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dence to trust us and taking up all our goods divines in choosing a punning text, and preached on false pretences.
It is a wise rule to take from Hebrews xiii. 9: "Be not carried about the world as we find it, not always to leave
with divers and strange doctrines.” He after
wards, in accordance with one of his own It has often set me thinking when I find that
maxims, – "to get a dead injury out of the
mind as soon as is decent, bury it, and then venI can always pick up plenty of empty nuts
- in accordance with this maxim, I say, under my shag bark-tree. The squirrels know
he lived on very friendly terms with Rev. Shear them by their lightness, and I have seldom jashub Scrimgour, present pastor of the Baptist seen one with the marks of their teeth in it.
Society in Jaalam. Yet I think it was never What a school-house is the world, if our wits | unpleasing to him that the church edifice of that would only not play truant! For I observe society (though otherwise a creditable specimen that men set most store by forms and symbols
of architecture) remained without a bell, as in proportion as they are mere shells. It is the
indeed it does to this day. So much seemed outside they want and not the kernel. What
necessary to do away with any appearance of
acerbity toward a respectable community of stores of such do not many, who in material
professing Christians, which might be suspected things are as shrewd as the squirrels, lay up for in the conclusion of the above paragraph. the spiritual winter-supply of themselves and
J. H.) their children! I have seen churches that seemed to me garners of these withered nuts, In lighter moods he was not averse from an for it is wonderful how prosaic is the appre- innocent play upon words. Looking up from hension of symbols by the minds of most men. his newspaper one morning, as I entered his It is not one sect nor another, but all, who, like
study, he said, “ When I read a debate in Conthe dog of the fable, have let drop the spiritual
I feel as if I were sitting at the feet of substance of symbols for their material shadow. Ženo in the shadow of the Portico." On my exIf one attribute miraculous virtues to mere
pressing a natural surprise, he added, smiling, holy water, that beautiful emblem of inward
Why, at such times the only view which honpurification at the door of God's house, another orable members give me of what goes on in cannot comprehend the significance of baptism the world is through their intercalumniations.” without being ducked over head and ears in I smiled at this after a moment's reflection, the liquid vehicle thereof.
and he added gravely, “ The niost punctilious
refinement of manners is the only salt that will [Perhaps a word of historical comment may keep a democracy from stinking; and what are be permitted here. My late revered predecessor we to expect from the people, if their reprewas, I would humbly affirm, as free from pre- sentatives set them such lessons? Mr. Everett's judice as falls to the lot of the most highly favored individuals of our species. To be sure, I
whole life has been a sermon from this text. have heard him say that " what were called
There was, at least, this advantage in duelling, strong prejudices were in fact only the repulsion that it set a certain limit on the tongue. When of sensitive organizations from that moral and Society laid by the rapier, it buckled on the even physical effluvium through which some more subtle blade of etiquette wherewith to natures by providential appointment, like cer- keep obtrusive vulgarity at bay." In this tain unsavory quadrupeds, gave warning of their connection, I may be permitted to recall a neighborhood. Better ten mistaken suspicions playful remark of his upon another occasion. of this kind than one close encounter. said somewhat in heat, on being questioned as
The painful divisions in the First Parish, to his motives for always refusing his pulpit to
A. D. 1844, occasioned by the wild notions in those itinerant professors of vicarious benevo respect to the rights of (what Mr. Wilbur, so lence who end their discourses by taking up a
far as concerned the reasoning faculty, always collection. But at another time I remember called) the unfairer part of creation, put forth his saying, that there was one large thing by Miss Parthenia Almira Fitz, are too well which small minds always found room for, and known to need more than a passing allusion. that was great prejudices." This, however, by It was during these heats, long since happily the way. The statement which I purposed to allayed, that Mr. Wilbur remarked that "the make was simply this. Down to A. D. 1830, Church had more trouble in dealing with one Jaalam had consisted of a single parish, with
sheresiarch than with twenty heresiarchs,” and one house set apart for religious services. In that year the foundations of a Baptist Society
that the men's conscia recti, or certainty of were laid by the labors of Elder Joash Q. Bal
being right, was nothing to the women's. com, 2d. As the members of the new body were
When I once asked his opinion of a poetical drawn from the First Parish, Mr. Wilbur was composition on which I had expended no little for a time considerably exercised in mind. He pains, he read it attentively, and then reeven went so far as on one occasion to follow marked, “Unless one's thought pack more the reprehensible practice of the earlier Puritan / neatly in verse than in prose, it is wiser to refrain. Commonplace gains nothing by being is a good rhetorical exercitation, as teaching translated into rhyme, for it is something us what to shun most carefully in prose. For which no hocus-pocus can transubstantiate with prose bewitched is like window-glass with the real presence of living thought. You en- bubbles in it, distorting what it should show title your piece, ‘My Mother's Grave,' and ex- with pellucid veracity." pend four pages of useful paper in detailing your emotions there. But, my dear sir, water- It is unwise to insist on doctrinal points as ing does not improve the quality of ink, even vital to religion. The Bread of Life is wholethough you should do it with tears. To pub- some and sufficing in itself, but gulped down lish a sorrow to Tom, Dick, and Harry is in with these kickshaws cooked up by theologians, some sort to advertise its unreality, for I have it is apt to produce an indigestion, nay, even observed in my intercourse with the afflicted at last an incurable dyspepsia of scepticism. that the deepest grief instinctively hides its face with its hands and is silent. If your One of the most inexcusable weaknesses of piece were printed, I have no doubt it would Americans is in signing their names to what be popular, for people like to fancy that they are called credentials. But for my interposifeel much better than the trouble of feeling. tion, a person who shall be nameless would I would put all poets on oath whether they have taken from this town a recommendation have striven to say everything they possibly for an office of trust subscribed by the selectcould think of, or to leave out all they could men and all the voters of both parties, ascribnot help saying. In your own case, my worthy ing to him as many good qualities as if it had young friend, what you have written is merely been his tombstone. The excuse was that it a deliberate exercise, the gymnastic of senti- would be well for the town to be rid of him, ment. For your excellent maternal relative is as it would erelong be obliged to maintain still alive, and is to take tea with me this even- him. I would not refuse my name to modest ing, D. V. Beware of simulated feeling; it is merit, but I would be as cautious as in signing hypocrisy's first cousin; it is especially dan- a bond. [I trust I shall be subjected to no gerous to a preacher; for he who says one day, imputation of unbecoming vanity, if I mention Go to, let me seem to be pathetic,' may be the fact that Mr. W. indorsed my own qualitinearer than he thinks to saying, 'Go to, let me cations as teacher of the high-school at Peseem to be virtuous, or earnest, or under quash Junction. J. H.] When I see a cersorrow for sin.' Depend upon it, Sappho tificate of character with everybody's name to loved her verses more sincerely than she did it, I regard it as a letter of introduction from Phaon, and Petrarch his sonnets better than the Devil. Never give a man your name unLaura, who was indeed but his poetical stalk- less you are willing to trust him with your ing-horse. After you shall have once heard reputation. that muffled rattle of clods on the coffin-lid of an irreparable loss, you will grow acquainted There seem nowadays to be two sources of with a pathos that will make all elegies hate- literary inspiration, fulness of mind and ful. When I was of your age, I also for a emptiness of pocket. time mistook my desire to write verses for an authentic call of my nature in that direction. I am often struck, especially in reading But one day as I was going forth for a walk, Montaigne, with the obviousness and familwith my head full of an ' Elegy on the Death iarity of a great writer's thoughts, and the of Flirtilla,' and vainly groping after a rhyme freshness they gain because said by him. The for lily that should not be silly or chilly, I saw truth is, we mix their greatness with all they my eldest boy Homer busy over the rain-water say and give it our best attention. Johannes hogshead, in that childish experiment at par
Faber sic cogitavit would be no enticing prethenogenesis, the changing a horse-hair into face to a book, but an accredited name gives a water-snake. An immersion of six weeks credit like the signature to a note of hand. It showed no change in the obstinate filament. is the advantage of fame that it is always Here was a stroke of unintended sarcasm. privileged to take the world by the button, Had I not been doing in my study precisely and a thing is weightier for Shakespeare's utwhat my boy was doing out of doors ? Had tering it by the whole amount of his personmy thoughts any more chance of coming to ality. life by being submerged in rhyme than his hair by soaking in water? I burned my elegy It is singular how impatient men are with and took a course of Edwards on the Will. overpraise of others, how patient with overPeople do not make poetry ; it is made out of praise of themselves; and yet the one does them by a process for which I do not find my- them no injury while the other may be their self fitted. Nevertheless, the writing of verses ruin.
People are apt to confound mere alertness of mind with attention. The one is but the flying abroad of all the faculties to the open doors and windows at every passing rumor; the other is the concentration of every one of them in a single focus, as in the alchemist over his alembic at the moment of expected projection. Attention is the stuff that memory is made of, and memory is accumulated genius.
An' then agin, for half a year,
No preacher 'thout a call 's more solemn. You 're 'n want o' sunthin' light an' cute, Rattlin' an' shrewd an' kin' o' jingle
I'd take an'citify my English.
But when I'm jokin', no, I thankee;
Run helter-skelter into Yankee.
Do not look for the Millennium as imminent. One generation is apt to get all the wear it can out of the cast clothes of the last, and is always sure to use up every paling of the old fence that will hold a nail in building the
Sence I begun to scribble rhyme,
I tell ye wut, I hain't ben foolin';
Hev took some trouble with my school
You suspect a kind of vanity in my genealogical enthusiasm. Perhaps you are right; but it is a universal foible. Where it does not show itself in a personal and private way, it becomes public and gregarious. We flatter ourselves in the Pilgrim Fathers, and the Virginian offshoot of a transported convict swells with the fancy of a cavalier ancestry. Pride of birth, I have noticed, takes two forms. One complacently traces himself up to a coronet ; another, defiantly, to a lapstone. The sentiment is precisely the same in both cases, only that one is the positive and the other the negative pole of it.
Seeing a goat the other day kneeling in order to graze with less trouble, it seemed to me a type of the common notion of prayer. Most people are ready enough to go down on their knees for material blessings, but how few for those spiritual gifts which alone are an answer to our orisons, if we but knew it!
Nor th' airth don't git put out with me, Thet love her 'z though she wuz a wo
man; Why, th' ain't a bird upon the tree
But half forgives my bein' human. An' yit I love th' unhighschooled way
oľ farmers hed when I wuz younger; Their talk wuz meatier, an' 'ould stay, While book-froth seems to whet your
hunger; For puttin' in a downright lick 'twixt Humbug's eyes, ther''s few can
metch it, An' then it helves my thoughts ez slick
Ez stret-grained hickory doos a hetchet. But when I can't, I can't, thet 's all,
For Natur' won't put up with gullin’; Idees you hev to shove an' haul
Like a druv pig ain't wuth a mullein: Live thoughts ain't sent for; thru all
rifts O’ sense they pour an' resh ye onwards, Like rivers when south-lyin' drifts Feel thet th' old airtb 's a-wheelin' sun
Some people, nowadays, seem to have hit upon a new moralization of the moth and the candle. They would lock up the light of Truth, lest poor Psyche should put it out in her effort to draw nigh to it.
MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY
DEAR SIR, - Your letter come to han'
Requestin' me to please be funny; But I ain't made upon a plan
Thet knows wut's comin', gall or honey: Ther''s times the world doos look so queer,
Odd fancies come afore I call 'em;
Time wuz, the rhymes come crowdin' thick
Ez office-seekers arter' lection, An' into ary place 'ould stick
Without no bother nor objection; But sence the war my thoughts hang back
Ez though I wanted to enlist 'em, An' subs'tutes, - they don't never lack, But then they 'li slope afore you ’ve An' hear among their furry boughs
The baskin' west-wind purr contented, While 'way o'erhead, ez sweet an' low
Ez distant bells thet ring for meetin', The wedged wil geese their bugles blow,
Further an' further South retreatin'.
Nothin' don't seem like wut it wuz;
I can't see wut there is to bender, An' yit my brains jes' go buzz, buzz,
Like bumblebees agin a winder; 'fore these times come, in all airth’s row,
Ther' wuz one quiet place, my head in, Where I could hide an' think, – but now
It's all one teeter, hopin', dreadin'. Where 's Peace ? I start, some clear
blown night, When gaunt stone walls grow numb an'
number, An', creakin' 'cross the snow-crus' white,
Walk the col' starlight into summer; Up grows the moou, an' swell by swell
Thru the pale pasturs silvers dimmer Than the last smile thet strives to tell
O’love gone heavenward in its shim
up the slippery knob I strain An' see a hundred hills like islan's Lift their blue woods in broken chain
Out o' the sea o'snowy silence; The farm-smokes, sweetes' sight on airth,
Slow thru the winter air a-shrinkin' Seem kin' o'sad, an' roun' the hearth
Of empty places set me thinkin'. Beaver roars hoarse with meltin' snows,
An’ rattles di'mon's from his granite; Time wuz, he snatched away my prose,
An' into psalms or satires ran it; But he, nor all the rest thet once
Started my blood to country-dances, Can't set me goin' more 'n a dunce Thet bain't no
use for dreams an fancies.
I hev been gladder o' sech things
Than cocks o' spring or bees o'clover, They filled my heart with livin' springs,
But now they seem to freeze 'em over; Sights innercent ez babes on knee,
Peaceful ez eyes o' pastur'd cattle, Jes' coz they be so, seem to me To rile me more with thoughts o’ bat
Rat-tat-tat-tattle thru the street
I hear the drummers makin' riot, An' I set thinkin' o' the feet
Thet follered once an' now are quiet, White feet ez snowdrops innercent,
Thet never knowed the paths o' Satan, Whose comin' step ther' 's ears thet won't,
No, not lifelong, leave off awaitin'.
Indoors an' out by spells I try;
Ez fiel's o'clover arter mowin'; An' her jes' keepin' on the same,
Calmer 'n a clock, an’ never carin', An' findin' nary thing to blame,
Is wus than ef she took to swearin'.
Why, hain't I held 'em on my knee?
Did n't I love to see 'em growin', Three likely lads ez wal could be,
Hahnsome an' brave an' not tu knowin'? I set an' look into the blaze Whose natur', jes' like theirn, keeps
climbin', Ez long 'z it lives, in shinin' ways,
An' half despise myself for rhymin'.
Snow-flakes come whisperin' on the pane The charm makes blazin' logs so pleas
ant, But I can't hark to wut they 're say'n',
With Grant or Sherman ollers present; The chimbleys shudder in the gale, Thet lulls, then suddin takes to flap
pin' Like a shot hawk, but all 's ez stale
To me ez so much sperit-rappin'. Under the yaller-pines I house, When sunshine makes 'em all sweet
Wut's words to them whose faith an'
truth On War's red techstone rang true metal, Who ventered life an’ love an' youth
For the gret prize o' death in battle ? To him who, deadly hurt, agen
Flashed on afore the charge's thunder, Tippin' with fire the bolt of men
Thet rived the Rebel line asunder ?
'Tain't right to hev the young go fust, mews, ez Parson Willber allus called 'em,
All throbbin' full o' gifts an' graces, which is goin' to be the last an' stay the last Leavin' life's paupers dry ez dust
onless sunthin' pertikler sh'd interfear To try an' make b’lieve fill their places: which I don't expec' ner I wun't yield tu Nothin' but tells us wut we miss,
ef it wuz ez pressin' ez a deppity Shiriff. Ther' 's gaps our lives can't never fay in, Sence Mr. Wilbur's disease I hev n't hed An' thet world seems so fur from this no one thet could dror out my talons. He Lef' for us loafers to grow gray in ! ust to kind o' wine me up an' set the
penderlum agoin' an' then soinehow I My eyes cloud up for rain; my mouth seemed to go on tick as it wear tell I run
Will take to twitchin' roun' the corners; down, but the noo minister ain't of the I pity mothers, tu, down South,
same brewin' nor I can't seem to git ahold For all they sot among the scorners: of no kine of huming nater in him but sort I'd sooner take my chance to stan'
of slide rite off as you du on the eedge of a At Jedgment where your meanest slave
Minnysteeril natur is wal enough is,
an'a site better 'n most other kines I know Than at God's bar hol' up a han'
on, but the other sort sech as Welbor hed Ez drippin' red ez yourn, Jeff Davis ! wuz of the Lord's makin' an' naterally more
wonderfle an' sweet tastin' least ways to Come, Peace ! not like a mourner bowed me so fur as heerd from. He used to in
For honor lost an' dear ones wasted, terdooce 'em smooth ez ile athout sayin' But proud, to meet a people proud,
nothin'in pertickler an' I misdoubt he With eyes thet tell o' triumph tasted ! did n't set so much by the sec'nd Ceres as Come, with han' grippin' on the hilt, wut he done by the Fust, fact, he let on An' step thet proves ye Victory's daugh- onct thet his mine misgive him of a sort of ter!
fallin' off in spots. He wuz as outspoken Longin' for you, our sperits wilt
as a norwester he wuz, but I tole him I Like shipwrecked 'men's on raf's for hoped the fall wuz from so high up thet a water.
feller could ketch a good many times fust
afore comin' bunt onto the ground as I see Come, while our country feels the lift Jethro C. Swett fro the meetin' house
Of a gret instinct shoutin' “ Forwards ! ” steeple up to th' old perrish, an' took up An' knows thet freedom ain't a gift
for dead but he's alive now an’spry as wut Thet tarries long in han's o' cowards ! you be. Turnin' of it over I recclected Come, sech ez mothers prayed for, when how they ust to put wut they called ArgyThey kissed their cross with lips thet munce onto the frunts of poymns, like quivered,
poorches afore housen whare you could rest An' bring fair wages for brave men, ye a spell whilst you wuz concludin' A nation saved, a race delivered !
go in or nut espeshully ware tha wuz darters, though I most allus found
it the best plen to go in fust an' think afterNo. XI
wards an' the gals likes it best tu. I dno
as speechis ever hez any argimunts to 'em, MR. HOSEA BIGLOW'S SPEECH I never see none thet hed an' I guess they IN MARCH MEETING
never du but tha must allus be a B’ginnin'
to everythin' athout it is Etarnity so I 'll TO THE EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC
begin rite away an'anybody may put it MONTHLY
afore any of his speeches ef it soots an'
welcome. I don't claim no paytent. JAALAM, April 5, 1866. MY DEAR SIR,
THE ARGYMUNT (an' noticin' by your kiver thet you
're some dearer than wut you wuz, I enclose Interducshin, w'ich may be skipt. Bethe deffrence) I dunno ez I know jest bow gins by talkin' about himself : thet 's jest to interdooce this las' perduction of my natur an' most gin'ally allus pleasin', I