Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Thet drive me, when I git a chance, to

walk Off by myself to hev a privit talk With a queer critter thet can't seem to

'gree Along o' me like most folks, — Mister

Me. Ther' 's times when I'm unsoshle ez a

stone, An' sort o' suffocate to be alone, I'm crowded jes' to think thet folks are

nigh, An' can't bear nothin' closer than the

sky; Now the wind 's full ez shifty in the

mind Ez wut it is ou’-doors, ef I ain't blind, An' sometimes, in the fairest sou'west

weather, My innard vane pints east for weeks

together, My natur' gits all goose-flesh, an' my

sins Come drizzlin' on my conscience sharp

ez pins : Wal, et sech times I jes' slip out o'

sight An' take it out in a fair stan'-up fight With the one cuss I can't lay on the

shelf, The crook'dest stick in all the heap,

Myself. 'T wuz so las' Sabbath arter meetin'

time : Findin' my feelin's would n't noways

rhyme With nobody's, but off the hendle flew An' took things from an east-wind pint

o view, I started off to lose me in the hills Where the pines be, up back o' 'Siah's

Mills :
Pines, ef you're blue, are the best friends

I know,
They mope an' sigh an' sheer your

feelin's so, They hesh the ground beneath so, tu, I

swan, You half-forgit you 've gut a body on. l'her''s a small school'us' there where

four roads meet, The door-steps hollered out by little

We 're curus critters: Now ain't jes'

the minute Thet ever fits us easy while we 're in

it ; Long ez 't wuz futur', 't would be per

fect bliss, Soon ez it's past, thet time 's wuth ten

o' this; An' yit there ain't a man thet need be

told Thet Now's the only bird lays eggs o'

gold. A knee-high lad, I used to plot an' plan An' think 't wuz life's cap-sheaf to be a

man; Now, gittin' gray, there's nothin' I

enjoy Like dreamin' back along into a boy : So the ole school'us' is a place I choose Afore all others, ef I want to muse ; I set down where I used to set, an' git My boyhood back, an' better things

with it, Faith, Hope, an' sunthin', ef it is n't

Cherrity, It's want o' guile, an thet 's ez gret a

rerrity, While Fancy's Cushin', free to Prince

and Clown, Makes the hard bench ez soft ez milk

weed-down.

feet,

Now, 'fore I knowed, thet Sabbath my feet.

arternoon

An', mixed right in ez ef jest out o

spite, Sunthin' thet says your supper ain't

gone right. I'm gret on dreams, an' often when I

wake, I've lived so much it makes my mem'ry

ache, An' can't skurce take a cat-nap

in

my cheer 'Thout hevin' 'em, some good, some bad, all

queer.

folks say

win

Thet I sot out to tramp myself in tune, I found me in the school'us' on my

seat, Drummin' the march to No-wheres with Thinkin' o' nothin', I've heerd ole Is a hard kind odooty in its way: It's thinkin' everythin' you ever knew, Or ever hearn, to make your feelin's

blue. I sot there tryin' thet on for a spell : I thought or the Rebellion, then o'

Hell, Which some folks tell ye now is jest a

metterfor (A the’ry, p'raps, it wun't feel none the

better for); I thought o' Reconstruction, wut we'd Patchin' our patent self-blow-up agin : I thought ef this 'ere milkin o'° the

wits, So much a month, warn't givin' Natur'

fits, Ef folks warn't druv, findin' their own

milk fail, To work the cow thet hez an iron tail, An' ef idees 'thout ripenin' in the pan Would send up cream to humor ary

man : From this to thet I let my worryin'

creep, Till finally I must ha' fell asleep. Our lives in sleep are some like streams

thet glide 'Twixt flesh an' sperrit boundin'on each

side, Where both shores' shadders kind of

mix an' mingle In sunthin' thet ain't jes' like either

single ; An' when you cast off moorin's from

To-day, An' down towards To-morrer drift

away, The imiges thet tengle on the stream Make a new upside-down'ard world o'

dream : Sometimes they seem like sunrise

streaks an' warnin's D' wut 'll be in Heaven on Sabbath

mornin's,

Now I wuz settin' where I'd ben, it

seemed, An' ain't sure yit whether I r'ally

dreamed, Nor, ef I did, how long I might ha'

slep', When I hearn some un stompin' up the

step, An' lookin' round, ef two an’two make

four, I see a Pilgrim Father in the door. He wore a steeple-hat, tall boots, an'

spurs With rowels to 'em big ez ches'nut

burrs, An' his gret sword behind him sloped

away Long 'z a man's speech thet dunno wut

to say. “Ef your name 's Biglow, an' your

given-name Hosee," sez he, “it's arter you I came; I'm your gret-gran’ther multiplied by

three. “My wut ? sez I. — “Your gret-gretgret,

"sez he : “You would n't ha' never ben here but

for me. Two hundred an' three year ago this

May The ship I come in sailed up Boston

Bay; I'd been a cunnle in our Civil War, But wut on airth hev you gut up one

for? Coz we du things in England, 't ain't for

you To git a notion you can du 'em tu: I'm told you write in public prints : ef

true,

[ocr errors]

1 's nateral you should know a thing

or two. " Thet air 's an argymunt I can't en

dorse, 'T would prove, coz you wear spurs,

you kep' a horse : For brains," sez I, “ wutever you may

think, Ain't boun' to cash the drafs o' pen-an’

ink, Though mos'folks write ez ef they

hoped jes' quickenin' The churn would argoo skim-milk into

thickenin'; But skim-milk ain't a thing to change

its view O'wut it's meant for more in a smoky

flue. But du pray tell me, 'fore we furder

go, How in all Natur' did you come to

know 'Bout our affairs," sez I,“ in KingdomCome?"

worked round at sperrit-rappin' some, An' danced the tables till their legs

wuz gone, In hopes o'larnin' wut wuz goin' on," Şez he, “but mejums lie so like all

split Thet I concluded it wuz best to quit. But, come now, ef you wun't confess

to knowin', You've some conjectures how the

thing's a-goin'. Gran’ther," sez I, “a vane warn't

never known Nor asked to hev a jedgment of its

own; An' yit, ef 't ain't gut rusty in the jints, It's safe to trust its say on certin pints: It knows the wind's opinions to a T, An' the wind settles wut the weather 'll

Hitchin' his belt to bring his sword

hilt forrard.) " Jes' so it wuz with me," sez I, “I

SWOW, When I wuz younger 'n wut you see

me now, Nothin' from Adam's fall to Huldy's

bonnet, Thet I warn't full-cocked with my jedg

ment on it ; But now I'm gittin' on in life, I find It's a sight harder to make up my

mind, Nor I don't often try tu, when events Will du it for me free of all expense. The moral question 's ollus plain

enough, It's jes' the human-natur side thet 's

tough ; Wut's best to think may n't puzzle me

nor you, The pinch comes in decidin' wut to Ef

you read History, all runs smooth

ez grease, Coz there the men ain't nothin' more 'n

idees, But come to make it, ez we must 10

day, Th' idees hev arms ap' legs an' stop

du ;

“Wal,

the way :

men

It's easy fixin' things in facts an' fig.

gers, They can't resist, nor warn't brought

up with niggers; But come to try your the'ry on, why,

then Your facts an' figgers change to ign'ant Actin' ez ugly -"-"Smite 'em hip

an' thigh?” Sez gran’ther, “and let every man

child die! Oh for three weeks o' Crommle an' the

! Up, Isr’el, to your tents an' grind the

sword ! “Thet kind o' thing worked wal in ole

Judee, But you forgit how long it's ben A. D. ; You think thet 's ellerkence, - I call it

shoddy, A thing," sez I, “wun't cover soul nor

body;

be."

"I never thought a scion of our stock Could grow the wood to make a

weathercock; When I wuz younger 'n you, skurce

more 'n a shaver, No airthly wind," sez he, “could make

me waver !" (Ez he said this, he clinched his jaw an'

forehead,

66

Thet Chance wun't stop to listen to

debatin'!"God's truth!” sez I, -"an' ef I

held the club, An' 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'

failin'; God hates your sneakin' creturs thet

believe 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.

No. VII.

LATEST VIEWS OF MR. BIG

LOW.

PRELIMINARY NOTE.

I like the plain all-wool o'common

sense, Thet warms ye now, an' will a twelve

month hence. You took to follerin' where the Proph

ets beckoned, An', fust you knowed on, back come

Charles the Second ; Now wut I want 's to hev all we gain

stick, An' not to start Millennium too quick ; We hain't to punish only, but to keep, An' the cure 's gut to go a cent'ry

deep." “ Wal, milk-an’-water ain't the best o'

glue," Sez he, “an' so you'll find before you

're thru ; Ef reshness venters sunthin', shilly

shally 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

million pecks. 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 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 This 'ere rebellion 's nothin' but the

rettle, You 'll stomp on thet an' think

you

've won the bettle ; It's Slavery thet 's the fangs an' think

in' head, An' ef you want selvation, cresh it

dead, An' cresh it suddin, or you 'll larn by

waitin'

it :

[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 afternoon of Christmas day, 1862. Our venera ble friend (for so we may venture to call him, though we never enjoyed the high privilege of his personal acquaintance) was in his eighty-fourth 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 Ec

tail ;

clesiastical,' 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 hymin, 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 : ist, A biographical sketch of Mr. Wilbur, with notices of his predecessors in the pastoral office, and of eminent cler

al contemporaries ; 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 table-talk ; 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.

In a private letter with which the reverend gentleman has since favored us, he expresses the opinion that Mr. Wilbur's life was shortened by o'r unhappy civil war. It disturbed his studies, dislocated all his habitual asso. ciations and trains of thought, and unsettled the foundations of a faith, rather the result of habit than conviction, in the capacity of man for self-government. “Such has been the felicity of my life,” he said to Mr. Hitchcock, on the very morning of the day he died, “that, through the divine mercy, I could always say, Summum nec metuo diem, nec opto. It has been my habit, as you know, on every recurrence of this blessed anniversary, to read Milton's 'Hymn of the Nativity' till its sublime harmonies so dilated my soul and quickened its spiritual sense that I seemed to hear that other song which gave assurance to the shepherds that there was One who would lead them also in green pastures and beside the still waters. But to-day I have been unable to think of anything but that mournful text, ! came not to send peace, but a sword,' and, did it not smack of pagan presumptuousness, could almost wish I had never lived to see this day."

Mr. Hitchcock also informs us that his friend "lies buried in the Jaalam graveyard, under a large red-cedar which he specially admired. A neat and substantial monument is to be erected over his remains, with a Latin epitaph written by himself; for he was accustomed to say, pleasantly, that there was at least one occasion in a scholar's life when he might show the advantages of a classical training.'

The following fragment of a letter addressed to us, and apparently intended to accompany Mr. Biglow's contribution to the present number, was found upon his table after his decease. - EDITORS ATLANTIC MONTH LY.)

« ПретходнаНастави »