Слике страница
PDF
ePub

An' ole Wig doctrines act'lly look, their occ'pants bein'

gone, Lonesome ez staddles on a mash with

out no hayricks on. I spose it's time now I should give my

thoughts upon the plan, Thet chipped the shell at Buffalo, o'

settin' up ole Van. I used to vote fer Martin, but, I swan,

I'm clean disgusted, He aint the man thet I can say is fittin'

to be trusted ; He aint half antislav'ry 'nough, nor I

aint sure, ez some be, He'd go in fer abolishin' the Deestrick

o' Columby; An', now I come to recollect, it kin' o'

makes me sick 'z A horse, to think o' wut he wuz in

eighteen thirty-six. An' then, another thing; - I guess,

though mebby I am wrong, This Buff'lo plaster aint agoin' to dror

almighty strong; Some folks, I know, hev gut th' idee

thet No'thun dough 'll rise, Though, 'fore I see it riz an' baked, I

would n't trust my eyes ; "T will take more emptins, a long chalk,

than this noo party 's gut, To give sech heavy cakes ez them a

start, I tell ye wut. But even ef they caird the day, there

would n't be no endurin' To stan' upon a platform with sech

critters ez Van Buren; An' his son John, tu, I can't think how

thet 'ere chap should dare To speak ez he doos; wy, they say he

used to cuss an' swear ! I spose he never read the hymn thet

tells how down the stairs A feller with long legs wuz throwed thet would n't

prayers. This brings me to another pint: the

leaders o' the party Aint jest sech men eż I can act along

with free an' hearty ; They aint not quite respectable, an'

wen a feller's morrils Don't toe the straightest kin' o' mark,

wy, him an' me jest quarrils. I went to a free soil meetin' once, an'

wut d'ye think I see?

A feller was aspoutin' there thet act'lly

come to me, About two year ago last spring, ez nigh

ez I can jedge; An'axed me ef I did n't want to sign

the Temprunce pledge ! He's one o' them that goes about an'

sez you hed n't ough' ter Drink nothin', mornin', noon, or night,

stronger 'an Taunton water. There is one rule I 've ben guided by,

in settlin' how to vote, oliers, I take the side thet is n't took by them

consarned teetotallers. Ez fer the niggers, I 've ben South, an'

thet hez changed my mind; A lazier, more ongrateful set you could

n't nowers find. You know I mentioned in my last thet

I should buy a nigger, Ef I could make a purchase at a pooty

mod'rate figger ; So, ez there's nothin' in the world I'm

fonder of 'an gunnin', I closed a bargain finally to take a fel

ler runnin'. I shou’dered queen's-arm an' stumped

out, an’ wen I come t'th'swamp, 'T worn't very long afore I gut upon

the nest o' Pomp; I come acrost a kin' o’hut, an', playin'

round the door, Some little woolly-headed cubs, ez

many 'z six or more. At fust I thought o' firin', but think

twice is safest ollers; There aint, thinks I, not one on 'em

but 's wuth his twenty dollars, Or would be, ef I hed 'em back into a

Christian land, How temptin' all on 'em would look

upon an auction-stand! (Not but wut I hate Slavery in th' ab

stract, stem to starn, I leave it ware our fathers did, a privit

State consarn.) Soon 'z they see me, they yelled an'

run, but Pomp wuz out ahoein' A leetle patch o' corn he hed, or else

there aint no knowin' He would n't ha' took a pop at me; but

I hed gut the start, An' wen he looked, I vow he groaned

ez though he'd broke his heart;

say his

He done it like a wite man, tu, ez nat

ral ez a pictur, The imp'dunt, pis'nous hypocrite ! wus

'an a boy constrictur. “You can't gum me, I tell ye now, an'

so you need n't try, I ’xpect my eye-teeth every mail, so

jest shet up," sez I. Don't go to actin' ugly now, or else

I'll jest let strip, You'd best draw kindly, seein' 'z how

I've gut ye on the hip; Besides, you darned ole fool, it aint no

gret of a disaster To be benev'lently druv back to a con

tented master, Ware you hed Christian priv'ledges you

don't seem quite aware of, Or you 'd ha' never run away from bein'

well took care of; Ez fer kin' treatment, wy, he wuz so

fond on ye, he said He'd give a fifty spot right out, to git

ye, 'live or dead; Wite folks aint sot by half ez much;

'member I run away, Wen I wuz bound to Cap'n Jakes, to

Mattysqumscot Bay; Don’ know him, likely? Spose not ;

wal, the mean ole codger went An' offered — wut reward, think? Wal,

it worn't no less 'n a cent."

(Mixed with some wiskey, now an’then),

Pomp he snaked up behind, An' creepin' grad’lly close tu, ez quiet

ez a mink, Jest grabbed my leg, and then pulled

foot, quicker 'an you could wink, An', come to look, they each on 'em

hed gut behin' a tree, An' Pomp poked out the leg a piece,

jest so ez I could see, An' yelled to me to throw away my pis

tils an' my gun, Or else thet they'd cair off the leg, an'

fairly cut an' run. I vow I did n't b’lieve there wuz a de

cent alligatur Thet hed a heart so destitoot o' com

mon human natur; However, ez there worn't no help, I

finally give in An' heft my arms away to git my leg

safe back agin. Pomp gethered all the weapins up, an’

then he come an' grinned, He showed his ivory some, I guess, an'

sez, “You ’re fairly pinned ; Jest buckle on your leg agin, an' git

right up an' come, 'T wun't du fer fammerly men like me to

be so long from hum." At fust I put my foot right down an'

swore I would n't budge. 'Jest ez you choose,” sez he, quite

cool, “either be shot or trudge. So this black-hearted monster took an'

act'lly druv me back Along the very feetmarks o' my happy

mornin' track, An' kep' me pris'ner 'bout six months,

an' worked me, tu, like sin, Till I hed gut his corn an' his Carliny

taters in ; He made me larn him readin', tu (al

though the crittur saw How much it hut my morril sense to

act agin the law), So'st he could read a Bible he'd gut;

an'axed ef I could pint The North Star out; but there I put

his nose some out o' jint, Fer I weeled roun' about sou'west, an',

lookin' up a bit, Picked out a middlin' shiny cue an cola

him thet wuz it.

[ocr errors]

Wal, I jest gut 'em into line, an' druv

'em on afore me, The pis'nous brutes, I'd no idee o' the

ill-will they bore me; We walked till som'ers about noon, an'

then it grew so hot I thought it best to camp awile, so I

chose out a spot Jest under a magnoly tree, an' there

right down I sot ; Then I unstrapped my wooden leg, coz

it begun to chafe, An' laid it down ’long side o' me, sup

posin' all wuz safe ; I made my darkies all set down around

me in a ring, An' sot an' kin' o' ciphered up how

much the lot would bring ; But, wile I drinked the peaceful cup of

a pure heart an' mind

Fin'lly, he took me to the door, an',

givin' me a kick, Sez, - "Ef you know wut's best fer

ye, be off, now, double-quick; The winter-time 's a comin' on, an',

though I gut ye cheap, You 're so darned lazy, I don't think

you 're hardly wuth your keep; Besides, the childrin 's growin' up, an'

you aint jest the inodel I'd like to hev 'em immertate, an' so

you'd better toddle!” Now is there anythin' on airth 'll ever

prove to me Thet renegader slaves like him air fit

fer bein' free? D’you think they'll suck me in to jine

the Buff’lo chaps, an' them Rank infidels thet go agin the Scrip

tur'l cus o' Shem? Not by a jugfull! sooner ’n thet, I'd

go thru fire an’ water; Wen î hev once made up my mind, a

meet'nhus aint sotter; No, not though all the crows thet flies to

pick my bones wuz cawin', I guess we 're in a Christian land, Yourn,

BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN. (Here, patient reader, we take leave of each other, I trust with some mutual satisfaction. I say patient, for I love not that kind which skims dippingly over the surface of the page, as swallows over a pool before rain. By such no pearls shall be gathered. But if no pearls there be (as, indeed, the world is not without example of books wherefrom the longest-winded diver shall bring up no more than his proper handful of mud), yet let us hope that an oyster or two may reward adequate perseverance. If neither pearls nor oysters, yet is patience itself a gem worth diving deeply for.

It inay seem to some that too much space has been usurped by my own private lucubrations, and some may be fain to bring against ine that old jest of him who preached all his hearers out of the mecting-house save only the sexton who, remaining for yet a little space, from a sense of official duty, at last gave out also, and, presenting the keys. humbly requested our preacher to lock the doors, when he should have wholly relieved himself of his testimony. I confess to a satisfaction in the self act of preaching, nor Co I esteem a discourse to be wholly thrown away even upon a sleeping or unintelligent auditory. I cannot easily believe that the Gos.

pel of Saint John, which Jacques Cartier or. dered to be read in the Latin tongue to the Canadian savages, upon his first meeting with them, fell altogether upon stony ground. For the earnesiness of the preacher is a sermon appreciable by dullest intelects and most alien ears. In this wise did Episcopius convert many to his opinions, who yet understood not the language in which he discoursed. The chief thing is that the messenger believe that he has an authentic message to deliver. For counterfeit messengers that mode of treatment which Father John de Plano Carpini relates to have prevailed among the Tartars would seem effectual, and, perhaps, deserved enough. For my own part, I may lay claim to so much of the spirit of martyrdom as would have led me to go into banishment with those clergymen whom Alphonso the Sixth of Portugal drave out of his king. dom for refusing to shorten their pulit eloquence. It is possible, that, having been invited into my brother Biglow's desk, I may have been too little scrupulous in using it for the venting of my own peculiar doctrines to a congregation drawn together in the expectation and with the desire of hearing him.

I am not wholly unconscious of a peculiar. ity of mental organization which inpels me, like the railroad-engine with its train of cars, to run backward for a short distance in order to obtain a fairer start. I may compare myself to one fishing from the rocks when the sea runs high, who, misinterpreting the suction of the undertow for the biting of some larger fish, jerks suddenly, and finds that he has caught bottom, hauling in upon the end of his line a trail of various alga, among which, nevertheless, the naturalist may haply find somewhat to repay the disappointment of the angler. Yet have I conscientiously endeavored to adapt nyself to the impatient temper of the age, daily degenerating more and more from the high standard of our pristine New England. To the catalogue of fost arts I would mournfully add also that of listening to two-hour sernions. Surely we have been abridged into a race of pygmies. For, truly, in those of the old discourses yet subsisting to us in print, the endless spinal column of divisions and subdivisions can be likened to nothing so exactly as to the vertebræ of the saurians, whence the theorist may conjecture a race of Anakim proportionate to the withstanding of these other monsters. I say Anakim rather than Nephelim, because there seem reasons for supposing that the race of those whose heads (thugh no giants) are constantly enveloped in clouds (which that name imports) will never become extinct. The attempt to vanquish the innumerable heads of one of those aforemeno tioned discourses may supply us with aplausi, ble interpretation of the second labor of Hercules, and his successful experiment with fire affords us a useful precedent. But while I lament the degeneracy of the

age in this regard, I cannot refuse to succumb to its influence. Looking out through my study-window, I see Mr. Biglow at a distance busy in gathering his Baldwins, of which, to judge by the number of barrels lying about under the trees, his crop is more abun.

dant than my own, - by which sight I am admonished to turn to those orchards of the mind wherein my labors may be more prospered, and apply myself diligently to the preparation of iny next Sabbath's discourse. -H. W]

MELIBEUS-HIPPONAX.

THE

Biglow Papers,

SECOND SERIES.

Εστιν άρ' ό ιδιωτισμός ενίοτε του κόσμου παραπoλύ εμφανιστικώτερον.

LONGINUS.

"J'aimerois mieulx que mon fils apprinst aux escholes de la parlerie.'

tavernes à parler, qu'aux

MONTAIGNE.

„Unser Sprach ist auch ein Sprach und kan ro wohl ein Sack nennen als die latiner saccus.“

FISCHART.

“Vim rebus aliquando ipsa verborum humilitas affert.”

QUINTILIANUS.

“O ma lengo, Plantarèy une estèlo à toun froun encrumit!”

JASMIN.

« ПретходнаНастави »