Слике страница
PDF
ePub

noon

Now, gittin' gray, there's nothin' I enjoy An' down towards To-morrer drift away,
Like dreamin' back along into a boy : The imiges thet tengle on the stream
So the ole school'us' is a place I choose Make a new upside-down'ard world o'
Afore all others, ef I want to muse ;

dream : I set down where I used to set, an' git Sometimes they seem like sunrise-streaks My boyhood back, an' better things with an' warnin's it,

O' wut 'll be in Heaven on Sabbath-mornFaith, Hope, an' sunthin', ef it is n't Cher

in's, rity,

An', mixed right in ez ef jest out o' spite, It's want o' guile, an' thet 's ez gret a rer

Sunthin' thet says your supper ain't gone rity,

right. While Fancy's cushin', free to Prince and I 'm gret on dreams, an' often when I Clown,

wake, Makes the hard bench ez soft ez milk- I've lived so much it makes my mem’ry weed-down.

ache,

An' can't skurce take a cat-nap in my Now, 'fore I knowed, thet Sabbath arter

cheer

'thout hevin' 'em, some good, some bad, all When I sot out to tramp myself in tune,

queer. I found me in the school'us' on my seat, Drummin'the march to No-wheres with my Now I wuz settin' where I 'd ben, it feet.

seemed, Thinkin' o' nothin', I've heerd ole folks An' ain't sure yit whether I r'ally dreamed, say

Nor, ef I did, how long I might ha' slep', Is a hard kind o’ dooty in its way:

When I hearn some un stompin' up the It's thinkin' everythin' you ever knew,

step, Or ever hearn, to make your feelin's blue. An' lookin' round, ef two an’two make four, I sot there tryin' thet on for a spell : I see a Pilgrim Father in the door. I thought o'the Rebellion, then o’Hell, He wore a steeple-hat, tall boots, an' spurs Which some folks tell ye now is jest a met- With rowels to 'em big ez ches’nut-burrs, terfor

An' his gret sword behind him sloped away (A the’ry, p'raps, it wun't feel none the Long ’z a man's speech thet dunno wut to better for);

say. I thought o’ Reconstruction, wut we'd win “Ef your name 's Biglow, an' your givenPatchin' our patent self-blow-up agin : I thought ef this 'ere milkin' o' the wits, Hosee," sez be, “it 's arter you I came; So much a month, warn't givin' Natur' I 'm your gret-gran’ther multiplied by fits,

three. Ef folks warn't druv, findin' their own milk “My wut?'

“ Your gret-greto fail,

gret,” sez he: To work the cow thet hez an iron tail, “You would n't ha' never ben here but for An' ef idees 'thout ripenin' in the pan Would send up cream to humor ary man :

Two dred an' three year ago this May From this to thet I let my worryin' creep, The ship I come in sailed up Boston Bay; Till finally I must ha' fell asleep.

I'd been a cunnle in our Civil War,

But wut on airth hev you gut up one for ? Our lives in sleep are some like streams Coz we du things in England, 't ain't for thet glide

you 'twixt flesh an’sperrit boundin' on each side, To git a notion you can du 'em tu: Where both shores' sbadders kind o mix I 'm told you write in public prints: ef an' mingle

true, In sunthin' thet ain't jes' like either sin- It 's nateral you should know a thing or gle;

two." An' when you cast off moorin's from To “ Thet air 's an argymunt I can't enday,

dorse,

a

name

66

sez I.

me.

men

't would prove, coz you wear spurs, you

It 's a sight harder to make up my mind,kep' a horse:

Nor I don't often try tu, when events For brains," sez I, “wutever you may

Will du it for me free of all expense. think,

The moral question 's ollus plain enough, Ain't boun' to cash the drafs open-an’- It's jes' the human - natür' side thet 's ink,

tough; Though mos' folks write ez ef they hoped Wut 's best to think may n't puzzle me nor jes' quickenin'

you, The churn would argoo skim-milk into The pinch comes in decidin' wut to du ; thickenin';

Ef you read History, all runs smooth ez But skim-milk ain't a thing to change its

grease, view

Coz there the men ain't nothin' more 'n O' wut it's meant for more 'n a smoky

idees, flue.

But come to make it, ez we must to-day, But du pray tell me, 'fore we furder go, Th' idees hev arms an' legs an' stop the How in all Natur' did you come to know

way: 'bout our affairs,” sez I, “in Kingdom- It's easy fixin' things in facts an' figgers, Come ?

They can't resist, nor warn't brought up “ Wal, I worked round at sperrit-rappin' with niggers; some,

But come to try your the’ry on, — why. An' danced the tables till their legs wuz

then gone,

Your facts an' figgers change to ign'ant In hopes o'larnin' wut wuz goin' on,”. Sez he, “but mejums lie so like all-split Actin' ez ugly-' “ Smite 'em hip an' Thet I concluded it wuz best to quit.

thigh !” But, come now, ef you wun't confess to Sez gran’ther, " and let every man-child knowin',

die ! You ’ve some conjectures how the thing 's Oh for three weeks o’ Crommle an' the a-goin.”

Lord ! “Gran’ther," sez I, a vane warn't never Up, Isr'el, to your tents an' grind the known

sword !" Nor asked to hev a jedgment of its own; “Thet kind o’thing worked wal in ole An' yit, ef ’t ain't gut rusty in the jints,

Judee, It 's safe to trust its say on certin pints: But you forgit how long it's ben A. D.; It knows the wind's opinions to a T,

You think thet 's ellerkence,–I call it An' the wind settles wut the weather 'll be."

shoddy, “I never thought a scion of our stock A thing," sez I, “ wun't cover soul nor Could grow the wood to make a weather

body; cock;

I like the plain all-wool o' common-sense, When I wuz younger ’n you, skurce more Thet warms ye now, an' will a twelve’n a shaver,

month bence. No airthly wind," sez he, “could make me You took to follerin' where the Prophets waver!”

beckoned, (Ez he said this, he clinched his jaw an' An', fust you knowed on, back come Charles forehead,

the Second; Hitchin' his belt to bring his sword-hilt Now wut I want 's to hev all we gain forrard.)

stick, “ Jes so it wuz with me," sez I,

An' not to start Millennium too quick; When I wuz younger 'n wut you see me We hain't to punish only, but to keep, now,

An' the cure 's gut to go a cent'ry deep." Nothin' from Adam's fall to Huldy's bon- “ Wall, milk-an'-water ain't the best o net,

glue,” Thet I warn't full-cocked with my jedg- Sez he, “an' so you 'll find afore you 're ment on it;

thru; But now I'm gittin' on in life, I find Ef reshness venters sunthin', shilly-shally

[ocr errors]

« I swow,

Loses ez often wut 's ten times the vally. Thet exe of ourn, when Charles's neck gut

split, Opened a gap thet ain't bridged over yit: Slav'ry 's your Charles, the Lord hez gin

the exe

“Our Charles," sez I, “ hez gut eight mil

lion necks. The hardest question ain't the black man's

right, The trouble is to 'mancipate the white ; One 's chained in body an' can be sot free, But t'other's chained in soul to an idee: It 's a long job, but we shall worry thru it; Ef bagnets fail, the spellin'-book must

du it." “Hosee," sez he, “I think you 're goin' to

fail: The rettlesnake ain't dangerous in the tail; This 'ere rebellion 's nothing but the ret

tle, You 'll stomp on thet an' think you've won

the bettle; It's Slavery thet 's the fangs an' thinkin'

head, An' ef you want selvation, cresh it dead, An' cresh it suddin, or you 'll larn by

waitin' Thet Chance won't stop to listen to de

batin'!" “God's truth!” sez I, - "an'ef I held the

club, Au’ knowed jes' where to strike, - but

there's the rub!” “Strike soon,” sez he," or you 'll be deadly

ailin', Folks thet 's afeared to fail are sure o

noon of Christmas day, 1862. Our venerable friend (for so we may venture to call him, though we never enjoyed the high privilege of his personal acquaintance) was in his eightyfourth year, having been born June 12, 1779, at Pigsgusset Precinct (now West Jerusha) in the then District of Maine. Graduated with distinction at Hubville College in 1805, he pursued his theological studies with the late Reverend Preserved Thacker, D. D., and was called to the charge of the First Society in Jaalam in 1809, where he remained till his death.

“As an antiquary he has probably left no superior, if, indeed, an equal," writes his friend and colleague, the Reverend Jeduthun Hitchcock, to whom we are indebted for the above facts; “ in proof of which I need only allude to his History of Jaalam, Genealogical, Topographical, and Ecclesiastical,' 1849, which has won him an eminent and enduring place in our more solid and useful literature. It is only to be regretted that his intense application to historical studies should have so entirely withdrawn him from the pursuit of poetical composition, for which he was endowed by Nature with a remarkable aptitude. His well-known hymn, beginning. With clouds of care encompassed round,' has been attributed in some collections to the late President Dwight, and it is hardly presumptuous to affirm that the simile of the rainbow in the eighth stanza would do no discredit to that polished pen."

We regret that we have not room at present for the whole of Mr. Hitchcock's exceedingly valuable communication. We hope to lay more liberal extracts from it before our readers at an early day. A summary of its contents will give some notion of its importance and interest. It contains : 1st, A biographical sketch of Mr. Wilbur, with notices of his predecessors in the pastoral office, and of eminent clerical contemporaries; 2d, An obituary of deceased, from the Punkin-Falls “Weekly Parallel ; " 3d, A list of his printed and manuscript productions and of projected works ; 4th, Personal anecdotes and recollections, with specimens of tabletalk; 5th, A tribute to his relict, Mrs. Dorcas (Pilcox) Wilbur; 6th, A list of graduates fitted for different colleges by Mr. Wilbur, with biographical memoranda touching the more distinguished ; 7th, Concerning learned, charitable, and other societies, of which Mr. Wilbur was a member, and of those with which, had his life been prolonged, he would doubtless have been associated, with a complete catalogue of such Americans as have been Fellows of the Royal Society ; 8th, A brief summary of Mr. Wilbur's latest conclusions concerning the Tenth Horn of the Beast in its special application to recent events, for which the public, as Mr. Hitchcock assures us, have been waiting with feelings of lively anticipation ; 9th, Mr. Hitchcock's own views on the same topic; and, 10th, A brief essay on the importance of local histories. It will be apparent that the duty of preparing Mr. Wilbur's biography could not have fallen into more sympathetic hands.

[ocr errors]

failin';

God hates your sneakin' creturs thet be

lieve He'll settle things they run away an'

leave!He brought his foot down fercely, ez he

spoke, An' give me sech a startle thet I woke.

[ocr errors]

NO. VII

LATEST VIEWS OF MR. BIGLOW

PRELIMINARY NOTE

[It is with feelings of the liveliest pain that we inform our readers of the death of the Reverend Homer Wilbur, A. M., which took place suddenly, by an apoplectic stroke, on the after

[ocr errors]

divine mercy,

In a private letter with which the reverend and my natural temperament, I am unfitted gentleman has since favored us, he expresses for either. Unable to penetrate the inscruthe opinion that Mr. Wilbur's life was shortened by our unhappy civil war. It disturbed

table judgments of God, I am more than his studies, dislocated all his habitual associa- ever thankful that my life has been pro tions and trains of thought, and unsettled the longed till I could in some small measure foundations of a faith, rather the result of habit comprebend His mercy. As there is no than conviction, in the capacity of man for self

man who does not at some time render himgovernment. “Such has been the felicity of my life," he said to Mr. Hitchcock, on the very

self amenable to the one,

quum vix jusmorning of the day he died, “that, through the

tus sit securus,

so there is none that does I could always say, Summum nec not feel himself in daily need of the other. metuo diem, nec opto. It has been my habit, as I confess I cannot feel, as some do, a you know, on every recurrence of this blessed anniversary, to read Milton's 'Hymn of the

personal consolation for the manifest evils Nativity 'till its sublime harmonies so dilated of this war in any remote or contingent my soul and quickened its spiritual sense that I advantages that may spring from it. I am seemed to hear that other song which gave assur- old and weak, I can bear little, and can ance to the shepherds that there was One who would lead them also in green pastures and be

scarce hope to see better days ; nor is it side the still waters. But to-day I have been any adequate compensation to know that unable to think of anything but that mournful Nature is young and strong and can bear ext, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword,' much. Old men philosophize over the and, did it not smack of Pagan presumptuousness, could almost wish I had never lived to see

past, but the present is only a burthen and

a weariness. The one lies before them like this day."

Mr. Hitchcock also informs us that his friend a placid evening landscape ; the other is “lies buried in the Jaalam graveyard, under a

full of the vexations and anxieties of houselarge red-cedar which he specially admired. A keeping. It may be true enough that misneat and substantial monument is to be erected

cet hæc illis, prohibetque Clotho fortunam over his remains, with a Latin epitaph written by himself; for he was accustomed to say,

stare, but he who said it was fain at last to pleasantly, that there was at least one occasion call in Atropos with her shears before her in a scholar's life when he might show the ad- time ; and I cannot help selfishly mournvantages of a classical training.'

ing that the fortune of our Republick could The following fragment of a letter addressed

not at least stay till my days were numto us, and apparently intended to accompany

bered. Mr. Biglow's contribution to the present number, was found upon his table after his decease. Tibullus would find the origin of wars in EDITORS ATLANTIC MONTHLY.]

the great exaggeration of riches, and does

not stick to say that in the days of the TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC

beecben trencher there was peace. But MONTHLY

averse as I am by nature from all wars,

the more as they have been especially fatal JAALAM, 24th Dec., 1862. to libraries, I would have this one go on RESPECTED SIRS, — The infirm state of till we are reduced to wooden platters my bodily health would be a sufficient again, rather than surrender the principle apology for not taking up the pen at this to defend which it was undertaken. Though time, wholesome as I deem it for the mind I believe Slavery to have been the cause of to apricate in the shelter of epistolary con- it, by so thoroughly demoralizing Northern fidence, were it not that a considerable, I politicks for its own purposes as to give might even say a large, number of individ- opportunity and hope to treason, yet I would uals in this parish expect from their pastor not have our thought and purpose diverted some publick expression of sentiment at from their true object, - the maintenance this crisis. Moreover, Qui tacitus ardet of the idea of Government. We are not magis uritur. In trying times like these, merely suppressing an enormous riot, but the besetting sin of undisciplined minds is contending for the possibility of permanent to seek refuge from inexplicable realities in order coexisting with democratical ficklethe dangerous stimulant of angry partisan- ness; and while I would not superstitiously ship or the indolent narcotick of

vague and venerate form to the sacrifice of substance, hopeful vaticination : fortunamque suo tem- neither would I forget that an adherence to perat arbitrio. Both by reason of my age precedent and prescription can alone give

a

that continuity and coherence under a dem- Or thet ther' 'd ben no Fall o' Man,
ocratical constitution which are inherent in Ef Adam 'd on'y bit a sweetin'?
the person of a despotick monarch and the
selfishness of an aristocratical class. Stet Ob, Jon'than, ef you want to be
pro ratione voluntas is as dangerous in a ma- A rugged chap agin an' hearty,
jority as in a tyrant.

Go fer wutever 'll hurt Jeff D.,
I cannot allow the present production of

Nut wut 'll boost up ary party. my young friend to go out without a protest Here's bell broke loose, an' we lay flat from me against a certain extremeness in With half the univarse a-singein', his views, more pardonable in the poet than Till Sen'tor This an' Gov'nor Thet in the philosopher. While I agree with him, Stop squabblin' fer the garding-ingin. that the only cure for rebellion is suppression by force, yet I must animadvert upon It 's war we ’re in, not politics; certain phrases where I seem to see a coin- It 's systems wrastlin' now, not parties; cidence with a popular fallacy on the sub- An' victory in the eend 'll fix ject of compromise. On the one hand there Where longest will an' truest heart is. are those who do not see that the vital prin- An' wut 's the Guv'ment folks about? ciple of Government and the seminal prin- Tryin' to hope ther''s nothin' doin', ciple of Law cannot properly be made a An' look ez though they did n't doubt subject of compromise at all

, and on the Sunthin' pertickler wuz a-brewin'. other those who are equally blind to the truth that without a compromise of indi- Ther''s critters yit thet talk an'act vidual opinions, interests, and even rights, Fer wut they call Conciliation; po society would be possible. In medio They 'd hand a buff’lo-drove a tract tutissimus. For my own part, I would When they wuz madder than all Bagladly

shan.

Conciliate ? it jest means be kicked, EF I a song or two could make

No metter how they phrase an' tone it; Like rockets druv by their own burnin', It means thet we ’re to set down licked, All leap an' light, to leave a wake

Thet we ’re poor shotes an' glad to own Men's hearts an' faces skyward turn

it!
in'!
But, it strikes me, 't ain't jest the time A war on tick 's ez dear 'z the deuce,

Fer stringin' words with settisfaction: But it wun't leave no lastin' traces,
Wut 's wanted now's the silent rhyme

Ez 't would to make a sneakin' truce
'Twixt upright Will an' downright Ac- Without no moral specie-basis:
tion.

Ef greenbacks ain't nut jest the cheese,
I
guess

ther' 's evils thet 's extremer, Words, ef you keep 'em, pay their keep, Fer instance, — shinplaster idees But gabble 's the short cut to ruin;

Like them put out by Gov'nor Seymour. It 's gratis, (gals half-price,) but cheap At no rate, ef it henders doip';

Last year, the Nation, at a word, Ther''s nothin' wuss, 'less 't to set

When tremblin' Freedom cried to shield A martyr-prem'um upon jawrin':

her, Teapots git dangerous, ef you

shet

Flamed weldin' into one keen sword
Their lids down on 'em with Fort War- Waitin' an' longin' fer a wielder:

A splendid flash! — but how 'd the grasp

With sech a chance ez thet wuz tally? 'Bout long enough it's ben discussed Ther' warn't no meanin' in our clasp, Who sot the magazine afire,

Half this, half thet, all shilly-sbally. An' wbether, ef Bob Wickliffe bust, 'T would scare us more or blow us More men ? More Man! It's there we higher.

fail; D'ye s'pose the Gret Foreseer's plan Weak plans grow weaker yit by lengthWaz settled fer him in town-meetin'?

enin':

ren,

« ПретходнаНастави »