Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

I guess I mentioned in my last some o'

the nateral feeturs O'this all-fiered buggy hole in th’ way

o' awfie creeturs, But I fergut to name (new things to

speak on so abounded) How one day you ’ll most die o' thust,

an' 'fore the next git drownded. The clymit seems to me jest like a tea

pot made o' pewter Our Prudence hed, thet would n't pour

(all she could du) to suit her ; Fust place the leaves 'ould choke the

spout, so 's not a drop ’ould dreen

out, Then Prude 'ould tip an' tip an' tip,

till the holl kit bust clean out, The kiver-hinge-pin bein' lost, tea

leaves an' tea an' kiver 'ould all come down kerswosh! ez

though the dam broke in a river. Jest so 't is here; holl months there

aint a day o'rainy weather, An'jest ez th' officers 'ould be alayin'

heads together Ez t how they'd mix their drink at

sech a milingtary deepot, 'T’ould pour ez though the lid wuz off

the everlastin' teapot. The cons'quence is, thet I shall take,

wen I'm allowed to leave here, One piece o'propaty along, -an’thet's

the shakin' fever; It's reggilar employment, though, an'

ihet aint thought to harm one, Nor 't aint so tiresome ez it wuz with

t' other leg an' arm on; An' it's a consolation, tu, although it

Gut kin' o' lodged afore they come ez

low down ez the ranks; The Gin’rals gut the biggest sheer, the

Cunnles next, an' so on, We never gut a blasted mite o' glory

ez I know on ; An' spose we hed, I wonder how you 're

goin' to contrive its Division so 's to give a piece to twenty

thousand privits; Ef you should multiply by ten the por.

tion o' the brav'st one, You would n't git more 'n half enough

to speak of on a grave-stun; We git the licks, - we 're jest the grist

thet 's put into War's hoppers : Leftenants 16 the lowest grade thet

helps pick up the coppers., It may suit folks thet go agin a body

with a soul in 't, An' aint contented with a hide without

a bagnet hole in 't; But glory is a kin' o' thing I sha'n't

pursue no furder, Coz thet 's the off'cers parquisite,

yourn 's on'y jest the murder. Wal, arter I gin glory up, thinks I at

least there's one Thing in the bills we aint hed yit, an'

thet 's the GLORIOUS FUN ; Ef once we git to Mexico, we fairly

may persume we All day an' night shall revel in the halls

o Montezumy. I'll tell ye wut my revels wuz, an' see how you

would like 'em ; We never gut inside the hall : the nigh:

est ever I come Wuz stan’in' sentry in the sun (an',

fact, it seemed a cent’ry) A ketchin' smells o' biled an' roast thet

come out thru the entry, An' hearin' ez I sweltered thru my

passes an' repasses, A rat-tat-too o' knives an' forks, a

clinkty-clink o' glasses : I can't tell off the bill o' fare the Gin's

rals hed inside ; All I know is, thet,out o' doors a pair

o' soles wuz fried, An' not a hunderd miles away frum

ware this child wuz posted, A Massachusetts citizen wuz baked an

biled an' roasted ;

doos n't pay,

To hev it said you're some gret shakes

in any kin' o' way. "T worn't very long, I tell ye wut, I

thought o’ fortin-makin', One day a reg'lar shiver-de-freeze, an'

next ez good ez bakin', One day abrilin' in the sand, then

smoth'rin' in the mashes, Git up all sound, be put to bed a mess

o' hacks and smashes. But then, thinks I, at any rate there's

glory to be hed, Thet 's an investment, arter all, thet

may n't turn out so bad ; But somehow, wen we'd fit an' licked,

I ollers found the thanks

The un'y thing like revellin' thet ever

come to me Wuz bein' routed out o sleep by thet

darned revelee.

[ocr errors]

They say the quarrel's settled now ; fer

my part I've some doubt on 't, 'T'll take more fish-skin than folks think

to take the rile clean out on 't ; At any rate, I'm so used up I can't do

no more fightin', The on'y chance thet 's left to me is

politics or writin'; Now, ez the people 's gut to hev a mil

ingtary man, An' I aint nothin' else jest now, I've

hit upon a plan; The can'idatin' line, you know, 'ould

suit me to a T, An' ef I lose, 't wunt hurt my ears to

lodge another flea ; So I'll set up ez can'idate fer any

kin' o' office, (I mean fer any thet includes good easy

cheers an' soffies ; Fer ez tu runnin' fer a place ware

work's the time o' day, You know thet 's wut I never did, –

except the other way ;) Ef it's the Presidential cheer fer wich

I'd better run, Wut two legs anywares about could

keep up with my one? There aint no kin' o' quality in can’i

dates, it's said, So useful ez a wooden leg, - except a

wooden head: There's nothin’aint so poppylar --(wy,

it's a parfect sin To think wut Mexico hez paid fer Santy

Anny's pin :) Then I haint gut no princerples, an',

sence I wuz knee-high, I never did hev any gret, ez you can

testify; I'm a decided peace-man, tu, an' go

agin the war, Fer now the holl on 't's

past, wut is there to go for ? Lf, wile you 're 'lectioneerin' round,

some curus chaps should beg To know my views o state affairs, jest

answer WOODEN LEG!

Ef they aint settisfied with thet, an'kin

o'
pry

an' doubt An' ax fer sutthin' deffynit, jest say

ONE EYE PUT OUT! Thet kin' o' talk I guess you 'll find 'll

answer to a charm, An' wen you 're druv tu nigh the wall,

hol' up my missin' arm ; Ef they should nose round fer a pledge,

put on a vartoous look An' tell 'em thet 's percisely wut I

never gin nor - took ! Then you can call me “Timbertoes,"

thet 's wut the people likes ; Sutthin' combinin' morril truth with

phrases sech er strikes ; Some say the people's fond o’ this, or

thet, or wut you please, I tell ye wut the people want is jest cor

rect idees; “Old Timbertoes,"

you see, 's a creed it's safe to be quite bold on, There's nothin' in 't the other side can

any ways git hold on; It's a good tangible idee, a sutthin' to

embody Thet valooable class o' men who look

thru brandy-toddy; It gives a Party Platform, tu, jest level

with the mind Of all right-thinkin', honest folks thet

mean to go it blind ; Then there air other good hooraws to

dror on ez you need 'em, Sech ez the ONE-EYED SLARTERER, the

BLOODY BIRDOFREDUM ; Them's wut takes hold o folks thet

think, ez well ez o' the masses, An' makes you sartin o'the aid o'good

men of all classes.

There's one thing I'm in doubt about;

in order to be Presidunt, It's absolutely ne'ssary to be a South

ern residunt; The Constitution settles thet, an' also

thet a feller Must own a nigger o'some sort, jet

black, or brown, or yeller. Now I haint no objections agin par•

ticklar climes, Nor agin ownin' anythin' (except the

truth sometimes),

gone an'

But, ez I haint no capital, up there

among ye, maybe, You might raise funds enough fer me to

buy a low-priced baby, An' then to suit the No'thern folks,

who feel obleeged to say. They hate an' cuss the very thing they

vote fer every day, Say you ’re assured I go full butt fer

Libbaty's diffusion An' made the purchis on’y jest to spite

the Institootion ; But, golly ! there's the currier's hoss

upon the pavement pawin'! I'll be more 'xplicit in my next.

Yourn,

BİRDOFREDUM SAWIN.

pecunia primum, virtus post nummos. Не hoisted sail for Eldorado, and shipwrecked on Point Tribulation. Quid non mortalia pectora cogis, auri sacra fames? The spec. ulation has sometimes crossed my mind, in that dreary interval of drought which intervenes between quarterly stipendiary showers, that Providence, by the creation of a moneytree, might have simplified wonderfully the sometimes perplexing problem of human life. We read of bread-trees, the butter for which lies ready-churned in Irish bogs. Milk-trees we are assured of in South America, and stout Sir John Hawkins testifies to water-trees in the Canaries. Boot-trees bear abundantly in Lynn and elsewhere, and I have seen, in the entries of the wealthy, hat-trees with a fair show of fruit. A family-tree I once cultivated myself, and found therefrom but a scanty yield, and that quite tasteless and innutritious. Of trees bearing men we are not without examples; as those in the park of Louis the Eleventh of France. Who has forgotten, moreover, that olive tree, growing in the Athenian's back-garden, with its strange uxorious crop, for the general propagation of which, as of a new and precious variety, the philosopher Diogenes, hitherto uninterested in arboriculture, was so zealous ! In the sylva of our own Southern States, the females of my family have called my attention to the china-tree. Not to multiply examples, I will barely add to my list the birch-tree, in the smaller branches of which has been implanted so miraculous a virtue for communicating the Latin and Greek languages, and which may well, therefore, be classed among the trees producing necessaries of life, venerabile donum fatalis virga. That money-trees existed in the golden age there want not preyalent reasons for our believing. For does not the old proverb, when it as. serts that money does not grow on every bush, imply a fortiori that there were certain bushes which did produce it? Again, there is another ancient saw to the effect that money is the root of all evil. From which two adages it may be safe to infer that the aforesaid species of tree first degenerate into a shrub, then absconded underground, and finally, in our iron age, vanished altogether. In favorable exposures it may be conjectured that a specimen or two survived to a great age, as in the garden of the Hesperides; and, indeed, what else could that tree in the Sixth Æneid have been, with a branch whereof the Trojan hero procured admission to a territory, for the entering of which money is a surer passport than to a certain other more profitable (too) foreign kingdom? Whether these speculations of mine have any force in them, or whether they will not rather, by most readers, be deemed impertinent to the matter in hand, is a question which I leave to the determination of an indulgent posterity. That there were, in more primitive and happier times, shops

[We have now a tolerably fair chance of estimating how the balance-sheet stands between our returned volunteer and glory. Sup. posing the entries to be set down on both sides of the account in fractional parts of one hundred, we shall arrive at something like the following result :B. SAWIN, Esq., in account with (BLANK)

GLORY. Cr.

Dr. By loss of one leg, 20 To one 675th three do. one arm, 15

cheers in Fan. do. four fin

euil Hall, 30 5

do.

do. on one eye, 10 occasion of the breaking of presentation of six ribs,

6 sword to Col " having served onel Wright, 25 under Colonel

one suit of Cushing one

gray clothes month,

44 (ingeniouslyunbecoming)

,. 15 musical entertaininents (drum and fife six months), one dinner after

return, " chance of pen

sion, privilege of drawing longbow during rest of natural life, 23

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

vestigations, and discover if that instructive volume does not contain some charges more personally interesting to ourselves. I think we should be more economical of our resources, did we thoroughly appreciate the fact, that, whenever Brother Jonathan seems to be thrusting his hand into his own pocket, he is, in fact, picking ours. I confess that the late muck which the country has been running has materially changed my views as to the best method of raising revenue. If, by means of direct taxation, the bills for every extraordinary outlay were brought under our immediate eye, so that, like thrifty housekeepers, we could see where and how fast the money was going, we should be less likely to commit extravagances.

At present, these things are managed in such a huggermugger way, that we know not what we pay for; the poor man is charged as much as the rich ; and, while we are saving and scrimping at the spigot, the government is drawing off at the bung. If we could know that a part of the money we expend for tea and coffee goes to buy powder and balls, and that it is Mexican blood which makes the clothes on our backs more costly, it would set some of us athinking. During the present fall, I have often pictured to myself a government official entering my study and handing me the following Bill :

where money was sold, and that, too, on credit and at a bargain, - I take to be matter of demonstration. For what but a dealer in this article was that Æolus who supplied Ulysses with motive power for his fleet in bags ? What that Ericus, king of Sweden, who is said to have kept the winds in his cap? what, in more recent times, those Lapland Nornas who traded in favorable breezes? All which will appear the more clearly when we consider, that, even to this day, raising the wind is proverbial for raising money, end that brokers and banks were invented by the Venetians at a later period.

And now for the improvement of this digression. I find a parallel to Mr. Sawin's fortune in an adventure of my own. For, shortly after I had first broached to myself the before-stated natural-historical and archæological theories, as I was passing, hæc negotia penitus mecum revolvens, through one of the obscure suburbs of our New Eng. land metropolis, my eye was attracted by these words upon a sign-board, - CHEAP CASH-STORE. Here was at once the confirmation of my speculations, and the substance of my hopes. Here lingered the fragment of a happier past, or stretched out the first tremulous organic filament of a more for. tunate future. Thus glowed the distant Mexico to the eyes of Sawin, as he looked through the dirty pane of the recruiting-office window, or speculated from the summit of that mirage-Pisgah which the imps of the bottle are so cunning in raising up: Already had my Alnaschar-fancy (even during that first half-believing glance) expended in various useful directions the funds to be obtained by pledging the manuscript of a proposed volume of discourses. Already did a clock ornament the tower of the Jaalam meeting. house, a gift appropriately, but modestly, commemorated in the parish and town records, both, for now many years, kept by my, self. Already had my son Seneca completed his course at the University. Whether, for the moment, we may not be considered as actually lording it over those Baratarias with the viceroyalty of which Hope invests us, and whether we are ever so warmly housed as in our Spanish castles, would afford matter of argument. Enough that ) found that sign-board to be no other than a bait to the trap of a decayed grocer. Nevertheless, I bought a pound of dates (getting short weight by reason of immense flights of harpy dies who pursued and lighted upon their prey even in the very scales), which purchase I made, not only with an eye to the little ones at home, but also as a figurative reproof of that too frequent habit of my mind, which, forgetting the due order of chronology, will often persuade me that the happy sceptre of Saturn is stretched over this Astræa. forsaken nineteenth century.

Having glanced at the ledger of Glory un der the title Sawin, B., let us extend our in

.IO

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 1848. REV. HOMER WILBUR to Uncle Samuel,

Dr. To his share of work done in Mexico on

partnership account, sundry jobs,

as below. " killing, maiming, and wounding about 5,000 Mexicans,

$2.00 slaughtering one woman carrying

water to wounded,
“ extra work on two different Sabbaths

(one bombardment and one as-
sault) whereby the Mexicans
were prevented from defiling
themselves with the idolatries of
high mass,

3.50 “ throwing an especially fortunate and

Protestant "bombshell into the
Cathedral at Vera Cruz, whereby
several female Papists were slain
at the altar,

.50 “his proportion of cash paid for con: quered territory, .

1.75 do. do. for conquering do. 1.50 “ manuring do. with new superior compost called "American Citi

.50 extending the area of freedom and

Protestantism,

zen,

“ glory,

.or .01

[blocks in formation]

N. B. Thankful for former favors, U. S. requests a continuance of patronage. Or. ders executed with neatness and despatch. Terms as low as those of any other contractor for the same kind and style of work.

I can fancy the official answering my look of horror with, -"Yes, Sir, it looks like a high charge, Sir ; but in these days slaughtering is slaughtering:” Verily, I would that every one understood that it was; for it goes about obtaining money under the false pretence of being glory: For me, I have an imagination which plays me uncomfortable tricks. It happens to me sometimes to see a slaughterer on his way home from his day's work, and forth with my imagination puts a cocked-hat upon his head and epaulettes upon his shoulders, and sets him up as a candidate for the Presidency, So, also, on a recent public occasion, as the place assigned to the * Reverend Clergy” is just behind that of “Officers of the Army and Navy" in processions, it was my fortune to be seated at the dinner-table over against one of these respectable persons. He was arrayed as (out of his own profession) only kings, court. officers, and footmen are in Europe, and Indians in America. Now what does my over-officious imagination but set to work upon him, strip hiin of his gay livery, and present him to me coatless, his trowsers thrust into the tops of a pair of boots thick with clotted blood, and a basket on his arm out of which lolled a gore-smeared axe,

thereby destroying my relish for the teme poral mercies upon the board before me! H. W.]

as could be desired. It is sufficiently so, however, for purposes of scenic representa: tion. An humble cottage (if built of logs, the better) forms the Arcadian background of the stage. This rustic paradise is labelled Ashland, Jaalam, North Bend, Marshfield, Kinderhook, or Bâton Rouge, as occasion demands. Before the door Stands a something with one handle (the other painted in proper perspective), which represents, in happy ideal vagueness, the plough. To this the defeated candidate rushes with delirious joy, welcomed as a father by appropriate groups of happy laborers, or from it the suc. cessful one is torn with difficulty, sustained alone by a noble sense of public duty. Only I have observed, that, if the scene be laid at Baton Rouge or Ashland, the laborers are kept carefully in the background, and are heard to shout froin behind the scenes in a singular tone resembling ululation, and accompanied by a sound not unlike vigorous clapping. This, however, may be artistically in keeping with the habits of the rustic population of those localities. The precise connection between agricultural pursuits and statesmanship, I have not been able, after diligent inquiry, to discover. But, that iny investigations may not be barren of all fruit, I will mention one curious statistical fact, which I consider thoroughly established, namely, that no real farmer ever attains practically, beyond a seat in General Court, however theoretically qualified for more ex alted station.

It is probable that some other prospect has been opened to Mr. Sawin, and that he has not made this great sacrifice without some definite understanding in regard to a seat in the cabinet or a foreign mission. It may be supposed that we of Jaalam were not untouched by a feeling of villatic pride in beholding our townsman occupying so large a space in the public eye. And to me, deeply revolving the qualifications necessary to a candidate in these frugal times, those of Mr. S. seemed peculiarly adapted to a successful campaign. The loss of a leg, an arm, an eye, and four fingers, reduced him so nearly to the condition of a vox et præterea nikil, tha I could think of nothing but the loss of his head by which his chance could have been bettered. But since he has chosen to balk our suffrages, we must content ourselves with what we can get, remembering, lactucas non esse dandas, dum cardui sufficiant.-H. W.]

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

(UPON the following letter slender comment will be needful. In what river Selemaus has Mr. Sawin bathed, that he has become so swiftly oblivious of his former loves ? From an ardent and (as befits a soldier) confident wooer of that coy bride, the popular favor, we see him subside of a sudden into the (I trust not jilted) Cincinnatus, returning to his plough with a goodly sized' branch of willow in his hand; figuratively returning, however, to a figurative plough, and from no profound affection for that honored implement of husbandry (for which, indeed, Mr. Sawin never displayed any decided predilection), but in order to be gracefully suinmoned therefrom to more congenial labors. It would seem that the character of the ancient Dictator had become part of the recognized stock of our modern political comedy, though, as our term of office extends to a quadrennial length, the parallel is not so minutely exact

I spose you recollect thet I explained

my gennle views In the last billet thet I writ, 'way dow)

frum Veery Cruze, Jest arter I'd a kind o’ ben sponta

nously sot up To run unanimously fer the Presidential

cup;

« ElőzőTovább »