« ElőzőTovább »
" Gen'nle Cass, Sir, you need n't be
twitchin' your collar, Your merit's quite clear by the dut
on your knees, At the North we don't make no dis
tinctions o' color; You can all take a lick at our shoes
wen you please.” Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ;
Sez Mister Jarnagin,
“They wunt hev to larn agin, They all on 'em know the old toon,"
“The South's safe enough, it don't
feel a mite skeery, Our slaves in their darkness an' dut
air tu blest Not to welcome with proud hallylugers Wen our eagle kicks yourn from the
“0," sez Westcott o' Florida,
“Wut treason is horrider Then our priv'leges tryin' to
“It's 'coz they're so happy, thet, wen
crazy sarpints Stick their nose in our bizness, we git
so darned riled; IVe think it's our dooty to give pooty
sharp hints, Thet the last crumb of Edin on airth
sha'n't be spiled,” Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; —
“Ah," sez Dixon H. Lewis, “It perfectly true is Thet slavery's airth's grettest
boon," sez he.
oes, -SPEAK! Nature, through her thou sand trumpets of freedom, her stars, her sunrises, her seas, her winds, her cataracts, her mountains blue with cloudy pines, blows jubilant encouragement, and cries, -SPEAK! From the soul's trembling abysses the still, small voice not vaguely murmurs,-SPEAK! But, alas! the Constitution and the Honorable Mr. Bagowind, M. C., say, - BE DUMB!
It occurs to me to suggest, as a topic of inquiry in this connection, whether, on that momentous occasion when the goats and the sheep shall be parted, the Constitution and the Honorable Mr. Bagowind, M. C., will be expected to take their places on the left as our hircine vicars.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
1 There is a point where toleration sinks into sheer baseness and poltroonery. The toleration of the worst leads us to look on what is barely better as good enough, and to worship what is only moderately good. Woe to that inan, or that nation, to whom mediocrity has become an ideal!
Has our experiment of self-government succeeded, if ít barely manage to rub and go? Here, now, is a piece of barbarism which Christ and the nineteenth century say shall cease, and which Messrs. Smith, Brown, and others say shall not cease. I would by no means deny the eminent respectability of these gentlemen, but I confess, that, in such a wrestling on
help having my fears for them. Discite justitiam, moniti, et non temnere.
[It was said of old time, that riches have wings; and, though this be not applicable in a literal strictness to the wealth of our patriarchal brethren of the South, yet it is clear that their possessions have legs, and an unaccountable propensity for using them in a northerly direction. I marvel that the grand jury of Washington did not find a true bill against the North Star for aiding and abetting Drayton and Sayres. It would have been quite of a piece with the intelligence displayed by the South on other questions connected with slavery: I think that no ship of state was ever freighted with a more veritable Jonah than this same domestic institution of ours. Mephistopheles himself could not feign so bitterly, so satirically sad a sight as this of three millions of human eings crushed beyond help or hope by this one mighty argument, - Our fathers knew no better? Nevertheless, it is the unavoidable destiny of Jonahs to be cast overboard sooner or later. Or shall we try the experiment of hiding our Jonah in a safe place, that none inay lay hands on him to make jetsam of him? Let us, then, with equal forethought and wisdomn, lash ourselves to the anchor, and await, in pious confidence, the certain result. Perhaps our suspicious pas. senger is no Jonah after all, being black. For it is well known that a superintending Providence made a kind of sandwich of Ham and his descendants, to be devoured by the Caucasian race.
In God's naine, let all, who hear nearer and nearer the hungry moan of the storm and the growl of the breakers, speak out! But, alas! we have no right to interfere. If a man pluck an apple of mine, he shall be in danger of the justice; but if he steal my brother, I must be silent. Who says this? Our Constitution, consecrated by the callous consuetude of sixty years, and grasped in triunphant argument by the left hand of him whose right hand clutches the clotted slavewhip. Justice, venerable with the undethronable majesty of countless æons, says, – SPEAK! The Past, wise with the sorrows and desolations or ages, from amid her shat. Pered fanes and woll-hoysing palaces, ech
THE PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
[At the special instance of Mr. Biglow, I preface the following satire with an extract from a sermon preached during the past summer, from Ezekiel xxxiv. 2: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel."
Since the Sabbath on which this discourse was delivered, the editor of the "Jaalam Independent Blunderbuss" has unaccountably absented himself from our house of worship.
“I know of no so responsible position as that of the public journalist. The editor of our day bears the same relation to his time that the clerk bore to the age before the invention of printing. Indeed, the position which he holds is that which the clergyman should hold even now. But the clergyman chooses to walk off to the extreme edge of the world, and to throw such seed as he has clear over into that darkness which he calls
the Next Life. As if next did not mean nearest, and as if any life were nearer than that immediately present one which boils and eddies all around him at the caucus, the ratification meeting, and the polls! Who taught him to exhort men to prepare for eternity, as for some future era of which the present forms no integral part? The furrow which Time is even now turning runs through the Everlasting, and in that must he plant, or nowhere. Yet he would fain believe and teach that we are going to have more of eternity than we have now. This going of his is like that of the auctioneer, on which gone follows before we have made up our minds to bid, -in which manner, not three months back, I lost an excellent copy of Chappelow on Job. So it has come to pass that the preacher, instead of being a living force, has faded into an emblematic figure at christenings, weddings, and funerals. Or, if he exercise any other function, it is as keeper and feeder of certain theologic dogmas, which, when occasion offers, he unkennels with a staboy ! 'to bark and bite as 't is their nature to,' whence that reproach of odium theologicum has arisen.
“Meanwhile, see what a pulpit the editor mounts daily, sometimes with a congregation of fifty thousand within reach of his voice, and never so much as a nodder, even, among them! And from what a Bible can he choose his text, -a Bible which needs no translation, and which no priestcraft can shut and clasp from the laity, -the open volume of the world, apon which, with a pen of sunshine or destroying fire, the inspired Present is even now writing the annals of God! Me. thinks the editor who should understand his calling, and be equal thereto, would truly deserve that title of ποιμήν λαών, which Homer bestows upon princes. He would be the Moses of our nineteenth century; and whereas the old Sinai, silent now, is but a common mountain stared at by the elegant tourist and crawled over by the hainmering geologist, he must find his tables of the new law here among factories and cities in this Wilderness of Sin (Numbers xxxiii. 12) called Progress of Civilization, and be the captain of our Exodus into the Canaan of a truer social order.
“Nevertheless, our editor will not come so far within even the shadow of Sinai as Mahomet did, but chooses rather to construe Moses by Joe Smith. He takes up the crook, not that the sheep may be fed, but that he may never want a warm woollen suit and a joint of mutton. Iminemor, O, fidei, pecorumque oblite
tuorum! For which reason I would derive the name editor not so much from edo, to publish, as from edo, to eat, that being the peculiar profession to which be esteems hinself caned, He blows up the flames of political discord
for no other occasion than that he may there by handily boil his own pot. I believe there are two thousand of these mutton-loving shepherds in the United States, and of these, how many have even the dinmest perception of their immense power, and the duties consequent thereon ?
Here and there, haply, one. Nine hundred and ninety-nine labor to impress upon the people the great principles of Tweediedum, and other nine hundred and ninety-nine preach with equal earnestness the gospel according to Tweedledee.". H. W.] I Du believe in Freedom's cause,
Ez fur away ez Payris is;
In them infarnal Phayrisees;
To dror resolves an' triggers, But libbaty 's a kind o' thing
Thet don't agree with niggers.
A tax on teas an' coffees,
Purvidin' I'm in office;
My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
Partic'larly his pockets.
O' levyin' the taxes,
I git jest wut l axes :
Because it kind o' rouses
Our quiet custom-houses.
To sen' out furrin missions,
An' orthydox conditions ; -
Nine thousan' more fer outfit,
The place 'ould jest about fit.
O'prayin' an' convartin';
An' buttered, tu, fer sartin ;
On wut the party chooses,
To very privit uses.
I du believe hard coin the stuff
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on; The people's ollers soft enough
To make hard money out on; Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his,
An' gives a good-sized junk to all, I don't care how hard money is,
Ez long ez mine 's paid punctooal.
I du believe wutever trash
'll keep the people in blindness, Thet we the Mexicuns can thrash
Right inter brotherly kindness, Thet bombshells, grape, an' powder
'n' ball Air good-will's strongest magnets, Thet peace, to make it stick at all,
Must be druv in with bagnets.
In Humbug generally,
To hev a solid vally;
In pasturs sweet heth led me,
To feed ez they hev fed me.
I du believe with all
soul In the gret Press's freedom, To pint the people to the goal
An' in the traces lead 'em ; Palsied the arm thet forges yokes
At my fat contracts squintin', An' withered be the nose thet pokes
Inter the gov’ment printin'!
1 du believe thet I should give
Wut's his'n unto Cæsar,
Frum him my bread an' cheese air ; I du believe thet all o' me
Doth bear his superscription, Will, conscience, honor, honesty,
An' things o' thet description.
I du believe in prayer an' praise
To him that hez the grantin'
But most of all in CANTIN';
This lays all thought o' sin to rest, I don't believe in princerple,
But O, I du in interest.
(I subjoin here another passage from my before-mentioned discourse.
“Wonderful, to him that has eyes to see it rightly, is the newspaper. To ine, for example, sitting on the critical front bench of the pit, in my study here in Jaalam, the ad. vent of my weekly journal is as that of a strol ing theatre, or rather of a puppet-show, on whose stage, narrow as it is, the tragedy, comedy, and farce of life are played in little. Behold the whole huge earth sent to me hebdomadally in a brown-paper wrapper !
“ Hither, to my obscure corner, by wind or steam, on horseback or dromedary-back, in the pouch of the Indian runner, or clicking over the magnetic wires, troop all the famous performers from the four quarters of the globe. Looked at from a point of criticisin, tiny puppets they seem all, as the editor sets up his booth upon my desk and officiates as showinan.
Now I can truly see how little and transitory is life. The earth appears almost as a drop of vinegar, on which the solar microscope of the imagination must be brought to bear in order to make out anything distinctly. That animalcule there, in the pea-jacket, is Louis Philippe, just landed on the coast of England. That other, in the gray surtout and cocked hat, is Napoleon Bonaparte Smith, assuring France that she need apprehend no interference from him in the present alarining juncture. At that spot, where you seem to see a speck of some. thing in motion, is an immense mass-meeting. Look sharper, and you will see a mite bran. dishing his mandibles in an excited manner. That is the great Mr. Soandso, defining his position amid tumultuous and irrepressible cheers. That infinitesimal creature, upor whom some score of others, as minute as he, are gazing in open-mouthed admiration, is a famous philosopher, expounding to a select audience their capacity for the Infinita
I du believe in bein' this
Or thet, ez it may happen One way or t'other hendiest is
To ketch the people nappin’; It aint by princerples nor men
My preudunt course is steadied, I scent wich pays the best, an' then
Go into it bald headed.
I du believe thet holdin' slaves
Comes nat'ral to a Presidunt, Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves
To hev a wal-broke precedunt ; Fer any office, small or gret,
I could n't ax with no face, Without I'd ben, thru dry an' wet,
Th’unrizzest kind o’ doughface.
from Heaven, shall be the wrappage to a bar of
soap or the platter for a beggar's broken victuals." - H. W.)
FROM A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESI
DENCY IN ANSWER TO SUTTIN QUES-
That scarce discernible puset of smoke and dust is a revolution. That speck there is a reformer, just arranging the lever with which he is to move the world. And lo, there creeps forward the shadow of a skeleton that blows one breath between its grinning teeth, and all our distinguished actors are whisked off the slippery stage into the dark Beyond.
Yes, the little show-box has its solemner suggestions. Now and then we catch a glimpse of a grim old man, who lays down a scythe and hour-glass in the corner while he shifts the scenes. There, too, in the dim background, a weird shape is ever delving: Sometimes he leans upon his mattock, and gazes, as a coach whirls by, bearing the newly married on their wedding jaunt, or glances carelessly at a babe brought home from christening: Suddenly (for the scene grows larger and larger as we look) a bony hand snatches back a performer in the midst of his part, and him, whom yesterday two infinities (past and future) would not suffice, a handful of dust is enough to cover and silence forever. Nay, we see the same fleshless fingers opening to clutch the showman himself, and guess, not without a shudder, that they are lying in wait for spectator also.
“Think of it: for three dollars a year I buy a season-ticket to this great Globe Theatre, for which God would write the dramas (only that we like farces, spectacles, and the tragedies of Apollyon better), whose scene-shifter is Time, and whose curtain is rung down by Death.
"Such thoughts will occur to me sometimes as I am tearing off the wrapper of my newspaper. Then suddenly that otherwise too often vacant sheet becomes invested for me with a strange kind of awe. Look! deaths and marriages, notices of inventions, discoveries, and books, lists of promotions, of killed, wounded, and missing, news of fires, accidents, of sudden wealth and as sudden pov. erty ; - I hold in my hand the ends of myriad invisible electric conductors, along which tremble the joys, sorrows, wrongs, triumphs, hopes, and despairs of as many men and women everywhere. So that upon that mood of mind which seems to isolate me from mankind as a spectator of their puppet-pranks, another supervenes, in which I feel that I, too, unknown and unheard of, am yet of some import to my fellows. For, through my newspaper here, do not families take pains to send me, an entire stranger, news of a death among them? Are not here two who would have me know of their inarriage? And, strangest of all, is not this singular person anxious to have me informed that he has received a fresh supply of Dimitry Bruisgins ? But to none of us does the Present continue iniraculous (even if for a moment discerned as such). We glance carelessly at the sun. rise, and get used to Orion and the Pleiades. The wonder wears off, and to-morrow this sheet, in which a vision was let down to me
[CURIOSITY may be said to be the quality which pre-eminently distinguishes and segre. gates man from the lower animals. trace the scale of animated nature downward, we find this faculty (as it may truly be called) of the mind diminished in the savage, and quite extinct in the brute. The first ob. ject which civilized man proposes to himself i take to be the finding out whatsoever he can concerning his neighbors. Nihil humanum a me alienuin puto; I am curious about even John Smith. The desire next in strength to this (an opposite pole, indeed, of the same magnet) is that of cominunicating the unin. telligence we have carefully picked up.
Men in general may be divided into the inquisitive and the communicative. To the first class belong Peeping Toms, eaves-droppers, navel-contemplating Brahmins, metaphysicians, travellers, Empedocleses, spies, the various societies for promoting Rhinothism, Columbuses, Yankees, discoverers, and men of science, who present themselves to the mind as so many marks of interrogation wandering up and down the world, or sitting in studies and laboratories
The sec ond Class I should again subdivide into four. In the first subdivision I would rank those who have an itch to tell us about themselves, ---as keepers of diaries, insignificant persons generally, Montaignes, Horace Walpoles, autobiographers, poets.
The second includes those who are anxious to impart information concerning other people, -- as historians, barbers, and such. To the third belong those who labor to give us intelligence about nothing at all, -as novelists, political orators, the large majority of authors, preachers, lecturers, and the like. In the fourth come those who are communicative from mo. tives of public benevolence, -as finders of mares'-nests and bringers of ill news.
Each of us two-legged fowls without feathers embraces all these subdivisions in himself to a greater or less denree, for none of us sa