Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

I saw

O course it woru't no wish o' mine,

't wuz ferflely distressin', But poppiler enthusiasm gut so almighty

pressin' Thet, though like sixty all along I

fumed an' fussed an' sorrered, There did n't seem no ways to stop

their bringin' on me forrerd : Fact is, they udged the matter so, I

could n't help admittin' The Father o' his Country's shoes no

feet but mine 'ould fit in, Besides the savin' o' the soles fer ages

to succeed, Seein' thet with one wannut foot, a pair

'd be more 'n I need; An', tell ye wut, them shoes 'll want a

thund'rin sight o' patchin', Ef this 'ere fashion is to last we've gut

into o' hatchin' A pair o' second Washintons fer every

new election, Though, fur ez number one's consarned,

I don't make no objection. I wuz agoin' on to say thet wen at fust The masses would stick to 't I wuz the

Country's father-'n-law, (They would ha' hed it Father, but I

told 'em 't would n't du, Coz thet wuz sutthin' of a sort they

could n't split in tu, An' Washinton hed hed the thing laid

fairly to his door, Nor dars n't say 't worn't his ’n, much

ez sixty year afore,) But 't aint no matter ez to thet ; wen I

wuz nomernated, *T worn't natur but wut should feel

consid'able elated, An' wile the hoomaw o' the thing wuz

kind o' noo an' fresh, I thought our ticket would ha' caird the

country with a resh. Sence I've come hum, though, an'

looked round, I think I seem to

find Strong argimunts ez thick ez fleas to

make me change my mind ; It's clear to any one whose brain aint

fur gone in a phthisis, Thet hail Columby's happy land is goin'

thru a crisis,

An''t would n't noways du to hev the

people's mind distracted By bein' all to once by sev'ral pop'lar

names attackted; 'T would save holl haycartloads o' fuss

an' three four months o' jaw, Ef some illustrous paytriot should back

out an' withdraw; So, ez I aint a crooked stick, jest like –

like ole (I swow, I dunno ez I know his name) – I'V

go back to my plough. Wenever an Amerikin distinguished

politishin Begins to try et wut they call definin'

his posishin, Wal, I, fer one, feel sure he aint gut

nothin' to define ; It's so nine cases out o' ten, but jest

that tenth is mine; And 't aint no more 'n is proper 'n'

right in sech a sitooation To hint the course you think 'll be the

savin' o' the nation ; To funk right out o'p'lit'cal strife aint

thought to be the thing, Without you deacon off the toon you

want your folks should sing; So I edvise the noomrous friends thet's

in one boat with me To jest up killock, jam right down their

hellum hard a lee, Haul the sheets taut, an', laying out

upon the Suthun tack, Make fer the safest port they can, wich,

I think, is Ole Zack. Next thing you 'll want to know, I

spose, wut argimunts I seem To see thet makes me think this ere 'll

be the strongest team; Fust place, I've ben consid'ble round

in bar-rooms an' saloons Agethrin' public sentiment, 'mongst

Demmercrats and Coons, An''t aint ve'y offen thet I meet a chap

but wut goes in Fer Rough an' Ready, fair an' square,

hufs, taller, horns, an' skin ; I don't deny but wut, fer one, ez fur ez

I could see, I did n't like at fust the Pheladelphy I could ha' pinted to a man thet wuz,

nomernee:

I guess, a peg Higher than him,

-a soger, tu, an' with a wooden leg ; But every day with more an' more o

Taylor zeal I'm burnin', Seein' wich way the tide thet sets to

office is aturnin'; Wy, into Bellers's we notched the votes

down on three sticks, 'T wuz Birdofredum one, Cass aught,

an' Taylor twenty-six, An' bein the on'y canderdate thet wuz

upon the ground, They said 't wuz no more 'n right thet

I should pay the drinks all round; Ef I'd expected sech a trick, I wouldn't

foot By goin' an' votin' fer myself like a con

sumed coot ; It did n't make no diff'rence, though;

I wish I may be cust, Ef Bellers wuz n't slim enough to say

he would n't trust!

ha' cut my

Another pint thet influences the minds

osober jedges Is thet the Gin'ral hez n't gut tied hand

an’ foot with pledges ;. He hez n't told ye wut he is, an' so

there aint no knowin' But wut he may turn out to be the best

there is agoin'; This, at the on'y spot thet pinched, the

shoe directly eases, Coz every one is free to 'xpect percisely

wut he pleases : I want free-trade ; you don't ; the Gin

'ral is n't bound to neither; I vote my way; you, yourn ; and both

air sooted to a T there. Ole Rough an' Ready, tu, 's a Wig, but

without bein' ultry (He's like a holsome hayinday, thet's

warm, but is n't sultry ; He's jest wut I should call myself, a

kin' o' scratch ez 't ware, Thet aint exacly all a wig nor wholly

your own hair ; I've ben a Wig three weeks myself,

jest o this mod'rate sort, An' don't find them an' Demmercrats

so different ez I thought ; They both act pooty much alike, an'

push an' scrouge an'cus ;

They're like two pickpockets in league

fer Uncle Samwell's pus; Each takes a side, an’then they squeeze

the old man in between 'em, Turn all his pockets wrong side out an'

quick ez lightnin' clean 'em ; To nary one on 'em I'd trust a secon'.

handed rail No furder off 'an I could sling a bul

lock by the tail. Webster sot matters right in thet air

Mashfiel speech o' his'n ; “Taylor," sez he, “aint nary ways the

one thet I'd a chizzen, Nor he aint fittin' fer the place, and

like ez not he aint No more 'n a tough ole bullethead, an'

no gret of a saint ; Bụt then," sez he,“ obsarve my pint,

he's jest ez good to vote fer Ez though the greasin' on him worn't

a thing to hire Choate fer ; Aint it ez easy done to drop a ballot in

a box Fer one ez 't is fer t'other, fer the bull

dog ez the fox?" It takes a mind like Dannel's, fact, ez

big ez all ou' doors, To find out thet it looks like rain arter

it fairly pours; I 'gree with him, it aint so dreffle

troublesome to vote Fer Taylor arter all, - it's jest to go

an' change your coat; Wen he 's once greased, you 'll swaller

him an' never know on 't, scurce, Unless he scratches, goin' down, with

them 'ere Gin'ral's spurs. I've ben a votin' Demmercrat, ez reg.

'lar as a clock, But don't find goin' Taylor gives my

narves no gret 'f a shock; Truth is, the cutest leadin' Wigs, ever

sence fust they found Wich side the bread gut buttered on,

hev kep' a edgin' round; They kin' o'slipt the planks frum out

th' ole platform one by one An' made it gradooally noo, 'fore folks

know'd wut wuż done, Till, fur’z I know, there aint an inch

thet I could lay my han' on, But I, or any Demmercrat, feels com

ftable to stan' on,

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, hey gut th' idee

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

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 !

he never read the hymn thet

tells how down the stairs A feller with long legs wuz throwed

thet would n't say his prayers. This brings me to another pint: the

leaders o' the party Aint jest sech men ez 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's one rule I 've ben guided by,

in settlin' how to vote, ollers, 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' ohut, 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;

I spose

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, nowan' 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," sezhe, 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 one an ole

him thet wuz is.

12

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 model 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? V’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 I 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 where. from 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 may seem to some that too much space has been usurped by my own private sucubrations, and some may be fain to bring against me that old jest of him who preached all his hearers out of the meeting-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 do 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 earnestness of the preacher is a sermon appreciable by dullest intellects and most alien cars. 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 Sohn de Plano Carpini relates to have prevailed among the Tartars would seem effèctual, and, perhaps, deserved enough. For my own part, I may lay claim to so inuch 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 pulpit 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 hiin.

I am not wholly unconscious of a peculiar. ity of mental organization which impels me, like the railroad-engine with its train of cars, to run backward for a short distance in or der 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 myself 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 lost arts I would mournfully add also that of listening to two-hour sermons. 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 mon. sters. I say Anakim rather than Nephelim, because there seem reasons for supposing that the race of those whose heads (though 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 aforemen. tioned discourses may supply us with a plausi. 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

« ElőzőTovább »