Oldalképek
PDF

IT BROKE UP THE PARTY.

AN ExCITING SCENE IN A WIRGINIA SENATOR'S ROOM.

A Washington correspondent relates the following:— Senator Mahone has had considerable trouble with his whisky. It has mysteriously disappeared from his rooms at his hotel. A week or so ago he directed his servant to keep a sharp lookout and try and discover the reason for the rapid consumption of his liquor. The servant was successful. A bell boy was caught in the act of helping himself to some of the Senator's best sour mash. Since then Mr. Mahone's servants have been particularly vigilant. How vigilant is shown in the following incident which took place a few . ago. A card party gathered in the Senator's rooms. About 12 o'clock a gentleman suggested that a little whisky would not be out of order. It would serve to settle the salad and sandwiches they had partaken of. A messenger was sent to the bar, but he brought back the startling information that the bar was closed. The Virginia statesman thought that he had some whisky upstairs and would go after it. He soon returned with a bottle of “Overholz, distilled in 1860.” The production of the “old rye’ interrupted the game instanter, and four of the distinguished party #: up, helped themselves, and touched their glasses, each of which was supplied with the regulation quantity known as a “snorter,” and drank to the health and happiness of all present. They were hardly warm in their seats again, when they suddenly stared at each other with a painful inquisitive look, as if each was waiting for the other to speak. A sickly pallor spread over their features, and with simultaneous expedition they rose and rushed to the corner of the room, where their heads bumped together over the window-sill. Each was afflicted with deathly illness for five minutes, accompanied by writhings, groans, and contortions of the victims. “What is the matter with the whisky?” was the first exclamation. “It has made us fearful sick.” Senator Mahone, (who, by-the-way,

never drinks spirituous liquors, always confining his libations to beer) looked dumbfounded at the gyrations of his friends. The whisky was “cherry, old stock,” sent him by a valued friend in Pennsylvania. He immediately had his servant, John, who has charge of the Senator's apartments, hunted up. As he entered the room, the Senator remarked:— “John, what in the name of great Caesar is the matter with my whisky? I brought a bottle from my room, and these gentlemen after taking a drink of it were suddenly taken violently sick.” “Yo' whisky made 'em sick?” uttered John, apparently not fully comprehending the situation. ‘Make us sick'. I should say so. And this room resembles a ward in a cholera hospital,” remarked one of the victims. Observing a private mark on the label his eyes enlarged and protruded like the moon passing from behind a dark cloud as he exclaimed:— “Fo' God! Massa Mahone, dat am de bottle of liquor I put them ibbegags in to sicken de nigger what had bin toten off the whisky from yo’ room.”

GAUTIER'S CAT AND PARROT.

Gautier, the French writer, had a cat which slept on his bed nights, on the arms of his chair day times, followed him when he walked, and always kept him company at meals. One day a friend left his parrot in Gautier's charge during his absence. The o bird sat disconsolate on the top of his stand, while the cat stared at the strange sight. Gautier followed her thoughts, and read there clearly, “It must be a green chicken.” Thereupon she jumped from his writin table, crouched flat with head low, bac stretched out at full length, and eyes fixed immovably on the bird. Parrot followed all her movements; raised his feathers, sharpened his bill, stretched out his claws and evidently prepared for war. The cat lay still but Gautier read again in her eyes, “No doubt, though green, the chicken must be good to eat.” Suddenly her back was arched, and with one superb bound she was on the Pooh, when the |...} screamed out, “Have your breakfast, Jack?”

Pussy was almost frightened out of her wits. She cast one anxious glance at her master, leaped down and hid under the bed, from which no threat or caress could bring her out for the day.—Dumb Animals.

CLIMBED HIM AT LAST.

“Ever in Californy?” asked a long, lank, lean, lantern-jawed tramp of a man on Centre street the other day. “No.” “Wa’n’t in the boom o' '49, eh?” “No.” “Never war in the mines of Colorado or New Mexico, eh?” “No.” “Don’t know nuthin' 'bout minin’ a tall?” “No.” “Wall, I be darned l’” said the tramp. “Never was in the war, was ye?” “Never.” “Knock every button off my pants, if this don't beat all! Ain't a member of the melish ** “I am not a member of the melish.” “Well, blast my hat, if you ain't the hardest man to work for a drink I ever struck. Say, pard, ain't yer never, been in the penitentiary?” “Never have.” “Well, try me for a hoss thief if I ever see the like. Yer the fust man I ever struck, that hadn't done suthin' mean or been to Californy, or in the war, one or t'other. Say, pard, what's yerbusiness?” “I am abank cashier from New Jersey.” “Jewhillikens! I knowd I’d climb yer yit. An e've never been in quad? Well, by jinks, yer orter set 'em up !” And he did.

AN AGONIZING SUSPENSE.

Among the numerous applications for pensions received by the commissioners of pensions is one sent the other day by an ex-soldier, who has discovered an entirely new ground for relief. He stated that he had no wounds and was not disabled by disease, but while fighting in the Union ranks, at the battle of Antietam, he lost his coat, vest, and one suspender. “The other suspender,” he wrote, “was my only stay and support. Imagine my dismay, when a bullet came along,

and, slightly scorching my skin as it passed, cut the last precious suspender clean in two. There F. in the presence of many thousands of men. My emotions cannot be described. You, Mr. Commissioner, can imagine them. I am certainly entitled to a pension for the wounds given to my feelings on that occasion. Possibly you may not decide that a large pension should be given me, but, at least, I ought to have enough to keep #. in strong, reliable suspenders all my 1Ie.

FLUSH TIMES IN ALABAMA.

[Nearly forty years ago, 1850, a series of humorous articles under the above title appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger, and were subsequently collected in book form and published by D. Appleton & Co. with the author's name on the Title Page, Joseph G. Baldwin, of Livingston, Alabama.]

MAJOR WORMLY.

My memory, however, fixes itself on one, the noblest of the noble, the best of the good." Öld Major Willis Wormley had come in long before the new era. He beionged to the old school of Virginians. Nothing could have torn him from the Virginia he loved, as Jacopi Foscari, Venice, but the marrying of his eldest daughter, Mary, to a gentleman of Alabama. The Major was something between, or made out of equal parts, of Uncle Toby and Mr. Pickwick, with a slight flavor of Mr. Micawber. He was the soul of kindness, disinterestedness and hospitality. Love to everything that had life in | burned like a flame in his large an benignant soul; it flowed over in his countenance, and glowed through every feature, and moved every muscle in the frame it animated. The Major lived freely, was rather corpulent, and had not a lean thing on his plantations; the negroes; the dogs; the horses; the cattle; the very chickens, wore an air of corpulent com|...} and bustled about with a good

umored rotundity. There was more laughing, singing and whistling at “Hollywood,” than would have set up a dozen }. fairs. The Major's wife had, from a long life of affection, and the practice of the same pursuits, and the indulgence of the same feelings and tastes, got so much like him, that she seemed a feminine and modest edition of himself. Four daughters were all that remained in the family—two had been married off—and they had no son. The girls ranged from sixteen to twenty-two, fine, hearty, wholesouled, wholesome, cheerful lasses, with constitutions to last, and a flow of spirits like mountain springs—not beauties, but good housewife girls, whose open countenances, and neat figures, and rosy cheeks, and laughing eyes, and frank and cordial manners, made them, at home, abroad, on horseback or on foot, at the piano or discoursing on the old English books, or Washington Irving's Sketch Book, a favorite in the family ever since it was written, as entertaining and as well calculated to fix solid impressions on the heart, as any four girls in the country. The only difficulty was, they were so much alike, that you were put to fault which to fall in love with. }. were all good housewives, or women, rather. But Mrs. Wormley, or Aunt Wormley, as we called her, was as far ahead of any other woman in that way, as could be found this side of the Virginia border. If there was any thing good in the culinary line that she .#. make, I should like to know it. The Major lived on the main stage road, and if any decently dressed man ever passed the house after sundown, he escaped by sheer accident. The house was greatly visited. The Major knew every body and everybody near him knew the Major. The stage coach couldn't stop long, but in the hot summer days, about noon, as the driver tooted his horn at the top of the red hill, two negro boys stood opposite the door, with trays of the finest fruit, and a pitcher of cider for the refreshment of the wayfarers. The Major himself being on the look-out, with his hands over his eyes bowing—-as he only could bow—vaguely into the coach, and looking wistfully to find among the passengers an acquaintance whom he could prevail upon to get out and stay a week with him. “There wasn't a poor neighbor to whom the Major had not been as o as an insurer, without premium, for is stock, or for his crop; and from the way he rendered the service, you would think he was the party obliged—as he was.” This is not, in any country I have ever been in, a moneymaking business; and the Major, though he always made good crops, must have broke at it long ago, but

for the fortunate death of a few Aunts, after whom the girls were named, who, paying their several debts of nature, left the Major the means to pay his less serious, but still weighty obligations. The Major—for a wonder, being a Virginian—had no partisan politics. He could not have. His heart could not hold any thing that implied a warfare upon the thoughts or feelings of others. e voted all the time for his friend, that is, the candidate living nearest to him, regretting, generally, that he did not have another vote for the other man. It would have done a Camanche Indian’s heart good to see all the family together—grand-children and all—of a winter evening, with a guest or two, to excite sociability a little—not company enough to embarrass the manifestations of affection. Such a concordance—as if all hearts were attuned to the same feeling—the old lady knitting in the corner —the old man smoking his pipe opposite —both of their fine faces radiating in the pauses of the laugh, the jest, or the caress, the infinite satisfaction within. It was enough to convert an abolitionist, to see the old Major when he came home from a long journey of two days to the country town; the negroes running in . a string to the buggy; this one to hold the horse, that one to help the old man out, and the others to inquire how he was; and to observe the benignity with which—the kissing of the girls and the old lady hardly over—he distributed a piece of calico here, a plug of tobacco there, or a card of town ginger-bread to the little snow-balls that grinned around him; what was given being but a small part of the gift, divested of the kind, cheerful, rollicking way the old fellow had of giving it. The No. had given out his autograph (as had almost every body else) as endorser on three several bills of exchange, of even tenor and date, and all maturing at or about the same time. His friend's friend failed to pay as he or his firm agreed, the friend himself did no better, and the Major, before he knew anythin at all of his danger, found a writ serve upon him, and was told by his friend that he was dead broke, and all he could give him was his sympathy; the which, the Major as gratefully received as if it was a legal tender and would pay the debt.

The Major's friends advised him he could et clear of it; that notice of protest not foi. been sent to the Major's post-office, released him ; but the Major wouldn't hear of such a defence; he said his understanding was, that he was to pay the debt if his friend didn't; and to slip out of it by a * was little better than pleading the o: act. Besides, what would the lawyers say? And what would be said by his old friends in Virginia, when it reached their ears, that he had lead want of notice, to get clear of a ebt, when every body knew it was the same thing as if he had got notice. And if this defence were good at law, it would not be in equity; and if they took it into chancery, it mattered not what became of the case, the property would all go, and he never .# expect to see the last of it. No, no; he would pay it, and had as well set about it at once. The rumor of the Major's condition spread far and wide. It reached old N. ., “an angel,” whom the Major had “entertained,” and one of the few that ever travelled that road. He came, post haste, to see into the affair; saw the creditor; made him, upon threat of defence, ree to take half the amount, and discharge the Major; advanced the money, and took the Major's negroes—except the houseservants—and put them on his Mississippi plantation to work out the debt. The Major's heart pained him at the thought of the negroes going off; he couldn't witness it; ...i he consoled himself with the idea of the discipline and exercise being good for the health of sundry of them who had contracted sedentary diseases. The Major turned his house into a tavern—that is changed its name—put up a sign, and three weeks afterwards, you couldn't have told that any thing had happened. The family were as happy as ever—the Major never having put on airs of arrogance in prosperity, felt no humiliation in adversity; the girls were as cheerful, as bustling, and as light-hearted as ever, and seemed to think of the duties of hostesses as mere bagatelles, to enliven the time. The old Major was as profluent of anecdotes as ever, and never grew tired of telling the same ones to every new guest; and yet, the Major's anecdotes were all of Virginia growth, and not one of them under the legal age of twenty

one. If the Major had worked his negroes as he had those anecdotes, he would have been able to pay off the bills of exchange without any §.i.

The old lady and the girls laughed at the anecdotes, though they must have heard them at least a thousand times, and knew them by heart; for the Major told them without the variations; and the other friends of the Major laughed too; indeed, with such an air of thorough benevolence, and in such a truly social spirit did the old fellow proceed “the tale to unfold,” that a Cassius like rascal that wouldn't laugh, whether he saw any thing to laugh at or not, ought to have been sent to the Penitentiary for life—half of the time to be spent in solitary confinement.

! SHARP FINANCIERING.

IN the times of 1836, there dwelt in the pleasant town of T. a smooth oily-mannered gentleman, who diversified a commonplace pursuit by some exciting episodes of finance—dealing occasionally in exchange, buying and selling uncurrent money, &c. We will suppose this gentleman's name to be Thompson. It hapo that a Mr. Ripley of North Caroina, was in T., having some $1200, in North Carolina money, and desiring to return to the old North State with his funds, not wishing to encounter the risk of robbery through the Creek country, in which there were rumors of hostilities between the whites and the Indians, he bethought him of buying exchange on Raleigh, as the safest mode of transmitting his money. On inquiry he was referred to Mr. Thompson, as the only person dealin in exchange in that place. He calle on Mr. T. and made known his wishes. With his characteristic politeness, Mr. Thompson agreed to accommodate him with a slight bill on his correspondent in Raleigh, charging him the moderate premium of five per cent. for it. Mr. Thompson retired into his counting-room, and in a few minutes returned with the bill and a letter, which he delivered to Mr. Ripley, at the same time receiving the money from that gentleman plus the exchange. As the interlocutors were exchanging valedictory compliments, it occurred to Mr. Thompson that it would be a favor to him if Mr. Ripley would be so kind as to convey to Mr. T.'s correspondent a package he was desirous of sending, which request Mr. Ripley assured Mr. T, it Wool afford him great pleasure to comply with. Mr. Thompson then handed Mr. Ripley a package, strongly enveloped and sealed, addressed to the Raleigh Banker, after which the gentleman parted with many polite expressions of regard and civility. Arriving without any accident or hindrance at Raleigh, Mr. Ripley's first care was to call on the Banker and present his documents. He found him at his office, presented the bill and letter to him, and requested payment of the former. That, said the Banker, will depend a good deal upon the contents of the package. Opening which, Mr. Ripley found the identical bills, minus the premium, he had paid Mr. T. for his bill: and which the Banker paid over to that gentleman, who was not a little surprised to find that the expert Mr. Thompson had charged him five er cent. for carrying his own money to ł. to avoid the risk and trouble of which he had bought the exchange. T. used to remark that that was the safest operation, all around, he ever knew. He had got his exchange—the buyer had ot his bill and the money, too, and the ão. was fully protected There was

profit without outlay or risk. J. G. Baldwin.

THE GRIDIRON;

or, PADDY MULLowNEY's TRAVELS IN FRANCE.

A certain old gentleman in the west of Ireland, whose love of the ridiculous quite equalled his taste for claret and fox-hunting, was wont, upon certain festive occasions when opportunity offered, to amuse his friends by drawing out one of his servants who was exceedingly fond of what he termed his “ thravels,” and in whom a good deal of whim, some queer stories, and perhaps, more than all, long and faithful services, had established a right of loquacity. He was one of those few trusty and privileged domestics, who, if his master unheedingly uttered a rash thing in a fit of passion, would venture to

set him right. If the squire said, “I’ll turn that rascal off,” my friend Pat would say, “throth you won't sir;” and Pat was always right, for if any altercation arose upon the subject matter in hand, he was sure to throw in some good reason, either from former service—general good conduct—or the delinquent’s “wife and childher,” that always turned the scale. But I am digressing; on such merry meetings as I have alluded to, the master, after making certain “approaches,” as a military man would say, as the preparatory steps in laying siege to some extravaganza of his servant, might, perchance, assail Pat thus: “By the by, Sir John (addressing a distinguished guest), Pat has a very curious story, which something you told me to-day reminds me of You remember Pat (turning to the man evidently pleased at the notice paid to himself)—you remember that queer adventure you had in France?” “Throth I do, sir,” grins forth Pat. “What!” exclaims Sir John, in signed surprise, “was Pat ever in France?’ “Indeed he was,” cries mine host; and Pat adds, “ay, and farther, plase your honor.” “I assure you, Sir John,” continues my host, “Pat told me a story once that surprised me very much, respecting the ignorance of the French.” “Indeed!” rejoins the baronet; “really, I always supposed the French to be a most accomplished people.” “Throth then, they're not, sir,” interrupt: Pat. ‘Oh, by no means,” adds mine host, shaking his head emphatically. “I believe, Pat, 'twas when you were crossing the Atlantic?” says the master, turning to Pat with a seductive air, and leading into the “full and true account.” —(for Pat had thought fit to visit North Amerikay, for “a raison he had " in the autumn of the year ninety-eight.) “Yes, sir,” says Pat, “ #. broad Atlantic,” a favorite phrase of his, which he gave with a brogue as broad, almost, as the Atlantic itself. “It was the time I was lost in crassin' the broad Atlantic, comin’ home,” began Pat, decoyed into the recital; “whin the winds began to blow, and the sae to rowl, that you'd think the Colleen dhas (that was her name) would not have a mast left but what would rowl out of her.

« ElőzőTovább »