most sacred. Was England who still, even after the unhappy it in good taste, that I may use the mildestrangement, could not unschool their lips est term, for Earl Russell to expound our from calling her the Mother-Country. But own Constitution to President Lincoln, or England has insisted on ripping up old to make a new and fallacious application of wounds, and has undone the healing work an old phrase for our benefit, and tell us of fifty years; for nations do not reason, that the Rebels were fighting for indepenthey only feel, and the spretæ injuria forma dence and we for empire ? As if all wars rankles in their minds as bitterly as in that for independence were by nature just and of a woman. And because this is so, I feel deserving of sympathy, and all wars for the more satisfaction that our Government empire ignoble and worthy only of repro has acted (as all Governments should, bation, or as if these easy phrases in any standing as they do between the people and way characterized this terrible struggle, their passions) as if it had arrived at years terrible not so truly in any superficial of discretion. There are three short and sense, as from the essential and deadly simple words, the hardest of all to pro- enmity of the principles that underlie it. nounce in any language (and I suspect they His Lordship's bit of borrowed rhetoric vere no easier before the confusion of would justify Smith O'Brien, Nana Sahib, tongues), but which no man or nation that and the Maori chieftains, while it would cannot utter can claim to have arrived at condemn nearly every war in which Engmanhood. Those words are, I was wrong; land has ever been engaged. Was it so and I am proud that, while England played very presumptuous in us to think that it the boy, our rulers had strength enough would be decorous in English statesmen if from the People below and wisdom enough they spared time enough to acquire some from God above to quit themselves like kind of knowledge, though of the most ele

mentary kind, in regard to this country The sore points on both sides have been and the questions at issue here, before they skilfully exasperated by interested and un- pronounced so off-hand a judgment ? Or scrupulous persons, who saw in a war be- is political information expected to come tween the two countries the only hope of Dogberry-fashion in England, like reading profitable return for their investment in and writing, by nature ?


part of

every sensible

And now all respectable England is won- calculated to rouse a just indignation, and dering at our irritability, and sees a quite to cause a permanent estrangement on the satisfactory explanation of it in our na


nation capable of self-respect, tional vanity. Suave mari magno, it is pleas- and sensitively jealous, as ours then was, of ant, sitting in the easy-chairs of Downing foreign interference. Was there nothing in Street, to sprinkle pepper on the raw the indecent haste with which belligerent wounds of a kindred people struggling for rights were conceded to the Rebels, nothing life, and philosophical to find in self-conceit in the abrupt tone assumed in the Trent the cause of our instinctive resentment. case, nothing in the fitting out of ConfederSurely we were of all nations the least liable ate privateers, that might stir the blood of to any temptation of vanity at a time when a people already overcharged with doubt, the gravest anxiety and the keenest sor- suspicion, and terrible responsibility? The row were never absent from our hearts. laity in any country do not stop to consider Nor is conceit the exclusive attribute of any points of law, but they have an instinctive one nation. The earliest of English travel perception of the animus that actuates the lers, Sir John Mandeville, took a less pro- policy of a foreign nation; and in our own vincial view of the matter when he said, case they remembered that the British “For fro what partie of the erthe that men authorities in Canada did not wait till diduellen, other aboven or beneathen, it sem- plomacy could send home to England for ethe alweys to hem that duellen that thei her slow official tinder-box to fire the “Cargon more righte than any other folke." | oline.” Add to this, what The English have always had their fair American knew, that the moral support of share of this amiable quality. We may England was equal to an army of two hunsay of them still, as the authour of the dred thousand men to the Rebels, while it “Lettres Cabalistiques” said of them more insured us another year or two of exhaustthan a century ago, “ Ces derniers disent ing war. It was not so much the spite of naturellement qu'il n'y a qu'eux qui soient esti- her words (though the time might have mables." And, as he also


J'aimerois been more tastefully chosen) as the actual presque autant tomber entre les mains d'un

power for evil in them that we felt as a Inquisiteur que d'un Anglois qui me fait sentir deadly wrong. Perhaps the most immesans cesse combien il s'estime plus que moi, diate and efficient cause of mere irritation et qui ne daigne me parler que pour injurier was the sudden and unaccountable change ma Nation et pour m'ennuyer du récit des of manner on the other side of the water. grandes qualités de la sienne.Of this Bull Only six months before, the Prince of Wales we may safely say with Horace, habet fænum had come over to call us cousins; and everyin cornu. What we felt to be especially in- where it was nothing but “our American sulting was the quiet assumption that the brethren,” that great offshoot of British descendants of men who left the Old World institutions in the New World, so almost for the sake of principle, and who had made identical with them in laws, language, and the wilderness into a New World patterned literature, this last of the alliterative after an Idea, could not possibly be suscep- compliments being so bitterly true, that tible of a generous or lofty sentiment, could perhaps it will not be retracted even now. have no feeling of nationality deeper than To this outburst of long-repressed affection that of a tradesman for his shop. One we responded with genuine warmth, if with would have thought, in listening to Eng- something of the awkwardness of a poor land, that we were presumptuous in fancy- relation bewildered with the sudden tightening that we were a nation at all, or had any ing of the ties of consanguinity when it is other principle of union than that of booths rumored that he has come into a large at a fair, where there is no higher notion estate. Then came the Rebellion, and, of government than the constable, or better presto! a flaw in our titles was discovered, image of God than that stamped upon the the plate we were promised at the family current coin.

table is flung at our head, and we were again It is time for Englishmen to consider the scum of creation, intolerably vulgar, at whether there was nothing in the spirit of once cowardly and overbearing,

- no relatheir press and of their leading public men tions of theirs, after all, but a dreggy hy.

[ocr errors]

brid of the basest bloods of Europe. Panurge izing influences of the place, with its inwas not quicker to call Friar John his effable riches of association, its heirlooms former friend. I cannot help thinking of of immemorial culture, its historic monuWalter Mapes's jingling paraphrase of Pe- ments, ours no less than theirs, its noble tronius,

gallery of ancestral portraits? We have “ Dummodo sim splendidis vestibus ornatus,

only to succeed, and England will not only Et multa familia sim circumvallatus,

respect, but, for the first time, begin to Prudens sum et sapiens et morigeratus,

understand us. And let us not, in our jusEt tuus nepos sum et tu meus cognatus," tifiable indignation at wanton insult, forget which I may freely render thus:

that England is not the England only of

snobs who dread the democracy they do not So long as I was prosperous, I'd dinners by the

comprehend, but the England of history, of dozen, Was well-bred, witty, virtuous, and everybody's heroes, statesmen, and poets, whose names cousin;

are dear, and their influence as salutary to If luck should turn, as well she may, her fancy us as to her. is so flexile,

Let us strengthen the hands of those Will virtue, cousinship, and all return with her from exile ?

in authority over us, and curb our own

tongues, remembering that General Wait There was nothing in all this to exasper- commonly proves in the end more than a ate a philosopher, much to make him smile match for General Headlong, and that the rather; but the earth's surface is not chiefly Good Book ascribes safety to a multitude, inhabited by philosophers, and I revive the indeed, but not to a mob, of counsellours. recollection of it now in perfect good-hu- | Let us remember and perpend the words mour, merely by way of suggesting to our of Paulus Emilius to the people of Rome ; ci-devant British cousins, that it would have that, “if they judged they could manage been easier for them to hold their tongues the war to more advantage by any other, than for us to keep our tempers under the he would willingly yield up his charge ; circumstances.

but if they confided in him, they were not to The English Cabinet made a blunder, make themselves his colleagues in his office, or unquestionably, in taking it so hastily for

raise reports, or criticise his actions, but, withgranted that the United States had fallen for- out talking, supply him with means and assistever from their position as a first-rate

power, ance necessary to the carrying on of the war ; and it was natural that they should vent a for, if they proposed to command their own little of their vexation on the people whose commander, they would render this expedition inexplicable obstinacy in maintaining free- more ridiculous than the former.(Vide dom and order, and in resisting degradation, Plutarchum in Vitâ P. E.) Let us also not was likely to convict them of their mistake. forget what the same excellent authour But if bearing a grudge be the sure mark says concerning Perseus's fear of spending of a small mind in the individual, can it be money, and not permit the covetousness of a proof of high spirit in a nation ? If the Brother Jonathan to be the good fortune result of the present estrangement between of Jefferson Davis. For my own part, till the two countries shall be to make us more I am ready to admit the Cominander-inindependent of British twaddle (Indomito Chief to my pulpit, I shall abstain from nec dira ferens stipendia Tauro), so much planning his battles. If courage be the the better; but if it is to make us insensible sword, yet is patience the armour of a to the value of British opinion in matters nation"; and in our desire for peace, let us where it gives us the judgment of an im- never be willing to surrender the Constitupartial and cultivated outsider, if we are to tion bequeathed us by fathers at least as shut ourselves out from the advantages of wise as ourselves (even with Jefferson Davis English culture, the loss will be ours, and to help us), and, with those degenerate not theirs. Because the door of the old Romans, tuta et præsentia quam vetera et homestead has been once slammed in our periculosa malle. faces, shall we in a huff reject all future And not only should we bridle our own advances of conciliation, and cut ourselves tongues, but the pens of others, which are foolishly off from any share in the human- swift to convey useful intelligence to the

[ocr errors]

goes out,

enemy. This is no new inconvenience ; for, The Concord road, for instance (I, for

one, perell wrote thus to Governor Shirley from Most gin'lly ollers call it John Bull's Run), Louisbourg : “What your Excellency ob- The field o' Lexin'ton where England tried serves of the army's being made acquainted The fastest colours thet she ever dyed, with any plans proposed, until ready to be An' Concord Bridge, thet Davis, when he put in execution, has always been disagree

came, able to me, and I have given many cautions Found was the bee-line track to heaven an' relating to it. But when your Excellency

fame, considers that our Council of War consists Ez all roads be by natur', ef your soul of more than twenty members, I am persuaded Don't sneak thru shun-pikes so 's to save you will think it impossible for me to hinder

the toll. it, if any of them will persist in communicating to inferior officers and soldiers what They're 'most too fur away, take too much ought to be kept secret. I am informed

time that the Boston newspapers are filled with To visit of'en, ef it ain't in rhyme ; paragraphs from private letters relating to But the''s a walk thet 's hendier, a sight, the expedition. Will your Excellency per- An' suits me fust-rate of a winter's night, mit me to say I think it may be of ill con- I mean the round whale's-back o' Prospect sequence? Would it not be convenient, if

Hill. your Excellency should forbid the Printers' I love to l'iter there while night grows inserting such news ?Verily, if tempora still, mutantur, we may question the et nos mu- An' in the twinklin' villages about, tamur in illis ; and if tongues be leaky, it Fust here, then there, the well-saved lights will need all hands at the pumps to save the Ship of State. Our history dotes and An' nary sound but watch - dogs' false repeats itself.

If Sassycus (rather than alarms, Alcibiades) find a parallel in Beauregard, Or muffled cock-crows from the drowsy so Weakwash, as he is called by the brave

farms, Lieutenant Lion Gardiner, need not seek Where some wise rooster (men act jest far among our own Sachems for his anti

thet way) type.

Stands to 't thet moon-rise is the break o' With respect,

day : Your ob' humble serv,

(So Mister Seward sticks a three-months' HOMER WILBUR, A. M.


Where the war'd oughto eend, then tries I LOVE to start out arter night's begun,

agin ; An' all the chores about the farm are done, My gran’ther's rule was safer 'n 't is to The critters milked an' foddered, gates shet fast,

Don't never prophesy onless ye know.) Tools cleaned aginst to-morrer, supper

I love to muse there till it kind o' seems past,

Ez ef the world went eddyin' off in dreams; An' Nancy darnin' by her ker'sene lamp, – The northwest wind thet twitches at my I love, I say, to start upon a tramp,

baird To shake the kinkles out o' back an' legs, Blows out o'sturdier days not easy scared, An' kind o’rack my life off from the dregs An' the same moon thet this December Thet 's apt to settle in the buttery-hutch

shines Of folks thet foller in one rut too much : Starts out the tents an' booths o' Putnam's Hard work is good an’ wholesome, past all doubt ;

The rail-fence posts, acrost the hill thet But 't ain't so, ef the mind gits tuckered

runs, out.

Turn ghosts o’sogers should'rin' ghosts o' Now, bein' born in Middlesex, you know,

guns ; There's certin spots where I like best to Ez wheels the sentry, glints a flash o' light, go:

Along the firelock won at Concord Fight,


lines ;


An', 'twixt the silences, now fur, now nigh, Rings the sharp chellenge, hums the low


You know them envys thet the Rebbles

sent, Au’ Cap'n Wilkes he borried o’the Trent ?


Wut ! they ha'n't hanged 'em? Then their

wits is gone ! Thet 's the sure way to make a goose a



Ez I was settin' so, it warn't long sence,
Mixin' the puffict with the present tense,
I heerd two voices som'ers in the air,
Though, ef I was to die, I can't tell where:
Voices I call 'em: 't was a kind o' sough
Like pine-trees thet the wind 's ageth'rin’

through ;
An', fact, I thought it was the wind a spell,
Then some misdoubted, could n't fairly tell,
Fust sure, then not, jest as you hold an eel,
I knowed, an' did n't, — fin'lly seemed to

feel 'T was Concord Bridge a talkin' off to kill With the Stone Spike thet 's druv thru

Bunker's Hill ; Whether 't was so, or ef I on'y dreamed, I could n't say; I tell it ez it seemed.

No: England she would hev 'em, Fee, Faw,

Fum! (Ez though she hed n't fools enough to

home,) So they've returned 'em



[blocks in formation]

Wal, neighbor, tell us wut 's turned up

thet 's new ? You 're younger 'n I be,

nigher Boston, tu : An' down to Boston, ef you take their

showin', Wut they don't know ain't hardly wuth

the knowin'. There's sunthin' goin' on, I know : las'

night The British sogers killed in our gret fight (Nigh fifty year they hed n't stirred nor

spoke) Made sech a coil you'd thought a dam hed

broke : Why, one he up an' beat a revellee With his own crossbones on a holler tree, Till all the graveyards swarmed out like a

hive With faces I hain't seen sence Seventy

five. Wut is the news ? 'T ain't good, or they'd

be cheerin'. Speak slow an' clear, for I'm some hard o'


By usin' pepper-sarse instid o' brains.
Come, neighbor, you don't understan'-

How? Hey ? Not understan'? Why, wut 's to hender,

pray ?

Must I go huntin' round to find a chap
To tell me when my face hez hed a slap ?


See here : the British they found out a

flaw In Cap'n Wilkes's readin' o' the law : (They make all laws, you know, an' so, o'

course, It's nateral they should understan' their

force :) He'd oughto ha' took the vessel into port, An' hed her sot on by a reg'lar court; She was a mail-ship, an' a steamer, tu, An' thet, they say, hez changed the pint o'

view, Coz the old practice, bein' meant for sails, Ef tried upon a steamer, kind o' fails ;

I don't know hardly ef it's good or bad,

At wust, it can't be wus than wut we've


« ПретходнаНастави »