« ElőzőTovább »
Thet Chance wun't stop to listen to
debatin'! “God's truth!” sez I, – “an' ef 1
held the club, An' knowed jes' where to strike,
but there 's the rub!" Strike soon,
sez he, or you 'll be deadly ailin', Folks thet 's afeared to fail are sure o'
failin'; God hates your sneakin' creturs thet
ieve He'll settle things they run away an'
leave !" He brought his foot down fercely, ez
he spoke. An' give me sech a startle thet I woke.
LATEST VIEWS OF MR. BIG
I like the plain all-wool o' common
sense, Thet warms ye now, an' will a twelve
month hence. You took to follerin' where the Proph
ets beckoned, An', fust you knowed on, back come
Charles the Second ; Now wut I want 's to hey all we gain
stick, An' not to start Millennium too quick ; We hain't to punish only, but to keep: An' the cure 's gut to go a cent’ry
deep." “Wal, milk-an’-water ain't the best o'
glue,” Sez he, “an' so you'll find before you
're thru; Ef reshness venters sunthin', shilly
shally Loses ez often wut 's ten times the
vally. Thet exe of ourn, when Charles's neck
gut split, Opened a gap thet ain't bridged over
yit: Slav'ry 's your Charles, the Lord hez
gin the exe-"“Our Charles," sez I, “hez gut eight
million necks. The hardest question ain't the black
man's right, The trouble is to 'mancipate the white; One's chaired in body an' can be sot
free, But t'other 's chained in soul to an
idee: It's a long job, but we shall worry
thru it ; Ef bagnets fail, the spellin'-book must
du it." “Hosee,” sez he, “I think you 're
goin' to fail : The rettlesnake ain't dangerous in the This 'ere rebellion 's nothin' but the
rettle, — You 'll stomp on thet an' think
've won the bettle ; It 's Slavery thet 's the fangs an' think
in' head, An' ef you want selvation, cresh it
dead, An' cresh it suddin, or you 'll larn by
[It is with feelings of the liveliest pain that we inform our readers of the death of the Reverend Homer Wilbur, A. M., which took place suddenly, by an apoplectic stroke, on the afternoon of Christmas day, 1862. Our venerable friend (for so we may venture to call him, though we never enjoyed the high privilege of his personal acquaintance) was in his eighty-fourth year, having been born June 12, 1779, at Pigsgusset Precinct (now West Jerusha) in the then District of Maine. Graduated with distinction at Hubville College in 1805, he pursued his theological studies with the late Reverend Preserved Thacker, D. D., and was called to the charge of the First Society in Jaalam in 1809, where he remained till his death.
“As an antiquary he has probably left no superior, if, indeed, an equal, writes his friend and colleague, the Reverend Jeduthun Hitchcock, to whom we are indebted for the above facts ; “in proof of which I need only allude to his ‘History of Jaalam, Genealogical, Topographical, and Ec
clesiastical,' 1849, which has won him an eminent and enduring place in our more solid and useful literature. It is only to be regretted that his intense application to historical studies should have so entirely withdrawn him from the pursuit of poetical composition, for which he was endowed by Nature with a remarkable aptitude. His well-known hymn, beginning, “With clouds of care encompassed round,' has been attributed in some collections to the late President Dwight, and it is hardly presumptuous to affirm that the simile of the rainbow in the eighth stanza would do no discredit to that polished pen.'
We regret that we have not room at present for the whole of Mr. Hitchcock's exceedingly valuable communication. We hope to lay more liberal extracts from it before our readers at an early day. A summary of its contents will give some notion of its importance and interest.
It contains : ist, A biographical sketch of Mr. Wilbur, with notices of his predecessors in the pastoral office, and of eminent clerical contemporaries ; 2d, An obituary of deceased, from the Punkin-Falls “Weekly Parallel"; 3d, A list of his printed and manuscript productions and of projected works; 4th, Personal anecdotes and recollections, with specimens of table-talk ; 5th, A tribute to his relict, Mrs. Dorcas (Pilcox) Wilbur ; 6th, A list of graduates fitted for different colleges by Mr. Wilbur, with biographical memoranda touching the more distinguished ; 7th, Concerning learned, charitable, and other societies, of which Mr. Wilbur was a member, and of those with which, had his life been prolonged, he would doubtless have been associated, with a complete catalogue of such Americans as have been Fellows of the Royal Society ; 8th, A brief summary of Mr. Wilbur's latest conclusions concerning the Tenth Horn of the Beast in its special application to recent events for which the public, as Mr. Hitchcock assures us, have been waiting with feelings of lively anticipation ; 9th, Mr. Hitchcock's own views on the same topic; and,
10th, A brief essay on the importance of local histories. It will be apparent that the duty of preparing Mr Wil. bur's biography could not have fallen into more sympathetic hands.
In a private letter with which the reverend gentleman has since favored us, he expresses the opinion that Mr. Wilbur's life was shortened by o't unhappy civil war. It disturbed his studies, dislocated all his habitual asso ciations and trains of thought, and unsettled the foundations of a faith, rather the result of habit than conviction, in the capacity of man for self-government. “Such has been the felicity of my life,” he said to Mr. Hitchcock, on the very morning of the day he died, "that, through the divine mercy, I could always say, Summum nec metuo diem, nec opto. It has been my habit, as you know, on every recurrence of this blessed anniversary, to read Milton's
Hymn of the Nativity' till its sublime harmonies so dilated my soul and quickened its spiritual sense that I seemed to hear that other song which gave assurance to the shepherds that there was One who would lead them also in green pastures and beside the still waters. But to-day I have been unable to think of anything but that mournful text, I came not to send peace, but a sword,' and, did it not smack of pagan presumptuousness, could almost wish I had never lived to see this day.”
Mr. Hitchcock also informs us that his friend “lies buried in the Jaalam graveyard, under a large red-cedar which he specially admired. A neat and substantial monument is to be erected over his remains, with a Latip epitaph written by himself; for he was accustomed to say, pleasantly, that there was at least one occasion in a scholar's life when he might show the advantages of a classical training.'
The following fragment of a letter addressed to us, and apparently intended to accompany Mr. Biglow's contribution to the present number, was found upon his table after his de cease. - EDITORS ATLANTIC MONTH LY.]
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC
JAALAM, 24th Dec., 1862. RESPECTED SIRS, — The infirm state of my bodily health would be a sufficient apology for not taking up the pen at this time, wholesome as I deem it for the mind to apricate in the shelter of epistolary confidence, were it not that a considerable, I might even say a large, number of individuals in this parish expect from their pastor some publick expression of sentiment at this crisis. Moreover, Qui tacitus ardet magis uritur. In trying times like these, the besetting sin of undisciplined minds is to seek refuge from inexplicable realities in the dangerous stimulant of angry partisanship or the indolent narcotick of vague and hopeful vaticination : fortunamque suo temperat arbitrio. Both by reason of my age and my natural temperament, I am unfitted for either. Unable to penetrate the inscrutable judgments of God, I am more than ever thankful that my life has been prolonged till I could in some small measure comprehend His mercy. As there is no man who does not at some time render himself amenable to the one, - quum vix justus sit securus, so there is none that does not feel himself in daily need of the other.
I confess, I cannot feel, as some do, a personal consolation for the manifest evils of this war in any remote or contingent advantages that may spring from it. I am old and weak, I can bear little, and can scarce hope to see better days; nor is it any adequate compensation to know that Nature is old and strong and can bear much. Old men philosophize over the past, but the present is only a burthen and a weariness. The one lies before them like a placid evening landscape; the other is full of the vexations and anxieties of housekeeping. It may be true enough that miscet hæc illis, prohibetque Clotho fortunam stare, but he who said it was fain at last to call in Atropos with her shears before her time ; and I cannot help selfishly mourning that the
fortune of our Republick could not at least stand till my days were numbered.
Tibullus would find the origin of wars in the great exaggeration of riches, and does not stick to say that in the days of the beechen trencher there was peace. But averse as I am by nature from all wars, the more as they have been especially fatal to libraries, I would have this one go on till we are reduced to wooden platters again, rather than surrender the principle to detend which it was undertaken. Though I believe Slavery to have been the cause of it, by so thoroughly demoralizing Northern politicks for its own purposes as to give opportunity and hope to trea. son, yet I would not have our thought and purpose diverted from their true object, — the maintenance of the idea of Government. We are not merely suppressing an enormous riot, but contending for the possibility of permanent order coexisting with democratical fickleness; and while I would not superstitiously venerate form to the sacrifice of substance, neither would I forget that an adherence to precedent and prescription can alone give that continuity and coherence under a democratical constitution which are inherent in the person of a despotick monarch and the selfishness of an aristocratical class. Stet pro ratione voluntas is as dangerous in a majority as in a tyrant.
I cannot allow the present production of my young friend to go out without a protest from me against a certain extremeness in his views, more pardonable in the poet than the philosopher. While I agree with him, that the only cure for rebellion is suppression by force, yet I must animadvert upon certain phrases where I seem to see a coincidence with a popular fallacy on the subject of compromise. On the one hand there are those who do not see that the vital principle of Government and the seminal principle of Law can. not properly be made a subject of compromise at all, and on the other those who are equally blind to the truth that without a compromise of individual
opinions, interests, and even rights, no society would be possible. In medio tutissimus. For my own part, I would gladly
Ef I a song or two could n make
in', All leap an' light, to leave a wake Men's hearts an' faces skyward turn
in'! But, it strikes me,'t ain't jest the time
Fer stringin' words with settisfaction : Wut's wanted now's the silent rhyme 'Twixt upright Will an' downright
An' wut's the Guv'ment folks about?
Tryin' to hope ther''s nothin' doin', An' look ez though they did n't doubt
Sunthin' pertickler wuz a brewin'. Ther''s critters yit thet talk an'act
Fer wut they call Conciliation ; They 'd hand a buff’lo-drove a tract When they wuz madder than all
Bashan. Conciliate? it jest means be kicked, No metter how they phrase an' tone
it; It means thet we're to set down licked,
Thet we're poor shotes an' glad to
Words, ef you keep 'em, pay their keep,
But gabble 's the short cut to ruin ; It's gratis, (gals half-price,) but cheap
At no rate, ef it henders doin'; Ther' 's nothin' wuss, 'less 't is to set
A martyr-prem'um upon jawrin': Teapots git dangerous, ef you shet Their lids down on 'em with Fort
A war on tick 's ez dear 'z the deuce,
But it wun't leave no lastin' traces, Ez 't would to make a sneakin' truce
Without no moral specie-basis : Ef green-backs ain't nut jest the cheese, I guess ther' 's evils thet 's ex
tremer, Fer instance, – shinplaster idees Like them put out by Gov'nor Sey
'Bout long enough it's ben discussed
Who sot the magazine afire, An' whether, ef Bob Wickliffe bust, 'T would scare us more or blow us
higher. D'ye s'pose the Gret Foreseer's plan
Wuz settled fer him in town-meetin'? Or thet ther' 'd ben no Fall o' Man,
Ef Adam 'd on'y bit a sweetin'?
Last year, the Nation, at a word, When tremblin' Freedom cried to
shield her, Flamed weldin' into one keen sword
Waitin' an' longin' fer a wielder : A splendid flash ! - but how'd the
grasp With sech a chance ez thet wuz tally? Ther' warn't no meanin' in our clasp,
Half this, half thet, all shilly-shally. More men ? More Man! It's there
we fail ; Weak plans grow weaker yit by
lengthenin': Wut use in addin' to the tail, When it's the head 's in need o'
strengthenin'? We wanted one thet felt all Chief
From roots o' hair to sole o'stockin', Square-sot with thousan'-ton belief
In him an' us, ef earth went rockin'!
Oh, Jon'than, ef you want to be
A rugged chap agin an' hearty, Go fer wutever 'll hurt Jeff D.,
Nut wut 'll boost up ary party; Here's hell broke loose, an we lay flat
With half the univarse a-singein', Till Sen'tor This an' Gov'nor Thet
Stop squabblin' fer the garding-ingin.
It's war we ’re in, not politics ;
now, not parties; An' victory in the eend 'll fix Where longest will an' truest heart is.
So's 't would n't hurt thet ebony stick Thet 's made our side see stars so
of'n? "No!” he'd ha' thundered, on your
knees, An' own one flag, one road to glory! Soft-heartedness, in times like these, Shows sof'ness in the upper story
He'd smashed the tables o' the Law
In time o' need to load his gun with; He could n't see but jest one side, Ef his, 't wuz Gud's, an' thet wuz
plenty; An' so his " Forrards !” multiplied
An army's fightin' weight by twenty. But this 'ere histin', creak, creak, creak, Your cappen's heart up with a der
rick, This tryin' to coax a lightnin'-streak
Out of a half-discouraged hay-rick, This hangin' on mont' arter mont' Fer one sharp purpose 'mongst the
twitter, I tell
it doos kind o stunt The peth and sperit
of a critter. In six months where 'll the People be,
Ef leaders look on revolution Ez though it wuz a cup
Jest social el’ments in solution ? This weighin' things doos wal enough When war cools down, an' comes to
writin'; But while it's makin', the true stuff
Is pison-mad, pig-headed fightin'.
An' why should we kick up a muss.
About the Pres'dunt's proclamation ? It ain't a-goin' to lib'rate us,
Ef we don't like emancipation : The right to be a cussed fool
Is safe from all devices human, It 's common (ez a gin'l rule)
To every critter born o' woman.
So we 're all right, an' I, fer one,
Don't think our cause 'll lose in vally By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun,
An' gittin' Natur' fer an ally : Thank God, say I, fer even a plan
To lift one human bein's level, Give one more chance to make a man,
Or, anyhow, to spile a devil !
Not thet I 'm one thet much expec'
Millennium by express to-morrer; They will miscarry, - I rec'lec
Tu many on 'em, to my sorrer : Men ain't made angels in a day, No matter how you mould an' labor
'em, Nor ’riginal ones, I guess, don't stay
With Abe so of'n ez with Abraham.
But 'pears to me I see some signs
Thet we're a-goin' to use our senses : Jeff druv us into these hard lines, An' ough' to bear his half th' ex
penses; Slavery's Secession's heart an' will, South, North, East, West, where'er
you find it, An' ef it drors into War's mill, D'ye say them thunder-stones sha'
n't grind it? D'ye s'pose, ef Jeff giv him a lick,
Ole Hick'ry 'd tried his head to sof'n
The’ry thinks Fact a pooty thing,
'Thout years o'settin' up an'wooin': Though, arter all, Time's dial-plate Marks cent'ries with the minute.
finger, An' Good can't never come tu late,
Though it doos seem to try an' linger.
An' come wut will, I think it 's grand Abe 's gut his will et last bloom-fur
naced In trial-flames till it 'll stand
The strain o'bein' in deadly earnest: