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ties, ascribing to him as many good qualities as if it had been his tombstone. The excuse was that it would be well for the town to be rid of him, as it would erelong be obliged to maintain him. I would not refuse my name to modest merit, but I would be as cautious as in signing a bond. [I trust I shall be subjected to no imputation of unbecoming vanity, if I mention the fact that Mr. W. indorsed my own qualifications as teacher of the highschool at Pequash Junction. J. H.] When I see a certificate of character with everybody's name to it, I regard it as a letter of introduction from the Devil. Never give a man your name unless you are willing to trust him with your reputation.
There seem now-a-days to be two sources of literary inspiration, — fulness of mind and emptiness of pocket.
I am often struck, especially in reading Montaigne, with the obviousness and familiarity of a great writer's thoughts, and the freshness they gain because said by him. The truth is, we mix their greatness with all they say and give it our best attention. Johannes Faber sic cogitavit, would be no enticing preface to a book, but an accredited name gives credit like the signature of a note of hand. It is the advantage of fame that it is always privileged to take the world by the button, and a thing is weightier for Shakespeare's uttering it by the whole amount of his personality.
It is singular how impatient men are with overpraise of others, how patient with overpraise of themselves : and yet the one does them no injury, while the other may be their 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 ex
pected projection. Attention is the stuff that memory is made of, and memory is accumulated genius.
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 new.
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!
Some people, now-a-days, 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.
No. X. MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE
EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC
MONTHLY. DEAR SIR, – Your ietter come to haris
Requestin' me to please be funny;
But I ain't made upon a plan
honey: Ther''s times the world doos look so
queer, Odd fancies come afore I call 'em ; An' then agin, for half a year, No preacher 'thout a call 's more
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; Then, 'fore I know it, my idees
Run helter-skelter into Yankee.
Sence I begun to scribble rhyme,
I tell ye wut, I hain't ben foolin'; The parson's books, life, death, an'
time Hev took some trouble with my
schoolin'; Nor th' airth l't git put out with me, Thet love her 'z though she wuz a
woman; Why, th' ain't a bird upon the tree
But half forgives my bein' human.
Like rivers when south-lyin' drifts Feel thet th' old airth's a-wheelin
sunwards. 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'tates, - they don't never lack, But then they ll slope afore you 've
mist 'em Nothin' don't seem like wut it wuz;
I can't see wut there is to hender, 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 moon, 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
mer. I hev ben 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'
An' yit I love th' unhighschooled way
Ol' 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
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 on
In-doors an' out by spells I try; Ma'am Natur' keeps her spin-wheel
But leaves my natur' stiff and dry
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'.
An' I set thinkin' o' the feet
now quiet, White feet ez snowdrops innercent, Thet never knowed the paths of
Satan, Whose comin' step ther''s ears thet
won't, No, not lifelong, leave off awaitin'.
Snow-flakes come whisperin' on the
pane The charm makes blazin' logs so
pleasant, But I can't hark to wut they ’re say'n', With Grant or Sherman ollers pres
ent; 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'.
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'.
Under the yaller-pines I house,
scented, An' hear among their furry boughs The baskin' west-wind purr con
tented, 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'.
Or 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'.
Wut's words to them whose faith an'
truth On War's red techstone rang true
metal, Who ventered life an' love and youth
For the gret prize o' death in battle? To him who, deadly hurt, agen Flashed on afore the charge's thun
der, Tippin' with fire the bolt of men
Thet rived the Rebel line asunder? 'Tain't right to hev the young go fust,
All throbbin' full o'gifts an' graces, Leavin' life's paupers dry ez dust To try an' make b'lieve fill their
places : Nothin' but tells us wut we miss, Ther''s gaps our lives can't never
fay in, An' thet world seems so fur from this
Lef' for us loafers to grow gray in!
My eyes cloud up for rain ; my mouth
Will take to twitchin' roun' the cor
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 lain't no use for dreams an'
Rat-tat-tat-tattle thru the street
I hear the drummers makin' riot,
Coine, Peace ! not like a mourner
bowed For honor lost an' dear ones wasted, But proud, to meet a people proud,
With eyes thet tell o' triumph tasted! Come, with han’ grippin' on the hilt, An' step thet proves ye Victory's
daughter ! Longin' for you, our sperits wilt Like shipwrecked men's on raf's for
Come, while our country feels the lift
Of a gret instinct shoutin' forwards, An' knows thet freedom ain't a gift
Thet tarries long in han's o'cowards ! Come, sech ez mothers prayed for,
when They kissed their cross with lips thet
quivered, An' bring fair wages for brave men,
A nation saved, a race delivered I
in him but sort of slide rite off as you
go in or nut espeshully ware tha wuz darters, though I most allus found it the best plen to go in fust an' think afterwards an' the gals likes it best tu. I dno as speechis ever hez any argimunts to 'em, I never see none thet hed an' I guess they never du but tha must allus be a B’ginnin' to everythin' athout it is Etarnity so I 'll begin rite away an' anybody may put it afore any of his speeches ef it soots an’ welcome. I don't claim no paytent.
MR. HOSEA BIGLOW'S SPEECH
IN MARCH MEETING.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC
JAALAM, April 5, 1866. MY DEAR SIR, –
(an'noticin' by your kiver thet you 're some dearer than wut you wuz, I enclose the deffrence) I dunno ez I know jest how to interdroce this las' perduction of my mews, ez Parson Willber allus called 'em, which is goin' to be the last an' stay the last onless sunthin' pertikler sh’d interfear which I don't expec' ner I wun't yield tu ef it wuz ez pressin' ez a deppity Shiriff. Sence Mr. Wilbur's disease I hev n't hed no one thet could dror out my talons. He ust to kind o' wine me up an' set the penderlum agoin' an' then somehow I seemed to go on tick as it wear tell I run down, but the noo minister ain't of the same brewin' nor I can't seem 2o git ahold of no kine of huming nater
THE ARGYMUNT. Interducshin, w'ich may be skipt. Begins by talkin' about himself: thei's jest natur an' most gin’ally allus pleasin', I b'leeve I've notist, to one of the cumpany, an' thet 's more than wut you can say of most speshes of talkin'. Nex' comes the gittin' the goodwill of the orjunce by lettin' 'em gether from wut you kind of ex'dentally let drop thet they air about East, A one, an' no mistaik, skare 'em up an' take 'em as
he, his eyes sort of ripplin' like, for he lost a babe onct nigh about her age, “You 're a good lad; but 't ain'i thet puther," sez he.
“Ef you want to know," sez he, “
open your winder of a mornin' et ary season, and you 'll laru thet the best of perfooms is jest fresh air, fresh air," sez he, emphysizin', “athout no mixtur. Thet 's wut I call natur in writin', and it bathes my lungs and washes 'em sweet whenever 'git a whiff on 't," sez he. I offen think o' thet when I set down to write, bu: the winders air so ept to git stuck, an' breakin' a pane costs sunthin'. Yourn for the last time, Nut to be continooed,
they rise. Spring interdooced with a fiew approput flours. Speach finally begins witch nobuddy need n't feel obolygated to read as I never read 'em an' never shell this one ag’in. Subjick staited; expanded ; delayted : extended. Pump lively. Subjick staited ag'in so's to avide all mistaiks. Ginnle remarks ; continooed ; kerried on; pushed furder; kind o'gin out. Subjick restaited; dielooted; stirred up permiscoous. Pump ag'in. Gits back to where he sot out. Can't seem to stay thair. Ketches into Mr. Seaward's hair. Breaks loose ag'in an' staits his subjick; stretches it; turns it ; folds it ; Confolds it ; folds it ag'in so's 't no one can't find it. Argoos with an imedginary bean thet ain't aloud to say nothin' in repleye. Gives him a real good dressin' an' is settysfide he's rite. Gits into Johnson's hair. No use tryin' to git into his head. Gives it up. Hez to stait his subjick ag'in; doos it back'ards, sideways, eendways, criss-cross, bevellin', noways. Gits finally red on it. Concloods. Concloods more. Reads
Sees his subjick a-nosin' round arter him ag’in. Tries to avide it. Wun't du. Misstates it. Can't conjectur' no other plawsable way of staytin' on it. Tries pump. No fx. Finely concloods to conclood. Yeels the flore.
You kin spall an' punctooate thet as you please. I allus do, it kind of puts a noo soot of close onto a word, thisere funattick spellin' doos an' takes 'em out of the prissen dress they wair is the Dixonary. Ef I squeeze the cents out of 'em it 's the main thing, an' wut they wuz made for; wut's left 's jest pummis.
Mistur Wilbur sez he to me onct, sez he, “ Hosee,” sez he, “in litterytoor the only good thing is Natur. It's amazin' hard to come at," sez he, “but onct git it an' you ’ve gut everythin': Wut's the sweetest small on airth? sez he.
“ Noomone hay,” sez I, pooty bresk, for he wuz allus hankerin'round in hayın. “Nawthin' of the kine," sez he.
“My leetle Huldy's breath,” sez I ag'in. You 're a good lad," sez
I don't much s'pose, hows'ever I should
plen it, I could git boosted into th' House or
Sennit, Nut while the twolegged gab-machine's
so plenty, 'Nablin' one man to du the talk o'
twenty ; I'm one o' them thet finds it ruther
hard To mannyfactur' wisdom by the yard, An' maysure off, accordin' to demand, The piece-goods elkence that I keep
on hand, The same ole pattern runnin' thru an'
thru, An' nothin' but the customer thet's
new. I sometimes think, the furder on I
go, Thet it gits harder to feel sure I know, An' when I 've settled my idees, I find 'T warn't I sheered most in makin' up
my mind; 'T wuz this an' thet an' t' other thing
thet done it, Sunthin' in th' air, I could n' seek nor
shun it. Mos' folks go off so quick now in dis
cussion, All th' ole flint locks seems altered to
percussion, Whilst I in agin' sometimes git a hin*