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Title: The Biglow Papers
Author: Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Biglow Papers" ***

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                       THE

                  BIGLOW PAPERS.


                       BY
              JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


                  NEWLY EDITED,
                 WITH A PREFACE
                     BY THE
      AUTHOR OF "_TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS_."


             THIRD ENGLISH EDITION.


 Reprinted, with the Author's Sanction, from the
             Last American Edition.


                     LONDON:
        TRÜBNER & CO. 60, PATERNOSTER ROW.
                      1861.



Transcriber's Note

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Dialect
spellings, contractions and discrepancies have been retained.

The carat symbol [^] has been used to note 'superscript', and three
asterisks [***] represent an inverted asterism.



PUBLISHERS' PREFACE.


In order to avoid any misconception, the Publishers think it advisable
to announce that the present Edition of the "Biglow Papers" is issued
with the express sanction of the Author, granted by letter, from which
the following is an extract:--


                               "CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS,
                                           _14th September, 1859_.

    "I think it would be well for you to announce that you are to
    publish an Authorized Edition of the 'BIGLOW PAPERS;' for I have
    just received a letter from Mr. ----, who tells me that a Mr. ----
    was thinking of an edition, and wished him to edit it. Any such
    undertaking will be entirely against my will, and I take it for
    granted that Mr. ---- only formed the plan in ignorance of your
    intention.

                           "With many thanks, very truly yours,

                                                   "J. R. LOWELL."



ENGLISH EDITOR'S PREFACE.


I can safely say that few things in my life have pleased me more than
the request of Messrs. Trübner, backed by the expressed wish of the
author, that I would see the first English edition of the "Biglow
Papers" through the press. I fell in with the Papers about ten years
ago, soon after their publication; and the impression they then made on
me has been deepening and becoming more lively ever since. In fact, I do
not think that, even in his own New England, Mr. Lowell can have a more
constant or more grateful reader, though I cannot say that I go much
beyond most of my own intimate friends over here in my love for his
works. I may remark, in passing, that the impossibility of keeping a
copy of the "Biglow Papers" for more than a few weeks (of which many of
us have had repeated and sorrowful proof[1]) shows how much an English
Edition is needed.

Perhaps, strictly speaking, I should say a reprint, and not an edition.
In fact, I am not clear (in spite of the wishes of author and
publishers) that I have any right to call myself editor, for the book is
as thoroughly edited already as a book need be. What between dear old
Parson Wilbur--with his little vanities and pedantries, his "infinite
faculty of sermonizing," his simplicity and humour, and his deep and
righteous views of life, and power of hard hitting when he has anything
to say which needs driving home--and Father Ezekiel, "the brown
parchment-hided old man of the geoponic or bucolic species," "76 year
old cum next tater diggin, and thair aint nowheres a kitting" (we
readily believe) "spryer 'n he be;" and that judicious and lazy
sub-editor, "Columbus Nye, pastor of a church in Bungtown Corner,"
whose acquaintance we make so thoroughly in the ten lines which he
contributes--whatever of setting or framing was needed, or indeed
possible, for the nine gems in verse of Mr. Hosea Biglow, has been so
well done already in America by the hand best fitted for the task, that
he must be a bold man who would meddle with the book now in the editing
way. Even the humble satisfaction of adding a glossary and index has
been denied to me, as there are already very good ones. I have merely
added some half-dozen words to the glossary, at which I thought that
English readers might perhaps stumble. When the proposal was first made
to me, indeed, I thought of trying my hand at a sketch of American
politics of thirteen years ago, the date of the Mexican war and of the
first appearance of the "Biglow Papers." But I soon found out, first,
that I was not, and had no ready means of making myself, competent for
such a task; secondly, that the book did not need it. The very slight
knowledge which every educated Englishman has of Transatlantic politics
will be quite enough to make him enjoy the racy smack of the American
soil, which is one of their great charms; and, as to the particular
characters, they are most truly citizens of the world as well as
Americans. If an Englishman cannot find 'Bird-o'-freedom Sawins,' 'John
P. Robinson's,' 'pious editors,' and candidates "facin' south-by-north"
at home--ay, and if he is not conscious of his own individual propensity
to the meannesses and duplicities of such, which come under the lash of
Hosea--he knows little of the land we live in, or of his own heart, and
is not worthy to read the "Biglow Papers."

Instead, therefore, of any attempt of my own, I will give Mr. Lowell's
own account of how and why he came to write this book. "All I can say
is," he writes, "the book was _thar_. How it came is more than I can
tell. I cannot, like the great Göthe, deliberately imagine what would
have been a proper 'Entstehungsweise' for my book, and then assume it as
fact. I only know that I believed our war with Mexico (though we had as
just ground for it as a strong nation ever had against a weak one) to be
essentially a war of false pretences, and that it would result in
widening the boundaries, and so prolonging the life of slavery.
Believing that it is the manifest destiny of the English race to occupy
this whole continent, and to display there that practical understanding
in matters of government and colonization which no other race has given
such proofs of possessing since the Romans, I hated to see a noble hope
evaporated into a lying phrase to sweeten the foul breath of demagogues.
Leaving the sin of it to God, I believed, and still believe, that
slavery is the Achilles-heel of our own polity, that it is a temporary
and false supremacy of the white races, sure to destroy that supremacy
at last, because an enslaved people always prove themselves of more
enduring fibre than their enslavers, as not suffering from the social
vices sure to be engendered by oppression in the governing class.
Against these and many other things I thought all honest men should
protest. I was born and bred in the country, and the dialect was homely
to me. I tried my first Biglow paper in a newspaper, and found that it
had a great run. So I wrote the others from time to time during the
year which followed, always very rapidly, and sometimes (as with 'What
Mr. Robinson thinks') at one sitting. When I came to collect them and
publish them in a volume, I conceived my parson-editor, with his
pedantry and verbosity, his amiable vanity and superiority to the verses
he was editing, as a fitting artistic background and foil. He gave me
the chance, too, of glancing obliquely at many things which were beyond
the horizon of my other characters."

There are two American books, elder brethren of "The Biglow Papers,"
which it would be unjust in an Englishman not to mention while
introducing their big younger brother to his own countrymen,--I mean, of
course, "Major Downing's Letters," and "Sam Slick;" both of which are
full of rare humour, and treat of the most exciting political questions
of their day in a method and from points of view of which we are often
reminded while reading the "Biglow Papers." In fact, Mr. Lowell borrows
his name from the Major's Letters;--"Zekel Bigelow, Broker and Banker of
Wall Street, New York," is the friend who corrects the spelling, and
certifies to the genuineness, of the honest Major's effusions,[2] and is
one of the raciest characters in the book. No one, I am sure, would be
so ready as Mr. Lowell to acknowledge whatever obligations he may have
to other men, and no one can do it more safely. For though he may owe a
name or an idea to others, he seems to me to stand quite alone amongst
Americans, and to be the only one who is beyond question entitled to
take his place in the first rank, by the side of the great political
satirists of ancient and modern Europe.

Greece had her Aristophanes; Rome her Juvenal; Spain has had her
Cervantes; France her Rabelais, her Molière, her Voltaire; Germany her
Jean Paul, her Heine; England her Swift, her Thackeray; and America has
her Lowell. By the side of all those great masters of satire, though
kept somewhat in the rear by provincialism of style and subject, the
author of the "Biglow Papers" holds his own place distinct from each
and all. The man who reads the book for the first time, and is capable
of understanding it, has received a new sensation. In Lowell the
American mind has for the first time flowered out into thoroughly
original genius.

There is an airy grace about the best pieces of Washington Irving, which
has no parallel amongst English writers, however closely modelled may be
his style upon that of the Addisonian age. There is much original power,
which will perhaps be better appreciated at a future day, about Fenimore
Cooper's delineations of the physical and spiritual border-land, between
white and red, between civilization and savagery. There is dramatic
power of a high order about Mr. Hawthorne, though mixed with a certain
morbidness and bad taste, which debar him from ever attaining to the
first rank. There is an originality of position about Mr. Emerson, in
his resolute setting up of King Self against King Mob, which, coupled
with a singular metallic glitter of style, and plenty of shrewd New
England mother-wit, have made up together one of the best counterfeits
of genius that has been seen for many a day; so good, indeed, that most
men are taken by it for the first quarter of an hour at the least. But
for real unmistakable genius,--for that glorious fulness of power which
knocks a man down at a blow for sheer admiration, and then makes him
rush into the arms of the knocker-down, and swear eternal friendship
with him for sheer delight; the "Biglow Papers" stand alone.

If I sought to describe their characteristics, I should say, the most
exuberant and extravagant humour, coupled with strong, noble, Christian
purpose,--a thorough scorn for all that is false and base, all the more
withering because of the thorough geniality of the writer. Perhaps Jean
Paul is of all the satirists I have named the one who at bottom presents
most affinity with Lowell, but the differences are marked. The
intellectual sphere of the German is vaster, but though with certain
aims before him, he rather floats and tumbles about like a porpoise at
play than follows any direct perceptible course. With Lowell, on the
contrary, every word tells, every laugh is a blow; as if the god Momus
had turned out as Mars, and were hard at work fighting every inch of
him, grinning his broadest all the while.

Will some English readers be shocked by this combination of broad and
keen humour with high Christian purpose--the association of humour and
Christianity? I hope not. At any rate, I would remind any such of
Luther, and of our own Latimer and Rowland Hill; are they prepared to
condemn them and many more like them? Nay (though it is a question which
can only be hinted at here), does not the Bible itself sanction the
combination by its own example? Is there not humour mixed with the
tremendous sarcasm of the old prophets--dread humour no doubt, but
humour unmistakably--wherever they speak of the helplessness of idols,
as in the forty-fourth and forty-sixth chapters of Isaiah, and in
Elijah's mockery of the priests of Baal:--"Cry aloud, for he is a God;
either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or
peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakened." Is not the book of
Proverbs full of grave, dry, pungent humour? Consider only the following
passage out of many of the same spirit: "As the door turneth upon his
hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand
in his bosom, it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. The
sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a
reason. He that passeth by and meddleth with strife belonging not to
him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."--Prov. xxvi. 14-17.

Or if it be objected that these things belong to an earlier covenant,
that laughter and jesting are "not convenient" under the Gospel of Him
who came not to destroy the law but to fulfil it, there is, perhaps, an
answer to this also.

For a specimen of subdued humour in narrative, adhering in the most
literal manner to facts, and yet contriving to bring them out by that
graphic literalness under their most ludicrous aspect, what can equal
St. Luke's description of the riot at Ephesus? The picture of the narrow
trade selfishness of Demetrius--of polytheism reduced into a matter of
business--of the inanity of a mob tumult in an enslaved country--of the
mixed coaxing and bullying of its officials, was surely never brought
out with a more latter vice, indeed, includes both the others, or
rather uses them as its instruments. Thus, the "pious Editor" proclaims,
as his creed,--

    I du believe in Freedom's cause
      Ez fur away ez Paris is;
    I love to see her stick her claws
      In them infarnal Pharisees;

    It's wal enough agin a king
      To dror resolves and triggers,
    But libbaty's a kind o' thing
      Thet don't agree with niggers.

No doubt they go further than this. I am quite aware that Mr. Lowell
will be claimed as a champion by the peace party in this country; and
certainly no keener things have been said against war in general than
are to be found in this book.

With our own peace-at-any-price party, no one has less sympathy than I;
and this leads me to urge on all English readers to bear in mind, that
the "Biglow Papers" were written for a New England audience, by a New
Englander, and must be judged from a New England point of view. The
citizen of a huge young mammoth country, divided by a whole ocean from
the nearest enemy that it could fear, assailable only on the vivid
sense of the absurdity of the whole. "And Gallio cared for none of these
things," is another touch of quiet humour, which at once brings out the
ludicrous aspect of the punishment of the Jewish agitators by means of
the very tumults which they raised.

I take it, therefore, that the exhibition of humour, in the pursuit, and
as an aid for the attainment of a noble Christian purpose, is a means of
action not only sanctioned by the very constitution of our natures (in
which God has implanted so deeply the sense of the ludicrous, surely not
that we might root it out) but, by the very example of Holy Writ. The
humour exhibited may be different in degree and in quality; the skies of
Syria are not those of Germany, or of Spain, of England, whether old or
new. But the gift in itself is a pure and precious one, if lawfully and
rightfully used.

Military braggadocio, political and literary humbug, and slave-holding,
are the three great butts at which Hosea Biglow and Parson Wilbur shoot,
at point-blank range, and with shafts drawn well to the ear. The fringe
of its seaboard (itself consisting chiefly of unapproachable swamp or
barren sand wastes), surrounded by weak neighbours or thin wandering
hordes, only too easy to bully, to subdue, to eat up; from which bands
of pirates, under the name of liberators, swarm forth year after year,
almost unchecked, to neighbouring lands, and to which if defeated they
only return to be caressed and applauded by their congeners; where the
getting up of war-fevers forms part of the stock in trade of too many of
the leading politicians; where in particular the grasping at new
territories for slave labour, by means however foul, has become the
special and avowed policy of the slavery party; the citizen of such a
country has a right to tell his countrymen that--

    'T'aint your eppyletts an' feathers
      Make the thing a grain more right;
    'T'aint afollerin' your bell-wethers
      Will excuse ye in His sight;

    'Ef you take a sword an' dror it,
      An' go stick a feller thru,
    'Guv'ment aint to answer for it,
      God 'll send the bill to you.

And the bravest officer in Her Majesty's service will laugh as heartily
as you will, I take it, my dear reader, if you have never heard it
before, over a picture and a contrast such as the following:--

    Parson Wilbur sez, _he_ never heerd in his life
      Thet th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
    An' marched round in front of a drum and a fife
      To git, some on 'em office, an some on em votes,
                    But John P
                    Robinson he
      Sez they didnt know everythin' down in Juddee.

But England is a small and wealthy country, whose best defence against a
neighbour, always likely to become a foe, consists in a mere ocean
canal; where the question, I will not say of war, but of readiness for
war, is one of life or death--in which the temptation, always so strong,
to subordinate national honour to what is supposed to be policy, is in
our day for most statesmen almost irresistible, because political
influence is so evenly balanced, that a peace party of perhaps twenty
votes has often the destinies of a ministry in its hands. Had Mr. Lowell
been an Englishman, no one who knows his writings can believe for a
moment that he would have swelled the cry or strengthened the hands of
the vain and mischievous clique, who amongst us have of late years
raised the cry of peace when there is no peace.

The same caution will apply to our marked peculiarity of style in the
book, which may offend at first many persons otherwise most capable of
entering into its spirit. I mean the constant, and so to speak,
pervading use of Scripture language and incidents, not only side by side
with the most grotesque effusions of humour, but as one main element of
the ludicrous effects produced. This undoubtedly would be as really
offensive as it would be untrue, from any other point of view perhaps
than that of a New Englander bred in the country. The rural population
of New England is still, happily for itself, tinctured in all its
language, habits, modes of feeling and thought, by a strict Scriptural
training--"Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh." Look
below the surface and you will see that there is no irreverence whatever
beneath Hosea Biglow's daring use of Scripture; only that "perfect love
which casteth out fear;" that the very purpose of the whole book is to
set up Christ's Gospel as _the_ standard by which alone all men are to
be judged in all their acts. We may disagree from him in the
conclusions which he draws from Scripture; of his earnest sincerity in
enforcing those conclusions we cannot doubt.

It is satisfactory, indeed, to think that Mr. Lowell's shafts have
already, in a great measure, ceased to be required, or would have to be
aimed now at other bull's eyes. The servility of the Northern States to
the South, which twelve years ago so raised his indignation, has well
nigh ceased to be. The vital importance of the slavery question is now
thoroughly recognized by the great republican party, which I trust is
year by year advancing towards an assured victory.

For that victory Mr. Lowell has done knight's-service by his other
works, as well as by the "Biglow Papers." I need not do more than refer
to these, however, as they have been published in a cheap form over
here, and I believe have circulated largely. In his other poems he is by
no means so equal as in the "Biglow Papers;" but I cannot help thinking
that (leaving out of sight altogether his satirical works) fifty years
hence he will be recognized as the greatest American poet of our day,
notwithstanding the contemporary judgment which has in England, and I
believe in America, assigned that proud place to his friend and
predecessor at Harvard College, H. W. Longfellow. To any reader who has
not met with Lowell's Poems, and who may be induced to read them after a
perusal of the present volume, I should recommend "The Vision of Sir
Launfal," "A Parable," "Stanzas on Freedom," "The Present Crisis," and
"Hunger and Cold," as specially fit to be read in connexion with the
"Biglow Papers." It is only by looking at all sides of a man of this
mould that you can get a notion of his size and power. Readers,
therefore, should search out for themselves the exquisite little gems of
a lighter kind, which lie about in the other poems comprised in the
volume. I am only indicating those which, as it seems to me, when taken
with the "Biglow Papers," give the best idea of the man, and what his
purpose in life has been, and is.

I will not think so badly of my countrymen as to suppose for a moment
that "The Biglow Papers" will not become the intimate friends of all
good fellows in England; and when we have really made friends with a
book, we like to know something about our friend's father; so I shall
add the little I know of the history of James Russell Lowell.

He was born in 1819, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, so that he is some
years younger than our own laureate, and we may hope to get out of him
many another noble work, though we shall get no more "Biglow Papers"--at
least I fear not; for the sort of inspiration which finds voice in this
way comes, I take it, only once in a man's life. And moreover, this is
his own conviction. In a letter which I received from him as to the
present publication, he writes: "Friendly people say to me sometimes,
'Write us more "Biglow Papers;"' and I have even been simple enough to
try, only to find that I could not. This has helped to persuade me that
the book was a genuine growth, and not a manufacture, and that therefore
I had an honest right to be pleased without blushing, if people liked
it." He was educated at Harvard College, Cambridge; and, in fact, has
never lived away from his native place. He read law, but never
practised; and in 1855 was chosen to succeed Longfellow as Professor of
Modern Literature in Harvard College. He has visited Europe twice; and I
am sure that every one who knows his works must join with me in the
hearty wish that he may come among us again as soon as possible.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Should this meet the eye of any persons who may have forgotten to
return American copies of the "Biglow Papers" to their respective
owners, they are requested to forward them to the publishers. The
strictest secrecy will be preserved, and an acknowledgment given in _The
Times_ if required.

[2] See the English Edition of "Letters of Major Downing," published by
John Murray in 1835, pp. 22, 23; and Letters x. xi. xii. and xv.



CONTENTS.


                                                       PAGE

 PUBLISHER'S PREFACE                                      v


 EDITOR'S PREFACE                                       vii


 NOTICES OF AN INDEPENDENT PRESS                       xxix


 No. I.

 A LETTER FROM MR. EZEKIEL BIGLOW OF JAALAM TO THE
   HON. JOSEPH T. BUCKINGHAM, EDITOR OF THE BOSTON
   COURIER, INCLOSING A POEM OF HIS SON, MR. HOSEA
   BIGLOW                                                 1


 No. II.

 A LETTER FROM MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE HON.
   J. T. BUCKINGHAM, EDITOR OF THE BOSTON COURIER,
   COVERING A LETTER FROM MR. B. SAWIN, PRIVATE IN
   THE MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT                            11


 No. III.

 WHAT MR. ROBINSON THINKS                                27


 No. IV.

 REMARKS OF INCREASE D. O'PHACE, ESQUIRE, AT AN
   EX-TRUMPERY CAUCUS IN STATE STREET, REPORTED BY
   MR. H. BIGLOW                                         40


 No. V.

 THE DEBATE IN THE SENNIT. SOT TO A NUSRY RHYME          55


 No. VI.

 THE PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED                                64


 No. VII.

 A LETTER FROM A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN
   ANSWER TO SUTTIN QUESTIONS PROPOSED BY MR. HOSEA
   BIGLOW, INCLOSED IN A NOTE FROM MR. BIGLOW TO S.
   H. GAY, ESQ., EDITOR OF THE NATIONAL ANTISLAVERY
   STANDARD                                              74


 No. VIII.

 A SECOND LETTER FROM B. SAWIN, ESQ.                     86


 No. IX.

 A THIRD LETTER FROM B. SAWIN, ESQ.                     106


 GLOSSARY                                               127


 INDEX                                                  131



NOTICES OF AN INDEPENDENT PRESS.


[I have observed, reader, (bene- or male-volent, as it may happen,) that
it is customary to append to the second editions of books, and to the
second works of authors, short sentences commendatory of the first,
under the title of _Notices of the Press_. These, I have been given to
understand, are procurable at certain established rates, payment being
made either in money or advertising patronage by the publisher, or by an
adequate outlay of servility on the part of the author. Considering
these things with myself, and also that such notices are neither
intended, nor generally believed, to convey any real opinions, being a
purely ceremonial accompaniment of literature, and resembling
certificates to the virtues of various morbiferal panaceas, I conceived
that it would be not only more economical to prepare a sufficient number
of such myself, but also more immediately subservient to the end in
view, to prefix them to this our primary edition, rather than await the
contingency of a second, when they would seem to be of small utility. To
delay attaching the _bobs_ until the second attempt at flying the kite
would indicate but a slender experience in that useful art. Neither has
it escaped my notice, nor failed to afford me matter of reflection,
that, when a circus or a caravan is about to visit Jaalam, the initial
step is to send forward large and highly ornamented bills of performance
to be hung in the bar-room and the post-office. These having been
sufficiently gazed at, and beginning to lose their attractiveness
except for the flies, and, truly, the boys also, (in whom I find it
impossible to repress, even during school-hours, certain oral and
telegraphic correspondences concerning the expected show,) upon some
fine morning the band enters in a gaily-painted waggon, or triumphal
chariot, and with noisy advertisement, by means of brass, wood, and
sheepskin, makes the circuit of our startled village-streets. Then, as
the exciting sounds draw nearer and nearer, do I desiderate those eyes
of Aristarchus, "whose looks were as a breeching to a boy." Then do I
perceive, with vain regret of wasted opportunities, the advantage of a
pancratic or pantechnic education, since he is most reverenced by my
little subjects who can throw the cleanest summerset, or walk most
securely upon the revolving cask. The story of the Pied Piper becomes
for the first time credible to me, (albeit confirmed by the Hameliners
dating their legal instruments from the period of his exit,) as I behold
how those strains, without pretence of magical potency, bewitch the
pupillary legs, nor leave to the pedagogic an entire self-control. For
these reasons, lest my kingly prerogative should suffer diminution, I
prorogue my restless commons, whom I also follow into the street,
chiefly lest some mischief may chance befall them. After the manner of
such a band, I send forward the following notices of domestic
manufacture, to make brazen proclamation, not unconscious of the
advantage which will accrue, if our little craft, _cymbula sutilis_,
shall seem to leave port with a clipping breeze, and to carry, in
nautical phrase, a bone in her mouth. Nevertheless, I have chosen, as
being more equitable, to prepare some also sufficiently objurgatory,
that readers of every taste may find a dish to their palate. I have
modelled them upon actually existing specimens, preserved in my own
cabinet of natural curiosities. One, in particular, I had copied with
tolerable exactness from a notice of one of my own discourses, which,
from its superior tone and appearance of vast experience, I concluded to
have been written by a man at least three hundred years of age, though I
recollected no existing instance of such antediluvian longevity.
Nevertheless, I afterwards discovered the author to be a young gentleman
preparing for the ministry under the direction of one of my brethren in
a neighbouring town, and whom I had once instinctively corrected in a
Latin quantity. But this I have been forced to omit, from its too great
length.--H. W.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Universal Littery Universe._

    Full of passages which rivet the attention of the reader.... Under a
    rustic garb, sentiments are conveyed which should be committed to
    the memory and engraven on the heart of every moral and social
    being.... We consider this a _unique_ performance.... We hope to see
    it soon introduced into our common schools.... Mr. Wilbur has
    performed his duties as editor with excellent taste and judgment....
    This is a vein which we hope to see successfully prosecuted.... We
    hail the appearance of this work as a long stride toward the
    formation of a purely aboriginal, indigenous, native, and American
    literature. We rejoice to meet with an author national enough to
    break away from the slavish deference, too common among us, to
    English grammar and orthography.... Where all is so good, we are at
    a loss how to make extracts.... On the whole, we may call it a
    volume which no library, pretending to entire completeness, should
    fail to place upon its shelves.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Higginbottomopolis Snapping-turtle._

    A collection of the merest balderdash and doggerel that it was ever
    our bad fortune to lay eyes on. The author is a vulgar buffoon, and
    the editor a talkative, tedious old fool. We use strong language,
    but should any of our readers peruse the book, (from which calamity
    Heaven preserve them,) they will find reasons for it thick as the
    leaves of Vallumbrozer, or, to use a still more expressive
    comparison, as the combined heads of author and editor. The work is
    wretchedly got up.... We should like to know how much _British gold_
    was pocketed by this libeller of our country and her purest
    patriots.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Oldfogrumville Mentor._

    We have not had time to do more than glance through this handsomely
    printed volume, but the name of its respectable editor, the Rev. Mr.
    Wilbur, of Jaalam, will afford a sufficient guaranty for the worth
    of its contents.... The paper is white, the type clear, and the
    volume of a convenient and attractive size.... In reading this
    elegantly executed work, it has seemed to us that a passage or two
    might have been retrenched with advantage, and that the general
    style of diction was susceptible of a higher polish.... On the
    whole, we may safely leave the ungrateful task of criticism to the
    reader. We will barely suggest, that in volumes intended, as this
    is, for the illustration of a provincial dialect and turns of
    expression, a dash of humour or satire might be thrown in with
    advantage.... The work is admirably got up.... This work will form
    an appropriate ornament to the centre-table. It is beautifully
    printed, on paper of an excellent quality.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Dekay Bulwark._

    We should be wanting in our duty as the conductor of that tremendous
    engine, a public press, as an American, and as a man, did we allow
    such an opportunity as is presented to us by "The Biglow Papers" to
    pass by without entering our earnest protest against such attempts
    (now, alas! too common) at demoralizing the public sentiment. Under
    a wretched mask of stupid drollery, slavery, war, the social glass,
    and, in short, all the valuable and time-honoured institutions
    justly dear to our common humanity and especially to republicans,
    are made the butt of coarse and senseless ribaldry by this
    low-minded scribbler. It is time that the respectable and religious
    portion of our community should be aroused to the alarming inroads
    of foreign Jacobinism, sansculottism, and infidelity. It is a
    fearful proof of the wide-spread nature of this contagion, that
    these secret stabs at religion and virtue are given from under the
    cloak (_credite, posteri!_) of a clergyman. It is a mournful
    spectacle indeed to the patriot and Christian to see liberality and
    new ideas (falsely so called,--they are as old as Eden) invading
    the sacred precincts of the pulpit.... On the whole, we consider
    this volume as one of the first shocking results which we predicted
    would spring out of the late French "Revolution"(!).

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Bungtown Copper and Comprehensive Tocsin (a tryweakly
    family journal)._

    Altogether an admirable work.... Full of humour, boisterous, but
    delicate,--of wit withering and scorching, yet combined with a
    pathos cool as morning dew,--of satire ponderous as the mace of
    Richard, yet keen as the scymitar of Saladin.... A work full of
    "mountain-mirth," mischievous as Puck and lightsome as Ariel.... We
    know not whether to admire most the genial, fresh, and discursive
    concinnity of the author, or his playful fancy, weird imagination,
    and compass of style, at once both objective and subjective.... We
    might indulge in some criticisms, but, were the author other than he
    is, he would be a different being. As it is, he has a wonderful
    _pose_, which flits from flower to flower, and bears the reader
    irresistibly along on its eagle pinions (like Ganymede) to the
    "highest heaven of invention." ... We love a book so purely
    objective.... Many of his pictures of natural scenery have an
    extraordinary subjective clearness and fidelity.... In fine, we
    consider this as one of the most extraordinary volumes of this or
    any age. We know of no English author who could have written it. It
    is a work to which the proud genius of our country, standing with
    one foot on the Aroostook and the other on the Rio Grande, and
    holding up the star-spangled banner amid the wreck of matter and the
    crush of worlds, may point with bewildering scorn of the punier
    efforts of enslaved Europe.... We hope soon to encounter our author
    among those higher walks of literature in which he is evidently
    capable of achieving enduring fame. Already we should be inclined to
    assign him a high position in the bright galaxy of our American
    bards.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Saltriver Pilot and Flag of Freedom._

    A volume in bad grammar and worse taste.... While the pieces here
    collected were confined to their appropriate sphere in the corners
    of obscure newspapers, we considered them wholly beneath contempt,
    but, as the author has chosen to come forward in this public manner,
    he must expect the lash he so richly merits.... Contemptible
    slanders.... Vilest Billingsgate.... Has raked all the gutters of
    our language.... The most pure, upright, and consistent politicians
    not safe from his malignant venom.... General Cushing comes in for a
    share of his vile calumnies.... The _Reverend_ Homer Wilbur is a
    disgrace to his cloth....

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the World-Harmonic-Æolian-Attachment._

    Speech is silver: silence is golden. No utterance more Orphic than
    this. While, therefore, as highest author, we reverence him whose
    works continue heroically unwritten, we have also our hopeful word
    for those who with pen (from wing of goose loud-cackling, or seraph
    God-commissioned) record the thing that is revealed.... Under mask
    of quaintest irony, we detect here the deep, storm-tost (nigh
    shipwracked) soul, thunder-scarred, semiarticulate, but ever
    climbing hopefully toward the peaceful summits of an Infinite
    Sorrow.... Yes, thou poor, forlorn Hosea, with Hebrew fire-flaming
    soul in thee, for thee also this life of ours has not been without
    its aspect of heavenliest pity and laughingest mirth. Conceivable
    enough! Through coarse Thersites-cloak, we have revelation of the
    heart, wild-glowing, world-clasping, that is in him. Bravely he
    grapples with the life-problem as it presents itself to him,
    uncombed, shaggy, careless of the "nicer proprieties," inexpert of
    "elegant diction," yet with voice audible enough to whoso hath ears,
    up there on the gravelly side-hills, or down on the splashy,
    Indiarubber-like salt-marshes of native Jaalam. To this soul also
    the _Necessity of Creating_ somewhat has unveiled its awful front.
    If not Œdipuses and Electras and Alcestises, then in God's name
    Birdofredum Sawins! These also shall get born into the world, and
    filch (if so need) a Zingali subsistence therein, these lank,
    omnivorous Yankees of his. He shall paint the Seen, since the Unseen
    will not sit to him. Yet in him also are Nibelungen-lays, and
    Iliads, and Ulysses-wanderings, and Divine Comedies,--if only once
    he could come at them! Therein lies much, nay all; for what truly is
    this which we name _All_, but that which we do _not_ possess?...
    Glimpses also are given us of an old father Ezekiel, not without
    paternal pride, as is the wont of such. A brown, parchment-hided old
    man of the geoponic or bucolic species, gray-eyed, we fancy,
    _queued_ perhaps, with much weather-cunning and plentiful
    September-gale memories, bidding fair in good time to become the
    Oldest Inhabitant. After such hasty apparition, he vanishes and is
    seen no more.... Of "Rev. Homer Wilbur, A. M., Pastor of the First
    Church in Jaalam," we have small care to speak here. Spare touch in
    him of his Melesigenes namesake, save, haply, the--blindness! A
    tolerably caliginose, nephelegeretous elderly gentleman, with
    infinite faculty of sermonizing, muscularized by long practice, and
    excellent digestive apparatus, and, for the rest, well-meaning
    enough, and with small private illuminations (somewhat tallowy, it
    is to be feared) of his own. To him, there, "Pastor of the First
    Church in Jaalam," our Hosea presents himself as a quiet
    inexplicable Sphinx-riddle. A rich, poverty of Latin and Greek,--so
    far is clear enough, even to eyes peering myopic through horn-lensed
    editorial spectacles,--but naught farther? O purblind, well-meaning,
    altogether fuscous Melesigenes-Wilbur, there are things in him
    incommunicable by stroke of birch! Did it ever enter that old
    bewildered head of thine that there was the _Possibility of the
    Infinite_ in him? To thee, quite wingless (and even featherless)
    biped, has not so much even as a dream of wings ever come? "Talented
    young parishioner"? Among the Arts whereof thou art _Magister_, does
    that of _seeing_ happen to be one? Unhappy _Artium Magister_!
    Somehow a Nemean lion, fulvous, torrid-eyed, dry-nursed in
    broad-howling sand-wildernesses of a sufficiently rare spirit-Libya
    (it may be supposed) has got whelped among the sheep. Already he
    stands wild-glaring, with feet clutching the ground as with
    oak-roots, gathering for a Remus-spring over the walls of thy little
    fold. In Heaven's name, go not near him with that flybite crook of
    thine! In good time, thou painful preacher, thou wilt go to the
    appointed place of departed Artillery-Election Sermons, Right-Hands
    of Fellowship, and Results of Councils, gathered to thy spiritual
    fathers with much Latin of the Epitaphial sort; thou, too, shalt
    have thy reward; but on him the Eumenides have looked, not Xantippes
    of the pit, snake-tressed, finger-threatening, but radiantly calm as
    on antique gems; for him paws impatient the winged courser of the
    gods, champing unwelcome bit: him the starry deeps, the empyrean
    glooms, and far-flashing splendors await.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Onion Grove Phœnix._

    A talented young townsman of ours, recently returned from a
    Continental tour, and who is already favourably known to our readers
    by his sprightly letters from abroad which have graced our columns,
    called at our office yesterday. We learn from him, that, having
    enjoyed the distinguished privilege, while in Germany, of an
    introduction to the celebrated Von Humbug, he took the opportunity
    to present that eminent man with a copy of the "Biglow Papers." The
    next morning he received the following note, which he has kindly
    furnished us for publication. We prefer to print _verbatim_, knowing
    that our readers will readily forgive the few errors into which the
    illustrious writer has fallen, through ignorance of our language.

    "HIGH-WORTHY MISTER!

    "I shall also now especially happy starve, because I have more or
    less a work of one those aboriginal Red-Men seen in which have I so
    deaf an interest ever taken fullworthy on the self shelf with our
    Gottsched to be upset.

    "Pardon my in the English-speech unpractice!

                                                     "VON HUMBUG."

    He also sent with the above note a copy of his famous work on
    "Cosmetics," to be presented to Mr. Biglow; but this was taken from
    our friend by the English custom-house officers, probably through a
    petty national spite. No doubt, it has by this time found its way
    into the British Museum. We trust this outrage will be exposed in
    all our American papers. We shall do our best to bring it to the
    notice of the State Department. Our numerous readers will share in
    the pleasure we experience at seeing our young and vigorous national
    literature thus encouragingly patted on the head by this venerable
    and world-renowned German. We love to see these reciprocations of
    good-feeling between the different branches of the great Anglo-Saxon
    race.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _From the Jaalam Independent Blunderbuss._

    ... But, while we lament to see our young townsman thus mingling in
    the heated contests of party politics, we think we detect in him the
    presence of talents which, if properly directed, might give an
    innocent pleasure to many. As a proof that he is competent to the
    production of other kinds of poetry, we copy for our readers a short
    fragment of a pastoral by him, the manuscript of which was loaned us
    by a friend. The title of it is "The Courtin'."

        Zekle crep' up, quite unbeknown,
          An' peeked in thru the winder,
        An' there sot Huldy all alone,
          'ith no one nigh to hender.

        Agin' the chimbly crooknecks hung,
          An' in amongst 'em rusted
        The ole queen's arm thet gran'ther Young
          Fetched back frum Concord busted.

        The wannut logs shot sparkles out
          Towards the pootiest, bless her!
        An' leetle fires danced all about
          The chiny on the dresser.

        The very room, coz she wuz in,
          Looked warm frum floor to ceilin',
        An' she looked full ez rosy agin
          Ez th' apples she wuz peelin'.

        She heerd a foot an' knowed it, tu,
          Araspin' on the scraper,--
        All ways to once her feelins flew
          Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

        He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
          Some doubtfle o' the seekle;
        His heart kep' goin' pitypat,
          But hern went pity Zekle.

        ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

       *       *       *       *       *

Satis multis sese emptores futuros libri professis, Georgius Nichols,
Cantabrigiensis, opus emittet de parte gravi sed adhuc neglecta historiæ
naturalis, cum titulo sequenti, videlicet:--

_Conatus ad Delineationem naturalem nonnihil perfectiorem Scarabæi
Bombilatoris, vulgo dicti_ HUMBUG, ab HOMERO WILBUR, Artium Magistro,
Societatis historico-naturalis Jaallamensis Præside, (Secretario,
Socioque (eheu!) singulo,) multarumque aliarum Societatum eruditarum
(sive ineruditarum) tam domesticarum quam transmarinarum Socio--forsitan
futuro.


PROEMIUM.

LECTORI BENEVOLO S.

Toga scholastica nondum deposita, quum systemata varia entomologica, a
viris ejus scientiæ cultoribus studiosissimis summa diligentia
ædificata, penitus indagâssem, non fuit quin luctuose omnibus in iis,
quamvis aliter laude dignissimis, hiatum magni momenti perciperem. Tunc,
nescio quo motu superiore impulsus, aut qua captus dulcedine operis, ad
eum implendum (Curtius alter) me solemniter devovi. Nec ab isto labore,
δαιμονίως imposito, abstinui antequam tractatulum sufficienter
inconcinnum lingua vernacula perfeceram. Inde, juveniliter tumefactus,
et barathro ineptiæ τῶν βιβλιοπωλῶν (necnon "Publici Legentis") nusquam
explorato, me composuisse quod quasi placentas præfervidas (ut sic
dicam) homines ingurgitarent credidi. Sed, quum huic et alii bibliopolæ
MSS. mea submisissem et nihil solidius responsione valde negativa in
Musæum meum retulissem, horror ingens atque misericordia, ob
crassitudinem Lambertianam in cerebris homunculorum istius muneris
cœlesti quadam ira infixam, me invasere. Extemplo mei solius impensis
librum edere decrevi, nihil omnino dubitans quin "Mundus Scientificus"
(ut aiunt) crumenam meam ampliter repleret. Nullam, attamen, ex agro
illo meo parvulo segetem demessui, præter gaudium vacuum bene de
Republica merendi. Iste panis meus pretiosus super aquas literarias
fæculentas præfidenter jactus, quasi Harpyiarum quarundam (scilicet
bibliopolarum istorum facinorosorum supradictorum) tactu rancidus, intra
perpaucos dies mihi domum rediit. Et, quum ipse tali victu ali non
tolerarem, primum in mentem venit pistori (typographo nempe) nihilominus
solvendum esse. Animum non idcirco demisi, imo æque ac pueri naviculas
suas penes se lino retinent (eo ut e recto cursu delapsas ad ripam
retrahant), sic ego Argô meam chartaceam fluctibus laborantem a quæsitu
velleris aurei, ipse potius tonsus pelleque exutus, mente solida
revocavi. Metaphoram ut mutem, _boomarangam_ meam a scopo aberrantem
retraxi, dum majore vi, occasione ministrante, adversus Fortunam
intorquerem. Ast mihi, talia volventi, et, sicut Saturnus ille
παιδοβόρος, liberos intellectus mei depascere fidenti, casus miserandus,
nec antea inauditus, supervenit. Nam, ut ferunt Scythas pietatis causa
et parsimoniæ, parentes suos mortuos devorâsse, sic filius hic meus
primogenitus, Scythis ipsis minus mansuetus, patrem vivum totum et
calcitrantem exsorbere enixus est. Nec tamen hac de causa sobolem meam
esurientem exheredavi. Sed famem istam pro valido testimonio virilitatis
roborisque potius habui, cibumque ad eam satiandam salva paterna mea
carne, petii. Et quia bilem illam scaturientem ad æs etiam concoquendum
idoneam esse estimabam, unde æs alienum, ut minoris pretii, haberem,
circumspexi. Rebus ita se habentibus, ab avunculo meo Johanne Doolittle,
Armigero, impetravi ut pecunias necessarias suppeditaret, ne opus esset
mihi universitatem relinquendi antequam ad gradum primum in artibus
pervenissem. Tunc ego, salvum facere patronum meum munificum maxime
cupiens, omnes libros primæ editionis operis mei non venditos una cum
privilegio in omne ævum ejusdem imprimendi et edendi avunculo meo dicto
pigneravi. Ex illo die, atro lapide notando, curæ vociferantes familiæ
singulis annis crescentis eo usque insultabant ut nunquam tam carum
pignus e vinculis istis aheneis solvere possem.

Avunculo vero nuper mortuo, quum inter alios consanguineos testamenti
ejus lectionem audiendi causa advenissem, erectis auribus verba talia
sequentia accepi:--"Quoniam persuasum habeo meum dilectum nepotem
Homerum, longa et intima rerum angustarum domi experientia, aptissimum
esse qui divitias tueatur, beneficenterque ac prudenter iis divinis
creditis utatur,--ergo, motus hisce cogitationibus, exque amore meo in
illum magno, do, legoque nepoti caro meo supranominato omnes
singularesque istas possessiones nec ponderabiles nec computabiles meas
quæ sequuntur, scilicet: quingentos libros quos mihi pigneravit dictus
Homerus, anno lucis 1792, cum privilegio edendi et repetendi opus istud
'scientificum' (quod dicunt) suum, si sic elegerit. Tamen D. O. M.
precor oculos Homeri nepotis mei ita aperiat eumque moveat, ut libros
istos in bibliotheca unius e plurimis castellis suis Hispaniensibus tuto
abscondat."

His verbis (vix credibilibus) auditis, cor meum in pectore exsultavit.
Deinde, quoniam tractatus Anglice scriptus spem auctoris fefellerat,
quippe quum studium Historiæ Naturalis in Republica nostra inter
factionis strepitum languescat, Latine versum edere statui, et eo potius
quia nescio quomodo disciplina academica et duo diplomata proficiant,
nisi quod peritos linguarum omnino mortuarum (et damnandarum, ut dicebat
iste πανοῦργος Gulielmus Cobbett) nos faciant.

Et mihi adhuc superstes est tota illa editio prima, quam quasi
crepitaculum per quod dentes caninos dentibam retineo.

       *       *       *       *       *

    OPERIS SPECIMEN.

    (_Ad exemplum Johannis Physiophili speciminis Monachologiæ._)

    12. S. B. _Militaris_, WILBUR. _Carnifex_, JABLONSK. _Profanus_,
    DESFONT.

    [Male hancce speciem _Cyclopem_, Fabricius vocat, ut qui singulo
    oculo ad quod sui interest distinguitur. Melius vero Isaacus Outis
    nullum inter S. milit. S. que Belzebul (Fabric. 152) discrimen esse
    defendit.]

    Habitat civitat. Americ. austral.

    Aureis lineis splendidus; plerumque tamen sordidus, utpote lanienas
    valde frequentans, fœtore sanguinis allectus. Amat quoque insuper
    septa apricari, neque inde, nisi maxima conatione, detruditur.
    _Candidatus_ ergo populariter vocatus. Caput cristam quasi pennarum
    ostendit. Pro cibo vaccam publicam callide mulget; abdomen enorme;
    facultas suctus haud facile estimanda. Otiosus, fatuus; ferox
    nihilominus, semperque dimicare paratus. Tortuose repit.

    Capite sæpe maxima cum cura dissecto, ne illud rudimentum etiam
    cerebri commune omnibus prope insectis detegere poteram.

    Unam de hoc S. milit. rem singularem notavi; nam S. Guineeus.
    (Fabric. 143) servos facit, et idcirco a multis summa in reverentia
    habitus, quasi scintillas rationis pæne humanæ demonstrans.

    24. S. B. _Criticus_, WILBUR. _Zoilus_, FABRIC. _Pygmæus_, CARLSEN.

    [Stultissime Johannes Stryx cum S. punctato (Fabric. 64-109)
    confundit. Specimina quam plurima scrutationi microscopicæ subjeci,
    nunquam tamen unum ulla indicia puncti cujusvis prorsus ostendentem
    inveni.]

    Præcipue formidolosus, insectatusque, in proxima rima anonyma sese
    abscondit, _we, we_, creberrime stridens. Ineptus, segnipes.

    Habitat ubique gentium; in sicco; nidum suum terebratione indefessa
    ædificans. Cibus. Libros depascit; siccos præcipue seligens, et
    forte succidum



                        THE BIGLOW PAPERS.



                        _MELIBŒUS-HIPPONAX._


                                THE

                           BIGLOW PAPERS,


                              EDITED,

              WITH AN INTRODUCTION, NOTES, GLOSSARY,
                        AND COPIOUS INDEX,


                       BY HOMER WILBUR, A.M.

 PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN JAALAM, AND (PROSPECTIVE) MEMBER OF
         MANY LITERARY, LEARNED, AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES,
                   (_for which see page_ xlvii.)


     The ploughman's whistle, or the trivial flute,
     Finds more respect than great Apollo's lute.
                                 _Quarles's Emblems_, B. II. E. 8.


   Margaritas, munde porcine, calcâsti: en, siliquas accipe.
                                _Jaa. Car. Fil. ad Pub. Leg._ § 1.



NOTE TO TITLE-PAGE


It will not have escaped the attentive eye, that I have, on the
title-page, omitted those honorary appendages to the editorial name
which not only add greatly to the value of every book, but whet and
exacerbate the appetite of the reader. For not only does he surmise that
an honorary membership of literary and scientific societies implies a
certain amount of necessary distinction on the part of the recipient of
such decorations, but he is willing to trust himself more entirely to an
author who writes under the fearful responsibility of involving the
reputation of such bodies as the _S. Archæol. Dahom._, or the _Acad.
Lit. et Scient. Kamtschat._ I cannot but think that the early editions
of Shakspeare and Milton would have met with more rapid and general
acceptance, but for the barrenness of their respective title-pages; and
I believe that, even now, a publisher of the works of either of those
justly distinguished men would find his account in procuring their
admission to the membership of learned bodies on the Continent,--a
proceeding no whit more incongruous than the reversal of the judgment
against Socrates, when he was already more than twenty centuries beyond
the reach of antidotes, and when his memory had acquired a deserved
respectability. I conceive that it was a feeling of the importance of
this precaution which induced Mr. Locke to style himself "Gent." on the
title-page of his Essay, as who should say to his readers that they
could receive his metaphysics on the honor of a gentleman.

Nevertheless, finding, that, without descending to a smaller size of
type than would have been compatible with the dignity of the several
societies to be named, I could not compress my intended list within the
limits of a single page, and thinking, moreover, that the act would
carry with it an air of decorous modesty, I have chosen to take the
reader aside, as it were, into my private closet, and there not only
exhibit to him the diplomas which I already possess, but also to furnish
him with a prophetic vision of those which I may, without undue
presumption, hope for, as not beyond the reach of human ambition and
attainment. And I am the rather induced to this from the fact, that my
name has been unaccountably dropped from the last triennial catalogue of
our beloved _Alma Mater_. Whether this is to be attributed to the
difficulty of Latinizing any of those honorary adjuncts (with a complete
list of which I took care to furnish the proper persons nearly a year
beforehand), or whether it had its origin in any more culpable motives,
I forbear to consider in this place, the matter being in course of
painful investigation. But, however this may be, I felt the omission the
more keenly, as I had, in expectation of the new catalogue, enriched the
library of the Jaalam Athenæum with the old one then in my possession,
by which means it has come about that my children will be deprived of a
never-wearying winter-evening's amusement in looking out the name of
their parent in that distinguished roll. Those harmless innocents had at
least committed no----but I forbear, having intrusted my reflections and
animadversions on this painful topic to the safe-keeping of my private
diary, intended for posthumous publication. I state this fact here, in
order that certain nameless individuals, who are, perhaps, overmuch
congratulating themselves upon my silence, may know that a rod is in
pickle which the vigorous hand of a justly incensed posterity will apply
to their memories.

The careful reader will note, that, in the list which I have prepared, I
have included the names of several Cisatlantic societies to which a
place is not commonly assigned in processions of this nature. I have
ventured to do this, not only to encourage native ambition and genius,
but also because I have never been able to perceive in what way distance
(unless we suppose them at the end of a lever) could increase the weight
of learned bodies. As far as I have been able to extend my researches
among such stuffed specimens as occasionally reach America, I have
discovered no generic difference between the antipodal _Fogrum
Japonicum_ and the _F. Americanum_ sufficiently common in our own
immediate neighbourhood. Yet, with a becoming deference to the popular
belief, that distinctions of this sort are enhanced in value by every
additional mile they travel, I have intermixed the names of some
tolerably distant literary and other associations with the rest.

I add here, also, an advertisement, which, that it may be the more
readily understood by those persons especially interested therein, I
have written in that curtailed and otherwise maltreated canine Latin, to
the writing and reading of which they are accustomed.


OMNIB. PER TOT. ORB. TERRAR. CATALOG. ACADEM. EDD.

Minim. gent. diplom. ab inclytiss. acad. vest. orans, vir. honorand.
operosiss., at sol. ut sciat. quant. glor. nom. meum (dipl. fort.
concess.) catal. vest. temp. futur. affer., ill. subjec., addit. omnib.
titul. honorar. qu. adh. non tant. opt. quam probab. put.

*** _Litt. Uncial. distinx. ut Præs. S. Hist. Nat. Jaal._

_HOMERUS WILBUR_, Mr., Episc. Jaalam. S. T. D. 1850, et Yal. 1849, et
Neo-Cæs. et Brun. et Gulielm. 1852, et Gul. et Mar. et Bowd. et
Georgiop. et Viridimont. et Columb. Nov. Ebor. 1853, et Amherst. et
Watervill. et S. Jarlath. Hib. et S. Mar. et S. Joseph. et S. And. Scot.
1854, et Nashvill et Dart. et Dickins. et Concord. et Wash. et
Columbian. et Charlest. et Jeff. et Dubl. et Oxon. et Cantab. et cæt.
1855, P. U. N. C. H. et J. U. D. Gott. et Osnab. et Heidelb. 1860, et
Acad. BORE US. Berolin. Soc. et SS. RR. Lugd. Bat. et Patav. et Lond. et
Edinb. et Ins. Feejee. et Null. Terr. et Pekin. Soc. Hon. et S. H. S. et
S. P. A. et A. A. S. et S. Humb. Univ. et S. Omn. Rer. Quarund. q.
Aliar. Promov. Passamaquod. et H. P. C. et I. O. H. et Α. Δ. Φ. et Π. Κ.
Ρ. et Φ. Β. Κ. et Peucin. et Erosoph. et Philadelph. et Frat. in Unit.
et Σ. Τ. et S. Archæolog. Athen. et Acad. Scient. et Lit. Panorm. et SS.
R. H. Matrit. et Beeloochist. et Caffrar. et Caribb. et M. S. Reg.
Paris. et S. Am. Antiserv. Soc. Hon. et P. D. Gott. et LL.D. 1852, et
D.C.L. et Mus. Doc. Oxon. 1860, et M. M. S. S. et M.D. 1854, et Med.
Fac. Univ. Harv. Soc. et S. pro Convers. Pollywog. Soc. Hon. et Higgl.
Piggl. et LL.B. 1853, et S. pro Christianiz. Moschet. Soc., et SS.
Ante-Diluv. ubiq. Gent. Soc. Hon. et Civit. Cleric. Jaalam. et S. pro
Diffus. General. Tenebr. Secret. Corr.



INTRODUCTION.


When, more than three years ago, my talented young parishioner, Mr.
Biglow, came to me and submitted to my animadversions the first of his
poems which he intended to commit to the more hazardous trial of a city
newspaper, it never so much as entered my imagination to conceive that
his productions would ever be gathered into a fair volume, and ushered
into the august presence of the reading public by myself. So little are
we short-sighted mortals able to predict the event! I confess that there
is to me a quite new satisfaction in being associated (though only as
sleeping partner) in a book which can stand by itself in an independent
unity on the shelves of libraries. For there is always this drawback
from the pleasure of printing a sermon, that, whereas the queasy stomach
of this generation will not bear a discourse long enough to make a
separate volume, those religious and godly-minded children (those
Samuels, if I may call them so) of the brain must at first lie buried in
an undistinguished heap, and then get such resurrection as is
vouchsafed to them, mummy-wrapt with a score of others in a cheap
binding, with no other mark of distinction than the word
"_Miscellaneous_" printed upon the back. Far be it from me to claim any
credit for the quite unexpected popularity which I am pleased to find
these bucolic strains have attained unto. If I know myself, I am
measurably free from the itch of vanity; yet I may be allowed to say
that I was not backward to recognize in them a certain wild, puckery,
acidulous (sometimes even verging toward that point which, in our rustic
phrase, is termed _shut-eye_) flavour, not wholly unpleasing, nor
unwholesome, to palates cloyed with the sugariness of tamed and
cultivated fruit. It may be, also, that some touches of my own, here and
there, may have led to their wider acceptance, albeit solely from my
larger experience of literature and authorship.[3]

I was, at first, inclined to discourage Mr. Biglow's attempts, as
knowing that the desire to poetize is one of the diseases naturally
incident to adolescence, which, if the fitting remedies be not at once
and with a bold hand applied, may become chronic, and render one, who
might else have become in due time an ornament of the social circle, a
painful object even to nearest friends and relatives. But thinking, on a
further experience, that there was a germ of promise in him which
required only culture and the pulling up of weeds from around it, I
thought it best to set before him the acknowledged examples of English
compositions in verse, and leave the rest to natural emulation. With
this view, I accordingly lent him some volumes of Pope and Goldsmith, to
the assiduous study of which he promised to devote his evenings. Not
long afterwards he brought me some verses written upon that model, a
specimen of which I subjoin, having changed some phrases of less
elegancy, and a few rhymes objectionable to the cultivated ear. The poem
consisted of childish reminiscences, and the sketches which follow will
not seem destitute of truth to those whose fortunate education began in
a country village. And, first, let us hang up his charcoal portrait of
the school-dame.

    "Propt on the marsh, a dwelling now, I see
    The humble school-house of my A, B, C,
    Where well-drilled urchins, each behind his tire,
    Waited in ranks the wished command to fire;
    Then all together, when the signal came,
    Discharged their _a-b abs_ against the dame,
    Who, 'mid the volleyed learning, firm and calm,
    Patted the furloughed ferule on her palm,
    And, to our wonder, could detect at once,
    Who flashed the pan, and who was downright dunce.

    There young Devotion learned to climb with ease
    The gnarly limbs of Scripture family-trees,
    And he was most commended and admired
    Who soonest to the topmost twig perspired;
    Each name was called as many various ways
    As pleased the reader's ear on different days,
    So that the weather, or the ferule's stings,
    Colds in the head, or fifty other things,
    Transformed the helpless Hebrew thrice a week
    To guttural Pequot or resounding Greek,
    The vibrant accent skipping here and there,
    Just as it pleased invention or despair;
    No controversial Hebraist was the Dame;
    With or without the points pleased her the same;
    If any tyro found a name too tough,
    And looked at her, pride furnished skill enough;
    She nerved her larynx for the desperate thing,
    And cleared the five-barred syllables at a spring.

    Ah, dear old times! there once it was my hap,
    Perched on a stool, to wear the long-eared cap;
    From books degraded, there I sat at ease,
    A drone, the envy of compulsory bees."

I add only one further extract, which will possess a melancholy interest
to all such as have endeavoured to glean the materials of Revolutionary
history from the lips of aged persons, who took a part in the actual
making of it, and, finding the manufacture profitable, continued the
supply in an adequate proportion to the demand.

    "Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad
    His slow artillery up the Concord road,
    A tale which grew in wonder, year by year,
    As, every time he told it, Joe drew near
    To the main fight, till, faded and grown gray,
    The original scene to bolder tints gave way;
    Then Joe had heard the foe's scared double-quick
    Beat on stove drum with one uncaptured stick,
    And, ere death came the lengthening tale to lop,
    Himself had fired, and seen a red-coat drop;
    Had Joe lived long enough, that scrambling fight
    Had squared more nearly to his sense of right,
    And vanquished Percy, to complete the tale,
    Had hammered stone for life in Concord jail."

I do not know that the foregoing extracts ought not to be called my own
rather than Mr. Biglow's, as, indeed, he maintained stoutly that my file
had left nothing of his in them. I should not, perhaps, have felt
entitled to take so great liberties with them, had I not more than
suspected an hereditary vein of poetry in myself, a very near ancestor
having written a Latin poem in the Harvard _Gratulatio_ on the accession
of George the Third. Suffice it to say, that, whether not satisfied with
such limited approbation as I could conscientiously bestow, or from a
sense of natural inaptitude, I know not, certain it is that my young
friend could never be induced to any further essays in this kind. He
affirmed that it was to him like writing in a foreign tongue,--that Mr.
Pope's versification was like the regular ticking of one of Willard's
clocks, in which one could fancy, after long listening, a certain kind
of rhythm or tune, but which yet was only a poverty-stricken _tick,
tick_ after all,--and that he had never seen a sweet-water on a trellis
growing so fairly, or in forms so pleasing to his eye, as a fox-grape
over a scrub-oak in a swamp. He added I know not what, to the effect
that the sweet-water would only be the more disfigured by having its
leaves starched and ironed out, and that Pegāsus (so he called him)
hardly looked right with his mane and tail in curl-papers. These and
other such opinions I did not long strive to eradicate, attributing them
rather to a defective education and senses untuned by too long
familiarity with purely natural objects, than to a perverted moral
sense. I was the more inclined to this leniency since sufficient
evidence was not to seek, that his verses, as wanting as they certainly
were in classic polish and point, had somehow taken hold of the public
ear in a surprising manner. So, only setting him right as to the
quantity of the proper name Pegasus, I left him to follow the bent of
his natural genius.

There are two things upon which it would seem fitting to dilate somewhat
more largely in this place,--the Yankee character and the Yankee
dialect. And, first, of the Yankee character, which has wanted neither
open maligners, nor even more dangerous enemies in the persons of those
unskilful painters who have given to it that hardness, angularity, and
want of proper perspective, which, in truth, belonged, not to their
subject, but to their own niggard and unskilful pencil.

New England was not so much the colony of a mother country, as a Hagar
driven forth into the wilderness. The little self-exiled band which came
hither in 1620 came, not to seek gold, but to found a democracy. They
came that they might have the privilege to work and pray, to sit upon
hard benches and listen to painful preachers as long as they would, yea,
even unto thirty-seventhly, if the spirit so willed it. And surely, if
the Greek might boast his Thermopylæ, where three hundred men fell in
resisting the Persian, we may well be proud of our Plymouth Rock, where
a handful of men, women, and children not merely faced, but vanquished,
winter, famine, the wilderness, and the yet more invincible _storge_
that drew them back to the green island far away. These found no lotus
growing upon the surly shore, the taste of which could make them forget
their little native Ithaca; nor were they so wanting to themselves in
faith as to burn their ship, but could see the fair west wind belly the
homeward sail, and then turn unrepining to grapple with the terrible
Unknown.

As Want was the prime foe these hardy exodists had to fortress themselves
against, so it is little wonder if that traditional feud is long in wearing
out of the stock. The wounds of the old warfare were long ahealing, and an
east wind of hard times puts a new ache in every one of them. Thrift was
the first lesson in their horn-book, pointed out, letter after letter, by
the lean finger of the hard schoolmaster, Necessity. Neither were those
plump, rosy-gilled Englishmen that came hither, but a hard-faced,
atrabilious, earnest-eyed race, stiff from long wrestling with the Lord in
prayer, and who had taught Satan to dread the new Puritan hug. Add two
hundred years' influence of soil, climate, and exposure, with its necessary
result of idiosyncrasies, and we have the present Yankee, full of
expedients, half-master of all trades, inventive in all but the beautiful,
full of shifts, not yet capable of comfort, armed at all points against the
old enemy Hunger, longanimous, good at patching, not so careful for what is
best as for what will _do_, with a clasp to his purse and a button to his
pocket, not skilled to build against Time, as in old countries, but against
sore-pressing Need, accustomed to move the world with no ποῦ στῶ but his
own two feet, and no lever but his own long forecast. A strange hybrid,
indeed, did circumstance beget, here in the New World, upon the old Puritan
stock, and the earth never before saw such mystic-practicalism, such
niggard-geniality, such calculating-fanaticism, such cast-iron-enthusiasm,
such unwilling humour, such close-fisted-generosity. This new _Græculus
esuriens_ will make a living out of any thing. He will invent new trades
as well as tools. His brain is his capital, and he will get education at
all risks. Put him on Juan Fernandez, and he would make a spelling-book
first, and a salt-pan afterwards. _In cœlum, jusseris, ibit_,--or the
other way either,--it is all one, so any thing is to be got by it. Yet,
after all, thin, speculative Jonathan is more like the Englishman of two
centuries ago than John Bull himself is. He has lost somewhat in
solidity, has become fluent and adaptable, but more of the original
groundwork of character remains. He feels more at home with Fulke
Greville, Herbert of Cherbury, Quarles, George Herbert, and Browne, than
with his modern English cousins. He is nearer than John, by at least a
hundred years, to Naseby, Marston Moor, Worcester, and the time when, if
ever, there were true Englishmen. John Bull has suffered the idea of the
Invisible to be very much flattened out of him. Jonathan is conscious
still that he lives in the world of the Unseen as well as of the Seen.
To move John, you must make your fulcrum of solid beef and pudding; an
abstract idea will do for Jonathan.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** TO THE INDULGENT READER.

My friend, the Rev. Mr. Wilbur, having been seized with a dangerous fit
of illness, before this Introduction had passed through the press, and
being incapacitated for all literary exertion, sent to me his notes,
memoranda, &c., and requested me to fashion them into some shape more
fitting for the general eye. This, owing to the fragmentary and
disjointed state of his manuscripts, I have felt wholly unable to do;
yet, being unwilling that the reader should be deprived of such parts of
his lucubrations as seemed more finished, and not well discerning how to
segregate these from the rest, I have concluded to send them all to the
press precisely as they are.

COLUMBUS NYE, _Pastor of a Church in Bungtown Corner_.

       *       *       *       *       *

It remains to speak of the Yankee dialect. And, first, it may be
premised, in a general way, that any one much read in the writings of
the early colonists need not be told that the far greater share of the
words and phrases now esteemed peculiar to New England, and local there,
were brought from the mother-country. A person familiar with the dialect
of certain portions of Massachusetts will not fail to recognize, in
ordinary discourse, many words now noted in English vocabularies as
archaic, the greater part of which were in common use about the time of
the King James translation of the Bible. Shakspeare stands less in need
of a glossary to most New Englanders than to many a native of the Old
Country. The peculiarities of our speech, however, are rapidly wearing
out. As there is no country where reading is so universal and newspapers
are so multitudinous, so no phrase remains long local, but is
transplanted in the mail-bags to every remotest corner of the land.
Consequently our dialect approaches nearer to uniformity than that of
any other nation.

The English have complained of us for coining new words. Many of those
so stigmatized were old ones by them forgotten, and all make now an
unquestioned part of the currency, wherever English is spoken.
Undoubtedly, we have a right to make new words, as they are needed by
the fresh aspects under which life presents itself here in the New
World; and, indeed, wherever a language is alive, it grows. It might be
questioned whether we could not establish a stronger title to the
ownership of the English tongue than the mother-islanders themselves.
Here, past all question, is to be its great home and centre. And not
only is it already spoken here by greater numbers, but with a far higher
popular average of correctness, than in Britain. The great writers of
it, too, we might claim as ours, were ownership to be settled by the
number of readers and lovers.

As regards the provincialisms to be met with in this volume, I may say
that the reader will not find one which is not (as I believe) either
native or imported with the early settlers, nor one which I have not,
with my own ears, heard in familiar use. In the metrical portion of the
book, I have endeavoured to adapt the spelling as nearly as possible to
the ordinary mode of pronunciation. Let the reader who deems me
overparticular remember this caution of Martial:--

    "_Quem recitas, meus est, O Fidentine, libellus;
    Sed male cum recitas, incipit esse tuus._"

A few further explanatory remarks will not be impertinent.

I shall barely lay down a few general rules for the reader's guidance.

1. The genuine Yankee never gives the rough sound to the _r_ when he can
help it, and often displays considerable ingenuity in avoiding it even
before a vowel.

2. He seldom sounds the final _g_, a piece of self-denial, if we
consider his partiality for nasals. The same of the final _d_, as _han'_
and _stan'_ for _hand_ and _stand_.

3. The _h_ in such words as _while_, _when_, _where_, he omits
altogether.

4. In regard to _a_, he shows some inconsistency, sometimes giving a
close and obscure sound, as _hev_ for _have_, _hendy_ for _handy_, _ez_
for _as_, _thet_ for _that_, and again giving it the broad sound it has
in _father_, as _hânsome_ for _handsome_.

5. To the sound _ou_ he prefixes an _e_ (hard to exemplify otherwise
than orally).

The following passage in Shakspeare he would recite thus:--

    "Neow is the winta uv eour discontent
    Med glorious summa by this sun o' Yock,
    An' all the cleouds thet leowered upun eour heouse
    In the deep buzzum o' the oshin buried;
    Neow air eour breows beound 'ith victorious wreaths;
    Eour breused arms hung up fer monimunce;
    Eour starn alarums chănged to merry meetins,
    Eour dreffle marches to delightful measures.
    Grim-visaged war heth smeuthed his wrinkled front,
    An' neow, instid o' mountin' barebid steeds
    To fright the souls o' ferfle edverseries,
    He capers nimly in a lady's chămber,
    To the lascivious pleasin' uv a loot."

6. _Au_, in such words as _daughter_ and _slaughter_, he pronounces
_ah_.

7. To the dish thus seasoned add a drawl _ad libitum_.


[Mr. Wilbur's notes here become entirely fragmentary.--C. N.]


α. Unable to procure a likeness of Mr. Biglow, I thought the curious
reader might be gratified with a sight of the editorial effigies. And
here a choice between two was offered,--the one a profile (entirely
black) cut by Doyle, the other a portrait painted by a native artist of
much promise. The first of these seemed wanting in expression, and in
the second a slight obliquity of the visual organs has been heightened
(perhaps from an over-desire of force on the part of the artist) into
too close an approach to actual _strabismus_. This slight divergence in
my optical apparatus from the ordinary model--however I may have been
taught to regard it in the light of a mercy rather than a cross, since
it enabled me to give as much of directness and personal application to
my discourses as met the wants of my congregation, without risk of
offending any by being supposed to have him or her in my eye (as the
saying is)--seemed yet to Mrs. Wilbur a sufficient objection to the
engraving of the aforesaid painting. We read of many who either
absolutely refused to allow the copying of their features, as especially
did Plotinus and Agesilaus among the ancients, not to mention the more
modern instances of Scioppius Palæottus, Pinellus, Velserus, Gataker,
and others, or were indifferent thereto, as Cromwell.

β. Yet was Cæsar desirous of concealing his baldness. _Per contra_, my
Lord Protector's carefulness in the matter of his wart might be cited.
Men generally more desirous of being _improved_ in their portraits than
characters. Shall probably find very unflattered likenesses of ourselves
in Recording Angel's gallery.

       *       *       *       *       *

γ. Whether any of our national peculiarities may be traced to our use
of stoves, as a certain closeness of the lips in pronunciation, and a
smothered smoulderingness of disposition, seldom roused to open flame?
An unrestrained intercourse with fire probably conducive to generosity
and hospitality of soul. Ancient Mexicans used stoves, as the friar
Augustin Ruiz reports, Hakluyt, III., 468,--but Popish priests not
always reliable authority.

To-day picked my Isabella grapes. Crop injured by attacks of rose-bug in
the spring. Whether Noah was justifiable in preserving this class of
insects?

δ. Concerning Mr. Biglow's pedigree. Tolerably certain that there was
never a poet among his ancestors. An ordination hymn attributed to a
maternal uncle, but perhaps a sort of production not demanding the
creative faculty.

His grandfather a painter of the grandiose or Michael Angelo school.
Seldom painted objects smaller than houses or barns, and these with
uncommon expression.

       *       *       *       *       *

ε. Of the Wilburs no complete pedigree. The crest said to be a _wild
boar_, whence, perhaps, the name. (?) A connection with the Earls of
Wilbraham (_quasi_ wild boar ham) might be made out. This suggestion
worth following up. In 1677, John W. m. Expect ----, had issue, 1. John,
2. Haggai, 3. Expect, 4. Ruhamah, 5. Desire.

    "Hear lyes y^e bodye of Mrs Expect Wilber,
    Y^e crewell salvages they kil'd her
    Together w^th other Christian soles eleaven,
    October y^e ix daye, 1707.
    Y^e stream of Jordan sh' as crost ore
    And now expeacts me on y^e other shore:
    I live in hope her soon to join;
    Her earthlye yeeres were forty and nine."
          _From Gravestone in Pekussett, North Parish._

This is unquestionably the same John who afterward (1711) married
Tabitha Hagg or Rag.

But if this were the case, she seems to have died early; for only three
years after, namely, 1714, we have evidence that he married Winifred,
daughter of Lieutenant Tipping.

He seems to have been a man of substance, for we find him in 1696
conveying "one undivided eightieth part of a salt-meadow" in Yabbok, and
he commanded a sloop in 1702.

Those who doubt the importance of genealogical studies _fuste potius
quam argumento erudiendi_.

I trace him as far as 1723, and there lose him. In that year he was
chosen selectman.

No gravestone. Perhaps overthrown when new hearse-house was built, 1802.

He was probably the son of John, who came from Bilham Comit. Salop.
circa 1642.

This first John was a man of considerable importance, being twice
mentioned with the honourable prefix of _Mr._ in the town records. Name
spelt with two _l_-s.

    "Hear lyeth y^e bod [_stone unhappily broken_.]
    Mr. Ihon Willber [Esq.] [_I inclose this in brackets as doubtful. To
              me it seems clear._]
    Ob't die [_illegible; looks like xviii._] ... iii [_prob. 1693._]
    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... paynt
    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... deseased seinte:
    A friend and [fath]er untoe all y^e opreast,
    Hee gave y^e wicked familists noe reast,
    When Sat[an bl]ewe his Antinomian blaste,
    Wee clong to [Willber as a steadf]ast maste.
    [A]gaynst y^e horrid Qua[kers]...."

It is greatly to be lamented that this curious epitaph is mutilated. It
is said that the sacrilegious British soldiers made a target of this
stone during the war of Independence. How odious an animosity which
pauses not at the grave! How brutal that which spares not the monuments
of authentic history! This is not improbably from the pen of Rev. Moddy
Pyram, who is mentioned by Hubbard as having been noted for a silver
vein of poetry. If his papers be still extant, a copy might possibly be
recovered.


FOOTNOTES:

[3] The reader curious in such matters may refer (if he can find them)
to "A Sermon preached on the Anniversary of the Dark Day," "An Artillery
Election Sermon," "A Discourse on the Late Eclipse," "Dorcas, a Funeral
Sermon on the Death of Madam Submit Tidd, Relict of the late Experience
Tidd, Esq." &c. &c.



THE BIGLOW PAPERS.



No. I.

A LETTER

 FROM MR. EZEKIEL BIGLOW OF JAALAM TO THE HON. JOSEPH
   T. BUCKINGHAM, EDITOR OF THE BOSTON COURIER, INCLOSING
   A POEM OF HIS SON, MR. HOSEA BIGLOW.


                                                JAYLEM, june 1846.

MISTER EDDYTER:--Our Hosea wuz down to Boston last week, and he see a
cruetin Sarjunt a struttin round as popler as a hen with 1 chicking,
with 2 fellers a drummin and fifin arter him like all nater. the sarjunt
he thout Hosea hedn't gut his i teeth cut cos he looked a kindo's though
he'd jest com down, so he cal'lated to hook him in, but Hosy woodn't
take none o' his sarse for all he hed much as 20 Rooster's tales stuck
onto his hat and eenamost enuf brass a bobbin up and down on his
shoulders and figureed onto his coat and trousis, let alone wut nater
hed sot in his featers, to make a 6 pounder out on.

wal, Hosea he com home considerabal riled, and arter I d gone to bed I
heern Him a thrashin round like a short-tailed Bull in fli-time. The old
Woman ses she to me ses she, Zekle, ses she, our Hosee's gut the
chollery or suthin anuther ses she, don't you Bee skeered, ses I, he's
oney amakin pottery[4] ses i, he's ollers on hand at that ere busynes
like Da & martin, and shure enuf, cum mornin, Hosy he cum down stares
full chizzle, hare on eend and cote tales flyin, and sot rite of to go
reed his varses to Parson Wilbur bein he haint aney grate shows o' book
larnin himself, bimeby he cum back and sed the parson wuz dreffle
tickled with 'em as i hoop you will Be, and said they wuz True grit.

Hosea ses taint hardly fair to call 'em hisn now, cos the parson kind o'
slicked off sum o' the last varses, but he told Hosee he didn't want to
put his ore in to tetch to the Rest on 'em, bein they wuz verry well As
thay wuz, and then Hosy ses he sed suthin a nuther about Simplex
Mundishes or sum sech feller, but I guess Hosea kind o' didn't hear him,
for I never hearn o' nobody o' that name in this villadge, and I've
lived here man and boy 76 year cum next tater diggin, and thair aint no
wheres a kitting spryer 'n I be.

If you print 'em I wish you'd jest let folks know who hosy's father is,
cos my ant Keziah used to say it's nater to be curus ses she, she aint
livin though and he's a likely kind o' lad.

                                                   EZEKIEL BIGLOW.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Thrash away, you 'll _hev_ to rattle
      On them kittle drums o' yourn,--
    'Taint a knowin' kind o' cattle
      Thet is ketched with mouldy corn;
    Put in stiff, you fifer feller,
      Let folks see how spry you be,--
    Guess you 'll toot till you are yeller
      'Fore you git ahold o' me!

    Thet air flag 's a leetle rotten,
      Hope it aint your Sunday's best;--
    Fact! it takes a sight o' cotton
      To stuff out a soger's chest:
    Sence we farmers hev to pay fer 't,
      Ef you must wear humps like these,
    Sposin' you should try salt hay fer 't,
      It would du ez slick ez grease.

    'T would n't suit them Southern fellers,
      They 're a dreffle graspin' set,
    We must ollers blow the bellers
      Wen they want their irons het;
    May be it 's all right ez preachin',
      But _my_ narves it kind o' grates,
    Wen I see the overreachin'
      O' them nigger-drivin' States.

    Them thet rule us, them slave-traders,
      Haint they cut a thunderin' swarth
    (Helped by Yankee renegaders),
      Thru the vartu o' the North!
    We begin to think it 's nater
      To take sarse an' not be riled;--
    Who 'd expect to see a tater
      All on eend at bein' biled?

    Ez fer war, I call it murder,--
      There you hev it plain an' flat;
    I don't want to go no furder
      Than my Testyment fer that;
    God hez sed so plump an' fairly,
      It 's ez long ez it is broad,
    An' you 've gut to git up airly
      Ef you want to take in God.

    'Taint your eppyletts an' feathers
      Make the thing a grain more right;
    Taint afollerin' your bell-wethers
      Will excuse ye in His sight;
    Ef you take a sword an' dror it,
      An' go stick a feller thru,
    Guv'ment aint to answer for it,
      God 'll send the bill to you.

    Wut 's the use o' meetin-goin'
      Every Sabbath, wet or dry,
    Ef it 's right to go amowin'
      Feller-men like oats an' rye?
    I dunno but wut it's pooty
      Trainin' round in bobtail coats,--
    But it 's curus Christian dooty
      This ere cuttin' folks's throats.

    They may talk o' Freedom's airy
      Tell they 're pupple in the face,--
    It 's a grand gret cemetary
      Fer the barthrights of our race;
    They jest want this Californy
      So 's to lug new slave-states in
    To abuse ye, an' to scorn ye,
      An' to plunder ye like sin.

    Aint it cute to see a Yankee
      Take sech everlastin' pains
    All to git the Devil's thankee,
      Helpin' on 'em weld their chains?
    Wy, it 's jest ez clear ez figgers,
      Clear ez one an' one make two,
    Chaps thet make black slaves o' niggers
      Want to make wite slaves o' you.

    Tell ye jest the eend I've come to
      Arter cipherin' plaguy smart,
    An' it makes a handy sum, tu,
      Any gump could larn by heart;
    Laborin' man an' laborin' woman
      Hev one glory an' one shame,
    Ev'y thin' thet 's done inhuman
      Injers all on 'em the same.

    'Taint by turnin' out to hack folks
      You 're agoin' to git your right,
    Nor by lookin' down on black folks
      Coz you 're put upon by wite;
    Slavery aint o' nary colour,
      'Taint the hide thet makes it wus,
    All it keers fer in a feller
      'S jest to make him fill its pus.

    Want to tackle _me_ in, du ye?
      I expect you 'll hev to wait;
    Wen cold lead puts daylight thru ye
      You 'll begin to kal'late;
    'Spose the crows wun't fall to pickin'
      All the carkiss from your bones,
    Coz you helped to give a lickin'
      To them poor half-Spanish drones?

    Jest go home an' ask our Nancy
      Wether I'd be sech a goose
    Ez to jine ye,--guess you'd fancy
      The etarnal bung wuz loose!
    She wants me fer home consumption,
      Let alone the hay 's to mow,--
    Ef you 're arter folks o' gumption,
      You've a darned long row to hoe.

    Take them editors thet 's crowin'
      Like a cockerel three months old,--
    Don't ketch any on 'em goin',
      Though they _be_ so blasted bold;
    _Aint_ they a prime set o' fellers?
      'Fore they think on 't they will sprout
    (Like a peach thet's got the yellers),
      With the meanness bustin' out.

    Wal, go 'long to help 'em stealin'
      Bigger pens to cram with slaves,
    Help the men thet 's ollers dealin'
      Insults on your fathers' graves;
    Help the strong to grind the feeble,
      Help the many agin the few,
    Help the men thet call your people
      Witewashed slaves an' peddlin' crew!

    Massachusetts, God forgive her,
      She's akneelin' with the rest,
    She, thet ough' to ha' clung fer ever
      In her grand old eagle-nest;
    She thet ough' to stand so fearless
      Wile the wracks are round her hurled,
    Holdin' up a beacon peerless
      To the oppressed of all the world!

    Haint they sold your coloured seamen?
      Haint they made your env'ys wiz?
    _Wut_ 'll make ye act like freemen?
      _Wut_ 'll git your dander riz?
    Come, I'll tell ye wut I 'm thinkin'
      Is our dooty in this fix,
    They 'd ha' done 't ez quick ez winkin'
      In the days o' seventy-six.

    Clang the bells in every steeple,
      Call all true men to disown
    The tradoocers of our people,
      The enslavers o' their own;
    Let our dear old Bay State proudly
      Put the trumpet to her mouth,
    Let her ring this messidge loudly
      In the ears of all the South:--

    "I 'll return ye good fer evil
      Much ez we frail mortils can,
    But I wun't go help the Devil
      Makin' man the cus o' man;
    Call me coward, call me traiter,
      Jest ez suits your mean idees,--
    Here I stand a tyrant-hater,
      An' the friend o' God an Peace!"

    Ef I'd _my_ way I hed ruther
      We should go to work an' part,--
    They take one way, we take t'other,--
      Guess it would n't break my heart;
    Men hed ough' to put asunder
      Them thet God has noways jined;
    An' I should n't gretly wonder
      Ef there 's thousands o' my mind.


[The first recruiting sergeant on record I conceive to have been that
individual who is mentioned in the Book of Job as _going to and fro in
the earth, and walking up and down in it_. Bishop Latimer will have him
to have been a bishop, but to me that other calling would appear more
congenial. The sect of Cainites is not yet extinct, who esteemed the
first-born of Adam to be the most worthy, not only because of that
privilege of primogeniture, but inasmuch as he was able to overcome and
slay his younger brother. That was a wise saying of the famous Marquis
Pescara to the Papal Legate, that _it was impossible for men to serve
Mars and Christ at the same time_. Yet in time past the profession of
arms was judged to be κατ' ἐξοχήν that of a gentleman, nor does this
opinion want for strenuous upholders even in our day. Must we suppose,
then, that the profession of Christianity was only intended for losels,
or, at best, to afford an opening for plebeian ambition? Or shall we
hold with that nicely metaphysical Pomeranian, Captain Vratz, who was
Count Königsmark's chief instrument in the murder of Mr. Thynne, that
the scheme of salvation has been arranged with an especial eye to the
necessities of the upper classes, and that "God would consider _a
gentleman_, and deal with him suitably to the condition and profession
he had placed him in"? It may be said of us all, _Exemplo plus quam
ratione vivimus_.--H. W.]


FOOTNOTES:

[4] _Aut insanit, aut versus facit._--H. W.



No. II.

A LETTER

 FROM MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE HON. J. T. BUCKINGHAM,
   EDITOR OF THE BOSTON COURIER, COVERING A LETTER FROM
   MR. B. SAWIN, PRIVATE IN THE MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT.


[This letter of Mr. Sawin's was not originally written in verse. Mr.
Biglow, thinking it peculiarly susceptible of metrical adornment,
translated it, so to speak, into his own vernacular tongue. This is not
the time to consider the question, whether rhyme be a mode of expression
natural to the human race. If leisure from other and more important
avocations be granted, I will handle the matter more at large in an
appendix to the present volume. In this place I will barely remark, that
I have sometimes noticed in the unlanguaged prattlings of infants a
fondness for alliteration, assonance, and even rhyme, in which natural
predisposition we may trace the three degrees through which our
Anglo-Saxon verse rose to its culmination in the poetry of Pope. I would
not be understood as questioning in these remarks that pious theory
which supposes that children, if left entirely to themselves, would
naturally discourse in Hebrew. For this the authority of one experiment
is claimed, and I could, with Sir Thomas Browne, desire its
establishment, inasmuch as the acquirement of that sacred tongue would
thereby be facilitated. I am aware that Herodotus states the conclusion
of Psammiticus to have been in favour of a dialect of the Phrygian.
But, beside the chance that a trial of this importance would hardly be
blessed to a Pagan monarch whose only motive was curiosity, we have on
the Hebrew side the comparatively recent investigation of James the
Fourth of Scotland. I will add to this prefatory remark, that Mr. Sawin,
though a native of Jaalam, has never been a stated attendant on the
religious exercises of my congregation. I consider my humble efforts
prospered in that not one of my sheep hath ever indued the wolf's
clothing of war, save for the comparatively innocent diversion of a
militia training. Not that my flock are backward to undergo the
hardships of _defensive_ warfare. They serve cheerfully in the great
army which fights even unto death _pro aris et focis_, accoutred with
the spade, the axe, the plane, the sledge, the spelling-book, and other
such effectual weapons against want and ignorance and unthrift. I have
taught them (under God) to esteem our human institutions as but tents of
a night, to be stricken whenever Truth puts the bugle to her lips, and
sounds a march to the heights of wider-viewed intelligence and more
perfect organization.--H. W.]


MISTER BUCKINUM, the follerin Billet was writ hum by a Yung feller of
our town that wuz cussed fool enuff to goe atrottin inter Miss Chiff
arter a Drum and fife. it ain't Nater for a feller to let on that he's
sick o' any bizness that He went intu off his own free will and a Cord,
but I rather cal'late he's middlin tired o' Voluntearin By this Time. I
bleeve u may put dependunts on his statemence. For I never heered nothin
bad on him let Alone his havin what Parson Wilbur calls a _pongshong_
for cocktales, and he ses it wuz a soshiashun of idees sot him agoin
arter the Crootin Sargient cos he wore a cocktale onto his hat.

his Folks gin the letter to me and i shew it to parson Wilbur and he ses
it oughter Bee printed. send It to mister Buckinum, ses he, i don't
ollers agree with him, ses he, but by Time,[5] ses he, I _du_ like a
feller that ain't a Feared.

I have intusspussed a Few refleckshuns hear and thair. We're kind o'
prest with Hayin.

                                         Ewers respecfly,

                                                    HOSEA BIGLOW.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This kind o' sogerin' aint a mite like our October trainin',
    A chap could clear right out from there ef 't only looked like rainin'.
    An' th' Cunnles, tu, could kiver up their shappoes with bandanners,
    An' send the insines skootin' to the bar-room with their banners
    (Fear o' gittin' on 'em spotted), an' a feller could cry quarter
    Ef he fired away his ramrod arter tu much rum an' water.

    Recollect wut fun we hed, you 'n I an' Ezry Hollis,
    Up there to Waltham plain last fall, ahavin' the Cornwallis?[6]
    This sort o' thing aint _jest_ like thet,--I wish thet I wuz
              furder,--[7]
    Nimepunce a day fer killin' folks comes kind o' low fer murder
    (Wy I 've worked out to slarterin' some fer Deacon Cephas Billins,
    An' in the hardest times there wuz I ollers tetched ten shillins),
    There's sutthin' gits into my throat thet makes it hard to swaller,
    It comes so nateral to think about a hempen collar;
    It 's glory,--but, in spite o' all my tryin' to git callous,
    I feel a kind o' in a cart, aridin' to the gallus.
    But wen it comes to _bein'_ killed,--I tell ye I felt streaked
    The fust time ever I found out wy baggonets wuz peaked;
    Here's how it wuz: I started out to go to a fandango,
    The sentinul he ups an' sez, "Thet 's furder 'an you can go."
    "None o' your sarse," sez I; sez he, "Stan' back!" "Aint you a buster?"
    Sez I, "I 'm up to all thet air, I guess I've ben to muster;
    I know wy sentinuls air sot; you aint agoin' to eat us;
    Caleb haint no monopoly to court the seenoreetas;
    My folks to hum air full ez good ez hisn be, by golly!"
    An' so ez I wuz goin' by, not thinkin' wut would folly,
    The everlastin' cus he stuck his one-pronged pitchfork in me
    An' made a hole right thru my close ez ef I wuz an in'my.
    Wal, it beats all how big I felt hoorawin' in ole Funnel
    Wen Mister Bolles he gin the sword to our Leftenant Cunnle
    (It 's Mister Secondary Bolles,[8] thet writ the prize peace essay;
    Thet 's wy he did n't list himself along o us, I dessay),
    An' Rantoul, tu, talked pooty loud, but don't put _his_ foot in it,
    Coz human life 's so sacred thet he 's principled agin' it,--
    Though I myself can 't rightly see it 's any wus achokin' on 'em
    Than puttin' bullets thru their lights, or with a bagnet pokin' on 'em;
    How dreffle slick he reeled it off (like Blitz at our lyceum
    Ahaulin' ribbins from his chops so quick you skeercely see 'em),
    About the Anglo-Saxon race (an' saxons would be handy
    To du the buryin' down here upon the Rio Grandy),
    About our patriotic pas an' our star-spangled banner,
    Our country's bird alookin' on an' singin' out hosanner,
    An' how he (Mister B. himself) wuz happy fer Ameriky,--
    I felt, ez sister Patience sez, a leetle mite histericky.
    I felt, I swon, ez though it wuz a dreffle kind o' privilege
    Atrampin' round thru Boston streets among the gutter's drivelage;
    I act'lly thought it wuz a treat to hear a little drummin',
    An' it did bonyfidy seem millanyum wuz acomin'
    Wen all on us got suits (darned like them wore in the state prison)
    An' every feller felt ez though all Mexico wuz hisn.[9]

    This 'ere 's about the meanest place a skunk could wal diskiver
    (Saltillo 's Mexican, I b'lieve, fer wut we call Saltriver).
    The sort o' trash a feller gits to eat doos beat all nater,
    I 'd give a year's pay fer a smell o' one good bluenose tater;
    The country here thet Mister Bolles declared to be so charmin'
    Throughout is swarmin' with the most alarmin' kind o' varmin'.
    He talked about delishis froots, but then it wuz a wopper all,
    The holl on't 's mud an' prickly pears, with here an' there a
              chapparal;
    You see a feller peekin' out, an', fust you know, a lariat
    Is round your throat an' you a copse, 'fore you can say, "Wut air ye
              at?"[10]
    You never see sech darned gret bugs (it may not be irrelevant
    To say I 've seen a _scarabæus pilularius_[11] big ez a year old
              elephant),
    The rigiment come up one day in time to stop a red bug
    From runnin' off with Cunnle Wright,--'t wuz jest a common _cimex
              lectularius_.
    One night I started up on eend an' thought I wuz to hum agin,
    I heern a horn, thinks I it 's Sol the fisherman hez come agin,
    _His_ bellowses is sound enough,--ez I 'm a livin' creeter,
    I felt a thing go thru my leg,--'t wuz nothin' more 'n a skeeter!
    Then there 's the yaller fever, tu, they call it here el vomito,--
    (Come, thet wun't du, you landcrab there, I tell ye to le' _go_ my toe!
    My gracious! it 's a scorpion thet 's took a shine to play with 't,
    I dars n't skeer the tarnal thing fer fear he 'd run away with 't.)
    Afore I come away from hum I hed a strong persuasion
    Thet Mexicans worn't human beans,[12]--an ourang outang nation,
    A sort o' folks a chap could kill an' never dream on 't arter,
    No more 'n a feller 'd dream o' pigs thet he hed hed to slarter;
    I 'd an idee thet they were built arter the darkie fashion all,
    An' kickin' coloured folks about, you know, 's a kind o' national;
    But wen I jined I worn't so wise ez thet air queen o' Sheby,
    Fer, come to look at 'em, they aint much diff'rent from wut we be,
    An' here we air ascrougin' 'em out o' thir own dominions,
    Ashelterin' 'em, ez Caleb sez, under our eagle's pinions,
    Wich means to take a feller up jest by the slack o' 's trowsis
    An' walk him Spanish clean right out o' all his homes an' houses;
    Wal, it doos seem a curus way, but then hooraw fer Jackson!
    It must be right, fer Caleb sez it 's reg'lar Anglosaxon.
    The Mex'cans don't fight fair, they say, they piz'n all the water,
    An' du amazin' lots o' things thet is n't wut they ough' to;
    Bein' they haint no lead, they make their bullets out o' copper
    An' shoot the darned things at us, tu, wich Caleb sez aint proper;
    He sez they 'd ough' to stan' right up an' let us pop 'em fairly
    (Guess wen he ketches 'em at thet he 'll hev to git up airly),
    Thet our nation 's bigger 'n theirn an' so its rights air bigger,
    An' thet it 's all to make 'em free thet we air pullin' trigger,
    Thet Anglo Saxondom's idee 's abreakin' 'em to pieces,
    An' thet idee 's thet every man doos jest wut he damn pleases;
    Ef I don't make his meanin' clear, perhaps in some respex I can,
    I know thet "every man" don't mean a nigger or a Mexican;
    An' there 's another thing I know, an' thet is, ef these creeturs,
    Thet stick an Anglosaxon mask onto State-prison feeturs,
    Should come to Jaalam Centre fer to argify an' spout on 't,
    The gals 'ould count the silver spoons the minnit they cleared out
              on 't.

    This goin' ware glory waits ye haint one agreeable feetur,
    An' ef it worn't fer wakin' snakes, I 'd home agin short meter;
    O, would n't I be off, quick time, ef 't worn't thet I wuz sartin
    They 'd let the daylight into me to pay me fer desartin!
    I don't approve o' tellin' tales, but jest to you I may state
    Our ossifers aint wut they wuz afore they left the Bay-state;
    Then it wuz "Mister Sawin, sir, you 're middlin' well now, be ye?
    Step up an' take a nipper, sir; I 'm dreffle glad to see ye;"
    But now it 's "Ware 's my eppylet? here, Sawin, step an' fetch it!
    An' mind your eye, be thund'rin' spry, or, damn ye, you shall ketch
              it!"
    Wal, ez the Doctor sez, some pork will bile so, but by mighty,
    Ef I hed some on 'em to hum, I 'd give 'em linkum vity,
    I 'd play the rogue's march on their hides an' other music
              follerin'----
    But I must close my letter here, for one on 'em 's ahollerin',
    These Anglosaxon ossifers,--wal, taint no use ajawin',
    I 'm safe enlisted fer the war,

                                        Yourn,

                                                BIRDOFREDOM SAWIN.


[Those have not been wanting (as, indeed, when hath Satan been to seek
for attorneys?) who have maintained that our late inroad upon Mexico was
undertaken, not so much for the avenging of any national quarrel, as for
the spreading of free institutions and of Protestantism. _Capita vix
duabus Anticyris medenda!_ Verily I admire that no pious sergeant among
these new Crusaders beheld Martin Luther riding at the front of the host
upon a tamed pontifical bull, as, in that former invasion of Mexico, the
zealous Diaz (spawn though he were of the Scarlet Woman) was favoured
with a vision of St. James of Compostella, skewering the infidels upon
his apostolical lance. We read, also, that Richard of the lion heart,
having gone to Palestine on a similar errand of mercy, was divinely
encouraged to cut the throats of such Paynims as refused to swallow the
bread of life (doubtless that they might be thereafter incapacitated for
swallowing the filthy gobbets of Mahound) by angels of heaven, who cried
to the king and his knights,--_Seigneurs, tuez! tuez!_ providentially
using the French tongue, as being the only one understood by their
auditors. This would argue for the pantoglottism of these celestial
intelligences, while, on the other hand, the Devil, _teste_ Cotton
Mather, is unversed in certain of the Indian dialects. Yet must he be a
semeiologist the most expert, making himself intelligible to every
people and kindred by signs; no other discourse, indeed, being needful,
than such as the mackerel-fisher holds with his finned quarry, who, if
other bait be wanting, can by a bare bit of white rag at the end of a
string captivate those foolish fishes. Such piscatorial oratory is Satan
cunning in. Before one he trails a hat and feather, or a bare feather
without a hat; before another, a Presidential chair, or a tidewaiter's
stool, or a pulpit in the city, no matter what. To us, dangling there
over our heads, they seem junkets dropped out of the seventh heaven,
sops dipped in nectar, but, once in our mouths, they are all one, bits
of fuzzy cotton.

This, however, by the way. It is time now _revocare gradum_. While so
many miracles of this sort, vouched by eye-witnesses, have encouraged
the arms of Papists, not to speak of those _Dioscuri_ (whom we must
conclude imps of the pit) who sundry times captained the pagan Roman
soldiery, it is strange that our first American crusade was not in some
such wise also signalized. Yet it is said that the Lord hath manifestly
prospered our armies. This opens the question, whether, when our hands
are strengthened to make great slaughter of our enemies, it be
absolutely and demonstratively certain that this might is added to us
from above, or whether some Potentate from an opposite quarter may not
have a finger in it, as there are few pies into which his meddling
digits are not thrust. Would the Sanctifier and Setter-apart of the
seventh day have assisted in a victory gained on the Sabbath, as was one
in the late war? Or has that day become less an object of his especial
care since the year 1697, when so manifest a providence occurred to Mr.
William Trowbridge, in answer to whose prayers, when he and all on
shipboard with him were starving, a dolphin was sent daily, "which was
enough to serve 'em; only on _Saturdays_ they still catched a couple,
and on the _Lord's Days_ they could catch none at all"? Haply they might
have been permitted, by way of mortification, to take some few sculpins
(those banes of the salt-water angler), which unseemly fish would,
moreover, have conveyed to them a symbolical reproof for their breach of
the day, being known in the rude dialect of our mariners as _Cape Cod
Clergymen_.

It has been a refreshment to many nice consciences to know that our
Chief Magistrate would not regard with eyes of approval the (by many
esteemed) sinful pastime of dancing, and I own myself to be so far of
that mind, that I could not but set my face against this Mexican Polka,
though danced to the Presidential piping with a Gubernatorial second. If
ever the country should be seized with another such mania _de propagandâ
fide_, I think it would be wise to fill our bombshells with alternate
copies of the Cambridge Platform and the Thirty-nine Articles, which
would produce a mixture of the highest explosive power, and to wrap
every one of our cannon-balls in a leaf of the New Testament, the
reading of which is denied to those who sit in the darkness of Popery.
Those iron evangelists would thus be able to disseminate vital religion
and Gospel truth in quarters inaccessible to the ordinary missionary. I
have seen lads, unimpregnate with the more sublimated punctiliousness of
Walton, secure pickerel, taking their unwary _siesta_ beneath the
lily-pads too nigh the surface, with a gun and small shot. Why not,
then, since gunpowder was unknown to the apostles (not to enter here
upon the question whether it were discovered before that period by the
Chinese), suit our metaphor to the age in which we live, and say
_shooters_ as well as _fishers_ of men?

I do much fear that we shall be seized now and then with a Protestant
fervour, as long as we have neighbour Naboths whose wallowings in
Papistical mire excite our horror in exact proportion to the size and
desirableness of their vineyards. Yet I rejoice that some earnest
Protestants have been made by this war,--I mean those who protested
against it. Fewer they were than I could wish, for one might imagine
America to have been colonized by a tribe of those nondescript African
animals the Aye-Ayes, so difficult a word is _No_ to us all. There is
some malformation or defect of the vocal organs, which either prevents
our uttering it at all, or gives it so thick a pronunciation as to be
unintelligible. A mouth filled with the national pudding, or watering in
expectation thereof, is wholly incompetent to this refractory
monosyllable. An abject and herpetic Public Opinion is the Pope, the
Anti-Christ, for us to protest against _e corde cordium_. And by what
College of Cardinals is this our God's-vicar, our binder and looser,
elected? Very like, by the sacred conclave of Tag, Rag, and Bobtail, the
gracious atmosphere of the grog-shop. Yet it is of this that we must all
be puppets. This thumps the pulpit-cushion, this guides the editor's
pen, this wags the senator's tongue. This decides what Scriptures are
canonical, and shuffles Christ away into the Apocrypha. According to
that sentence fathered upon Solon, Οὕτω δημόσιον κακὸν ἔρχεται οἴκαδ'
ἑκάστῳ. This unclean spirit is skilful to assume various shapes. I
have known it to enter my own study and nudge my elbow of a Saturday,
under the semblance of a wealthy member of my congregation. It were a
great blessing, if every particular of what in the sum we call popular
sentiment could carry about the name of its manufacturer stamped legibly
upon it. I gave a stab under the fifth rib to that pestilent
fallacy,--"Our country, right or wrong,"--by tracing its original to a
speech of Ensign Cilley at a dinner of the Bungtown Fencibles.--H. W.]


FOOTNOTES:

[5] In relation to this expression, I cannot but think that Mr. Biglow
has been too hasty in attributing it to me. Though Time be a
comparatively innocent personage to swear by, and though Longinus in his
discourse Περι Ὕψους has commended timely oaths as not only a useful
but sublime figure of speech, yet I have always kept my lips free from
that abomination. _Odi profanum vulgus_, I hate your swearing and
hectoring fellows.--H. W.

[6] i hait the Site of a feller with a muskit as I du pizn But their
_is_ fun to a cornwallis I aint agoin' to deny it.--H. B.

[7] he means Not quite so fur i guess.--H. B.

[8] the ignerant creeter means Sekketary; but he ollers stuck to his
books like cobbler's wax to an ile-stone.--H. B.

[9] it must be aloud that thare 's a streak o' nater in lovin' sho, but
it sartinly is 1 of the curusest things in nater to see a rispecktable
dri goods dealer (deekon off a chutch mayby) a riggin' himself out in
the Weigh they du and struttin' round in the Reign aspilin' his trowsis
and makin' wet goods of himself. Ef any thin 's foolisher and moor
dicklus than militerry gloary it is milishy gloary.--H. B.

[10] these fellers are verry proppilly called Rank Heroes, and the more
tha kill the ranker and more Herowick tha bekum.--H. B.

[11] it wuz "tumblebug" as he Writ it, but the parson put the Latten
instid. i sed tother maid better meeter, but he said tha was eddykated
peepl to Boston and tha would n't stan' it no how. idnow as tha _wood_
and idnow _as_ tha wood.--H. B.

[12] he means human beins, that 's wut he means. i spose he kinder
thought tha wuz human beans ware the Xisle Poles comes from.--H. B.



No. III.

WHAT MR. ROBINSON THINKS.


[A few remarks on the following verses will not be out of place. The
satire in them was not meant to have any personal, but only a general,
application. Of the gentleman upon whose letter they were intended as a
commentary Mr. Biglow had never heard, till he saw the letter itself.
The position of the satirist is oftentimes one which he would not have
chosen had the election been left to himself. In attacking bad
principles, he is obliged to select some individual who has made himself
their exponent, and in whom they are impersonate, to the end that what
he says may not, through ambiguity, be dissipated _tenues in auras_. For
what says Seneca? _Longum iter per præcepta, breve et efficace per
exempla._ A bad principle is comparatively harmless while it continues
to be an abstraction, nor can the general mind comprehend it fully till
it is printed in that large type which all men can read at sight,
namely, the life and character, the sayings and doings, of particular
persons. It is one of the cunningest fetches of Satan, that he never
exposes himself directly to our arrows, but, still dodging behind this
neighbour or that acquaintance, compels us to wound him through them, if
at all. He holds our affections as hostages, the while he patches up a
truce with our conscience.

Meanwhile, let us not forget that the aim of the true satirist is not to
be severe upon persons, but only upon falsehood: and, as Truth and
Falsehood start from the same point, and sometimes even go along
together for a little way, his business is to follow the path of the
latter after it diverges, and to show her floundering in the bog at the
end of it. Truth is quite beyond the reach of satire. There is so brave
a simplicity in her, that she can no more be made ridiculous than an oak
or a pine. The danger of the satirist is, that continual use may deaden
his sensibility to the force of language. He becomes more and more
liable to strike harder than he knows or intends. He may be careful to
put on his boxing-gloves, and yet forget, that, the older they grow, the
more plainly may the knuckles inside be felt. Moreover, in the heat of
contest, the eye is insensibly drawn to the crown of victory, whose
tawdry tinsel glitters through that dust of the ring which obscures
Truth's wreath of simple leaves. I have sometimes thought that my young
friend, Mr. Biglow, needed a monitory hand laid on his arm,--_aliquid
sufflaminandus erat_. I have never thought it good husbandry to water
the tender plants of reform with _aqua fortis_, yet, where so much is to
do in the beds, he were a sorry gardener who should wage a whole day's
war with an iron scuffle on those ill weeds that make the garden-walks
of life unsightly, when a sprinkle of Attic salt will wither them up.
_Est ars etiam maledicendi_, says Scaliger, and truly it is a hard thing
to say where the graceful gentleness of the lamb merges in downright
sheepishness. We may conclude with worthy and wise Dr. Fuller, that "one
may be a lamb in private wrongs, but in hearing general affronts to
goodness they are asses which are not lions."--H. W.]


    Guvener B. is a sensible man;
      He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks;
    He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
      An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes;--
                But John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

    My! aint it terrible? Wut shall we du?
      We can't never choose him, o' course,--thet 's flat;
    Guess we shall hev to come round, (don't you?)
      An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all that;
                Fer John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

    Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
      He 's ben on all sides thet give places or pelf;
    But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,--
      He 's ben true to _one_ party,--an' thet is himself;--
                So John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

    Gineral C. he goes in fer the war;
      He don't vally principle more 'n an old cud;
    Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
      But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
                So John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

    We were gittin' on nicely up here to our village,
      With good old idees o' wut 's right an' wut aint,
    We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage,
      An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
                But John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez this kind o' thing 's an exploded idee.

    The side of our country must ollers be took,
      An' Presidunt Polk, you know, _he_ is our country;
    An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book
      Puts the _debit_ to him, an' to us the _per contry_;
                An' John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez this is his view o' the thing to a T.

    Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
      Sez they 're nothin' on airth but jest _fee, faw, fum_;
    An' thet all this big talk of our destinies
      Is half on it ignorance, an' t'other half rum;
                But John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez it aint no sech thing; an', of course, so must we.

    Parson Wilbur sez _he_ never heerd in his life
      Thet th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats
    An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
      To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
                But John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez they did n't know everythin' down in Judee.

    Wal, it 's a marcy we 've gut folks to tell us
      The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow,--
    God sends country lawyers, an' other wise fellers,
      To drive the world's team wen it gits in a slough;
                Fer John P.
                Robinson he
        Sez the world 'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!


[The attentive reader will doubtless have perceived in the foregoing
poem an allusion to that pernicious sentiment,--"Our country, right or
wrong." It is an abuse of language to call a certain portion of land
much more certain personages elevated for the time being to high
station, our country. I would not sever nor loosen a single one of those
ties by which we are united to the spot of our birth, nor minish by a
tittle the respect due to the Magistrate. I love our own Bay State too
well to do the one, and as for the other, I have myself for nigh forty
years exercised, however unworthily, the function of Justice of the
Peace, having been called thereto by the unsolicited kindness of that
most excellent man and upright patriot, Caleb Strong. _Patriæ fumus igne
alieno luculentior_ is best qualified with this,--_Ubi libertas, ibi
patria_. We are inhabitants of two worlds, and owe a double, but not a
divided, allegiance. In virtue of our clay, this little ball of earth
exacts a certain loyalty of us; while, in our capacity as spirits, we
are admitted citizens of an invisible and holier fatherland. There is a
patriotism of the soul whose claim absolves us from our other and
terrene fealty. Our true country is that ideal realm which we represent
to ourselves under the names of religion, duty, and the like. Our
terrestrial organizations are but far-off approaches to so fair a model,
and all they are verily traitors who resist not any attempt to divert
them from this their original intendment. When, therefore, one would
have us to fling up our caps and shout with the multitude,--"_Our
country, however bounded!_" he demands of us that we sacrifice the
larger to the less, the higher to the lower, and that we yield to the
imaginary claims of a few acres of soil our duty and privilege as
liegemen of Truth. Our true country is bounded on the north and the
south, on the east and the west, by Justice, and when she oversteps that
invisible boundary-line by so much as a hair's-breadth, she ceases to be
our mother, and chooses rather to be looked upon _quasi noverca_. That
is a hard choice, when our earthly love of country calls upon us to
tread one path and our duty points us to another. We must make as noble
and becoming an election as did Penelope between Icarius and Ulysses.
Veiling our faces, we must take silently the hand of Duty to follow her.

Shortly after the publication of the foregoing poem, there appeared some
comments upon it in one of the public prints which seemed to call for
some animadversion. I accordingly addressed to Mr. Buckingham, of the
_Boston Courier_, the following letter.

                                        "JAALAM, November 4, 1847.

"_To the Editor of the Courier:_

"RESPECTED SIR,--Calling at the post-office this morning, our worthy and
efficient postmaster offered for my perusal a paragraph in the Boston
Morning Post of the 3d instant, wherein certain effusions of the
pastoral muse are attributed to the pen of Mr. James Russell Lowell. For
ought I know or can affirm to the contrary, this Mr. Lowell may be a
very deserving person and a youth of parts (though I have seen verses of
his which I could never rightly understand); and if he be such, he, I am
certain, as well as I, would be free from any proclivity to appropriate
to himself whatever of credit (or discredit) may honestly belong to
another. I am confident, that, in penning these few lines, I am only
forestalling a disclaimer from that young gentleman, whose silence
hitherto, when rumour pointed to himward, has excited in my bosom
mingled emotions of sorrow and surprise. Well may my young parishioner,
Mr. Biglow, exclaim with the poet,

    "'Sic vos non vobis' &c.;

though, in saying this, I would not convey the impression that he is a
proficient in the Latin tongue,--the tongue, I might add, of a Horace
and a Tully.

"Mr. B. does not employ his pen, I can safely say, for any lucre of
worldly gain, or to be exalted by the carnal plaudits of men, _digito
monstrari_, &c. He does not wait upon Providence for mercies, and in his
heart mean _merces_. But I should esteem myself as verily deficient in
my duty (who am his friend and in some unworthy sort his spiritual
_fidus Achates_, &c.), if I did not step forward to claim for him
whatever measure of applause might be assigned to him by the judicious.

"If this were a fitting occasion, I might venture here a brief
dissertation touching the manner and kind of my young friend's poetry.
But I dubitate whether this abstruser sort of speculation (though
enlivened by some apposite instances from Aristophanes) would
sufficiently interest your oppidan readers. As regards their satirical
tone, and their plainness of speech, I will only say, that, in my
pastoral experience, I have found that the Arch-Enemy loves nothing
better than to be treated as a religious, moral, and intellectual being,
and that there is no _apage Sathanas_! so potent as ridicule. But it is
a kind of weapon that must have a button of good-nature on the point of
it.

"The productions of Mr. B. have been stigmatized in some quarters as
unpatriotic; but I can vouch that he loves his native soil with that
hearty, though discriminating, attachment which springs from an intimate
social intercourse of many years' standing. In the ploughing season, no
one has a deeper share in the well-being of the country than he. If Dean
Swift were right in saying that he who makes two blades of grass grow
where one grew before confers a greater benefit on the state than he who
taketh a city, Mr. B. might exhibit a fairer claim to the Presidency
than General Scott himself. I think that some of those disinterested
lovers of the hard-handed democracy, whose fingers have never touched
anything rougher than the dollars of our common country, would hesitate
to compare palms with him. It would do your heart good, respected Sir,
to see that young man now. He cuts a cleaner and wider swarth than any
in this town.

"But it is time for me to be at my Post. It is very clear that my young
friend's shot has struck the lintel, for the Post is shaken (Amos ix.
1). The editor of that paper is a strenuous advocate of the Mexican war,
and a colonel, as I am given to understand. I presume, that, being
necessarily absent in Mexico, he has left his journal in some less
judicious hands. At any rate, the Post has been too swift on this
occasion. It could hardly have cited a more incontrovertible line from
any poem than that which it has selected for animadversion, namely,--

    "'We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage.'

"If the Post maintains the converse of this proposition, it can hardly
be considered as a safe guide-post for the moral and religious portions
of its party, however many other excellent qualities of a post it may be
blessed with. There is a sign in London on which is painted,--'The Green
Man.' It would do very well as a portrait of any individual who would
support so unscriptural a thesis. As regards the language of the line in
question, I am bold to say that He who readeth the hearts of men will
not account any dialect unseemly which conveys a sound and pious
sentiment. I could wish that such sentiments were more common, however
uncouthly expressed. Saint Ambrose affirms, that _veritas a quocunque_
(why not, then _quomodocunque_?) _dicatur, a spiritu sancto est_. Digest
also this of Baxter:--'The plainest words are the most profitable
oratory in weightiest matters.'

"When the paragraph in question was shown to Mr. Biglow, the only part
of it which seemed to give him any dissatisfaction was that which
classed him with the Whig party. He says, that, if resolutions are a
nourishing kind of diet, that party must be in a very hearty and
flourishing condition; for that they have quietly eaten more good ones
of their own baking than he could have conceived to be possible without
repletion. He has been for some years past (I regret to say) an ardent
opponent of those sound doctrines of protective policy which form so
prominent a portion of the creed of that party. I confess, that, in some
discussions which I have had with him on this point in my study, he has
displayed a vein of obstinacy which I had not hitherto detected in his
composition. He is also (_horresco referens_) infected in no small
measure with the peculiar notions of a print called the Liberator,
whose heresies I take every proper opportunity of combating, and of
which, I thank God, I have never read a single line.

"I did not see Mr. B.'s verses until they appeared in print, and there
_is_ certainly one thing in them which I consider highly improper. I
allude to the personal references to myself by name. To confer notoriety
on an humble individual who is labouring quietly in his vocation, and
who keeps his cloth as free as he can from the dust of the political
arena (though _væ mihi si non evangelizavero_), is no doubt an
indecorum. The sentiments which he attributes to me I will not deny to
be mine. They were embodied, though in a different form, in a discourse
preached upon the last day of public fasting, and were acceptable to my
entire people (of whatever political views), except the postmaster, who
dissented _ex officio_. I observe that you sometimes devote a portion of
your paper to a religious summary. I should be well pleased to furnish a
copy of my discourse for insertion in this department of your
instructive journal. By omitting the advertisements, it might easily be
got within the limits of a single number, and I venture to insure you
the sale of some scores of copies in this town. I will cheerfully render
myself responsible for ten. It might possibly be advantageous to issue
it as an _extra_. But perhaps you will not esteem it an object, and I
will not press it. My offer does not spring from any weak desire of
seeing my name in print; for I can enjoy this satisfaction at any time
by turning to the Triennial Catalogue of the University, where it also
possesses that added emphasis of Italics with which those of my calling
are distinguished.

"I would simply add, that I continue to fit ingenuous youth for college,
and that I have two spacious and airy sleeping apartments at this moment
unoccupied. _Ingenuas didicisse_, &c. Terms, which vary according to the
circumstances of the parents, may be known on application to me by
letter, post paid. In all cases the lad will be expected to fetch his
own towels. This rule, Mrs. W. desires me to add, has no exceptions.

                       "Respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                               "HOMER WILBUR, A.M.

"P.S. Perhaps the last paragraph may look like an attempt to obtain the
insertion of my circular gratuitously. If it should appear to you in
that light, I desire that you would erase it, or charge for it at the
usual rates, and deduct the amount from the proceeds in your hands from
the sale of my discourse, when it shall be printed. My circular is much
longer and more explicit, and will be forwarded without charge to any
who may desire it. It has been very neatly executed on a letter sheet,
by a very deserving printer, who attends upon my ministry, and is a
creditable specimen of the typographic art. I have one hung over my
mantelpiece in a neat frame, where it makes a beautiful and appropriate
ornament, and balances the profile of Mrs. W., cut with her toes by the
young lady born without arms.                               H. W."

I have in the foregoing letter mentioned General Scott in connexion with
the Presidency, because I have been given to understand that he has
blown to pieces and otherwise caused to be destroyed more Mexicans than
any other commander. His claim would therefore be deservedly considered
the strongest. Until accurate returns of the Mexican killed, wounded,
and maimed be obtained, it would be difficult to settle these nice
points of precedence. Should it prove that any other officer has been
more meritorious and destructive than General. S., and has thereby
rendered himself more worthy of the confidence and support of the
conservative portion of our community, I shall cheerfully insert his
name, instead of that of General S., in a future edition. It may be
thought, likewise, that General S. has invalidated his claims by too
much attention to the decencies of apparel, and the habits belonging to
a gentleman. These abstruser points of statesmanship are beyond my
scope. I wonder not that successful military achievement should attract
the admiration of the multitude. Rather do I rejoice with wonder to
behold how rapidly this sentiment is losing its hold upon the popular
mind. It is related of Thomas Warton, the second of that honoured name
who held the office of Poetry Professor at Oxford, that, when one wished
to find him, being absconded, as was his wont, in some obscure alehouse,
he was counselled to traverse the city with a drum and fife, the sound
of which inspiring music would be sure to draw the Doctor from his
retirement into the street. We are all more or less bitten with this
martial insanity. _Nescio quâ dulcedine ... cunctos ducit._ I confess to
some infection of that itch myself. When I see a Brigadier-General
maintaining his insecure elevation in the saddle under the severe fire
of the training-field, and when I remember that some military
enthusiasts, through haste, inexperience, or an over-desire to lend
reality to those fictitious combats, will sometimes discharge their
ramrods, I cannot but admire, while I deplore, the mistaken devotion of
those heroic officers. _Semel insanivimus omnes._ I was myself, during
the late war with Great Britain, chaplain of a regiment, which was
fortunately never called to active military duty. I mention this
circumstance with regret rather than pride. Had I been summoned to
actual warfare, I trust that I might have been strengthened to bear
myself after the manner of that reverend father in our New England
Israel, Dr. Benjamin Colman, who, as we are told in Turell's life of
him, when the vessel in which he had taken passage for England was
attacked by a French privateer, "fought like a philosopher and a
Christian, ... and prayed all the while he charged and fired." As this
note is already long, I shall not here enter upon a discussion of the
question, whether Christians may lawfully be soldiers. I think it
sufficiently evident, that, during the first two centuries of the
Christian era, at least, the two professions were esteemed incompatible.
Consult Jortin on this head.--H. W.]



No. IV.

 REMARKS OF INCREASE D. O'PHACE, ESQUIRE, AT AN EX-TRUMPERY
   CAUCUS IN STATE STREET, REPORTED BY MR. H. BIGLOW.


[The ingenious reader will at once understand that no such speech as the
following was ever _totidem verbis_ pronounced. But there are simpler
and less guarded wits, for the satisfying of which such an explanation
may be needful. For there are certain invisible lines, which as Truth
successively overpasses, she becomes Untruth to one and another of us,
as a large river, flowing from one kingdom into another, sometimes takes
a new name, albeit the waters undergo no change, how small soever. There
is, moreover, a truth of fiction more veracious than the truth of fact,
as that of the Poet, which represents to us things and events as they
ought to be, rather than servilely copies them as they are imperfectly
imaged in the crooked and smoky glass of our mundane affairs. It is this
which makes the speech of Antonius, though originally spoken in no wider
a forum than the brain of Shakspeare, more historically valuable than
that other which Appian has reported, by as much as the understanding of
the Englishman was more comprehensive than that of the Alexandrian. Mr.
Biglow, in the present instance, has only made use of a licence assumed
by all the historians of antiquity, who put into the mouths of various
characters such words as seem to them most fitting to the occasion and
to the speaker. If it be objected that no such oration could ever have
been delivered, I answer, that there are few assemblages for
speech-making which do not better deserve the title of _Parliamentum
Indoctorum_ than did the sixth Parliament of Henry the Fourth, and that
men still continue to have as much faith in the Oracle of Fools as ever
Pantagruel had. Howell, in his letters, recounts a merry tale of a
certain ambassador of Queen Elizabeth, who, having written two letters,
one to her Majesty and the other to his wife, directed them at
cross-purposes, so that the Queen was beducked and bedeared and
requested to send a change of hose, and the wife was beprincessed and
otherwise unwontedly besuperlatived, till the one feared for the wits of
her ambassador, the other for those of her husband. In like manner it
may be presumed that our speaker has misdirected some of his thoughts,
and given to the whole theatre what he would have wished to confide only
to a select auditory at the back of the curtain. For it is seldom that
we can get any frank utterance from men, who address, for the most part,
a Buncombe either in this world or the next. As for their audiences, it
may be truly said of our people, that they enjoy one political
institution in common with the ancient Athenians: I mean a certain
profitless kind of _ostracism_, wherewith, nevertheless, they seem
hitherto well enough content. For in Presidential elections, and other
affairs of the sort, whereas I observe that the _oysters_ fall to the
lot of comparatively few, the _shells_ (such as the privileges of voting
as they are told to do by the _ostrivori_ aforesaid, and of huzzaing at
public meetings) are very liberally distributed among the people, as
being their prescriptive and quite sufficient portion.

The occasion of the speech is supposed to be Mr. Palfrey's refusal to
vote for the Whig candidate for the Speakership.--H. W.]


    No? Hez he? He haint, though? Wut? Voted agin him?
    Ef the bird of our country could ketch him, she 'd skin him;
    I seem 's though I see her, with wrath in each quill,
    Like a chancery lawyer, afilin' her bill,
    An' grindin' her talents ez sharp ez all nater,
    To pounce like a writ on the back o' the traiter.
    Forgive me, my friends, ef I seem to be het,
    But a crisis like this must with vigour be met;
    Wen an Arnold the star-spangled banner bestains,
    Holl Fourth o' Julys seem to bile in my veins.

    Who ever 'd ha' thought sech a pisonous rig
    Would be run by a chap thet wuz chose fer a Wig?
    "We knowed wut his principles wuz 'fore we sent him"?
    What wuz ther in them from this vote to pervent him?
    A marciful Providunce fashioned us holler
    O' purpose thet we might our principles swaller;
    It can hold any quantity on 'em, the belly can,
    An' bring 'em up ready fer use like the pelican,
    Or more like the kangaroo, who (wich is stranger)
    Puts her family into her pouch wen there 's danger.
    Aint principle precious? then, who 's goin' to use it
    Wen there 's risk o' some chaps gittin' up to abuse it?
    I can't tell the wy on 't, but nothin' is _so_ sure
    Ez thet principle kind o' gits spiled by exposure;[13]
    A man thet lets all sorts o' folks git a sight on 't
    Ough' to hev it all took right away, every mite on 't;
    Ef he can't keep it all to himself when it 's wise to,
    He aint one it 's fit to trust nothin' so nice to.

    Besides, ther 's a wonderful power in latitude
    To shift a man's morril relations an' attitude;
    Some flossifers think thet a fakkilty 's granted
    The minnit it 's proved to be thoroughly wanted,
    Thet a change o' demand makes a change o' condition
    An' thet everythin' 's nothin' except by position;
    Ez, fer instance, thet rubber-trees fust begun bearin'
    Wen p'litickle conshunces come into wearin',--
    Thet the fears of a monkey, whose holt chanced to fail,
    Drawed the vertibry out to a prehensile tail;
    So, wen one 's chose to Congriss, ez soon ez he 's in it,
    A collar grows right round his neck in a minnit,
    An' sartin it is thet a man cannot be strict
    In bein' himself, when he gets to the Deestrict,
    Fer a coat thet sets wal here in ole Massachusetts,
    Wen it gits on to Washinton, somehow askew sets.

    Resolves, do you say, o' the Springfield Convention?
    Thet 's percisely the pint I was goin' to mention;
    Resolves air a thing we most gen'ally keep ill,
    They 're a cheap kind o' dust fer the eyes o' the people;
    A parcel o' delligits jest git together
    An' chat fer a spell o' the crops an' the weather,
    Then, comin' to order, they squabble awile
    An' let off the speeches they 're ferful 'll spile;
    Then--Resolve,--Thet we wunt hev an inch o' slave territory;
    That President Polk's holl perceedins air very tory;
    Thet the war 's a damned war, an' them thet enlist in it
    Should hev a cravat with a dreffle tight twist in it;
    Thet the war is a war fer the spreadin' o' slavery;
    Thet our army desarves our best thanks fer their bravery;
    Thet we 're the original friends o' the nation,
    All the rest air a paltry an' base fabrication;
    Thet we highly respect Messrs. A, B, an' C,
    An' ez deeply despise Messrs. E, F, an' G.
    In this way they go to the eend o' the chapter,
    An' then they bust out in a kind of a raptur
    About their own vartoo, an' folks's stone-blindness
    To the men thet 'ould actilly do 'em a kindness,--
    The American eagle, the Pilgrims thet landed,
    Till on ole Plymouth Rock they git finally stranded.
    Wal, the people they listen and say, "Thet 's the ticket!
    Ez for Mexico, t'aint no glory to lick it,
    But 't would be a darned shame to go pullin' o' triggers
    To extend the aree of abusin' the niggers."

    So they march in percessions, an' git up hooraws,
    An' tramp thru the mud fer the good o' the cause,
    An' think they 're kind o' fulfillin' the prophecies,
    Wen they 're on'y jest changin' the holders of offices;
    Ware A sot afore, B is comf'tably seated,
    One humbug 's victor'ous, an' t'other defeated.
    Each honnable doughface gits jest wut he axes,
    An' the people--their annooal soft sodder an' taxes.

    Now, to keep unimpaired all these glorious feeturs
    Thet characterize morril an' reasonin' creeturs,
    Thet give every paytriot all he can cram,
    Thet oust the untrustworthy Presidunt Flam,
    An' stick honest Presidunt Sham in his place,
    To the manifest gain o' the holl human race,
    An' to some indervidgewals on 't in partickler,
    Who love Public Opinion an' know how to tickle her,--
    I say thet a party with great aims like these
    Must stick jest ez close ez a hive full o' bees.

    I 'm willin' a man should go tollable strong
    Agin wrong in the abstract, fer that kind o' wrong
    Is ollers unpop'lar an' never gits pitied,
    Because it 's a crime no one never committed;
    But he mus' n't be hard on partickler sins,
    Coz then he 'll be kickin' the people's own shins;
    On'y look at the Demmercrats, see wut they 've done
    Jest simply by stickin' together like fun;
    They 've sucked us right into a mis'able war
    Thet no one on airth aint responsible for;
    They 've run us a hundred cool millions in debt,
    (An' fer Demmercrat Horners ther 's good plums left yet);
    They talk agin tayriffs, but act fer a high one,
    An' so coax all parties to build up their Zion;
    To the people they 're ollers ez slick ez molasses,
    An' butter their bread on both sides with The Masses,
    Half o' whom they 've persuaded, by way of a joke,
    Thet Washinton's mantelpiece fell upon Polk.

    Now all o' these blessins the Wigs might enjoy,
    Ef they 'd gumption enough the right means to imploy;[14]
    Fer the silver spoon born in Dermocracy's mouth
    Is a kind of a scringe thet they hev to the South;
    Their masters can cuss 'em an' kick 'em an' wale 'em,
    An' they notice it less 'an the ass did to Balaam;
    In this way they screw into second-rate offices
    Wich the slaveholder thinks 'ould substract too much off his ease;
    The file-leaders, I mean, du, fer they, by their wiles,
    Unlike the old viper, grow fat on their files.
    Wal, the Wigs hev been tryin' to grab all this prey frum 'em
    An' to hook this nice spoon o' good fortin' away frum 'em,
    An' they might ha' succeeded, ez likely ez not,
    In lickin' the Demmercrats all round the lot,
    Ef it warn't thet, wile all faithful Wigs were their knees on,
    Some stuffy old codger would holler out,--"Treason!
    You must keep a sharp eye on a dog thet hez bit you once,
    An' _I_ aint agoin' to cheat my constitoounts,"--
    Wen every fool knows thet a man represents
    Not the fellers thet sent him, but them on the fence,--
    Impartially ready to jump either side
    An' make the fust use of a turn o' the tide,--
    The waiters on Providunce here in the city,
    Who compose wut they call a State Centerl Committy.
    Constitoounts air hendy to help a man in,
    But arterwards don't weigh the heft of a pin.
    Wy, the people can't all live on Uncle Sam's pus,
    So they 've nothin' to du with 't fer better or wus;
    It 's the folks thet air kind o' brought up to depend on 't
    That hev any consarn in 't, an' thet is the end on 't.

    Now here wuz New England ahevin' the honor
    Of a chance at the speakership showered upon her;--
    Do you say,--"She don't want no more Speakers, but fewer;
    She 's hed plenty o' them, wut she wants is a _doer_"?
    Fer the matter o' thet, it 's notorous in town
    Thet her own representatives du her quite brown.
    But thet 's nothin' to du with it; wut right hed Palfrey
    To mix himself up with fanatical small fry?
    Warn't we gettin' on prime with our hot an' cold blowin',
    Acondemnin' the war wilst we kep' it agoin'?
    We 'd assumed with gret skill a commandin' position,
    On this side or thet, no one could n't tell wich one,
    So, wutever side wipped, we 'd a chance at the plunder
    An' could sue for infringin' our paytended thunder;
    We were ready to vote fer whoever wuz eligible,
    Ef on all pints at issoo he 'd stay unintelligible.
    Wal, sposin' we hed to gulp down our perfessions,
    We were ready to come out next mornin' with fresh ones;
    Besides, ef we did, 't was our business alone,
    Fer could n't we du wut we would with our own?
    An' ef a man can, wen pervisions hev riz so,
    Eat up his own words, it 's a marcy it is so.

    Wy, these chaps from the North, with back-bones to 'em, darn 'em,
    'Ould be wuth more 'an Gennle Tom Thumb is to Barnum;
    Ther 's enough thet to office on this very plan grow,
    By exhibitin' how very small a man can grow;
    But an M. C. frum here ollers hastens to state he
    Belongs to the order called invertebraty,
    Wence some gret filologists judge primy fashy
    Thet M. C. is M. T. by paronomashy;
    An' these few exceptions air _loosus naytury_
    Folks 'ould put down their quarters to stare at, like fury.

    It 's no use to open the door o' success,
    Ef a member can bolt so fer nothin' or less;
    Wy, all o' them grand constitootional pillers
    Our four fathers fetched with 'em over the billers,
    Them pillers the people so soundly hev slept on,
    Wile to slav'ry, invasion, an' debt they were swept on,
    Wile our Destiny higher an' higher kep' mountin'
    (Though I guess folks 'll stare wen she hends her account in),
    Ef members in this way go kickin' agin 'em,
    They wunt hev so much ez a feather left in 'em.

    An', ez fer this Palfrey,[15] we thought wen we 'd gut him in,
    He 'd go kindly in wutever harness we put him in;
    Supposin' we _did_ know thet he wuz a peace man?
    Does he think he can be Uncle Samwell's policeman,
    An' wen Sam gits tipsy an' kicks up a riot,
    Lead him off to the lockup to snooze till he 's quiet?
    Wy, the war is a war thet true paytriots can bear, ef
    It leads to the fat promised land of a tayriff;
    _We_ don't go an' fight it, nor aint to be driv on,
    Nor Demmercrats nuther, thet hev wut to live on;
    Ef it aint jest the thing thet 's well pleasin' to God,
    It makes us thought highly on elsewhere abroad;
    The Rooshian black eagle looks blue in his eerie
    An' shakes both his heads wen he hears o' Monteery;
    Wile in the Tower Victory sets, all of a fluster,
    An' reads, with locked doors, how we won Cherry Buster;
    An' old Philip Lewis--thet come an' kep' school here
    Fer the mere sake o' scorin' his ryalist ruler
    On the tenderest part of our kings _in futuro_--
    Hides his crown underneath an old shut in his bureau
    Breaks off in his brags to a suckle o' merry kings,
    How he often hed hided young native Amerrikins,
    An', turnin' quite faint in the midst of his fooleries,
    Sneaks down stairs to bolt the front door o' the Tooleries.[16]

    You say,--"We 'd ha' scared 'em by growin' in peace,
    A plaguy sight more then by bobberies like these"?
    Who is it dares say thet "our naytional eagle
    Wun't much longer be classed with the birds thet air regal,
    Coz theirn be hooked beaks, an' she, arter this slaughter,
    'll bring back a bill ten times longer 'n she ough' to"?
    Wut 's your name? Come, I see ye, you up-country feller,
    You 've put me out severil times with your beller;
    Out with it! Wut? Biglow? I say nothin' furder,
    Thet feller would like nothin' better 'n a murder;
    He 's a traiter, blasphemer, an' wut ruther worse is,
    He put all his ath'ism in dreffle bad verses;
    Socity aint safe till sech monsters air out on it,
    Refer to the Post, ef you hev the least doubt on it;
    Wy, he goes agin war, agin indirect taxes,
    Agin sellin' wild lands 'cept to settlers with axes,
    Agin holdin' o' slaves, though he knows it 's the corner
    Our libbaty rests on, the mis'able scorner!
    In short, he would wholly upset with his ravages
    All thet keeps us above the brute critters an' savages,
    An' pitch into all kinds o' briles an' confusions
    The holl of our civilized, free institutions;
    He writes fer thet rather unsafe print, the Courier,
    An' likely ez not hez a squintin' to Foorier;
    I 'll be ----, thet is, I mean I 'll be blest,
    Ef I hark to a word frum so noted a pest;
    I shan't talk with _him_, my religion 's too fervent.--
    Good mornin', my friends, I 'm your most humble servant.


[Into the question, whether the ability to express ourselves in
articulate language has been productive of more good or evil, I shall
not here enter at large. The two faculties of speech and of
speech-making are wholly diverse in their natures. By the first we make
ourselves intelligible, by the last unintelligible, to our fellows. It
has not seldom occurred to me (noting how in our national legislature
everything runs to talk, as lettuces, if the season or the soil be
unpropitious, shoot up lankly to seed, instead of forming handsome
heads) that Babel was the first Congress, the earliest mill erected for
the manufacture of gabble. In these days, what with Town Meetings,
School Committees, Boards (lumber) of one kind and another, Congresses,
Parliaments, Diets, Indian Councils, Palavers, and the like, there is
scarce a village which has not its factories of this description driven
by (milk-and-) water power. I cannot conceive the confusion of tongues
to have been the curse of Babel, since I esteem my ignorance of other
languages as a kind of Martello-tower, in which I am safe from the
furious bombardments of foreign garrulity. For this reason I have ever
preferred the study of the dead languages, those primitive formations
being Ararats upon whose silent peaks I sit secure and watch this new
deluge without fear, though it rain figures (_simulacra_, semblances) of
speech forty days and nights together, as it not uncommonly happens.
Thus is my coat, as it were, without buttons by which any but a
vernacular wild bore can seize me. Is it not possible that the Shakers
may intend to convey a quiet reproof and hint, in fastening their outer
garments with hooks and eyes?

This reflection concerning Babel, which I find in no Commentary, was
first thrown upon my mind when an excellent deacon of my congregation
(being infected with the Second Advent delusion) assured me that he had
received a first instalment of the gift of tongues as a small earnest of
larger possessions in the like kind to follow. For, of a truth, I could
not reconcile it with my ideas of the Divine justice and mercy that the
single wall which protected people of other languages from the
incursions of this otherwise well-meaning propagandist should be broken
down.

In reading Congressional debates, I have fancied, that, after the
subsidence of those painful buzzings in the brain which result from such
exercises, I detected a slender residuum of valuable information. I made
the discovery that _nothing_ takes longer in the saying than anything
else, for, as _ex nihilo nihil fit_, so from one polypus _nothing_ any
number of similar ones may be produced. I would recommend to the
attention of _vivâ voce_ debaters and controversialists the admirable
example of the monk Copres, who, in the fourth century, stood for half
an hour in the midst of a great fire, and thereby silenced a Manichæan
antagonist who had less of the salamander in him. As for those who
quarrel in print, I have no concern with them here, since the eyelids
are a Divinely-granted shield against all such. Moreover, I have
observed in many modern books that the printed portion is becoming
gradually smaller, and the number of blank or fly-leaves (as they are
called) greater. Should this fortunate tendency of literature continue,
books will grow more valuable from year to year, and the whole Serbonian
bog yield to the advances of firm arable land.

I have wondered, in the Representatives' Chamber of our own
Commonwealth, to mark how little impression seemed to be produced by
that emblematic fish suspended over the heads of the members. Our wiser
ancestors, no doubt, hung it there as being the animal which the
Pythagoreans reverenced for its silence, and which certainly in that
particular does not so well merit the epithet _cold-blooded_, by which
naturalists distinguish it, as certain bipeds, afflicted with
ditch-water on the brain, who take occasion to tap themselves in Fanueil
Halls, meeting-houses, and other places of public resort.--H. W.]


FOOTNOTES:

[13] The speaker is of a different mind from Tully, who, in his recently
discovered tractate _De Republicâ_, tells us,--_Nec vero habere virtutem
satis est, quasi artem aliquam, nisi utare_, and from our Milton, who
says,--"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised
and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but
slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for,
_not without dust and heat_."--_Areop._ He had taken the words out of
the Roman's mouth, without knowing it, and might well exclaim with
Austin (if saint's name may stand sponsor for a curse). _Pereant qui
ante nos nostra dixerint!_--H. W.

[14] That was a pithy saying of Persius, and fits our politicians
without a wrinkle,--_Magister artis, ingeniique largitor venter._--H. W.

[15] There is truth yet in this of Juvenal,--

    "Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas."

[16] Jortin is willing to allow of other miracles besides those recorded
in Holy Writ, and why not of other prophecies? It is granting too much
to Satan to suppose him, as divers of the learned have done, the
inspirer of the ancient oracles. Wiser, I esteem it, to give chance the
credit of the successful ones. What is said here of Louis Philippe was
verified in some of its minute particulars within a few months' time.
Enough to have made the fortune of Delphi or Ammon, and no thanks to
Beelzebub neither! That of Seneca in Medea will suit here:--

          "Rapida fortuna ac levis,
    Præcepsque regno eripuit, exsilio dedit."

Let us allow, even to richly deserved misfortune, our commiseration, and
be not overhasty meanwhile in our censure of the French people, left for
the first time to govern themselves, remembering that wise sentence of
Æschylus,--

    Ἅπας δὲ τραχὺς ὅστις ἂν νέον κρατῇ.                      H. W.



No. V.

THE DEBATE IN THE SENNIT

 SOT TO A NUSRY RHYME.


[The incident which gave rise to the debate satirized in the following
verses was the unsuccessful attempt of Drayton and Sayres to give
freedom to seventy men and women, fellow-beings and fellow-Christians.
Had Tripoli, instead of Washington, been the scene of this undertaking,
the unhappy leaders in it would have been as secure of the theoretic as
they now are of the practical part of martyrdom. I question whether the
Dey of Tripoli is blessed with a District Attorney so benighted as ours
at the seat of government. Very fitly is he named Key, who would allow
himself to be made the instrument of locking the door of hope against
sufferers in such a cause. Not all the waters of the ocean can cleanse
the vile smutch of the jailer's fingers from off that little Key.
_Ahenea clavis_, a brazen Key indeed!

Mr. Calhoun, who is made the chief speaker in this burlesque, seems to
think that the light of the nineteenth century is to be put out as soon
as he tinkles his little cow-bell curfew. Whenever slavery is touched,
he sets up his scarecrow of dissolving the Union. This may do for the
North, but I should conjecture that something more than a
pumpkin-lantern is required to scare manifest and irretrievable Destiny
out of her path. Mr. Calhoun cannot let go the apron-string of the Past.
The Past is a good nurse, but we must be weaned from her sooner or
later, even though, like Plotinus, we should run home from school to ask
the breast, after we are tolerably well-grown youths. It will not do for
us to hide our faces in her lap, whenever the strange Future holds out
her arms and asks us to come to her.

But we are all alike. We have all heard it said, often enough, that
little boys must not play with fire; and yet, if the matches be taken
away from us and put out of reach upon the shelf, we must needs get into
our little corner, and scowl and stamp and threaten the dire revenge of
going to bed without our supper. The world shall stop till we get our
dangerous plaything again. Dame Earth, meanwhile, who has more than
enough household matters to mind, goes bustling hither and thither as a
hiss or a sputter tells her that this or that kettle of hers is boiling
over, and before bedtime we are glad to eat our porridge cold, and gulp
down our dignity along with it.

Mr. Calhoun has somehow acquired the name of a great statesman, and, if
it be great statesmanship to put lance in rest and run a tilt at the
Spirit of the Age with the certainty of being next moment hurled neck
and heels into the dust amid universal laughter, he deserves the title.
He is the Sir Kay of our modern chivalry. He should remember the old
Scandinavian mythus. Thor was the strongest of gods, but he could not
wrestle with Time, nor so much as lift up a fold of the great snake
which knit the universe together; and when he smote the Earth, though
with his terrible mallet, it was but as if a leaf had fallen. Yet all
the while it seemed to Thor that he had only been wrestling with an old
woman, striving to lift a cat, and striking a stupid giant on the head.

And in old times, doubtless, the giants _were_ stupid, and there was no
better sport for the Sir Launcelots and Sir Gawains than to go about
cutting off their great blundering heads with enchanted swords. But
things have wonderfully changed. It is the giants, now-a-days, that have
the science and the intelligence, while the chivalrous Don Quixotes of
Conservatism still cumber themselves with the clumsy armour of a by-gone
age. On whirls the restless globe through unsounded time, with its
cities and its silences, its births and funerals, half light, half
shade, but never wholly dark, and sure to swing round into the happy
morning at last. With an involuntary smile, one sees Mr. Calhoun letting
slip his pack-thread cable with a crooked pin at the end of it to anchor
South Carolina upon the bank and shoal of the Past.--H. W.]


TO MR. BUCKENAM.

MR. EDITER, As i wuz kinder prunin round, in a little nussry sot out a
year or 2 a go, the Dbait in the sennit cum inter my mine An so i took &
Sot it to wut I call a nussry rime. I hev made sum onnable Gentlemun
speak that dident speak in a Kind uv Poetikul lie sense the seeson is
dreffle backerd up This way

                                         ewers as ushul

                                                     HOSEA BIGLOW.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder!
      It 's a fact o' wich ther 's bushils o' proofs;
    Fer how could we trample on 't so, I wonder,
      Ef't worn't thet it 's oilers under our hoofs?"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;
            "Human rights haint no more
            Right to come on this floor,
        No more 'n the man in the moon," sez he.

    "The North haint no kind o' bisness with nothin',
      An' you 've no idee how much bother it saves;
    We aint none riled by their frettin' an' frothin',
      We 're _used_ to layin' the string on our slaves,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            Sez Mister Foote,
            "I should like to shoot
        The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon!" sez he.

    "Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet ther 's no doubt on,
      It 's sutthin' thet 's--wha' d' ye call it?--divine,--
    An' the slaves thet we ollers _make_ the most out on
      Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's line,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "Fer all thet," sez Mangum,
            "'T would be better to hang 'em,
        An' so git red on 'em soon," sez he.

    "The mass ough' to labour an' we lay on soffies,
      Thet 's the reason I want to spread Freedom's aree;
    It puts all the cunninest on us in office,
      An' reelises our Maker's orig'nal idee,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "Thet 's ez plain," sez Cass,
            "Ez thet some one 's an ass,
        It 's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," sez he.

    "Now don't go to say I 'm the friend of oppression,
      But keep all your spare breath fer coolin' your broth,
    Fer I ollers hev strove (at least thet 's my impression)
      To make cussed free with the rights o' the North,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "Yes," sez Davis o' Miss.,
            "The perfection o' bliss
        Is in skinnin' thet same old coon," sez he.

    "Slavery 's a thing thet depends on complexion,
      It 's God's law thet fetters on black skins don't chafe;
    Ef brains wuz to settle it (horrid reflection!)
      Wich of our onnable body 'd be safe?"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            Sez Mister Hannegan,
            Afore he began agin,
        "Thet exception is quite oppertoon," sez he.

    "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 distinctions o' colour;
      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," sez he.

    "The slavery question aint no ways bewilderin'.
      North an' South hev one int'rest, it 's plain to a glance;
    No'thern men, like us patriarchs, don't sell their childrin,
      But they _du_ sell themselves, ef they git a good chance,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            Sez Atherton here,
            "This is gittin' severe,
        I wish I could dive like a loon," sez he.

    "It 'll break up the Union, this talk about freedom,
      An' your fact'ry gals (soon ez we split) 'll make head,
    An' gittin' some Miss chief or other to lead 'em,
      'll go to work raisin' promiscoous Ned,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "Yes, the North," sez Colquitt,
            "Ef we Southerners all quit,
        Would go down like a busted balloon," sez he.

    "Jest look wut is doin', wut annyky 's brewin'
      In the beautiful clime o' the olive an' vine,
    All the wise aristoxy is tumblin' to ruin,
      An' the sankylots drorin' an' drinkin' their wine,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "Yes," sez Johnson, "in France
            They 're beginnin' to dance
        Beelzebub's own rigadoon," sez he.

    "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 the ery
      Wen our eagle kicks yourn from the naytional nest,"
        Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;--
            "O," sez Westcott o' Florida,
            "Wut treason is horrider
        Then our priv'leges tryin' to proon?" sez he.

    "It 's 'coz they 're so happy, thet, wen crazy sarpints
      Stick their nose in our bizness, we git so darned riled;
    We think it 's our dooty to give pooty sharp hints,
      Thet the last crumb of Edin on airth shan'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.


[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
beings 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 may lay hands
on him to make jetsam of him? Let us, then, with equal forethought and
wisdom, lash ourselves to the anchor, and await, in pious confidence,
the certain result. Perhaps our suspicious passenger 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 name, 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 suetude of sixty
years, and grasped in triumphant argument in the left hand of him whose
right hand clutches the clotted slave-whip. Justice, venerable with the
undethronable majesty of countless æons, says,--SPEAK! The Past, wise
with the sorrows and desolations of ages, from amid her shattered fanes
and wolf-housing palaces, echoes,--SPEAK! Nature, through her thousand
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 Honourable Mr. Bagowind, M.C., say,--BE DUMB!

It occurs to me to suggest, as a topic of inquiry in this connexion,
whether, on that momentous occasion when the goats and the sheep shall
be parted, the Constitution and the Honourable Mr. Bagowind, M.C., will
be expected to take their places on the left as our hircine vicars.

    _Quia sum miser tunc dicturus?
    Quem patronum rogaturus?_

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 man, or that nation, to whom mediocrity has become an
ideal!

Has our experiment of self-government succeeded, if it 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-match, I cannot help having my fears for them.

    _Discite justitiam, moniti, et non temnere divos._

                                                            H. W.]



No. VI.

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 'tis 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, upon
which, with a pen of sunshine or destroying fire, the inspired Present
is even now writing the annals of God! Methinks the editor who should
understand his calling, and be equal thereto, would truly deserve that
title of ποιμην λαῶν, 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 hammering 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.

    _Immemor, 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 he esteems himself called. He blows up the flames of
political discord for no other occasion than that he may thereby 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 dimmest perception of their immense power, and the duties
consequent thereon? Here and there, haply, one. Nine hundred and
ninety-nine labour to impress upon the people the great principles of
_Tweedledum_, 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 Paris is;
    I love to see her stick her claws
      In them infarnal Pharisees;
    It 's wal enough agin a king
      To dror resolves an' triggers,--
    But libbaty 's a kind o' thing
      Thet don't agree with niggers.

    I du believe the people want
      A tax on teas an' coffees,
    Thet nothin' aint extravygunt,--
      Purvidin' I 'm in office;
    Fer I hev loved my country sence
      My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
    An' Uncle Sam I reverence,
      Partic'larly his pockets.

    I du believe in _any_ plan
      O' levyin' the taxes,
    Ez long ez, like a lumberman,
      I git jest wut I axes:
    I go free-trade thru thick an' thin,
      Because it kind o' rouses
    The folks to vote,--an' keeps us in
      Our quiet custom-houses.

    I du believe it 's wise an' good
      To sen' out furrin missions,
    Thet is, on sartin understood
      An' orthydox conditions;--
    I mean nine thousan' dolls. per ann.,
      Nine thousan' more fer outfit,
    An' me to recommend a man
      The place 'ould jest about fit.

    I du believe in special ways
      O' prayin' an' convartin';
    The bread comes back in many days,
      An' buttered, tu, fer sartin;--
    I mean in preyin' till one busts
      On wut the party chooses,
    An' in convartin' public trusts
      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 with all my 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'!

    I du believe thet I should give
      Wut 's his'n unto Cæsar,
    Fer it 's by him I move an' live,
      From him my bread an' cheese air;
    I du believe thet all o' me
      Doth bear his souperscription,--
    Will, conscience, honour, honesty,
      An' things o' thet description.

    I du believe in prayer an' praise
      To him thet hez the grantin'
    O' jobs,--in every thin' thet pays,
      But most of all in CANTIN';
    This doth my cup with marcies fill,
      This lays all thought o' sin to rest,--
    I _don't_ believe in princerple,
      But, O, I _du_ in interest.

    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 baldheaded.

    I du believe thet holdin' slaves
      Comes nat'ral tu 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.

    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 short, I firmly du believe
      In Humbug generally,
    Fer it 's a thing thet I perceive
      To hev a solid vally;
    This heth my faithful shepherd ben,
      In pasturs sweet heth led me,
    An' this 'll keep the people green
      To feed ez they hev fed me.


[I subjoin here another passage from my before-mentioned discourse.

"Wonderful, to him that has eyes to see it rightly, is the newspaper. To
me, for example, sitting on the critical front bench of the pit, in my
study here in Jaalam, the advent of my weekly journal is as that of a
strolling 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 horse-back 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 criticism, tiny puppets they
seem all, as the editor sets up his booth upon my desk and officiates as
showman. 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 any
thing distinctly. That animalcule there, in the pea-jacket, is Louis
Philippe, just landed on the coast of England. That other, in the grey
surtout and cocked hat, is Napoleon Bonaparte Smith, assuring France
that she need apprehend no interference from him in the present alarming
juncture. At that spot, where you seem to see a speck of something in
motion, is an immense mass-meeting. Look sharper, and you will see a
mite brandishing his mandibles in an excited manner. That is the great
Mr. Soandso, defining his position amid tumultuous and irrepressible
cheers. That infinitesimal creature, upon 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
Infinite. That scarce discernible pufflet 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 for ever. 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 poverty;--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 marriage? 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 (even if for a moment discerned as such) continue
miraculous. We glance carelessly at the sunrise, 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 from Heaven, shall be the wrappage to
a bar of soap or the platter for a beggar's broken victuals."--H. W.]



No. VII.

A LETTER

 FROM A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN ANSWER TO SUTTIN
   QUESTIONS PROPOSED BY MR. HOSEA BIGLOW, INCLOSED IN
   A NOTE FROM MR. BIGLOW TO S. H. GAY, ESQ., EDITOR OF
   THE NATIONAL ANTISLAVERY STANDARD.


[Curiosity may be said to be the quality which pre-eminently
distinguishes and segregates man from the lower animals. As we trace the
scale of animated nature downward, we find this faculty of the mind (as
it may truly be called) diminished in the savage, and quite extinct in
the brute. The first object which civilized man proposes to himself I
take to be the finding out whatsoever he can concerning his neighbours.
_Nihil humanum a me alienum 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 communicating intelligence.

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 second 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 labour 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 motives 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 degree, for none of us so much as lays an egg, or incubates a
chalk one, but straightway the whole barn-yard shall know it by our
cackle or our cluck. _Omnibus hoc vitium est._ There are different
grades in all these classes. One will turn his telescope toward a
back-yard, another toward Uranus; one will tell you that he dined with
Smith, another that he supped with Plato. In one particular, all men may
be considered as belonging to the first grand division, inasmuch as they
all seem equally desirous of discovering the mote in their neighbour's
eye.

To one or another of these species every human being may safely be
referred. I think it beyond a peradventure that Jonah prosecuted some
inquiries into the digestive apparatus of whales, and that Noah sealed
up a letter in an empty bottle, that news in regard to him might not be
wanting in case of the worst. They had else been super or subter human.
I conceive, also, that, as there are certain persons who continually
peep and pry at the key-hole of that mysterious door through which,
sooner or later, we all make our exits, so there are doubtless ghosts
fidgeting and fretting on the other side of it, because they have no
means of conveying back to the world the scraps of news they have picked
up. For there is an answer ready somewhere to every question, the great
law of _give and take_ runs through all nature, and if we see a hook, we
may be sure that an eye is waiting for it. I read in every face I meet a
standing advertisement of information wanted in regard to A. B., or that
the friends of C. D. can hear of him by application to such a one.

It was to gratify the two great passions of asking and answering, that
epistolary correspondence was first invented. Letters (for by this
usurped title epistles are now commonly known) are of several kinds.
First, there are those which are not letters at all,--as letters patent,
letters dimissory, letters inclosing bills, letters of administration,
Pliny's letters, letters of diplomacy, of Cato, of Mentor, of Lords
Lyttelton, Chesterfield, and Orrery, of Jacob Behmen, Seneca (whom St.
Jerome includes in his list of sacred writers), letters from abroad,
from sons in college to their fathers, letters of marque, and letters
generally, which are in no wise letters of mark. Second, are real
letters, such as those of Gray, Cowper, Walpole, Howel, Lamb, the first
letters from children (printed in staggering capitals), Letters from New
York, letters of credit, and others, interesting for the sake of the
writer or the thing written. I have read also letters from Europe by a
gentleman named Pinto, containing some curious gossip, and which I hope
to see collected for the benefit of the curious. There are, besides,
letters addressed to posterity,--as epitaphs, for example, written for
their own monuments by monarchs, whereby we have lately become possessed
of the names of several great conquerors and kings of kings, hitherto
unheard of and still unpronounceable, but valuable to the student of the
entirely dark ages. The letter which St. Peter sent to King Pepin in the
year of grace 755 I would place in a class by itself, as also the
letters of candidates, concerning which I shall dilate more fully in a
note at the end of the following poem. At present, _sat prata
biberunt_. Only, concerning the shape of letters, they are all either
square or oblong, to which general figures circular letters and
round-robins also conform themselves.--H. W.]


DEER SIR its gut to be the fashun now to rite letters to the candid 8s
and i wus chose at a publick Meetin in Jaalam to du wut wus nessary fur
that town. i writ to 271 ginerals and gut ansers to 209. tha air called
candid 8s but I don't see nothin candid about em. this here 1 wich I
send wus thought satty's factory. I dunno as it's ushle to print
Poscrips, but as all the ansers I got hed the saim, I sposed it wus
best. times has gretly changed. Formaly to knock a man into a cocked hat
wus to use him up, but now it ony gives him a chance fur the cheef
madgustracy.--H. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

    DEAR SIR,--You wish to know my notions
      On sartin pints thet rile the land;
    There 's nothin' thet my natur so shuns
      Ez bein' mum or underhand;
    I 'm a straight-spoken kind o' creetur
      Thet blurts right out wut 's in his head,
    An' ef I 've one pecooler feetur,
      It is a nose thet wunt be led.

    So, to begin at the beginnin',
      An' come direcly to the pint,
    I think the country's underpinnin'
      Is some consid'ble out o' jint;
    I aint agoin' to try your patience
      By tellin' who done this or thet,
    I don't make no insinooations,
      I jest let on I smell a rat.

    Thet is, I mean, it seems to me so,
      But, ef the public think I 'm wrong,
    I wunt deny but wut I be so,--
      An', fact, it don't smell very strong;
    My mind 's tu fair to lose its balance
      An' say wich party hez most sense;
    There may be folks o' greater talence
      Thet can't set stiddier on the fence.

    I 'm an eclectic; ez to choosin'
      'Twixt this an' thet, I 'm plaguy lawth;
    I leave a side thet looks like losin',
      But (wile there 's doubt) I stick to both;
    I stan' upon the Constitution,
      Ez preudunt statesmun say, who 've planned
    A way to git the most profusion
      O' chances ez to _ware_ they 'll stand.

    Ez fer the war, I go agin it,--
      I mean to say I kind o' du,--
    Thet is, I mean thet, bein' in it,
      The best way wuz to fight it thru;
    Not but wut abstract war is horrid,--
      I sign to thet with all my heart,--
    But civlyzation _doos_ git forrid
      Sometimes upon a powder-cart.

    About thet darned Proviso matter
      I never hed a grain o' doubt,
    Nor I aint one my sense to scatter
      So 's no one could n't pick it out;
    My love fer North an' South is equil,
      So I 'll jest answer plump an' frank,
    No matter wut may be the sequil,--
      Yes, Sir, I _am_ agin a Bank.

    Ez to the answerin' o' questions,
      I 'm an off ox at bein' druv,
    Though I aint one thet ary test shuns
      'll give our folks a helpin' shove;
    Kind o' promiscoous I go it
      Fer the holl country, an' the ground
    I take, ez nigh ez I can show it,
      Is pooty gen'ally all round.

    I don't appruve o' givin' pledges;
      You 'd ough' to leave a feller free,
    An' not go knockin' out the wedges
      To ketch his fingers in the tree;
    Pledges air awfle breachy cattle
      Thet preudunt farmers don't turn out,--
    Ez long 'z the people git their rattle,
      Wut is there fer 'm to grout about?

    Ez to the slaves, there 's no confusion
      In _my_ idees consarnin' them,--
    _I_ think they air an Institution,
      A sort of--yes, jest so,--ahem:
    Do _I_ own any? Of my merit
      On thet pint you yourself may jedge;
    All is, I never drink no sperit,
      Nor I haint never signed no pledge.

    Ez to my principles, I glory
      In hevin' nothin' o' the sort;
    I aint a Wig, I aint a Tory,
      I 'm jest a candidate, in short;
    Thet 's fair an' square an' parpendicler,
      But, ef the Public cares a fig,
    To hev me an' thin' in particler,
      Wy I 'm a kind o' peri-wig.

                      P. S.

    Ez we 're a sort o' privateerin',
      O' course, you know, it 's sheer an' sheer,
    An' there is sutthin' wuth your hearin'
      I 'll mention in _your_ privit ear;
    Ef you git _me_ inside the White House,
      Your head with ile I 'll kin' o' 'nint
    By gittin' _you_ inside the Light-house
      Down to the eend o' Jaalam Pint.

    An' ez the North hez took to brustlin'
      At bein' scrouged frum off the roost,
    I 'll tell ye wut 'll save all tusslin'
      An' give our side a harnsome boost,--
    Tell 'em thet on the Slavery question
      I 'm RIGHT, although to speak I 'm lawth;
    This gives you a safe pint to rest on,
      An' leaves me frontin' South by North.


[And now of epistles candidatial, which are of two kinds,--namely,
letters of acceptance, and letters definitive of position. Our republic,
on the eve of an election, may safely enough be called a republic of
letters. Epistolary composition becomes then an epidemic, which seizes
one candidate after another, not seldom cutting short the thread of
political life. It has come to such a pass, that a party dreads less the
attacks of its opponents than a letter from its candidate. _Litera
scripta manet_, and it will go hard if something bad cannot be made of
it. General Harrison, it is well understood, was surrounded, during his
candidacy, with the _cordon sanitaire_ of a vigilance committee. No
prisoner in Spielberg was ever more cautiously deprived of writing
materials. The soot was scraped carefully from the chimney-places;
outposts of expert rifle-shooters rendered it sure death for any goose
(who came clad in feathers) to approach within a certain limited
distance of North Bend; and all domestic fowls about the premises were
reduced to the condition of Plato's original man. By these precautions
the General was saved. _Parva componere magnis_, I remember, that, when
party-spirit once ran high among my people, upon occasion of the choice
of a new deacon, I, having my preferences, yet not caring too openly to
express them, made use of an innocent fraud to bring about that result
which I deemed most desirable. My stratagem was no other than the
throwing a copy of the Complete Letter-Writer in the way of the
candidate whom I wished to defeat. He caught the infection, and
addressed a short note to his constituents, in which the opposite party
detected so many and so grave improprieties (he had modeled it upon the
letter of a young lady accepting a proposal of marriage), that he not
only lost his election, but, falling under a suspicion of Sabellianism
and I know not what (the widow Endive assured me that he was a
Paralipomenon, to her certain knowledge), was forced to leave the town.
Thus it is that the letter killeth.

The object which candidates propose to themselves in writing is to
convey no meaning at all. And here is a quite unsuspected pitfall into
which they successively plunge headlong. For it is precisely in such
cryptographies that mankind are prone to seek for and find a wonderful
amount and variety of significance. _Omne ignotum pro mirifico._ How do
we admire at the antique world striving to crack those oracular nuts
from Delphi, Ammon, and elsewhere, in only one of which can I so much
as surmise that any kernel had ever lodged; that, namely, wherein Apollo
confessed that he was mortal. One Didymus is, moreover, related to have
written six thousand books on the single subject of grammar, a topic
rendered only more tenebrific by the labours of his successors, and
which seems still to possess an attraction for authors in proportion as
they can make nothing of it. A singular loadstone for theologians, also,
is the Beast in the Apocalypse, whereof, in the course of my studies, I
have noted two hundred and three several interpretations, each
lethiferal to all the rest. _Non nostrum est tantas componere lites_,
yet I have myself ventured upon a two hundred and fourth, which I
embodied in a discourse preached on occasion of the demise of the late
usurper, Napoleon Bonaparte, and which quieted, in a large measure, the
minds of my people. It is true that my views on this important point
were ardently controverted by Mr. Shearjashub Holden, the then preceptor
of our academy, and in other particulars a very deserving and sensible
young man, though possessing a somewhat limited knowledge of the Greek
tongue. But his heresy struck down no deep root, and, he having been
lately removed by the hand of Providence, I had the satisfaction of
re-affirming my cherished sentiments in a sermon preached upon the
Lord's-day immediately succeeding his funeral. This might seem like
taking an unfair advantage, did I not add that he had made provision in
his last will (being celibate) for the publication of a posthumous
tractate in support of his own dangerous opinions.

I know of nothing in our modern times which approaches so nearly to the
ancient oracle as the letter of a Presidential candidate. Now, among the
Greeks, the eating of beans was strictly forbidden to all such as had it
in mind to consult those expert amphibologists, and this same
prohibition on the part of Pythagoras to his disciples is understood to
imply an abstinence from politics, beans having been used as ballots.
That other explication, _quod videlicet sensus eo cibo obtundi
existimaret_, though supported _pugnis et calcibus_ by many of the
learned, and not wanting the countenance of Cicero, is confuted by the
larger experience of New England. On the whole, I think it safer to
apply here the rule of interpretation which now generally obtains in
regard to antique cosmogonies, myths, fables, proverbial expressions,
and knotty points generally, which is, to find a common-sense meaning,
and then select whatever can be imagined the most opposite thereto. In
this way we arrive at the conclusion, that the Greeks objected to the
questioning of candidates. And very properly, if, as I conceive, the
chief point be not to discover what a person in that position is, or
what he will do, but whether he can be elected. _Vos exemplaria Græca
nocturna versate manu, versate diurna._

But, since an imitation of the Greeks in this particular (the asking of
questions being one chief privilege of freemen) is hardly to be hoped
for, and our candidates will answer, whether they are questioned or not,
I would recommend that these ante-electionary dialogues should be
carried on by symbols, as were the diplomatic correspondences of the
Scythians and Macrobii, or confined to the language of signs, like the
famous interview of Panurge and Goatsnose. A candidate might then convey
a suitable reply to all committees of inquiry by closing one eye, or by
presenting them with a phial of Egyptian darkness to be speculated upon
by their respective constituencies. These answers would be susceptible
of whatever retrospective construction the exigencies of the political
campaign might seem to demand, and the candidate could take his position
on either side of the fence with entire consistency. Or, if letters must
be written, profitable use might be made of the Dighton rock
hieroglyphic or the cuneiform script, every fresh decipherer of which is
enabled to educe a different meaning, whereby a sculptured stone or two
supplies us, and will probably continue to supply posterity, with a very
vast and various body of authentic history. For even the briefest
epistle in the ordinary chirography is dangerous. There is scarce any
style so compressed that superfluous words may not be detected in it. A
severe critic might curtail that famous brevity of Cæsar's by two
thirds, drawing his pen through the supererogatory _veni_ and _vidi_.
Perhaps, after all, the surest footing of hope is to be found in the
rapidly increasing tendency to demand less and less of qualification in
candidates. Already have statesmanship, experience, and the possession
(nay, the profession, even) of principles been rejected as superfluous,
and may not the patriot reasonably hope that the ability to write will
follow? At present, there may be death in pot-hooks as well as pots, the
loop of a letter may suffice for a bow-string, and all the dreadful
heresies of Anti-slavery may lurk in a flourish.--H. W.]



No. VIII.

A SECOND LETTER FROM B. SAWIN, ESQ.


[In the following epistle, we behold Mr. Sawin returning a _miles
emeritus_, to the bosom of his family. _Quantum mutatus!_ The good
Father of us all had doubtless entrusted to the keeping of this child of
his certain faculties of a constructive kind. He had put in him a share
of that vital force, the nicest economy of every minute atom of which is
necessary to the perfect development of Humanity. He had given him a
brain and heart, and so had equipped his soul with the two strong wings
of knowledge and love, whereby it can mount to hang its nest under the
eaves of heaven. And this child, so dowered, he had entrusted to the
keeping of his vicar, the State. How stands the account of that
stewardship? The State, or Society (call her by what name you will), had
taken no manner of thought of him till she saw him swept out into the
street, the pitiful leavings of last night's debauch, with cigar-ends,
lemon-parings, tobacco-quids, slops, vile stenches, and the whole
loathsome next-morning of the bar-room,--an own child of the Almighty
God! I remember him as he was brought to be christened, a ruddy, rugged
babe; and now there he wallows, reeking, seething,--the dead corpse, not
of a man, but of a soul,--a putrefying lump, horrible for the life that
is in it. Comes the wind of heaven, that good Samaritan, and parts the
hair upon his forehead, nor is too nice to kiss those parched, cracked
lips; the morning opens upon him her eyes full of pitying sunshine, the
sky yearns down to him,--and there he lies fermenting. O sleep! let me
not profane thy holy name by calling that stertorous unconsciousness a
slumber! By and by comes along the State, God's vicar. Does she
say,--"My poor, forlorn foster-child! Behold here a force which I will
make dig and plant and build for me"? Not so, but,--"Here is a recruit
ready-made to my hand, a piece of destroying energy lying unprofitably
idle." So she claps an ugly grey suit on him, puts a musket in his
grasp, and sends him off, with Gubernatorial and other godspeeds, to do
duty as a destroyer.

I made one of the crowd at the last Mechanics' Fair, and, with the rest,
stood gazing in wonder at a perfect machine, with its soul of fire, its
boiler-heart that sent the hot blood pulsing along the iron arteries,
and its thews of steel. And while I was admiring the adaptation of means
to end, the harmonious involutions of contrivance, and the
never-bewildered complexity, I saw a grimed and greasy fellow, the
imperious engine's lackey and drudge, whose sole office was to let fall,
at intervals, a drop or two of oil upon a certain joint. Then my soul
said within me, See there a piece of mechanism to which that other you
marvel at is but as the rude first effort of a child,--a force which not
merely suffices to set a few wheels in motion, but which can send an
impulse all through the infinite future,--a contrivance, not for turning
out pins, or stitching button-holes, but for making Hamlets and Lears.
And yet this thing of iron shall be housed, waited on, guarded from rust
and dust, and it shall be a crime but so much as to scratch it with a
pin; while the other, with its fire of God in it, shall be buffeted
hither and thither, and finally sent carefully a thousand miles to be
the target for a Mexican cannon-ball. Unthrifty Mother State! My heart
burned within me for pity and indignation, and I renewed this covenant
with my own soul,--_In aliis mansuetus ero, at, in blasphemiis contra
Christum, non ita._--H. W.]


    I spose you wonder ware I be; I can't tell, fer the soul o' me,
    Exacly ware I be myself,--meanin' by thet the holl o' me.
    Wen I left hum, I hed two legs, an' they worn't bad ones neither
    (The scaliest trick they ever played wuz bringin' on me hither),
    Now one on 'em 's I dunno ware;--they thought I wuz adyin',
    An' sawed it off, because they said 'twuz kin' o' mortifyin';
    I 'm willin' to believe it wuz, an' yit I don't see, nuther,
    Wy one should take to feelin' cheap a minnit sooner 'n t'other,
    Sence both wuz equilly to blame; but things is ez they be;
    It took on so they took it off, an' thet 's enough fer me:
    There 's one good thing, though, to be said about my wooden new one,--
    The liquor can't get into it ez 't used to in the true one;
    So it saves drink; an' then, besides, a feller could n't beg.
    A gretter blessin' then to hev one ollers sober peg;
    It 's true a chap 's in want o' two fer follerin' a drum,
    But all the march I 'm up to now is jest to Kingdom Come.

    I 've lost one eye, but thet 's a loss it 's easy to supply
    Out o' the glory thet I 've gut, fer thet is all my eye;
    An' one is big enough, I guess, by diligently usin' it,
    To see all I shall ever git by way o' pay fer losin' it;
    Off'cers, I notice, who git paid fer all our thumps an' kickins,
    Du wal by keepin' single eyes arter the fattest pickins;
    So, ez the eye 's put fairly out, I 'll larn to go without it,
    An' not allow _myself_ to be no gret put out about it.
    Now, le' me see, thet is n't all; I used, 'fore leavin' Jaalam,
    To count things on my finger-eends, but sutthin' seems to ail 'em:
    Ware 's my left hand? O, darn it, yes, I recollect wut 's come on 't;
    I haint no left arm but my right, an' thet 's gut jest a thumb on 't;
    It aint so hendy ez it wuz to cal'late a sum on 't.
    I 've hed some ribs broke,--six (I b'lieve),--I haint kep' no
              account on 'em;
    Wen pensions git to be the talk, I 'll settle the amount on 'em.
    An' now I 'm speakin' about ribs, it kin' o' brings to mind
    One thet I could n't never break,--the one I lef' behind;
    Ef you should see her, jest clear out the spout o' your invention
    An' pour the longest sweetnin'-in about an annooal pension,
    An' kin' o' hint (in case, you know, the critter should refuse to be
    Consoled) I aint so 'xpensive now to keep ez wut I used to be;
    There 's one arm less, ditto one eye, an' then the leg thet 's wooden
    Can be took off an' sot away wenever ther' 's a puddin'.

    I spose you think I 'm comin' back ez opperlunt ez thunder,
    With shiploads o' gold images, an' varus sorts o' plunder;
    Wal, 'fore I vullinteered, I thought this country wuz a sort o'
    Canaan, a reg'lar Promised Land flowin' with rum an' water,
    Ware propaty growed up like time, without no cultivation,
    An' gold wuz dug ez taters be among our Yankee nation,
    Ware nateral advantages were pufficly amazin',
    Ware every rock there wuz about with precious stuns wuz blazin',
    Ware mill-sites filled the country up ez thick ez you could cram 'em,
    An' desput rivers run about abeggin' folks to dam 'em;
    Then there were meetinhouses, tu, chockful o' gold an' silver
    Thet you could take, an' no one could n't hand ye in no bill fer;--
    Thet 's wut I thought afore I went, thet 's wut them fellers told us
    Thet stayed to hum an' speechified an' to the buzzards sold us;
    I thought thet gold mines could be gut cheaper than china asters,
    An' see myself acomin' back like sixty Jacob Astors;
    But sech idees soon melted down an' did n't leave a grease-spot;
    I vow my holl sheer o' the spiles would n't come nigh a V spot;
    Although, most anywares we 've ben, you need n't break no locks,
    Nor run no kin' o' risks, to fill your pocket full o' rocks.

    I guess I mentioned in my last some o' the nateral feeturs
    O' this all-fiered buggy hole in th' way o' awfle 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 teapot 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' thet 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 does 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 an' 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
    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 portion 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 is 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_ shan'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 nighest 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'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;
    The on'y thing like revellin' thet ever come to me
    Wuz bein' routed out o' sleep by thet darned revelee.

    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 milingtary 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 to 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'idates, 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 principles, 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 gone an' past, wut is there to go _for_?
    Ef, 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 ez strikes;
    Some say the people 's fond o' this, or thet, or wut you please,--
    I tell ye wut the people want is jest correct 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 Southern 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 particklar climes,
    Nor agin ownin' anythin' (except the truth sometimes),
    But, ez I haint no capital, up there among ye, may be,
    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,

                                                BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN.


[We have now a tolerably fair chance of estimating how the balance-sheet
stands between our returned volunteer and glory. Supposing 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:--


 _Cr._     B. SAWIN, Esq., _in account with_ (BLANK) GLORY.     _Dr._

 By loss of one leg            20    To one 675th three cheers
 "   do.    one arm            15       in Faneuil Hall            30
 "   do.    four fingers        5    "  do. do. on occasion
 "   do.    one eye            10       of presentation of
 "  the breaking of six ribs    6       sword to Colonel Wright    25
 "  having served under              "  one suit of grey clothes
    Colonel Cushing one                 (ingeniously unbecoming)   15
    month                      44    "  musical entertainments
                                        (drum and fife six
                                        months)                     5
                                     "  one dinner after return     1
                                     "  chance of pension           1
                                     "  privilege of drawing
                                        longbow during rest of
                                        natural life               23
                             ----                                ----
    E. E.                     100                                 100


It would appear that Mr. Sawin found the actual feast curiously the
reverse of the bill of fare advertised in Faneuil Hall and other places.
His primary object seems to have been the making of his fortune.
_Quærenda pecunia primum, virtus post nummos._ He hoisted sail for
Eldorado, and shipwrecked on Point Tribulation. _Quid non mortalia
pectora cogis, auri sacra fames?_ The speculation has sometimes crossed
my mind, in that dreary interval of drought which intervenes between
quarterly stipendiary showers, that Providence, by the creation of a
money-tree, 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 virgæ_. That money-trees existed in the
golden age there want not prevalent reasons for our believing. For does
not the old proverb, when it asserts that money does not grow on _every_
bush, imply _à 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 degenerated into a shrub, then
absconded underground, and finally, in our iron age, vanished
altogether. In favourable 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 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
favourable breezes? All which will appear the more clearly when we
consider, that, even to this day, _raising the wind_ is proverbial for
raising money, and 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 England
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
fortunate 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 myself. 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 I 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 flies, 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 under the title _Sawin, B._, let
us extend our investigations, 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 hugger-mugger 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 ball, 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:--


                                    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             .10

 " extra work on two different Sabbaths (one bombardment
    and one assault) whereby the Mexicans were prevented
    from defiling themselves with the idolatries of high
    mass                                                       3.50

 " throwing an especially fortunate and Protestant
    bomb-shell into the Cathedral at Vera Cruz, whereby
    several female Papists were slain at the altar              .50

 " his proportion of cash paid for conquered territory         1.75

 "         do.       do.       for conquering  do.             1.50

 " manuring do. with new superior compost called
    "American Citizen"                                          .50

 " extending the area of freedom and Protestantism              .01

 " glory                                                        .01
                                                             ------
                                                              $9.87

   _Immediate payment is requested._

N.B. Thankful for former favours, U. S. requests a continuance of
patronage. Orders 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 forthwith 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
him of his gay livery, and present him to me coatless, his trousers
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 temporal mercies upon the board before
me.--H. W.]



No. IX.

A THIRD LETTER FROM B. SAWIN, ESQ.


[Upon the following letter slender comment will be needful. In what
river Selemnus 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 favour, 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 honoured implement of husbandry (for which,
indeed, Mr. Sawin never displayed any decided predilection), but in
order to be gracefully summoned therefrom to more congenial labours. It
would seem that the character of the ancient Dictator had become part of
the recognised stock of our modern political comedy, though, as our term
of office extends to a quadrennial length, the parallel is not so
minutely exact as could be desired. It is sufficiently so, however, for
purposes of scenic representation. An humble cottage (if built of logs,
the better) forms the Arcadian background of the stage. This rustic
paradise is labeled 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 labourers, or from it the successful 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 Bâton Rouge or
Ashland, the labourers are kept carefully in the background, and are
heard to shout from 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 connexion between
agricultural pursuits and statesmanship I have not been able, after
diligent inquiry, to discover. But, that my 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 exalted 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 nihil_, that 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
baulk our suffrages, we must content ourselves with what we can get,
remembering _lactucas non esse dandas, dum cardui sufficiant_.--H. W.]


    I spose you recollect thet I explained my gennle views
    In the last billet thet I writ, 'way down frum Veery Cruze,
    Jest arter I 'd a kind o' ben spontanously sot up
    To run unanimously fer the Presidential cup;
    O' course it worn't no wish o' mine, 't wuz ferfiely 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 I saw
    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 I should feel consid'able elated,
    An' wile the hooraw 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 ain't 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 'll go back to my plough.
    Now, '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 didn't like at fust the Pheladelphy nomernee;
    I could ha' pinted to a man thet wuz, 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 would n't ha' cut my foot
    By goin' an' votin' fer myself like a consumed 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!

    Another pint thet influences the minds o' sober 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; an' 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 bullock by the tail.
    Webster sot matters right in that air Mashfiel' speech o' his'n;--
    "Taylor," sez he, "aint nary ways the one thet I 'd a chizzen,
    Nor he ain't fittin' fer the place, an' like ez not he aint
    No more 'n a tough ole bullethead, an' no gret of a saint;
    But 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 bulldog 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, source,
    Unless he scratches, goin' down, with them air Gin'ral's spurs.
    I 've ben a votin' Demmercrat, ez reg'lar ez 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 wuz done,
    Till, fur 'z I know, there aint an inch thet I could lay my han' on,
    But I, or any Demmercrat, feels comf'table to stan' on,
    An' ole Wig doctrines act'lly look, their occ'pants bein' gone,
    Lonesome ez staddles on a mash without no hay-ricks 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, hev gut th' idee thet No'thun dough 'll rise,
    Though, 'fore I see it riz an' baked, I 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 stand upon a platform with sech critters ez Van Buren;--
    An' his son John, tu, I can't think how thet air chap should dare
    To speak ez he doos; wy, they say he used to cuss an' swear!
    I spose 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 wuz 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 didn't want to sign the Temprunce pledge!
    He 's one o' them thet goes about an' sez you hed n't ough' to
    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 tee-totallers.

    Ez fer the niggers, I 've been South, an' thet hez changed my mind;
    A lazier, more ungrateful 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 bargin finally to take a feller 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' o' hut, 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' abstract, 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;
    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 contented 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."

    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 jest by my side, supposin' 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
    (Mixed with some wiskey, now an' 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 pistils an' my gun,
    Or else thet they 'd cair off the leg an' fairly cut the run.
    I vow I did n't b'lieve there wuz a decent alligatur
    Thet hed a heart so destitoot o' common human natur;
    However, ez there worn't no help, I finally gev 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," sez he, 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 bed gut his corn an' his Carliny taters in;
    He made me larn him readin', tu (although the crittur saw
    How much it hurt 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' tole him thet wuz it.
    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 any thin' on airth 'll ever prove to me
    Thet renegader slaves like him air fit fer bein' free?
    D' you think they 'll suck me in to jine the Buff'lo chaps, an' them
    Rank infidels thet go agin the Scriptur'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
wherefrom 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 lucubrations, 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 Gospel of St. John, which Jacques Cartier ordered 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
ears. 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 John de
Plano Carpini relates to have prevailed among the Tartars would seem
effectual, and, perhaps, deserved enough. For my own part, I may lay
claim to so much 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 kingdom 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 him.

I am not wholly unconscious of a peculiarity of mental organization
which impels me, like the railroad-engine with its train of cars, to run
backward for a short distance in order 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 _algæ_, among
which, nevertheless, the naturalist may haply find somewhat to repay the
disappointment of the angler. Yet have I conscientiously endeavoured 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 pigmies.
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 monsters. 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 aforementioned discourses may supply
us with a plausible interpretation of the second labour of Hercules, and
his successful experiment with fire affords us a useful precedent.

But while I lament the degeneracy of the age in this regard, I cannot
refuse to succumb to its influence. Looking out through my study-window,
I see Mr. Biglow at a distance busy in gathering his Baldwins, of which,
to judge by the number of barrels lying about under the trees, his crop
is more abundant than my own,--by which sight I am admonished to turn to
those orchards of the mind wherein my labours may be more prospered, and
apply myself diligently to the preparation of my next Sabbath's
discourse.--H. W.]



GLOSSARY.


 A.

 Act'lly, _actually_.

 Air, _are_.

 Airth, _earth_.

 Airy, _area_.

 Aree, _area_.

 Arter, _after_.

 Ax, _ask_.


 B.

 Beller, _bellow_.

 Bellowses, _lunge_.

 Ben, _been_.

 Bile, _boil_.

 Bimeby, _by and by_.

 Blurt out, _to speak bluntly_.

 Bust, _burst_.

 Buster, _a roistering blade_;
   used also as a general superlative.


 C.

 Caird, _carried_.

 Cairn, _carrying_.

 Caleb, _a turncoat_.

 Cal'late, _calculate_.

 Cass, _a person with two lives_.

 Close, _clothes_.

 Cockerel, _a young cock_.

 Cocktail, _a kind of drink_;
   also, _an ornament peculiar to soldiers_.

 Convention, _a place where people are imposed on_;
   _a juggler's show_.

 Coons, _a cant term for a now defunct party_;
   derived, perhaps, from the fact of their being commonly _up a tree_.

 Cornwallis, _a sort of muster in masquerade_;
   supposed to have had its origin soon after the Revolution, and to
           commemorate the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. It took the
           place of the old Guy Fawkes procession.

 Crooked stick, _a perverse, froward person_.

 Cunnle, _a colonel_.

 Cus, _a curse_;
   also, _a pitiful fellow_.


 D.

 Darsn't, used indiscriminately, either in singular or plural number,
           for _dare not_, _dares not_, and _dared not_.

 Deacon off, _to give the cue to_;
   derived from a custom, once universal, but now extinct, in our New
           England Congregational churches. An important part of the
           office of deacon was to read aloud the hymns _given out_ by
           the minister, one line at a time, the congregation singing
           each line as soon as read.

 Demmercrat, leadin', _one in favour of extending slavery_;
   _a free-trade lecturer maintained in the custom-house_.

 Desput, _desperate_.

 Doos, _does_.

 Doughface, _a contented lick-spittle_;
   a common variety of Northern politician.

 Dror, _draw_.

 Du, _do_.

 Dunno, dno, _do not_ or _does not know_.

 Dut, _dirt_.


 E.

 Eend, _end_.

 Ef, _if_.

 Emptins, _yeast_.

 Env'y, _envoy_.

 Everlasting, an intensive, without reference to duration.

 Ev'y, _every_.

 Ez, _as_.


 F.

 Fer, _for_.

 Ferfle, ferful, _fearful_;
   also an intensive.

 Fin', _find_.

 Fish-skin, used in New England to clarify coffee.

 Fix, _a difficulty_, _a nonplus_.

 Foller, folly, _to follow_.

 Forrerd, _forward_.

 Frum, _from_.

 Fur, _far_.

 Furder, _farther_.

 Furrer, _furrow_.
   Metaphorically, _to draw a straight furrow_ is to live uprightly
           or decorously.

 Fust, _first_.


 G.

 Gin, _gave_.

 Git, _get_.

 Gret, _great_.

 Grit, _spirit_, _energy_, _pluck_.

 Grout, _to sulk_.

 Grouty, _crabbed_, _surly_.

 Gum, _to impose on_.

 Gump, _a foolish fellow_, _a dullard_.

 Gut, _got_.


 H.

 Hed, _had_.

 Heern, _heard_.

 Hellum, _helm_.

 Hendy, _handy_.

 Het, _heated_.

 Hev, _have_.

 Hez, _has_.

 Holl, _whole_.

 Holt, _hold_.

 Huf, _hoof_.

 Hull, _whole_.

 Hum, _home_.

 Humbug, _General Taylor's antislavery_.

 Hut, _hurt_.


 I.

 Idno, _I do not know_.

 In'my, _enemy_.

 Insines, _ensigns_;
   used to designate both the officer who carries the standard, and the
           standard itself.

 Inter, intu, _into_.


 J.

 Jedge, _judge_.

 Jest, _just_.

 Jine, _join_.

 Jint, _joint_.

 Junk, _a fragment of any solid substance_.


 K.

 Keer, _care_.

 Kep, _kept_.

 Killock, _a small anchor_.

 Kin', kin' o', kinder, _kind_, _kind of_.


 L.

 Lawth, _loath_.

 Let day-light into, _to shoot_.

 Let on, _to hint_, _to confess_, _to own_.

 Lick, _to beat_, _to overcome_.

 Lights, _the bowels_.

 Lily-pads, _leaves of the water-lily_.

 Long-sweetening, _molasses_.

 Loon, _the northern diver_.


 M.

 Mash, _marsh_.

 Mean, _stingy_, _ill-natured_.

 Min', _mind_.


 N.

 Ned, a slang phrase, going it like Ned, equivalent to our 'going like
           old Harry.'

 Nimepunce, _ninepence_, _twelve and a half cents_.

 Nowers, _nowhere_.


 O.

 Offen, _often_.

 Ole, _old_.

 Ollers, olluz, _always_.

 On, _of_;
   used before _it_ or _them_, or at the end of a sentence, as _on 't_,
           _on 'em_, _nut ez ever I heerd on_.

 On'y, _only_.

 Ossifer, _officer_ (seldom heard).


 P.

 Peaked, _pointed_.

 Peek, _to peep_.

 Pickerel, _the pike, a fish_.

 Pint, _point_.

 Pocket full of rocks, _plenty of money_.

 Pooty, _pretty_.

 Pop'ler, _conceited_, _popular_.

 Pus, _purse_.

 Put out, _troubled_, _vexed_.


 Q.

 Quarter, _a quarter-dollar_.

 Queen's arm, _a musket_.


 R.

 Resh, _rush_.

 Revelee, _the réveille_.

 Rile, _to trouble_.

 Riled, _angry_;
   _disturbed_, as the sediment in any liquid.

 Riz, _risen_.

 Row, a long row to hoe, _a difficult task_.

 Rugged, _robust_.

 Row-de-dow, _troublesome talk_.


 S.

 Sarse, _abuse_, _impertinence_.

 Sartin, _certain_.

 Saxon, _sacristan_, _sexton_.

 Scaliest, _worst_.

 Scringe, _cringe_.

 Scrouge, _to crowd_.

 Sech, _such_.

 Set by, _valued_.

 Shakes, great, _of considerable consequence_.

 Shappoes, _chapeaux_, _cocked-hats_.

 Sheer, _share_.

 Shet, _shut_.

 Shine, _a fancy or liking_, also written _shindy_.

 Shut, _shirt_.

 Skeered, _scared_.

 Skeeter, _mosquito_.

 Skooting, _running_ or _moving swiftly_.

 Slarterin', _slaughtering_.

 Slim, _contemptible_.

 Snaked, _crawled like a snake_;
   but _to snake any one out_, is to track him to his hiding-place;
   _to snake a thing out_ is to snatch it out.

 Soffies, _sofas_.

 Sogerin', _soldiering_;
   a barbarous amusement common among men in the savage state.

 Som'ers, _somewhere_.

 So 'st, _so as that_.

 Sot, _set_, _obstinate_, _resolute_.

 Spiles, _spoils_; _objects of political ambition_.

 Spry, _active_.

 Staddles, _stout stakes driven into the salt marshes_, on which the
           hay-ricks are set, and thus raised out of the reach of high
           tides.

 Streaked, _uncomfortable_, _discomfited_.

 Suckle, _circle_.

 Sutthin', _something_.

 Suttin, _certain_.

 Swan, _to swear_.


 T.

 Take on, _to sorrow_.

 Talents, _talons_.

 Taters, _potatoes_.

 Tell, _till_.

 Tetch, _touch_.

 Tetch tu, _to be able_;
   used always after a negative in this sense.

 Tollable, _tolerable_.

 Toot, used derisively _for playing on any wind instrument_.

 Thru, _through_.

 Thundering, a euphemism common in New England, for the profane English
           expression _devilish_. Perhaps derived from the belief,
           common formerly, that thunder was caused by the Prince of
           the Air, for some of whose accomplishments consult Cotton
           Mather.

 Tu, _to_, _too_;
   commonly has this sound when used emphatically, or at the end of a
           sentence. At other times it has the sound of _t_ in _tough_,
           as _Ware ye goin' tu? Goin' ta Boston_.


 U.

 Ugly, _ill-tempered_, _intractable_.

 Uncle Sam, _United States_;
   the largest boaster of liberty and owner of slaves.

 Unrizzest, applied to dough or bread;
   _heavy_, _most unrisen_, or _most incapable of rising_.


 V

 V spot, _a five-dollar bill_.

 Vally, _value_.


 W.

 Wake snakes, _to get into trouble_.

 Wal, _well_;
   spoken with great deliberation, and sometimes with the _a_ very much
           flattened, sometimes (but more seldom) very much broadened.

 Wannut, _walnut_ (_hickory_).

 Ware, _where_.

 Ware, _were_.

 Whopper, _an uncommonly large lie_;
   as, that General Taylor is in favour of the Wilmot Proviso.

 Wig, _Whig_;
   a party now dissolved.

 Wiz, _to whiz_;
   _go off_ (like a rocket).

 Wunt, _will not_.

 Wus, _worse_.

 Wut, _what_.

 Wuth, _worth_;
   as, _Antislavery perfessions 'fore 'lection aint wuth a Bungtown
           copper_.

 Wuz, _was_, sometimes _were_.


 Y.

 Yaller, _yellow_.

 Yeller, _yellow_.

 Yellers, _a disease of peach-trees_.


 Z.

 Zach, Ole, _a second Washington_, _an antislavery slaveholder_, _a
           humane buyer and seller of men and women_, _a Christian hero
           generally_.



INDEX.


 A. B., information wanted concerning, 76.

 Adam, eldest son of, respected, 10.

 Æneas goes to hell, 101.

 Æolus, a seller of money, as is supposed by some, 101.

 Æschylus, a saying of, 51, _note_.

 Alligator, a decent one conjectured to be, in some sort, humane, 120.

 Alphonso the Sixth of Portugal, tyrannical act of, 120.

 Ambrose, Saint, excellent (but rationalistic) sentiment of, 35.

 "American Citizen," new compost so called, 104.

 American Eagle, a source of inspiration, 45
   --hitherto wrongly classed, 51
   --long bill of, 51.

 Amos, cited, 34.

 Anakim, that they formerly existed, shown, 124.

 Angels, providentially speak French, 23
   --conjectured to be skilled in all tongues, _ib._

 Anglo-Saxondom, its idea, what, 21.

 Anglo-Saxon mask, 21.

 Anglo-Saxon race, 16.

 Anglo-Saxon verse, by whom carried to perfection, 11.

 Antonius, a speech of, 40
   --by whom best reported, _ib._

 Apocalypse, beast in, magnetic to theologians, 83.

 Apollo, confessed mortal by his own oracle, 83.

 Apollyon, his tragedies popular, 72.

 Appian, an Alexandrian, not equal to Shakspeare as an orator, 40.

 Ararat, ignorance of foreign tongues is an, 53.

 Arcadian background, 106.

 Aristophanes, 34.

 Arms, profession of, once esteemed especially that of gentlemen, 10.

 Arnold, 42.

 Ashland, 106.

 Astor, Jacob, a rich man, 91.

 Astræa, nineteenth century forsaken by, 102.

 Athenians, ancient, an institution of, 41.

 Atherton, Senator, envies the loon, 60.

 Austin, St., profane wish of, 43, _note_.

 Aye-Aye, the, an African animal, America supposed to be settled by, 25.


 Babel, probably the first Congress, 53
   --a gabble-mill, _ib._

 Baby, a low-priced one, 98.

 Bagowind, Hon. Mr., whether to be damned, 63.

 Baldwin apples, 125.

 Baratarias, real or imaginary, which most pleasant, 102.

 Barnum, a great natural curiosity recommended to, 49.

 Barrels, an inference from seeing, 125.

 Bâton Rouge, 106
   --strange peculiarities of labourers at, 107.

 Baxter, R., a saying of, 35.

 Bay, Mattysqumscot, 119.

 Bay State, singular effect produced on military officers by leaving
           it, 21.

 Beast in Apocalypse, a loadstone, for whom, 83.

 Beelzebub, his rigadoon, 61.

 Behmen, his letters not letters, 76.

 Bellers, a saloon-keeper, 111
   --inhumanly refuses credit to a presidential candidate, 112.

 Biglow, Ezekiel, his letter to Hon. J. T. Buckingham, 1
   --never heard of any one named Mundishes, 2
   --nearly four-score years old, _ib._
   --his aunt Keziah, a notable saying of, 3.

 Biglow, Hosea, excited by composition, 2
   --a poem by, 3, 66
   --his opinion of war, 4
   --wanted at home by Nancy, 7
   --recommends a forcible enlistment of warlike editors, _ib._
   --would not wonder, if generally agreed with, 9
   --versifies letter of Mr. Sawin, 11
   --a letter from, 12, 57, 77
   --his opinion of Mr. Sawin, 12
   --does not deny fun at Cornwallis, 14, _note_
   --his idea of militia glory, 17, _note_
   --a pun of, 18, _note_
   --is uncertain in regard to people of Boston, _ib._
   --had never heard of Mr. John P. Robinson, 27
   --_aliquid sufflaminandus_, 28
   --his poems attributed to a Mr. Lowell, 33
   --is unskilled in Latin, _ib._
   --his poetry maligned by some, 34
   --his disinterestedness, _ib._
   --his deep share in commonweal, _ib._
   --his claim to the presidency, _ib._
   --his mowing, _ib._
   --resents being called Whig, 35
   --opposed to tariff, _ib._
   --obstinate, _ib._
   --infected with peculiar notions, _ib._
   --reports a speech, 40
   --emulates historians of antiquity, _ib._
   --his character sketched from a hostile point of view, 52
   --a request of his complied with, 64
   --appointed at a public meeting in Jaalam, 77
   --confesses ignorance, in one minute particular, of propriety, _ib._
   --his opinion of cocked hats, _ib._
   --letter to, _ib._
   --called "Dear Sir," by a general, _ib._
   --probably receives same compliment from two hundred and nine, _ib._
   --picks his apples, 125
   --his crop of Baldwins conjecturally large, _ib._

 Billings, Dea. Cephas, 14.

 Birch, virtue of, in instilling certain of the dead languages, 100.

 Bird of our country sings hosanna, 16.

 Blind, to go it, 98.

 Blitz pulls ribbons from his mouth, 16.

 Bluenose potatoes, smell of, eagerly desired, 17.

 Bobtail obtains a cardinal's hat, 25.

 Bolles, Mr. Secondary, author of prize peace essay, 15
   --presents sword to Lieutenant Colonel, _ib._
   --a fluent orator, _ib._
   --found to be in error, 17.

 Bonaparte, N., a usurper, 83.

 Boot-trees, productive, where, 100.

 Boston, people of, supposed educated, 18, _note_.

 Brahmins, navel-contemplating, 74.

 Bread-trees, 100.

 Brigadier-Generals in militia, devotion of, 38.

 Brown, Mr., engages in an unequal contest, 63.

 Browne, Sir T., a pious and wise sentiment of, cited and commended, 11.

 Buckingham, Hon. J. T., editor of the Boston Courier, letters to, 1,
           12, 33, 57
   --not afraid, 13.

 Buffalo, a plan hatched there, 115
   --plaster, a prophecy in regard to, _ib._

 Buncombe, in the other world supposed, 41.

 Bung, the eternal, thought to be loose, 7.

 Bungtown Fencibles, dinner of, 26.

 Butter in Irish bogs, 100.


 C., General, commended for parts, 29
   --for ubiquity, _ib._
   --for consistency, _ib._
   --for fidelity, _ib._
   --is in favour of war, _ib._
   --his curious valuation of principle, _ib._

 Cæsar, tribute to, 66
   --his _veni, vidi, vici_, censured for undue prolixity, 85.

 Cainites, sect of, supposed still extant, 10.

 Caleb, a monopoly of his denied, 15
   --curious notions of, as to meaning of "shelter," 19
   --his definition of Anglo-Saxon, 20
   --charges Mexicans (not with bayonets, but) with improprieties, _ib._

 Calhoun, Hon. J. C., his cow-bell curfew, light of the nineteenth
           century to be extinguished at sound of, 55
   --cannot let go apron-string of the Past, _ib._
   --his unsuccessful tilt at Spirit of the Age, 56
   --the Sir Kay of modern chivalry, _ib._
   --his anchor made of a crooked pin, 57
   --mentioned, 58-61.

 Cambridge Platform, use discovered for, 24.

 Canary Islands, 100.

 Candidate, presidential, letter from, 74
   --smells a rat, 78
   --against a bank, 79
   --takes a revolving position, _ib._
   --opinion of pledges, 80
   --is a periwig, _ib._
   --fronts south by north, 81
   --qualifications of, lessening, 85
   --wooden leg (and head) useful to, 96.

 Cape Cod clergymen, what, 24
   --Sabbath-breakers, perhaps, reproved by, _ib._

 Carpini, Father John de Plano, among the Tartars, 123.

 Cartier, Jacques, commendable zeal of, 123.

 Cass, General, 59
   --clearness of his merit, 60
   --limited popularity at "Bellers's," 111.

 Castles, Spanish, comfortable accommodations in, 102.

 Cato, letters of, so called, suspended _naso adunco_, 76.

 C. D., friends of, can hear of him, 76.

 Chalk egg, we are proud of incubation of, 75.

 Chappelow on Job, a copy of, lost, 65.

 Cherubusco, news of, its effects on English royalty, 50.

 Chesterfield no letter-writer, 76.

 Chief Magistrate, dancing esteemed sinful by, 24.

 Children naturally speak Hebrew, 11.

 China-tree, 100.

 Chinese, whether they invented gunpowder before the Christian era,
           _not_ considered, 25.

 Choate hired, 113.

 Christ shuffled into Apocrypha, 25
   --conjectured to disapprove of slaughter and pillage, 30
   --condemns a certain piece of barbarism, 63.

 Christianity, profession of, plebian, whether, 10.

 Christian soldiers, perhaps inconsistent, whether, 38.

 Cicero, an opinion of, disputed, 84.

 Cilley, Ensign, author of nefarious sentiment, 26.

 _Cimex lectularius_, 18.

 Cincinnatus, a stock character in modern comedy, 106.

 Civilization, progress of, an _alias_, 65
   --rides upon a powder-cart, 79.

 Clergymen, their ill husbandry, 64
   --their place in processions, 105
   --some, cruelly banished for the soundness of their lungs, 123.

 Cocked-hat, advantages of being knocked into, 77.

 College of Cardinals, a strange one, 25.

 Colman, Dr. Benjamin, anecdote of, 38.

 Coloured folks, curious national diversion of kicking, 19.

 Colquitt, a remark of, 60
   --acquainted with some principles of aerostation, _ib._

 Columbia, District of, its peculiar climatic effects, 44
   --not certain that Martin is for abolishing it, 115.

 Columbus, a Paul Pry of genius, 74.

 Columby, 109.

 Complete Letter-Writer, fatal gift of, 82.

 Compostella, St. James of, seen, 22.

 Congress, singular consequence of getting into, 43.

 Congressional debates, found instructive, 53.

 Constituents, useful for what, 44.

 Constitution trampled on, 58
   --to stand upon, what, 78.

 Convention, what, 44.

 Convention, Springfield, 44.

 Coon, old, pleasure in skinning, 59.

 Coppers, _caste_ in picking up of, 94.

 Copres, a monk, his excellent method of arguing, 54.

 Cornwallis, a, 14
   --acknowledged entertaining, _ib._, _note_.

 Cotton Mather, summoned as witness, 23.

 Country lawyers, sent providentially, 31.

 Country, our, its boundaries more exactly defined, 32
   --right or wrong, nonsense about exposed, _ib._

 Courier, The Boston, an unsafe print, 52.

 Court, General, farmers sometimes attain seats in, 107.

 Cowper, W., his letters commended, 76.

 Creed, a safe kind of, 97.

 Crusade, first American, 23.

 Cuneiform script recommended, 85.

 Curiosity distinguishes man from brutes, 74.


 Davis, Mr., of Mississippi, a remark of his, 59.

 Day and Martin, proverbially "on hand," 2.

 Death, rings down curtain, 72.

 Delphi, oracle of, surpassed, 51, _note_
   --alluded to, 83.

 Destiny, her account, 49.

 Devil, the, unskilled in certain Indian tongues, 23.

 Dey of Tripoli, 55.

 Diaz, Bernal, has a vision, 22
   --his relationship to the Scarlet Woman, _ib._

 Didymus, a somewhat voluminous grammarian, 83.

 Dighton rock character might be usefully employed in some emergencies, 84.

 Dimitry Bruisgins, fresh supply of, 73.

 Diogenes, his zeal for propagating certain variety of olive, 100.

 Dioscuri, imps of the pit, 23.

 District-Attorney, contemptible conduct of one, 55.

 Ditchwater on brain, a too common ailing, 54.

 Doctor, the, a proverbial saying of, 22.

 Doughface, yeast-proof, 69.

 Drayton, a martyr, 55
   --north star, culpable for aiding, whether, 62.


 Earth, Dame, a peep at her housekeeping, 56.

 Eating words, habit of, convenient in time of famine, 49.

 Eavesdroppers, 74.

 Editor, his position, 64
   --commanding pulpit of, _ib._
   --large congregation of, _ib._
   --name derived from what, 66
   --fondness for mutton, _ib._
   --a pious one, his creed, _ib._
   --a showman, 71
   --in danger of sudden arrest, without bail, 72.

 Editors, certain ones who crow like cockerels, 7.

 Egyptian darkness, phial of, use for, 84.

 Eldorado, Mr. Sawin sets sail for, 100.

 Elizabeth, Queen, mistake of her ambassador, 41.

 Empedocles, 74.

 Employment, regular, a good thing, 93.

 Epaulets, perhaps no badge of saint-ship, 30.

 Episcopius, his marvellous oratory, 123.

 Eric, king of Sweden, his cap, 101.

 Evangelists, iron ones, 24.

 Eyelids, a divine shield against authors, 54.

 Ezekiel, text taken from, 64.


 Factory-girls, expected rebellion of, 60.

 Family-trees, fruit of jejune, 100.

 Faneuil Hall, a place where persons tap themselves for a species of
           hydrocephalus, 54
   --a bill of fare mendaciously advertised in, 100.

 Father of country, his shoes, 108.

 Female Papists, cut off in midst of idolatry, 104.

 Fire, we all like to play with it, 56.

 Fish, emblematic, but disregarded, where, 54.

 Flam, President, untrustworthy, 45.

 Fly-leaves, providential increase of, 54.

 Foote, Mr., his taste for field-sports, 58.

 Fourier, a squinting toward, 52.

 Fourth of Julys, boiling, 42.

 France, a strange dance begun in, 61.

 Fuller, Dr. Thomas, a wise saying of, 28.

 Funnel, Old, hurraing in, 15.


 Gawain, Sir, his amusements, 56.

 Gay, S. H., Esquire, editor of National Antislavery Standard, letter
           to, 74.

 Getting up early, 4, 20.

 Ghosts, some, presumed fidgety, (but see Stilling's Pneumatology,) 75.

 Giants formerly stupid, 56.

 Gift of Tongues, distressing case of, 53.

 Globe Theatre, cheap season-ticket to, 72.

 Glory, a perquisite of officers, 94
   --her account with B. Sawin, Esq., 99.

 Goatsnose, the celebrated interview, with, 84.

 Gray's letters _are_ letters, 76.

 Great horn spoon, sworn by, 58.

 Greeks, ancient, whether they questioned candidates, 84.

 Green Man, sign of, 35.


 Ham, sandwich, an orthodox (but peculiar) one, 62.

 Hamlets, machine for making, 87.

 Hammon, 51, _note_, 83.

 Hannegan, Mr., something said by, 59.

 Harrison, General, how preserved, 82.

 Hat-trees, in full bearing, 100.

 Hawkins, Sir John, stout, something he saw, 100.

 Henry the Fourth, of England, a Parliament of, how named, 41.

 Hercules, his second labour probably what, 124.

 Herodotus, story from, 11.

 Hesperides, an inference from, 100.

 Holden, Mr. Shearjashub, Preceptor of Jaalam Academy, 83
   --his knowledge of Greek limited, _ib._
   --a heresy of his, _ib._
   --leaves a fund to propagate it, 84.

 Hollis, Ezra, goes to a Cornwallis, 14.

 Hollow, why men providentially so constructed, 42.

 Homer, a phrase of, cited, 65.

 Horners, democratic ones, plums left for, 46.

 Howell, James, Esq. story told by, 41
   --letters of, commended, 76.

 Human rights out of order on the floor of Congress, 58.

 Humbug, ascription of praise to, 70
   --generally believed in, _ib._

 Husbandry, instance of bad, 28.


 Icarius, Penelope's father, 32.

 Infants, prattlings of, curious observation concerning, 11.

 Information wanted (universally, but especially at page), 76.


 Jaalam Centre, Anglo-Saxons unjustly suspected by the young ladies
           there, 21
   --"Independent Blunderbuss," strange conduct of editor of, 64
   --public meeting at, 77.

 Jaalam Point, light-house on charge of prospectively offered to Mr. H.
           Biglow, 81
   --meeting-house ornamented with imaginary clock, 102.

 Jakes, Captain, 119
   --reproved for avarice, _ib._

 James the Fourth of Scots, experiment by, 11.

 Jarnagin, Mr., his opinion of the completeness of Northern education, 60.

 Jerome, Saint, his list of sacred writers, 76.

 Job, Book of, 10
   --Chappelow on, 65.

 Johnson, Mr., communicates some intelligence, 61.

 Jonah, the inevitable destiny of, 62
   --probably studied internal economy of the cetacea, 75.

 Jortin, Dr., cited 39, 51, _note_.

 Judea, everything not known there, 31.

 Juvenal, a saying of, 50, _note_.


 Kay, Sir, the, of modern chivalry, who, 56.

 Key, brazen one, 55.

 Keziah, Aunt, profound observation of, 3.

 Kinderhook, 106.

 Kingdom Come, march to, easy, 89.

 Königsmark, Count, 10.


 Lamb, Charles, his epistolary excellence, 76.

 Latimer, Bishop, episcopizes Satan, 10.

 Latin tongue, curious information concerning, 33.

 Launcelot, Sir, a trusser of giants formerly, perhaps would find less
           sport therein now, 56.

 Letters classed, 76
   --their shape, _ib._
   --of candidates, 81
   --often fatal, 82.

 Lewis Philip, a scourger of young native Americans, 50
   --commiserated (though not deserving it,) 51, _note_.

 Liberator, a newspaper, condemned by implication, 35.

 Liberty unwholesome for men of certain complexions, 66.

 Lignum vitæ, a gift of this valuable wood proposed, 22.

 Longinus recommends swearing, 13, _note_ (Fuseli did same thing).

 Long sweetening recommended, 90.

 Lost arts, one sorrowfully added to list of, 124.

 Louis the Eleventh of France, some odd trees of his, 100.

 Lowell, Mr. J. R., unaccountable silence of, 33.

 Luther, Martin, his first appearance as Europa, 22.

 Lyttelton, Lord, his letters, an imposition, 76.


 Macrobii, their diplomacy, 84.

 Mahomet, got nearer Sinai than some, 66.

 Mahound, his filthy gobbets, 23.

 Mangum, Mr., speaks to the point, 58.

 Manichæan, excellently confuted, 54.

 Man-trees, grew where, 100.

 Mares'-nests, finders of, benevolent, 75.

 Marshfield, 106, 113.

 Martin, Mr. Sawin used to vote for him, 115.

 Mason and Dixon's line, slaves north of, 58.

 Mass, the, its duty defined, 59.

 Massachusetts, on her knees, 8
   --something mentioned in connection with, worthy the attention of
           tailors, 44
   --citizen of, baked, boiled, and roasted (_nefandum!_), 95.

 Masses, the, used as butter by some, 46.

 M. C., an invertebrate animal, 49.

 Mechanics' Fair, reflections suggested at, 87.

 Mentor, letters of, dreary, 76.

 Mephistopheles at a nonplus, 62.

 Mexican blood, its effect in raising price of cloth, 103.

 Mexican polka, 24.

 Mexicans charged with various breaches of etiquette, 22
   --kind feelings beaten into them, 70.

 Mexico, no glory in overcoming, 45.

 Military glory spoken disrespectfully of, 17, _note_
   --militia treated still worse, _ib._

 Milk-trees, growing still, 100.

 Mills for manufacturing gabble, how driven, 53.

 Milton, an unconscious plagiary, 43, _note_
   --a Latin verse of, cited, 66.

 Missions, a profitable kind of, 67.

 Monarch, a pagan, probably not favoured in philosophical experiments, 12.

 Money-trees desirable, 100
   --that they once existed shown to be variously probable, _ib._

 Montaigne, a communicative old Gascon, 75.

 Monterey, battle of, its singular chromatic effect on a species of
           two-headed eagle, 50.

 Moses held up vainly as an example, 65
   --construed by Joe Smith, _ib._

 Myths, how to interpret readily, 84.


 Naboths, Popish ones, how distinguished, 25.

 Nation, rights of, proportionate to size, 20.

 National pudding, its effect on the organs of speech, a curious
           physiological fact, 25.

 Nephelim, not yet extinct, 124.

 New England overpoweringly honoured, 48
   --wants no more speakers, _ib._
   --done brown by whom, _ib._
   --her experience in beans beyond Cicero's, 84.

 Newspaper, the, wonderful, 70
   --a strolling theatre, 71
   --thoughts suggested by tearing wrapper of, 72
   --a vacant sheet, _ib._
   --a sheet in which a vision was let down, 73
   --wrapper to a bar of soap, _ib._
   --a cheap impromptu platter, _ib._

 New York, Letters from, commended, 76.

 Next life, what, 72.

 Niggers, 5
   --area of abusing extended, 46
   --Mr. Sawin's opinions of, 117.

 Ninepence a day low for murder, 14.

 No, a monosyllable, 25
   --hard to utter, _ib._

 Noah, inclosed letter in bottle, probably, 75.

 Nornas, Lapland, what, 101.

 North, has no business, 58
   --bristling, crowded off roost, 81.

 North Bend, geese inhumanly treated at, 82
   --mentioned, 113.

 North Star, a proposition to indict, 62.


 Off ox, 70.

 Officers, miraculous transformation in character of, 21
   --Anglo-Saxon, come very near being anathematized, 22.

 O'Phace, Increase D., Esq., speech of, 40.

 Oracle of Fools, still respectfully consulted, 41.

 Orion, becomes commonplace, 73.

 Orrery, Lord, his letters (lord!), 76.

 Ostracism, curious species of, 41.


 Palestine, 23.

 Palfrey, Hon. J. G., 41, 50 (a worthy representative of Massachusetts.)

 Pantagruel recommends a popular oracle, 41.

 Panurge, his interview with Goatsnose, 84.

 Papists, female, slain by zealous Protestant bomb-shell, 104.

 Paralipomenon, a man suspected of being, 82.

 Paris, liberal principles safe as far away as, 66.

 _Parliamentum Indoctorum_ sitting in permanence, 44.

 Past, the, a good nurse, 55.

 Patience, sister, quoted, 16.

 Paynims, their throats propagandistically cut, 23.

 Penelope, her wise choice, 32.

 People, soft enough, 68
   --want correct ideas, 97.

 Pepin, King, 76.

 Periwig, 80.

 Persius, a pithy saying of, 46, _note_.

 Pescara, Marquis, saying of, 10.

 Peter, Saint, a letter of (_post-mortem_), 76.

 Pharisees, opprobriously referred to, 66.

 Philippe, Louis, in pea-jacket, 71.

 Phlegyas quoted, 63.

 Phrygian language, whether Adam spoke it, 11.

 Pilgrims, the, 45.

 Pillows, constitutional, 49.

 Pinto, Mr., some letters of his commended, 76.

 Pisgah, an impromptu one, 100.

 Platform, party, a convenient one, 97.

 Plato, supped with, 75
   --his man, 82.

 Pleiades, the, not enough esteemed, 73.

 Pliny, his letters not admired, 76.

 Plotinus, a story of, 55.

 Plymouth Rock, Old, a Convention wrecked on, 45.

 Point Tribulation, Mr. Sawin wrecked on, 100.

 Poles, exile, whether crop of beans depends on, 19, _note_.

 Polk, President, synonymous with our country, 30
   --censured, 44
   --in danger of being crushed, 46.

 Polka, Mexican, 24.

 Pomp, a runaway slave, his nest, 117
   --hypocritically groans like white man, 118
   --blind to Christian privileges, 119
   --his society valued at fifty dollars, _ib._
   --his treachery, 120
   --takes Mr. Sawin prisoner, 121
   --cruelly makes him work, _ib._
   --puts himself illegally under his tuition, 122
   --dismisses him with contumelious epithets, _ib._

 Pontifical bull, a tamed one, 22.

 Pope, his verse excellent, 11.

 Pork, refractory in boiling, 22.

 Portugal, Alphonso the Sixth of, a monster, 123.

 Post, Boston, 33
   --shaken visibly, 34
   --bad guide-post, _ib._
   --too swift, _ib._
   --edited by a colonel, _ib._
   --who is presumed officially in Mexico, _ib._
   --referred to, 59.

 Pot-hooks, death in, 59.

 Preacher, an ornamental symbol, 65
   --a breeder of dogmas, _ib._
   --earnestness of, important, 123.

 Present, considered as an annalist, 65
   --not long wonderful, 73.

 President, slaveholding natural to, 66
   --must be a Southern resident, 98
   --must own a nigger, _ib._

 Principle, exposure spoils it, 43.

 Principles, bad, when less harmful, 27.

 Prophecy, a notable one, 51, _note_.

 Proviso, bitterly spoken of, 79.

 Prudence, sister, her idiosyncratic teapot, 92.

 Psammeticus, an experiment of, 11.

 Public opinion a blind and drunken guide, 25
   --nudges Mr. Wilbur's elbow, 26
   --ticklers of, 45.

 Pythagoras a bean-hater, why, 84.

 Pythagoreans, fish reverenced by, why, 54.


 Quixote, Don, 57.


 Rag, one of sacred college, 25.

 Rantoul, Mr., talks loudly, 16
   --pious reason for not enlisting, _ib._

 Recruiting sergeant, Devil supposed the first, 10.

 Representatives' Chamber, 54.

 Rhinothism, society for promoting, 74.

 Rhyme, whether natural _not_ considered, 11.

 Rib, an infrangible one, 90.

 Richard the First of England, his Christian fervour, 23.

 Riches conjectured to have legs as well as wings, 62.

 Robinson, Mr. John P., his opinions fully stated, 27-31.

 Rocks, pocket full of, 91.

 Rough and Ready, 111
   --a wig, 112
   --a kind of scratch, _ib._

 Russian eagle turns Prussian blue, 50.


 Sabbath, breach of, 27.

 Sabellianism, one accused of, 82.

 Saltillo, unfavourable view of, 17.

 Salt-river in, Mexican, what, 17.

 Samuel, Uncle, riotous, 50
   --yet has qualities demanding reverence, 66
   --a good provider for his family, 68
   --an exorbitant bill of, 103.

 Sansculottes, draw their wine before drinking, 61.

 Santa Anna, his expensive leg, 96.

 Satan, never wants attorneys, 22
   --an expert talker by signs, _ib._
   --a successful fisherman with little or no bait, 23
   --cunning fetch of, 27
   --dislikes ridicule, 34
   --ought not to have credit of ancient oracles, 51, _note_.

 Satirist, incident to certain dangers, 28.

 Savages, Canadian, chance of redemption offered to, 123.

 Sawin, B., Esquire, his letter not written in verse, 11
   --a native of Jaalam, 12
   --not regular attendant on Rev. Mr. Wilbur's preaching, _ib._
   --a fool, _ib._
   --his statements trustworthy, _ib._
   --his ornithological tastes, _ib._
   --letter from, 13, 86, 106
   --his curious discovery in regard to bayonets, 15
   --displays proper family pride, _ib._
   --modestly confesses himself less wise than the Queen of Sheba, 19
   --the old Adam in, peeps out, 21
   --a _miles emeritus_, 86
   --is made text for a sermon, _ib._
   --loses a leg, 88
   --an eye, 89
   --left hand, _ib._
   --four fingers of right hand, _ib._
   --has six or more ribs broken, _ib._
   --a rib of his infrangible, 90
   --allows a certain amount of preterite greenness in himself, 90, 91
   --his share of spoil limited, _ib._
   --his opinion of Mexican climate, 92
   --acquires property of a certain sort, 93
   --his experience of glory, 93, 94
   --stands sentry, and puns thereupon, 95
   --undergoes martyrdom in some of its most painful forms, _ib._
   --enters the candidating business, 96
   --modestly states the (avail) abilities which qualify him for high
           political station, 96, 99
   --has no principles, 96
   --a peaceman, _ib._
   --unpledged, 97
   --has no objections to owning _peculiar_ property, but would not like
           to monopolize the truth, 98
   --his account with glory, 99
   --a selfish motive hinted in, 100
   --sails for Eldorado, _ib._
   --shipwrecked on a metaphorical promontory, _ib._
   --parallel between, and Rev. Mr. Wilbur (not Plutarchian), 102
   --conjectured to have bathed in river Selemnus, 106
   --loves plough wisely, but not too well, _ib._
   --a foreign mission probably expected by, 107
   --unanimously nominated for presidency, 108
   --his country's father-in-law, 109
   --nobly emulates Cincinnatus, 110
   --is not a crooked stick, _ib._
   --advises his adherents, _ib._
   --views of, on present state of politics, 110-117
   --popular enthusiasm for, at Bellers's, and its disagreeable
           consequences, 111
   --inhuman treatment of, by Bellers, 112
   --his opinion of the two parties, 113
   --agrees with Mr. Webster, _ib._
   --his antislavery zeal, 115
   --his proper self-respect, _ib._
   --his unaffected piety, _ib._
   --his not intemperate temperance, 117
   --a thrilling adventure of, 117-122
   --his prudence and economy, 117
   --bound to Captain Jakes, but regains his freedom, 119
   --is taken prisoner, 121-122
   --ignominiously treated, 121-122
   --his consequent resolution, 122.

 Sayres, a martyr, 55.

 Scaliger, saying of, 28.

 _Scarabæus pilularius_, 18.

 Scott, General, his claims to the presidency, 34, 37.

 Scythians, their diplomacy commended, 84.

 Seamen, coloured, sold, 8.

 Selemnus, a sort of Lethean river, 106.

 Senate, debate in, made readable, 55.

 Seneca, saying of, 27
   --another, 51
   --overrated by a saint (but see Lord Bolingbroke's opinion of, in a
           letter to Dean Swift), 76
   --his letters not commended, _ib._
   --a son of Rev. Mr. Wilbur, 102.

 Serbonian bog of literature, 54.

 Sextons, demand for, 61
   --heroic official devotion of one, 120.

 Shaking fever, considered as an employer, 93.

 Shakspeare, a good reporter, 40.

 Sham, President, honest, 45.

 Sheba, Queen of, 19.

 Sheep, none of Rev. Mr. Wilbur's turned wolves, 12.

 Shem, Scriptural curse of, 122.

 Show, natural to love it, 17, _note_.

 Silver spoon born in Democracy's mouth what, 43.

 Sinai suffers outrages, 66.

 Sin, wilderness of, modern, what, 66.

 Skin, hole in, strange taste of some for, 94.

 Slaughter, whether God strengthen us for, 24.

 Slaughterers and soldiers compared, 104.

 Slaughtering nowadays _is_ slaughtering, 104.

 Slavery, of no colour, 6
   --cornerstone of liberty, 52
   --also keystone, 58
   --last crumb of Eden, 61
   --a Jonah, 62
   --an institution, 80
   --a private State concern, 118.

 Smith, Joe, used as a translation, 65.

 Smith, John, an interesting character, 74.

 Smith, Mr., fears entertained for, 63
   --dined with, 75.

 Smith, N. B., his magnanimity, 75.

 Soandso, Mr., the great, defines his position, 75.

 Sol, the fisherman, 18
   --soundness of respiratory organs hypothetically attributed to, _ib._

 Solon, a saying of, 25.

 South Carolina, futile attempt to anchor, 57.

 Spanish, to walk, what, 20.

 Speech-making, an abuse of gift of speech, 53.

 Star, north, subject to indictment, whether, 62.

 Store, cheap cash, a wicked fraud, 102.

 Strong, Governor Caleb, a patriot, 32.

 Swearing, commended as a figure of speech, 13, _note_.

 Swift, Dean, threadbare saying of, 34.


 Tag, elevated to the Cardinalate, 25.

 Taxes, direct, advantages of, 103.

 Taylor zeal, its origin, 111
   --General, greased by Mr. Choate, 113.

 Thanks, get lodged, 93.

 Thirty-nine articles might be made serviceable, 24.

 Thor, a foolish attempt of, 57.

 Thumb, General Thomas, a valuable member of society, 49.

 Thunder, supposed in easy circumstances, 90.

 Thynne, Mr., murdered, 10.

 Time, an innocent personage to swear by, 13, _note_
   --a scene-shifter, 72.

 Toms, Peeping, 74.

 Trees, various kinds of extraordinary ones, 100.

 Trowbridge, William, mariner, adventure of, 24.

 Truth and falsehood start from same point, 27
   --truth invulnerable to satire, _ib._
   --compared to a river, 40
   --of fiction sometimes truer than fact, _ib._
   --told plainly, _passim_.

 Tuileries, exciting scene at, 51.

 Tully, a saying of, 43, _note_.

 Tweedledee, gospel according to, 66.

 Tweedledum, great principles of, 66.


 Ulysses, husband of Penelope, 32
   --borrows money, 101. (For full particulars of, see Homer and Dante.)

 University, triennial catalogue of, 36.


 Van Buren fails of gaining Mr. Sawin's confidence, 116
   --his son John reproved, _ib._

 Van, Old, plan to set up, 115.

 Venetians, invented something once, 101.

 Vices, cardinal, sacred conclave of, 24.

 Victoria, Queen, her natural terror, 50.

 Vratz, Captain, a Pomeranian, singular views of, 10.


 Walpole, Horace, classed, 75
   --his letters praised, 76.

 Waltham Plain, Cornwallis at, 14.

 Walton, punctilious in his intercourse with fishes, 25.

 War, abstract, horrid, 79
   --its hoppers, grist of, what, 94.

 Warton, Thomas, a story of, 38.

 Washington, charge brought against, 109.

 Washington, city of, climatic influence of, on coats, 44
   --mentioned, 55
   --grand jury of, 62.

 Washingtons, two hatched at a time by improved machine, 109.

 Wate, Taunton, proverbially weak, 117.

 Water-trees, 100.

 Webster, some sentiments of, commended by Mr. Sawin, 113.

 Westcott, Mr., his horror, 61.

 Whig party, has a large throat, 35
   --but query as to swallowing spurs, 114.

 White-house, 81.

 Wife-trees, 100.

 Wilbur, Rev. Homer, A. M., consulted, 2
   --his instructions to his flock, 12
   --a proposition of his for Protestant bombshells, 24
   --his elbow nudged, 26
   --his notions of satire, 27
   --some opinions of his quoted with apparent approval by Mr. Biglow, 31
   --geographical speculations of, 32
   --a justice of the peace, _ib._
   --a letter of, 33
   --a Latin pun of, _ib._
   --runs against a post without injury, 34
   --does not seek notoriety (whatever some malignants may affirm), 36
   --fits youths for college, _ib._
   --a chaplain during late war with England, 38
   --a shrewd observation of, 40
   --some curious speculations of, 52, 54
   --his martello-tower, 53
   --forgets he is not in pulpit, 62, 86
   --extracts from sermon of, 64, 70
   --interested in John Smith, 74
   --his views concerning present state of letters, 74, 77
   --a stratagem of, 82
   --ventures two hundred and fourth interpretation of Beast in
           Apocalypse, 83
   --christens Hon. B. Sawin, then an infant, 86
   --an addition to our _sylva_ proposed by, 100
   --curious and instructive adventure of, 101, 102
   --his account with an unnatural uncle, 103
   --his uncomfortable imagination, 104
   --speculations concerning Cincinnatus, 106
   --confesses digressive tendency of mind, 123
   --goes to work on sermon (not without fear that his readers will dub
           him with a reproachful epithet like that with which Isaac
           Allerton, a Mayflower man, revenges himself on a delinquent
           debtor of his, calling him in his will, and thus holding him
           up to posterity, as "John Peterson, THE BORE"), 125.

 Wilbur, Mrs., an invariable rule of, 37
   --her profile, _ib._

 Wildbore, a vernacular one, how to escape, 54.

 Wind, the, a good Samaritan, 86.

 Wooden leg, remarkable for sobriety, 88
   --never eats pudding, 90.

 Wright, Colonel, providentially rescued, 18.

 Wrong, abstract, safe to oppose, 46.


 Zack, Old, 110.



THE END.





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