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´╗┐Title: Highlife in New York: a series of letters to Mr. Zephariah Slick,
Author: Stephens, Ann S. (Ann Sophia), 1810-1886
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Highlife in New York: a series of letters to Mr. Zephariah Slick," ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Transcibers note:

This text version uses underscores, '_', to show _italic_ and '=' is used
to indicate =bold=.

Mostly, the original text has been left alone complete with misspellings,
inconsistencies, etc. as these are part of the charm of the book. Also,
inconsistent hyphenation and paragraphs that end in commas have also been
left as per the original.

Minor punctuation and apparent printing errors have been corrected without
note.

A list of changes that have been made is shown at the end of the book.]



[Illustration: "Come, now, s'posing we strike up a trade. I've took a
sort of a sneaking notion to that ere new-fashioned side-saddle. So if
you'll throw in the tackling, I'll give you ten dollars for it, cash on
the nail."--_Page 150._]

[Illustration: "I wish you could a seen that Astor House chap when he
read the name; he looked as if he didn't know what to du, but at last he
stepped back, and made a bow, and sez he--"--_Page 184._]


                HIGH LIFE IN NEW YORK.

                          BY

                 JONATHAN SLICK, ESQ.,

                          OF

              WEATHERSFIELD, CONNECTICUT.



                      A SERIES OF

  LETTERS TO MR. ZEPHARIAH SLICK, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, AND
         DEACON OF THE CHURCH OVER TO WEATHERSFIELD
               IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.


          EMBELLISHED WITH ILLUSTRATIVE ENGRAVINGS.



                   _Philadelphia_:
            T. B. PETERSON AND BROTHERS,
                806 CHESTNUT STREET.



    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by

                  T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS.,

  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



JONATHAN SENDS A PREFACE.


A letter was dispatched to Weathersfield requesting Mr. Slick to forward
a preface for his volume of epistles, but that gentleman instead sent
the following letter, which is so full of his own peculiar humor that
his friends will no doubt gladly accept of it in lieu of one.

                                        THE PUBLISHERS.


                                        WEATHERSFIELD, CONNECTICUT.

Gentlemen, Surs:

Your letter got tu the old humstead last night, nigh upon bed time, and
it eenamost upsot me to think that a feller that's printed so many
smashing books, had got a notion tu print my Letters tu, and asked my
consent jest as mealy mouthed as a feller asks the gal he's been a
courting to yoke in with him for life.

Now about the price of them are letters when they are all fixed out in a
book. I ain't much acquainted with that sort of trading; but I reckon
you'll have to go a notch higher yit. I never yit heard of a Slick's
taking the fust offer for any thing, and I've cut my eye teeth as well
as the rest on 'em, if I du write. Say ten or fifteen dollars more now,
and mebby it'll du, providing you give in a set of them are stories of
the Revolution with picters, and some of the smashing novels that have
got your names tu them, for my book-shelf in the back-room. Come up tu
the mark on this point, and I'll agree tu sign off any time you want me
tu, and I hope the book'll go off like a flash of lightning down a
forked rod.

But you want me to write something with a pesky new fangled name that
has eenamost upsot me. Write a preface! What on arth is a preface? I can
pull an even yoke with any York chap yet, at writing a letter; but when
you come to talk of prefaces, darn me if I know what the critters are.
Your letter kinder riled me up. The first thing I did was to get down
the old goose quill and ink-bottle and go to work. I was a'most tuckered
out a grinding cider all day, but the thoughts of having my name on the
kiver of a smashing book with picters in it, sot my genius to working
like a yeast pot; but then how tu begin with this new-fangled
consarn--there it was agin. I got the old dictionary and tried to find
out what a preface was; but I might as well have tried to make timber
out of pine shavings. "Something to go before a speech, or a book, or an
essay, to tell what they're about." Now if it had said an old hoss
leading off an ox-team with a cart behind, I could have sent the animal
at once, fresh and chirk from the cider mill; but how to tackle an idea
on a book and make it pull, is more than I am up to, without knowing
more about the sort of literary animal you want to use, and the harness
that fits him. I ain't rusted out yit, by no manner of means; but I
don't mean to make a coot of myself by tackling in with any strange
animal till I know what he is. Now take a pen in hand tu once and let me
know what it is that you want, and you can depend on me, fodder or no
fodder; but keep dark about my having to ask about it. I don't want all
the literary chaps in York a poking fun at me.

Wal, yes, I ain't ashamed to own it, I am tickled eenamost tu death with
the idee of my letters being printed in a harnsome book with tip-top
picters in it. But about my likeness, taken for the _Morning Express_
when I first come tu York, with the corn-colored coat and
pepper-and-salt trowsers and old bell crown--gauly, how I sot by that
old hat! Wal, as I was saying about that are likeness, I han't no
objections tu its going inside the kiver jest as it was. But like all
great literary characters, I reckon there's been a pretty considerable
improvement in me since I began to write, and, like our old barn that's
been shingled and clapboarded over, I'm the same critter yet, timbers
and all; but I reckon you'll find that I've slicked up the outside a
few, and grown a little more pussy since the old pepper-and-salt saw the
day.

Now I'll tell you jest how you'd better manage it. Put the picter you
speak on inside the kiver; but on the outside jest have me pictered out
in a bran new hat, that Mr. Genin sent me jest afore I left York. It's
about as near like the old one, as a son ought to be like his par. Don't
forget my velvet vest, finefied off with curlecues, and my blue coat
with the shining buttons; and if you don't git a picter that'll make the
gals' eyes water, your artists down there in York don't know a good
looking chap when they see him, or can't paint him if they du.

Now about writing another book, I raly don't know what tu say. Them
letters of mine eenamost tuckered me out at the time; but somehow I'd
give all creation to be at 'em again, and one of these days I may pluck
up grit and take a trip over tu England. If I du, by the living hokey,
you'll find John Bull in a tantrum by the time I've got through with
him. That are English lord that I writ about in my letters, gave me an
invite tu come tu England, and mebby he'll see a good looking chap about
my size on t'other side the fishing pond some day or other. Who knows?

You want to know if I feel content to give up life among the big bugs in
New York, and settle down here in the country. Wal, now, between you and
I and the post, I du feel a trifle melancholy now and then. Foddering
cattle, going tu mill and chopping ovenwood ain't jest the thing tu rile
up the poetry in a feller's bosom; and onion tops and garden sars
generally ain't considered the sort of greens that a literary chap
wants put round his head, though they're awful refreshing to the
stomach. But then again, my par, the deacon, is getting to be a purty
old man, and Judy----; but what's the use of talking arter a feller's
under the harrow?

Wal, if I ain't contented, I sartinly ought to be, if the women folks
are judges, and it's quite a considerable time since I've thought it
worth while to have a tussel for any opinion of my own. But tu own right
up, I du hanker awfully tu get off into the world agin; but, for
gracious sake, don't say a word about it. I should never hear the last
of it, if you did, for Judy hates city gals like rank pisin, and is
allfired jealous that I'm hankering to git among 'em again.

I don't know how I ever cum to write this ere long letter, but somehow,
when I set down, pen in hand, the old natur will bile up and run on.

Now about that are consarned preface, jest set down tu once and describe
the way it's to be done, and I'll undertake it, for I want tu make the
book first chop; and if you want more team, I'm the chap tu hitch it on,
the minit you let a feller know what's wanted. So, hoping you'll be
particular about the preface,

                                        I'm yours tu command,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.


P. S.--Don't forget to have my watch chain and things a hanging outside
of the vest, and put my two big rings with stones in 'em, on my left
hand. I say nothing, but there may be gals in New York that would like
tu see them are rings agin, but take them off from all the kivers you
send into these parts now, I tell you.               J. S.



CONTENTS.


  LETTER I.                                                            PAGE

  First Impressions of New York--Visit to the Counting-room of a City
  Cousin--Advice to his Clerk--Description of a City Residence and its
  Inmates                                                                13

  LETTER II.

  The Family Dinner and Effects of July Cider                            23

  LETTER III.

  Jonathan visits the Express Office--Sensations on seeing himself in
  Print                                                                  27

  LETTER IV.

  The Political Meeting and its Disasters                                33

  LETTER V.

  A Little of Jonathan's Private Love Affairs                            39

  LETTER VI.

  Jonathan's Opinions of Ministerial Interference--A Card of
  Invitation, and an Evening Party at Cousin Beebe's, in which
  Jonathan makes some Mistakes and a Lady Acquaintance                   44

  LETTER VII.

  Scenes in Broadway--Jonathan's Interview with the Count and
  Flirtations with Miss Miles                                            69

  LETTER VIII.

  The Morning Call--A Coquette's Dressing Room                           78

  LETTER IX.

  A New York Parvenu--Jonathan's Account of his Cousin Jason Slick,
  and how Jason was too lazy to work, and got rich on soft sodder--The
  dinner of a Connecticut Coaster--A New York Coat of Arms, lions
  couchant and levant--Yankee Ancestry--The way a Yankee speculates,
  and gets up States, Railroads and Banks, by soft sodder                87

  LETTER X.

  New-Year's Calls--A real Yankee's New-Year's Treat of Dough-nuts and
  Cider--Jonathan's ideas of the real difference between a real lady's
  House and Furniture and the House of a stuck-up Parvenu--Jonathan's
  ideas of Love and Ladies                                               99

  LETTER XI.

  Visit to the Park Theatre--First Impressions of the Poetry of
  Motion, as written on the air, in the aerial feats of Mademoiselle
  Celeste--First shock at the exhibition of a Ballet Costume
  accompanied by the "twinkles" of Celeste's feet--with her pigeon
  wings, double-shuffles, gallopades, and pirouettes                    117

  LETTER XII.

  Jonathan receives an Invitation to a Fancy Ball--Dilemma about the
  Dress--Choice of a Character, &c.                                     129

  LETTER XIII.

  Jonathan Slick and the Grand Fancy Ball--Jonathan in the character
  of an Injun, and Cousin Beebe in the character of Jonathan--Cousin
  Mary as Jonathan's Squaw--Jonathan among Kings and Queens,
  Spaniards, Turks and Jews--Jonathan meets his pussey Cousin in the
  character of a Turk--Jonathan cuts his pussey Cousin                  133

  LETTER XIV.

  Advice to Jonathan from the Humstead--Jonathan's Criticism on his
  Brother Sam's book--The Ennui of Jonathan in good
  Society--Jonathan's entree into a Milliner's Establishment, and sad
  mistake about a Side-saddle                                           143

  LETTER XV.

  Jonathan visits the Milliner Girl--Reflections about her Situation    154

  LETTER XVI.

  In which Jonathan shows up the Hardships of Sewing Girls--Describes
  a Tammany Hall Ball--Milliner Aristocracy and Exclusiveness--Informs
  the reader how Miss Josephine Burgess took a tall man with whiskers
  into her Establishment, who took her in in return--The desperation
  of a little Apothecary--His Marriage, and the Ascent of Miss
  Josephine Burgess from the front store to a work room a little
  higher up                                                             156

  LETTER XVII.

  Jonathan gets Ill and Homesick--Resists all entreaties to go to
  Washington, and resolves on going back to "the Humstead" with
  Captain Doolittle                                                     173

  LETTER XVIII.

  Jonathan's Arrival in New York from the Onion Beds at
  Weathersfield--Jonathan puts up at the Astor House--His notion of
  that great Heap of Stones--Jonathan's Ideas of a New York Cab, and
  the usual quarrel of a Stranger with Cabmen--A Sensation is created
  at the Astor                                                          180

  LETTER XIX.

  A live Yankee and the Parisian Danseuse--Fanny sends her Card and
  Jonathan makes a call--Down East Yankee and French-English rather
  hard to be understood--Jonathan quite killed off by Fanny's Curchies
  and Dimples--A little sort of a Flirtation--An Invitation to see
  Fanny in Nathalie, which is accepted                                  188

  LETTER XX.

  Jonathan goes to the Express Office--His Opinion of Zeke Jones and
  the "Brother Jonathan" Newspaper--Explains his Absence, and enters
  into a new Agreement with the Editors                                 197

  LETTER XXI.

  Jonathan Visits Mr. Hogg's Garden and gets a Bouquet--Puzzled about
  the propriety of Paying for it--Purchases a Ribbon, and starts for
  the Theatre                                                           202

  LETTER XXII.

  Jonathan gives a Description of the Theatre, Private Boxes, Drop
  Scene, &c.--His Ideas of _Miss_ Elssler's Dancing, and Dancing Girls
  in general--Jonathan mistakes Williams in his Comic Song of "Old
  Maids and Old Bachelors to Sell," for an Auctioneer who is knocking
  off "La Belle Fanny," to the Highest Bidder--Jonathan is indignant
  that she is not his, after so much hard bidding, by winks, &c.--He
  flings his Bouquet at Fanny's Feet--Jonathan's Visit Behind the
  Scenes, and his Idea of Things seen there--Gallants Fanny home to
  the Astor House                                                       206

  LETTER XXIII.

  Jonathan gets out of love with Fanny Elssler--Doctors the Ague in
  her Face and Leaves her--Receives an Invitation from his Pussey
  Cousin to a Thanksgiving Dinner, with a three cornered Note for Lord
  Morpeth--Jonathan's Opinion of the Travelling Lords and Democratic
  Hospitality                                                           220

  LETTER XXIV.

  Description of Cousin Jason's Equipage--Figure cut by Mrs. Jason
  Slick and her Daughter--Manners of a Noble Lord--The Dinner--Jason
  boasts of his Birth, Heraldry, and Coat of Arms--Jonathan creates
  great Consternation by proclaiming the Head of the Family as a
  Shoemaker--Makes a Speech                                             224

  LETTER XXV.

  Jonathan rides to Mill--The Millerite Excitement--His Marm waits for
  the World to come to an End--Letter from New York--The old White
  Horse                                                                 244

  LETTER XXVI.

  Jonathan arrives in New York--Travels on the Deacon's Mare--Has
  Trouble with the Colt--Embarks from Peck Slip, on Capt. Doolittle's
  Sloop, to meet the President--His Introduction--Jonathan's Idea of
  the Cold Collation--The Reception--Landing at Castle Garden--Review
  of the Troops--The Procession, &c.                                    252

  LETTER XXVII.

  Jonathan attends the President at the Howard House--Visits the Park
  Theatre with the President and his Handsome Girl--Goes with Mr.
  Robert Tyler to have his Hair Cut at Clairhugh's--Takes Refreshments
  with the Ladies at the Howard House--Bed-chamber Scene with the
  President--Serenade, &c.                                              268

  LETTER XXVIII.

  Jonathan goes to see Mr. Macready--Description of the
  Theatre--Introduces himself to a Handsome Girl at the
  Theatre--Enters into a Flirtation--Promises to Visit her--Jonathan
  takes a Novel Method of providing himself with a Fashionable
  Dress--Quarrels with Captain Doolittle--Is reconciled, and starts
  off to make a Morning Call on the Handsome Girl                       272

  LETTER XXIX.

  Jonathan Visits the Handsome Girl--Describes a Gambling-House in the
  Morning before it is put to rights--Visits the Lady's
  Boudoir--Describes the Furniture, the Lady, her Dress, and
  Conversation--Is Interrupted by the Gentleman of the House--And
  leaves with a promise to return and escort Miss Sneers to Mad.
  Castellan's Concert                                                   275

  LETTER XXX.

  The Gambling House--Jonathan is taken in with Cards                   285



_High Life in New York._

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER I.

First Impressions of New York--Visit to the Counting-room of a City
Cousin--Advice to his Clerk--Description of a City Residence and its
Inmates.


To Mr. Zepharia Slick, Justice of the Peace, and Deacon of the Church,
over to Weathersfield, in the State of Connecticut:

DEAR PAR:

I arrived here safe and sound, arter a long and tedious voyage down the
river and along shore to this place. The Captain left me to navigate the
sloop purty much alone. The lazy coot did nothing on arth but eat raw
turnips and drink cider brandy all the way down. I'll be whipped if he
warn't more than half corned the hull time. Now it's my opinion that the
best thing you can do with that chap is to send him eend foremost about
his business jest as quick as he gits back. He don't arn salt to his
porrage, nor never did. The first thing I did arter the sloop was hauled
up to the wharf at Peck slip, was to go down to the stores about Fulton
market and peddle off the cider brandy and garden sarce. Captain
Doolittle wanted to go with me, but you sent me down here as a sort of a
supercargo, and I warn't likely to let him stick his nose into my
business.

By gracious, if it didn't make me stare to see the purty gals and the
harnsome married wimmen a walking up and down the market among the heaps
of beets and cabbages. They looked around mighty knowing, and I rather
guess I got my share of attention; but somehow it made me feel kinder
streaked to have them a looking at me so steady, for I hadn't nothing on
but my every day clothes, besides, the stock that marm made me out of
her old bombasine petticoat, propped up my chin so that I couldn't a
stooped to look into a woman's face if I'd a wanted tu ever so much. I
do believe marm and Judy White must a put more than a peck of tatur
starch into the lining. It's allfired stiff, that's a fact.

Wal, I sold out the lading to purty good advantage, considering the
times. Then I went down to the sloop, and slicked up in my Sunday
clothes and started off full chisel to go and see cousin John Beebe.
They told me that he kept store away down Pearl street, eenamost to the
Battery; so I went on, as fast as I could git along through the boxes
and barrels that lay in the street, till I come to a great high brick
store that had cousin John's name over the door. It seems that John has
gone into partnership with a Mr. Co, for that feller's name is on the
sign arter his'n as large as life. I knew that he and John Wheeler went
into company together, but I suppose they wanted more chink than either
on 'em could raise, and so engaged this Mr. Co to help 'em along.

I swan if it warn't enough to make a feller dry to see the hogsheads of
rum and molasses, and the heaps of tea boxes and sugar barrels, piled up
inside the store; it looked like living, I can tell you. I went through
clear to the other eend of the store, for they told me that cousin John
was in the counting-room, away back there.

Wal, I got into the counting-room at last, and a harnsome little room it
was, all carpeted and fixed out like some of our best rooms in
Connecticut. I hain't seen so purty a store scarce ever. John wasn't
there, but I could see that he hadn't got over all his old tricks, for a
lot of chestnut shells were trod down round the stove, and there wasn't
a few empty bottles standing round under the table and back of the
desks. It was enough to turn one's stomach to look at the spit box; it
was more than half filled up with pieces of segars, and ends of tobacco,
that looked as if they had been chawed over a dozen times or more. I
don't see where cousin John got that trick of smoking and chawing; I
defy any body to say he larned it in old Connecticut. They needn't talk
to us about the Yankees, for these Yorkers beat us all holler in them
things; I hain't forgot the time when John would a turned up his nose at
a long nine, as if it had a been pison, but now he's sot himself up for
a gentleman there is no knowing what he hain't taken tu.

There was a chap standing by one of the desks, with the edge of his
dickey turned over his stock--like an old-fashioned baby's bib, put on
wrong side afore--and with his hair curled and frizzled up like a gal's.
I knew in a minit that this feller couldn't be cousin John, so I went up
to him, and sez I:--

"Friend, can you tell me when Mr. Beebe 'ill be in?" The chap took a
watch out of his vest pocket about as big as a ninepence, and sez he--

"I don't know positively, but I s'pose in the course of half an hour or
so. It's about time for the banks to close."

"Wal," sez I, "I s'pose I may as well wait for him, as I ain't in much
of a hurry jest now." So I sot down in a chair, and arter histing my
sole leather onto the top of the stove, I begun to scrape acquaintance
with the chap, as I went along.

"Tough times with you marchants, now, ain't they?" sez I, a looking over
the top of the paper.

"Very," sez he, a mending his pen. "It's as much as we can du to make
both eends meet afore the bank's shut up days. Mr. Beebe's out a
shinning now."

"A what?" sez I.

"A shinning," says he--"borrowing money to take up his own notes with,
and if he don't get it, I don't know what we _shall du_."

"Oh!" sez I to myself, "this is the new partner, Mr. Co; he must have a
good chance of money in the consarn, or he wouldn't feel so oneasy."

"We was doing a beautiful business," sez he, a shaking his head, "till
some of the banks stopped specie payments. I wish they'd a been sunk."

"No," sez I, "that ain't fair, but it's human natur, I s'pose to give
banks as well as people, a helping kick when they're going down hill. I
don't understand much of these things, Mr. Co."

"My name isn't Co," sez he, a staring; "it's Smith."

"What," sez I, "have they got another in the company?"

"No," sez he, kinder coloring up; "I'm the assistant bookkeeper."

I couldn't but jest keep from giving a long whistle right out, the stuck
up varmint! "Wal," sez I, arter a minit, "Mr. Smith, let me give you one
piece of advice--don't be so ready to say _we_, and to talk over your
employers' business with strangers next time. Such things do no good any
way, but they may do a good deal of harm. It's the duty of a clark,
among us, to attend to that he's paid for, and if he attends to much
else, we purty ginerally find out that he ain't good for much in the
long run."

You never saw a feller look so mean as he did when I said this; he
turned all manner of colors, and acted mad enough to eat me. I didn't
seem to mind him, but took up a newspaper and begun to read, jest as if
he wasn't in the room; and by-am-by I got so deep in the paper, that I
forgot all about him or cousin Beebe either.

Look a-here, Par, if you hain't seen the New York _Evening Express_,
jest stretch your purse-strings a leetle, and subscribe for it. It's a
peeler of a paper, I can tell you. You needn't take my word for it
though, for I've made this letter so tarnal long, that it'd cost more
than the price of a paper a hull year to pay the postage, so I've a
notion to git the editors to print this for me in their primest evening
paper, and so you'll git my letters and paper tu, all for five cents.
I'll jest give you a little notion how they make the _Express_, for I
read it eenamost through, afore cousin John come. The editors get all
the papers in the country together, jest as we pick out our apples in
cider time, and they go to work and git all that's worth reading out on
'em, and put it all in one great paper, which they sell for two cents;
so that a feller can know what's said by every editor North and South,
on one side and t'other, without the trouble of reading but one
paper;--jest as we can git the juice of a bushel of apples all in a pint
of cider, after it's once been through the mill. I raly think it's one
of the best plans I ever heard on, and I'm so sartin that every body
will take it by-am-by, that I've a notion that if you'd jest as livs let
me throw up the onion trade, I'll try and get in to write for it, but
we'll talk all that over by-am-by, arter I've seen the editors. Major
Jack Downing is writing for them already, and perhaps--but I hain't made
up my mind about it yit, though I kept a thinking it over all the while
I was a reading in the counting-room.

Wal, I was jest taking a dive inter the advertisements, when cousin John
came in. I raly believe you wouldn't know the critter, he's altered so.
He's grown as fat and pussy as old lawyer Sikes in our parts, but I raly
think he looks better for it. I tell you what, his clothes must cost him
a few. He had on a superfine broadcloth coat, that didn't cost a whit
less than ten dollars a yard, I wouldn't be afraid to bet a cookey. You
could a seen your face in his boots, and his hair was parted on the top
of his head, and hung down on the sides of his face and all over his
coat collar, till he looked more like a woman in men's clothes than any
thing else. I thought I should a haw-hawed out a larfin, all I could du,
though it made me kinder wrathy to see a feller make such an etarnal
coot of himself. I thought I'd see if he'd know me agin, so I on'y jist
crossed one foot over t'other on the top of the stove, and tipt my chair
back on its hind legs, and kept on reading as independent as a
corkscrew, jest ter see how he'd act.

Wal, he cum right up to the stove, and took his coat tail under his
arms, and begun to whistle as if there warn't nobody in the room. Once
in a while as I took a peek over the top of the paper, I could see that
he was a looking at me kinder sideways, as if he couldn't exactly make
up his mind whether he knew me or not. I felt my heart kinder rising up
in my throat, for it put me in mind of old times when we used to weed
onions and slide down hill together. At last I couldn't stand it no
longer, so I jumped up and flung down the paper, and, says I, "Cousin
Beebe, how do you du?"

He stared like a stuck pig at fust, but I raly believe the feller was
glad to see me when he found out who I was, for he shook my hand like
all natur. Sez he, "Mr. Slick," sez he, "I'm glad to see you down in the
city; how's the deacon, and aunt Eunice, and the Mills gals? You see I
han't forgot old times."

With that we sot into a stream of talk about Weathersfield people, and
so on that lasted a good two hours, by the town clock. Arter a while
cousin John took out his watch, all gold inside and out, and sez he,

"Come, Mr. Slick, it's about four o'clock--go up and take a family
dinner with us."

I rather guess I stared a few, to think of being axed to eat dinner at
that time o' day; but as I hadn't eat any thing but a cold bite aboard
the sloop since morning, the thoughts of a good warm dinner warn't by no
means to be sneezed at.

"Better late than never," sez I to myself, arter I had put on my hat and
stuck my hands in my pantaloons' pockets ready for a start. But jest as
we wur a going out, there come a feller in to talk over some bisness
matters, so sez Cousin Beebe, sez he--

"Here, Mr. Slick, is the number of our house--supposin you go along and
tell Mrs. Beebe that I'll be home as soon as I can get through a little
bisness--she wont make a stranger of you."

"I rather guess she won't," sez I, a taking the little piece of paper
which he'd been a writing on; "if she does there must a been an almighty
change in her since we used to go to singing school and apple bees
together."

John looked kind a skeery toward the stranger, and begun to fidget
about; so I told him I could find the way and made myself scarce in less
than no time--for I thought as like as not the feller cum to git him to
put his name to a note, or something of that sort; so I thought I'd give
him a chance to say no, if he wanted tu.

By gracious! Par, I'd give a quart of soap if you and marm could a been
with me in Broadway as I went along. I couldn't help stopping eenamost
every other minit to look into the winders.

Some of them was chuck full of watches and ear-rings, and silver spoons
spread all out like a fan, and lots on lots of finger rings all stuck
over a piece of black cloth to make 'em shine. I'll be darned if it
didn't make my eyes ache as if I'd been snow blind a week, only jest to
look at 'em as I went along! I stopped into one store jest by the Park,
and bought a silver thimble for marm, and it was as much as I could du
to keep from going into one of the stores where I saw such a heap of
calicos, to git her a new gown tu. But I can't begin to write more than
a priming of what a feller may see as he goes up Broadway. It fairly
made me ashamed of our horses, old Polly in perticlar, when I saw the
harnsome critters that the niggers drive about them coaches with here. I
tell you what, they make a glistening and a shining when they go through
the streets chuck full of gals all in their feathers and furbelows! That
Broadway _is_ a leetle lengthy, and no mistake. I believe I footed it
more than two miles on them tarnal hard stun walks, afore I got to Bond
street, where Cousin Beebe lives, I swan! I thought my feet would a
blistered.

Wal, arter all, I thought I never should a got into the house when I did
git to it. It was so allfired high, and a heap of stun steps went up to
the door, with a kind of picket fence made out of iron, all _curlecued_
over on the sides. I looked all over the door for a knocker, but
couldn't find nothing in the shape of one, only a square chunk of
silver, with cousin Beebe's name writ on it. I rapped with my fist till
the skin eenamost peeled off my knuckles, but nobody seemed to hear, and
I begun to think the folks warn't to hum, and that I should lose my
dinner arter all. I was jest beginning to think it best to make tracks
for Peck slip agin, when a feller come by and kinder slacked tackle, and
looked as if he was a going to speak.

"Look a here, you, sir," sez I, "can you tell me whether the folks that
live here are to hum or not? I can't make nobody hear."

"Why don't you ring the bell?" sez he, a looking at me as if he never
see a man afore.

I went down the steps and looked up to the ruff of the house, but it was
so darned high that I couldn't a seen anything in the shape of a belfry
if there'd been a dozen on 'em.

"I'll be darned if I can see any bell," sez I to the man, and then he
kinder puckered up his mouth, and looked as if he was a going to larf
right out.

"You seem to be a stranger in the city," sez he, a trying to bite in,
for I s'pose he see that my dander was a gitting up.

"Yes," sez I, "I am, and what of that?"

"Oh, nothing," sez he, a hauling in his horns quite a considerable.
"Jest pull that little silver knob there, and I rather think you can
make them hear."

With that I went up the steps agin, and give the knob, as he called it,
an almighty jerk, for I felt a little riled about being larfed at. It
warn't half a jiffy afore the door was opened, and a great strapping
nigger stood inside, staring at me as if he meant to swaller me hull,
without vinegar or gravy sarce.

"Wal," sez I, "you snowball you, what are you staring at? Why don't you
git out of the way and let me cum in?"

"Who do you want?" sez he, without so much as moving an inch--the
impudent varmint.

"What's that to you, you darned lump of charcoal?" sez I; "jest you mind
your own bisness and git out of the door." With that I give him a shove
and went into the entry-way. When the nigger had picked himself up agin,
I told him to go and tell Miss Beebe that her cousin Jonathan Slick,
from Weathersfield, Connecticut, wanted to see her.

I wish you could a seen how the feller showed the whites of his eyes
when I said this. I couldn't keep from larfin to see him a bowing and
scraping to me.

"Jest step into the drawing-room," sez he, a opening a door; "I will
tell Miss Beebe that you are here."

By the living hokey! I never stepped my foot in such a room as that in
all my born days. I raly thought my boot was a sinking inter the floor,
the carpet was so thick and soft. It seemed jest like walking over the
onion patches, when they've jest been raked and planted in the spring
time. The winder curtains were all yaller silk with a great heap of blue
tossels hanging round the edges, and there was no eend to the little
square benches, about as big as marm's milking stool, all kivered over
with lambs and rabbits a sleeping among lots of flowers, as nat'ral as
life. The backs of the chairs were solid mahogany or cherry-tree wood,
or something like it, and they were kinder rounded off and curled in
like a butter scoop turned handle downward. Then there were two chairs,
all stuffed and kivered with shiney black cloth, with a great long
rocker a poking out behind, and on the mantle shelf was something that I
couldn't make out the use on--it was a heap of stuff that looked like
gold, with a woman, all kivered over with something that made her shine
like a gilt button, lying on the top. I wanted to finger it awfully, but
there was a glass thing put over it, and I couldn't; but I hadn't pecked
about long afore I found out that it was one of these new-fashioned
clocks that we've heard about; but it's no more like them clocks that
our Samuel peddles, than chalk is like cheese.

There were two other things, kinder like the clock, on both eends of the
mantle shelf, but they warn't nigh so big, and they hadn't no pointers
nor no woman on the top, and instead of the glass kiver there was long
chunks o' glass hanging down all round them, like icicles round the nose
of our pump in the winter time. I give one on 'em a little lift jest to
find out what it was, but the glasses begun to gingle so that it scared
me out of a year's growth, and I sot down agin mighty quick, I can tell
you.

Wal, arter a while I begun to grow fidgety, so I sot down on a settee
all kivered over with shiney cloth like the chairs, but I guess I hopped
up agin spry enough. I never saw anything giv as the seat did, I thought
at first that I was a sinking clear through to the floor, clothes and
all. It makes me fidgety to be shut up in a room alone, so I begun to
fix a little; but all I could du, them new cassimere pantaloons, that
Judy White made for me, would keep a slipping up eenamost to the top of
my boots. I don't see how on arth the chaps in New York keep their
trousers' legs down so slick; one would think they had been dipped into
'em as marm makes her taller candles, they fit so.

Wal, arter I'd worked long enough on the tarnal things, I went up to a
whapper of a looking-glass, that reached eenamost from the top to the
bottom o' the room, and jest took a peep at a chap about my size on
t'other side. I tell you what it is, the feller there warn't to be
sneezed at on a rainy day, if he did cum from the country; though for a
sixfooter he looked mighty small in that big looking-glass. I guess
you'd a larfed to a seen him trying to coax his dickey to curl over the
edge of that plaguey stiff bombazine stock that marm made, and to a seen
him a pulling down them narrer short risbands so as to make them stick
out under his cuff, and a slicking down his hair on each side of his
face with both hands; but it wouldn't stay though. Nothing on arth but
a hog is so contrary as a feller's hair, when it once gits to sticking
up, I du think.

I'd fixed up purty smart, considering, and was jest sticking my
breast-pin a leetle more in sight, when the door opened and cousin Mary
come in. If I hadn't expected it was her, I'm sartin I shouldn't a known
her no more than nothing, she was so puckered up. She had on a silk
frock ruffled round the bottom, and her hair hung in great long black
curls down her neck, eenamost to her bosom, and she had a gold chain
wound all round her head, besides one a hanging about her neck, and her
waist warn't bigger round than a pint cup. I never was so struck up in
my life, as I was tu see her. Instid of coming up and giving me a good
shake o' the hand or a buss--there wouldn't a been any harm in't as we
were cousins--she put one foot for'ard a little and drew t' other back
kind o' catecornering, and then she sort o' wriggled her shoulders, and
bent for'ard and made a curchy, city fashion. Sez I tu myself, "If
that's what you're up tu, I'll jest show you that we've had a dancing
school in Weathersfield since you left it, Miss Beebe." So I put out my
right foot and drew it up into the holler of t'other foot, and let my
arms drop down a sort a parpindicular, and bent for'ard--jest as a
feller shuts a jack knife when he's afeard of cutting his fingers--and
keeping my eyes fixed on her face, though I did have to roll 'em up a
leetle--I reckon I give her a purty respectable sample of a
Weathersfield bow to match her York curches.

"Pray be seated, Mr. Slick," sez she, a screwing her mouth up into a
sort of a smile; but when I saw how she was stuck up I warn't a-going to
be behind hand with her, so I puckered up my mouth tu, though it was
awful hard work, and sez I, "arter you is manners for me, Miss Beebe."

With that she sot down in one of the rocking-chairs and stuck her elbow
on her arm and let her head drop into her hand as if she warn't more
than half alive, and sez she--

"Take an ottoman, Mr. Slick."

I guess I turned red enough, for I hadn't no idee what she ment, but I
sot down on one of the foot-stools at a ventur, and then she said,

"How do Mr. and Mrs. Slick du? I hope they're well."

I felt my ebenezer a gitting up to hear her call her husband's own uncle
and aunt sich stuck up names, and sez I,

"Your uncle and aunt are purty smart, so as to be jogging about, thank
you, Miss Beebe." I hadn't but jest got the words out of my mouth when
there was a bell rung so as to make me jump up, and in a minit arter
cousin John come in.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER II.

The Family Dinner and Effects of July Cider.


DEAR PAR:

"Wal, I see you've found the way, cousin Slick," sez he. "Mary, my dear,
is dinner ready?"

She hadn't time to speak before two great doors slid into the partition,
and there was another room jest as much like the one we was in, as two
peas in a pod. A table was sot in the middle of the room, all kivered
with rale China dishes, and first rate glass tumblers, and a silver
thing to set the pepper box in--you hain't no idee how stilish it was.
But as true as you live, there stood that etarnal nigger, close by the
table, as large as life. I didn't know what to make on it, but sez I to
myself, if cousin John's got to be an abolitionist and expects me to eat
with a nigger, he'll find himself mistaken, I'll be darned to darnation
if he don't! But I needn't a got so wrathy; the critter didn't offer to
set down, he only stood there to git anything that we wanted.

"Do you take verminsilly, Mr. Slick?" says Miss Beebe, biting off her
words as it she was afraid they'd burn her. With that she took the kiver
off one of the dishes, and begun to ladle out some soup with a great
silver dipper as bright as a new fifty cent piece.

"No, thank you," says I, "but I'll take some of that are soup instead,
if you've no objection." The critter was jest beginning to pucker up
her mouth again, as if she'd found out something to poke fun at, but
cousin John looked at her so etarnal cross that she was glad to choke
in. I s'pose cousin John see that I felt dreadful oneasy, so he said,
kind a coaxing,

"She meant verminsilly soup, cousin Slick. Let her help you to some, I'm
sartin you'll like it."

"Wal," says I, "I don't care if I du." So I took up a queer looking
spoon that lay by my plate, and tried to eat, but all I could du, the
soup would keep a running through the spoon into the dish agin. I tried
and tried to git one good mouthful, but I might jest as well have
detarmined to dip up the Connecticut river in a sieve, and the most I
could git was two or three sprangles of little white things that I
stirred up from the bottom of the plate, that didn't taste bad, but to
save my life I couldn't make out what they were made out on. Arter I'd
been a fishing and diving ever so long, a trying to git one good
spoonful, so that I could tell what it was, I looked up, and there was
the nigger showing his teeth, and rolling about his eyes, like a black
cat in the dark. It made me wrathy, for I surmized that he was a larfing
to see me a working so hard to git a mouthful of something to eat. I
couldn't hold in any longer, so I jumped up and flung down the spoon
upon the floor, as spiteful as could be, and sez I to the nigger, sez I,

"What do you stand a grinning at there, woolly head? go and git me a
spoon that hain't got no slits in it, I'd as lief eat with a rake as
that are thing."

"Ha, ha, haw," larfed out the etarnal black varmint, "I thought you
would not make the fork hold."

With that Miss Beebe giggled right out, and cousin John looked as if he
would a burst to keep from larfing too.

"Stop your noise, sir," says he to the nigger, "pick up the fork, and
give Mr. Slick a spoon."

I begun to feel awful streaked, I can tell you; but I sot down agin, and
took up the real spoon, which lay on a kind of towel folded up by my
plate, and I begun to eat, without saying a word, though I'd gin a
silver dollar if they would a let me got up and licked the nigger.

Wal, arter I'd got a good mouthful of the soup, I couldn't make out
what it was made of, for I couldn't remember of ever seeing the name
Miss Beebe called it by, in the dictionary. Maybe it's Latin, says I, to
myself, and then I tried to think over what it could mean, and if nobody
had told me what the definition was in the Latin school which you sent
me tu there in Weathersfield. Verminsilly! Verminsilly! Verminsilly!
kept a running through my head all the time. I knew what silly meant
well enough, and then it popped into my head, all at once, that _vermin_
comes from the Latin _vermis_, which means worms. Worm soup! my
gracious, the very idee of it made me feel awful bad at the stomach! But
I might have known it by the looks, and I should if I'd ever heard of
sich a thing, for the little slim critters swimming round in the liquor,
looked as much like angle-worms biled down white as could be. Arter I
found out what it was made of, I rather guess they didn't catch me a
eating any more of their verminsilly soup; so I pushed it away half
across the table, and wiped my mouth purty considerably with my pocket
handkercher. The nigger took the whole on't away, and I declare I was
glad enough to get rid of it.

"What on arth have they put this towel here for?" says I to myself; and
then I stole a sly look over to cousin Beebe, to see if he'd got one, or
if they only gave towels to company. Cousin John had one jest like mine,
but he'd spread it out on his lap, so I jest took up mine and kivered
over my cashmeres with it tu.

Considering there was no onions on the table, I made out a purty fair
dinner. I was a beginning to think about moving when the nigger brought
a lot of blue glass bowls about half full of water, and sot one down by
each of us. What they could be for I hadn't the least notion, but I kept
a bright look out to see what cousin John did, and when I saw him dip
his fingers into his bowl and wipe 'em on a sort of red towel which the
nigger brought along with the bowls, I jest went over the manoeuvre as
natural as life.

Wal, while we were talking about the banks, and old times, and
Weathersfield folks dying off so, that coot of a nigger cleared the
table right off as slick as a whistle, and afore I hardly knew what the
fellow was up tu he come along and sot down a set of decanters, and two
cider bottles with the necks all covered over with sheet lead, and then
he brought two baskets made out of silver, one on 'em was filled chuck
full of oranges, and t'other was heaped up with great purple grapes; I
declare it eenamost made my mouth water to see the great bunches a
hanging over the edge of the basket. I'd jest put a whopper of a bunch
on the little Chena plate which the feller set for me, and was
considering whether it would be genteel to cut the grapes in tu with the
cunning little silver knife which was put by the plate, when all tu
once, pop went something, eenamost as loud as a pistol, close by me. I
jumped up about the quickest, I can tell you; but it was only the nigger
a opening one of the cider bottles; he poured out some for me in a great
long glass with a spindle neck, and I drunk it all at a couple of
swallers, without stopping to breath. By jingo! but it was capital
cider! arter I'd drunk one glass I begun tu feel as spry as a cricket.

"Here, snowball," says I, "give us another; these glasses are awful
small; now, I like to drink cider out of a pint mug."

"Take care," says cousin Beebe, "I'm afeard you'll find the cider, as
you call it, rather apt to get into your head."

"Not a bit of it," sez I, "I can stand a quart any day. Here, cousin
Mary, take another glass, you hain't forgot old times have you? though I
s'pose they don't have applecuts and quiltings here in York, du they?"

I don't remember what she said, but I know this, my eyes begun to grow
allfired bright, and afore I got up tu go hum that nigger must have put
more than twenty baskets of grapes on the table, and the oranges seemed
to grow bigger and bigger every minit, and I know there wur more than
three times as many glasses and decanters on the table, as there was at
fust.

I ruther think it was purty nigh tea time when I got up to go back to
the sloop agin. I insisted on giving cousin Mary a buss afore I went;
and I won't be sartin, but I kinder seem to remember shaking hands with
the nigger, consarn him, jest afore I went down the steps.

I don't feel very bright this morning, and I begin to think that maybe
I shall come back to Weathersfield arter all. The York cider don't seem
to agree with me. I've felt dredful peaked ever since I drunk it, and
kinder hum sick tu boot.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER III.

Jonathan visits the Express Office--Sensations on seeing himself in
print.


DEAR PAR:

Since I wrote my last letter there's been no eend to the things that
I've had to du. Arter thinking about it eenamost two nights, I about
made up my mind tu settle down here in York a spell, and send you a
grist of letters now and then, which I mean to git printed in the New
York Express, the way I told you of.

I've been up to see the editors, and they want me to stay properly, and
I don't think I shall ever git so good a chance to take up this literary
way of gitting a living, as they call it, if I don't snap at this offer
tu once.

I thought at first that I'd try some other newspaper, and see if I could
git a higher bid, but somehow I'd taken a shine to the Express, and
thought it wasn't worth while. It warn't because there wasn't papers
enough, for you can't step three steps here in York, without stumbling
over a little stuck up newspaper office. Besides, there's no eend to the
papers carried round in the streets. You can't go any where but some
little dirty shaver or other, about knee high to a toad, will stick a
paper out under your nose, and ask you to buy it, as crank as can be.
Somehow, it kinder seemed to me that the New York Express took the shine
off the papers that I'd seen among 'em all, though they was as thick as
toads arter a rain storm. I had a notion to write for it from the first,
because, think sez I, that prime feller, Major Jack Downing, writes a
good deal for it, and I rather think we shall hitch tackle like any
thing.

Wal, jest as soon as I made up my mind about it, I went right off, full
chisel, to the Express Office. I'd been round there once afore to put my
t'other letter into the Post Office, and so the minit I come to the
corner of Wall and Nassau Street, and saw a house with the "New York
Express Office" writ on the eend, I knew it was the office without
asking. So I crossed over, and kinder hung about a leetle, jest to make
my heart stop a beating so, afore I went in. I swanny if I ever felt so
in my life! I was so anxious about that long letter that I sent to them
to get printed for you, that I was dreadful loth to go in, and eenamost
made up my mind to turn about and make tracks for the sloop agin!

Wal, sez I to myself, it won't do any hurt jest to take a look about the
premises afore I go. A feller can find out a good deal about a man's
natur, by the looks of things about the place he lives in; so I drew up
before a board, all stuck over with picters, and pieces of old
newspaper, by the eend of the building, and putting my hands in my
pockets, I stood still, and looked up'ards to see what I could make out.
But instid of taking an observation of the premises, I begun to think
about the cattle and the spring shotes that Judy White used to take sich
care on, till the tears eenamost cum into my eyes, I was so humsick.

Wal, I was standing there on the stun walk, with both hands buried
considerable deep in my trousers' pockets, a looking up at the sign writ
out on the eend of the office, when a feller cum up and begun to read
the pieces of paper stuck on the board jest outside. So I wiped the
tarnal tears away with the cuff of my coat, for it made me feel kinder
cheap to have anybody see a fellow of my size boo-hooing in York streets
because he happened to think about hum and old times; and I got up a
leetle grit, and went right straight down into the office, for it's half
under ground. A chap that sot back of a sort of counter, where there was
a lot of papers folded up, lifted his head once, and went to writing
agin as if I warn't nobody.

"Do you print the Evening Express here?" sez I kinder low, for I felt so
dreadful anxious about the letter, that I was eenamost choked.

"Yes" sez he, a gitting up, "do you want one?"

"Wal, I don't care if I take one," sez I, a forking out a
four-pence-halfpenny from my trousers' pocket. "Anything
particular--that is purty smart in it to-day?"

"Nothing _very_ remarkable to-day," sez he, "but if you call to-morrow
we shall print a capital letter from one Mr. Jonathan Slick of
Weathersfield."

I swanny if my heart didn't jump like a rabbit at the sight of a piece
of sweet apple in snow time! "You don't say so," sez I, and I tried not
to look tickled all I could, but somehow my mouth wouldn't stay still;
and I hain't the least dout but that I kept grinning in the feller's
face, jest like a monkey over a hot chesnut. It was as much as I could
du to keep from jumping over the counter and hugging him, I was so
allfired glad.

He didn't seem to mind, but sot down and begun to write agin as if
nothing was the matter, and so I took up the paper and went off; but, I
ruther guess I stepped high, for I kept thinking what you and marm and
Judy White would say when you saw yourselves all in print as large as
life.

When I went out, there stood the chap a reading the pieces of newspapers
yit. I wanted to go up and shake hands with him and tell him all about
it, I was so full of what the chap inside said about my letter, but I
didn't though. I went down to the sloop, and I wanted to tell Captain
Doolittle about it. But, sez I to myself, I'll choke in to-day, but if
his eyes don't stick out to-morrow I'll lose my guess.

I ruther think that I didn't let the grass grow under my feet, when
Thursday cum, but up I went at the Express Office like a house a-fire.
It raly seem'd as if my heart would bust, I was so dreadful anxious to
see the paper. I didn't stop to ketch breath but went right into the
office, and there sot a couple of fellers that looked as stiff and
knowing as could be, back of the counter. Sez I to myself, I guess I've
found the editors this time anyhow.

"I want to get five papers right off," says I (laying a quarter o'dollar
on the counter); with that one of the editors got up, as mealy-mouthed
as could be, and he put the quarter back in my hands--sez he,

"Mr. Slick, we shan't take money from _you_; here are the papers--come,
take a seat back of the counter here--we want to have a little talk with
you."

Wal, I went back, and the tallest of the two chaps got up, and gin me
his chair, and says he, "Mr. Slick, we've printed your letter, and
should like to have some more on 'em."

I hitched a little in my chair, and sez I, "Wal, if we can agree about
the price, I don't care if I send you a few more now and then."

"What subjects do you mean to take up, Mr. Slick?" says the shortest
one.

"Wal," sez I, "I hain't made up my mind yit, but I reckon a'most
anything that turns up."

"Supposing you try politics," sez the tall feller. "Major Jack Downing
has done purty well in that line. The 'lection comes on soon, and it'll
be a good time for you to begin."

"Wal," sez I, "I'll go about a little, and see how I like it."

"That's settled, then," sez t'other. "Now, Mr. Slick, if we ain't making
too bold, I should like to know how long you have been in New York?"

I kinder larfed in my sleeve to hear the sly coot try to come round, and
find out who I was and all about me. Sez I to myself, I ain't quite
sartin about the tall chap there, but I'll be blamed if you've the least
bit of Yankee in you. Now a feller of rale ginuine grit would cum up to
the mark tu once, and would a jest asked a feller right out who he was,
and where he cum from, and how much he was worth, and how much he owed,
besides some cute questions about his wife and children, if he wanted
tu. Wal, thinks I, the man hain't been brought up to these things, and
he ain't to be blamed for not knowing how. So I put one leg over
t'other, and sez I,

"Wal, gentlemen, it ain't of no use to go circumventing round the
subject, as old Deacon Miles used to in his exhortations, that had
neither eend, middle, or beginning. So I'll jest up and tell right out
who I am, and what I mean to du.

"I s'pose you've heard of Samuel Slick, that feller that wrote that
tarnal smart book about Canada, wooden clocks, and matters and things in
gineral?"

"_Sam_ Slick, you mean," sez the tall editor.

"No, I don't," sez I, setting up straight; "he was baptized Samuel in
the old Presbyterian Meeting-house in Weathersfield, and nobody but the
newspaper chaps ever thought of calling him Sam. It's too bad this
notion of cutting off the latter eend of a feller's name; it's a
whittling things down a leetle too close, and looks as if a feller's
father was so awful poor, that he couldn't afford to give a hull name to
his posterity. Wal, Samuel Slick, Esquire, is my own natral born
brother--I hain't no idee of bragging about my relation, because it's my
notion that in a free country every feller ought to cut his own fodder;
but when a man's relations is getting up in the world, it's of no use to
be mealy-mouthed about owning 'em."

"Yes," says the tall chap. "Mr. Samuel Slick is a relation which any man
might be proud to own."

I larfed a little. "Sartinly," sez I, "Samuel has contrived to come his
'soft sodder' over you newspaper chaps about the nicest. I've a notion,
too, that they'll find out that I haint much behind hand with him; but I
mean to write something about my life in Weathersfield one of these
days, and send it to you to print.

"Now, I tell you what it is, I've a notion to hire an office somewhere
down in Cherry street, and if you'll print my letters, why, I reckon I
can make out to get a living out of these Yorkers, by hook or by crook.
I mean to du things above board, and in an independent way, jest to see
how the experiment 'ill work, but if I find that it won't do, I'll take
up Samuel's plan, and go the soft sodder principle; his mode 'ill work
tarnation well, and if they don't find Jonathan Slick, your most
obedient servant to command, a chip from the same block, I'll lose my
guess, that's all!"

When I said this, I got up and put on my hat, and then I happened to
think about the fourpence halfpenny, and I turned to the chap that sot
writing, and sez I--

"Look a here! I believe I forgot to take change for fourpence t'other
day. I'll take that three cents now, if you've no objection." The feller
handed over the three coppers, and I pocketed 'em as I went out of
doors. "A penny saved is worth two arned," says I to myself.

The very minit I got into the street, I couldn't hold in any longer. So
I jest stopped on the walk by the Post-office and opened one of the
papers. By the living hokey! if the first thing I see wasn't a picter of
my own self, as large as life and twice as nat'ral, a standing up on the
top of the paper as crank as could be. There was the Express office jest
as it was when I fust see it. I swan! if I didn't haw-haw right out loud
in the street! Down I went to the sloop, about the quickest, and I up
and told Captain Doolittle all about it. I thought the tarnal critter
would a gone off the handle, he larfed so when he saw how nat'ral the
picter looked; but he larfed on t'other side of his mouth, I reckon,
when he read what I'd said about him in the letter. He got awful wrathy,
but I only sot still and took it as if nothing had been the matter.

"Look a here, Captain Doolittle," sez I, "aint Editors and Lawyers
always abusing one another in print? Don't they call each other all
kinds o' names, and then don't they shake hands and come soft sodder
over each other when they come face to face? If you have the honor of
going about with a man that writes for the newspapers, you must be an
etarnal coot if you git mad because he prints that you love cider-brandy
and eat raw turnips. I can tell you what, you wouldn't find many
newspaper chaps that'd stick to the truth as close as I did. So jest
haul in your horns, and I'll write a private letter to Par, and tell him
all I said about you was 'poetical license,' as the editors call it when
they've told a whopper, or a leetle too much truth--for one's as bad as
t'other now-a-days."

"Wal," sez he, "if you'll du that, I'll make up; yit it's allfired hard.
But I say, Jonathan, you'll stand treat, won't you?"

I felt sorry for the critter, and so I went to a grocery with him, and I
guess the long nines and the New England rum that I called for sot all
things tu rights in less than no time.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER IV.

The Political Meeting and its Disasters.


DEAR PAR:

Wal, a few nights ago, I thought I'd try one of them political meetings
the Editor's wanted me to attend and see how they carried on there. So
Captain Doolittle and I went to one of the great halls hired for
caucuses and crowded in by degrees, for the hull building was jammed
full of human live stock long afore we got there. Arter a good deal of
scuffling, we got up by one of the winders where we could see purty much
all that was going on. I never in all my born days saw such a lot of
horned cattle together. Some on 'em was barefooted, and a good many
hadn't more than a coat and a pair of trousers among four or five on
'em. One feller close by me had the rim of his hat ripped off till it
hung down on his shoulders: the top was stove in, and he had a black
eye, besides another that wouldn't see straight. "Look a here," sez he,
to me, "why don't you shout when we du?"

"Because I aint a mind tu," sez I; "how are you going to help yourself?"
Jest then a leetle pussy lawyer cum a crowding through the gang, and at
the sight of him they all sot up a noise that made my hair stand on
eend.

I never heard anything like it; they yelled and hollered enough to split
the ruff of the house. The chunked feller, with his hat knocked into the
middle of next week, poked about with his elbows till he got room to
draw his fiddle bow across a rickety fiddle, that had two of the strings
broke off and was cracked from eend to eend. Squeak, squeak, went the
fiddle close to my ear, like a pig when he's being yoked. With that, a
lot of fellers, some with their coat tails tore off, and some with their
trousers held up with a piece of list instead of galluses, and every one
on 'em as ragged as year old colts, begun to dance up and down the room,
but such double shuffles and pigeon wings was enough to make a feller
die a larfin. Our old white cow used to dance twice as well when she got
into one of her tantrums. "Hurra for our side! hurra! hurra!" yelled out
a tall feller close by the fiddler, with a mouth that twisted one way
and his nose curling off on t'other side, as if they hated each other
like cats and dogs; and with that he took off his old straw hat and
shied it off into the middle of the dancers. It lodged on the top of a
feller's head that was jest then trying to cut a pigeon wing over one of
the benches.

"Helloa, you feller you, jest toss back that hat, will you?" sung out
the tall feller, a pitching for'ard head over heels arter his hat.

"No I wont, I'll be rumbusticated if I du;" sez the t'other chap, a
pushing toward the door, holding the hat down with both hands, as if he
warn't used to them kind o' things; "all fair in 'lection time. Hurra
for equal rights!"

Jest then there cum in a grist of fellers a yelling and a kicking up
their heels like all possessed. They'd brought in some more 'lection
news.

"Who on arth can these critters be?" sez I to Captin Doolittle.

"Oh that's a squad of Irishmen; don't you see how the hair's all worn
off their heads a carrying brick hods on 'em?" says the Captin.

"You don't say so; now by gracious how they du blather out their words,
dont they?" sez I, but I might as well a been talking to a stun fence,
for jest that minit the hull on 'em sot up a noise that was enough to
make a feller's eye teeth jump out of his head.

Did you ever hear four hundred thousand wild cats, and bears, and
wolves, and screech owls, a squalling, and a howling, and a squeaking
together? If you haint, there's no use trying to make you have the least
idee how that etarnal crowd of critters did hoot and yell. There they
were a screaming, and a stamping, and a dancing, and a fiddling, all in
a heap, till a feller couldn't hear himself think, and wouldn't a known
what he was thinking about if he did hear.

Now says a leetle man by the winder, clear your pipes, feller citizens;
let's give 'em a song. I've got one printed off here so that you can all
jine in. Them that can't read or don't know the tune can sing Yankee
Doodle or Hail Columbia.

With that he flung a hull grist of papers among the crowd and begun tu
raise his ebenezer rather strong afore the rest sot in. By-am-by they
all got a going, and the way they roared out the song was awful, I can
tell you. Some of 'em sung in one tune and some in another--every man
went on his own hook. The pussy little feller pulled away on the fiddle
like all natur, and the chap with the skewed nose made a plaguey
squeaking with a split fife that he had. The feller that hadn't no crown
in his hat bellered out Auld Lang Syne, and I see another chap holding
his paper upside down, and blowing away at Old Hundred like all natur.
When they begun to drop off, for it warn't to be expected that sich a
heap of critters could stop all together, the pussy feller with the
fiddle yelled out, "Hurra for the song!--Three cheers for singing!" And
then they went at it agin, a hooting and tossing up their hats--them
that had 'em--as if Old Nick himself had kicked 'em on eend. By
gracious! I don't believe such a lot of white Injuns ever got together
before, or ever will agin. There was one great feller, as pussy as a bag
of bran in harvest time, that roared out his words like a hog that had
been larned to talk.

"That's a Yorkshireman," sez Captin Doolittle, "I'll treat if it aint."

"Wal, who on arth is that feller there a talking to that little stuck up
chap with the peaked nose? What in the name of natur does he mean by his
_spracks_ and his _yaws?_ If I was the little feller, I'd jest thank him
not to bark in my face that way; he opens his mouth as if he was a going
to swaller the poor critter hull, every time he speaks--du tell, who can
he be, Captin?"

"Wal," sez the Captin, "I don't know sartin, but I ruther guess he's one
of them Dutch fellers, by his lingo."

"There, now, look a there," sez I, a pinting to a feller that had jest
come up to the Dutch chap. He wasn't over clean, anyhow, but he had a
great brass handkercher-pin stuck in his bosom, and he strutted so that
a common chap couldn't a touched him with a ten foot pole. I poked my
elbows into Captin Doolittle's ribs, to try and make him tell me what he
was; but he was a looking t'other way, and wouldn't mind me. By-am-by
the feller begun to talk to the Dutch chap. He kept a flinging his arms
about every which way, and a jabbering over a mess of lingo that was
enough to make a man larf in his face. The words all run together like
marm's curd when the cheese gets contrary and wont set. The Dutch feller
kept a opening his mouth, and once in a while a word would come out full
chunk right in t'other's face. Think sez I, if this aint a touch of the
dead languages, it ought to be, that's all--for it's enough to make a
feller die right off to hear it. He seemed to be ashamed of himself at
last, and begun to try to talk genuine American, but he made awful work
on't. By-am-by I found out that he was a Frenchman; for a tall laathy
feller, that I'd a took my Bible oath cum straight off the Green
Mountains, went up to him, sort o' wrathy, and sez he, "Hold your yop,
you tarnal Frenchman; if you don't like this country and what we're a
doing, you'd better go back hum agin. I haint no doubt but you can git
enough frog soup without coming here to run us down."

The French feller turned as red as a turkey's topping, and he began to
sputter away as mad as he could be. But t'other chap jest put his hands
in his pockets and sez he--"you go to grass." I don't know what else he
said, for that minit they all sot up one of their almighty roars and
yelled out--"a speech, a speech." Then a feller with spectacles on, got
up to make a speech, and arter rolling up his shirt sleeves and spitting
on his hands as if he was going to chopping wood, he went at it shovel
and tongs.

I'll be darned to darnation if it didn't make my blood bile to hear how
he went on. Sich a stream o' talk I never did hear cum from one human
critter. At last I got so wrathy that I couldn't stand it no longer, and
bust right out the minit he'd got through.

"Feller citizens of New York," sez I, a mounting myself on the winder
sill, and sticking my right arm out as stiff as a crowbar, "I aint much
used to public speaking, but I must say a few words."

"Hurra for the Yankee--go it green horn--tip us a speech, a rale
downright Roarer!" sung out more than a dozen on 'em, and all the men
about me turned their jaws up, and opened their mouths as if I'd been
histed up there for a show.

"Feller citizens," sez I, "I've been a listening to you here this night
(they kept as still as mice now), and the rale American blood has been
biling in my heart to see sich carryings on and to hear sich things said
as that feller's been a talking," ("Hustle him out," sez they, "throw
him over; go it ye cripples;") but when they got still sez I, "Since
I've cum here to this city I've almost made up my mind that there aint a
ginuine teetotal patriot among ye all, on one side or t'other, and that
the least shake of a truth would suit a downright politic feller as well
as water would a mad dog, and no better!" ("Hurra for the Yankee," sez
they.) "Now," says I, a sticking out both arms tu once, "In
revolutionary times it was worth while to a public character to turn
solger, or patriot, or politician, for in them times folks found so much
to du that they couldn't git time to lie so like all natur as they du
now-a-days. In them glorious times a feller could shoulder his bagonet
and write out his politics on the heart of the enemy, and there warn't
no mistake in the handwriting. (What a clapping and stomping they made
here!) When they sung out liberty, I reckon the British knew the meaning
on't." ("Three cheers for the Yankee," sez they again, "Three cheers for
the Yankee,") and then they hollered and yelled and whooped and stomped,
and whooped and yelled agin and agin, like so many Injuns jest broke
loose,--then sez I--for I _was_ skeered by the noise they made, and my
hair stood up on eend I felt so dandery. "Feller citizens, as true as I
live, it eenamost makes me cuss and swear to think on't, though my par
is the deacon of a church. When the people of these times sing out
liberty, a feller can't tell whether they mean to tear down a flour
store or roast a nigger alive." (But don't you think, that when I got as
fur as here, as much as two thousand on 'em was taken dreadful sick all
tu once, and groaned out in rale agony,) "but," sez I, "I don't wonder
the old Revolutionary Patriots die off so. What I've seen of politics is
enough to send every one on 'em into the grave with their tough old
hearts broken and their foreheads wrinkled with shame at the news they
have got to carry to Gineral Washington in t'other world!"

I stopped to catch a little breath and was jest poking out my arm agin
to go on, for I felt as bold as a lion, and the words cum a flowing into
my mouth so thick, I couldn't but jest find room for 'em. But the
etarnal pack of varmints set up a yell that would a frightened any man
out of a year's growth; and afore I knew which eend my head was on, they
got hold on me and pitched me down stairs, and left me a wallering in
the gutter. The first thing I knew I felt something floundering about
under me, and a great black hog that had been lying in the gutter give a
grunt, and pitched me for'ard on my face and went off squealing a little
as if he was used to being driv up by company any time of night in them
quarters.

Wal, I picked myself up as well as I could, and I went down to the
Express office like a streak of chalk. I found the tall editor a setting
there counting up some 'lection figgers, and he looked eenamost tuckered
out. Sez I, "Mister Editor, look a here," and with that I showed him
where they'd bust out the back of my coat a flinging me down stairs, and
how that plaguy hog had kivered my new cassimere trousers all over with
mud. Sez he, and he couldn't help from larfing, "don't mind it, Mr.
Slick; I've got wuss usage than that many a time."

"Yis," sez I, as wrothy as all natur, "but I guess you haint been
pitched head for'ard into the gutter with that tarnal hog."

"Wal," sez he, a trying to keep from larfin all he could, "try it again,
Mr. Slick, you'll get used to these things by-am-by."

"I'll be darned to darnation if I du, and that's the eend on't!" sez I,
a doubling up my fist. "If I can't find nothing but politics to write
about, I'll go back to Weathersfield about the quickest, I can tell you
that."

Wal, the long and the short on it was, I got back to the sloop and
turned in awfully womblecropped, and as sore all over as a bile. I can't
go out to-day, so I have writ this letter.

                                        From your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER V.

A Little of Jonathan's Private Love Affairs.


TO THE EDITORS OF THE EXPRESS:

Wal, you see I'm as good as my word. I hadn't hardly read t'other letter
through, afore I sot right down and begun this right off the reel. By
the living jingo! how it makes the blood bile and tingle in a fellow's
heart to see his writing printed, and to hear people a talking about it.
I wish you could a seen my office the morning arter that fust letter cum
out. I thought my neck would'v got the cramp, I had to bow so much to
the folks that cum in to give me advice about my letters. One feller got
awful wrathy about what I writ about politics, but I jest told him to
mind his own bisness, for I guessed my eye teeth was cut if I did cum
from the country. He begun to git a leetle imperdent, so I got up and
showed him the door; and when he wouldn't go peaceably, I jest give him
a specimen of Weathersfield sole-leather, but it's no use writing about
such varmint.

Now you know who I be, you won't think it very odd when I tell you how
awful womblecropt I felt to think what a chance the old folks gave
Samuel to see the world, while they kept me tied down to the onion beds
as tight as marm Jones used to be to that leetle squalling youngen of
hern, that was so cross that its teeth couldn't cut straight, but stuck
out catecorning all round its gums.

It made me choke awfully to see Samuel drive off with his wagon chuck
full of wooden clocks, all painted and varnished up as neat and shining
as one of your New York gal's faces on a Sunday. I could bit a tenpenny
nail right in two without feeling it a morsel; but it was no use
quarrelling. The old man said I hadn't got my growth yit, which was true
enough, for it kinder stunted me to be always a bending over the
darnation onion patches. It was awful hard, I can tell you. I do
believe, if it hadn't been for the resting spells I got in the winter, I
should a been as bow backed as an ox yoke. I'll be darned, if it didn't
take me from fall till planting time to get the kinks out of my back.

Wal, I grinned and bore it purty well, considering, and, to own the
truth, it wasn't so terrible hard while Judy White lived with marm. For
a hired gal, Judy was a tarnal smart critter; there wasn't a gal in all
Weathersfield could pull an even yoke with her a stringing onions.
Nothing on arth puts a feller to his stumps like pulling in the same
team with a purty gal--and between us, it aint no ways disagreeable to
sit down in the middle of a patch of onions all running to seed, to work
with a gal like Judy. I say nothing, but, by gracious! if my heart
hasn't beat like a partridge on a dry log, sometimes when I've catched
her a looking at me from under her great sun-bonnet; but as for courting
or anything of that sort, she kept a feller at a distance, I can tell
you. I ruther guess my ears catched it once, but I reckon I won't tell
of that though; it's better to think about than talk over.

I don't mean to say that Judy had anything agin sparking in a regular
way, on Sunday nights in the east room, when the paper curtains was all
down, and the old folks had gone to bed. It cum kinder nateral to set up
till two or three o'clock, and Judy warn't by no means old-maidish. But
by-am-by the old woman began to make a fuss cause we burned out so many
of her candles. She needn't a made such a rout, for they warn't made of
nothing but soap grease with tow wicks; and I'm sartin it wasn't my
fault if we burnt so many. I'd a been glad enough to have sot in the
dark, but Judy wouldn't hear a word on't.

The old woman got into a tantrum one Monday morning afore breakfast. She
called Judy all sorts of things but a good gal and a lady, and twitted
her about being poor and setting her cap for me. At last Judy got her
grit up, and I ruther guess she finished off the old woman in fine
style. I suffered a few between them, I can tell you. The old woman
began to brag about Samuel, for she's felt mighty crank about him ever
since he had that great dinner give to him down on the Canada line
there--and sez she to Judy, sez she--

"I don't see how on arth you aim to think of such imperdence as sitting
up with my Jonathan. Why, aint my Samuel one of the biggest authors in
the country, aint he hand and glove with all the judges and lawyers, and
the New York editors, and all the big bugs fur and near? I'd have you to
know my boys aint men of the common chop, and I guess any on 'em will
look a plaguey sight higher than to take up with a hired gal. Why, who
knows but Jonathan will be as illustrated a man as his brother one of
these days!"

I couldn't begin to give the least idea of the stream o'talk the old
woman let out on the poor gal. But, by gracious, I rather guess she
missed it a few. I wish you could a seen Judy White's face, for by the
living hokey, if it didn't turn five hundred colours in a minit. I raly
thought the critter would a jumped out of her skin she was so awful mad.

"I don't care that for your son, Miss Slick," sez she, a snapping her
fingers in the old woman's face, "I can marry his betters any day. I
wouldn't have him, not if every hair in his head was shining with
diamonds; no, not if he'd go down on his knees to me; you make a
terrible fuss cause Sam's gone sneaking about among decent people, but,
after all, what is he but a wooden clock pedler, and as for you, you old
vinegar-faced good for nothin----."

She was a going on to give poor marm an awful drubbing, but I always
think a feller must be a mean shote that 'ill stand mum and hear any
body call his mother names, whether she desarves them or not. So I
stepped up and stood right afore Judy, and I looked her straight in the
face, and, sez I, "Miss Judy," sez I, "I don't want to hear no more of
this ere; come now, you and marm jest hush up, and don't let me hear
another darned word, for I won't stand it."

With that marm put her linsey woolsey apron up to her face, and begun to
boo hoo right out, and, sez she, "It comes awful tough to be trod on in
one's own house; I won't bear it, so there now."

"Now, Judy," sez I, kinder coaxing, "jest go and make up; marm's a
good-hearted critter, and you know it's kinder nateral for wimmin folks
to git a little crabbed once in a while."

By gracious, if I wouldn't rather break a yoke of steers any day, than
try to make up a quarrel between two wimmin when they once get their
dander up; and of all horned cattle Judy White did take the rag off the
bush when she once got agoing.

"Git out of my way, yeu mean, snaeking critter you," sez she, hitting me
a slap over the chops that made my teeth rattle; "I won't make up, nor
touch tu; I only feel sorry that I ever demeaned myself to set up with
you; I'll leave the house this minnit."

Out of the room she went like a she-hurricane, and after she had picked
up her duds she made tracks for home, without as much as bidding one of
us good by.

It's curios how men will git used to eenamost anything; now I don't
purtend to say that I hadn't a kind of a sneaking notion after Judy
White, but somehow when I seen the tears come into the old woman's eyes,
dimming her old steel-bowed spectacles, the water always would start
into my own eyes, spite of all I could do to keep it out; so it wasn't
to be expected that I should not feel disagreeable when the two got
their dander up, and went into such a tantrum with each other. But there
sot the old man a chonking an apple, and kinder larfin inside of him all
the time, jest as he'd a looked on to see two cats scratch and spit at
one another. I axed him how he could du so, and he tossed the apple core
out of the winder, and puckered up his mouth and said, "I hadn't got
used to the wimmen folks yit; the best way with them kind o' things was
to let 'em alone."

Now it wouldn't a been much of a chore to have gone over to old Mr.
White's two or three times a week, and if Judy had done the clean thing
toward the old woman, I don't know but I should a gone to see her over
there, but somehow a gal kicks over the milk pail when she lets her
ebenezer git up before a feller, jest as he's beginning to hanker arter
her. I couldn't make up my mind to tackle in with a critter that had
shown such an allfired spiteful temper, so the next Sunday night I let
her go home from singing school alone. I saw her look back kinder
anxious two or three times, and jest for the minit my heart riz up in my
throat till it eenamost choked me. But I kept a stiff upper lip, and
went on without seeming to mind her; and then she tossed up her head
and begun to sing, as if she wanted to show me that she didn't care a
cent for all I could do.

I felt awful bad for a day or two, but a feller must be a sap-head if he
can't make up his mind to give a gal the mitten when he thinks she
desarves it. Now if Judy had had the small-pox, and had been pitted all
over like a honey comb, I'd a stood by her to the last minnit; but
somehow I couldn't git over the awful basting she gave marm. I do like
to see old folks treated well, let 'em do what they will, and a gal
can't be fit to bring up a family if she doesn't know how to keep her
own temper. Besides, she hasn't much true ginuine love for a chap, when
she won't try to put up with the faults of his relations for his sake.

Wal, the long and the short of it was, I gin Judy White the sack right
off the reel, without stopping to chew the matter a bit.

Wall, arter this, working alone grew awful tedious, and I begun to
hanker to see the world. So as father was loading up a sloop to send
down to New York, I came a little of Samuel's soft sodder over the old
man, and told him how much better I could sell off the onions and red
cabbages, than eenamost any body else; and at last he said I might come
down as a kinder supercargo. So he filled up the hold with potaters,
real blue noses, I can tell you, and piled up a whole crop of garden
sarce on the deck, and we sot sail down the river.

Now, I'd made up my mind to stay in the city when I once got clear of
the humstead, but you may guess I didn't let out a word to the old
folks, for it al'es hurts my feelings to see marm take on, and I didn't
like to make the old man rip out _too_ much, for he was a deacon of the
Presbyterian Church. We was three days a coming down the river, and it
made me awful wrathy to see that lazy old critter, "the Cleopatra," go
by us on her way to the city and back agin before we got into the East
river. We give her two cheers each time, but neither on 'em come from
below the palate, I can tell you. We got into Peck slip at last safe and
sound, and if I didn't jump on to the wharf as spry as a cricket, then
there's no snakes on the green mountain that's all.

                                    I am your humble servant to command,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER VI.

Jonathan's Opinions of Ministerial Interference--A Card of Invitation,
and an Evening Party at Cousin Beebe's, in which Jonathan makes some
Mistakes and a Lady Acquaintance.


DEAR PAR:

I have just received your letter, and so I sot right down to answer it;
for what you writ about my treating Captin Doolittle, and using sich bad
language, made me feel bad enough. I don't know the reason on it, but
when a feller's away from hum, it makes him feel awful oneasy to think
that he's done anything to hurt his par or mar's feelings.

Now, about that Captin Doolittle business, I don't think arter all, I
was much to blame. What I writ about him hurt the critter's feelings a
good deal, and I didn't know of any way to make up but to treat, and so
I did give him a drink of New England and a long nine or so, but I
didn't drink any myself, not a single horn, and it warn't more 'an half
fair for the minister to begin at you about it arter meeting last
Sunday, and to tell you that you hadn't brought me up in the virtue and
admonition of the Lord, and to say that "you be darned" and "darnation,"
is jest as bad as cussing and swearing right out. For him to take it on
himself to twit you, and say that, "jest as the twig is bent the tree's
inclined," is consarned mean, and I wouldn't bear it nor a touch tu if I
was you. He knows as well as can be, that if I warn't bent right it
wasn't no fault of your'n, for I'm sartin it wouldn't a been in the
natur of things to have twisted me any other way than head for'erd, if
you calculated on my weeding the onions as they ought to be.

Now, the truth on it is, I begin to think that your ministers there in
Connecticut pull the bit on the church members a leetle too tight
sometimes, and instid of giving you good holesome doctrine, right pure
out of the Bible, and taking the potaters and apples and wood and
chickens and turkies that the deacons and old maids send to them as part
pay, they sometimes contrive to make their being ministers an excuse for
poking their fingers into every body's pie as well as their own.

I am afeard you won't like to hear me say so; but it does make me awful
wrothy to hear that the minister threatened to turn you out of the
church if you let me go on so--but you needn't be a bit consarned about
that. He'd no more turn you out of the meeting than he'd strike his own
granny, not as long as you own the best farm in all Weathersfield, and
send him a fat turkey every thanksgiving day, besides paying pew tax and
all the other taxes, as you du. I don't know what he might du if you was
to fail and bust up; for as soon as a man begins to get poor, the
ministers grow awful particlar about his morality and religion; but
there's no fear of that; so jest tell him the next time he threatens to
church you for what I'm a doing down here in York, that you'll serve him
as the parliament in England used to fix their King when he begun to
grow obstropulous, and as they would sarve that little skittish Queen of
theirn if she wanted to have a way of her own. Tell him you'll "stop his
supplies." Don't send him a turkey next thanksgiving, and tell marm not
to carry a single doughnut nor a skein of tow yarn to the next
spinning-bee that his church members make for him. I ruther guess that
this will bring him to his senses. As for me, tell him to go to grass
and eat bog hay till's he as fat as Nebuchadnezzar. I aint one of his
church members any how, and if I was, I shouldn't ask him to take care
of me. I know what I'm about, and he needn't be scared on my account. I
know as well as he does that York has a tarnal sight of bad people in
it; and I know, too, that there's a good many rale down right honest,
hull-hearted fellers here, tu. As for the wimmen, though they are
dreadfully stuck up, and eenamost ruin their husbands with dressing fine
and giving parties, there's some of them that aint to be sneezed at in a
fog, I can tell you. I don't want to say any thing to hurt the
minister's feelings, but he needn't cum his church threats over me, for
it won't du no good, I'll be darned if it will.

Wal, now that I've gin the minister a piece of my mind, free gratis for
nothing, I may as well write what's been a going on down here in York.

One morning a little black boy cum into my office with a heap of
letters, and he give me one without speaking a word, and went off agin.
I opened the letter, and there dropped out a square piece of white
pasteboard, and on it was printed, in leetle finefied letters, "Mrs.
Beebe at home--Thursday evening."

Wal, sez I to myself, if this don't take the rag off the bush--cousin
Mary's got to gadding about so much, that she has to send round word
when she is a going to stay at hum one evening. I do wonder how Mr.
Beebe can stand it. I shouldn't blame him if he took to drink, or got
into bad company, if his wife goes on so; for if a woman won't stay to
hum nights, and keep every thing nice and snug agin her husband comes
away from his bisness, a feller must have an allfired good heart, and a
good head tu, if he don't go off and git into scrapes on his own hook.

I sot down and histed my feet on the top of the stove, and begun to
think it all over, till it seemed to be my duty to go and talk to cousin
Mary about the way she was a going on. I remembered what a purty, smart
little critter she used to be when she lived in Connecticut, and how
kind hearted she was; and then I thought of her queer stuck up ways
since I'd seen her here; and it was as much as I could du to keep the
tears out of my eyes, for if cousin Mary had been my own sister, I
couldn't a liked her better than I did when she was a gal.

Wal, arter thinking it all over, I made up my mind to go and ask John if
he didn't think it best for me to go and talk to her, for I felt kinder
loth to meddle with his business, if he didn't want me tu; and anyhow, I
didn't expect much thanks for giving her advice--for when a feller steps
in between man and wife, it's like trying to part a cat and a dog, and
he is lucky enough if he don't git scratched by one and worried to death
by t'other; but I looked at the piece of paste-board agin, and made up
my mind that something ought to be done, and if John didn't take it up,
I would; for if there's any thing I du hate on arth, it's a gadding
woman--and I didn't feel as if I could give cousin Mary up quite yit.

Wal, I took my hat, and put my hands in my trousers' pockets, and walked
along kinder slow through Cherry street, till I cum to Franklin Square.
I did'nt seem to mind any body, for my heart felt sort a heavy with
thinking of old times. I kept a looking down on the stun walk, and felt
eenamost as much alone as if I'd been in a Connecticut cramberry swamp;
yit there was more than fifty people a walking up and down the Square.
I'd got jest agin the old Walton House, that was built afore the
revolutionary war, but was so busy a thinking, that I forgot to look up
at the arms and figgers carved out over the door, every one of 'em put
up there by a British tory family afore Gineral Washington drove them
out of house and hum--when all to once somebody hit me a slap on my
shoulder that made me jump eenamost into the middle of next week. I
looked up, and there was cousin Beebe a larfin like all natur because
he'd made me jump so.

"Hello, cousin Jonathan!" sez he, "what the deuce are you thinking
about?"

"About that," says I, a forking out the piece of pasteboard from my
trousers' pocket, "a little stuck up nigger jest gin me that ere."

"Wal, what of it?" says cousin John, "it's all right I see, I suppose
you'll come of course?"

"Yes," sez I, "I was a jest a going down to see you about it, and if
you'd jest as livs I'll go right straight up and talk to her now; I feel
as if I could say enough to break her heart, if it has got ever so
tough."

With that Cousin Beebe bust right out a larfin. "That's right," says he,
"you're coming on bravely, don't talk about one heart, I havn't the
least doubt but you'll break a dozen--you literary chaps carry all
before you in that way."

I felt kinder unsartin how to take his meaning, for it seemed as if he
was a poking fun at me, for wanting to give his wife some good advice;
at last I spoke up, and sez I--

"If cousin Mary has got _one_ good sound heart left to break, since she
came here to York, she's a good deal better off than I took her to be."

With that John begun to stare, and at last he bust out a larfin again.

"Why," sez he, "you haint no idee of getting up a flirtation with Mary,
have you? upon my word, cousin Slick, you are a shaking off all your
steady habits in a hurry. It generally takes a feller, though, some
months' training, in fashionable society, before he can bring himself to
make love to another man's wife."

"Now," sez I, "cousin Beebe, what on arth do you mean? as true as I live
I shall git wrathy if you keep on in this way. Aint my father a deacon
of the church? Aint I sot under Minister Smith's preaching since I was
knee high to a toad? It's an allfired shame for you to talk to me as if
I was a going to demean myself by making love to anybody, much less to
another man's wife. When I du make love, sir, I can tell you what, it
will be with a hull heart and an honest one tu; I'll never be afeard to
look a girl in the face when I ask her to take me, or to let her look in
mine for fear she'll see villain writ out in my eyes. As for your
married women, they needn't be afeared that anybody, I don't care how
imperdent he is, will make love to them, without they begin first. Now,
Cousin Beebe, seeing as we've gone so far, jest look a here, see what
your wife has sent to me!"

With that I give him the paper which the pasteboard was done up in,
where Cousin Mary had writ, "Mrs. Beebe hopes Mr. Slick will not fail to
come."

Cousin John read it, and sez he, "Wal, what harm is there in this? I'm
sure it was very thoughtful of Mary, and I'm glad she did it. You will
go of course; there will be a good deal of company, and they are all
anxious to see you since your letters come out in the Express."

"What," sez I, "is Miss Beebe a going to have a party--why didn't she
say so then?"

"Oh it's only a _swarry_, she often has them," says he.

"A what?" sez I.

"A _swarry_--a _conversationanny_," sez he. I couldn't think what he
meant, but I remembered that jest afore Mary was married she used to
have hysteric fits, now and then, and I thought they give them things
some other name down here in York.

"Dear me," sez I, "I'm sorry, but if I can do any good I'll come up, I
s'pose you'll have a doctor."

"Oh yes," sez he, "there'll be two or three, besides lots of lawyers,
and poets, and editors."

"You don't say so," sez I, "why what will you du with them all?"

"Oh Mary will take care of them," sez he, "she does those things very
well, indeed, considering she was brought up in the country."

"But I thought you wanted us to take care of her," sez I.

"Why, of course you will all make yourselves as agreeable as you can;
there will be lots of harnsome wimmen there, and I haint the least doubt
we shall have a pleasant party."

"A party!" sez I, "is Miss Beebe a going to have a party?"

"Certainly," sez he, a looking puzzled; "didn't you understand that by
the card and the note?" I felt my heart rise up in my mouth, and I could
have begun to dance on the stun walk. I do believe nothing on arth makes
a feller feel so happy as to find out that somebody he can't help but
like, but has been a thinking hard things about, don't desarve them.
Cousin John kept a looking at me, and I begun to feel awful streaked,
for it seemed to me as if he suspected all that I'd been a thinking agin
his wife. Arter a minit, I up and took my hand out of my pocket, and I
took hold of his'n, and, sez I--

"Cousin John, I've been making a darned fool of myself; I didn't know
what this ere piece of pasteboard meant, and I"--

"Never mind, Cousin Jonathan," sez he, all of a sudden shaking my hand,
"you know what it means now--so come up on Thursday. Now I think of
it--you had better git a new suit of clothes; that blue coat and those
shiny brass buttons did very well for Weathersfield; but here something
a little more stylish will be better--supposing you go over to the
Broadway tailors and let them fit you out."

"Not as you know on," sez I, a taking hold of the edge of my coat, and
a dustin off the buttons with my red silk pocket handkercher. "The
picter that they printed of me in the Express newspaper was taken in
these clothes; and if you'd jest as livs, I'll keep 'em on."

Cousin John warn't to be put off so, and at last he cum his soft sodder
over me, till I agreed to get another suit of clothes, New York cut, for
parties and meetings. So we shook hands, and he turned and went back to
his store agin, for he was a coming up to my office; and I jest turned
into a narrer street, and took a short cut across to the Express Office.
The Editors give me some money, for they aint no ways mean about paying
me for what I write for their paper; and they put on the soft sodder
purty strong about my letters. They said that everybody was a reading
them and a trying to find out something about me, and that lots of young
ladies had seen my picter and were a dying to git acquainted with me. I
warn't much surprised at it. Arter putting the poetry into my letters so
strong, I was sartin that all the gals would be a talking about me.
Nothing takes with them like poetry. I had my eye teeth cut when I wrote
that, I can tell you. I couldn't help but feel tickled to hear them
praising me so; but somehow one gits used to being puffed up, and arter
a little while a feller don't seem to care so much about it.

Wal, I pocketed the cash and went to the tailors' store; it was a plaguy
harnsome place, and there were two or three spruce-looking chaps
standing about; but they looked at me kinder slanting, as if they
thought I didn't want to buy anything; and I could see one on them
looking arnestly at my coat, as if he didn't like the fit on't. I
declare I begun to get ashamed of the old blue, when I cum to see the
harnsome coats and vests and trousers hanging around.

"Have you got any first rate superfine broadcloth coats and trousers to
sell here?" sez I, a chinking the loose change in my trousers' pocket a
leetle, jest to show them that I was as good as the city banks, and held
out specie payments yit.

"Yes," sez one of the clerks, a bowing. "What color do you wish to look
at?"

"Wal," sez I, "I ruther think I'll take that color that looks so much
like burnt coffee, or else a rale indigo blue, I aint particular, only I
want it in the tip of the fashion--a rale harnsome fit, and all that,
for I'm a going to a swarry and a conversationanny, and I want to shine
like a new pin."

While I was a talking, a knowing sort of a feller cum out of the back
room, and when he see me a looking at a coat that I seemed to take a
notion tu he cum up and begun to talk about it--he pinted out the silk
lining and the way it was stuffed and quilted under the arms, and would
have me try it on. So I stripped off the old coat and put the new one
on. I can tell you it sot as slick as grease; there warn't a wrinkle or
a pucker in it, from the top of the velvet collar to the eend of the
flap. I looked as trim and as genteel as could be in it--when it was
buttoned over tight it seemed to me that I warn't bigger round than a
quart cup.

Sez the gentleman, sez he, "that's a capital fit, sir, you won't du
better than to take it."

"Wal," sez I, "I don't know as I shall, I kinder seem to like myself in
it--how much do you ask, hey?"

"Why," sez he, "that's a fust rate coat, superfine cloth and beautiful
trimmings; but the times are hard, and I'll let you have it low for
cash;" and then he sot his price; "but," sez he, "you mustn't tell how
cheap you got it, for I couldn't sell any more at that price."

"Wal," sez I, "I ruther guess I'll take it; now let us look at some of
your vests and trousers. I shall have to beat you down a leetle on them,
for I'm raly afeard my money won't hold out."

"Not much fear of that," sez he, and he opened a drawer and took out an
allfired heap of trousers. Arter I'd tumbled 'em over awhile, I picked
out a pair of rale harnsome checkered ones, and then I bought a black
vest with yaller stripes all over it, and between us, I ruther guess it
made a considerable hole in the money that I got from the editors of the
Express, to pay for 'em all. The man had done 'em up, and I was jest a
going to take them hum under my arm, but sez he--

"Where will you have them sent, sir?"

"Wal," sez I, arter thinking a minit, "you may direct them to Mr.
Jonathan Slick, and send them round to the Express office, if you've no
objection."

I wish you _could_ a seen the feller! he seemed to be all struck up into
a heap when I said this, and the clarks looked at each other, and cum
toward us as if they had never seen anybody that wrote for newspapers
afore.

"Mr. Slick," sez the head man, making a bow eenamost to the ground, "I'm
much obliged for your custom, and I hope you'll cum agin. If you find
the clothes suit you, perhaps you'll send any of your friends to our
establishment, who happen to want any thing in our line. We shall always
be happy and proud to sarve Mr. Slick or any of his friends."

Here he made another bow, and I stepped back, and bent for'ard a trifle,
jest to let him see that his soft sodder warn't put on at all coarse;
and, sez I, "Wal, I'll try the clothes, and if they turn out fust-rate,
mebby I'll mention where I got them in one of my letters. There is a
good many chaps jest a going to be married about Weathersfield, and it
won't do them no harm to know where to come for the wedding clothes."

With that the tailor bowed agin, and, sez he, "Mr. Slick, where shall I
have the honor of sending you one of my fust-rate vests, or a pair of
harnsome pantaloons? I'll take your measure, and have them made on
purpose for you."

"Wal, now, I don't know as I can afford to buy any more jest yit," sez
I; "but when these are wore out, I think as likely as not I shall cum
agin."

"Oh," sez he, a rubbing his hands a little, and a smiling and bowing
agin, "let us take your measure, and we shan't quarrel about the pay, we
shall be most proud to supply you with a good article; and if you will
accept of them, the honor"----

"Oh," sez I, a bowing, "you are very obliging, I'm sure, Mr. ----."

"Where shall we send them when they are done?" says he.

"Direct them as you did the others, to Mr. Jonathan Slick, to the care
of the Editors of the Express. And look a here, Mr. ----, I wish you'd
try and make the trousers so they will stay down, and not keep a
hitching up to the top of my boots, if you can."

"Depend on it they will please you," sez he, a follering me to the door,
"Good morning, Mr. Slick, I'm very much obliged to you for calling;"
and with that he made another bow, and I give him one back again, and
made tracks for Cherry street, as tickled as could be.

Wal, when Thursday cum, I begun to feel mighty anxious about the party;
I had all the clothes sent down to my office, besides a prime hat, which
I got, and a pair of real dandy boots that sot to my foot like wax.

As soon as it was dark I shut myself up and begun to fix. I declare I
never did see anything fit as them checkered trousers did; they sot to
my legs like the tin moles to a pair of tallow candles in freezing time,
and I felt as if I'd been jest corked up in a junk bottle, foot
foremost. Arter I got them on, and all buttoned up tight, I begun to
think that I should have to go to the party in the blue mixed socks that
marm knit for me, the last thing afore I cum away from hum; for my feet
had got hung in a slip of leather, that was sowed across the bottom of
the trousers' legs, and how to get 'em out, so as to put on my boots, I
couldn't tell. I pulled and kicked till I eenamost bust off my gallows'
buttons but they wouldn't give a morsel, and at last I jest took hold on
the leathers, and I give them an allfired jerk till they slipped over my
heel, and arter that I made out to roll up the trouser's legs till I
could pull my boots on. When I pulled them down again the leathers stuck
out from the heel of my boot behind, as if I had got spurs on; I didn't
exactly like the feel of it, but "Who cares," sez I to myself, "a feller
may as well be out of the world as out of the fashion, especially down
here in York."

As soon as I'd got my trousers purty well braced up I put on the vest,
and it sot like a button, for there wur holes behind and strings that
laced up like a gal's corsets, and I girted up purty tight I can tell
you. I snuggers, them yaller sprigs did glisten, and arter I'd put on
the new stock that I bought along with the clothes, I rather guess I cut
a dash. It was all bowed off and curlacued over, with red and yaller
sprigs, and it made my neck look as slim and shiney as our big red
rooster's used to when he stretched his head out in the sun to see how
many old hens and spring pullets he'd got about him.

I swanny, if I hadn't been in such a hurry to git on my new things that
I forgot to wash my hands and face till jest as I was a putting on my
coat! I peeked in the little looking-glass that I've got hung up in my
office, and my hair was standing out every which way; and somehow my
teeth looked as yaller as if I'd been chawin tobaccy a hull week. What
to du I couldn't tell, but I picked up the Express, and looked into the
advertisements to see if I could find out anything to make my grinders
white--there warn't nothing there; but I happened to think that I'd seen
Doctor Sherman's tooth-paste puffed in some of the papers: and though I
don't mean to patronize anybody that don't advertise in our paper, I
thought, seeing as I was in a hurry, per'aps it would be as well to go
out and get some of it. I slipped on my old coat, and down I went into
Nassau street, eenamost to the corner of Fulton street, and I bought a
little cheny box full of red stuff, about as thick as hasty pudding, and
as sweet as honey, and back I went again to the office like a streak of
lightning.

I didn't know how to use the stuff, but think siz I, they must rub it on
their teeth somehow, so I spread some on the corner of my towel, and
began to polish away like all natur. It warn't two minits afore my teeth
was as white as a nigger's; so I jest washed them off in the hand basin,
and went at my hair, tooth and nail.

How on arth these York chaps make their hair curl so, I can't guess--I
tried to coax mine to twist up a little, on each side of my face, but it
warn't of no use. I combed it out with a fine tooth comb, and I put some
hog's lard scented with some of the essence of peppermint that marm give
me to use if I should git the stomach ache down here, and I twisted it
round my fingers, but it wouldn't stay curled a minit; so at last I gave
it up for a bad job, and put on my new coat as mad as could be.

I ruther guess you couldn't have found a better looking chap of my size
anywhere about, than I was, when I put on my yaller gloves, and fixed my
new red silk hankercher in my coat pocket, so as to let one eend hang
out a leetle, arter I'd put a few of the peppermint drops on it--and the
way I pulled foot up Pearl street and toward Broadway, wasn't slow I can
tell you. It takes a feller forever to fix here in York--I'd ruther
slick up for twenty quiltings and apple-bees, than for one swarry, I can
tell you. I was a'most skared to death, for fear I should be too late,
for it was eenajest dark afore I left the office, so I didn't let the
grass grow under my feet on the way to cousin Beebe's, you may be
sartin.

When I got to cousin Beebe's door, I pulled the silver knob kinder
softly, for I felt a sort of palpitation of the heart at going into a
room chuck full of quality; and I jest pulled up my dickey a little, and
felt to see if my hankercher hung out of my pocket about right, afore
the nigger opened the door. At last he made out to cum, and when I asked
if all the folks was tu hum, he begun to show his chalkies jest as he
did afore, and sez he,

"Yes, but they haint come down yit."

With that I pitched in, and, sez I, "Look a here, Cuffy, none of your
grinning at me, but jest mind your own bisness. I've come to see the
swarry that Mr. Beebe's been a buying to treat his company with; so jest
shut your darned liver lips, and show it to me."

"Oh," sez he, a trying to choke in, "the swarry is going to be in the
drawing room there, walk in."

"What, haint it come yit," sez I, "and where's all the folks?--I thought
he was going to have a party, too."

"Wal, so he is," sez the nigger, "but they haint begun to come yit."

"Wal, now," sez I to myself, "If this don't beat all creation. Now, in
Connecticut it would a been eenamost time to go hum agin; these Yorkers
du beat all for laziness." With that I went into the room. By the living
hokey, I never see anything like it! It was enough to dazzle one's eyes;
the two doors were slid back into the partition, and it seemed like one
great ball-room; and, besides that, there were too great winders at the
further eend, that opened into a place that seemed kinder like a garden.
I didn't know what to make of it, for it was chuck full of posies that
looked as bright and as green as if it was the fourth of July, and yit
it was a freezing like everything out of doors. I went down the room and
stuck my head through the winder, and as true as I live it was a little
room all full of bushes and roses sot up on benches; it had a glass
ruff, and the sides were one allfired great winder, with little vines a
hanging down over it, and a great tree chuck full of something that
looked like oranges, a standing up agin it.

There were five or six cages full of little yaller birds a hanging among
the bushes, and right back of the tree stuck over with oranges, stood a
marble woman a holding up a bunch of grapes cut out of marble, with a
lot of green leaves twisted round it as nateral as could be. It was
awful harnsome, but I swan if it didn't make me feel streaked to look at
her a standing there among the bushes, for she hadn't the least rag of
kivering on, and it raly was enough to make a feller blush to see her a
holding the grapes over her head, as if she wanted to make people look
at her.

Think sez I, is this the swarry that Cousin Beebe has bought to show his
company: I reckon he'd better have bought a calico frock or something of
that sort to kiver over it. I couldn't bear to look at it, and so I jest
turned about and stood still by the winder with my eyes wide open, for
at the t'other eend of the room was another garden with a naked swarry
and bushes in it, as much like the one I'd been a looking in as could
be. I went toward it, but stopped short, and burst out a larfin all by
myself, for it was nothing but the same garden a shining in the great
big looking glass, that I wrote to you about, that hung up right afore
me.

[Illustration: "Think, says I, is this the swarry that Cousin Beebe has
bought to show his company: I reckon he'd better have bought a calico
frock or something of that sort to kiver over it."--_Page 56._]

Arter I'd stole another sly look at the orange tree and the swarry, I
jest stuck my hands in my pockets as well as I could, considering they
were so tight, and stickin out one foot, leaned back again the winder
frame and looked around the room. A hot sweltering sun in dog days could
not have been brighter than everything was. There were two great things
hung by chains from the middle of both rooms, with hundreds and hundreds
of chunks of glass a hanging all over them; and they were stuck full of
candles as white as curd, all a burning and blazing, till they looked
like a heap of ice and snow hung up to melt in a fire. Both the mantle
shelfs were kivered over with them things that I told you about that
looked so much like gold; some on 'em were lamps, and some had great
white candles stuck into them; and there were lots on lots of flowers
set in among them that smelt as sweet as new hay, and such a shining
and glistening I never did see. The best on it all was, that the
whopping looking glasses on both eends the rooms made them seem twice as
long, and as if they had a great many more things in them than they raly
had. There were two round tables made out of some kind of cloudy stun,
about as large as marm's cherry-wood tea-table, a standing at both eends
of the rooms, all kivered over with leetle picters and all sorts of
play-things, besides heaps of books with morocco backs and sprigged off
with gold, all lying among them every which way, as if somebody had been
in a hurry, and had pitched them on the tables without staying to pile
them up.

Besides all that, they had brought in a whole heap more of them
footstools that I told you about, and they had put square kind of back
pillows all tossled off and kivered over with flowers at the eends of
the two settees, besides a good many other things that I haint time to
write about. "Wal," sez I to myself, "if Cousin Beebe don't take the
shine off these New Yorkers in his party I lose my guess; but I wonder
where on arth he contrives to raise money to do it with these hard
times, for all this must have cost him a few, I'm sartin."

Jest as I was thinking this, the cuffy come into the room, and sez I--

"Look a here, snow ball, when is the party a coming, I've seen the
swarry all I want tu, and I'm eenamost tired of standing here and doing
nothing."

"Wal," sez he, "I s'pose they'll be here in an hour or two,--it aint
mor'n eight o'clock yit."

"I rather guess I shan't stay here all alone any longer," sez I, and
with that I buttened up my coat, and jest took a walk into the Apollo
gallery to see the picters, till it was time for the party to cum. I
haint time to say anything about the heap of harnsome picters that I
saw, and besides, I mean to write you all about them some day afore
long, for they are curios I can tell you. I felt so much pleased with
looking at 'em, that it was long after nine afore I thought of it. So I
jest started off agin for Cousin Beebe's. When I went in this time the
rooms were brim full of people, and I was eenamost scared to death. I
unbuttoned my coat and pulled up my dicky a leetle, besides giving my
hair a brush--and then I went in with my head straight up, and my new
fur hat in my hand; jest as I used to go in the singers' seat, there in
Weathersfield. Think sez I, I'll jest let 'em know that I haint been to
dancing school for nothing. So I held my hat a leetle afore me by the
rim, and I made a genteel bow, first to one side and then to t'other.
Arter that, I went and sot down on one of the settees, and I looked
round for cousin Mary, for I felt kinder awk'ard; and I hadn't the least
idee that she wouldn't have come up, as she used to in Weathersfield,
and put out her hand and ask me if she should take my hat. But there I
sot with it between my hands, a fingering it over as if it had been a
hot potater, and she never cum near me. I felt dreadfully, for there was
a lot of harnsome gals a staring at me, and a puckering up their purty
leetle mouths, as if they would a gin the world to larf right out. Arter
a minit cousin John cum up to me, and sez he,

"Cousin Slick, I'm glad you've cum, step in the next room and take a
glass of wine with me. Mrs. Beebe is so crowded you won't get near her
jest yit."

I got up, and we went into the entry way together, and then says cousin
Beebe to the nigger, "Here, Ben, take Mr. Slick's hat."

The nigger took my hat and carried it off up stairs, and, arter a few
minits, cousin John went back into the room where the company was,
without saying another word about the wine.

"You had better go up and speak to Mary, now," sez he, kinder low;
"there she stands by Count ----." I didn't hear the name, but it was some
darned crabbed word, that was enough to choke a feller.

I hadn't looked round much when I cum in before, for somehow my head
didn't feel steddy; but arter cousin John cum and spoke to me, I didn't
seem to mind it, so I jest looked round as bold as could be. I declare I
never did see any body dressed out as cousin Mary was. She had on a
frock of shining satin, with harnsome pink sprigs all over it, and there
was a great wide ruffle round the bottom, made out of something that
looked as white and thin as a gal's veil the day arter she's married;
and that was hitched up on one side half way to her waist, with a pink
rose, made out of ribbon with long eends, that fell down eenamost to the
floor. A heap of some kind of shiney thin stuff was ruffled round her
bosom, and hung down round her arms, for her frock sleeves were short,
and made like a little gal's; and she had on a pair of white gloves,
with ribbon tops to 'em. One on 'em was fastened round her wrist with a
wide piece of gold, and three or four bands set full of shiny stuns wos
on t'other arm, which was plaguey white, or else I suppose she would not
have let folks see it.

Mary al'ers had a tarnal purty little foot, but I never see it look so
small as it did in that glistening white shoe of hern, and to own the
rale downright truth, she didn't seem to be much ashamed to show it, but
kept it stuck out from under her ruffler, as if she'd made up her mind
to be ready to make a curchy any minit. There was one thing that kinder
puzzled me a good deal; Mary's skin never was over white, but somehow it
looked like wax work, that night, and you never see a meadow pink look
brighter than her cheeks did; but instead of coming into her face and
going away again, as every man loves to see the color in a gal's face
when she's a talking, and knows that he's a looking at her, Mary's
always kept jest so; it didn't seem as if an earthquake would make her
turn pale. The hair hung in long curls down her cheeks and on her
shoulders, jest as it did the other day, and she had a great white rose
stuck in among the curls, on one side of her head, that looked as if it
hadn't but jest been picked off the bushes.

I looked at her putty earnestly, I can tell you, and I do think she
would have been a critter that John might be proud of, if it warn't for
that stuck up way which she's got since she cum down here to York. She
don't du nothing on arth nateral, and as she did when she was a gal in
Connecticut. Instead of standing up straight, and speaking to her
company as if she was glad to see them, she stood with one foot stuck
out and her hands jest crossed afore her, and kinder stooping for-ard,
as if she couldn't but jest stand alone; I never see a critter's back
stuck up as her's was, I raly thought she was a getting the rickets, and
I felt so anxious about it that I turned to cousin Beebe, afore I went
up to speak to her, and sez I, a sort of low--

"Cousin John, how did your wife hurt her back so? I declare it makes me
feel awfully to see what a great hump she's got a growing since she cum
away from Connecticut!"

With that cousin John looked at her and larfed a little, but I could see
he didn't feel jest right, and arter a minit he said, sez he,

"Hush, cousin, you must not speak so loud; it's true Mary has put on
rather _too_ much bustle, but it's the fashion, you see." I looked
round, and as true as you live there warn't a gal in the room that
hadn't her back a sticking out jest the same way. Such a set of
humpbacked critters I never did put my eyes on, and yit they all stood
about a smiling and a talking to the fellers as if nothing ailed them,
poor things! I never see a set of folks dressed out so much, and so
awfully stuck up as they were. Some of the gals had feathers in their
hair, and some had flowers or gold chains twisted among their curls, and
I didn't see one there that wasn't dressed up in her silks and satins as
crank as could be. As for the men, I thought I should have haw hawed
right out a larfin to see some of 'em; there was one chap talking to
Miss Beebe with his hair parted from the top of his head down each side
of his face, and it hung down behind all over his coat collar like a
young gal's just before she begins to wear a comb; and there was two
bunches of hair stuck out on his upper lip right under his nose, like a
cat's whiskers when she begins to get her back up. Every time he spoke
the hair kinder riz up and moved about till it was enough to make a
feller crawl all over to look at him. Think sez I, if it wouldn't be fun
to see that varmint try to eat. If he didn't get his victuals tangled up
in that bunch of hair, he must know how to aim allfired straight with
his knife and fork.

When I cum to look round there were more than a dozen chaps, rale
dandy-looking fellers, with their lips bristled out in the same way.
Think sez I, there are some men that would be hogs if they only had
bristles, as we say in Connecticut, but these chaps needn't keep out of
the gutters for want of them, they are ready for sarvice any time.
There were two or three ruther good-looking chaps, that didn't let the
hair grow on their upper lips, but it come up in a pint like a letter A
from the tip of the chins eenamost to their mouths. These fellers had
great hairy whiskers that made them look as if they had run all to head
like a seed onion. I swanny, I never did see such a set of infarnal
looking coots in all my life--a tribe of ribbed nosed babboons would
have looked ten times as much like men; and yet they did't seem the
least bit ashamed of themselves, but strutted round among the gals as
large as life, showing off with their white gloves on and white cambric
handkerchers, that I s'pose they borrowed from their sisters, stuck into
their pockets.

I wouldn't go up and speak tu Miss Beebe till that ninnihammer with the
brustles went away from her, for I was afeard that I couldn't hold in,
but should haw haw right out in his face, if I got tu looking at him too
stiddy. I raly didn't know which looked the worst, men running about
among decent people with dirty brustles under their noses, or women a
trying tu make themselves look humpbacked so as tu be in the fashion.

At last the chap with the brustles went off with a young gal into the
room where the bushes were, to look at the swarry, I s'pose, and so then
I went up tu Miss Beebe and I made a bow, and sez I--

"It's a pleasant evening, Miss Beebe."

"Yes," sez she, "it is very pleasant."

I didn't seem tu stand easy, so I put t'other foot for'ard, and wiped my
nose a little with my red hankercher.

"Any news a stirring?" sez I.

"Nothing particular that I know on," sez she.

I changed feet agin.

"I ruther thought it was a going tu rain, but I guess it won't now," sez
I.

"No, I ruther think not," sez she.

We stood stock still a minit, and then I put my hankercher in my coat
pocket agin, and, sez I--

"I swanny, Miss Beebe, you've got a grist of harnsome gals here
to-night. I'll be darned if I aint eenamost in love with some one on
'em."

"I'm sure you ought to be," says she, a puckering up her mouth, "you
don't know how much they have been a talking about you. I declare you've
got to be quite a lion since you took to writing, cousin Slick."

"A what?" sez I.

"A literary lion," sez she, with one of her old Weathersfield smiles.

"Wal," sez I, "that's a queer name, but I don't care what they call me,
if they don't call me late tu dinner."

Jest that minit a tall harnsome young feller cum up to us, and Miss
Beebe turned tu him and spoke softly, with her eyes half shet, jest as
if she was a dying off, and she asked him if he wouldn't sing.

With that he puckered up his mouth and said he couldn't, cause he'd got
such a bad cold; but anybody that had his eye teeth cut might have seen
that he only wanted her tu coax him. A lot of young gals crowded round
and begun tu put the soft sodder over him.

"Oh du--now pray du," sez one, and the rest on 'em took it up till the
poor feller, he didn't know which eend his head was on. So he sot down
and flung back his head with his eyes half shet, and he began tu sing. I
swanny, it eenamost made the tears cum into my eyes tu hear him, it was
rale ginuine music; but the very minit he begun, the young gals that had
been a teasing him so tu sing, went on a talking and a larfin, as if he
hadn't done what they wanted. I raly felt sorry for the feller; yit he
didn't seem tu mind it, but sung away as if everybody was a listening.

Jest then, cousin Beebe called out my name from t'other side the room. I
wish you could a seen how they all stared; it warn't more than ten
minits arter that, afore eenamost every one in there was at cousin Beebe
tu be introduced tu me--the fellers with the brustles and all. The
purtyest gals in the room kept a flocking round me as if they'd never
seen a man that wrote for the newspapers afore. Talk about soft
sodder--there's nobody on arth can put it into a chap so smooth as a
harnsome gal. Somehow they melt it with their smiles, till it sinks
through his heart afore he knows it. I was talking with a rale peeler of
a gal, with two of the brightest black eyes that I ever see, when
somebody struck up a tune on the pianner-forty, and two or three couple
got onto the floor as if they wanted tu dance.

"Do you dance quadrills, Mr. Slick?" sez the black eyed gal, as if she
wanted me tu ask her to dance.

"Wal, I don't know," sez I, "I never tried them kind of things; but I
ruther guess I can, if you'll show me how."

With that, I took the tip eend of her white glove between the fingers of
my yaller one, and went with her into the middle of the room. I didn't
know what they were a going tu dance, but I warn't much afeard,
anyhow--for there warn't a chap in all Weathersfield could beat me at a
double shuffle, or could cut so neat a pigeon-wing without music, as I
could.

Wal, the music begun, and one of the fellers that had the hair on his
lip, begun tu slide about with his eyes half shet and his hands a
hanging down, and looking as doleful as if he'd jest come away from a
funeral. Did you ever see a duck swim a mill-dam, or a hen turning up
its eyes when it's a drinking? If you have you can git some idea how the
lazy coot danced. I thought I should go off the handle tu see him, but
the gals all stuck out their little feet, and poked about jest in the
same way. Think sez I, when it comes my turn, I'll give you a little
specimen of ginuine dancing. I only wish I thought tu put a little loose
change in my pocket tu jingle, if it was only jest tu show how well I
keep step.

A young lady, with her hair twisted all up with little white flowers,
balanced up tu me, jest as you've seen a bird walk, and then it come my
turn. I took two steps for'ard and then I cut a peeler of a pigeon-wing,
and ended off with a little touch of the double shuffle, but my trousers
was so plaguy tight that I couldn't make my legs rale limber all I could
du, besides, the music warn't much more like a dancing tune than
Greenbank or Old Hundred. At last I went up tu the gal that was playing,
and sez I--

"Look a here--jest give us something lively--Yankee Doodle, or Money
Muss, or the Irish Washerwoman, or Paddy Carey. I aint a going tu twist
and pucker round in this way."

With that the young fellers with the hair lips begun tu push their
cambric hankerchers into their mouths, and the young gals puckered up
their mouths as if I'd done something tu poke fun at. But instid of
sneaking off and letting the stuck up varmints think they'd scared me so
I darsn't dance, I felt my dander a getting up, and sez I tu myself, "I
guess I'll let 'em see that I warn't brought up in the woods to be
scared at owls, any how;" so I jest turned tu the black eyed gal that
was my partner, and sez I,

"Cum now, Miss, let us show 'em how it's done," and with that I begun tu
put it down right and left like a streak of lightning. It warn't more
than two minits afore I heard the gals a talking tu each other, and a
saying,

"How odd--how strange--quite the eccentricity of genius--these literary
lions never do anything as other people do!--I don't wonder Miss Beebe's
proud of him."

The young fellers joined in and stopped larfin as quick as could be, the
minit they begun to see how the wind was a blowing up in my quarter, and
when I finished off and led the black eyed gal tu one of the footstools,
there was no eend tu the soft sodder they all put on tu me. Sez I tu
myself, nothing like keeping a stiff upper lip with these stuck up
fashionables, for arter all they aint more than half sartin what's
genteel and what aint.

Jest then the music begun agin, and one of them tall hairy lipped
fellers got up with a purty little gal, that didn't look more than
eighteen years old, and he put his white gloves on a little tighter, and
then I'll be darned if he didn't begin to hug her right there afore all
on us. He put one arm round her little waist jest above the hump on her
back, and he took one of her hands in his'n, and then she looked up into
his eyes and he looked down into hers as loving as two pussy cats, and
then they begun to make cheeses on the carpet till you couldn't have
told which was which.

I never felt my blood bile so in all my life; it raly didn't seem
decent, and if she had been a relation of mine, I'll be darned to
darnation if I wouldn't have knocked that pesky varmint into a cocked
hat in less than no time. I'd a made him glad to eat himself up hair and
all, greasy as it must a tasted, tu have got out of my way. Oh! but I
was wrathy with the coot for a minit; and then says I to myself, "I
don't know as the chap's so much to blame, arter all, it's the gal's
own fault; if she likes to be hugged and whirled round so afore the
folks, the feller must be an allfired fool not to like it as much she
does; but, thinks I, if the gal means to git married, her bread will be
all dough agin, arter this, for no decent honest man would want to marry
a gal arter he'd seen her tousled about afore fifty people, by such a
shote as that chap is."

As soon as the two critters sot down, the fellers and the gals all
locked arms and begun to stream out of the room. I thought I might as
well see where they were a going, so I jest crooked my arm, and the
black eyed gal put hers through it, and out we went into the entry way
tu a room further back, where all the company was standing about round a
table sot out with everything good on arth that a feller ever thought of
eating.

I thought the table, when I eat dinner at cousin John's, took the shine
off from everything that I'd ever seen afore in my life, but it warn't a
circumstance to this. There was no eend to the silver dishes and baskets
all sot out with flowers, and a running over with bunches of white
grapes and oranges, and everything else good that ever grew on arth! and
there were more than half a dozen little steeples, all made out of red
and white sugar candy, hung over with flowers and curlecued about with
little sugar images, and sich lots of cake, and presarves, and jelly,
and things that I'd never seen afore in my life. Everything glittered
and shone so it fairly took away my appetite. There was another little
table kivered over with decanters and with a lot of them cider bottles
that I've told you about, standing on it; but I kept purty clear of
that, I can tell you. Cousin Beebe cum to me with one of 'em in his
hand, and sez he, sort of larfin,

"Come, cousin Slick, take a glass."

Says I, "No, if you'd jest as lives, I'd a little ruther not, your York
cider don't agree with me."

"Oh," sez he, "it's only sham pain, try a little."

"I'm jest as much obliged to you, but I'd a little ruther not, it warn't
sham pain that I had in my head the day arter I drunk it before, I can
tell you."

With that cousin Beebe larfed, and sez he, "you must be gallant, and
help Miss Miles, she hasn't got no refreshments yit." I looked toward
the black eyed gal, and sure enough, there she stood as mute as could
be, looking on, while all the rest was a eating. I went up to her again,
and I made her a bow, and sez I,

"Miss Miles, what will you take? arter you is manners for me, and I
begin to feel a little as if I should like a bite."

I could see that tarnal purty mouth of hern begin to tremble, as if it
wanted to say something funny, but she looked in my face, and sez she,

"I'll take a little blue monge if you please."

I didn't know what she could mean, but there was some stuff in some
little blue glasses, that looked as much like soap suds as anything
else, and I took one of 'em out of the silver thing that it stood in,
and I jest stirred it up a little with the spoon, afore I give it to
her. I dont know what on arth become of the blue monge, but I hadn't
more than touched it when off it went, and left the glass eenajest
empty. Miss Miles larfed a little, and says she,

"Thank you, the syllabub will do jest as well. A few grapes, and a
trifle of that jelly, if you please."

"But," sez I, holding the glass, and a lookin down on the carpet and
over my new trousers, "where on arth can that monge have gone tu! I hope
there aint none of it got on tu your silk frock, Miss Miles."

"Oh, no," sez she, "don't mind it, the grapes will do jest as well."

I took up a plate and gave her a great whopping bunch from off one of
the dishes, and then I made another bow, and, sez I--

"Anything else, Miss Miles? I'd do anything on arth to oblige you."

She twisted up that plump little mouth of hern in one of the handsomest
smiles I ever see, and, sez she, "I'll take that rose bud that dropped
from the grape basket when you took these out."

I swan, but she looked plaguy harnsome, I couldn't but jest keep from
staring right in her face all the time. I felt my heart a floundering
about, like a pullet with its neck twisted, when she said this, and I
took up the rose bud between the fingers of my yaller gloves, and I
stepped back and made as genteel a bow as I could, considering I hadn't
room to square my elbows, and, sez I--

"I hope you'll keep that ere to remember me by."

She gave me another of them tarnation bright smiles, and she stuck the
rose in her bosom, and sez she, kinder larfin a little--

"What shall I give you, Mr. Slick? This myrtle sprig? it'll keep green
longer than your rose."

"No thank you," sez I, a looking at her as killing as could be, "I'll
take it; but I don't want anything to make me remember you."

I kinder expected that she'd have blushed a little when I said that; but
somehow these city gals don't color up very easy. She smiled again, and
sez she--

"Well, Mr. Slick, you must call and see how well your rose keeps with
me. Mrs. Beebe, will come with you any time."

Sez I, "but I aint sartin as you'll be glad to see me, you must have a
great many beaus, and I may be in the way."

She was a going to answer me, but jest then that tarnal varmint with the
hair come up with a plate in his hand, and sez he--"Let me help you tu a
jelly, Miss Miles."

I could have knocked the critter into the middle of next week, I was so
tarnal mad; but there he stood a bowing and a smiling through his hair
lip like an etarnal monkey that had got the stomach ache, and I couldn't
get a word in edge ways. I couldn't eat a morsel, but I took up one of
the cider bottles without a thinking what I was a doing, and I drunk two
glasses right off, and arter that I felt a little better; but I'll be
darned if it didn't make me grit my teeth tu see that stuck-up coot work
his arm as if he warnted to go into t'other room with Miss Miles. She
looked round as if to see where I was, and then I went right straight
up, and, sez I tu him--

"Arter _me_ is manners for _you_."

With that I took her little hand in my yaller glove, and I put it into
my arm as genteel as could be, and walked straight into t'other room
with her. She sot down on one of the settees, and I jest pulled one of
the footstools close up to her, and there we both sot as sociable as
could be till the folks all come back agin. Arter that I had to git up
and give a pale-looking gal my seat; but I kept a standing up by the
eend of the settee, till Cousin Beebe come up tu me, and, sez he--

"Cousin Slick, jest step this way a minit."

He went right between the silk winder curtins into the place where the
bushes, and the birds, and the swarry was, and sez he--

"Cousin Jonathan, did you know that the straps to your pantaloons have
slipped out from under you boots?"

"You don't say so," sez I, a looking down at hisen, tu see how he fixed
them, for I didn't want him to think that I'd left 'em so on purpose;
but I felt awful streaked when I see his was buttoned under the sole of
his dancing pumps.

"Here, jest lift up your foot," sez he.

I histed my foot up, and he jirked the strops down quick enough; but I
swan if I didn't feel as if he'd corded me up tu see how long I'd keep.
I didn't wonder the chaps sidled and wriggled about so when they tried
tu dance, a feller couldn't take a regular strong step tu save his life,
girt up in a pair of these new-fashioned trousers.

"Look a here, cousin Beebe," sez I, jest as he was a going out, and I
pinted tu the naked marble woman a standing among the bushes, with the
light a coming in from t'other room onto her, till she looked like a
harnsome ghost a walking among the bushes by moonlight; "if you'll take
a fool's advice you'll buy a frock and petticoat for that purty swarry
of yourn, afore you have another party. How should you feel if some of
them young gals was tu cum in here?"

John bust out a larfin, and I raly thought the critter would never stop.

"Now what are you a haw-hawing about?" sez I, sort a wrathy, "because I
cum here with my trousers slipped up a leetle. I don't s'pose anybody
but you see them."

"Oh never think about it," sez he, a biting in, but the tears kept a
running down his cheeks, for all that. "If they did see it, they'll set
it down for the eccentricity of genius, as the young ladies say. You
literary chaps can do a'most anything now-a-days."

"I begin to think we can," sez I, for jest that minit I remembered all
that tarnal sweet critter, Miss Miles, had been a saying to me, and I
looked down tu see if the sprig of myrtle was in my button-hole yit.

When we went into the room, there warn't scarce any of the party left. I
stood by one of the doors till I saw Miss Miles cum down with her purty
face half buried up in a great silk hood--so I jest went with her to the
door, and there stood a carriage with a nigger a standing by the
door--so I jest took hold of her hand and helped her to git in; and
arter that I felt so lonesome, I bid cousin Mary good night and made
tracks for my office. I ruther think I won't tell what I dreamed
about--you old steady folks do love to larf at a young chap so--and as I
ruther think I shall cum hum tu thanksgiving, I don't mean to let you
all poke too much fun at me.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER VII.

Scenes in Broadway--Jonathan's Interview with the Count and Flirtations
with Miss Miles.


DEAR PAR:

I am eenamost sartin that you was disappinted because I didn't come hum
to thanksgiving, but somehow I couldn't raise pluck enough to start, all
I could du. I raly don't know what seemed to be the matter with me; but
arter Miss Beebe's party, I begun to git as peaked and wamblecropped as
could be. I swanny, if it didn't set me all in a fluster the next
morning, when I got up and found the sprig of myrtle that Miss Miles
give me a lying on the floor jest where it had dropped from the button
hole of my new coat.

I didn't hardly give myself time to put on my clothes, afore I went out
to a crockeryware stand and bought a tumbler to put it in; and then I
set it on my desk, and tried to write a little, for I didn't feel jest
like eating any breakfast. But it warn't of no use trying--all I could
du, every idee in my head got fixed on the myrtle, and Miss Miles, and
the party. I didn't write two words together, but scrabbled all over the
paper, and figgered out little heads, and meeting-houses, and hay-stacks
on it, as nat'ral as could be; but if I'd been hung and choked to
death, I couldn't a wrote two rale ginuine lines. I felt sort of odd all
over, and I hadn't the least notion what could ail me; it warn't a very
tedious feeling, though, but it seemed as if I was a dreaming yit, and
all about that tarnation little Miss Miles. I kept a seeing them bright
black eyes and them long curls of hern all the time, as plain as day.
I'll be choked if I didn't git afeared that I was a beginning to have a
kind of a sneakin notion arter her, and sez I to myself, "Mr. Jonathan
Slick, this won't do no how. Arter what you've seen of woman natur in
that Judy White, you must be a darned crazy shote to poke your fingers
in that fire agin." But a feller may as well drink tu much lickor and
ask it not to make him stagger, as to git his head chock full of the
gals and then try to talk common sense to hisself. It is like giving
advice to a rat when his leg is in the trap.

The long and short of it was, I couldn't set still, and I couldn't think
of anything on arth but that gal, so I jumped up all tu once and sez I
to myself--"Wal, one way or t'other, by hook or by crook, I'll see her
agin--I will, by hokey! it's of no use to git down in the mouth about
it, she can't do more than give me the mittin, any how, and it will be
the first gal I ever got it from, if she does, I can tell her that."

I was so anxious that it seemed forever afore I got on my dandy coat and
trousers agin. My hankercher smelt purty strong yit of the essence of
peppermint, so I fixed it right in my pocket, put on my yaller gloves,
and stuck the sprig of myrtle in my bosom afore I gin the last peak into
the leetle looking-glass that hangs in a corner of my office. I don't
think there could be much said agin my looks, as I went down Cherry
street with my head flung back, sort of independent, and the tip eend of
my yaller gloves stuck in my pocket. Consarn that Broadway tailor! he
made the trousers so tight that I couldn't get a hull hand in no more
than I could fly.

Miss Miles lives clear up to the further eend of Broadway, so I took a
short cut across the Park, and went along by the Astor House. A lot of
dandyfied looking chaps stood on the steps a staring at the harnsome
gals as they went by, all furbelowed and finefied out like a stream of
garden flowers all in full blow.

They may talk about England and France and Garmany, as well as all the
other big places that a feller can pint out on the map; but, for my
part, I don't believe there is a place on the arth where the wimmen
dress so allfired costly as they du here in York. It raly is enough to
make a feller grit his teeth to see the harnsome critters sideling and
curchying along the stun walks, wrapped up in silks and satins and
velvets, and all sorts of feathers, as long as them that Captain Jones
wore in his training cap, as if it only wanted a fiddler to set them all
a dancing, when their husbands are out a shinning and working themselves
to death to keep their notes from being sued by the lawyers. It don't
seem right, but yit they do look tarnal killing in their furbelows--it's
of no use denying that.

But one thing did raise my dander a leetle as I went along, that's a
fact. Any body that had half an eye could see that all the young gals
were possessed after them foreign chaps with the brustles and whiskers.
Every once in a while one of the indecent varmints would come along with
his head twisted round under some purty woman's bonnet, talking as soft
and as mealy-mouthed as could be, like an old grey cat mewing round a
bird cage, and the gals seemed all in a twitter, they were so tickled,
and screwed up their mouths, and smiled to show their teeth, and looked
as proud as peacocks of the etarnal impudent critters. I'll be darned if
I don't believe every one of them chaps are barbers or chair-makers when
they are to hum, and hearing what a chance the York gals give every kind
of animals that come from foreign parts, and how they begin to turn up
their noses at a rale true born American, whenever they can git a chance
to make fools of themselves with them hairy lipp'd fellers, they've come
over here to York to court the gals and git up a new crop of hair to
begin bisness with when they git hum agin. Think sez I, it wouldn't be a
bad joke sometime about six months arter this, if some of them same gals
that don't think nothing of chasing arter them fellers, should buy his
whiskers and all the rest on 'em that they fall in love with, stuffed
into a footstool, sich as I saw at Miss Beebe's. Stranger things than
that has happened afore now, I reckon.

It raly made me feel bad to see tall, harnsome-looking fellers, ginuine
Americans, with revolutionary blood in their hearts, a standing on the
tavern steps, and a walking all alone up and down the streets as
molancholy as mice in an empty mill, while their own wimmen folks, that
ought to feel ashamed of themselves, were a talking and smiling and
giggling with that pack of varmints. It made my blood bile to see it, I
can tell you.

You wont think it exactly like a Christian to run on as I du about them
fellers, I'm afeard; but the truth of it is, I _do_ hate 'em like pison.
If I owned a caravan of living animals, darn me, if I wouldn't catch
some on 'em for specimens, and cage 'em up for a show. They wouldn't be
a strutting up Broadway and a showing themselves for nothing much
longer, I can tell them that! They talk about Yankee speculations; I
reckon this would be a prime one--wouldn't it? If a feller could only
get a good trap made, there wouldn't be no difficulty but we could find
purty gals--them that live in fine houses and hold up their heads as if
they were queens too--that would be willing enough to let you use them
for bate.

You wont be surprised that I am wrothy about them chaps when I tell you
how I was struck up jest arter I went by the Astor House. I was thinking
about one thing or another, when all to once I lifted my head and there
was Miss Miles a coming toward me a looking as fresh and harnsome as a
full blown butter cup, and close to her side, that Count with the
crabbed name that I saw at Miss Beebe's was a twistifying himself along,
with his head bent sideways till the great long white feather that she
wore in her bonnet all but swept across his eyes. I eenamost felt as if
I should holler out, and I raly believe I should have boo hooed right in
the street if I hadn't been so allfired wrathy at the sight of him. Oh!
but my Yankee grit did rise--I dug my hands down in my trousers' pocket
and walked right straight up to them a grinning like a hyena, for I was
detarmined to let them see that I didn't care a copper how much they
walked together. They were so busy twisting their heads about and a
looking soft sodder at each other that they didn't see me till I stood
right afore them as stiff as an iron crowbar, with my head up straight,
and one foot stuck out for'ard, as an independent and true born Yankee
ought to do when he sees himself imposed on.

There was no mistake in Miss Miles this time any how. She gave a little
scream and blushed as red as a turkey's comb, and then she looked about
sort of skeery as if she was afeard somebody would see how slick I'd
caught her. I was mad as all natur, but as true as you live I couldn't
but jest keep from haw hawing right out to see how that hair lipp'd
Count acted when he saw me a standing up afore him. He kinder stepped
back and stuck out one foot a little sideways, jest as if he was a going
to make a bow, and he twisted his little stuck up waist round till his
head poked out like a mud turtle when he wants to see if anybody is
near. Then he took a thing out of his vest pocket hitched to a gold
chain that he wore round his neck, and held it up to one eye, and there
he stood a staring at me and twisting his face and a brustling up his
hair lip, like an etarnal monkey. I didn't seem to mind him, but looked
right straight at Miss Miles, and sez I--

"How do you du, Miss Miles?"

She didn't seem to know how to take me at first, so she looked at the
feller and then at me, and, arter a while, sez she--

"Oh! Mr Slick, is it you?"

"Wal, I ruther guess it is," sez I, "but I s'pose my room's as good as
my company, I don't want tu keep you from talking tu your beau there."

"Oh! Mr. Slick," sez she, a twisting up her mouth and a looking in my
face, jest as she did the night afore, "how odd you men of genius are!
The Count, I'm sure, will be happy to meet you, won't you, Count?"

She called the coot by his hull name, but how she could twist that
little mouth of hern so as to git the word out, I can't tell. Arter that
she turned her head a little, and said something sort of low to him. She
smiled so harnsome, and her voice was so soft and coaxing, that I had
eenamost forgot the chap, but her talking to him made me rile up
agin--and jest as he was letting that half of a pair of spectacles down
from his eye, and was a beginning to put his face ship shape agin, I
walked right straight up to him, and sez I--

"Look a here you chap, I ruther guess you mean to know who I am the next
time you see me."

"Sare?" sez he, a standing up straight and opening his great black eyes
till they seemed chuck full of fire and brimstone.

"Wal, what on it?" sez I.

"You are impertinent," sez he.

"Wal, now I reckon that aint what I was baptized. I'll tell you what,
Mr. Hair-lip, I haint a going to let you nor any body else call me
names," sez I, a taking both hands out of my trousers pockets, and a
pulling up my yaller gloves, as spiteful as could be, jest to show him
that my mawlers were fit for use.

The feller's lips began to grow white, but he twisted them up as if he
wanted to make me think he didn't care for what I said.

"Sare," sez he, "do you know whom you are speaking to?"

"Wal," sez I, larfin in his face a leetle, "I ruther guess I du, though
I haint just made up my mind what kind of horned cattle you call
yourself yit: they give all sich stranger-critters a name, and I s'pose
you'll git one by-am-by, as well as the rest on 'em."

With that he turned as white as a tub of curd, and sez he--

"This is too much, sare; remember you are speaking to a Count." Here he
out with a name as long and crooked as a sassafras root.

"You don't say so!" sez I.

"I'm a nobleman!" sez he, and he was a going on to give me another
string of foreign jaw-breakers; but I jest sot down my foot, and sez I,

"Look a here, you feller--I don't care the value of a butnut-shell how
many names you've got; we don't own no Counts in this ere free land of
liberty, but them that can count down the most hard chink, and they have
to work tarnation hard afore they git the title, I can tell you. As for
your noblemen, we have raised a new-fashioned sort of 'em in this land
of liberty. In the Revolutionary War a hull grist on 'em sot their
titles down on our glorious Declaration of Independence, and there
they'll stay, as bright as the stars, to all etarnity, and a day longer.
We don't ask our noblemen who their fathers were, or how they got a
living. _Great deeds_ and--what's the same thing--_good deeds_ make
noblemen here. Every man has to work out his own title and when he dies,
instid of leaving it to some booby of a son, he writes his date out in
the history of his country, and takes it back to him who gave the power
to arn it. As for any other noblemen--though I believe arter all that
the true ginuine lords and counts that come out here are as scarce as
hen's teeth--" (here the count didn't seem to stand easy,) "we _true_
Americans, rale full-blooded Yankees, don't care any more for their
titles than we do for the stuns under our feet. It's only your
half-blooded Americans that have been baked over in Europe, and our
silly finefied gals that chase after you. An honest straight for'ard
Yankee gal would take you for jest what you are worth as _men_, and when
they du that, I rather guess we can pull an even yoke with any of you
that come from t'other side the water."

Here I gave Miss Miles a squint that made her wilt like a broken rose in
the hot sun! "Mr. Slick," sez she, eenamost crying, "I beg, I entreat,
let us walk on. See how the people are remarking us."

"Wal," sez I, sort of mollified, "I aint doing nothing to be ashamed on,
am I?"

"Oh, no," sez she, "I didn't mean to say that."

"Wal, there aint nothing on arth that I wont du to oblige a harnsome
critter like you," sez I, a going round to the other side on her. She
gave me another of her prime smiles, and that seemed to pacify me. So we
all three walked along together till we got agin the Astor House once
more. The Count looked as sour as a vinegar barrel--I suppose, because I
was detarmined to hang on, but I kept a stiff upper lip, and marched
down the stun walk as straight as a bean pole stuck up on eend. Miss
Miles begun to smile agin, and she talked to him as sweet as could be,
but I couldn't make out a word she said, for she didn't speak rale
American, but every now and then, jest as I was beginning to get rily
about it, she would turn her face to me, and pucker up her mouth so
coaxing, that somehow I couldn't git right down wrathy if I tried ever
so much.

When the Count saw that I wasn't to be scared away, he jest give me a
good long stare right in the eyes, and then bending a little for'ard to
Miss Miles, he lifted his hat about an inch from his head and went into
the Astor House. I don't know what on arth could be the matter, but the
minit he left us I begun to feel as sheepish as could be. I didn't know
what in nature to talk about--so I jest took my red silk handkercher and
gave it a flirt out of my pocket, and then put it back agin.

"Do you like the smell of essence of peppermint, Miss Miles?" sez I.

"I'm very fond of perfume," sez she.

"I hope you didn't like the stuff that are Count had on his
handkercher," sez I. "I swanny, it eenamost made me sick; he smelt more
like a musk-rat than anything else."

"You can't expect every body to have _your_ taste in selecting perfumes
for his toilet, Mr. Slick," sez she, a puckering up her mouth till it
looked like a red clover top full of honey.

"I swow, Miss Miles, you look as harnsome as a full blown rose this
morning," sez I; "it aint a mite of wonder that I couldn't sleep a bit
last night."

With that I jest took a good squint at her as we went along, for I
couldn't think what to say next. I don't believe the things she had on
cost one cent less than fifty dollars, enough to rig out all the gals in
Weathersfield with boughten finery; her cloak was the queerest thing I
ever did see; it only reached jest down to her knees, and was made out
of rale silk velvet. I know it was silk, for I jest slipped off my
yaller glove, and felt on it to be sartin, as we walked along. It was
kinder purply, like the damsons that grow in our corn lot, and was
loaded down with some kind of long fur. Under that she wore another
dress of black silk velvet, that shone in the sun like a crow's back.
The cloak had great open sleeves, edged with fur, a hanging round her
arms; and I could see the corner of a hankercher a sticking out from the
eend of her little black muff jest enough to show how harnsomely it was
figger'd off; a bunch of red flowers was stuck agin each side of her
face under her bonnet, and her eyes looked bright, and her cheeks rosy
enough to make a feller catch his breath. The more I looked at her, the
more uneasy I got about that Count. I wanted to say something to her
about him dreadfully, but some how I didn't know what to say first. I
took out my hankercher agin, and then I wiped my nose and put it back;
then I begun to examine the fingers of my yaller gloves, to see how they
stood the weather. Finally, I lost step, and it took me three minits to
get the right hitch agin; at last I bust right out, and, sez I--

"Now, Miss Miles, between you and I and the post, jest tell me do you
raly care anything about that are Count?"

She turned her roguish black eyes to my face, and, sez she, "Why, Mr.
Slick, how can you ask sich a question?"

"Now that's Yankee all over," sez I, "you aint told me yet: only asked
me another question to match mine."

"What do you want to know for?" sez she, sort of softly.

"Oh, not much of anything; I should kinder like to know, that's all,"
sez I. With that, think sez I, I'll try and make her jealous a leetle,
and sez I,--

"Do you know, Miss Miles, that they've been a printing my picter clear
off in Michigan and down in Cincinnati? I guess I shall go out there one
of these days and see how I like the folks out West, I begin to git
eenamost tired of York." I warn't wrong; that brought her to her senses
purty quick.

"You don't really intend to leave the city," sez she, a looking at me as
arnest as could be.

"Wal, I don't know," sez I, "them Western editors want me to come
dreadfully. One on 'em sent me word that they had a grist of harnsome
gals in his State."

"Is the picter out West so very well painted?" sez she.

"Wal," sez I, "it's a purty good likeness, considering it was took in my
old clothes," (and with that I took out the paper and I showed it to
her). "I ruther think it will be best for me to go on there," sez I, a
putting up the picter; "that are Count will think I want to cut him out,
I'm afeard."

I looked straight at her as I said this, but she begun to smooth down
the fur on her muff with her little hand, and when she did speak I had
to bend my head down to hear what she was a saying.

Afore I could make out what she meant to say, a couple of harnsome young
gals cum along and they stopped as if they were tickled to death to see
her; I thought there warn't much chance for me to git another word in
edgeways; so I cut for the office and left them a talking as they went
along.

Think sez I, as I was a going along through the Park, arter all, human
natur is purty much the same in all places. I don't see as there's much
difference between our gals there in Weathersfield, that wear calico
frocks and straw bonnets, and these York tippies that go out all
furbelowed off in their silks and satins. They are six of one and half a
dozen of t'other the world over. If it hadn't been for that are Count I
should not have been much at a loss to know how to take Miss Miles. When
a gal begins to talk down her throat, and fingers her muff as she did,
it's a purty sure symptom that there'll be a change of weather in her
heart afore long, but somehow that tarnal Count, consarn him, put me all
out on my natural reckoning. But who cares? sez I to myself. I'll bet a
cookey if there warn't but two men in the world, and them were that
darned feller and Jonathan Slick, and she'd got to marry one or t'other,
she wouldn't be long a making up her mind whether to take a chap for
what he's got in his head or for the hair that grows outside on it; for
a gal with half an eye might see that when a feller's brains all run to
hair, he can't have much sense left.

But when these fellers are so chased after by all the gals, there is no
saying what kind of a chance a plain, honest chap like me might have
among 'em. But any how, I'll try my luck to-morrow, for if I don't go tu
see her I shall be sick abed, that's sartin.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER VIII.

The Morning Call--A Coquette's Dressing Room.


DEAR PAR:

Arly the next morning, I got up and put on my new clothes agin, and sot
afore the fire, thinking of eenamost every thing on arth, till the clock
struck nine; then I slicked down my hair a leetle, and pulled foot up
Broadway agin. I kinder expected every minit that I should meet Miss
Miles, as I did yesterday; but somehow there didn't seem tu be any body
a stirring. There warn't a single one of them whiskered chaps in sight,
and all the women-folks that I could see, up or down, seemed tu have on
nothing but their everyday clothes. I saw tew or three rale homespun,
modest-looking young critters, but they warn't dressed up, and some on
'em were a carrying band-boxes and sich things afore them. Once I got
allfired wrathy, for a nigger woman stood out on the stun side-walk with
a great long brush in her hand, a scrubbing the winders of a big house
with it; and jest as I come along, she give the brush a flourish, and
sent a hull thunder-shower of dirty water all over my new clothes.

"You etarnal black nigger, you! you'd better look out, and keep your
soap-suds for them that wants washing," sez I.

But she hee-he'd out a larfin, and begun tu brush away agin jest as if I
hadn't said a word tu her. Think sez I, it wouldn't be jest the thing
for any body tu see me a jawing here with a nigger wench, so I may as
well grin and bear it, for I don't know of anything that proves a feller
a leetle soft in the garret, so much as keeping up a quarrel with a
person that is so much beneath him that there aint nothing tu be gained,
though you du git the upper hand. So I choked in, and took out my
hankercher and wiped off my coat-sleeves, and went along; but it warn't
no easy matter tu navigate so as not tu git a second ducking, for every
nigger in York seemed to be out a washing winders. I come near slipping
up tew or three times, the stuns were so wet afore all the housen. I can
tell you what, this going tu make morning calls ain't no joke,
especially if a feller happens tu be dressed up. The niggers will sponge
his coat for him, if the tailor forgot tu, without charging him for the
trouble.

Jest afore I got up tu the great four-story house where Miss Miles
lives, I begun to feel sort of anxious agin. Think sez I, what on arth
shall I say tu her when I du get there? So I kept a thinking over a
capital leetle speech that I meant tu make. I'd read in story-books
about lovers that always went down on their knees when they talked soft
sodder to sich stuck-up gals as Miss Miles; but tu save my life, I
couldn't make up my mouth to it; the gal must be something more than
common flesh and blood that would ever bring Jonathan Slick on his
marrow bones, I'm thinking; so if she calculates that I'm a going to
make such a mean coot of myself as that, why she may go to grass for
what I care.

Besides, sez I tu myself, how on arth would I kneel down in these
new-fashioned trousers, if I wanted tu ever so much; when arter putting
one thing and another together, I made up my mind that kneeling down tu
the gals must have gone out of fashion here in York when the chaps give
up wearing them trousers puffed in at the waistbands. This kinder made
my mind easy on that point; so I went on thinking over what I should say
tu Miss Miles when I got tu her house.

Now it ain't no ways hard to make first-rate speeches up in a feller's
head, when he's a going tu see a gal that he's a beginning tu take a
shine arter; but somehow the worst on it all is, a chap al'ers forgets
every word on it when he comes where the gal is.

I begun to grow awful uneasy jest afore I got to the house, and my heart
sot to beating in my bosom, like the pestle in an old fashioned samp
mortar. It seemed to me as if somebody was a looking arter me, and as if
they knew that I was going a courting in broad daylight, which was
enough to make any decent chap look sheepish that had never thought of
making up to the gals only on a Sunday night arter dark, when these
things seem to come nat'ral.

Wal, when I got agin the house, I took a squint up to the winders, for I
thought mebby Miss Miles would be a looking out; but there warn't nobody
to be seen, so I went up the wide marble steps, that looked as white as
snow, with a great chunk of marble a curling down each side on 'em, and
there I stood stock still, for my heart floundered about so that it
eenamost choked me, and if I'd been hung I couldn't a got up pluck to
pull the silver knob and make somebody come and let me in; for all the
York people keep their doors fastened in the day time, so that if a
feller's in ever so much of a hurry, he's got to stand out doors till a
nigger comes to let him in.

By-am-by a black gal stuck her head up from under the steps, as if she
was a going tu speak; so I turned my back to the door, and stuck both
hands in my pockets and began to whistle, as independent as could be,
jest to let her see that I didn't feel anxious to get in. Arter that I
went down the steps agin, jest giving a leetle touch of Yankee Doodle,
sort of easy, as I walked up and down on the stun walk afore the house,
a trying to git up courage. At last a gal come to the door with a tin
basin in her hands, and begun to scour the silver knobs so; I jest went
right up the steps agin like a house a fire, and sez I to the gal--

"Is Miss Miles tu hum?"

She kinder stared at me, as if she was a going to ask what I wanted, but
I warn't a going to stand there a talking to her, so I jest pushed
ahead, and went into the entry way. There warn't nobody there, but one
of the mahogany doors that opened on one side was wide open, and I went
in.

If any thing, the two great rooms was more harnsome than them at Cousin
Beebe's: the footstools and the settees and the chairs were all kivered
with shiny red velvet, figgered off like all natur; but they stood about
over the carpet every which way. Two or three little stun tables stood
out in the middle of the room; one on 'em was kivered with decanters and
wine glasses, and some of the books lay all kivered with gold, a
glittering and shining on the carpet. The grates were all lined with
solid silver, but there warn't a spark of fire in either on 'em yit, and
the ashes lay all scattered out over the stun hearths as thick as could
be. A part of the great silk winder curtains were hitched up, and the
rest on 'em fell clear down to the floor over the winders, till the
sunshine that come a pouring through them looked as light and red as a
hundred glasses full of currant wine. Thinks I, what on arth has become
of all the folks? One would think that they hadn't eat breakfast yit, by
the looks of things; yit that couldn't be, for by that time it was
eenamost ten o'clock, and any body that has the least idee of gitting a
living won't wait arter six for his breakfast.

Wal, arter wandering about the rooms a good while, I went into the entry
way agin; by that time the gal that I'd seen at the door had got up on a
chair, and was a hauling down a great round glass thing, which was hung
by a sort of chain up to the ruff of the entry. When she see me a coming
out of the two rooms, she yelled out as if she didn't know that I was
there afore.

"What do you want here?" sez she, as imperdent as could be.

"Hold your tarnal yop, you critter you," sez I, "and jest tell me where
Miss Miles is; I've come to make her a morning call."

The gal seemed a leetle mortified by that, and sez she to a leetle stuck
up cuffy boy that cum up stairs jest then, "Here's a gentleman wants to
see Miss Miles--is she up yet?"

Wal, now, think sez I, if this York aint the beatumest place that ever I
did see--there aint a nigger in it but what's a poking fun at you or a
throwing water or some tarnal thing or another. I wonder if these leetle
coots think I'm soft enough to believe that an honest, harnsome gal like
Miss Miles, lies abed till ten o'clock. They don't stuff me up that way,
any how, if I did come from the country.

"What name shall I take up?" sez the teinty cuffy, a bowing.

"Oh, I haint partic'lar," sez I; "you may take up any you like best--but
I wish you'd jest tell me where she is, for I begin to feel eenamost
tuckered out, a walking and a standing round here."

The leetle cuffy looked at the gal, and then they both begun to giggle
and tee-hee like any thing.

"Look a here, you damination copper colored image you," sez I to the
nigger, "jest you step up this minit if you don't want to git an
allfired thrashing!"

The poor leetle varmint looked scared out of a year's growth, and sez
he, as humble as could be, "Who shall I say wants to see Miss Miles?"

"Never you mind that," sez I, "go ahead, and I guess she won't be long a
finding out."

With that the nigger went up stairs, and I arter him full chisel; he
looked round as if he wanted to say something jest as he stopped by a
door in the upper entry way; but I told him to go ahead and hold his
yop, for I warn't a going to wait any longer. So he rapped at the door
and somebody said, "Come in." My heart riz in my throat, for I knew
whose voice it was, and I begun to feel as if I'd pitched head for'ard
into a mill dam. The cuffy opened the door, and sez he, "Ma'am here's a
gentleman that would come up."

I heard somebody give a leetle scream, and with that I jest pushed the
nigger out of the way, and sez I, "Miss Miles, how du you du?"

I sniggers, if I didn't raly pity the poor gal, she looked so struck up
in a heap; but what on arth made her act so I couldn't tell at fust, for
I felt kinder streaked as if I'd done something that wasn't exactly
right, though I couldn't think what, and it was as much as a minit afore
I looked right in her face. But jest as I lifted up my head, and drew up
my foot, arter making one of my fust cut bows, she stood jest afore me.
By the living hokey, I never was so struck up in my born days! You know
what I've told you about Miss Miles, about her plump round form, her red
lips, and her rosy cheeks. Well, I'll be darned if there was one of them
left--I shouldn't have known her no more than nothing, if it hadn't been
for her eyes and the way she spoke. Her neck and for'ard that always
looked so white and harnsome, when I see her at Cousin Mary's, and in
Broadway, was as yaller as a safron bag. There warn't the least mite of
red in her face, and her hair was all frizzley, and done up in a leetle
bunch, about as big as a hen's egg behind! She had on a great loose
awk'ard-looking gown, that made her seem twice as chunked as she used
to, and that looked more like a man's shirt cut long and ruffled round
than any thing else. It warn't any too clean neither, and both her
leetle shoes were down to the heel.

There I stood a looking at her with all the eyes in my head--my foot was
drawed up tight, and my arms were a hanging straight down, jest as they
swung back arter I'd made my bow. I kinder seemed tu feel that my mouth
was open a leetle, and that I was a staring at her harder than was
manners for me. But if you'd a given me the best farm in all
Weathersfield, I couldn't have helped it, I was so struck up in a heap
at seeing her in sich a fix. I guess it was as much as two minits afore
either on us said a word; and, at last, Miss Miles turned to the nigger
as savage as a meataxe, and, sez she,

"Why didn't you show Mr. Slick into the drawing room?"

"Oh, don't seem to mind it," sez I a walking into the room, and a
setting down on a chair with my hat between my knees, "I'd jest as livs
set up here as any where."

She looked as if she'd burst right out a crying, but at last she sot
down and tried to act as if she was glad to see me. She begun to make
excuses about herself and the room, and said she wasn't very well that
morning, that she took a new book, and sot down jest as she was to read
it.

"Oh," sez I, "don't make no excuses; it aint the fust time that I've
ketched a gal in the suds. Marm used to say that she never looked worse
than common that somebody wasn't sartin to drop in."

"Will you excuse me one instant, Mr. Slick," sez she, a minit arter I'd
said this, and a looking down on her awk'ard dress, as if she couldn't
help but feel streaked yit.

"Sartinly," sez I; "don't make no stranger of me."

With that, she opened the door and went into a room close by. I jest got
a good peak into it as she went through the door, and an allfired
harnsome room it was. There was a great mahogany bedstead a standing in
the middle, with a high goose feather bed on it, kivered all over with a
white quilt and great square pillows all ruffled off, and the winder
curtains were part white and part sort of indigo blue. I couldn't git a
chance to see what else there was, she shut the door so quick. "By
gracious," sez I to myself, arter she went out, "who on arth would ever
have thought that Miss Miles was so old. When I saw her yesterday, I'd a
took my Bible oath that she warn't more than eighteen, but now I'll be
choked if she don't look as ancient as the hills. If ever she sees
thirty agin she'll have to turn like a crab and walk backwards five or
six years." What puzzled me most was how in creation she contrived to
look so young--but it warn't a great while afore I made it out as clear
as one of Deacon Sykes' exhortations. Arter she'd gone out I jest got up
and took a sort of survey of the room; everything was t'other eend up,
helter skelter in it; there was no eend to the finery and harnsome
furniture, but it don't make much odds how extravagant one is a laying
out money if things aint kept neat and snug in their places. The more
things cost, the more it seems to hurt a feller's feelings to see them
flung about topsy turvy, as they were in that room. I ruther think she
didn't have her company up there very often--but a gal that's got a good
bringing up will be jest as particular about the place she keeps for
herself, and which company never sees, as if it was likely to be seen
every day of her life.

I begun tu be allfired glad that I didn't ask her to have me yesterday,
for if she'd been as young as she seemed tu be, and as harnsome as an
angel, I wouldn't a had her arter seeing that room of her'n. A pocket
hankercher, worked and sprigged, and ruffled off with lace, was a lying
on the settee, but it was all grimmed over with dirt, and looked as if
it would a gin any thing for a sight of the wash tub. The carpet was as
soft and thick as could be, and it was all kivered over with bunches of
posies as nat'ral as life; but there was a great grease spot close by
the fire, where somebody had upsot a lamp, and all around the edges and
in the corners it looked as if it hadn't been swept for ever so long. A
chest of drawers, solid, shiny mahogany--with a great looking-glass,
swung between two pieces of mahogany on the top, stood on one side of
the room, and there, a hanging over the edge on 'em, as true as I live,
were the long, harnsome curls that I'd seen on Miss Miles when she was
tu cousin Mary's party! Wal, think sez I, if this don't take the rag off
the bush! What du you think I saw next? A glass tumbler about half full
of water, with three nice, leetle, white teeth a lying in the bottom on
it! I couldn't help but give a leetle whistle when I saw them. Think sez
I, it's jest as like as not that Miss Miles wont pucker up her mouth and
smile, quite so much this morning as she did yesterday, any how.

There were two leetle china cups with the kivers a lying down by them;
one was filled with white stuff, kinder like flour, only rather more
gritty, and t'other was full of something that looked as much like rose
leaves ground down to powder as anything. A leetle chunk of cotton wool
was stuck into it, but what on arth it was for, I couldn't make out.
There were two or three silk cushions chuck full of pins, on the
drawers, and there was no eend tu the leetle glass bottles all sprigged
off with gold, a lying round on the mantle-shelf, as well as on the
tables and the chest of drawers.

In one corner of the room there stood a great looking-glass, a swinging
between two leetle posts cut out of mahogany, and right over it two silk
frocks were tumbled up together. I begun to finger them a leetle, for
somehow I felt curious tu know how the tarnal cunning critter contrived
tu make herself look so plump and round. It didn't want much cyphering
tu find her out. The tops of her frocks, both on 'em, were all stuffed
full of something soft that made them stand out as nat'ral as life. I
hadn't but jest time tu drop the frock and set down agin--looking as
innocent as if butter wouldn't melt in my mouth--when Miss Miles come
back agin. She'd put on another frock, all ruffled off, and somehow or
other, had fixed up her hair so as to look ruther more ship shape; but
she hadn't had time to put herself all together, though her face did
look a leetle whiter than it did when I fust went in. There warnt a bit
of a hump on her back, and she was nat'ral all the way round!

I felt ruther uneasy, for, think sez I, it's jest as like as not she'll
expect me to talk over a leetle soft sodder with her, as I did
yesterday; but I'll be darned if it don't make me sick tu think on it. I
hitched about on my chair, and I looked at every thing in the room but
her, then I took up my hat and begun to balance it on my two fore
fingers, and at last sez I--

"Wal, Miss Miles, I s'pose I may as well be a jogging."

"Don't be in a hurry," sez she, a trying tu smile, but without opening
her lips a bit, "I hope you won't make strangers of us."

I let my hat drop, and picked it up again.

"What book was that that you've been a reading?" sez I, detarmined tu
say something.

"Oh, that's the Countess of Blessington's last work," sez she; "it's a
charming book. Do you like her writings, Mr. Slick?"

"Wal, I don't know," sez I; "I never read any of her books, but it
kinder strikes me that she aint no great shakes herself, anyhow."

"Oh, you shouldn't be censorious, Mr. Slick," sez she. "You know Mr.
Willis visited her and was delighted."

"Wal, now," sez I, "it's my opinion that Mr. N. P. Willis couldn't be
over hard to please, if a woman only had a title to her name; but I
wonder how on arth he contrived tu git so thick with the quality over
there in England. I ruther think I shall go over there and try my luck
one of these days, in his way, they seem to be so taken up with us
Yankees, but arter all if a feller has to go over England to let them
lords and editors puff him, afore anybody will take notice on him, he'd
better take tu some other bisness. There ain't a man in all this country
that ever wrote more genuine things than that chap did when he was a
leetle shaver in Yale College, and yet nobody would believe a word on't
till he went off to England. Now it's my opinion that he never wrote
anything arter he went off, half so much to his credit as he did afore,
and when he came here to York from about our parts, jest as I've come
now, if he didn't desarve tu be treated well then, why he don't now,
that's sartin. But I used to know him down East, and it's my opinion
that he's a first rate, hull-hearted feller, and a rale ginuine poet tu
boot! But I swanny! Miss Miles, I must be a going, you hain't no idea
how much I've got to du!"

With that I got up and made a bow. She made a curchy, and, sez she, "Mr.
Slick, call agin, we shall always be glad to see you."

"Sartinly," sez I; so I made another bow and cut stick down stairs into
the open street. But if Miss Miles ever ketches me on her premises
again, she'll ketch a weasel asleep. That Count may marry her--what
there is left of her--and go to grass, for what I care.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER IX.

A New York Parvenu--Jonathan's Account of his Cousin Jason Slick, and
how Jason was too lazy to work, and got rich on soft sodder--The dinner
of a Connecticut Coaster--A New York Coat of Arms, lions couchant and
levant--Yankee Ancestry--The way a Yankee speculates, and gets up
States, Railroads and Banks, by soft sodder.


DEAR PAR:

It is eenamost twelve o'clock, jest arter New Years, and here I be as
wide awake as a night hawk, and a feeling purty considerably rily in the
upper story. So I believe it'll be about the best thing I can du tu
clap down and tell you all about New Year's Day here in York.

But first I want tu tell you something about all the trials and troubles
that I've had tu go through since I wrote my last letter--I don't
believe there ever was a human critter so chased arter as I've been.
They talk about Cherry street not being fashionable, but I'll be darned
if I believe there's a more genteel street in the city. It's the folks
that live in a place that make it genteel or not, and if Cherry street
aint at the top of the mark afore many more weeks, it'll be because I
move my office out on it, for there's no eend to the great shiny
carriages that come down and stop afore my door, eenamost every hour in
the day. It raly does look funny enough to see great pussey fellers, as
big as the side of the house, a sitting in them things all bolstered up
with cushions and kivered over with skins, like a baby shut up in a
go-cart afore it begins tu run alone.

T'other day there was one of these fat chaps come into my office, and
sot out tu make me believe that he was a sort of a relation of mine. I
didn't feel jest right, for since I begun to print my letters in the
Express it beats all natur how many relations, that I never heard on
afore, have been a trying tu scrape an acquaintance with me. Wal, after
a good deal of beating about the bush, this chap at last made out purty
tolerably clear that he was a kind of a great toe cousin of our'n, and
that he was born and brought up in Weathersfield. He come his soft
sodder over me mighty smooth, and had a good deal to say about how much
he thought of us all, and how fond he'd been of Sam and me. I wish you
could a seen how he pussed out his mouth and breathed through his nose,
and what a heap of pomposity he put on when he was a talking. He acted
jest like our old turkey gobler, when he goes training the young turkeys
round the barnyard, with his wings feathered out and his tail spread.
Wal, arter talking all kinds of rigmarole for about an hour, he begun to
tell how hard it was for a young man tu start in the world, and git
along without somebody tu give him a push up the hill, and that it
didn't make much odds how much genius a man had, or how smart he was, if
he hadn't some rich and influential friend tu back him up.

"Now," sez he, "cousin Slick," and you can't think how easy he seemed tu
call me cousin; "you've done purty well since you come to York,
considering that you hadn't nobody to help you along but Mr. Beebe; but
you must git a peg higher yit; we must introduce you among the
aristocracy."

"The what?" sez I.

"The aristocracy," sez he agin, strutting back, and poking one hand down
into his trousers' pocket, as if he was a going tu take something out.

Wal, think sez I, I s'pose arter he's fumbled about long enough, he'll
show me what aristocracy is, if he carries it about in his pocket like
the rest on 'em; but he only took out a piece of pinted gold, and begun
to poke it between his teeth; and arter he'd got through, he made out tu
finish what he was a saying.

"Now," sez he, "I think I've seen Mr. Beebe at the New England dinner,
and at one or two places of that sort where one meets almost every body,
and for a merchant that hasn't made enough to leave off business, I dare
say he's a very respectable sort of a man, but he don't exactly belong
tu the--the; that is, tu the class--who--which I mean tu take you inter,
Mr. Slick; a class that claim some standing from their ancestors--men of
family, that can be traced back like our's, cousin."

"Yes," sez I, sort o' pleased, "I believe we never had many relations tu
be ashamed on. Par always used to say that grandpa Slick could make
about the harnsomest pair of cow-hide boots of any feller in
Weathersfield; and as for uncle Josh, I'd be darned if ever I saw his
equal at shoeing a hos. They were prime old chaps both on 'em--rale
peelers, I can tell you. Now, come tu think on it, there was one lazy
coot of a feller that never would work for a living; but he went off
when I was a little shaver, and our folks don't know what became of him.
He warn't much credit to us, that's a fact."

I don't know what on arth made my pussey cousin get so fedgety all tu
once, but he begun to hitch about in his chair, and turned as red as a
winter apple; and, sez he--

"Cousin Slick, this isn't the way we gentlemen prove that we are men of
family. If that was the way we did it, there aint many men in the
country that would go back two generations without breaking their neck
over a lap stone or an anvil. Now I have taken a good deal of pains to
trace out our family line, and the only way I could du it was to skip
all the mechanics and farmers, jest touch slightly on the merchants,
lawyers and ministers, but to dwell purty particularly hard on them that
lived high and did nothing; now a days it helps a feller along a good
deal if he can count up an author or so; and it was considered something
of a feather in a man's cap if any of his relations were sent to
Congress a few years ago; but now, since they've got a kicking up a dust
every other day in the Capitol, and to spitting fire at each other like
dogs and cats, it don't help a man much to claim any of them for
connexions except here and there one that has got decency enough to be
ashamed of the rest. I begin to be glad that none of our family ever got
into politics much; but step to the door cousin Slick, and I'll show you
the coat-of-arms that I've got on my carriage."

"Wal," sez I, "I don't care if I du, though it comes kinder tough to
leave the stove this cold day." With that I tipped down my chair, and
took my feet off from the stove and went to the door. By gracious! but
he had a smasher of a coach standing there. It glistened and shone in
the sun like a house afire. A great strapping nigger sot on a kind of
double chair with a low narrer back, kivered over with fine brown
broadcloth, all fringed and tossled off like any thing--and a great bear
skin was hauled up over his legs, all scolloped off with red cloth and
stuck over with coons' tails. The horses beat all live critters I ever
did see; they were as black as crows, and I couldn't say which glistened
the most, their tarnal smooth coots, or the harness put over them. They
were all kivered over and sot out with silver. The horses had great
yaller roses stuck on the sides of their heads, like a gal when she's
dressed up for a party. My pussey cousin, he opened the door, and sez
he,

"Look a here, cousin, haint this purty well got up?"

I looked inside, and there was a leetle sort of a room about big enough
for cousin Beebe to put his swarry in, if he wanted to carry it about
with him. It was all lined off and stuck full of cushions, and tossled
and fringed like a curtained bed. Two great spotted skins lay tumbled up
in the bottom, and there were leetle glass doors with steps to them on
both sides; it raly was harnsome enough to make a feller's eyes feel
snow-blind.

"Wal," sez I, a looking at my pussey cousin; "this does about take the
shine off eenamost all the coaches that ever stopped to my office--and
there's been a grist on 'em, I can tell you, and some with tarnal
handsome ladies in them too."

"Yes," sez he, sort of interrupting what I was going to say; "but you
haint a looking at the coat of arms--that is what I want you to see."

"Wal," sez I, a giving the nigger a purty general survey, that sot back
of the horses dressed up in sort of regimentals, all finefied off with
buttons and yaller cloth; "The coat is well enough--I don't see much to
find fault with in it, though to own the truth, Captin Wolf, of the
Weathersfield Independent Company, had a training coat that beats it all
tu nothing. As for the critter's arms, niggers may be different to white
people in that way, but I don't see much odds--mebby you mean this other
chap's, and his are long enough, that's a fact."

With that I jest took a good squint at a great tall shote of a feller,
with arms like a pair of flails hung up arter threshing. He was a
standing up back of the coach, and a hanging on to a couple of great
tossels fastened to it, as independent as a monkey in a show. His coat
and trousers were just like the nigger's, and he had a great wide band
of gold stuff round his hat! my pussey cousin only shook his head when I
looked at the chap. The nigger twisted his neck round, and the tall
varmint stuck his'n up, and they begun to grin and tee hee at each other
over the coach.

"See here, this is what I mean," sez my cousin; and his fat cheek begun
to grow red with the cold or something. With that he put his finger on a
picter, all sprigged out with gold that was figgered on the door, and
sez he, "this is the coat and arms."

"Wal," sez I, "I've seen a good many picters, but I never heard them
called by that name afore. I s'pose this is some York notion that you've
picked up, aint it?"

"It's the ginuine thing," sez he, "and I paid a deal of money for it, I
can tell you."

"Wal," sez I, a looking at the consarn purty sharp; "them two critters a
lying down there cut a considerable of a dash, that's a fact; but the
rooster on the top, that are beats all. It's so nat'ral, it seems to me
as if I could hear it cockadoodledoo right out."

"Yes," sez my cousin, "that is well done, aint it? But I see you don't
exactly comprehend the science of heraldry. Now all these things mean
something."

"You don't say so!" sez I.

"These are lions couchant," sez he, a pinting tu the wild critters.

"You don't say so!" sez I agin; "I've seen a good many lions in the
shows that travel through Weathersfield, but I never saw a croushong
afore. They look purty much alike, don't they though?"

With that the two varmints stuck up at each eend of the carriage begun
tu tee hee agin, and my pussey cousin, sez he, "Mr. Slick, supposing we
go in."

"Wal," sez I, "but if you'd jest as lives, I should kinder like tu know
what the rooster means afore we go."

"Can't you guess what part of the Slick family that belongs to?" sez he,
a strutting up and rubbing his hands together as proud as could be.

"Wal," sez I, "I don't know, without it belongs to Aunt Lydia--par's old
maid of a sister; she sartinly did beat all natur at raising chickens.
You never heard of an egg turning out rotten, or a duck gitting drowned,
on her premises."

With that the two chaps giggled right out, and stuck their fists into
their darn'd great tatur-traps as if they felt a cold; and my pussey
cousin, sez he, "it's a gitting cold--less go in."

"Wal," sez I, "I don't care if we du; but I tell you what, if them two
chaps don't jest hush up their yop, I'll give them both an allfired
thrashing--I will, by gosh!"

I ruther guess the two mean critters hauled in their horns a few at
this; and arter I'd gin them both a purty savage look, we went into the
office agin.

"Now," sez my pussey cousin, jest as soon as we'd both sot down agin,
"Cousin Slick, I've found you out, and I mean to du something for
you--something harnsome, you may depend on't. Jest you call up to my
house next New Year's day, and git acquainted with my folks, and arter
that you needn't be consarned about anything. I'm purty well known here
in the city, and _my_ relation can hold up his head almost anywhere, I
should think! I was down tu the Astor House t'other day," sez he, a
stopping to git breath and stretching both his legs out straight, while
he stuck both hands in his pockets, mighty big, "and there was that
foreign Count and Miss Miles's brother running on about you, and
swearing that they'd skin you alive the first time they caught you in
Broadway; but I went up tu them, and sez I, 'that young gentleman is a
near relation of mine, and anything you say agin him, I take tu myself.'
You can't think, cousin Jonathan, what an impression it made! So you
needn't have the least fear of what they can du while I stand by
you--they know me."

With that, my pussey cousin got up--and arter he'd shook hands with me,
he went off, carriage and all. I say, par, I wish I could give you some
idee of him. Did you ever see a great spotted toad a swelling under a
harrer, or a turkey gobbler jest afore thanksgiving?

I say nothing; but didn't I larf arter he'd gone. The great stuck-up
bear, with his family, and his hens and roosters--he go to grass.

Wal, jest as soon as my pussey cousin had cleared out, I put on my hat,
and streaked it down to Peck slip, for Captin Doolittle has jest put in
agin with another load of garden sarce; and think sez I, mebby he can
tell me something about this chap, for he knows eenamost everybody that
ever lived anywhere about Weathersfield.

The Captin had jest sot down to dinner, and was a digging away like all
natur, at a hunk of cold pork and a raw onion; a mug of something hot
stood on the locker afore him, and he looked like live, I can tell you.

"Wal, Jonathan," sez he, a looking kinder skewing at my new trousers,
"Wont you set by and take a bite?"

"Wal," sez I, "I shoudn't mind if I did, but to-morrow is New Year's,
and I've got tu go and see a hull heap of these York gals, and I'm
afeard my breath will smell of the onions."

I wish you could a seen how Captin Doolittle stared, as he stuck his
face close up tu mine, giving his jack-knife a grip, he struck the butt
eend of it down on the locker, and sez he,

"Jonathan, they're a spiling you down here in York, they be, by hokey!
Go hum, I tell you, and marry Judy White--she knows what's what, and I
can tell you these York gals that turn up their noses at the smell of
onions, can't have decent bringing up any how. They've sot you agin
onions already, and it wont be a great while afore you'll turn agin your
own relations."

"Now," sez I, "Captain Doolittle, don't say that are, it makes me feel
bad, and I don't desarve it. A feller that will let money, or a stuck up
name, or the handsomest gal that ever trod shoe leather set him agin his
own father and mother, desarves tu be kicked tu death by grasshoppers."

This seemed to sort of mollify the captin, but he stripped the peel off
another onion mighty wrothy, and arter a minit sez he. "Wal, Jonathan,
I'm glad to hear that you've got some of your old notions left, but I
always make a pint not to talk when I'm a eating, so if you won't set
by, why just keep a stiff jaw while I stow away another slice of pork
and this piece of onion, and then I'm the man for you."

With that he went to cutting off a chunk of pork and a chunk of onion to
hand about, till it fairly made my eyes water to see him crunch them
down. Arter a while he wiped his jack-knife on his cuff, shut it tew
with a jerk, and put it in his trousers' pocket; then he took a pull at
the mug, and arter he'd got a long nine purty well a going, he stretched
out his legs, and sez he:

"Wal, Jonathan, what did you come for, if you didn't want nothing to
eat?"

With that I sot down and told him all about my pussey cousin. I could
see that the critter had heard on him afore by the way he twisted his
mouth around about the long nine; but when I told him about the carriage
and rooster and so on, he jest took and gave the long nine a fling,
clapped his thumb agin the side of his nose, and winking one eye, make
his fingers twinkle up and down for as much as a minit without saying a
word; arter a while he asked the critter's name, and when I told him, he
jumped up, cut a pigeon wing over the locker, and stopping right afore
me, winked t'other eye, and sez he--

"Look a here, Jonathan, didn't your par never tell you about Jase Slick,
the great lazy coon, that got married and went off West, because he was
so allfired lazy that he couldn't git a living like other folks? Jest
let me cool off a leetle, and I'll tell you all about him."

With that the Captin brushed away the onion skins and we sot down
together on the locker, and sez he--"Mebby your par never told you what
an etarnal lazy shote Jase was, but he did beat all natur for doing
nothing but swop jack-knives and pitch coppers. He was a tickler though
at trapping mushrats and shooting foxes, and he use to send the skins
down here to York. Now it aint common that you'll find a lazy shack of a
feller very tight about money, but Jase was as close as the bark of a
tree; he'd a skinned a musketoe any day for the hide and taller. I don't
believe the critter ever stood treat in his hull life; I don't, by
gracious.

"Wal, arter all, he warn't a bad hearted feller; but when he see that
all the gals turned up their noses at him, and didn't give him invites
to their quiltings and so on, he coaxed me to let him work his passage
down here to York. He used to send his skins by me, and so I kinder felt
for him, and kept track on him a good while arter he got here. He did
purty tolerably well at first, considering who it was--he bought a
hand-cart, and took people's trunks and sich things up from the
steamboats and sloops that put into Peck slip; but there was too much
work about that to suit him; so he got somebody to lend him a little
money and sot up a rum shop close by the slip.

"Arter that," sez the Captin, a picking up his long nine and a lighting
it, "arter that I kinder lost track on him, but somebody told me that
he'd swopped off his stock and gone out West. Wal, two years go by purty
quick, you know, Jonathan--or if you don't know, you will, when you git
to be as old as I am--and I couldn't but jest believe it was so long
since I'd seen the critter, when I met him smash in the face one day
when I was a scooting up Wall-street, to get specie for a five dollar
bill. Gracious me! how he was a strutting up the side-walk--didn't he
cut a swarth--with his shiney black coat and the bunch of golden seals a
hanging down from his watch fob! He didn't seem to know me at fust, but
I went right straight up to him and sez I--

"'Wal, Jase, how do you do?' I never--how he did look! First he kinder
held out his hand a leetle, and then he hauled it back agin, and, sez
he, 'how do you du, sir?' but he seemed to be all in a twitter. I didn't
seem to mind it, but I stuck my hands in my pockets jest as you do,
Jonathan, there in your picters--and sez I--

"'Tough and hearty as ever. How does the world use you about these
times?'

"It was as much as I could du to keep from larfin right out, to see the
etarnal pussey critter skew his head round and look at the stream of men
that was a going up and down on each side of the way, as if he was
afraid that some on 'em would see us, the mean sneaking coot! Arter a
minit he sez, sez he, 'Captin, I'm in a hurry now, but I s'pose you can
be found in the old place. Good morning.'

"With that he jest put both hands under his coat tail, and tilting it up
a leetle, went sailing along up the side-walk like a prize hog jest
afore killing time. I snorted right out all I could du to help it. Then
I bent down my knees a leetle, and stuck my hands down hard in both
pockets, and I ruther guess the whistle I sent arter him made all the
folks stare a few. It wasn't good manners, but I sarved him right.
Jonathan, I'd been a friend to the critter when he wanted one bad
enough, and any man on arth that's ashamed of his acquaintances because
he's got a peg above them in the way of money is a coward and a mean
shote,--there's no two ways about that.

"Wal, arter seeing Jase in the street so stuck up, I jest inquired a
little about him, what he'd been a doing and so on; and arter a while, I
found out what made him so mighty obstroporous. You see he'd found out
it warn't so easy tu git a living in York without doing some kind of
work, so he absquatelated, as they say down here--but I don't think
that's a ginuine word--and went off West.

"There he mushquashed round in the woods till he got tired of that kind
of fun, and then he squat down on a section of wild land, cogitating a
way tu git a living without grubbing for it. Arter a while he went round
to all the places that had any people to brag on, and put up to the
taverns, and told every body he met there about the spot where his land
lay--what capital land it was--what good water and allfired heavy
timber. He sent here tu York and got him a map all pictured out chuck
full of water privileges and all sorts of things, till he raly made the
people believe that he'd found the very spot where the millinium was a
going tu begin; a place where every holler tree was stuck full of honey
comb, where the wild cats went pouring about like so many rabbits, and
the hen hawks cum down as kind as could be tu help the hens feed their
little chickens.

"Wal, it warn't long afore his soft sodder begun to work among the
greenhorns like yeast in a kneading trough full of dough. Jonathan, if
you ever see a flock of sheep shut up in a paster, you know something
worth while about human natur. The minit one takes it into his head to
clear the stun wall for another lot, the others all foller hilter
skilter, as if the old Harry had kicked them on eend. Your Cousin Jase
knew a thing or two about the natur of mankind--he got the first sheep
to make a jump, and, hurra! it warn't no time before his section was all
cut up into town lots, and grist mills whirling three stuns, wherever
there was a quart of water tu make them go; and there was no eend to the
corduroy roads and log bridges, and great kivered waggons, chuck full of
women and children and other housen stuff, with baskets and brass
kittles a hanging on behind, that travelled over them eenamost from one
year tu another. When folks began tu wonder what on arth he'd du next,
the critter got his territory transmogrified into a State, and then he
sot railroads a twistyfying every which way all through his lands; and
that made things rise in value like a toad stool in a hot night.

"By the living hokey, the critter wasn't content with this, but he got
another kink into his head that did beat all. One way or t'other, I
don't know how, he got all his land and railroads and so on, worked up
into pieces of paper that they call scrip; he bundled them all into his
great coat pocket and come down to York again. And in less than no time
he had the scrip all cut up into these red-backed bills with picters on
'em, that they offer here in York for money--then he sot up a bank on
his own hook, where he keeps a making money hand over fist. He has a
good chance, I tell you, for he owns all in the bank; so he's President,
Cashier, and everything else, all himself, and arter all his laziness,
he's worth an allfired grist of money considering how he got it."

I swanny, I couldn't hardly keep still while Captin Doolittle was a
talking. I felt all over in a twitter, and my mouth would keep a sort of
open with thinking so eager of what he was a saying. The minit he'd done
I jumped up and hollered right out--

"Hurra," sez I, "if that aint Yankee all over. I haint the least doubt
now but the critter is jest what he says he is--Slick to the back bone.
Do you s'pose there is any animal on arth besides a full-blooded
Connecticut Yankee that would have gone that way to get rich--all soft
sodder and no work? I tell you what it is, captin, I'm raly proud tu own
the critter. He's done some good in his day and generation, if he is so
stuck up; for it aint in the natur of things for a feller to git rich
himself without making a good many others better off. To help himself a
great deal a chap _must_ help others a little, that's my notion."

"Yes," sez the captin, "but it's an etarnal shame for these chaps tu
curl up their noses at honest men."

"Jest so," says I.

With that I put on my hat, and was jest a going to cut stick--but Captin
Doolittle, sez he--

"Look a here, Jonathan, if I was you, I'd make this chap pay over a
little of his chink, or else I wouldn't ride about with him--I wouldn't,
by gracious! He's tickled tu death tu get hold of a chap like you to
brag on; for now that he's got rich, you haint no idee how anxious he is
to make people think he knows something and always did. He talks about
his aristocracy. The men of genius and talons make the real aristocracy
in this country, and he's in hopes of getting among 'em by claiming
relationship with you because you write for the papers. Supposing you
ask him to lend you a couple of thousand dollars."

"No," sez I, "I'll be darned if I du. If I can't cut my own fodder I'll
go hum agin."

"Wal," sez the Captin, "mebby you can git him tu help you print your
letters in a book. Your par would be tickled tu death if you could print
a book like that Sam writ."

"Wal," sez I, sort o' proud, "there needn't be no hurry about that are;
but if I du print one, and it can't pay its own expenses and a leetle
over, it may go tu grass!"

With that I bid Captin Doolittle good-bye, and made tracks for my office
agin.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER X.

New-Year's Calls--A real Yankee's New-Year's Treat of Dough-nuts and
Cider--Jonathan's ideas of the real difference between a real lady's
House and Furniture and the House of a stuck-up Parvenu--Jonathan's
ideas of Love and Ladies.


DEAR PAR:

I made a leetle inquiry about how people did a New Year's Day, and found
out that it was the fashion for the wimmen tu stand treat that day, to
set out things, and invite everybody that come tu take a bite. So arly
in the morning I put a clean white towel on the leetle table in my
office. Then I went into the cubby house room, where I keep my new
clothes and kindling wood, besides my tooth brush and sich things as I
don't want to use every day, and I drew a quart mug of that outrageous
good cider, that you sent me by Captin Doolittle. I guess I looked like
live when I went out agin, with the mug brimming over in one hand, and
the pillow-case stuffed full of dough-nuts, that marm sent me t'other
day--besides the hunk of cheese, and the lot of baked sweet apples,
tucked under t'other arm. I heaped up a pile of the dough-nuts on one
corner of the table, and sot the apple-box on the other, an made room
for the cheese and the cider in the middle; and it raly made me feel
sort of bad because marm couldn't see how nice I'd fixed it all. Think
sez I, there wont be many people in York that'll set a better treat
afore their visiters than this I reckon, any how, and as marm aint here
I'll stand treat to every body that comes in for her sake.

Wal, who should be the fust critter that come in but cousin John Beebe,
tu see what I was a going tu du with myself all day. Arter I'd sot him a
chair by the stove, I went up to the table, and sez I,

"Cousin John supposing we take a drink; it's an allfired cold day, and
you look as if you couldn't stand it." My gracious, but didn't his eyes
snap when he saw what I'd got. I mixed the cider up, purty hot with
ginger, and then I sot it on the stove, and kept a stirring on it up
with a little ivory thing that a purty gal sent me tu fold my letters
with; it begun to foam and sparkle like anything; then I took a sip jest
to try it, and handed the mug over to cousin John.

"Here," sez I, "take a swaller; it aint like the pesky stuff you give me
when I eat dinner up to your house. Instid of kicking up a dust in your
upper story, it goes tu the right spot tu once, and makes a feller feel
prime all over in a giffy." I ruther seem to think that cousin John
warn't much afeard of the mug anyhow; he gave a sneezer of a pull tu it,
and then his eyes begun to glisten, and, sez he--

"I'm beat, Jonathan, if this aint prime; where on arth did you find it?
I've sarched from one eend of York tu t'other for it a dozen times, but
never made out tu get a drop yit." With that he sot into it agin like
all natur. "I declare," sez he, agin, choaking off long enough tu ketch
his breath, "this does taste nat'ral."

"Aint it the rale critter?" sez I, a bending for'ard and rubbing both
hands together a leetle easy. "It eenamost make me humsick when I first
tasted on it, it put me so in mind of Weathersfield. Par sent me a whole
cag on it, by Capt. Doolittle."

"Then it _did_ come from the old humstid?" sez he, a eying the mug
agin--"I must drink a leetle more, for the sake of them that sent it."
With that, he jest finished up the mug; and when he sot it down, he drew
a long breath, and sez he agin, "that's prime, Jonathan."

"Aint it," sez I, starting off tu fill up the mug agin, for it tickled
me tu see how he took tu the drink, and how much he made himself tu hum
in my office. When I cum out of the leetle room agin, John he looked
sort of eager at the mug and then at the eatables laid out so tempting.

"I declare," sez he, "I begin tu feel as I use tu when we were boys,
Jonathan." With that I sot the table between us, and the way we laid
into the provinder was a compliment to marm. Arter cousin Beebe had eat
ten of the doughnuts, and a hunk of cheese as big as your fist, he stopt
short, and sez he--

"Cousin, this wont du; if we keep on eating as much as we want, we
shan't find room for all the eatables and drinkables that the folks will
give us to-day, when we make our calls."

"Look a here, cousin Beebe," sez I, kinder anxious, "you know I'm a sort
of a greenhorn about New Year's, for we don't have no sich things over
amongst us. Supposing you jest tell me how they act and so on. I don't
want tu make a coot of myself; and that pussey cousin of mine is a
coming tu take me round in his carriage, where I suppose he means tu
stick me up like a swarry for folks tu look at; and if I don't du
everything according to gunter, he'll be turning red and fussing about
like an old hen that's got ducks for chickens. What on arth shall I say
to the gals, and what will they expect me to du?"

Cousin Beebe he sot still a minit, kinder nibbling away at the end of a
dough-nut, for he seemed mortal loth to choke off, and at last sez he--

"When you come tu a house where you want tu call, jest go into the room
where the ladies will be a waiting tu see folks, and arter a while
they'll ask you to take some refreshments: with that they'll go up tu a
table where there's wine and so on, if they hain't teetotalists, and if
they be----"

"It don't make no odds tu tell me how _they_ act," sez I, "for I don't
call on anybody that sets up to be wiser than our Savior; he turned
water into wine, and when I set up tu be better than him, I'll turn up
my nose at it, but not afore. I wish you could a heard par argufy that
question with the ministers. I rather guess----"

Here cousin Beebe sot in, and sez he, "Well, jest fill up a glass for
the lady about half full, not a drop more, then pour out a glass for
yourself----"

"What, full?" sez I.

"Sartinly," sez he.

"Wal," sez I; "that seems kinder hoggish tu give yourself more than you
du to the lady; I don't seem tu like that."

"It's the fashion," sez he.

"Oh, is it?" sez I; "wal I think as like as not they know how to help
themselves arter a feller's gone. I always notice that the gals that are
so mighty stuck up as if they couldn't swaller anything but air before
folks, stuff like all natur back of the pantry door."

John larfed a leetle as if he agreed with me, and sez he, "Never mind
that now, but when you've poured out the wine, jest step back and make a
bow, and say, 'The compliments of the season,' or any other interesting
thing that you like. A person of your genius should not be at a loss for
pleasant sayings--and after that drink off the wine, take a leetle of
anything else that is on the table, and go away agin."

"Wal now," sez I, "I can remember what to say well enough, though it
does seem to me that there would be a leetle too much soft sodder in the
speech, if it warn't made to a lady; but suppose you jest go over the
manoeuvre about the wine, so that I can git the kink on it, if you
hain't no objection."

"Very well," sez he, "remember I'm you, and you are the lady."

"Jest so," sez I.

"Wal," sez he, a taking up the cider mug, "observe me." With that he
made a purlite bow, and give another allfired pull at the drink. I see
what the critter was at; but think sez I, I ruther think you've had your
share of the cider. With that, I put out both hands a leetle easy, and
took the mug from his mouth.

"See if I hain't larnt it," sez I, as sober as a deacon; and with that I
made him a low bow, and while I was a drinking off the cider, I jest
winked one eye over the top of the mug, tu let him see that I was up tu
a thing or two. The minit I pulled up, he began tu laugh as good-natured
as a kitten; and arter I'd got my breath, I sot in, and we had a good
haw-haw right out in the office.

Arter we'd both got sobered down, John he gave me an invite to come up
and see Mary, and then he cut stick tu go home and fix for visiting. I
hadn't but jest time to run out and git a piece of Injun rubber to clean
my yaller gloves with, and begin tu fix up, when my pussey cousin come
up the street, hurra boys, carriage and all, arter me. The tall chap let
himself down from behind the carriage, and knocked at the door.

"Come in," sez I, a poking round the office arter a pin tu stick my
shirt-color together, where the etarnal washerwoman had washed the
button off, consarn her!

The feller was dressed up like a Connecticut Major-General, all in
yaller and blue, as fine as a fiddle; he kinder grinned a little when he
see my table, and that I hadn't got my fix on yet; but when I looked in
his face, he choked in, and, sez he, as humble as could be--

"Mr. Slick, my master is a waiting."

"Tell him not tu be in a pucker," sez I, "I ain't quite spruced up yet."
With that he went out--I pitched on my clothes in less than no time,
stuffed a baked apple and a few dough-nuts into my coat pocket, for fear
of accident, and follered arter. There he stood a holding open the glass
door, and a set of little steps, all carpeted off, hung down tu the
ground; and there was the fat nigger a twistifying his whip-lash round
the horses' heads, as crank as a white man. I jest had time tu see that
Jase had got his lions and roosters and crouchants pictered off on the
curtain that hung round his seat; and then I jumped into the carriage as
spry as a cricket. The tall chap folded up the steps as quick as marm
could undu a cat's cradle, and shet the door tu, and away we went like a
house a-fire. I swanny! but these coaches du go over the ground as slick
as grease; it seemed jest like being bolstered up in a rocking-chair! My
pussey cousin seemed tu swell up bigger and bigger every minit, when he
see how surprised I was with the spring of it; and, sez he--

"Now, cousin, I'm going tu take you tu see somebody worth knowing, and
when they know that you're my relation, they'll take a good deal of
notice of you; so jest put your best foot foremost."

Think sez I, it's looky that I got cousin Beebe tu show me how it's
done; but I kept a close lip and said nothing, for it was snapping cold,
and a feller's words seemed as if they'd turn tu ice, before he spoke
'em.

The nigger driv like fire and smoke, and it didn't seem no time afore we
stopped by a great house clear up town, and the tall shote opened the
door and undid the steps again, as if he expected us tu git out.

"This is my house," sez my pussey cousin, "you go in and call on the
ladies, and I'll dive round to one or two houses, and take you with me
again, by and by."

I got up sort of loth, for it seemed kinder awk'ard to go in alone; but
afore I had a chance to say so, the tall shote shet tu the stairs, gin
the door a slam, hopped up behind agin, and away they went like a streak
of lightning.

I stood a minit, a looking about. It was cold enough to nip a feller's
ears off, so I jest tucked my hands into my pockets as well as I could,
and begun tu stomp my foot on the stun walk. It raly was fun to see the
streets chuck full of fellers running up and down, hither and yon, as if
the old Nick had kicked them on eend. Every one on 'em was dressed up in
his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, and they all had their hair slicked
down exactly alike, and most on 'em looked more like gals in boys'
clothes than anything else. Not the shadow of a petticoat could a feller
see, from one eend of York tu the other--it seemed as if the hull city
had run tu boys for one day. The streets raly looked lonesome; for,
arter all, it don't seem nat'ral to go out and not see gals and women a
walking about with their purty faces and fine clothes. A city without
them, looks like a piece of thick woods without any sweet, green
under-brush and harnsome flowers. I don't know exactly why, but when I
go into a place where there's nothing but men, it seems as if all the
sunshine and posies of human natur was shet out; and as I stood there
afore my pussey cousin's house, it made me feel sort of melancholy not
to see the least glimpse of a red shawl or a furbelow nowhere about.

I believe arter all, that when a chap is a leetle scared about doing a
thing, the best way is tu pitch for'ard, hit or miss, without thinking
on it. So as soon as I'd got a leetle grit raised, I up and pulled the
door knob as savage as could be. It was an allfired big chunk of silver
though, and the piece spread out on the door was as big as a
dinner-plate, and there was "JASON SLICK" cut out on it in all sorts of
flourishes and curlecues. Think sez I, my pussey cousin means to hang
out a specie sign, anyhow. I wonder he didn't have his rooster and lion
and crouchants pictered off in his door too.

Arter a minit a tall chap that looked like a twin tu the feller that
stood behind the carriage, all dressed out jest as he was, too, like a
major-gineral, stood a bowing and shuffling in the hall, as if he wanted
to larn me how to dance. The way he sidled and bowed and spread out his
hands as he opened the parlor door for me, was enough to make a feller
bust with larfin. Wal, afore I knew which eend my head was on, there I
stood in the middle of a great long room, that was enough to dazzle a
feller's eyes for a month, eenajest to look at it. The settees were all
bright red, and glistened with thick velvet cushions. Great, heavy,
yaller curtains hitched up with spears and poles, made out of gold, or
something plaguey like it, hung over all the winders--all furbelowed and
tossled off with great, blue balls, mixed up with red fringe. The carpet
was the brightest and softest thing I ever did see--but it was enough tu
make a feller stun blind tu look at it, the figgers on it were so
allfired gaudy. Everything in the room was as costly and harnsome as
could be; but somehow it seemed as if every individual thing had come
there on its own hook, and was so proud of itself that it wouldn't agree
with its neighbors. The chairs looked dreadfully out of sorts with the
settees, and the great looking-glasses made everything seem ten times
more fiery and bright with their glistening. The hull room seemed more
like a garden planted with poppies, sun-flowers, and marygolds, than
anything I could think on. There was a table sot out at one eend, jest
afore one of the looking-glasses, that made it seem as long agin as it
raly was. It was all kivered over with silver baskets and knives and
forks, and glasses, and everything that could be thought on tu eat and
drink. At both eends were leetle meeting-houses with steeples tu them,
all made out of sugar-candy, and hull loaves of cake with flowers and
birds a lying down on top of 'em; besides some had leetle sugar lambs
curled up on 'em, as nat'ral as life. I never did see a table so set
off in my born days; it was a sight to look on. Cousin Beebe's warn't a
touch tu it; but somehow the things were all crowded on so, and there
was sich heaps of everything, that it didn't seem half so genteel as
Cousin Mary's did. It must have cost an allfired swad of money, though.

I was so struck up with the room and the table, that it was more than a
minit afore I found out that there were any folks in the premises; but
by-am-by I discovered a fat chunked woman a sitting in a rocking chair
all cushioned with red shiney velvet. She sot close by the fire, but
when I stepped back and put my foot out to make a bow, she got up and
made me a curchy--but sich a curchy I never did see--it was about
half-way between the flutter of a hen and the swagger of a fat duck. It
was as much as I could du to keep from snorting right out to see her;
but I choked in, and sez I, bowing again, "You see I make myself tu hum,
marm. Mr. Slick, my pussey cousin, out there, wanted me to come and make
you a New Year's call."

I wish you could a seen how the critter strutted up when I said this;
but all tu once she seemed to guess who I was, for she stuck her head a
one side, and begun to smile and pucker up her mouth like all natur. Up
she cum tu me with both hands out, and sez she--

"Cousin, I'm delighted to see you. Mr. Slick was telling me about you
yesterday, and sez I, invite him by all means. It ain't often we can
make free with a relation, they are so apt to presume upon it. Raly,
some of Mr. Slick's family have been very annoying, they have indeed;
they don't seem to understand our position; but you, cousin, you that
have so much mind, can comprehend these things."

Afore I could get a chance to stick in a word edgeways, she took my
hand, yaller glove and all, between both her'n, and led me along to the
fire. Arter I'd sot down, she kept a fingering over one of my hands as
if it belonged to her. Think sez I, what on arth can the old critter
mean? I'll be darned, if she was fifteen years younger, I should think
she had such a notion to the family, that she wasn't particular how many
on 'em she made love tu. As soon as I could git her to give up my hand,
she jest let her'n drop on my knee as affectionate as a pussy cat, and
sez she, a screwing up her mouth, and sticking her face close up to
mine--

"Cousin, you can't think how delighted I was to read your letters in the
_Express_. I du like to see such upstarts as the Beebe's taken off; only
think of the idee of her giving parties, and her husband not out of
business yit! When I read that letter, sez I to Mr. Slick, 'bring the
young gentleman here, where he can see something of _real_ high life; it
would be a pity to have him throw away his talons in describing such low
affairs as Mrs. Beebe's must be.'" With that she looked round her
blazing room as proud as could be, as if she wanted me to give her some
soft sodder back agin; but I felt sort of wrathy at what she said about
cousin, and I wouldn't take the hint; but sez I, "I beg pardon, marm,
but Mr. Beebe is my friend and relation, and a chap that'll set still
and hear a friend run down, don't deserve one, according to my notion;
as for cousin Mary----"

"Oh," sez Mrs. Slick, a twisting round like an eel, "she is a lovely
woman, without any doubt. I sartinly should have called on her long ago;
but then one has so many acquaintances of that sort to remember, that
really I have never found time." Think sez I, if you wont call till Mary
wants you, I don't think you'll put yourself out in a hurry; but I
didn't say so, for jest that minit she seemed to remember something, and
she sung out, "Jemima, my dear."

With that the yaller curtains by one of the winders were rustled and
flirted out, and a young gal, finefied off to kill, come from where
she'd been standing back on 'em to look at the fellers as they went
along the street. I ruther guess there was a flirting of ribbon and a
glistening of gold things when she made her appearance. She came a
hopping and a dancing across the room, and when she come jest afore me,
she stopped short and let off a curchy that seemed more like one of her
mother's run crazy, than any thing I could think on. The old woman she
spread out her hands, and sez she, "Jemima, my dear, this is your
cousin, Mr. Slick, the gentleman whose letters you were so delighted
with."

With that the queer critter gave me another curchy and looked as if
she'd a been glad if she'd known enough to say something; but the old
woman sot in with a stream of talk about her till any body on arth would
have sot her down for an angel jest out of heaven, dressed up in pink
satin and loaded off with gold, if they'd believed a word her mother
said. Think sez I to myself, as I stood a looking at the old woman and
the gal, it's enough to make a feller sick of life to see two such stuck
up critters. The gal's furbelows didn't look so bad considering she was
so young, yet it always seems to me as if heaps of jimcracks and finery
piled on to a young critter looked kinder unnat'ral. Wimmen are a good
deal like flowers to my notion, and the harnsomest posies that grow in
the woods never have but one color besides their leaves. I've seen gals
in the country with nothing but pink sun bonnets and calico frocks on,
that looked as fresh and sweet as full blown roses--gals that could pull
an even yoke with any of your York tippies in the way of beauty, and
arter all if I ever get a wife I don't think I shall sarch for her among
brick houses and stun side-walks.

The old woman raly had made an etarnal coot of herself in the way of
fixing. She had on a lot of satin, and shiny thin stuff twistified round
her head kinder like a hornet's nest; in front on it, jest over the
leetle curls all rolled and frizzled round her face, a bird--a rale
ginuine bird, all feathered off as bright as a rainbow--was stuck with
its bill down and its tail flourished up in the air, as if it had jest
lit to search for a place to build a nest in. I never see one of the kind
afore, for its tail looked like a handful of corn-silk, it was so yaller
and bright; but, think sez I, it must be some sort of a new-fashioned
woodpecker, for it's the natur of them birds always to light on any thing
holler--and if he was once to get a going on that old woman's head, I've
an idee there'd be a drumming. She had a leetle short neck, all hung
round with chains, and capes, and lots of things--besides, a leetle
watch, all sot over with shiny stuns, was hung to her side, and her fat
chunked fingers was kivered over with rings, that looked like the spots
on a toad's back more than any thing else. She had a great wide ruffle
round the bottom of her frock, like the one cousin Mary had on at her
party; but she warn't no where nigh so tall as Mary, and it made her look
like a bantum hen feathered down to the claws. Wal, think sez I, if you
wouldn't make a comical figger-head fur Captin Doolittle's sloop. I
wonder what your husband would ask for you, jest as you stand--hump,
ruffles and all? I shouldn't a taken so much notice of her, if she hadn't
let off such a shower of talk on me about her darter; but when a woman
begins to pester me by praising up her family, I always make a pint of
thinking of something else as fast as I can. If you only bow a leetle,
and throw in a "yes marm, sartingly," and so on, once in a while, you're
all right. A woman will generally soft-sodder herself, if you let her
alone when she once gits a going, without putting you to the trouble of
doing it for her.

Arter she'd talked herself out of breath, she went along up to the
table, and spreading her hands, sez she, "Take some refreshments, Mr.
Slick?"

"Wal," sez I, "I haint much hungry, but I do feel a leetle dry--so I
don't care if I du."

I went up to the table, and took a survey of the decanters and
cider-bottles; and arter a while, I made out to find one decanter that
looked as if it had something good in it, and poured about a thimble
full into two of the wine glasses, and filled up one for myself. Mrs.
Slick and her darter took up the glasses, and then I stepped back and
made a low bow, and sez I, "The compliments of the season!--or any other
interesting thing that you like. A person of your genius----" Here I
stuck fast, for somehow I forgot how cousin Beebe told me to top off in
the speech. But the old woman puckered up her mouth, and curchyed away
as if I'd said it all out; and the gal, she went over the same
manoeuvre, and laughed so silly, and put back her long curls with her
white gloves--for she had gloves on though she was tu hum--and sez she,
"_Oh_, Mr. Slick," and then her marm chimed in, and sez she, "Now that
you've mentioned genius, Mr. Slick, I do think my Jemima has a talent
for poetry."

Think sez I, it raly is surprising how much genius there is buried up in
these York brick houses. I hain't been to see a family since I've been
down here that hadn't some darter that _could_ write so beautiful, only
she was so proud and diffident and modest, that she could not be coaxed
to have any thing printed. Think sez I, if that leetle stuck up varmint
has took to poetry, there'll be a blaze in the newspaper world afore
long. She's sartin to set the North River on fire, if nobody else ever
did.

I remembered what cousin Beebe told me about helping myself to eatables,
so I sot down by the table and hauled a plate up to me, and begun to
make myself to hum. There was no eend to the sweet things that I piled
up on my plate and begun to store away with a silver knife and a spoon.
Mrs. Slick, she begun to fuss about, and offered to help me to this,
that and t'other, till I should raly have thought she didn't care how
much I eat, if she hadn't contrived to tell me how much every thing cost
all the time. Jest as I was finishing off a plate of foreign presarves,
the door-bell rung, and in streaked five or six fellers, dressed up tu
kill. It raly made me eenamost snicker out to see how slick and smooth
every one of 'em had combed his hair down each side of his face. They
all looked as much alike as if they'd been kidney beans shelled out of
the same pod. When the old woman and the gal sot to wriggling their
shoulders and making curchies to them, I begun to think it was time for
me to get up and give them a chance. So I bolted the last spoonful of
presarves, and took out my red silk hankercher to wipe my mouth. I
thought it come out of my pockets purty hard, so I gave it a twitch, and
hurra! out come three of the doughnuts that I'd tucked away to be ready
in case of fodder's getting scarce, and they went helter-skelter every
which way all over the carpet. At fust I felt sort of streaked, for the
young chaps begun to giggle, and Miss Jemima Slick she bust right out. I
looked at her, and then I looked at the fellers, and then, instead of
sneaking off, I bust right out, jest as if I didn't know how they come
there, and sez I,

"Did you ever!"

[Illustration: "So I bolted the last spoonful of presarves, and took out
my red silk handkercher to wipe my mouth. I thought it come out of my
pocket purty hard, so I gave it a twitch, and hurra! out come three of
the dough-nuts"--_Page 110._]

I didn't say another word, but jest made them a low bow all round, and
was a going out, but Mrs. Slick got hold of my arm, and told me not tu
seem to mind the doughnuts, and said, sort of low, that she'd tell the
gentlemen that I was a relation of her'n, and that there warn't no
danger of their poking fun at me about it. Think sez I, I see how to get
out of the scrape: she'll think I'm awful mean not to offer her some of
the doughnuts, when I had them in my pocket, so seeing it's new-year's
day, I'll make her think I brought 'em tu make her a present on, for
relation's sake. I jest went back, and picked up the tarnal things, and
heaping them up in one hand, I made a smasher of a bow as I held 'em out
tu her, and, sez I--

"I thought mebby you'd like tu see how a prime Weathersfield doughnut
would taste agin; so I jest tucked a few one side, tu bring up here;
take 'em, you're as welcome as can be; I've got enough more tu hum."

She looked at the gentlemen, and then she turned red, as if she didn't
exactly know how tu take me.

"Don't be afeard on 'em," sez I, "they're fust rate; chuck full of
lasses, and fried in hog's lard as white as snow."

With that she took them out of my hand and put them on the table, and,
sez she, a puckering up her mouth, "you men of genius are so droll."

Think sez I, I've made a good hit off this time, any how, so I'll cut
stick. I made another bow, and out I went, jest as the chaps were all a
bowing and saying, "the compliments of the season," one arter another,
like boys, in a spelling class.

I hadn't but jest got to the door, when my pussey cousin driv up, so I
got intu the carriage, and off we went, down Broadway, at a smashing
rate, till at last we stopped afore one of the neatest-looking houses
that I've seen in York: it warn't crinckled and finefied off with
wood-work and iron fences, but the hull was solid stun. The steps were
made of the same, with great stun sides a rolling down from the door tu
the side-walk. The door was sunk clear intu the front; there warn't no
chunk of silver in the middle, tu write the owner's name on; so I s'pose
he thought that every body ought to know where a rale fashionable chap
lives, without his hanging out a sign to tell folks. Jason was jest a
going tu give the knob a twitch, but he seemed to remember, and, sez he,
to the tall chap that had got down,

"Why don't you ring?"

With that the chap made a dive up the steps, and it warn't a second
afore the door swung open, and a nice old feller, dressed up as neat as
a new pin, but without regimentals, stood inside. Arter making a bow, he
opened a mahogany door, and made a little motion with his hand, as much
as to say--"walk in."

Jason he kinder seemed loth to go in fust; and arter all his money, I
couldn't help but think the old feller in the hall looked as well and
acted a good deal more like a rale gentleman, than he did. There's
nothing like being rich to git up a man's pluck; arter fidgeting with
his watch-seals a minit, Jase stuck up his head like a mud turtle in the
sun, and in he went. I follered arter as close as a bur tu a chestnut;
for in my hull life I never felt so scared.

The house didn't seem like Miss Miles's nor Cousin Beebe's, nor yet like
my pussey cousin's. Coming from his house into that, seemed like going
out of a blustering wind into a calm snowstorm. Every thing was so slick
and still, that it didn't seem like anything else that I ever see.
Cousin Slick went in fussing along, and a tall harnsome lady got up from
a chair, where she sot by the fire, and cum towards us. Arter Jason had
give her a little information about the weather--told her it was
dreadful cold, and so on, he stepped back, and spreading out his hands
sort of like his wife, sez he--

"Mrs. ----, this is Mr. Jonathan Slick, a young relation of mine."

I declare it made my heart beat to see how purtily she smiled--her
curchy was as soft and easy as a bird--she didn't wriggle up her
shoulders and stick out her feet as some of the rest of 'em did, but
jest seemed to droop down a little easy, and then she asked us to sit
down; and in less than no time we felt as much tu hum as if we'd known
her ever since she was a nursing baby. Instead of beginning to give me a
lot of soft sodder, as some of the other women did, she jest set in and
began to talk about old Connecticut, and sich things as she must a seen
was likely to tickle me like all natur, and her voice was so soft, and
she kept a smiling so, that I never felt so contented in my life as I
did a talking with her.

At last she began to ask Jason some questions about the Western
country--so I had a chance to look about me a leetle. Instead of being
dressed out like a thing sot up for a show, she hadn't nothing on but a
harnsome silk frock, and a leetle narrow velvet ribbon tied round her
harnsome black hair, that was brushed till it looked as bright as a
crow's back. I never did see anything braided up so nice as it was
behind. She hadn't on the leastist bit of gold nor furbelows of any
kind, only jest a leetle pin that glistened like a spark of fire, which
pinned the velvet ribbon jest over her white forehead. It raly beats me
to make out why I can't tell you what was in the room, jest as I du
about all the other places; but somehow it aint easy to tell the
difference, for there was settees, and chairs, and tables, and curtains,
and so on--but yet it warn't a bit like any room I ever see afore. There
warn't no glistening and shining, and gold and silver; but I couldn't
get the notion out of my head that everything cost a good deal more than
if there had been ever so much of it. The room seemed made exactly for
the things that were in it, and there warn't a thing that didn't fit
exactly into its place like wax-work. There was one consarn that looked
awful harnsome, and it was rale ginuine too; but at first I thought it
was some of these York make-believes. It was a slim green tree, eenamost
tall enough to reach my head, all blown out and kivered over with as
much as twenty of the biggest and whitest roses I ever did see. It was
sot jest below the two winders, and when the sun came kinder softly
through the curtains down into the white posies they seemed to sort o'
blush like a beach blow; yit they raly were as white, according to
natur, as the cleanest handful of snow you ever see. The tree grew out
of a great marble flower-pot, and when I asked its name of the lady, she
looked as bright and sweet as one of the flowers, and told me it come
from Japan, away east. There was some picters hung agin the wall, that
struck my eye so that I couldn't keep from looking at 'em. She see how I
was took up, and sez she--

"That's a beautiful picter, Mr. Slick, don't you think so? There is
something in Doughtie's picters that I love to look on; his grass and
hillocks are so soft and green, he does excel every American artist most
certainly in his atmosphere."

"Wal, marm," sez I, "I aint no judge of picters, but sartinly, to my
notion that does outshine cousin Jason's lions and roosters, and
croushongs, all to nothing. It don't glisten so much, but somehow them
great trees du look so nat'ral, and them cows lying down under them so
lazy; it eenamost makes me hum sick to go back to Weathersfield when I
see it." Here Jase trod on my toe with his consarned hard boot. Wal,
think sez I, what have I said now; and I looked right in the lady's face
to see if she'd been a laughing; but she looked so sweet and unconsarned
as could be, and sez she, a getting up and going across the room; for
Jase made a motion as if he was in a hurry, sez she--

"Let me help you to some cake and wine."

With that she went to a table that had some decanters and wine-glasses
on it, besides a loaf of cake as white as drifted snow. I sniggers, but
it did look as neat as a new pin. There was a heap of rale flowers and
leaves, jest picked from the bush, fresh and fair, twisted round the
edge of the cake, and a leetle white sugar dove snuggled down in the
middle.

Cousin Jase filled the glasses and he made a leetle speech--but somehow
it didn't seem to me as if I could go to talking soft sodder tu that
harnsome critter--she looked so sweet yet so proud. All I did was jest
to drink the wine, and then bend my head kinder softly to try and match
her curchy--but if I didn't wish her a happy New Year in my heart, I'm a
lying coot, that's all. When we went away, she gave us an invite to come
agin, and she was mortal perlite to me. If I don't go, it'll be because
I'm afeard, for I don't know when I've taken such a shine to anything
that wears petticoats.

Jest as soon as I'd got clear of the door, and Jase had bowed and
scraped himself out, we got into the carriage agin, and sez he--

"Wal, cousin, how do you like Mrs. ----?"

"Like her!" sez I, "if I don't there's no snakes. She's none of your
stuck up, finefied, humbug critters, but a _rale ginuine lady_, and no
mistake."

"It's a pity she hasn't more taste and emulation to fix up her house,"
sez he. "She raly don't know how to cut a dash, and yet her husband is
as rich as a Jew."

"Wal, raly, I don't know what to think of that," sez I. "Somehow when I
see everything in a room kinder shaded off, one color into another
that's eenamost like it, till the hull seemed to be alike, jest as it is
in that lady's room,--it seems to take my notion amazingly. I can't tell
you why, but it made me feel as if the room had been made up into a big
picter, and so it is in part, and I begin to think that----"

I was a going to say something allfired cutting about these stuck up
flashy houses and people that I'd seen here in York--when the carriage
driv up to another door. In we went, eat and drank, and then out agin;
and then it was riding from one house to another, and eating and
drinking till it got eenajest dark, and I was clear tuckered out,
besides beginning tu feel wamblecropped a leetle, with the heap of sweet
things I'd been eating all day.

This New Year's day here in York is sartainly as good as a show,--such
lots of gals as a feller sees, and such lots of good living; but give me
a Thanksgiving dinner yit afore a York New Year's,--a good turkey with
plenty of gravy and tatur. I swanny, how I wish I'd been a eatin them
things instead of this heap of tarnal cake and sugar things. I shan't
feel right agin in a month, I'm sure on it.

I guess you Weathersfield tee totalists would a stared some tu see how
the young chaps begun tu make fence along the stun side-walks towards
night; some on 'em were purty well over the bay I can tell you. I went
to see lots of women and gals, and cousin Mary amongst the rest, and
arter I got back to my office I couldn't get one wink of sleep. My head
was chuck full of gals all night,--such a whirring and burring as there
was in my upper story you never did know on,--every time I shet my eyes
the office seemed chuck full of purty gals and feathers and gold and
decanters, cut glass, till it seemed as if I would go crazy a thinking
over all I'd done; but the last thing that got into my brain jest afore
I dropped to sleep, was the _real lady_ and my pussey cousin's stuck up
wife.

But I can't stop to write you on all my dreams that night. I don't think
doughnuts or sugar candies set well on the stomach, and I don't think
seeing so many gals sets well on my head. There is a terrible all
over-ish sort of a feeling in a young feller when he's been cruising
among the gals all day, and comes hum and cuddles up in bed at night.
When he gits one gal stuck fast in his head and his heart, as I had Judy
White, he's as quiet as a kitten, and his head's a sort a settled; but
arter he's been a roving over the world as I am a doing, his natur gits
ruther rily, and there's nothing that sticks in it except the dregs, the
pure essence sifting out all through.

Getting in love is somewhat like getting drunk, the more a feller loves
the more he wants tu,--and when the heart gits a going, _pitty pat,
pitty pat_, there is such a swell, that it busts up all the strings, so
that it can't hold the ginuine grit at all. When Judy White fust took
hold a my arm I give the coat sleeve a rale hearty smack, where her hand
had lain, and that coat I raly did love better than any other I ever had
on; but I never think the better of my yaller gloves for shaking the
hands of all the gals in York. I've only got Miss Miles out of my head,
to git a thousand new shinin faces in. Lord knows what'll become of me,
Par, if I go on to be bedivilled arter the women, as I have been this
new year's day. When a feller is made any thing on by 'em he must have
been brought up under good preaching in Weathersfield to stand it here
in York. I feel as if I shouldn't be good for much afore long, myself,
the way I am going on, but to skoot up and down Broadway like that ere
Count, and to hang round gals' winders with fifes, and bassoons, and
drums, and gitars at night.

I can't look full into a purty gal's face all a flashing so, without
being kind a dazzled and scorched. It warms me up in this cold weather,
and kindles such a touse in my heart, that the blood runs through it as
hot as if it had scooted through a steamboat pipe. And then the allfired
critters have so many sly ways of coming over a feller, that I don't
think much of a man who can see their purty mouths tremble, and not feel
his tremble tu. If they sidle up, I can't help sidling too if I died;
and when them black eyes fall flash on me, I wilt right down under 'em
as cut grass in Weathersfield on a hot summer day. It is natur all this,
and I can't help it no how.

But you know, Par, I was brought up under good preaching, and I go now
to Dr. Spring's meeting always as straight as Sunday comes round, and
twice a day. If wimmin do snarl up a feller's heart strings, though,
they keep him out of other scrapes, anybody will tell you that. A man
that is in love a leetle is not always a running into rum-holes, and
other such places. He don't go a gambling, and isn't a sneakin round
nights.

Love, according to my notion on it, is a good anchor for us on this 'ere
voyage of life!--it brings us up so all a standing when we put on too
much sail. It puts me in mind, now I think on it, of our cruise through
Hell Gate in Captin Doolittle's sloop; for jest as the tide and the wind
was a carrying us on the rocks, we dropt anchor and kept off. I look on
the uses of women purty much as I look on the freshet that in the spring
brings down the Connecticut the rale rich soil for the meadows in
Weathersfield. They make a great deal of splutter and fuss in their
spring-time, with their rustles and their ribbons, and their fooleries,
I know; but when they light on a feller for good, they are the rale
onion patches of his existence. Put us together, and the soil will grow
anything; but keep us apart, and we are his thistles and nettles.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XI.

Visit to the Park Theatre--First Impressions of the Poetry of Motion, as
written on the air, in the aerial feats of Mademoiselle Celeste--First
shock at the exhibition of a Ballet Costume accompanied by the
"twinkles" of Celeste's feet--with her pigeon wings, double-shuffles,
gallopades, and pirouettes.


DEAR PAR:

I've been a trying tu git time tu write you a letter this ever so long;
but somehow I've had so many parties tu go tu, besides sleigh-rides,
balls, and so on, that I haint known which eend my head is on more than
half the time. Besides all that, I've felt kinder loth tu write you, for
I aint jest sartin that you and marm won't be in a pucker about what
I've been a doing since I writ tu you before. But I've got my pluck a
stirring jest now; so I'm detarmined tu up and tell you all right out,
jest as it is--for arter all, a feller must be a consarned coward
that'll do a thing, right or wrong, and then back out from owning on
it.

Wal, t'other night Mr. Beebe he cum up tu my office about sundown, and
sez he, "Cousin Slick, supposing we go tu the Park Theatre to-night, and
see Madame Celeste dance."

My heart riz right up into my throat as he said this, for the very idee
of going tu the Theatre set me all over in a twitter. Ever since I cum
down here tu York, I've had an etarnal hankering tu go and see some of
their plays; but I tried all I could tu pacify myself, and thought over
more than forty times all the preachings you used to make agin them--how
you used tu say they were filled with sinful devices and picters of the
devil's own painting, and that they warn't nothing more nor less than
scraps of the infarnal regions sot up here on arth tu delude away poor
mortals.

I wanted tu go awfully, but insted of giving in tu cousin John when he
fust come, I jest sot too and let off one of your preachments to him; he
didn't seem to mind it a mite, but, sez he, "Cousin, would you think it
right if a feller was tu cum out like all blazes agin one of your
letters in the _Express_, if he hadn't read 'em?"

"I should like to ketch a feller at it--I should," sez I.

"Wal," sez he, "du you think it fair tu run out agin the Theatres till
you've seen something on 'em?"

"Wal," sez I, "I don't know as it is; but haint my par an old man as
well as deacon of the church, and hadn't he ought tu know? What's the
use of a man's experience, if his children won't profit by it, as long
as he can't turn about and live his life over agin?"

"That's true," sez cousin John; "but are you sartin that your father was
ever at a play in his life?"

"What, my par at the Theatre!" sez I, a holding up both hands, "Mr.
Zephaniah Slick, Esquire, Justice of the Peace and Deacon of the Church,
at the Theatre! Look a here, cousin John, why don't you ask if he ever
plays all fours, or 'I had as many wives as the stars in the
skies,'--he'd be about as likely tu du one as t'other."

"Wal," sez John, sort of parsevering, "how can he judge about them sort
of things without he's seen 'em? Come, come, jest put on your fix and
let's go down."

So with that he come his soft sodder so strong that I couldn't hold out
no longer, so I jest giv up, and we started off; but my heart felt sort
of queer all the way, for I couldn't keep from thinking how you and marm
would feel when you found out where I'd been tu. I don't think there's
anything very scrumptious about the outside of the Theatre anyhow. Think
sez I, as I looked up tu it, if this is raly a temple of Old Nick, he
haint put himself out much tu finefy it off. A good many of the
meeting-houses here in York go ahead of this all tu nothing. It looks
more like a town hall or a tavern than any thing else that I can think
on.

When we got into the entry-way, cousin Beebe he took out a dollar bill,
and went up tu a little hole cut out in the wall, and stuck in his hand,
and sez he, "A ticket."

Think sez I, wal, if this don't beat all! They raly du mean tu carry on
all kinds of develtry; who'd a thought of finding one of these darnation
lottery offices here.

"You wont want a ticket," sez cousin John.

"No," sez I, "I guess I don't; if there's any thing on arth that makes
my blood bile, it's gambling." I was a going on tu give him a piece of my
mind, but jest then he pushed a door open, all kivered over with green
flannel, and give his paper tu a tall man that stood there, looking as
solemn as an owl in a storm; and, sez he, a pinting tu me, this
gentleman belongs tu the press. The feller looked at me as sharp as a
needle, and he begun tu fumble over a paper, as if he didn't know
exactly what he wanted; but at last he held out his hand, and said it
was custom for the press to leave cards at the door. I never was so
struck up in my whole born days. Think sez I, wal, if this don't beat
all natur; they think because a feller is green enough tu go tu the
Theatre that he must play cards, and every thing else that's bad. I
shouldn't wonder, sez I tu myself, if he wants me tu begin and cuss and
swear next. I looked him right in his eyes, and put my hands down in my
pockets allfired hard, and, sez I--

"Look a here, you sir, I ain't no gambler--none of your foreign chaps,
that git their living by playing cards. You must be soft in the upper
story if you don't see that the first giffy. You don't see no hair on my
upper lip. I don't carry a cane with a bagonet in it, nor wear
checkered trousers, so you needn't ask _me_ to give you any cards, I
haint touched one of the pesky things since marm broke the tin dipper
over my head for singing out, 'high, low, Jack and the game, by gauley,'
one day when I and another little shaver got hid away in the corn-house
a playing all fours."

The feller opened his eyes a few when I said this, but three or four
finefied young fellers, with white gloves on, and little canes in their
hand, come to the door, and stood a grinning at me like so many hungry
monkeys. Cousin John spoke sort of low, and sez he,--

"It is your name the man wants. If you haven't any cards, write it out
on a piece of paper."

With that the man handed over a piece of paper, and cousin Beebe give me
his gold pencil.

Think sez I, "If they will have my name, I'll give 'em a smasher,"--so I
flourished the "J" off with an allfired long tail, and curlecued the "S"
up till it looked like a black snake in the sun. I ruther seem to think
the feller stared a few when he saw the name. The grinning chaps cum and
looked at it, but made themselves scarce in less than no time arter they
had made it out, and the tall chap, he bowed close down to the floor,
and sez he--

"Walk in, Mr. Slick, Mr. Simpson put your name on the free list ever so
long ago."

I was going to ask him to tell Mr. Simpson that I was very much
obligated, though I hadn't the least idea what he meant by his free
list, but that minit there was such a smashing of fiddles and drums and
toot-horns inside that I eenamost jumped out of my skin. It seemed as if
a dozen training bands had all been set a going tu once.

Cousin John he took hold of my arm, and hauled me along through a little
door into a great big room built off more like a meeting-house than
anything else--and yet it wasn't like that neither. It was shaped kinder
like a horse shoe, the floor was chuck full of benches, kivered over
with red cushions, and there was four galleries all pillared off and
painted, and set off with gold and great blazing glass things that made
every thing look as bright as day. In the second gallery there were
five or six pens all boarded off from the rest, with lots of gold
picters all round them, and hung over with silk curtains, till they
looked more like the berths on board a steamboat than any thing I could
think on. These places were chuck full of allfired harnsome gals and
spruce looking fellers, that were dressed off to kill, and talked and
laughed as chipper as could be. The ruff was an etarnal way up from the
floor; it rounded up, and was crinkle-crankled off with gold and picters
till it looked like the West jest afore sundown, when the red and yaller
and purple lie in heaps and ridges all over the sky.

Think sez I, if that's what par means by a device of the devil, Old Nick
is no slouch at putting the shine on the ruff of his house, anyhow.

We sot down on one of the red benches in the lowest gallery, and I got a
leetle over the twitter that I was in at fust, and jest made up my mind
to look amongst the folks to see what was going on.

It warn't a mite of wonder that the musicianers made me jump so when I
was in the entry way, for clear on t'other eend of the room was a long
pen chuck full and running over with fiddlers, base drums, and great
brass horns, all pulling and blowing and thumping away like all natur;
didn't they send out the music!--never on arth did I hear any thing like
it! It made me choke and sigh and ketch my breath like a dying hen; and
all I could du, my feet would keep going over the steps, and my yaller
gloves seemed as if they never would git still agin, they kept so busy a
beating time on the leg of my new trousers. Jest over the pen where the
fiddlers sot, hung a great picter as big as the side of a house. I
thought of what you said about theatres being filled with picters of the
devil's own painting; but I couldn't make up my mind that that was one
on 'em, for it was so green and cold, and a pale man, pictered out on a
heap of stuns in the middle on it, looked as shivery as if he'd had a
fit of the fever and ague--besides there was water painted out, and
every body knows that Old Scratch aint tee-total enough to paint a
picter chuck full of clouds and water and sich like, without one spark
of fire to make him feel to hum in his own premises.

By-am-by sich sights of the people, all dressed off as if they were a
going to a general training ball, kept a pouring in through the leetle
doors in the galleries till the seats were all chuck full; such a
glistening of harnsome eyes and feathers, and flowers, I never did see.
A purty leetle gal cum and sot close down by me, and now and then I took
a slanting squint at her; by hokey, she was a slick leetle critter, with
the consarnedest soft eyes I ever looked into.

I wonder what on arth is the reason that I can't sit down by a harnsome
gal, but my heart will begin to flounder about like a fish jest arter
he's hooked. Think, sez I, if there's any dancing a going on to-night,
darn me if I don't shin up to that gal for a partner. But, where on arth
the folks were a going tu find a place to dance in I couldn't make out,
for in the hull building there warn't room enough tu hang up a flax-seed
edgeways.

I was jest a going tu ask cousin John about it, when the fiddles pulled
up a minit, and all tu once that great picter give a twitch, and up it
went like a streak of chalk, into the ruff, or the Lord knows where. I
jumped right on eend, I was so struck with what I see.

Clear back where the curtain had been was a purty little garden, as
nat'ral as one of our onion patches. It was chuck full of trees and
flowers, and a snug leetle house stood on one side; clear back, jest
under the edge of the sky, lay the soft water, looking as blue and still
as could be. What to make on it I couldn't tell; it warn't like a
picter, and yet I couldn't think how on arth there could be room enough
tu have sich a place near the theatre. While I sot there a bending
for'ard with one of my yaller gloves pressed down on each knee, and
staring like a stuck pig with my mouth a leetle open, a lot of folks
dressed off in short jackets and trousers cut off at the knees, come a
dancing out of the house, and begun tu talk all at once, and chatter and
laugh together as chipper as a flock of birds. They seemed as happy as
clams in high water; and the fellers skipped and hung round the gals
like good fellers.

But the gals were dressed out too bad. I'll be darned if some of 'em
didn't make me feel streaked, their frocks were so short. They didn't
seem tu make no bones of showing their legs half-way tu their knees. I
swanny if I wasn't ashamed of the purty gal that sot by me. Think sez I,
if she don't blush and feel all overish I'm mistaken. Arter a while, I
give her a slantidicular squint, but she sot as still as a kitten, and
looking as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but was a staring right
straight at the garden without seeming to mind the gals' legs a bit more
than if they had been so many broom sticks.

It warn't a great while afore I didn't seem to mind it much either, for
a little old comical looking chap come out in front of the garden, and
begun to chatter and larf, and fling his arms about every which way, and
to tell about some young gal that was a going to be married. Madeline,
he called her.

Wal, while he was a talking, a feller, all in red regimentals, come
round the house, as big as my pussey cousin, with a set of letters in
his hand, and blowing a tin toot-horn, as if he wanted us all tu come tu
dinner. He turned to be a sort of post-rider, with letters; he give one
to the funny old chap that owned the house, but it only had another
letter in it, and that was for the gal that was a going tu be married.

I begun to feel awful curious tu see that gal, arter hearing them talk
about her so much; but the post-office feller cut up his shines, and
ordered the folks about as obstroperous as my pussey cousin; a prime
chap he was--and I took a sort of a notion to him, he acted out so
slick.

By-am-by in come the purtyest looking critter that ever I did see; she
walked and sidled through the garden like a bird among the green trees,
and her voice sounded so funny when she spoke; she kinder cut her words
off, and lisped 'em out so sweet, that every word sounded chuck full of
honey. I swan it made my heart rise right up in my mouth every time she
spoke. She had tarnal harnsome eyes, as bright as the biggest star in
the gill-dipper, and I could almost tell what she was a saying by the
cut of her face; I never did see a critter look so happy. She had the
cunningest leetle white hat that I ever did see, stuck on one side of
her head, with blue ribbons streaming from it over her shoulders; on
t'other side her long shiny curls hung down on her shoulders, and a
harnsome white rose was stuck in them back of her ear; but it didn't
seem much whiter than her forehead and neck, for they were as white as
the froth on a pail of new milk afore it is strained. She had on a blue
silk frock, cut off a leetle too short at the bottom, for my notion, and
her cunning leetle feet raly cut about in them new shoes a leetle _too_
spry; I never did see anything so subtle as she was in my life.

The minit she came into the garden, all the folks in the galleries, and
on the seats below, begun to stomp, and yell, and holler, till I was
afeard that I made a mistake, and got into a political meeting agin. She
began to curchy, and lay her hand on her bosom, and curchy agin, all the
while a looking so sweet and mealy-mouthed that I wanted to eat her
hull, I swow I did. Arter a while they begun to get tired of making sich
etarnal coots of themselves, and then she begun to go round among the
folks in the garden, and give them presents, because she was a going to
git married in the morning, tu a rich gentleman that lived close by.

All tu once the comical old chap called "Madeline!" and give her the
letter the post-rider had brought for her.

Arter she'd gone into the house, he begun to tell the folks all about
her--how she was a poor leetle French gal that he'd undertook tu bring
up and keep out of harm, when everybody in her country was afeard of
their lives--and how she'd got a brother yet in France, whose life
wouldn't be worth four-pence-half-penny if he should once set foot over
in England; for they made believe that all this garden and things was a
going on in England.

Wal, arter they'd all gone in, out come Madeline agin with the letter in
her hand. I swanny, but I couldn't help but feel for the poor critter.
She looked as if she'd been crying her eyes out, but she kept a kissing
the letter and reading it sort of loud, and a crying all the time, so
that we all found out it come from her brother, and that he was a coming
tu take her away with him in the morning; and it seemed to make her feel
bad because he didn't know that she was a going to be married then. When
she'd read her letter through, she went into the house agin, looking as
peaked and wamble-cropped as a sick lamb.

When the picter was rolled up agin, the garden was all gone, and there
sot the purty leetle Madeline in a room with a chest open by her filled
with wimmen's clothing, and there was a rale harnsome young feller a
standing by her that she seemed so fond of, and that she called her
brother.

While they were talking together, and afore she had time to tell him she
was a going to be married, there was an allfired noise outside of the
door, and you never see a cat jump up spryer than she did. She turned as
white as a sheet, and wrung her leetle hands, and seemed more than half
crazy, for she said the officers had cum arter her brother to hang him
for a spy. She hugged him one minit, and then she'd wring her hands, and
look round so anxious for some place to hide him in. At last she run to
the chest, pulled all the clothes out on it, and made him git in
there--she put them all back agin, and kivered it over with a great red
shawl. She hadn't but jest sot down and took up her sewing work, when a
great etarnal coot of a feller, that made my blood bile every time I
looked at him, cum into the room along with another feller, and begun to
sarch arter the poor young chap that she'd hid away.

We could see that the poor gal was eenamost scared out of her senses,
for she turned as white as a ghost--but she cocked one foot over
t'other, and went on a sewing as fast as could be. I swanny, it made me
wrathy tu hear the varmint how he run on agin the poor gal. I never did
see sich wicked eyes as hisen were in my life, nor sich a ragged drunken
looking shark; it made my grit rise every time he looked towards that
sweet gal.

The officer couldn't find nobody, and wanted to go hum, but the tall
shack went up to the chest, and begun to poke about among the clothes,
and asked what she'd got there. She looked as if she would go off the
handle at that; but she didn't give up. Arter a minit she jumped up and
took up a gown and showed it to the officer, and then she took up a
shawl and told him it was her wedding shawl, and she began to run on and
smile, and talk so coaxing, and spread out the shawl all the time, till
the young feller in the chest crept out and got into another room, while
she held the shawl afore him. They went off grumbling, and consarnedly
wamble-cropped, for a reward had been offered for the purty French gal's
brother, and the etarnal scamp meant tu git his revenge on her and
money tu boot.

I was a looking steady into the room, when all tu once it slid away, and
there was the garden agin, and the outside of the house, and it was dark
as midnight among the bushes. By-am-by out came the ragged scamp and
stood jest under the poor French gal's winder, to see what was a going
on, and while he was there, the good-hearted chap, that she was a going
tu be married tu, came along tu look at her winder, as fellers will when
they are over head and ears in luv.

Then the French gal cum to the winder, and the young feller that she'd
been a hiding away, jumped out, and she put his cloak on and hugged him
as if her heart was eenamost ready to bust. When she see her brother
clear off she went back tu bed, but the squire and the ragged scamp had
seen her, and sich a row as it kicked up never was heard on afore.

In a little while there was sich a hubbub in the garden; all the wimmen
that she'd gin presents tu, got together, and begun to run out agin her,
and saying that they always thought she was no better than she ought tu
be. The squire said he wouldn't marry her, and the tarnal old man turned
her out of doors.

I thought I should a boo-hooed right out, when I see her cum out of the
door with a bundle in her hand, a crying as if she hadn't a friend on
arth. She was a going away so slow and sorrowful, when the squire cum up
and offered her some money, for he seemed tu feel sorry for her, though
he thought she'd been a cheating him.

She looked at him so still, and yit so proud, as if her heart was brim
full of grief, but she wouldn't take his money. At last he told her that
the man she'd had was took prisoner. Oh, how she did take on then! She
wrung her hands, and sobbed, and cried enough tu make one feel
wamble-cropped to see her, and she said now that her character was gone
and her brother taken, that she wanted to die.

The squire felt dreadfully when he found out that the man was her
brother. So he made up with her, and she got on tu a horse and rode off
full chisel tu get her brother's pardon.

By-am-by she got back with the pardon for her brother, and there was
such crying and kissing and shaking hands, as you never heard on. I
bellered right out a crying, I was so allfired glad tu see the poor gal
happy once more.

Wal, by-am-by, a bell tinkled; the picter rolled up agin and the
fiddlers begun to put on elbow grease till the music came out slick
enough. Instead of the garden there was a long ball-room with rows of
great shiney pillars running all through it. It was as light as day, for
there seemed to be candles out of sight among the pillars, besides a row
of lamps that stood along the pen where the musicianers sot. I was
staring with all the eyes I had in my head, when the harnsomest critter
I ever sot eyes on cum flying into the middle of the room, and there she
stood on one foot with her arms held out and her face turned towards us,
looking as bold, and smiling as soft as if she'd never done nothing else
all her life. I was so scared when she fust sprung in, that I raly
didn't know which een my head was on. The darned critter was more than
half naked--she was, by golley! To save my life I couldn't look at her
right straight with that blue-eyed gal a setting close by me. At fust I
was so struck up that I couldn't see nothing but an allfired harnsome
face a smiling from under a wreath of flowers, and naked legs and arms
and neck, a flying round like a live wind-mill. I thought I should go
off the handle at fust--I felt sort of dizzy, and as if I was blushing
all over. I don't think I ever was in such an etarnal twitter in my hull
life. I partly got up tu go out, and then I sot down agin as streaked as
lean pork, and kivered my face with my yaller gloves, but somehow I
couldn't hold my hands still all I could du--the fingers would git
apart, so that I couldn't help but look through them at that plaguey,
darned harnsome, undecent critter, as she jumped and whirled and
stretched her naked arms out toward us, and stood a smiling and coaxing
and looking tu the fellers. It was enough to make a feller cuss his
mother because she was a woman; but I'll be darned if there ever was a
feller on arth that could help looking at the critter.

I've seen a bird charmed by a black snake, but it was nothing tu
this--not a priming. One minute she'd kinder flutter round the room
softly and still like a bird that's jest beginning tu fly, then she'd
stand on one foot and twinkle t'other out and in against the ankle so
swift you couldn't but jest see it. Then she'd hop for'ard and twist her
arms up on her bosom, and stick one leg out behind her, and stand on one
toe for ever so long, till all on us had had a fair sight on her that
way. Then she'd take another hop and pint her right toe forward, and
lift it higher, till by-am-by round she'd go like a top, with her leg
stuck out straight and whirling round and round like the spoke of a
broken waggin with a foot tu it. It raly did beat all that I ever did
see. When she stood up straight, her white frock was all sprigged off
with silver, and it looked like a cloud of snow, but it didn't reach
half way down tu her knees, and stuck out dreadfully behind. I hadn't
dared to unkiver my face yet, and was sort of trembling all over in a
dreadful pucker, wondering what on arth she meant tu do next, when she
give a whirl, kissed her hand, and hopped away as spry as a cricket,
jest as she came in.

I swan, if I didn't think I never should breathe straight agin; I raly
wouldn't a looked in that purty blue-eyed gal's face for anything; but
somehow I happened tu squint that way, for I felt kinder anxious tu see
how red a gal could blush, and there she sot a smiling and a looking as
she raly liked the fun. She was whispering to a young feller that sot
t'other side, and sez she--

"Aint it beautiful! Oh! I hope they'll call her back!"

"She will come, I dare say," sez the feller a larfin, and beginning to
stomp and clap hands with the rest on 'em that were a yelling and
hooting like all possessed. "Celeste treats the Americans very much as a
lover does his lady."

"How so?" sez the gal, looking sort of puzzled.

"Why, she can't leave them without coming back again and again to take
_farewell_!" sez he, a larfin; "but here she comes!"

True as a book, there she did cum, and begun tu sidle and whirl, and cut
up her crancums all over agin. By leetle and leetle I let my hands slide
down from my face, and when she give her prime whirl and stuck out her
toe the last time, I sot a staring right straight at her, so astonished
I couldn't set still, for as true as you live, the nice, leetle French
gal that was so sweet and modest, and the bold, beautiful critter with
her foot out, her arms a wavering around her head, and her mouth jest
open enough tu show her teeth, was the same individual critter, and both
on 'em were Madame Celeste.

I went hum. But I'll be choked if them legs and arms, and that frock
with the flowers over it didn't whirl round in my head all night, and
they ain't fairly out yit.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XII.

Jonathan receives an Invitation to a Fancy Ball--Dilemma about the
Dress--Choice of a Character, &c.


DEAR PAR:

I du think this ere trade of writing is about the darndest bisness that
a feller ever took to. The minit a man begins tu git his name up here in
York, the way the gals du haul him over the coals is a sin to Crocket,
as they say down here. They talk about the Yankees having a nack of
cheating people out of their eye teeth. By gracious! if the York folks
don't know how to hold up ther end of the yoke at that trade, I'm a
coot, that's all. They may take my grinders and welcome, but I'll be
darn'd if I give up my Christian name, without making an all-fired
rumpus about it. I can't go down Cherry-street now without somebody's
stopping me to find out who writes my letters, jest as if I didn't write
'em myself. Some on 'em seem to think it's a Portland chap, an allfired
smart critter, that come from down East, and that's been a writing a
capital history of the war down on the territory that haint got no
boundary; and people keep a coming to the Express office every once in a
while, to find out if Major Jack Downing don't write 'em and sign my
name. I should like to ketch him at it once! Let him or any other chap
put my name to any thing that I don't write, and if I don't lick him
within an inch of his life, then he may steal my name and welcome.

Now, jest to git the York people out of the etarnal twitter that
they're in to find out who writes my letters, I've made up my mind to
tell 'em here, in one of my letters; and if I don't tell 'em the truth,
I hope I may be hung and choked to death, so there!

In the first place, I aint intimate with Major Jack Downing, and never
sot eyes on him in my life, till t'other night at "the Grand Fancy
Ball," as they call it. He's a smart chap, but I'll be darned if he ever
writ a word of one of my letters in his life,--and more than all that,
he don't know me from Adam; no more does the Portland chap, or any of
the rest on 'em,--and I du think it's allfired hard, if I can't have the
credit of writing letters on my own hook, and nobody's else. Now these
two chaps are prime fellers, and old hands at the bisness; but I never
tried my hand at writing a letter in my hull life, till I sent the fust
one to the Express--and that I put my name tu as large as life. Neither
the Portland Major Jack Downing, nor the New York Major Jack Downing,
nor our Sam, nor nobody else, has a finger in my dish; but all the
letters that has my name and picter to 'em are writ by me.

         ****************************
         *                          *
         *  MR JONATHAN SLICK ESQ.  *
         *                          *
         *      CHERRY STREET       *
         *                          *
         ****************************

That's my card! as they say at the theatre,--and now I hope the Yorkers
wont pester me any more, to know who I am.

Arter going to the Park Theatre t'other night, I begun to feel sort of
dissatisfied with the carryings on in this place, and I eenamost made up
my mind to come back to Weathersfield and stick to the old business for
life. Somehow I couldn't git them naked legs and arms, and so on, of
Marm-sel Celeste out of my head,--and I couldn't help feeling awful
streaked when I thought of them in the day-light. Sich sights aint fit
for any thing but candle-light, and then a feller must be half corned
before he can see them without feeling ashamed of all womankind.

I du think, when a chap begins to have a bad opinion of the wimmin
folks, it's a sign that there is something out of the way in his own
heart; but it comes tough to keep a feller's heart in the right place,
while sich sweet, purty, indecent critters as that Celeste, are a
kicking up their heels and flinging all sorts of queer ideas into his
mind. Arter seeing her flurish her white short gown, without petticoat,
afore all them folks, I begun to hate the gals like pison; it seemed to
me as if they warn't made for men's wives, or tu be mothers and
sister's. It was a hull week afore I could make up my mind to go out of
my office, and the sight of a furbelow raly made me sick. I began to
rale out agin all the feminine gender like all natur.

Wal, one morning I got up, and sat down by the stove, with my legs
stretched out, and my hands fingering the loose coppers in my trousers'
pocket, when Cousin John come in, looking as tickled as a puppy dog.

"See here, Jonathan," sez he, "I've got an invitation, for you to go to
a fancy ball to-night, clear up town, so I've come to see what you'll
wear, and all about it."

"Wal," sez I, kinder melancholy, "I've got eenamost tired of sich
things; it raly don't seem to agree with me frolicking so much, but I
suppose I may as well go."

"Wal," sez cousin, "what do you mean to wear?"

"What du I mean tu wear?" sez I, "why, my new clothes sartinly: I ruther
guess all the shine haint worn off from them yit, by a great sight."

"Yes," sez he, "but you must go in character to this ball."

"Look a here, cousin," sez I, a rilin up a leetle, "I don't know as
you've ever seen me go to any place that was out of character yit, so
you needn't say that."

John, he colored up and larfed a leetle, and sez he, "Don't git wrothy,
Jonathan--I didn't mean nothing, but the fact is, it will be best for
you to dress in something a leetle different to your common clothes.
Supposing you dress like a Turk?"

"What! like one of them chaps that keep a hull caravan of wives shut up
in their housen?" sez I. "I'm much obligated to you for the idee--but
I'd a leetle ruther not. I'd jest as lives go to sleep and dream I was a
gad fly in a black hornet's nest."

"Wal," sez he, "supposin you let me dress you up like an Injun--how
would you like that? I'll dress Mary up like a squaw, and you can walk
in together."

"Why," sez I, sort of puzzled to find out what he was at, "I'd ruther be
an Injun any day than be one of them tarnal Turky fellers; but what will
the folks think of us if we come fixed out so? I should feel as streaked
as a piece of ribbongrass, I'm sartin."

"Oh, never mind that, they'll be glad to have you come like an Injun;
you don't know what a sight of folks are a going. There'll be Kings and
Queens, nuns, Scotch ladies, Englishmen, and women born two hundred
years ago, and all sorts of people."

"Gracious gaully how you talk!" sez I, all in amaze, for he seemed as
arnest as an ox team.--"Why, they haint sent invites over the water,
have they?"

"You'll see," sez John, a larfin a leetle easy, and rubbing his hands.
"But I want a favor,--wont you lend me them old clothes of yours to go
in?"

"What, old blue, with the shiney buttons, and the pepper and salt
trousers!" sez I. "Wal now, I'd jest as lives you had 'em as not? but
raly if you want to slick up, hadn't you better take the new fix, it'll
look a good deal more scrumptious?"

"No," sez he, "I want them that your picter was took in, they're jest
the thing."

"They'll fit you to a notch," sez I. "The trousers may be a leetle too
short, but I can get the gallus buttons sot on strong, and the pockets
are nation handy."

"Do," sez he, "and I'll git your dress. Come up to our house, and, we'll
all start together."

With that John he went away, and I sot down all in a flustration to try
and make out what he wanted me to fix up like a born Injun for; but the
more I tho't the more I got in a pucker about it, so I jest give it up,
and stopped thinking about it as much as I could.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XIII.

Jonathan Slick and the Grand Fancy Ball--Jonathan in the character of an
Injun, and Cousin Beebe in the character of Jonathan--Cousin Mary as
Jonathan's Squaw--Jonathan among Kings and Queens, Spaniards, Turks and
Jews--Jonathan meets his pussey Cousin in the character of a
Turk--Jonathan cuts his pussey Cousin.


DEAR PAR:

Wal, Thursday, jest afore dark, I bundled up old blue, and the pepper
and salt trousers, and pulled foot for Cousin Beebe's as chirk as a
grass-hopper. The nigger set me in and took me up stairs to a little
room, where John was sittin in a great chair, with the tarnationest heap
of feathers and things about him that ever you did see. He jumped up as
soon as he saw me with the bundle under my arm, and sez he--

"Come, hurry now and get off your things, I want to paint you." With
that he come along with a saucer of red stuff, and begun to stir it up
mighty savage.

Wal, think sez I, that don't look over inviting--but I s'pose I may as
well die for an old sheep as a lamb; so I took off my coat, and
unbuckled my stock, and let him brush away. Didn't he snake on the paint
though! Think sez I, I don't know how I shall feel--but if I don't look
streaked, it wont be the fault of this ere leetle brush any how. Arter a
while he begun to ri-bob-skew my hair up on the top of my head; I raly
couldn't but jest wink, he drew it so tight; but I grinn'd and bore it
as well as I could. By-am-by he made me put on a red shirt, and sich a
heap of nigger gimcracks as would've made you larf only jest to look at.
When he'd tied, and pinned, and stuck on all the feathers he could find,
he told me to get up and look in the glass. Gauly-oppalus--what a darn'd
lookin critter I was! I raly thought I should a bust, I larfed so; my
hair was all girt on the top of my head, and a hull grist of red
feathers stuck into it every which way, till my head looked like an
allfired great beet, a running to seed--my face was painted a sort of a
brick color, with two or three streaks of black and yaller, to make it
look lively; I had on a sort of a leather nightgown, without any
sleeves--all fringed off with beads, and feathers, and quills, that made
a noise every time I moved, like the loose ice rattling off a tree arter
a freezing rain; besides the legs of a pair of leather trousers, that
only come up to my knees, but they were fringed and finefied off to
kill, I can tell you. The shoes were smashers, though they sot to my
feet as slick as a biscuit, and felt as soft as a silk weed pod. You
never saw anything worked off so--purty leetle shiney beads glistened
all over with them, and they were kivered all over with flowers, and
spangled off with silver, till they took the shine off eenamost anything
I ever did see.

I don't know what got into me, but the minit I got the Injun toggery on,
I begun to feel as subtle and slimpsey as an eel, and the way I
flourished about and kicked up my heels, beat Miss Celeste all to
nothing. I raly thought Cousin John would a died a larfin. "Look a
here," sez he, "don't kick up a pow-wow till you get to the ball. Did
you ever see a rale full-blooded Injun?"

"I ruther surmise so," sez I.

"Wal," sez he, "du you think you can act one out?"

"Can't I! Look a here--don't I du it as slick as a whistle?" sez I, and
with that I looked as savage as a meat-axe, and begun to strut up and
down the room like a turkey-gobbler on the sunny side of a barn-yard.

"That'll du," sez John; "now you must have some medicine."

"I'll bet a copper I don't, though," sez I; "I despise all kinds of
doctor-stuff, and if you git any o' your rhubarb, or calomel, or
Brandreth's pills down me I'll lose my guess."

Here John went off the handle agin, like a broken coffee mill, and the
way he did tee-hee was enough to make a feller's dander rise.

"Look a here," sez I, a walking straight up to him, "you needn't larf,
nor try to come your soft sodder over me. I don't believe its the
fashion to take pills here in York, afore a chap goes to a ball; and I
won't do it. There now, I've sot down my foot."

It was a good while afore John could ketch his breath; but arter all he
gin up--and, sez he, "Here, you haint no objections to carrying this
thing, and calling it medicine, have you?"

"Not the least in natur," sez I,--and with that I took a sort of a young
woodchuck skin, stuffed out till it looked nat'ral as life, and I tucked
it under my arm, and went down stairs to see how Cousin Mary looked.

As sure as a gun there she sot all dressed out to kill--her hair was
braided in great long tails, and all hung over with silver and gold, and
leetle bunches of red feathers. A row of short red and yaller and blue
feathers went round her head, and was twisted together on one side, with
a gold cord that had two long tossels made out of gold and leetle shiney
beads, that hung glistening over her shoulder as bright as a handful of
ripe currents, when the sun strikes 'em.

I swow, but Mary did make a purty leetle squaw--her frock was made out
of the whitest leather you ever did see, and was kinder like my
no-sleeved coat, only a great deal harnsomer and hull all round. It
didn't come clear down to her feet and that tarnal leetle foot and ankle
of her'n did cut a swath in the leetle glistening shoes and them
figgered silk stockings. It raly made me ketch my breath to look at her,
she was so consarned harnsome. I thought I should a bust when cousin
Beebe came into the room in my old blue coat and pepper and salts, with
his hat stuck on the back of his head, and his hands in his pockets. It
was me all over, cow-hide boots, red hankercher and all.

By-am-by the nigger come in and said that the carriage was at the door,
so we all up and got into it about the quickest, and off we driv full
split up town, till we come to a whopper of a house clear up to
Seventeenth street. When we got eenamost there, the horses couldn't but
jest git along, there was sich a grist of carriages streaking it one
arter another toward the house. They put me in mind of a string of
onions jest broke loose, they were so tarnal thick.

Arter a good while we driv chuck up to the stun walk that had a lot of
tow sheets stretched out over it to keep folks dry, and went right
straight up to the stoop, where a couple of spruce-looking chaps with
red ribbons stuck in their button holes, come up and took us through a
great long entry way, where the lights eenamost dazzled a feller's eyes,
to a sort of a twistified pair of stairs.

I kinder wanted to stop by a stun table, sot off in the back part of the
entry way, and take a swig of punch, but I hadn't time to git a hull
swaller afore John and Mary were half way up stairs, so I pulled foot
and went arter 'em sort of wamblecropped at having to choke off from the
punch, for it was the rale critter, I can tell you.

Mary she went into a great harnsome room, chuck full, and running over
with gals, for I took a sly peak through the door as she went in, jest
to see what was a going on; and then Cousin Beebe and I went into
another room, and walked round till she cum out agin. Down we went
through the entry way till we come to a door at the further eend.

"Why don't you give Mary your arm?" sez John to me, jest as I was
walking along toward the door.

"If I'm to play Injun to-night," sez I, "I'll do it according to my own
notion if you'd jest as livs. I never see an Injun and squaw a hooking
arms yet,--so cousin Mary may jest walk behind me, if she aint too stuck
up."

With that I tucked the woodchuck under my arm, and walked right straight
ahead as stiff as a crowbar. Gracious me! what a smasher of a room we
went into--it was all set off with yaller and blue settees and benches,
and every sich thing, eenamost as slick as my pussey cousin's room, and
the darndest set of critters were a dancing and a sidling about that
ever I did see. There warn't no carpet on the boards, and if they'd a
been a mind tu, they might have shinned it down about right, but instead
of that they went curchying and scooting about, jest like so many tom
tits on the bank of a river. It raly made my grit rise to see a set of
folks come from all the four quarters of the globe, to a party, that
didn't know how to dance an eight reel or munny-muss as it ought to be
done. They didn't seem to mind us when we went in, or else I should a
felt awful streaked a standing up there like a darned Injun, with Mary
by me. I felt sartin of not being known, and so I kept a purty stiff
upper lip, and looked on jest to see how foreign gentry acted when they
were tu hum. There was a swad of tarnal harnsome wimmen in the middle of
the room curchying and twistifying and wriggling about one another, and
making believe dance like all natur. But, oh forever! how they were
dressed out! One on 'em had on a great long black silk cloak, with
sleeves to it, and a sort of white bib hanging down before, for fear
she'd spill the wine and sweet sarce on to her dress when she eat, I
s'pose, and she looked sort a like a nice harnsome chap, and sort a like
a gal, kinder half and half, like a fence politician. There was a gal
close by her dressed out to kill; her shoes were tied on with red
ribbons, over a leetle stuck up foot, that looked good enough to eat;
and she had on three open dresses, one over t'other, made out of white
silk and thin shiny stuff, bound and trimmed off with strips of gold;
the sleeves hung down like a feller's shirt, but there warn't no
ristband to 'em, and they hung wide open, so that her pesky white arm
shone out enough to dazzle a feller's eyes. She had two allfired great
breast pins, one on 'em spread out like a sun on her bosom, and another
down to her waist, all sot chuck full of stuns, that kept a glistening
in the light, like a handful of sparks out of a blacksmith's chimney.
She wore another of these glistening leetle suns on her harnsome white
forehead; her long shiney curls hung down on her shoulders, and a white
veil, that looked like a cloud with the sunshine a pouring into it,
dropped over them. I whispered to cousin Mary, and asked who the darned
likely critter could be. She said she come from Peru, and was a
priestess, or something, of the sun. Before I could get a chance to ask
whose son it was that she preached tu, and to say that I shouldn't
grumble if sich a critter as that should preach a trifle easy to Mr.
Zepheniah Slick's son--up come a leetle black-eyed gal, about knee high
to a toad, with a stick in her hand, and curls a hanging all over her
shoulders.

"Hellow," sez I, "none of that are," as she hit my woodchuck a dab with
the stick, and run off larfin, ready to bust her leetle sides. Before I
knew which eend my head was on, up comes another set of leetle queer
looking gals, so young that they didn't seem much more than babies,
that ought to have been spanked and put to bed, instead of being there.
They were dressed off in short frocks, and glistened like a hail storm;
but where they come from I couldn't tell, for they all had wings on
their shoulders, and I never read of such winged critters on this arth,
and it didn't seem as if children would be sent from t'other world to a
York ball. Before I could say Jack Robinson, they made themselves
scarce, and then sich sights of men and wimmen cum a walking about, some
dressed like angels jest dropped down, some in regimentals, and all
sorts of ways, that ever a feller dreamed of. I swan, if I didn't begin
to git dizzy with looking at 'em.

I kept by the door yit, a huggin my woodchuck, and a wonderin how on
arth the man that gave the party made out to send round to all parts of
the world to git his folks together, when I happened to give a squint
towards cousin Beebe, and I bust right out a larfin, all I could du to
help it. There he stood with his mouth sort of open, and both hands dug
down into the pockets of my old pepper and salts, a staring about like a
stuck pig. Arter a minit, he went up to the slick leetle gal, right from
Spain, with shiney black hair, eyes as bright as a hawk's, and a great
long black veil a streaming down her back, and he made a bow and asked
her to dance as genteel as I could a done myself. Pokehontas! but didn't
he make the old cowhides flurish about. The way he balanced up and
played heel and toe back agin, was Weathersfield all over. The old blue
and pepper and salts had put the grit into him about right. I don't
believe he'd felt so nat'ral afore since he left Connecticut. I thought
Mary would a gone off the handle, she was so tickled, and I had to go
away to keep from haw-hawing right out.

I went along through a great wide door into a room all set off with
blue, that had a pen full of fiddlers at the further eend, where some
folks from Turkey and Amsterdam were a whirling the foreign gals round
and round like so many horses a grinding cider. I couldn't look at 'em
without feeling my dander rise, yet I couldn't help but be sort of glad
that the great people from foreign parts made as tarnal coots of
themselves as we du here to hum. There wasn't a gal dressed out like a
true born American among 'em; but the way they did flirt round with the
men a hugging them, and the light a pouring down from the heaps of glass
and white candles over head, was as bad as I ever see in a rale York
party. It kinder made me dizzy to look on, so I jest turned my back and
begun to take an observation of the consarned harnsome picters that hung
agin the wall and listened to the music that come a streaming from the
fiddle and horns and bass viols as slick as a streak of chalk iled at
both eends. By-am-by I seemed to git tired of that, so up I went to see
if I couldn't find out where the Kings and Queens had hid to; for I had
a kind of a hankerin notion to see what kind of stuff they were made on.

Wal, I went along the entry-way, only jest stopping time enough to take
a swig of drink from the stun table, till I got into a room where they
kept the Kings and Queens. The light come down almighty powerful over
the great thick red carpet, and the settees and foot-stools and chairs
glistened out like a bed of tulips in a hot sun. But the Queens, it raly
did make me ketch my breath to look on 'em. Sich consarned beautiful
critters I never did see. They beat all horned cattle that ever I sot
eyes on. One on 'em sot on a foot-stool, with her feet sort of crossed
in a letter X. She had shiney trousers on, all spangled off, and a kind
of a silk frock-coat puckered up awfully at the waist, with a lot of
them shiney stuns round her neck, and on her arms, and among her thick
hair, and all over, till she glistened as if she'd been out among a
storm of firebugs. There was a leetle hump-backed critter of a man, all
finefied off with satins, and feathers, and velvet, and gold; but a
darn'd queer shote he was for a king! So I jest went by him, and the odd
looking Queen squat on the foot-stool that he was a talking to, as
chipper as could be, and sidled sort of bashful, woodchuck and all, up
to a tall, harnsome, stuck-up looking Queen, that stood a talking to a
chap with a great long feather in his cap, that they called a Night. She
had on a great long shiney velvet dress, that streamed out behind like
the tail of a comet, and round her beautiful head was a rale ginuine
crown, that seemed as if it struck fire every time she moved her head;
it raly made my eyes snap to look on it.

Think sez I to myself, "Wal, I never did speak to a Queen yit--but, by
gaully! I'll have a try at it this time--Injun or no Injun."

I didn't exactly know how to begin, but I'd heard say that folks always
got down on their marrow bones when they spoke to sich stuck up quality;
and think sez I, what's manners for a white man, must be manners for an
Injun. So I went whop down on my knees, and sez I--"Look a here, Marm
Queen, shouldn't you like a nation well to have a look at a rale prime
Yankee woodchuck? They are curious critters, I call tell you!"

With that, I held up the consarned little critter, and begun to stroke
down his back as if he'd been a pussy cat.

The Queen kinder jumped and stepped back, and said, "Oh, my!" and a
leetle finefied boy, dressed off to kill, that stood behind her a
holding up the eend of her frock, he begun to snicker, and at last he
tee-heed right out.

Arter a minit, the Queen begun to larf too, and she sartinly was about
the sweetest lookin critter that I ever did see, with her purty mouth
opening like a red rose-bud, and her leetle white teeth a shining
inside.

"Before I take your medicine," sez she, "tell me what tribe you belong
to?"

I didn't know what on arth to say, for I never could twist my jaws with
one of them crooked Injun names--but, sez I to myself, I calculate that
a queen aint nothing but a woman arter all, and it'll only make her
think the more of me if I keep dark, so I shook my head as if there was
a good deal in it, and sez I--

"Oh, marm, that's telling. You aint the first gal that has tried to find
me out; but it's plaguey hard work a kneeling down here, so if you'd
jest as livs I'll stand up--but I raly wish you'd let that leetle shaver
of your'n tend my woodchuck awhile--I'm eenamost tuckered out a carrying
it."

Here the other Queens and all the Kings and Nights come a crowding round
us all in a twitter to hear what we were so chipper about. I begun to
feel a sort of streaked with so many of them lofty foreign cattle a
looking at me, so I put out my elbow, and sez I to the Queen--sez I,

"Will you take my arm and let's go and see if we can't find a bite of
something to eat--I'm a gittin kinder hungry, aint you?"

She seemed to hang back a minit as if she was loth to go, but they all
begun to giggle and said they'd go along, so she put her leetle white
hand on my arm, and away we went, the eend of her frock a streaming out
behind, and the leetle chap a holding on as you've seen a kitten to an
old cat's tail.

"Wal," think sez I, "if marm could see me now a streaking up these ere
stairs with a ginuine Queen on one arm and a stuffed woodchuck under
t'other, and a hull grist of Kings and Queens coming arter us, it seemed
to me that she'd allow that I'd been lifted up a notch or two above the
vulgar since I left hum."

In all my born days I never saw a table that could hold a candle to the
one we found all set off in one of the big rooms up stairs. There was no
eend to the silver and glasses a glitterin and flashin up among the
eatables and drinkables. The visiters couldn't git to but one side of
the table, and on t'other side was a hull grist of waiters and niggers a
bustling about like a swarm of black wasps in a tantrum.

I gin the Queen a heap of good things, and it raly did me good to see
how she nibbled at 'em; the way she stowed away the jellies and
presarves was as much like any of our York gals as if she hadn't been a
Queen.

When she'd eat about enough I crooked my elbow, and we went down stairs
jest as we cum up--Kings and Queens and Nights and Injuns and all--a
rale mixed up squad. As soon as I'd found a seat for the queen I cut
stick as stiff as could be. At fust I was a going to make her a bow
before I went away, but I wasn't exactly sartin whether Injuns ever larn
them things, so I pulled in and cut away to the big ball room tickled
eenamost to death with the notice that had been taken of me.

I was a looking round arter Cousin Mary, when a leetle slim stuck up
critter cum up to me with her yaller hair all a flying and her wings
spread like a frightened butterfly, and afore I thought what I was at, I
bust right out.

"Good gracious," sez I, "If it aint my etarnal pussey cousin's leetle
finefied darter Jemima!"

The critter heard me and run up and spoke to a fat old Turk of a feller
in a frock and trousers and with a red hankercher twisted round his
head. He got up and whispered to a pussey sort of a woman all kivered
over with yaller silk and glistening like a bank of ice with gold and
stuns, and up they all three cum a fluttering like a flock of hens at
seeing a handful of corn, and the woman she stuck out her fat hands and
squealed out,--

"Oh, cousin Slick, is that you? I declare I'm delighted that Jemima has
found you out. How very bright of her wasn't it? but then she is----"

I didn't hear any more, for the foreign quality turned round and stared
with all the eyes they had in their heads. I cut and run--pulled foot
like scared sheep, till I got outside the door. For there, as sure as a
gun, was my pussy cousin and his wife turned Turks. It was bad enough to
have him a struttin round to show a feller off, in his black coat and
trousers; but I raly believe I should a gin up if he'd a cum up in his
Turk's frock and great wide silk trousers to claim relationship with me.

My heart riz up in my throat at the idee of going back tu join the stuck
up varmints, and it was a good while before I could make up mind to
skulk back and look up Cousin Beebe and Mary. She was a dancing with the
humped-backed King, and John was a shinnin it down like all natur with a
purty woman, that wore a shiney black velvet dress, all kivered over
with silver stars. It raly did me good to see him take the double
shuffle; but I was allfired anxious to git away, for fear of seeing them
pussy Turks agin, that he choked off, and we went hum about as well
tuckered out as ever you see three critters.

Arter all I don't think these ere foreigners are anything to speak on
more genteel than our ginuine Americans. Mebby it's because they hain't
got used tu our ways yet, but some on 'em seemed tu be rather awk'ard in
their blazin fine dresses, but I s'pose it made 'em feel bad tu see how
kinder easy we free born Americans felt with them.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XIV.

Advice to Jonathan from the Humstead--Jonathan's criticism on his
Brother Sam's book--The ennui of Jonathan in good society--Jonathan's
entree into a Milliner's Establishment, and sad mistake about a
Side-saddle.


DEAR PAR:

It raly makes me feel bad to have you keep a writin so much advice to
me. I du want to please you; and I don't think there ever is a time in
the world when a chap can know enough to turn up his nose at his
father's advice; but it's my ginuine opinion, that when you let a feller
go away from hum, it's best to let him cut his own fodder.

You've gin me a first rate edecation for your parts, and you've also
told me to be honest and industrious, but sharp as a razor. The truth
is, you've sort of cultivated me, as you du our onion patches, but arter
you've dug them up and put the seed in, and kept the weeds out till the
ginuine roots get stuck purty deep and the tops shoot up kinder thrifty,
haint you also found it to du best to leave 'em grow accordin to natur,
with nothing but the night dew and rich arth and the warm sunshine to
help 'em along; and don't they git ripe and run up to seed and down to
root, and bring in the hard chink jest as well as if you kept diggin
about 'em and trimmin 'em up from morning till night? If you keep the
weeds out when they're young, and manure the arth well in the spring,
there haint so much danger that the soil will grow barren all tu once,
or that the weeds can spring up so quick as to choke a good tough onion.
It ain't in natur, ask our minister if it is.

Now don't you be scared about me, if I du go to the theatre once in a
while, or dress up like a darned coot of an Injun jest to see what
etarnal ninny-hammers kings and queens and quality can make of
themselves. I ain't in no danger, I can tell you. A feller that's got
his eye teeth in his head can al'ers see enough to larf at in his
sleeve, and to make him pity human natur without forgitting that he's a
man, and that he was born to du good, and not spend his hull life in
trying to cut a dash. Don't you nor marm worry about me--I may be a
leetle green at fust, but I shall come out right side up with care, yit,
you may be sartin on it.

I feel sort of wamblecropped to day, par, for I've jest been a reading
our Sam's new book about the Great Western. I was up to cousin Beebe's
when he brought it hum, and begun to read it to Mary. He hadn't read
more than twenty pages afore cousin Mary made believe a headache, as
women always du when they feel oneasy about anything, and she cut and
run with about the reddest face I ever did see. I felt as streaked as a
winter apple, and cousin John, sez he--

"Jonathan, if the folks off in Canada hadn't made Sam a judge, I'd stick
to it that he wasn't a relation of mine; his book raly ain't fit to read
afore the wimmen folks."

I wanted to stick up for Sam, but I'll be darn'd if I could see how to
du it, for the book's an allfired smutty thing, and that's the fact; but
I thought what consarned rough words the printers sometimes put in my
letters to you, when I've writ something very different,--and so, think
sez I, I'll put it off onto the printers and publishers; for I'll be
choked if I don't believe they've made as much of a mistake in
publishing the book as Sam did in writing it. So sez I,

"Sam's fust book was a peeler, and a credit to the family; and I haint
the least doubt that this one would been jest as good, if Sam hadn't
strained to beat t'other, and so broke his bridle. The ginuine grit aint
all sifted out on 'm, I'll bet a cookey; and I haint the least doubt
that the printers spiled this one. They're etarnally twistifying my
words into some darn'd thing or other that would make a minister swear.
Sometimes they transmogrify what I write till I shouldn't know as it was
mine; but then you know, cousin John, it aint everybody that knows how
tu spell out the ginuine English as we du in Weathersfield." Cousin John
he smiled, and then I kept on, and sez I,

"It raly made me grit my teeth to read sich things, and think the purty
gals would believe that I writ them. I didn't blame my par," sez I,
"for writing me a great long letter of admonition about sich words; but
he ought to have known better than to believe I put them there. It aint
in my natur to write anything that the most mealy-mouthed gal on arth
mightn't read out loud afore all the chaps in creation; and if any on
'em see anything that don't come right up to the chalk, in the way of
gentility, they may be sartin it aint _mine_."

My dear par, jest you keep easy about me,--and if you and marm want to
jaw any body, haul our Sam over the coals and sarmonize him; you'll find
fust rate picking on that goose,--but I haint but jest begun to put out
my pin feathers yit.

Wal now, I may as well give you a leetle notion of my goings-on here,
since I went to that smashing ball, and eat presarves with a rale queen.
Somehow I've begun to git sort of tired of the big bugs and the tippies,
they're all too much alike, and arter a chap's been to a few of their
parties, and balls, and so on, he kinder loathes their darned soft
finefied nonsense, as well as the cider and sweet sarse that they stuff
a feller with.

Going among quality is like boarding at a fust rate tavern. At fust a
critter don't know what to du with himself he's so tickled with the nice
things on the table, but by-and-by his stomach begins to turn agin the
chickens, and turkeys, and young pigs, and takes tu a hankering arter
pot-luck and plain pork and beans.

This sort of feeling kinder settled on me arter the ball. I raly was
eenamost sot agin the harnsome critters that sidle up and down Broadway,
with leetle round things, made out of silk, about as big as a good sized
toad-stool, stuck up before their faces, to keep the sun off; so I
eenamost made up my mind to put on the old pepper and salts agin, see a
leetle of human natur among the gals that git their own living, and work
themselves to death to make them stuck up critters in Broadway look as
harnsome as they du.

I'd heard say that there were lots of purty gals to work in the
milliners' stores up in Division street, and in the Bowery, but somehow
I didn't exactly know how to git acquainted with any on 'em. I never
felt a mite bashful about scraping acquaintance with stuck up critters,
like my pussey cousin's wife and Miss Miles; but when I see a harnsome
innocent young gal a going out arly in the morning and a coming home
late at night, and working like a dog to arn a decent living, somehow my
heart rises up in my throat, and insted of shinning up to 'em, and
talking soft sodder, as I du to the tippies, I feel sort of dashed, and
as if a chap ought to take off his hat, and let them see that honest men
respect them the more because they are alone, with nobody to take care
of them.

I never see one of hem harnsome young critters going along hum, arter
working hard all day, to arn something to live on, and mebby to feed
their pars and mars with, but I git to thinkin how much a ginuine chap
ought to prize them for keeping honest, and industrious, and vartuous,
when they haint much to encourage them to du right, and generally have a
good deal to tempt them to du wrong, insted of turning up their noses at
'em afore folks, or a tryin to tempt them into sin and wickedness behind
people's backs. It has raly made my blood bile more than ever to see
foreign and dandefied chaps, like that hairy lipped Count, go by them
gals in the day time, with their noses up in the air, and a looking as
if the purty critters warn't good enough to go along the same stun walk
with them, and the stuck up quality ladies; when any body that took
pains to watch the etarnal varments arter dark, might ketch them a
hanging round the dark corners of the streets, and a chasing arter them
same working gals like so many darn'd yaller foxes scouting round a hen
coop, arter the geese and turkeys; chaps that would run a man through
with a sword-cane or a bagonet if he dared to look sideways at his wife
or sister, will impose on an honest gal if they can git a chance, and
think it's allfired good fun tu. Darn such fellers! hangin's too good
for 'em! I tell you what, par, you may talk about people's being born
free and equal, and about liberty, and independence, and all that, but
it's my opinion that there aint a place on arth, where the people try to
stomp each other down to the dirt more than they du here in York.

Wal, I wont finish off this ere sarmon, so your minister needn't get
wamblecropped, for fear I'll cut him out. But I'll jest tell you what
put all these sober notions into my head.

You haint forgot that Judy White had a cousin that come here to York to
larn a trade. She was a tarnal sweet purty critter when she come away
from Weathersfield, as plump as a partridge, and with cheeks as red as a
rosy. Judy made me promise a good while ago that if ever I come down to
York I'd go and see her cousin, but somehow it does make a feller forget
old friends to be always going to parties and dinners with these big
bugs, and it warn't till t'other day that I thought anything about Susan
Reed.

The fust minit she come into my head I up and went straight along the
Bowery, detarmined to find the place that she worked at, and see how she
was getting along. I had forgot the number, but when I come to a store
that was all windows in front, and that had a smasher of a bonnet hung
agin every square of glass, besides beautiful caps and ribbons and
posies as nat'ral as life, hung up between, I made up my mind that I'd
hit the right nail on the head, and so in I went as independent as a
wood-sawyer's clerk.

A leetle bit of a stuck up old maid stood back of a counter, all sot off
with bonnets and feathers that looked tempting enough to make a feller's
purse jump right out of his trousers' pocket. She had on a cap all bowed
off with pink ribbons, that looked queer enough round her leetle wizzled
up face, and a calico frock, figgered out with great bright posies,
besides one of them ere sort of collars round her neck, all sprigged and
ruffled off as slick as a new pin. Her waist warn't bigger round than a
quart cup, and she stuck her hands down in the pockets of her dashy silk
apron, as nat'ral as I could a done it myself. I was jest a going to ask
if Susan Reed worked there, when a lady come in and wanted to buy a
bonnet. At it they went, hand over first, a bargainin and a tryin on red
and yaller and pink and blue bonnets.

The milliner she put one sort on, and then another, and went on pouring
out a stream of soft sodder, while the lady peaked at herself in a
looking-glass, and twistified her head about like a bird on a bramble
bush, and at last said, she didn't know, she'd look a leetle further,
mebby she'd call agin, if she didn't suit herself, and a heap more
palavar, that made the leetle woman look as if she'd been a drinking a
mug of hard cider.

While the lady was trying to edge off to the door, and the milliner was
a follering her with a blue bonnet, and a great long white feather a
streaming in her hand, I jest took a slantindicular squint at the glass
boxes that stood about chuck full of jimcracks and furbelows, for there
was something in one of 'em that raly looked curious. It was a sort of a
thing stuffed out and quilted over till it stood up in the glass box as
stiff and parpendicular as a baby's go-cart.

I jest put my hands down in my pockets sort of puzzled, and stood a
looking at the critter to see what I could make on it. Arter I'd took a
good squint at the consarn, up one side, down t'other, and down the
middle, right and left, I purty much made up my mind that it was one of
them new-fashioned side-saddles, that I'd heard tell on, and I took a
notion into my head that I'd buy one and send it to marm. So when the
leetle old maid cum back from the door, I jest pinted at the saddle, and
sez I,

"What's the charge for that are thing?"

"Why, that pair," sez she, a sticking her head on one side, and a
burying her hands, that looked like a hawk's claws, down in the pocket
of her cunning short apron, "I'll put them to you at twelve dollars;
they're French-made, 'lastic shoulder straps, stitched beautifully in
the front, chuck full of whalebone--and they set to the shape like the
skin to a bird."

Lord a massey, how the little stuck up critter did set off the talk! I
couldn't shove in a word edgeways, till she stopped to git breath, and
then sez I,

"I s'pose you throw in the martingales, sirsingle, and so on, don't
you?"

"The what," says she, a stepping back, and squinting up in my face sort
of cross, as if she didn't like to throw in the whole harnessing at that
price.

"The martingale," sez I, "and the sirsingle; but mebby you have some
other name for 'em down here in York. I mean the straps that come down
in front to throw the chest out, and give the neck a harnsome bend, and
the thing to girt up in the middle with. Marm wont know how to use this
new-fashioned thing if I don't send all the tackle with it."

"Oh," sez the milliner, "I didn't understand; you want the laces and
the steel in front; sartinly we give them in. The steel is kivered with
kid, and the laces are of the strongest silk."

"Wal," sez I, "I never heard of a steel martingale, and I should be
afeard they wouldn't be over pliable."

"Oh," sez she, "you can bend 'em double, they give so."

"How you talk," says I, "it raly is curious what new inventions people
du have, but somehow it sort of seems to me that a silk girt might be a
leetle too slimpsey, don't you think so marm?"

"Lor, no sir," sez she, "they are strong enough, I can tell you; jest
take a look at the Broadway ladies, they never use anything else, and
they girt tight enough, I'm sure."

I hadn't the least idee what the critter was a diving at; she see that I
looked sort of puzzled, and I s'pose she begun to think that I shouldn't
buy the saddle.

"Look a here," sez she, a putting her hands on both sides of her leetle
stuck up waist; "I've got 'em on myself, so you can judge how tight they
can be fitted."

"Gaully offalus!" sez I, a snorting out a larfing, and a eyeing the
leetle finefied old maid; but I didn't think it was very good manners to
burst right out so, and I tried all I could to choke in. Gracious me!
think sez I, no wonder the York gals have such humps on their backs,
since they've got to wearing saddles like horses.

By-am-by, arter I'd eenamost bust myself a trying to stop larfing, it
come into my head that the critter of a milliner was a trying to poke
fun at me, cause I wanted to beat her down: for I couldn't believe the
tippies quite so bad as to girt up and strap down like a four year old
colt. Wal, think sez I, I'll be up to her anyhow; so I looked jest as
mealy-mouthed as if I believed her, and sez I, as innocent as a rabbit
in a box trap, sez I,

"If the wimmen folks have took to wearing saddles, I s'pose they haint
forgot the bridles tu; so I dont care if I take this ere pair for some
old maids we've got in our parts. If I had my way, they'd all be bitted
the minit they turned the fust corner. Darn'd talking critters them old
maids are, marm," sez I, a looking at her sort of slanting, jest to let
her see she hadn't got hold of quite so great a greenhorn as she seemed
to think.

Lord a Massey, how she did look! Her leetle wizzled up face begun to
twist itself up till it looked like a red winter apple puckered up by
the frost. I didn't seem to mind it, but put my hand down in my pocket
sort of easy, and begun to whistle Yankee Doodle.

"You haint got no bridle's then?" sez I, after a minit; for she looked
wrathy enough to spit fire, and sot up sich an opposition in the pocket
line, that I was raly afeard her leetle hands would bust through the
silk or break her apron strings, she dug down so.

"Bridles! no!" sez she, as spiteful as a meat-axe jest ground, "but I'll
send out and git a halter for you, with all my heart."

"Gaully!" sez I, "but you're clear grit--smart as a steel trap, aint
you?"

"Yes," sez she, more spiteful yet, "when it snaps at some animal like
you, that don't know enough to keep out of its teeth?"

Think sez I, Mr. Jonathan Slick, Esq., it's about time for you to haul
in these horns of your'n. You aint no match for a woman, anyhow; there
never was a critter of the feminine gender, that couldn't talk a chap
out of his seven senses in less than no time.

"Gaully," sez I, "you've about used me up--I begin to feel streaked as
lean pork in the bottom of a barrel. I guess I shan't tackle in with a
smart critter like you agin in a hurry! but don't git too mad; it'll
spile that harnsome face of your'n. I swan! but I should think you was
eenamost thirty this minit, if I hadn't seen the difference before you
begun to rile up."

Didn't the puckers go out of her face when I said this! She was
mollified down in a minit. I don't s'pose she ever had twenty years took
off from her good fifty so slick afore in her hull life; but it aint
human natur to come out all to once,--at any rate, it aint an old maid's
natur, when her back once gits up. So when I see her darned thin lips
begin to pucker and twist into sort of a smile, I let off a leetle more
soft sodder, that wilted her down like a cabbage-leaf in the sun; and
then sez I, a pinting to the glass-box--

"Come, now, s'posing we strike up a trade. I've took a sort of a
sneaking notion to that ere new-fashioned side-saddle. So if you'll
throw in the tackling, I'll give you ten dollars for it, cash on the
nail."

"That what?" said she, a looking fust at me and then at the saddle, with
her mouth a leetle open and her eyes sticking out like peeled onions.
"That what?"

"Why, that are saddle," sez I, beginning to feel my dander rise.

"That saddle," sez she, "that saddle; why, sir, did you take that pair
of French corsets for a saddle?"

With that she slumped down into a chair, and kivered her face with both
hands, and larfed till I raly thought the critter would a split her
sides. The way she wriggled back'rd and fored, tee-heeing and
haw-hawing, was enough to make a Presbyterian Missionary swear like a
sea captain.

"That saddle!" sez she, a looking up from between her hands, and then
letting off the fun again as bad as ever. "That saddle! _Oh, dear, I
shall die._ Did you really take that pair of _French corsets_ for a
side-saddle, sir? Oh, dear, I shall die a larfin!"

Didn't I feel streaked though! Only think what an etarnal coot I had
made of myself, to take a pair of gal's corsets for a side-saddle. "Darn
the things," sez I, and it was as much as I could du to keep from
putting foot to the glass case, and kicking it into the street. I felt
the blood bile up into my face, and when the old maid bust out agin, and
I see a hull grist of purty faces come a swarming to a glass door, that
they'd hauled back a curtain from, I could have skulked through a knot
hole, I felt so dreadful mean. But by-am-by I begun to think they had
more cause to be ashamed than I had. Who on arth would ever have thought
them stiff indecent looking things were made for a delicate gal to wear?
I felt dreadfully though, to think that I'd been a talking about a gal's
under-riggin, to a woman so long, but after a few minits I begun to
think that I needn't fret myself much about that. The woman that stuck
them things out in the street for young fellers to look at, needn't go
off in a fit of "the dreadful suz," because a chap asks the price of
them. "So, who cares!" sez I.

The old maid jumped up, arter she'd larfed herself into a caniption fit,
and out on it agin--and she run into the back room where the gals were.
It warn't more than a minit before there was in there sich a pow-wow and
rumpus kicked up,--the gals begun to hop about like parched corn on a
hot shovel. They sot up sich a giggle and tee-heeing, that I couldn't a
stood it one minit longer. But all tu once I heard somebody say,

"My gracious, it's Mr. Jonathan Slick, from our parts!"

At that they all choked in, and were as still as mice in a flour bin. I
looked to the glass door, and there stood Susan Reed, a holding back the
curtain with one hand and peaking through a square of glass to be sartin
it was me. I tell you what, but the gal looked like a picter, and a
darned purty picter tu, as she stood a holding back the heap of red
cloth in her dark colored calico dress, and black silk apron that made
her neck and face look as white as a lily. The rosy cheeks that she used
to have in Weathersfield were all gone, and her eyes seemed as if they'd
grown larger than they ever were before. I don't know when I've seen a
gal that has took my notion as she did while she was a standing in that
door. Arter a minit I see her fling her head back till the long shiney
curls streamed in heaps over her shoulder, and I heard her say,--

"Oh, let me go out!--I'm sure it's him."

"What of that?" I heard the old maid squeak out, as sour as vinegar; "he
aint no relation, is he?"

"No, no," sez Susan, a droppin the curtain, and a speaking as if her
heart was brim full and a running over; "but he come from
Weathersfield,--we went to school together; he come from _home_,--I must
speak to him!"

With that she opened the door and come towards me, a holding out her
hand and a trying to smile; but the tears were a standing in her great
blue eyes, and I raly thought she was a going to bust right out a
crying. I knew she was a thinking about the old humstead, and when I
remembered how them darned lawyers cheated her old mother out of house
and hum, I felt so bad I could a cried tu, jest as well as not.

I went right up and shook hands, and sez I--

"How do you du, Susan? I swanny! but the sight of you is good for sore
eyes; it raly seems like old times, only jest to look at you."

She kinder smiled a leetle, and sez she, "How are all the folks in
Weathersfield?"

"Oh, they were all so as to be crawling about when I come away," sez I.
"Sally Sikes has got married, I s'pose you know."

"And how is cousin Judy?" sez she.

"Purty well, considerin," sez I; and you can't think how all-overish I
felt to hear any body speak of Judy so fur from hum. I was jest a going
to say something to keep her from asking anything more about the gal,
when the old maid she come out, and sez she--

"Miss Reed, I don't hire you to talk with young fellers in the front
shop."

Gaully! didn't my blood bile, I could a knocked the stuck up leetle
varmint into a cocked hat, but Susan she looked sort of scared, and, sez
she,

"Call and see me, Mr. Slick, at my boarding-house: I shall be _so_ glad
to talk over old times." The tears bust right into her blue eyes as she
spoke, and she looked so humsick I raly felt for her.

"What time shall I call?" sez I, a follering her to the glass door.

"I haint a minit that I can call my own till arter eight o'clock at
night," sez she; "but if you'll call some evening I shall be glad to see
you."

"I shall sartinly come," sez I, and arter shaking hands with her agin I
went out of the store and hum to my office, a feeling purty considerably
humsick and with more ginuine human natur bilin up in my heart than I'd
felt since I cum to York.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XV.

Jonathan visits the Milliner girl--Reflections about her situation.


DEAR PAR:

I couldn't seem to rest easy till I went to see Susan. She boarded in a
sort of a gloomy house eenamost up to Dry-dock. I knocked away at the
door with my knuckles ever so long afore I could make any body hear.
By-am-by Susan come to the door herself, and she took me up a pair of
stairs, kivered with rag carpeting, into a leetle stived up room with a
stove in it. Two leetle squalling brats were a playing on the floor, and
a harnsome woman, but not over nice in her fixings, sot in one corner, a
sewing on a round-about. Susan she was dressed up jest as she was in the
milliner's store; she looked peaked and eenamost tuckered out, but the
minit I'd got seated, she took hold with the woman and begun to sew away
for dear life.

"You seem to be rather industrious," sez I.

She smiled sort of mournful, and sez she, so low I couldn't but jest
ketch the words,

"I'm obliged to be or starve."

Think sez I, there's something that aint right here, and with that I
begun to talk about the prices of the work, till I found out that with
all her hard trying, it was more than she could du to arn a decent
living. I begun to talk about hum and the time when I used to lend her
my mittens when she was a leetle gal and her fingers were cold; but all
I could do she wouldn't chirk up, but the other woman she got rale
sociable and told me lots of stories about milliners and sewing girls,
and as I was going hum I took it into my head that I'd write some on 'em
out for the Express.

I mean to send one on 'em next week, but I raly think they ought to
shell out more chink than they du for my letters, for I've had to study
the dictionary two days a ready to sarch out long words, and I haint
got half enough yit. I went to Cousin Beebe about it, and he said that
mebby I'd better study some of the arly English writers before I begun
to write stories, or else Washington Irving, Cooper, or some of them
chaps might cut me out. I didn't jest know what he meant by arly
writers, but made up my mind that it was them that begun to write when
they was shavers, so I went into a bookstore and told them I wanted to
buy a good book that was writ by some English youngster.

"Here's a work by Boz," say he, a handing down a big book; "he begun the
youngest and writes the best of any of the folks across the water." I
bought the book and went back to my office. Gaully-oppalus, but aint
that Boz Dickens a smasher! if he don't beat all natur, nobody does. If
I could write like him I raly should bust my dandy vest, I should be so
puffed up. I kept on reading eenamost all night, and more than once I
bust right out a crying afore I knew it. I swan to man that leetle Nell
that he writes about is the sweetest, purtyest critter that anybody ever
dreamed on. Oh! how I wish you would read the story about her, it's as
good as the Pilgrim's Progress any day.

Then there's a mean, etarnal sneaking coot, a Mr. Quilp, that drunk
bilin hot licker out of a skillet, and licked a poor peaked little
critter--his wife--amost to death every once in a while, and when he
hadn't her handy he took to cudgelling a wooden image. I swan to man, it
made my blood bile to read about sich dreadful carryings on; but yit
when I cum to consider and think on it all over, it kinder seems to me
as if Boz Dickens had stretched his galluses a trifle, in writing out
sich an allfired spiteful varmint. Human natur is bad enough, any how;
but my paper is run out, and I aint but jest room to subscribe myself.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XVI.

MISS JOSEPHINE BURGESS--A TALE.

In which Jonathan shows up the Hardships of Sewing Girls--Describes a
Tammany Hall Ball--Milliner Aristocracy and Exclusiveness--Informs the
reader how Miss Josephine Burgess took a tall man with whiskers into her
Establishment, who took her in in return--The desperation of a little
Apothecary--His Marriage, and the Ascent of Miss Josephine Burgess from
the front store to a work room a little higher up.


Miss Josephine Burgess was as purty a gal as ever trod shoe leather; but
she was awfully stuck up, and got into all kind of finefied notions,
arter her par, the old shoemaker, died and left her his arnings. She was
an awful smart critter though, and had a sort of a notion which side her
bread was buttered on, as well as anybody you ever sot eyes on. Instid
of spending the seven hundred dollars, which the stingy old coot of a
shoemaker left behind him, all in hard chink, she sot up a milliner's
and dress-maker's store in the Bowery; and it raly would have done the
old chap's ghost good, to have seen how she contrived to turn the
sixpences and half dollars that he'd been hoarding up so long in an old
pepper-and-salt stocking, for fear of losing 'em. A tarnal snug bisness
Miss Josephine Burgess was a doing, I can tell you. If she didn't know
how to make things gibe, there wasn't a gal in the Bowery that did, you
may be sartin. She raly had a talent for the bisness--a sort of genius
in the bonnet way. With her own harnsome leetle fingers she cut and
snipped and twisted and pinned on the shiney stuff and ribbons to all
the caps and bonnets turned off by the ten peeked looking thin young
girls that worked twelve hours out of every twenty-four, in a garret
bed-room, in the back of the house, where Miss Josephine Burgess kept
her store. Her thin peeked looking young girls might have enjoyed
themselves if they only had a mind to! There never was such a prospect
as they had to look upon when they got tired. If they jest turned their
bright eyes up to get a peek at the sky, there was a hull regiment of
chimnies, all a sending out smoke like a company of Florida sogers; and
if they looked down, there were ever so many backyards cut up into sort
of pig pens, with lots of bleech boxes a pouring out the brimstone
smoke, and old straw bonnets strung out to dry, that made every thing
look comfortable and like live. Miss Josephine Burgess was a purty good
boss considerin. She let her gals have half an hour to eat their dinners
in, and if any on 'em didn't happen to get to the shop at seven o'clock
in the morning she never docked off more than half their day's wages.
She was rather apt to get out of temper once in a while; but then insted
of blowing the gals up, as some cross grained critters will, she only
blew up their work, and made them du it all over agin; which was a more
easy way of spitting out spite, and putting a few coppers into her own
pocket; for when it took half of a day to du the work, and another half
to alter it, she only made the poor gals lose a half day's wages; and if
they didn't like that she'd al'rs give them leave to get a better place;
which, considering that half the sewin gals in York are always out of
work, was raly very good natured and considerate in her. Besides this
she had a good many ginerous leetle ways of turning a copper. When the
peeked, haggard young critters came down from the work-room, at twelve
o'clock Saturday night--for Miss Josephine Burgess was awful pious, it
wasn't only once in a great while that she made the gals work over into
the Sabberday morning--as she paid them their wages Miss Josephine
always found out that some mistake had been made in the work--a piece of
silk cut into, or a bit of leghorn burnt brown in the bleaching, which
melted down the twenty shillings which they ought to have had apiece, to
eighteen, or mebby two dollars; all of which must sartinly have been to
the satisfaction and amusement of the pale troop of gals, who had two
dollars to pay for board, besides clothes and washing to get along with,
out of the twenty-five cents that were left; and if they didn't seem to
like it, Miss Josephine wasn't agoing to fret her herself about that.
She al'rs contrived to tucker them out with hard work before she
settled up, so that there was no fear of their saying much agin what
she took of their wages. Sometimes the tears would come into their eyes;
and some on 'em that hadn't no hum to go tu, except the leetle garret
bed-rooms which they were over head and ears in debt for, would burst
out and sob as if they hadn't a friend on arth; but crying is a good
deal like drinking--it hurts them that take to it more than it does
anybody else. Miss Josephine Burgess didn't care a copper for tears and
sobs; she'd got used to 'em.

Miss Josephine Burgess raly had a talent for her bisness. Nobody ever
learned so many prudent ways of laying up money. She used to dress up
like a queen, and her Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes were the genuine
things and genteel all over. Eenamost every Sabberday she would go to
meeting in a branfire new bonnet; and if some of her good natured
customers that staid to hum because theirs warn't finished, had one just
like it come to the door on Monday morning, the leetle gal that waited
for the band-box only had to say, that she sarched and sarched on
Saturday night and couldn't find the house. It doesn't hurt a dashing
bonnet to wear it eenajest once. Miss Josephine never kept her customers
a waiting over more than one Sunday, only when they were very busy or
paid beforehand. Folks that are always a minding other people's business
used to talk about Miss Josephine, and call her extravagant and stuck
up; but the varmints didn't know what they were a talking about more
than nothing. If she had her silks and satins made up every month, the
making cost eenamost nothing. The working gals always expected to sit up
till twelve o'clock Saturday nights in hurrying times; and when it
wasn't hurrying time Miss Josephine had always a frock to finish off for
herself or something of that sort. The frocks answered jest as well to
make bonnets out on, arter she'd dashed out in 'em once or twice, and
the sleeves and waist cut up scrumptiously for ruffles and furbelows.

Miss Josephine Burgess understood the soft sodder principle like a book.
She had a way of bantering off the bonnets and gimcracks that was raly
curious. If a customer happened to take a notion to having color and
shape of a bonnet, she would insist upon it that she should try it on
afore the glass; and while the lady was a gittin good natured, and a
beginning to feel stuck up with the looks of herself, Miss Josephine
would twist about the bows, and spread out the ribbands, and tell how
very nice it all was, the face and the bonnet agreed so well. She had
jest _that_ face in her mind when the bonnet was under way--so
delicate--so graceful--so--so--_very_ handsome. Some people hadn't the
least notion of harmony and grace. It raly did her heart good to make
things for a lady who knew which was which. She always kept them sort of
hats for her most fashionable customers. She wouldn't have them get
common for anything--raly she couldn't tell how that one got out on the
counter; but shop gals were the most careless critters on
arth--sometimes she did feel as if she couldn't git along with 'em--but
in them hard times it raly went agin her heart to turn 'em away, so she
got along as well as she could.

Here Miss Josephine Burgess would break sharp off and let the customer
look at herself in the glass, only just throwing in a word once in a
while to help along. Then she'd pull the bonnet a leetle for'ed, tuck
away the lady's curls under it, and stick her own head a one side to
"take an observation;" arter that she'd kinder put up both hands and say
"beautiful!" jest as if the word bust right out, all she could do to
help it. By-am-by Miss Josephine Burgess would sort of fold her hands
over the black apron, and step back a leetle to give her customer time
to twistify afore the glass, and wonder whether the milliner meant the
bonnet or her face, or both together, when she said "beautiful." The
hull of it eenamost always tarminated by Miss Josephine Burgess selling
the bonnet, and the lady's swimming off chuck full and brimming over
with soft sodder, like a darn'd turkey-gobbler, stuffed out with Injun
meal.

If a customer did _not_ take a notion to the bonnet, or seemed to hanker
arter something else, Miss Josephine had nothing to do but to alter her
tune for another sort of a dancer.

"Folks with homely faces," sez she, "ought to be squeamish about
colors;" in fact they couldn't help it, if they wanted to look decent;
but some folks raly seemed to look harnsome in anything; it was the face
arter all that sot off the bonnet. Some people had such clear skins that
they could bear a bright orange color, and look purty as a pink arter
all. Once in a while Miss Josephine sartinly did overdo the bisness a
leetle, but she almost always made out to trade somehow, without her
customer turned out to be some sly coot of a sister milliner a running
round to hunt up patterns, or some darned critter out a shopping on a
fourpence-ha'penny capital.

Besides tending her shop, and cutting and trimming, and all that, Miss
Josephine Burgess found time to do a leetle courting, over work, with a
finefied sort of a 'pothecary feller that sold doctor stuff over the way
agin her store. But she didn't let this take up much of her time, nor no
sich thing--she wasn't a gal to let her heart run away with her head,
any how they could fix it. While the finefied stuck up leetle 'pothecary
shut up his shop over the way, and sot more'n half the time twisting up
the thread and leetle bits of ribbon that Miss Josephine Burgess snipped
off with a pair of sharp pinted scissors, hitched to her side by a black
watch guard, and kept a puckering up his mouth and a talking darned
finefied nonsense, as sweet as the jujube paste, and the peppermint
drops that he brought in his trousers' pocket, she sot as independent as
a cork-screw, with one foot stuck upon a bonnet block, a twisting up
bows, and a sticking pins and feathers into a heap of silk and millinery
stuff. Once in a while she managed to stick a peppermint drop into her
leetle mouth, and to turn her eyes to the 'pothecary with _sich_ a look,
so soft and killing, it went right straight through his heart, like a
pine skewer through a chunk of butcher's meat.

There was never anything went on so slick as these critters did, arter
they took to hankering arter each other--it raly was better than a play
to see how they got along. The 'pothecary chap was a sneezer at figures.
He'd cyphered thro' Dayboll's Arithmetic three times, and could say off
the multiplication table without stopping to catch breath. So he
sometimes overhauled the milliner's books, not because he wanted to know
any thing about them, but 'cause women folks are so apt to be imposed
on. He writ out her leetle bills, and kept a sort of running notion of
her cash accounts, for she warn't much of a judge of money, and so
always sent her bank bills over to his shop to know whether they were
ginuine or not. She did all these leetle trifles in a delicate genteel
sort of a way, that was sartinly very gratifying and pleasant to the
'pothecary; he raly begun to fat up and grow pussy on the strength on't;
it wouldn't aben human natur if he hadn't.

Miss Josephine Burgess was a setting in her back shop a thinking over
the 'pothecary chap, and the dollars and cents she'd skinned out of the
gals' wages that week, a making them work at half price because the
_times were so bad_, when the 'pothecary came a tip-toeing through the
store looking as tickled as if he'd found a sixpence. He took two ball
tickets out of his vest pocket and held one on 'em out to the milliner,
and stood a bowing and a grinning like a darned babboon till she read
the writin' on it.

"I raly don't know what to say," sez she, "I never have been to the
Tammany hall, and I--I----"

"It'll be the top of the notch, this one," sez the chap, "they're a goin
to be awful partickler who they invite--nothing but the raly genteel who
get tickets, I promise 'em."

Miss Josephine Burgess puckered up her mouth, and said "she didn't know:
she was afeard she might meet with some of the working classes--she----"

"Don't say no--it'll break my heart, it will sartinly," sez the lovyer.
"Don't drive me to takin pison on your account--oh don't."

Miss Josephine kinder started up--gave a sort of a scream--and said she
wouldn't drive the 'pothecary to taking pison, and that she would go the
ball. The minit she said that the leetle chap went right off into a fit
of the dreadful suz: he slumped right down on his marrow bones, and
begun to nibble away like all natur at the four little fingers, that
stuck out of Miss Josephine Burgess's right hand mit.

"Oh, say only jest one thing more, and I shall be so happy, I shall want
to jump out of my skin," sez he, all in a twitteration.

"Oh, dear me, what do you mean? I swanny, I'm all in a fluster," sez
she.

"Here, down on my knees, I ask, I entreat, I conjure, most beautiful of
wimmen folks," sez he, "that you be my partner, not only at the ball,
but through this ere mortal life, that is a stretching before us like a
great paster lot covered over with tansey, wild rhubarb and sage roots
all in bloom--don't blush, my angel, but speak!"

Now Miss Josephine knew as well as could be, that it was the fashion to
feel dreadfully at sich times--to get up a caniption fit, or any how to
give right up and set kivered all over with blushes; but the bit of
cotton wool that she used always to put on her blushes with, was tucked
away in the top of her stocking, and she couldn't get at it handy
without being seen. So she puckered up her mouth and looked as if she
had just lost her granny.

"Give me _one_ word of hope, now du," sez the anxious 'pothecary, a
squeezing the milliner's hand, mit and all, between both of his, and a
twisting his head a one side, and a rolling up his eyes, like a hen
that's jest done drinking.

"Oh dear suz, what _can_ I answer?" sez Miss Josephine Burgess, a
wriggling her shoulders and kivering up her face with one hand, "I never
felt so in all my life--dear me."

"Don't spurn me away from these ere leetle feet--nobody will ever love
you so agin," sez the anxious chap, and with that he struck his hand
sort of fierce agin his heart, that was floundering away under his
yaller vest like a duck in a mud-puddle.

"Git up--oh du," sez Miss Josephine, catching a sly peek at the
'pothecary, through her fingers.

"One word of hope," sez the chap, a giving his bosom another tarnal dig;
"say that you will be mine."

"I'll think about it," sez Miss Josephine Burgess, a sighing through her
fingers.

"Say that you will be mine, or I will die on this ere very spot, and be
sent down to posterity a living monument of wimmen's hard-heartedness,"
sez the 'pothecary, a running his fingers through his hair, till it
stuck up sort of wild every which way over his head. "Do you want to
make this ere body a morter, and pound my loving heart to pieces with
the pestle of delay? If not, speak and say that my love is returned."

"It is," said Miss Josephine Burgess, kinder faint from behind her hand.

"Angelic critter," sez the lovyer.

"Now leave me," sez Miss Josephine Burgess.

"Harnsomest of created wimmen! I will," sez the 'pothecary.

"Oh how my heart beats," sez Miss Josephine Burgess.

"And mine," sez the 'pothecary, a getting up and a spreading his hand
out on his yaller vest.

"Leave me now," sez Miss Josephine Burgess.

"My dear critter, I will," sez the 'pothecary.

With that he made tracks across the street, opened his empty money
drawer with a sort of a chuckle, as much as to say, "if you're starved
out in this way much longer I lose my guess," and then he drank off a
glass of cold water, with a leetle brandy in it.

Miss Josephine Burgess sat still as a mouse, till the 'pothecary chap
made himself scarce, then she let down her hands and took a squint in
the glass to see how her face stood it. Arter that she went to a big
drawer, where she kept her slickest dry goods, and cut off a lot of
shiney red velvet, which she took up stairs, and told the gal that had
charge of the work-room, to have it made up into a ball dress before the
gals went home. The ten poor tired young critters were jest a beginning
to think about going hum to supper, but they sot down agin and looked in
each other's faces, as melancholy as could be, but said nothing. The
young gal that had charge of the work-room, happened to say that in the
course of a week they would have a prime lot of red velvet bonnets to
sell. At this Miss Josephine Burgess looked as cross as if she'd
swallowed a paper of darning needles, and told the young gal to hold her
tongue, and mind her own business. At this the young gal drew up, and
was a going to give the milliner her change back agin, but jest that
minit she happened to think that taking sarce from a stuck up critter
was bad enough, but that starving was a good deal worse; and so she
choked in and went to work at the dress, with her heart a swelling in
her harnsome bosom, like a bird when it's first caught.

"Don't let them gals go to sleep over their work," sez Miss Josephine
Burgess, as she was a going down stairs.

The young gal who had charge of the work-room, said something sort of
loud about people's having no feeling.

"What's that you say?" sez Miss Josephine Burgess, a coming back as
spiteful as could be.

"Nothing," sez the young gal who had charge of the work-room.

"It's well you didn't," sez the milliner, and with that she went down
stairs, and the poor tuckered out young critters didn't get hum to
supper till ten o'clock at night, because they had to stay and finish
off Miss Josephine Burgess's ball finery.

Miss Josephine Burgess was a sitting in the leetle room up over her
store, ready dressed for the ball, when the little apprentice gal cum up
and told her, that the gentleman from over the way was a waiting down
stairs. The milliner jumped up and began to wriggle about afore the
looking glass to be sartin that the red velvet frock, the golden chain,
and the heap of posies that she'd twistified in her hair, were all
according to gunter. Arter she'd took a purty gineral survey, she went
down stairs about the darndest stuck up critter that you ever sot eyes
on.

The 'pothecary stood afore the looking glass a trying to coax his hair
to curl a leetle, and a pulling up fust one side of his white satin
stock and then t'other, to make it set up parpendicular. He'd got a
leetle speck of dirt on his silk stockings and his shiney dancing pumps,
a coming across the street, so he took his white hankercher out of his
pocket and began to dust them off; but the minit Miss Josephine Burgess
cum in he stopped short, stepped back agin the wall, and held up both
hands as if he raly didn't know what to du with himself, and sez he--

"I never did! Talk about the Venus de Medici, or the New York beauty!
Did ever anything come up to that are?"

Arter this bust of feeling, he gin a spring fore'd and ketching her
hand, eenamost eat it up, he kissed so consarned eager. It didn't seem
as if there was any contenting the darn'd love-sick coot. But when he
hung on too hard, the milliner's vartuous indignation begun to bile up,
and so he choked off and begged her pardon; but said he couldn't help
it, as true as the world he couldn't, his heart was brim full and a
running over.

I ruther guess the people stared a few when the leetle 'pothecary walked
along the Tammany ball-room with Miss Josephine Burgess, in her red
velvet and golden chains, a hanging on his arm. Sich dashers didn't show
themselves at every ball by a great sight. There was a ginuine touch of
the aristocracy in the way the leetle 'pothecary turned up his nose, and
flourished his white gloves; and when they stood up to dance, Miss
Josephine held out her red velvet, and stuck out her foot, and curcheyed
away as slick as any of the Broadway gals could a done it. But jest as
she was a going to dance, who should stand afore her in the same reel
but the very young gal that took charge of her work-room. The milliner
had jest took a fold of the red velvet between her thumb and finger, and
was flourishing out her foot to balance up as genteel as could be, but
the minit she ketched sight of the working gal, she gin her head a toss
and reaching out her hand to the 'pothecary, walked off to a seat in a
fit of outraged dignity that was raly beautiful to look at. Arter this
Miss Josephine Burgess said she wouldn't try to dance among sich low
critters; and so she and the 'pothecary sidled about, eat peppermint
drops and talked soft sodder to one another--alers taking care to turn
up their noses when the harnsome working gal cum within gun-shot of 'em.

"Who _can_ that gentleman be, that's a eyeing me through his glass," sez
Miss Josephine Burgess to the 'pothecary, "what harnsome whiskers he's
got, did you ever?"

"I don't see anything over genteel in him, any how," sez the 'pothecary
a looking sort of oneasy. "I really can't see how you ladies can take a
fancy to so much hair."

"But how nicely he's dressed," sez she.

"I aint over fond of shaggy vests and checkered trousers," says the
'pothecary.

"Dear me he's coming this way," sez the milliner all in a twitter,--"I
hope he wont think of speaking."

"I hope so too," sez the 'pothecary, a looking as if he'd jest eat a
sour lemon, without any sweetening.

The chap come along sort of easy and independent, and stood close by
'em.

"Shan't we go t'other end of the room?" sez the 'pothecary to the
milliner, kinder half whispering, and a eyeing the strange chap as
savage as a meat-ax. "Not yet," sez the milliner, giving a
slantindicular sort of a look at the strange chap. He wasn't a feller to
be sneezed at in the way of good looks any how, nor a man that was
likely to lose anything by his bashfulness; for it warn't more than
three minutes afore he asked the milliner to dance, and walked her out
as crank as could be, right afore the 'pothecary's face. Didn't the poor
leetle chap look wamble-cropped when he see that. There he stood all
alone in a corner, feeling as sick as if he'd swallowed a dose of his
own doctor's stuff, and there he had to stand; for arter the tall chap
and Miss Josephine Burgess had got through dancing, they sot down
together by a winder and begun to look soft sodder at one another, and
talk away as chipper as two birds on an apple tree limb in spring time.
It didn't do no good for the 'pothecary to rile up and make motions to
her--she didn't seem to mind him a bit; so he stood still and grit his
teeth, for it seemed to him as if the milliner and the red velvet,
besides the account books, the stock in trade, and the hard chink too,
was a sliding out of his grip like a wet eel.

"Darn the feller to darnation," sez he, arter he'd bore it as long as he
could--and with that he went up to Miss Josephine Burgess, sort of
humble, and asked her if it wasn't about time to be a going hum?

The milliner said she wasn't in any hurry about it, and went to talking
with the tall chap agin. It was as much as the poor lovyer could do to
keep from busting out a crying, or a swearing, he warn't partic'lar
which; he felt all struck up of a heap, and went off to his corner agin
as lonesome as a goose without a mate.

By-am-by the milliner she come up and told him she was about ready to go
hum; the tall chap he went down stairs with them, and stood a kissing
his hand to her till she got into the street. The 'pothecary raly felt
as if he should bust, and he gin her a purty decent blowing up as they
went along Chatham-street. She didn't give him much of an answer though,
for her head was chuck full of the tall chap's soft sodder, and she
didn't know more than half of what he was a jawing about.

The leetle 'pothecary went hum and hurried up to bed, but all he could
du he couldn't get a wink of sleep. He got up arly in the morning, but
he hadn't no appetite for his breakfast, and kinder hung about his shop
door a keeping a good look out to see if anybody went to the milliner's,
and a wondering if it was best for him to go over and see how she seemed
to be arter what he'd said to her the night afore. So he brushed up his
hair and was just taking his hat to go over and try his luck, when a
harnsome green buggy waggon hauled up jest agin the milliner's, and out
jumped the tall chap with the whiskers.

The 'pothecary he turned as white as a sheet and begun to cuss and swear
like all natur. He had plenty of time to let his wrathy feelings bile
over, for it was more than three hours afore the green buggy waggon driv
away agin. The minit it was out of sight, the 'pothecary snatched up his
hat and scooted across the street like a crazy critter. Miss Burgess was
a sitting in her leetle back room dressed out like anything. This made
him more wrathy than he was afore, for she never dressed out when he was
a coming, so he went straight up to her, and sez he, sort of wrathy,

"Miss Josephine Burgess, what am I to think of this ere treatment?"

The milliner looked up as innocent as a kitten, as if she hadn't the
least idee what he meant.

"What treatment?" sez she, as mealy-mouthed as could be.

The 'pothecary felt as if he should choke; he griped his hand, and the
words came out of his mouth like hot bullets.

"Oh you perfidious critter, you," sez he, "how can you look in my face
arter you've been a sitting three hull hours with that darn'd nasty tall
coot that you danced with all the time last night."

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean more than nothing. I danced with a
gentleman last night, and he has been here this morning, but I raly
don't see why _you_ should trouble yourself about it," sez Miss
Josephine, a taking up her work, and a beginning to sew as easy as she
ever did in her life.

The 'pothecary was so mad, he couldn't but jest speak out loud. "Look a
here, Miss Burgess," sez he, a speaking sort of hoarse, "aint we as good
as married? didn't you engage yourself to me? and wasn't the day
eenajest sot afore that consarned etarnal ball?"

"Not that I ever knew on," says Miss Burgess, a pinning a pink bow on to
a bonnet she was to work on, and a holding it out to see how it looked,
"I raly don't know what you mean."

The 'pothecary begun to tremble all over, he was so tarnal mad to see
her setting there as cool as a cucumber.

"You don't know what I mean, do you?" sez he. "Look a here, marm, haint
I been to see you off and on for more than a year? Haint I footed up
your books and made out bills and done all your out-door business, this
ever so long? Haint I give you ounces on ounces of jujube paste, emptied
a hull jar of lemon drops, and more than half kept you in pearl powder
and cold cream?"

"Wal, you needn't talk so loud and tell everybody of it," sez the
milliner a going on with her work all the time, but the leetle chap had
got his grit up, and there was no "who" to him. On he went like a house
afire.

"Wasn't it me that stopped you from taking them are darn'd Brandreth's
pills. Didn't I tell you they warn't no better than rank pisin, and that
no rale lady would ever think of stuffing herself with such humbug
trash? I'll be choked if I don't wish I'd let you swaller fifty boxes of
'em--I wish I had--I do by gracious!"

"Don't make such a noise," sez the milliner, "it wont do no good, I can
tell you."

"Wont it though? wont it? I rather guess you'll find out in the end.
I'll sue you for a breach of promise--if I don't jest tell me on't,
that's all."

The 'pothecary was a going on to say a good deal more, but jest as he
begun to let off steam agin some customers come into the front shop.
Miss Josephine Burgess put down her work and went out as if nothing on
arth had happened. The 'pothecary waited a few minits a biling over with
spite, and then he kicked a bonnet block across the room, upset a chair,
and cut off through the store like all possessed. The milliner was a
bargaining away with her customers for dear life--she looked up and
larfed a little easy, as the poor feller sneaked through the store, and
that was all she cared about it.

The poor coot of an apothecary went over to his shop and slammed the
door tu hard enough to shake the house down. Then he went back of the
counter, took down a jar full of corrosive supplement and poured some on
it out in a tumbler, but somehow there was something in the thought of
dying all of a sudden, that didn't exactly come up to his idee of
comfort; so he poured back the pison and took a mint julep instead--that
sort of cooled him down a trifle--so he made up his mind to put off
drinking the pison till by-am-by.


Every day for three weeks that green buggy waggon, and the tall man with
the whiskers, stopped before Miss Josephine Burgess' door. The
'pothecary grit his teeth and eyed the pisin with so awful desperate
look every time the buggy came in sight; and when he heard that Miss
Josephine Burgess was a gitting her wedding frock made, and was raly a
going to be married to a foreign chap as rich as a Jew, that had fallen
in love with her at the Tammany ball, he filled the tumbler agin
brimming full, and then chucked the pison in the grate, and said he'd be
darned if he made sich an etarnal fool of himself any longer; the
critter wasn't worth taking a dose of salts for, much less a tumbler
brim full of pison. Arter this he bore up like a man; and one day when
he saw the green buggy come a trifle arlier than ever it did afore, and
see the tall chap jump out all dressed off tu kill, with white gloves
on, and a white hankercher a streaming out of his coat pocket, he jest
put his teeth together and looked on till he saw Miss Josephine Burgess
come out with a white silk bonnet on, and a great long white veil
streaming over it, and see her take a seat in the buggy waggon with the
tall man in whiskers. It wasn't no news to him when he heard that Miss
Josephine Burgess was married, and had sold out her shop; but when he
heard that the young gal that took charge of the work-room had got some
relation to buy out the stock for her, the apothecary brightened up like
anything; and he was heard to say that arter all the young gal that took
charge of the work-room wasn't to be grinned at in a fog; for his part,
he thought her full as harnsome as Miss Josephine Burgess.

There was no two ways about it,--Miss Josephine Burgess was raly married
to the tall man in whiskers, and she had sold out to the young gal that
had taken charge of the work-room. About three days arter the wedding,
the tall man with whiskers sot in the room over what had been Miss
Josephine Burgess's store, and leetle she that had been Miss Josephine
Burgess herself, sot in the tall man's lap, with one arm round his neck.
Her purty slim fingers had been a playing with his shiny black curls so
long that some of the black color came off and made them leetle fingers
look sort of smutty. Once in a while the bride would pat the tall man's
cheek and call him a naughty critter, and ask him how many ladies he'd
been in love with afore he see her; and the tall man would say--"not one
upon my honor!" at which she would pat his cheek agin and say she didn't
believe a word on it. Then the tall man in whiskers would begin to look
as if he raly had been a killing critter with the women folks, and would
say that he wouldn't deny it--he had now and then his leetle
flirtations, like all men of rale fashion--but he'd never in his whole
life took _sich_ a notion to a critter as he had to her. With that Miss
Josephine Burgess (that was) would fling both of her arms round the tall
man's neck, and declare that there was not so proud and happy a critter
on the hull arth as she was.

Wal, arter this, the tall man in wiskers took hold of the chain that his
bride had round her neck, and sez he, "My dear love, I raly can't bear
to see you rigged out in these ere old fashioned things. When you was
only a milliner they did well enough, but now you musn't wear no jewelry
that aint at the top of the notch; jest pack all on 'em up, that are
watch of your'n and all, and I'll go and swap 'em off for a set of
jewelry that's worth while. When I take you hum among all my folks,
they'd larf at these awk'ard things."

With that the bride begun to looked streaked enough, so she sot to work
and lugged out all the gold things she had; her watch and great heavy
chain, and ear-rings, and ever so many gim-cracks. So the tall man put
them all in his pocket and took up his hat, and sez he, "I'll soon get
rid of these ere things, and bring you something that is something."

Miss Josephine Burgess that was, said there never was so kind a
critter, and jest to let her see that she wasn't much out in saying that
are, he cum back from the door, and sez he, "Seeing as I'm a going out,
I may as well take that are little sum of money and put in some bank for
you; of course I don't want anything of it, but it raly don't seem jest
safe here, among all these sewing gals." Miss Josephine Burgess that was
went to her chest of drawers and took out a heap of bank bills and gave
them to him. The tall man in whiskers put the bills in his trousers'
pocket, buttoned it up tight, then give the pocket a leetle slap and was
a going out agin. But Miss Josephine Burgess that was she follered arter
and sticking her head through the door she sung out sort of easy, sez
she,

"My dear darling, you've forgot something!"

"You don't say so," sez the tall man in whiskers, and he stood up
straight as a loon's leg, "what is it--any more jewelry, my pet?"

"Can't you guess?" said Miss Josephine Burgess that was, sort of sly, a
twisting her head a one side, and pussing out her mouth awful tempting.

"Oh," sez the man in whiskers, and then there was a little noise as if a
bottle of Newark cider had been uncorked kinder easy.

"You'll come right straight back, dear?" sez Miss Josephine Burgess that
was, a running to the door agin--"you will, won't you?"

"Sartinly, my sweet love," sez the tall man in whiskers, a stopping on
the stairs and kissing her hand over the railing.

"By-by," sez Miss Josephine Burgess that was.

"By-by," sez the tall man in whiskers.

Miss Josephine Burgess that was sot by the window and looked arter the
tall man till he got eenamost down to Chatham square. She waited a hull
hour and he didn't come back; then she waited two hours; then all night;
and the next week and the next, till she'd been a waiting three hull
months,--and arter all the tall man in whiskers didn't seem to hurry
himself a bit.

About a year arter the Tammany ball, the leetle 'pothecary was sitting
in the back room of what once was Miss Josephine Burgess's milliner
store--his wife that used to take charge of the work-room, stood close
by; and the 'pothecary was a looking over his wife's day book. Jest as
he was a adding up a tarnal long row of figures, one of the hands come
down stairs and was a going out.

"Look a here, Miss Josephine Burgess, or Miss what's your name." sez the
'pothecary, "if you're determined to go home the minit your hour is up,
these hurrying times, it's my idee that you'd better look out for some
other shop to work in."

The color riz up in the poor woman's face, but it was her turn to be
snubbed and drove about, without daring to say her soul was her own. So
instead of riling up, she spoke as meek as could be, and sez she, "I
aint very well, I've got a dreadful headache."

"Cant help that," sez the 'pothecary, "we pay you twenty shillings a
week, fust rate wages, to _work_, so you may jest step back to the
work-room with your headache, or I'll dock off fifty cents when it comes
Saturday night if you don't. Go troop--I'll have you to know you aint
mistress in this shop, or master neither."

Miss Josephine Burgess had a temper of her own, but she owed for her
board, and so choked in and went up stairs as mad as all natur.

The apothecary's wife was a good hearted critter, and it raly made her
feel bad to see her old boss used so.

"Don't speak so to her," sez she to the 'pothecary, "she raly looks
tired and sick, don't hurt her feelings."

"Humbug," sez the 'pothecary, stretching himself up, and a buttoning his
trousers' pocket as pompously as could be, "humbug, what bisness have
sewing girls with feelings."

"I was a sewing gal once," sez the 'pothecary's wife.

"Yes--and how did that darned stuck up critter use you, tell me that?"
sez he.

The 'pothecary's wife didn't answer; but the minit her husband had gone
out she went into the kitchen and took a bowl of ginuine hot tea up to
the work room. Miss Josephine Burgess that was, sot on a stool looking
as mad as a march hare; she began to sew as soon as the 'pothecary's
wife come in, as grouty as could be; but when the kind critter gin her
the bowl of tea, and told her it would be good for her head-ache, the
poor sewing girl boo-hooed right out a crying.

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XVII.

Jonathan gets Ill and Homesick--Resists all entreaties to go to
Washington, and resolves on going back to "the Humstead" with Captain
Doolittle.


DEAR PAR:

Wal, arter writing that story about the Bowery Milliner, I begun to
think York was a going to be rather too hot to hold me. All the boss
milliners in York got into a tantrum and kicked up sich a darned rumpus
that I raly begun to be afear'd that they'd cum down to my office in
Cherry-street, and get up a fourth of July oration, or a she caucus, and
girt me to death in a pair of them darned French corsets. But the peaked
little working gals, they were eenamost tickled to death with that
story, and there warn't no eend to the harnsome sweet critters that cum
to my office a crying and yet half a smiling, to thank me for taking up
on their side. One thing though made me feel bad enough. That etarnal
leetle stuck up old maid got so allfired wrothy that she turned Susan
Read out of her place, and cheated her out of some of her wages too.
Darn her it makes me gritty only jest to think on it. But she'd better
look out, I can tell her; for if I take her up agin, consarn me if I
don't use her up till she aint bigger than the tip eend of a pine stick
whittled down to nothing.

Wal, as the spring come on I began to git peaked, and every morning felt
sort of wamblecropped in my stomach when I woke up. I s'pose it was
cause I couldn't git pork and dandelines and prime fresh young onions
right out of the arth, as I used tu to hum. The editors of the
_Express_, they wanted me to take an emetic, but I told 'em I couldn't
think of sich a thing, it was agin natur. I looked sort of solemn, jest
as I always do when they use any of them French words that I don't
understand, and made up my mind to look in Boyer's Dictionary, and find
out the meaning of emetic the fust thing arter I got hum.

"Wal," sez they, "if you don't like that, Mr. Slick, s'posing you take a
trip to the Seat of Gineral Government, and see how them Loco Foco chaps
are a carrying on there, it'll answer all the same."

"Wal," sez I, arter thinking it all over in arnest, "it seems to me as
if I was kinder hankering arter the green trees and the grass and cows,
and the wind that comes straight down from heaven, where you can breathe
it out on your own hook, and not take it second hand, as we do in York.
I raly think I should feel like a new critter if I could only go hum a
spell and weed the young onions." With that I begun to think about the
humsted, and how it was gitting towards planting time; and think sez I,
par 'll miss me about these times, and marm too, for she wont have any
body to do her milking when it rains, nor to bring water and du up all
the leetle chores that I al'rs did for her. Then I seemed to see our
orchard all a leaving out thick and kivered over with apple blows; and
it seemed tu me as if I was a setting on the stun wall, jest as I used
to when I was a leetle shaver, a looking how fast the grass grew and a
wondering how long it would be afore green apple time. There was the
well-crotch and the pole, and the bucket a hanging to it, as plain as
day, and the peach tree that grows by it chuck full of pink blows. There
was you a gitting out the oxen to go to ploughing, and there was marm
out in the meadow at the back door, a picking plantin leaves for greens,
with her old sun bonnet on, and a tin pail to put the greens in.

Oh dear, how humsick I did feel! I could a boo-hooed right out, if it
would a done any good, when I sort of come tu, and found out that I was
setting in the _Express_ office, with nothing but picters of that old
critter, Gineral Harrison, and a heap of newspapers scattered every
which way over the floor, to look at.

"Wal," sez the Editor, sez he, "Mr. Slick, what do you think about it?
you raly ought to go to Washington, to see the President and the lions."

I put one leg over t'other, and winked my eyelids for fear he'd see how
near I come to crying; and arter a leetle while, sez I--

"I haint no kind of doubt that that are Washington is a smasher of a
city; but somehow, if you'd jest as livs, I'd a leetle ruther go hum."

"Yes," sez he, "I haint the least doubt on it; but then, if you git out
of the city, it don't make much difference which way you go."

I see that he'd made up his mind to have his own way; but think sez I,
you don't git it without another tough pull, anyhow; so sez I--

"I raly feel as if I must doctor a leetle; and when a feller feels
tuckered out, or down-hearted, there is no place like hum, if it's ever
so homely,--and nobody can take care of a feller like his own marm. Now
I know jest how it'll be--the minit I git hum, the old woman will go to
making root-beer; she'll sarch all over the woods for saxafax-buds to
make tea on, and there'll be no eend to the snake root and fennel seed
bitters that she'll make me drink. I raly feel as if I must go; so don't
you say any more about it," sez I; "I shall come back agin as bright as
a new dollar."

If there is anything on arth that holds on hard, it's a York Editor; a
lamper-eel is nothing to one on 'em. They'd have their own way, if the
Old Nick himself stood afore them as big as the side of a house.

By-am-by the hull truth come out; sez the Editor, sez he, a speaking as
soft and mealy-mouthed as could be, sez he--

"But, Mr. Slick, you can't write any letters for _us_ in Weathersfield;
so jest make up your mind to start right off. You can go hum any time."

"But I want to doctor," sez I.

"Oh, take a box of Sherman's cough lozengers," sez he, a smiling; "they
cured you last winter, you know." With that, he let off a stream of soft
sodder, sez he, "a man of your talents oughtn't to bury himself in the
country. The members of Congress are all a-tip-toe to see you, and so
are the gals in Washington--the Russian Embassador's wife and all on
'em."

It warn't in human natur to stand agin this; so I sort of relented.

"Oh, you're a joking," sez I, a hitching on my chair; "I don't raly
s'pose the Washington gals ever heard of me in their hull lives."

"Hain't they, though," sez he.

"Wal," sez I, "I should kinder like tu go, jest to see what Congress
people look like. I've a sort of a notion that mebby I shall run for
Congressman myself one of these days. I don't believe there's a feller
in all York better qualified. When I come away from Weathersfield, I
could lick any feller there, big or leetle; and I've a sort of a sort of
a notion that I can dress out any of them varmints in the Capitol, if
they do practice a leetle more than I du."

The Editor of the Express, he larfed a leetle easy, and sez he, "Well,
Mr. Slick, it's all settled then--and the sooner you start the better."

"I'll think about it," sez I.

Wal, I went back tu the office and sot down, kinder loth tu go so far
from hum as Washington City, and yet anxious to oblige the Editor of the
Express; but all I could du, thoughts of the humsted kept a crowding
intu my mind till I couldn't stand it no longer, but kivered up my face
with both of my hands and took tu crying like a sick baby. Jest
then--while I was a feeling dreadfully--somebody opened the door of my
office, and in walked Captain Doolittle, with his hand out, and a
grinning from ear tu ear as if he was eenajest tickled tu death to see
me agin.

I jumped right up and shook hands with him, while I turned my face away
and wiped my eyes with the cuff of my coat, for I felt ashamed to let
him ketch me a crying.

But there is no cheating that old coot, he's wide awake as a night hawk.

"Jonathan," sez he, "What's the matter--you look as thin as a shad in
summer--consarn me if I don't believe you have been boo-hooing."

"You've lost your guess this time," sez I, a trying to put on a stiff
upper lip.

The old feller, he looked in my face, and then agin on the cuff of my
coat--then he folded his arms and stepped back and eyed me all over, and
sez he at last,

"Jonathan, one thing is sartin, either you've been a crying, or you've
told a whopper to your old friend, or--"

"Or what?" sez I, wiping the cuff of my coat on my trousers' leg--"or
what?"

"Or your deginerated--deginerated!" sez he, "deginerated from the
Weathersfield stock!"

"Wal, I don't seem to understand how you'll make that out," sez I.

"Jonathan," sez he, as arnest as could be, "there was tears in your eyes
jest as I come in, and you was ashamed on 'em. Now, sich tears as a
smart, honest young man may feel in his eyes naturally, are nothing to
be ashamed on; when he gets to thinking of hum or old friends, or
perhaps them that are dead and gone,--the drops that come up unawares to
moisten his eyes are wholesome to his natur. I've seen the time,
Jonathan, when a minister's prayer didn't seem half so easing to the
heart. An honest chap might as well feel streaked about saying the
Lord's Prayer; for the tears that thinking of them that we love sets a
going, have eenamost as much religion in 'em as singing and praying and
going to meeting altogether. Prayer, Jonathan, prayer falls upon the
natur like the warm sun on a patch of young onions--and tears, ginuine
tears that come from tender thoughts, Jonathan, darn me if they ain't
the rain that keeps the young shoots green. You wouldn't have been
scared about my seeing sich tears, Jonathan, and I know you've got tu
much grit for any other--you aint the chap to snuffle and cry because
things go crooked with you--I'm sartin of that."

"I reckon you may be," sez I.

"Wal, Jonathan," says the captin, a folding his arms close up to the red
shirt that kivered his bosom, "there aint but one way of accounting for
it. I never would a believed it, but you've deginerated. These Yorkers
have larned you to be ashamed of eating onions--it's jest arter dinner
time--I see through it all--you've been a thinking of hum, and tried a
raw onion for once--your eyes aint used to it now, and that's what makes
'em so red and misty. I have seen the time, Jonathan Slick, when you
could cut up a hull peck without winking; I've seen you cronch one like
a meller apple; and now, arter living in York, this is the eend on't."

"Come, captin," sez I, a holding out my hand, "don't make a coot of
yourself, I can eat a raw onion without winking as well as ever I could.
Seeing as you can peak so consarned far into a mill-stun, I may as well
own up and settle the hash to once. I've been kinder peaked and hum-sick
ever since spring opened. I sot down here all alone, got a thinking of
old times and things to hum, and that sort of made me cry afore I knew
it; that's the hull truth, and I'd jest as livs you knew it as not."

Captin Doolittle, he gin my hand a grip, and sez he, "That's right,
Jonathan, own up like a man, I see intu it now--hum-sick as git
out--just what I wanted. The old sloop is ready to sail right off--pack
up your saddle-bags, jump aboard, and we'll be in Weathersfield in less
than no time. Your par and mar, and Judy White, and all the folks tu hum
will be tickled eenamost tu death to see you."

I felt my heart jump right intu my mouth, but it sunk agin like a chunk
of lead when I thought that I'd eenajest agreed to go tu Washington.
"Captin," sez I, "I'm afeared I can't go--I've nigh about promised to go
tu Washington City."

"Washington City be darned," sez he, a going intu my back room and a
lugging out my saddle-bags; "Washington City can't hold a candle tu
Weathersfield this time of the year. You can't think how fresh and green
everything looks; the square before the meeting-house is as green as
grass can be--the laylock trees in front of the humstead are all in full
blow--we've had young lettuce and pepper-grass there these three
weeks--think of that! with good sharp vinegar, plenty of pepper and
salt, and a sprinkle of young onion-tops mixed in jest as they come from
the patch by the eend of the barn,--Gosh, but don't it make your mouth
water only to think on it, Jonathan."

"I swow, captin, there's no standing it, I must go."

"Sartinly you must--the old woman would go off the handle if I should
come back without you and Judy White. That Judy is a nation harnsome
gal, Jonathan. She told me tu jest mention that the orchard over agin
the house was in full blow and every tree chuck full of robins' nests.
You can smell that orchard half-a-mile off, Jonathan, but Judy says it
kinder makes her molencholy tu see the trees a budding out so agin, and
the birds a singin from mornin to night among 'em, and nobody tu enjoy
it but her."

"I'll go, by gauly offalus--I'll go," sez I, "but what will the editors
of the Express say," sez I, feelin all over in spots about goin off so.

"The Express go tu grass," sez Captin Doolittle, a crowding my pepper
and salt trousers intu the saddle-bags.

"Jest so," sez I, a helping him strap up the bags; "I'll write a letter
hum tu say I'm jest a startin, and send it through the Express, and that
will let the editors know what I've detarmined on."

"Jest so," sez Captin Doolittle, "and I guess I'll go down to the sloop
with the saddle-bags. I only jest got in last night, took out the ladin
this morning, and we shall be a cuttin down the East river afore sunset;
quick work, I reckon, don't you think so, Jonathan?"

"I should rather think it was," sez I.

"Wal," sez he, a shoulderin the saddle-bags, "write off the letter and
come right down. You mustn't let the grass grow under your feet, now I
tell you. Your marm will be about the tickledest critter that you ever
sot eyes on when you git back agin--she's got a hull lot of winter
apples saved up yit agin you cum. I wish you could a seen the old
critter a knittin away all the long winter evenings tu git you a hull
grist of socks made up; she seamed every darned one on 'em clear
through, jest because it was for you, Jonathan."

"You don't say so!" sez I, kinder half cryin agin; "now du git out, will
you? I want tu write my letter."

With that, the Captin he went off saddle-bags and all. I sot down and
wrote off this letter about the quickest, I can tell you. I shall send
it up tu the Express office, and if we have good luck, it won't be long
arter you git it afore you will shake hands with us.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XVIII.

JONATHAN SLICK RETURNED.

Jonathan's Arrival in New York from the onion beds at
Weathersfield--Jonathan puts up at the Astor House--His notion of that
great heap of stones--Jonathan's Ideas of a New York Cab, and the usual
quarrel of a Stranger with Cabmen--A Sensation is created at the Astor.


DEAR PAR:

Here I am down in York agin, as large as life and as springy as a steel
trap. Hurra! but don't it make a feller feel as suple as a green walnut
gad to have these stun side walks under his shoe leather once more! I
raly felt as if I could a'most have jumped over the housen, eend
foremost, I was so glad to git ashore at Peck Slip. Captin Doolittle, he
kept his gab a going, a hull hour, a trying to make out it warn't worthy
a ginuine Yankee to hanker after the York big bugs so. Now my opinion
is, Captin Doolittle ain't no bad judge of onions and other garden
sarse, and he did run the old sloop down here as slick as grease, but
when he sets himself up to talk about genteel society, he raly is green.

Look a here, par, did I ever tell you what a looking place that Astor
House is? If I didn't, jest you suppose that all the stun walls in old
Connecticut had been hewed down as smooth as glass, and heaped together,
one a-top of t'other, over two acres of clearing, up and up, half away
to the sky and a leetle over; suppose then the hull etarnal great heap
cut up into winders and doors, with almighty great slabs of stun piled
up for steps and pillars standing on eend, on the top, to hold them
down--bigger than the highest oak tree you ever sot eyes on, and then
you have some idee what a whopping consarn that Astor House is.

At fust I felt a leetle skeery at going to board there, for think sez I,
if they charge according to the size of the house, I guess it'll make my
puss strings ache; but, think sez I agin, the best taverns, according
to my experience, all'rs charge the leastest prices, I will give 'em a
try any how.

I gin a cuffy on the wharf two cents to go and get a carriage for me,
for I meant to du the thing up in genteel style, and cut the hull figger
when I once begun. Besides, the cabin was so stived up with onion
barrels and heaps of red cabbages, besides the turnips and winter
squashes, that I hadn't no room to fix up in till I got a hum somewhere
else, and my dandy clothes have got a leetle the wus for wear, and don't
cut quite so much of a dash as they used tu. I hadn't but jest time to
rub them down a trifle with a handful of oat straw that I took from one
of the winter apple barrels, and to slick down my hair a few, with both
my hands, when the nigger cum back and said he couldn't find a carriage,
but he'd got a fust rate cab.

Sartinly that cab was one of the darndest queer animals that ever run
arter a hoss. It looked like a set of stairs on wheels, with a great
overgrown leather trunk sot on eend half way up, with the lid turned
over one side. The horse was hitched to the lowermost step, and on the
top step of all, clear back, sot a feller histed up in the air with a
great long whip, and lines that reached clear over the hull consarn to
the horse's head, and this chap was the driver; but he looked as if he'd
been sot there wrong eend foremost, and felt awfully streaked and
top-heavy about it. It raly was curious to watch the chap as he laid his
lines on the top of the box and crept down stairs to stow away my
saddle-bags and the hair trunk that marm gin me. When he'd got through,
I jest lifted one foot from the ground, and there I sot in a little
cushioned pen, like a rooster in a strange coop, or a rat in an empty
meal bin. The feller slam'd tu the door and went up the steps behind
agin, then I ketched sight of the lines a dangling over head, like a
couple of ribbon snakes a twisting about in the sunshine; and away we
went trundling along like a great oversized wheelbarrow, with a horse
before, a driver behind, and a poor unfortunate critter like me cooped
in the middle, with a trunk and pair of saddle-bags for company.

Well, on we went hitch-a-te-hitch, jerk-a-ty-jerk through the carts and
horses till we got out of the slip, and then we kept on a leetle more
regular till by-and-by the horse he stopped all of himself jest afore
the Astor House.

"Wal," sez I to the driver, a feeling in my trousers' pocket for a
ninepence--for the nigger told me that them new fangled cabs had sot up
a sort of cheap opposition to the hacks--so sez I,

"Wal, what's the damage?"

"Only a dollar," sez he, a giving my saddle-bags and trunk a jerk onto
the steps, and eying my old dandy clothes sort of supercilious, as if he
thought it would be a tough job for me to hand over the chink. I begun
to rile up a leetle, but arter a minit I happened to think that no
ginuine gentleman ever gits mad with sich a ruff scuff, so I jest looked
in his face, and sez I,

"How you talk!"

With that I gin him a quarter of a dollar, for I didn't want to be mean;
but the varmint begun to bluster up as if he wanted to kick up a
tantrum. I didn't seem to mind it, but the critter hung on yit for a
whole dollar, like a dog to a sassafras root, and when some waiters cum
down and took away my things, he followed, and ketching hold of the
saddle-bags, said the things shouldn't go till he'd got his pay. With
that I went up to him agin, and sez I,

"Make yourself scarce, you etarnal mean coot, or I'll give you the
purtyest specimen of Weathersfield sole leather that you ever sot eyes
on--one that'll send you up them wheelbarrow steps of yourn swifter than
you cum down, a darned sight. You needn't look at me--I'm in arnest, and
I'll du it, or my name aint Jonathan Slick."

Oh human natur', how the varmint wilted down when I said this; he took
off his hat, and sez he--as mean as a frozen potater--says he,

"I didn't know as it was you."

"I rather guess you didn't," says I.

The feller seemed to feel so sheepish that it sort of mollified me, and
so I up and gave him another four-pence-ha'penny. With that I went up
the steps, up and up till I cum to a great long stun hall that reached
tu all creation, with a kind of a bar-room at one end. It was a sort of
a stun side-walk a shut up in a house; for lots of men were talking and
walking about as easy as if they'd been in the street. I went up to the
bar-room, where a chap sot with sour looks, as if he felt to hum all
over, and says I--

"Do you take in boarders here?"

The chap looked at me from the top of my head to the sole of my foot, as
if he'd never seen a full sized Yankee in his life; and after fidgeting
about, says he--

"Yes, we du sometimes, but mebby you've mistook the place."

"I reckon not," says I. "How much du you charge a week? I paid two
dollars and fifty cents down in Cherry-street, but I s'pose you go as
high as four dollars, or say four fifty."

The feller looked sort of flustered; so thinks says I, I haint got up
the notch yet, so I'll give one more hist.

"Wal, sir, it goes agin the grain; but seeing as it's the Astor House,
per'aps I might give as high as five dollars, if you'd throw in the
washing. I aint hard on clothes, say a shirt and three dickeys, with a
pair of yarn socks a week, and a silk hankercher once a fortnight. I
shall have to be a trifle extravagant in that line."

The feller grew red in the face, and looked as if he was tickled tu
death at gitting such an offer. Think sez I, I hope to gracious I haint
made a coot of myself, and bid up too high. I got so consarned before
the chap spoke, that I sort of wanted to git off edgeways. There was a
great day-book a lying by him, and sez I--

"I see you trust out board by your books; but I'm ready to hand over
every Saturday night; so per'haps you'll take less for cash."

The feller sort of choked in a larf, and sez he--

"That aint a day-book, only one we keep for folks that come here to
write down their names in."

Think sez I, I guess I'll write my name, and then he'll see that he's
got hold of a cute hand for a bargain, and may dock off a trifle on that
are five dollars.

"O," sez I, "that's it; well, give us hold here, and I'll write my name
right off for you."

The feller handed over the pen. I stretched out my right arm, turned the
cuff of my coat over, flourished off a long-tailed J, till the ink
spattered all over the book; then I streaked along to the S, curled it
up harnsomely, and finished off with a K that would have made Mr.
Goldsmith, the writing-master, in Broadway, feel awk'ard if he'd seen
it.

I wish you could have seen that Astor House chap, when he read the name;
he looked as if he didn't know what to du, but at last he stepped back,
and he made a bow, and sez he,--

"Mr. Slick, we are glad to see you at the Astor House, and we hope
you'll stay with us as long as you remain in the city!"

I made him a snubbed sort of a bow, for I didn't want him to think I was
over anxious to stay till we'd clinched the bargain about the board, and
sez I,--

"Wal, now about the price of your fodder; I s'pose you'll dock a leetle
on that offer of mine. It's an allfired hard price, now ain't it?"

"O," sez he, "never mind the board, Mr. Slick, we shan't be hard with
you on that score. The man will show you a room, and I hope you'll feel
yourself quite to hum with us."

With that a feller cum up to look at the big book, and then he whispered
to another, and it wasn't two minits afore a hul squad of fellers cum
around, as if I'd been a bear set up for a show, at a copper a head.

One of the chaps he cut up stairs like all possessed, as if he was a
going tu bring up somebody else, so I begun to think it about time for
me to cut stick; so I hollered arter a waiter, and told him to take me
up where he'd put my trunk. The chap went ahead, and I follered arter.

I tell you what, it wants a steady head to navigate through all them
long entry ways, and up them stairs, around and across every which way,
as I did, till I came to a room door up at the tip top of the house. My
head went around like a fly-trap. When the door was shut I was so dizzy,
I opened the winder, and looked out tu see if the cold air wouldn't du
me good. O gracious me! didn't it make me ketch my breath tu see how
high up they'd stuck me. The clouds seemed to be purty close neighbors.
I looked right straight over the biggest trees in the park, as if
they'd been black alder bushes, and my nose cum jest about on a line
with the City Hall clock. It sartinly did make me feel a leetle skittish
to look down into Broadway. The men went streaking along like a crowd of
good-sized rats a going out a visiting, and the gals that went sidling
along under their parasols, were the darndest harnsome little finefied
things I ever dreamed of. It seemed as if all the wax dolls had broke
loose from the store winders, and was a walkin out to take the air with
each on 'em a toad-stool to keep the sun of. Taking the hul together,
men and gals, coaches, cabs, trees, and horses, it was about the
funniest sight I ever sot eyes on.

It was worth while to look down on the front of the housen too, only one
felt all the time as if he was a goin to topple down head fust. The
winder to my room wasn't none of the largest, and a round vine, all cut
out of the solid stun, was twistified round it on the outside; and a
heap of the same sort stretched along the right and left side like a
string of purty picters hung out for show. Think sez I, if any body
would look up and see me a standing here, they might see the true
profile of Jonathan Slick cut off at the shoulders and hung in a frame,
a live picter, without paint or whitewash. I wish to gracious some of
them York artists would paint me jest so, for I raly must a looked like
a picter while I stood in that winder, but it made me worse insted of
better, so I hauled in my head.

Arter I'd gin myself a good sudsing in the wash-hand basin, I unbuckled
my saddle-bags, and thought I'd fix up a leetle, for somehow my clothes
seemed to smell sort of oniony arter sleeping so long in the sloop
cabin. Since I've been hum my hair has grown about right, only it's a
leetle sun-burnt; but that don't show much when I've combed it out slick
with a fine tooth comb, and rubbed it down with a ball of pomatum,
scented with wintergreen. I parted it straight down the middle, like
some of the gals afore class meeting; and I slicked it down with both
hands, till it glistened like a black cat in the dark.

Arter I'd purty near satisfied myself with that, I sot tu and put on the
red and blue checkered trousers that marm cut and made arter my dandy
clothes made in York. They are a ginuine fit, except that they strain
rather severe on the galluses, and pucker jest the leastest mite about
the knee jints; but they aint so coarse for all tow, nor the cam-colored
coat neither. The cotton dicky that you and Judy fixed up for me, curled
up around my chin and under the ears about the neatest; they looked as
good as linen, every mite; and when I twisted that checkered silk scarf,
that Judy gave me for a keep-sake arter she got mollified about my going
to York, around my neck, and let the long ends, fringe and all, hang
down sort of careless over my green vest, criscrossed with red streaks,
I ruther guess you haint seen a chap of my size dressed up so in a long
time.

You know that great harnsome broach that I bartered away the apple sarse
for in Hartford last fall. Wal, I was jest a sticking that into my shirt
bosom, and a thinking what a consarned harnsome feller was a peaking at
me out of the looking glass, when somebody knocked at the door. I
stopped to twistify my dicky down a trifle, and to shake a leetle speck
of essence of wintergreen on my hankercher, and then I went to the door.

One of the chaps that I'd seen down stairs was there; he didn't say
nothing, but made a bow and gin me a piece of stiff paper about as big
as the ace of spades, with "Fanny Elssler" printed right in the middle
on it.

Wal, think sez I, "what on arth _does_ this mean? I haint seen a door
yard fence nor a post since I come to York, but this ere etarnal name
was stuck up on it, and now I'll be choked if it haint chased me up here
into the tip top of the Astor House." As I was a thinking of this, I
kinder turned the paper in my hand, and there on t'other side was a heap
of the purtyest leetle finefied writing that I ever did see. It was as
plain as print, and as fine as a spider's web, but I couldn't make out a
word of it to save my life.

I never was so flustrated in my born days, but arter thinking on it a
jiffy, I seemed to understand it, and was sartin that somebody had writ
a new fangled sort of a letter to Fanny Ellsler, and had sent it to my
room instead of her'n.

I run out into the entry way and hollered "hellow" to the chap like all
natur, but he'd made himself scarce, and so I went back agin. I swanny,
if I knew how to fix it. I didn't want the pesky critter's letter, and
then agin, I didn't much want to go and carry it to her, for fear she'd
take me for one of them long-haired, lantern-jawed coots that hanker
round sich foreign she critters, like lean dogs a huntin around a bone.
But then agin I raly had a sort of a sneaking notion to see her, if I
could as well as not. So I up and went to the looking glass and gin my
hair a slick or two, and took, a sort of gineral survey, to be sartin
that I was according to gunter.

There wasn't no mistake in that chap, I can tell you. Everything was
smooth as amber-grease, and my hair was so shiney and slick that a fly
would a slipped up if he'd ventured to settle on it. I ony jest pulled
the corner of my new handkercher out of my coat pocket a trifle, then I
put my hat on with a genteel tip upwards, and down I went, chomping a
handful of peppermint drops as I went along in case my breath hadn't
quite got over the smell of fried onions that Captin Doolittle gin me
for breakfast aboard the sloop.

"Look a here," sez I to a chap that I cum across in one of the entryways
as I was a trying to circumnavigate down stairs, "you don't know where
abouts Miss Elssler lives, now du you?"

"Yes," sez he, a stopping short, "she has the large parlor in front,
jest over the great entrance on the second floor."

"What! she don't live here in the Astor House, does she?" sez I,

"Sartinly," sez he.

"You don't say so," sez I.

"Yes I _do_ say so," sez he, a larfin.

"Wal, now I cum to think on it I guess you du," sez I; "but I say now,
you hadn't jest as livs as not go and show me the door, had you?"

"Oh, I haint no particular objections," sez he, and with that he begun
twistifying down stairs and around and across, and I arter him like the
tail to a kite, till by-am-by he hauled up close to a room door, and
arter saying, "this is the room," and giving a bow, cut off before I'd
time to ask him how his marm was.

                                        Your affectionate son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XIX.

JONATHAN SLICK AND FANNY ELSSLER.

A live Yankee and the Parisian Danseuse--Fanny sends her Card and
Jonathan makes a call--Down East Yankee and French-English rather hard
to be understood--Jonathan quite killed off by Fanny's Curchies and
Dimples--A little sort of a Flirtation--An Invitation to see Fanny in
Nathalie, which is accepted.


DEAR PAR:

I swow, I thought I should a choked, my heart riz so when I see that I'd
got to go in alone, and when I took hold of the chunk of brass that
opens the door, I felt the blood a biling up into my face like hot sap
in a sugar kettle. I kinder half opened the door, and then I kinder shut
it agin; arter ketching a good long breath I give the door a rap, and
begun to pull up my dicky sort of careless to let 'em know I wasn't
scared nor nothing, and then I rapped agin.

Gracious! before I took my fist away, the door opened softly as if it
slid on ile, and there stood a woman sort of harnsome and sort a not,
with a leetle cap chuck full of posies stuck on the back of her head, a
looking me right in the face as cosey as if she'd been acquainted with
me when I was a nussing baby. I put my foot out to give her my primest
bow, but think sez I, mebby it aint Miss Elssler arter all; she looks
too much like an old maid for that; so I gin my foot a jerk in and my
hand a genteel flurish towards her, and sez I--

"How do you du marm?"

She looked at me sort of funny, and her mouth begun to pucker itself up,
but sez she, "How do you du?" a biting off the words as short as pie
crust.

"Purty well, I'm obliged to you," sez I, "Miss Elssler aint to hum, is
she?"

The critter looked at me as sober as a clam in high water, but yet she
seemed to be kinder tickled inside of her, and turning her head round
she let out a stream of stuff to somebody inside. It wasn't talking, nor
singing, nor scolding, nor yet was it crying, but some sort of sounds
kept a running off from her tongue as soft as a brook over a bed of
white pebble stuns, and about as fast tu. She kept her hand a running up
and down as if she'd half a notion to beat time to her own new fashioned
singing, till all tu once, up cum a critter from t'other eend of the
room, all dressed in white, as if she'd jest cum out of a band-box, with
allfired harnsome black hair sleeked down each side of her face, with a
hull swad of it twisted up behind, with a golden pin stuck through the
heap, like one of marm's spindles spiked through a hunk of flax. The
head of the pin was as big as a shag-bark walnut, and some sort of stun
was sot in it that was like a gal's mind, no two minits alike--now it
was red, now yaller, now green, and again all these colors seemed
jumbled together and a flashing inside of it till you couldn't tell
which was which. I swanny, if it didn't glisten so that I eenamost
forgot that it was stuck in a woman's head, and that she was a looking
into my face as mealy-mouthed and soft as could be.

"Has the gentleman mistook the room," sez she--

The words were sort of snipped off, but oh gracious, warn't they sweet!
lasses candy and maple sugar was in every syllable. It seemed as if the
critter had been fed forever on nothing but mellow peaches and slippery
elm bark, she spoke so soft. She kinder smiled tu, but it was nat'ral as
could be. Think sez I mebby the coot has led me into the wrong goose
pen, but there aint no help for it now. So I jest walked a step for'ard,
and sez I--

"How do you du marm?"

"I kinder guess there aint no mistake worth a mentioning. If Miss
Elssler aint to hum I'll make tracks and cum agin, it aint no trouble,
I'd just as livs as not, but I guess I'll leave this ere letter for fear
she may want it. Some etarnal coot brought it up to my room, but I
suppose the critter didn't know no better--some of these York chaps are
green as young potatoes, don't you think so, marm?"

I didn't wait for no answer, but handed over the new fangled letter,
and was a going right off agin, but she looked at the letter sort of
astonished, and then at me, till I didn't know what to make of it. Arter
a minit, sez she--

"Why dis is the card for Mr. Slick, one of de Editors of de _Express_
who has just arrived; certainly he could not be so rude as to send it
back again."

Oh gracious! think sez I, "Jonathan Slick, if you haint broke your onion
string now!"

"Was the gentleman out?" sez she, looking at the paper, and then at me
agin.

Think sez I--"You'd better ask his marm," for I'll be darned if he can
tell that, or anything else. I aint quite sartin if he knows jest this
minit which eend his head's on. But there's nothing like keeping a stiff
upper lip in sich places as York. In less than half a jiffy I reached
out my hand sort of easy, and took the paper out of her hand, and then I
gin her a smile, as much as to say, aint I a careless shote? and, sez I,

"Now I swanny, did you ever! Well now who'd a thought it,"--and with
that I began to feel in my vest, and dug my hands down in my trousers'
pockets, as if I'd give the wrong paper, and had lost something else,
and wouldn't give up till I'd found it. I didn't seem content till I'd
pulled out my yaller hankercher and shook it, and then I stopped still,
and sez I,

"Now if this don't beat all, aint I the beatermost feller for losing
things? Howsomever, it's well it aint no worse. I can write another
almost any time. Jest tell Miss Elssler that Mr. Slick has called in to
thank her for her harnsome little keepsake, and that he's felt awfully
wamblecropped when he found out she wasn't to hum."

The woman that come to the door fust, she looked at the other and begun
gabbling away, and then the black haired one, sez she,

"Oh, Mister Sleeke, pardon! pardon! I am so sorry to keep you so long
standing. I did not know! walk in, walk in. I am most happy to see
gentlemen of de press--most happy of any to see Mister Sleeke." With
that she stepped back and made the purtyest leetle curchy that ever I
see; it was like a speckled trout diving into a brook jest enough to
give a curve to the water and no more.

"Oh dear!" think sez I, "Jonathan Slick, if you havn't been a weeding in
the wrong bed agin. That critter is Fanny Elssler as true as all
creation; no woman on arth could make sich a curchy but her." I guess my
face blazed up a few, but I seen that there was no backing out, so not
to be behind hand in good manners I stepped back, put out my foot with a
flourish that made the seams to my new trousers give; then I drew my
right heel into the hollow of my left foot, and kept a bending for'ard
all the time with a sort of deliberate gentility, till my eyes had to
roll up the leastest mite to keep sight of her'n. Then I drew up agin
easy, like a jack-knife with a tough spring, and finished off with a
flurish of my hand up to my hat and back agin; that last touch left me
standing parpendic'lar right before her, as a free born citizen of
America ought tu.

"Miss Elssler," sez I, "how do you du? You haint no idea how tickled I
am to see you."

That and the bow of mine did the bisness for her. I never did see a
critter act so tickled--the dimples kept a coming and going round that
sweet mouth of her'n like the bubbles on a glass of prime cider. Her
eyes were brimful of funny looks, and she grew harnsomer every minit.
Her face realy was like a picture book; every time I took a peak it
seemed as if she'd turned over a new leaf with a brighter pictur painted
on it.

She went along towards a bench all cushioned off, that looked as if it
was tu good to be sot on, and there she stood a waving that white hand,
as much as to say, set down here Mr. Slick, and don't be particlar about
gitting too fur off from them square pillars for I shall set agin them
myself.

I made her a kind of a half bow, and then arter giving my hand a wave to
match her'n,--sez I--

"Arter you is manners for me."

The critter understands what good manners is; her black eyes begun to
sparkle and the smile came around her little mouth thicker and faster,
like lady bugs around a full blown rose. I begun to feel to hum with her
right off, so when she sot down and looked into my face with them sarcy
mischievous eyes of her'n, and hitched up to the square cushion sort of
inviting, I jest divided my coat tail with both hands and sot down tu.
But when I got down I'll be darned if I knew what on arth to talk about;
I stretched one of my new boots out on the carpet, and then crossed
t'other over it and then I did it all over agin, but still I kept
growing more and more streaked, till by-am-by I jest sidled towards her
kind of insinivating, and sez I--

"Wal, Miss Elssler, what's the news?"

"E--a de what," sez she, a looking puzzled half to death.

"Oh nothing partic'lar," sez I. "I swow, Miss Elssler, you've got a
tarnal purty foot--git out you critter you!" and with that I gave my
yaller hankercher a flirt and upset a fly that had lit on the tip eend
of her finefied silk shoe. Arter I'd finished his bisness, I folded up
my hankercher and wiped my nose, and then put it in my pocket agin. Then
I begun to think it was best to take a new start, and sez I--

"Its rather pleasant weather for the season, don't you think
so--beautiful day yesterday, wasn't it?"

She gave me one of her sweet smiles, and sez she--

"Yes it was, indeed. I was on board one French vessel in the harbor
yesterday, and was so delighted."

"What sort of a consarn was it?" sez I, "a sloop mebby"--

"Oh no," sez she, "it was a _La Belle Poule_."

"Oh," sez I, "they don't call them sloops in France, I s'pose; but I
say, Miss Elssler, have you ever been aboard a regular Yankee craft, say
a Connecticut river sloop or a two mast schooner from down East? them's
the ginuine sea birds for you! Now my Par's got one a lying down to Peck
Slip that'll take the shine off from any of your Bell pulls or Bell
ropes either, I'll bet a cookey. I should raly like to show you the
critter, I'm sartin Captin Doolittle would go off the handle, he'd be so
tickled. Supposing you and I go down some day and git a peep at her, and
take a glass of cider and a cold bite in the cabin. Now what do you
say?"

"Oh, I shall be very happy;" sez she, yet I thought she looked kinder
puzzled, and so to make her feel easy about it sez I--

"Don't be oneasy about the trouble, it won't be no put out to Captin
Doolittle, he's al'rs on hand for a spree. Supposing we set day after
to-morrow, it's best to give the old chap time to slick up a leetle,"
sez I.

"Any time that pleases Mr. Sleeke," sez she, a bowing her head.

I wish to gracious Par, you could hear how the critter talks. She nips
off some words and strings out others, like a baby jest larning. The way
she draws out Mr. Slick is funny enough, you'd think she'd been greasing
her tongue to do it fust rate.

Wal, arter we'd settled about the sloop, there come another dead calm
and I begun to feel awk'ard agin, so I got up and went to a table that
was a'most kivered over with tumblers and chiny cups, stuffed full of
posies, and taking one of 'em up, I stuck my nose into the middle on it
and giv a good snuff. By the time I got through, Miss Elssler she cum
and stood close by me, alooking so tempting that I bust rite out and sez
I--

"I swan, Miss Elssler, its eenamost as sweet as your face."

She looked at me again, sort of wild, as if she wasn't used to have
folks praise her, so I choked in, and sez I--

"Are you fond of posies?"

She chewed up some soft words that I couldn't make out, and then sez I
agin--

"You've got a swad of 'em here, any how. Some of your beaus sent them to
you, now, I'll bet something."

"Oh," sez she, a larfing, "dey were all flung on de stage last night, de
new York gentlemen dey are _so_ gallant."

I said nothing but kept a darned of a thinking. There wasn't a ginuine
prime posey among 'em, nothing but leetle finefied roses, and buds and
leaves, and white posies tied up in bunches, jest sich leetle things as
a feller might give to a young critter of a gal that he took a notion
tu, but no more fit for sich a smasher as Miss Elssler than a missionary
psalm book. She begun to untie one of the bunches, and stuck a few into
her bosom, and then she twisted the ribbon round a harnsome red rose and
a heap of green leaves, and puckering up that sweet mouth of her'n, she
gin it to me with a half curchy. Gaury! didn't my heart flounder, and
didn't the fire flash up into my eyes. I pinned the rose into my shirt
bosom with my new broach, and then I looked at the posies that lay on
her bosom so tantalizing, and sez I--

"Oh dear! how I wish I was a honey bee--I guess I know what bunch of
posies I'd settle in."

She didn't seem to know how to take this, and I was eenamost scared into
a caniption fit to think what I'd been a saying. Think sez I, now
Jonathan, if you hain't done it! I ruther guess you'd better cut dirt,
and not try agin; so I took out my watch, and sez I--

"Goodness gracious! its time for me to be a going. Don't forgit, our
bargin is clinched about the sloop, will you now, Miss Elssler?"

With that I edged towards the door, and arter making another prime bow,
I went out, feeling sort of all-overish, I can't tell how. I kinder
think she wasn't very wrothy arter all, for she curchied and smiled so,
I guess there wasn't much harm done.

The minit I got to my room I was all in a twitter to find out what was
on the paper Miss Elssler had sent to me, for I hadn't found out yet.
Every word that I could make out was, Madame ma Selle Elssler, and
something that looked like compliments spelt wrong: you can't think how
I was puzzled. I turned the paper upside down, and up, and every which
way, but if the rest wasn't writ in some sort of hog Latin, I hadn't no
idee what it was, for I couldn't make out another word, so at last I
chucked the paper onto the mantel-shelf, for I wouldn't hold in no
longer, and sez I, all alone to myself, as wrathy as could be, sez I,

"Madam ma Selle Elssler, and be darned, for what I care; I wish to
gracious she knew how to write coarser."

By-am-by I took up the thing agin, for it made me feel sheepish to think
I couldn't make out to read so much Latin as a gal could write, arter
going to grammar school so long, but it wasn't of no use, so think sez
I, I'll jest go down to the bar-room and see where the critter is to be
sold, and what madam it is that's going to knock her off. So down I
went, and sez I to the man sort of easy, sez I,

"So you're a going to have an auction here, aint you?"

The chap looked up, and at fust he didn't seem to know me agin in my fix
up, but arter a minit he smiled, and sez he,

"Dear me, Mr. Slick, is it you agin? An auction! no, not as I know on."

"Oh!" sez I, and with that I begun to twistify the square paper about
in my fingers, and at last I seemed to be a reading it as arnest as
could be, all the while a leaning sort of easy towards him as if I'd
forgot he was there. He kept a eyeing it kinder slantindicular, till at
last, sez he--

"That's purty writing, Mr. Slick--a lady's, I should think?"

"Mebby you've seen it afore," sez I, a trying to look careless, and as
if I'd read every word on't a dozen times. "Ruther scrumptous leetle
curlecues them are, don't you think so?"

With that I handed over the pesky thing kind of nat'ral, as if I didn't
really think what I was a doing, and he seemed to read it off as easy as
water.

"Oh yes," sez he, "this is her _own_ handwriting; a great compliment,
Mr. Slick. I know of many a fine feller that would give his ears to get
sich a card from 'the Elssler.'"

"Oh," sez I, "if she has a notion for ears, she'd better bargain for
them Baltimore chaps that we've heard on. She'll get prime ones there,
as long as beet leaves, but I'm afeared she'll find 'em ruther scarce
here in York; the sile ain't rich enough for 'em."

Here the chap bust out a larfing, and haw-hawed till it seemed as if
he'd go right off the handle. He tried to choke in, but that only made
him top off short with a touch of the hooping-cough. Arter a while he
wiped his eyes, and sez he--

"Very good, Mr. Slick! very good indeed! But of course you accept the
Elssler's invitation to the theatre to-night!"

"To the theatre," sez I, "so she goes off there, does she; well, a
feller may see the fun without bidding, so mebby I'll go."

"Jest inquire for the Astor House box, and it'll be all right," sez the
chap, and with that he took up the thick paper, and, sez he,

"How neatly they do turn off these compliments in French, don't they?"

"In what?" sez I.

"In French," sez he.

"Oh!" sez I, and more and more I was anxious to find out what the French
gal had writ to me.

"How beautifully she's turned this sentence about your talents," sez he.

"Yes," sez I, all of a twitter inside, but cool as a cucumber for what
he knew. "Yes, purty well, considering, but look a here now, I'll bet a
cookey you can't turn that into fust rate English as soon as I can, and
I'll give you the fust chance tu."

The chap larfed agin, and sez he, "If you'd a said fust rate Yankee I
should a gin right up tu once, but I ruther think I can cum up to you in
English."

"The proof of the pudding is in eating the bag," sez I.

"Wal," sez he, "I can but try;" so he looked at the paper, and read it
off jest as easy as git out.

"Miss Elssler's compliments to Mr. Jonathan Slick, and hopes that he
will do her the honor to accept a seat in a private box at the theatre
this evening, where she performs in Nathalie and the Cachuka." Then he
went on with a grist of the softest sodder that ever you heard on, about
my talents and genius, and the cute way I had of writing about the gals,
that put me all in a twitteration; but he read so fast that I couldn't
ketch only now and then a word sartin enough to write it down, and if I
could it would make me feel awful sheepish to think Judy White would
ever see it, so the least said, the soonest mended.

"Wal," sez I, sort of condescending, when the chap had got through, "I
give up beat--you've done it as cute as a razor. I raly could a parsed
the words as you went along. Mebby you might have tucked in a few more
long words, but all things considered, it aint best to be critical, so I
guess I may as well agree to owe you the cookey." With that I went to my
room agin.

                                        Your affectionate son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XX.

Jonathan goes to the Express Office--His Opinion of Zeke Jones and the
"Brother Jonathan" Newspaper--Explains his Absence, and enters into a
new Agreement with the Editors.


DEAR PAR:

Arter I'd made a visit to Miss Elssler, I went up to my room, as I was a
telling you, and begun to think over what we'd been a talking about, and
it made me feel sort of streaked to think she took me for one of the
Editors of the _Express_, when I was eenamost scared to death for fear
they wouldn't print my letters agin, arter I give them the mitten so
slick, and went off to Weathersfield. I didn't suppose the critters ever
knew what it was to be humsick, as I was in this tarnal place, and was
afeard they might rise right up agin having anything to do with me. But
think sez I, there's nothing like keeping a stiff upper lip, and putting
on airs of independence, and talking right up to these newspaper chaps;
so I on with my hat, and cut along towards the _Express_ Office,
detarmined to du up my chores in that quarter, without chawing over the
matter any longer.

Wal, I streaked it along about the quickest, like a string of onions
broke loose at the leetle eend. I begun to feel awful anxious jest as I
got in sight of the office, and the feeling made me slack foot and ketch
breath, I can tell you. As I went by the corner in a sort of a half
canter, with my hands in both pockets--for I felt kinder ashamed of the
streaked mittens marm knit for me when my yaller gloves wore out, they
didn't exactly gibe with my other fix up--the people stopped and stared
like all possessed.

"If that aint Mr. Slick!" sez one;--"Sure enough," sez another, "so it
is." "Didn't I tell you he wasn't dead," sez another.

With that I shirked up a leetle, and sez I to myself, sez I--Who cares
if the Editors of the _Express_ be mad, cause I cut stick when they
wanted to send me off to Washington, when it was as hot as all natur,
and jest planting time. If my letters were good for any thing, they'll
be glad on 'em agin, and if they aint, why I'll let 'em see that I'm a
true born ginuine American, died in the wool, and that I can up stakes
and go hum agin in the old sloop as independent as a cork screw.

Arter I'd hung about the corner of the office a leetle while, I got up
pluck, and walked right straight ahead into the office. I begun to feel
to hum the minit I opened the door--every thing looked so nat'ral. There
was the counter, jest like old times, and the pigeon holes stuck full of
newspapers, and a pile of white printer's paper a lying up in one
corner, and there sot the clark, a rale ginuine cute leetle Yankee; he
was a writing on leetle scraps of brown paper, and a looking as if all
creation would stop if he didn't go ahead.

I jest give a peak in for a minit and streaked it up stairs, to see if I
couldn't find somebody there. I wish you could have seen how the work
hands stared and looked at one another when I went in, but I didn't stop
to say nothing to nobody, but up I went, through a room chuck full and
brimming over with work hands, and there in a leetle room, about as big
as an undersized calf pen, sot the critter hisself, eenamost buried up
in a pile of newspapers. It raly did my heart good to look at him, he'd
grown so chirk and hearty, it seemed to me as if he must a fatted up two
inches on the ribs since I'd seen him.

"Gracious me," sez I to myself, "I kinder wish I'd stuck to and tried to
tucker it out last year, and mebby I should a had something to fat up
about. Now I wonder what he's a reading that tickles him so."

Jest as I was a thinking this, the Editor of the _Express_ he looked up,
and see me a standing there, as if I'd been a growing on that identical
spot ever since last summer. Gauly offilus! but didn't the newspapers
fly, when he was sartin who it was. I see that he was eenamost tickled
to death to see me agin.

"I hain't lost my chance here yet," sez I to myself, and so I walked
right straight up to him, and held out my fist, mitten and all, and sez
I--

"How do you do?"--jest so.

"Why Mr. Slick," sez he, "where did you come from?"

"Right straight from hum," sez I; "but how du you git along about these
times--every thing going along about straight, I s'pose."

By this time he seemed to think that there was something that he ought
to git mad about. You'd a thought he'd swollered a basket of cowcumbers
all of a sudden, he looked so frosty.

"Now for it," sez I to myself.

"Mr. Slick," sez he, a looking as parpendicular as if he'd eat tenpenny
nails for breakfast, and topped off with a young crowbar, "Mr. Slick,
I'm happy to see you in York agin, but what on arth was the reason that
you left us in the lurch about them letters from Washington?"

"Did you ever have a touch of humsickness?" sez I, a straightening up
and putting my hands in my pockets, till the tip eend of my nose
eenamost come on a level with his'n.

"I ruther think I have," sez he, a hitching up his shoulders.

"And the ager, too?" sez I.

"Don't mention it," sez he, jest a shaking the leastest mite all over
with thinking about it.

"Awful sort of a chilly animal, that ager, ain't it?" sez I.

"Dreadful," sez he.

"Didn't it seem as if you'd have to take up all your bones for salt and
battery on one another, afore they'd keep still?" sez I.

"A most," sez he, a larfing.

"Wal," sez I, "I didn't ketch the fever and ager."

"What did you ketch, then?" sez he, sort of impatient.

"Oh, I felt kinder as if I should git it if I didn't go hum and doctor,"
sez I.

"But that wasn't quite reason enough for your goin off so," sez he.

"Wasn't it?" sez I, "but that wasn't all; I got a letter from par, and
he wrote that marm was ailing, and that he was getting down in the
mouth, and didn't feel very smart himself, and there wasn't nobody to
weed the onions--only Judy White--and she seemed sort of molancholy, and
so"----

"Oh, I understand," sez he, a cutting me off short in what I was going
to say. I guess he took notice how the blood biled up in my face, for he
went right to talking about something else as nat'ral as could be.

So arter confabulating a spell about things in general, the Editor of
the Express he begun to poke around among the newspapers agin, and to
hitch around as if he'd jest as lief I wasn't there. I pulled out my
mittens, for it was cold enough to snap a feller's ears off, early as it
was. So I put 'em on sort of deliberate, and begun to smooth up the red
and blue fringe on the top, jest as if I wanted to go, and yet didn't
feel in much of a hurry.

By-am-by I got up, and sez I, "Wal, good-day--I s'pose it's about time
for me to be a jogging."

"Don't be in a hurry, Mr. Slick," sez he, a fumbling over the newspapers
all the time.

Think sez I, "If you have any notion to print my letters, it's about
time to come up to the scratch tu once;" but he kept on a reading, and
sez I, a sliding back'ards towards the door,--

"I shouldn't be in such a pucker to go, but I want to stop at the office
of the Brother Jonathan to see Zeke Jones, from our parts. He's a prime
feller, Zeke is; one of them sort of chaps that make one proud of human
natur. We used to be as thick as three in a bed afore either of us took
to literature. I haint seen him since, but his stories are the clear
grain and no chaff, ginuine all over, and enough to bring the tears into
a feller's eyes once in a while, I can tell you. The critter 'll go
right off the handle when he sees me, he'll be so tickled," sez I, "and
I haint no doubt but he can get the editors of that creation large paper
to print some of my letters for me."

"There," think sez I, "if that don't bring him up to the trough, fodder
or no fodder, I don't know what will."

Sure enough, I hadn't but jest got the words out of my mouth, when the
chap he spoke up like a man.

"Mr. Slick," sez he, "don't think of sich a thing as writing for any
paper but the New York Express. I can't bear the idee of it a minit. You
raly can't think how bad we felt for fear you was dead when we didn't
git no more letters from you arter you went to Weathersfield. Now what
do you say to staying in New York and going ahead agin? Supposing you
pull off your mittens and take hold now?"

I seem'd to sort of deliberate a spell, for I didn't want him to think I
come to York a purpose to stay; so arter a while sez I,--

"Wal, I'll think about it. Par is a getting old, but I guess he'd about
as lief do the foddering an help marm about the chores as not this
winter, and mebby Captain Doolittle will board there and help about when
he hives up for the winter. But I don't jest know how to manage it. I
hain't no go-to-meeting clothes, that are quite up to the notch. The
knees of my dandy trousers bust out the fust time I got down to weed
onions in 'em, and I feel rather unsartin how this new fix of mine would
take the gals' eyes in Broadway."

"Oh! don't stand on trifles Mr. Slick," sez he, "Editors never do,"--and
with that he took a squint at my trousers, as if he was mightily tickled
with the fit of 'em and wanted to get a pattern. This sot me in conceit
of 'em a leetle.

"A feller might see that with half an eye, any how," sez I. "But now I
come to think of it, this ere suit of go-to-meeting clothes that I've
got on aint to be sneezed at, now, are they? Marm spun and made them for
me afore I cum away from hum. She cut 'em by my dandy coat and trousers,
and got a purty scrumptious fit. So mebby they'll be jest the thing.
Every body in Weathersfield took to cuttin their clothes arter mine,"
sez I, sort of bragging,--because, you know, with some folks it's best
to put the best foot for'ard, and pass for all you're worth, and
sometimes for a leetle more, tu.

It's all a mistake for a man to think tu well of himself; but the
experience I've had here in York tells me, that a man, to make others
think well of him, must make the most of himself and of all his
imperfections. "A good outside for the world, and a good heart within,"
was one of the best lessons you larned me, par, when I left
Weathersfield for York. So sez I to the editor, standing as straight as
a broomstick, and striking my hand upon my hat, and then putting both in
my pockets, to appear sort of independent,--

"If you think they'll du, why I don't care if I hitch tackle with you
agin; but if the notion takes me to cut stick for Washington or
Weathersfield some of these days, I ain't sartin but you'll find me
among the missing, but howsomever, I'll give you a try at a few letters;
but I've got my hand out, I can tell you. Stringing onions and writing
letters on genteel society, ain't the same thing by no sort of means. So
now that's all settled, I'm off like shot off a shovel."

With that I shook hands with the Editor of the Express, and made tracks
for the sloop about the tickledest feller that ever you did see.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXI.

Jonathan Visits Mr. Hogg's Garden and gets a Bouquet--Puzzled about the
propriety of Paying for it--Purchases a Ribbon, and starts for the
Theatre.


DEAR PAR:

The minit I got to the sloop I took off my coat, for I didn't seem to
hum enough in the Astor House to write there. I sot down in the cabin,
and stretching out my legs on a butter-tub, I turned up my ristbands and
wrote off the letter that I sent you t'other day on the top of an onion
barrel, without stopping once, I was so tarnationed anxious to let you
know how I was a getting along.

I had to bite off short, for a chap come aboard the sloop with Captin
Doolittle to bargain for the cargo of cider and garden sarse. I was
afeared that they would want to overhaul my writing desk, and so made
myself scarce, and went up to the Express with the letter stuck loose
inside the crown of my hat, editor fashion.

I left the hull letter with the clark, and axed him where on arth a chap
could git a smashing bunch of posies, if he took a notion to want sich a
thing. He told me to go right straight up to Mr. Hogg's, clear up town
along the East River, and said that I'd better git aboard a Harlem car,
and it would carry me right chock agin the spot for a ninepence.

"Wal," sez I, "the expense aint nothing to kill, so I guess I'll ride."

With that, I got into one of them allfired awk'ard things that look like
a young school-house sot on wheels, and running away with the scollars
stowed inside; and arter shelling out my ninepence, we sot out up
Centre-street, through the Bowery, and all along shore, till we stopped
short nigh agin the Astoria ferry, clear up town. Arter searching around
a little, I found Mr. Hogg's gardin, and went in. A great, tall,
good-natured looking chap cum up to me as I was a peaking about--a
feller that made me feel hum-sick in a minit, he looked so much like our
folks.

"How do you du?" sez I, "I'm tickled to see you; they told me that you
keep posies about these ere premises, but I don't see no signs of 'em."

"Oh," sez he, as good as pie, "come this way, and I guess we can find as
many as you want."

"Wal, that'll be a good many, for I'm a hard critter on marygolds and
holly-hocks," sez I, "and I want a smashing heap on 'em."

With that, Mr. Hogg, instead of taking me into a garden, jest opened the
door of a great long, low house, with an allfired great winder covering
the hull roof, and sez he--

"Walk in."

I guess I did walk in, for the house was chuck full of the harnsomest
trees and bushes that I ever sot eyes on, all kivered over with posies,
and smelling so sweet, that a bed of seed onions, jest as it busts out
in a snow-storm of white flowers, aint nothing compared to it. Didn't I
give good long snuffs as I went in! This idea, to my notion, of posies
amongst big trees and bushes, are like wimmen folks and young ones in
the world of human natur. If they arnt good for something else they are
plaguey harnsome to look at, and the world would be awful dark and
scraggy without them. Some wimmen may be bad enough and hateful as
henbane, but consarn me if I wouldn't rather love thorn bushes than none
at all.

There was one tree that took my eye the minit I went in; it hung chuck
full of great big oranges, and tell me I lie right out, it there wasn't
a swad of white posies a busting out through the great green leeves in
hull handfuls, all around on the same limbs where the oranges were a
growing. Think sez I, this raly is a ginuine scripture lesson, spring
and fall a gitting in love with each other and hugging together on the
same bush; oh, gracious! how the parfume did pour out from the middle of
that tree! I felt it a steaming up my nose and creeping through my hair,
till I begun to feel as sweet as if I'd been ducked all over in a kettle
full of biled rose leaves.

Mr. Hogg he went along among the great high rows of bushes sot in a
heap, one on top of t'other almost to the glass ruff, with a good sized
jack-knife in his hand, and then he cut and slashed among the green
leaves and red roses, and piled up a bunch of posies about the quickest!
Yet I wasn't satisfied, he didn't seem to pick out the rale critters,
but tucked in the leetle finefied buds jest as if he couldn't guess what
I wanted 'em for.

"Oh, now you git out," sez I, when he handed over a hull swad of posies
done up in a grist of leaves; "you don't mean to put me off with that
ere! why, it aint a flee-bite to what I want. Come now, hunt up a few
hollyhocks, and marygolds, and poppies, and if you've got a good
smashing hidaranger, purple on one side and yaller on tother, tuck it in
the middle."

Mr. Hogg he stood a looking right in my eyes with his mouth a little
open, as if he didn't know what to make of it.

"The season is over for those things," sez he, "and I haint got one in
the hot-house."

"Wal," sez I, "du the best you can, all things considering, only tuck in
the big posies and enough on 'em, for I'm going to give 'em to a sneezer
of a harnsome gal--so don't be too sparing."

With that M. Hogg sarched out some great red and yaller posies, with
some streaming long blue ones a sticking through them, and arter a while
he handed over something worth while--a great smashing bunch of posies
as big as a bell-squash choked in at the neck.

Arter I'd examined the consarn to be sartin that all was shipshape, I
made Mr. Hogg a bow and, sez I,

"I'm much obliged to you--if ever you come to Weathersfield in the
summer time, marm will give you jest as many and be tickled with the
chance. She beats all natur at raising these sort of things."

He looked at me sort of arnest, but yet he didn't seem to be jest
satisfied, and after snapping his thumb across the blade of his
jack-knife a minit, he spoke out, but seemed kinder loth.

"We generally sell our bokays," sez he, arter haming and hawing a leetle
while.

"Wal," sez I, "mebby I shall want one some of these days, and then I'll
give you a call--but any how I'm obliged to you for the posies all the
same."

I wanted to offer him a fourpence for the trouble of picking the posies,
but he looked so much like a gentleman and a Weathersfield Deacon, I was
scared for fear he'd think I wanted to impose on him if I offered money.
So I made him another bow, and went off, while he stood a looking arter
me as if I'd been stealin a sheep. I have wished since that I'd offered
him the fourpence, for he kinder seemed to calculate on something like
it. I stopped into a store, and bought a yard of wide yaller ribbon, and
arter tying it round my bunch of posies in a double bow not, with great
long eends a streaming down, I took the critter in my hand, and cut dirt
for the theatre, for it was a gitting nigh on to dark.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXII.

Jonathan gives a Description of the Theatre, Private Boxes, Drop Scene,
&c.--His Ideas of _Miss_ Elssler's Dancing, and Dancing Girls in
general--Jonathan mistakes Williams in his Comic Song of "Old Maids and
Old Bachelors to Sell," for an Auctioneer who is knocking off "La Belle
Fanny," to the Highest Bidder--Jonathan is indignant that she is not
his, after so much hard bidding, by winks, &c.--He flings his Bouquet at
Fanny's Feet--Jonathan's Visit Behind the Scenes, and his Idea of Things
seen there--Gallants Fanny home to the Astor House.


DEAR PAR:

The man who keeps the door at the Park Theatre didn't seem to know me at
fust, but the minit I writ out my name the hull length, and handed it
over, curlecues and all, and told him I wanted the Astor House box, he
was as perlite as a basket of chips. He handed me over to another chap,
who took me up stairs and along a dark entry way, till he ended in a
harnsome leetle pen, all curtained off with red silk, with purty
mahogany frames that slid up and down over a sort of red pulpit cushion
that run round the front side.

The feller he shut me up, and I sot down on one of the chairs in the
box, and took a gineral survey of the theatre. From where I sot, it
looked as if somebody had laid down an allfired big horse-shoe for a
pattern, and then built after it one tier of seats above another till
they got tired of the fun, and topped off with a young sky all covered
over with golden picters and curlecued work.

There was a consarned great curtain hung down afore the stage, with a
sort of an Injun mound in the middle, and a house built on top of it. A
lot of painted fellers hung about the front of the curtain, niggers and
Injuns, some a setting down and some a standing up, and looking like
human meat-axes gone to sleep. One feller that was squat down with his
back leaned agin a post, had something that looked like a bunch of
prime onions with the tops on, stuffed inter his bosom, and he held a
kind of a short handled frying-pan in his hand as if he meant to cook
some and have a smart fry, as soon as he could git tu a fire.

I hadn't sot long when the men begun to stream into the theatre like all
possessed, with a small sprinkling of the feminine gender, jest enough
to take the cuss off and no more.

In less than no time the house was jammed chuck full and running over,
till I raly felt as if it was wicked to keep so much room all to myself,
when the rest was stowed and jammed up so close that you couldn't a hung
up a flax seed edgeways between 'em, but think sez I, every one for
himself--I know when I'm well off, and that's enough. So I leaned over
the cushion, and let one hand hang a leetle over the edge, as
independent as if the whole theatre was mine.

By-am-by the curtain begun to roll up, and I'd like to have larfed right
out to see them painted chaps du themselves up and curl over the
roller--fust their feet doubled up, then their legs and hips and
shoulders--then the roller took a slice off from the bottom of the
mound, and turights, the hull was twisted up into a beam, and hitched to
the ruff--goodness gracious knows how, I don't!

Wal, when the curtain was all rolled up snug, there raly was a picter
worth looking on behind it. There was a great high mountain with rail
fences cutting across it, and bridges and trees, that made a feller feel
oneasy to git into the shade, and oxen and cows and folks a driving 'em,
going along the road, that run around slantindicular to the top, and
there, jest at the foot of the hill, was a purty leetle house half
kivered over with grape vines and morning glories that made me think of
hum till I could a bust out crying as well as not.

All to once there was a toot horn sounded up among the rocks, and
then--oh creation! what a grist of harnsome gals cum a dancing and
larfing and hopping down the mountain, all with curls a flying and
posies twisted among 'em, and white frocks on, and ribbons a streaming
out every which way, and _sich_ feet, I swanny it made me ketch my
breath to see 'em a cutting about under their white petticoats.

When they got down onto the flat before the house, the way they cut it
down heel and toe, right and left, down outside and up the middle, was
enough to make the York tippes, the darned lazy coots, ashamed of
themselves. It was Down East all over!--they put it down about right,
with the ginuine Yankee grit. I felt all in a twitter to git down and
shake a toe with them. It would be worth while to cut a double shuffle
among so many harnsome gals, with a hull pen chuck full of fiddles a
reeling off the music for you. I'll be darned, Par, if I don't believe
it would make the blood streak it through your old veins about the
quickest, if you be a Justice of the Peace and a Deacon of the Church.

Arter a while a feller cum up that looked just like a tin pedler out of
work--a sneaking critter with a face like a jack-knife, and a white hat
on turned clear up on the sides till the front and back was pinted like
a butter scoop. He begun stepping about and making motions with his
arms, till the gals cut up the hill to work agin, like a coop full of
chickens scattered by a hen hawk.

The chap was a strutting about as crank as a woodchuck, when in come
Miss Elssler a hundred times handsomer than she was to hum, wheeling a
wheel-barrow with a churn in it.

Gauly oppalus! but wasn't she a sneezer! The rest wasn't no more to
compare with her than a dandalion is to a cabbage rose. On she cum a
teetering along as genteel as a bobalink in a wheat lot. She had on a
straw hat curled up at the sides that made her handsome face look so
cunning; besides this she wore a sort of a new fashioned jacket with
short sleeves, that showed a pair of the roundest fattest arms all sort
of tapering off to the hand--a purty leetle finefied hand as white as
curd, and that looked eenamost as soft too. With the hat on and the
jacket you might have took her for an allfired harnsome boy, but there
was no mistake about the rest. Mary Beebe couldn't raise a bigger bump
than she had on. Arter all, the boys' and gals' clothing pulled about an
even yoke on her. She had on a short petticoat that showed a purty
considerable chunk of understandings, that tapered off into a pair of
feet, that looked as if they couldn't be hired to keep still on no
account. Take her for all, I can't but allow, that she was a smasher in
the way of beauty, and her manners were sartinly very genteel.

The minit she cum on, the folks in the theatre begun to stomp, and yell,
and kick up a darned of a fuss; with that she dropped her wheel-barrow
as if it had been a hot potater, and begun to curchy, and smile, and put
that consarned hand agin her heart, till I begun to ketch breath like a
pair of bellerses.

It took nigh upon three minits afore the consarned fellers would stop
their yop; but when they did choke in a leetle, she ketched up the
wheel-barrow and scooted up the mountain with it, a teetering and
sidling along like a young colt when they are a breaking him to the bit.

The tin pedler chap, he poked on arter, and gin the wheel-barrow a boost
once in a while as chipper as could be. It made my dander rise to see
the chap a hankering arter her so. If she wanted to take a shine to a
Yankee why couldn't she a found a feller worth a looking at? But
sometimes it does seem as if these gals couldn't tell bran when the
bag's open--the brightest on 'em. I say nothing, but it seems to me that
she might a gin one peak up to the Astor House box. I guess it would
have made that chap sing small if she had.

Wal, arter all, the critters both came back agin. The gal had a red
ribbon in her hand and she'd lost her straw hat somewhere in the bushes.
It raly did beat all how she tanteralized that he coot with the ribbon;
fust she made as if she'd give it to him, and jest as he gripped it,
away it slipped through his fingers and she flourished it now on one
side his head, and now on t'other, as if it had been a streak of
lightning she was a playing with. It tickled me eenamost to death to see
how darned sheepish the critter looked when she sort of hovered about
him with the ribbon, now a sticking that tarnal sweet coaxing face into
his'n so pert, and then darnsing off as easy as git out, with the red
ribbon a streaming from her fingers so sarsy.

Oh gracious! I'd a gin something to have been in that feller's shoes, I
swan if I wouldn't a give her a buss right before 'em all--I couldn't a
help'd it if all creation had been at the door, and I swan, Par, I
believe you'd a up and give her a smack tu if you'd been by, old as you
be. The sight of her tarnal sweet winning ways was enough to rile up
the blood in a feller's heart, if he was as old and frosty as
Mathusaler's.

I don't wonder that the fellers stomped and clapped their paws,--I'm
afear'd I let out a young arthquake myself in that way. I tried to hold
in, but it wasn't the leastest might of use. That gal is like a
sky-rocket, she busts right on a feller and takes away his senses with
the blaze. I settled right down like a cabbage sprout in a hot sun.

Arter a while the gals all come down from the mountain agin, and begun
to cut up their tantrums; then a harnsome man with a cap and feathers
on, and clothes all kivered with silver and gold and precious stones,
come tipping along leading a great strapping woman as tall as all
out-doors, and dressed off in green like a bull-frog. They went into a
leetle sort of a cubby house with glass winders, and sot down to see the
rest dance.

Didn't they cut the dashes though! helter skelter, hurra boys; they went
at it like a flock of sheep at salting time. By-am-by they all give out,
and my gal, Fanny, she stood up with the leetle Yankee as if she was a
going to dance a jig. She'd put on another petticoat streaked yaller and
blue, but insted of running up and down, the streaks were a foot wide,
and run round and round like the hoops of a barrel. She'd lost her hat,
and a swad of the shineyest black hair that ever I saw on a gal's head
was kinder slicked down on the sides, and twistified up in a knot behind
her harnsome shaped head, and then topped off with a bunch of red roses
and a pink ribbon that hung streaming down her back about as long as
marm ties your cue, Par, when you go to meeting.

Wal, the leetle chap he begun to dance fust, and I thought I should a
haw-hawed right out to see him strain and exart himself, while she stood
by with her tarnal cunning head stuck a one side, so tickled, that the
tee-hee fairly bust through, and made her larf sort of easy all over,
but he didn't seem to know that she was a poking fun at him.

When the chap got through, Miss Elssler she jest sidled up as softly as
a snow storm--gin her foot a twirl, and took a sort of genteel dive as
if she was a going to swim in the air. Oh dear, didn't she swim, too! It
was like a bird on an apple tree limb in spring time, or a boy's kite a
sailing and ducking to a south wind. She didn't kick about, and shuffle,
and all that, as I've seen 'em do; nor did she pucker and twist and
sidle like the darned lazy varmints that I've seen among the fashionable
big bugs; but she was as chirk as a bird, as quick as a grasshopper, and
as soft as a mealy potatoe with the skin off.

By-am-by she broke off short, and spread out her hands, and curchied to
the chap sort of sarsy, as if to say, "Beat that if you can."

Then the feller he tried agin, and then she, turn about, till at last
she let herself off like a fire cracker on the fourth of July. One foot
flew up into the air like a bird's wing, and whiz--off she went like a
she comet kicked on eend. Then she sort of let her foot down by degrees,
as a hawk folds its wing, and sloped off easy, a spreading her hands to
the feller, and curchying so sarsy, as much as to say,

"Try and beat that, now du! all over agin if you can."

The critter sneaked off as if he couldn't help it, then the show went
on, all of 'em talking in signs like deaf and dumb folks. But it would
take a week of Sundays to tell you all. To give you the butt eend, she
was married to the harnsome chap that run off with her; and out she cum
all in white, with diamonds in her hair and on her neck, and her frock
shone with 'em like a snowball bush kivered with dew in the arly summer.
Goodness gracious! wasn't she a beauty without paint or whitewash, and
didn't she dance! The folks stomped and yelled like a pack of Injuns,
when the chap gave her a grip round the waist, and she stood on one toe
with t'other leg stuck out, and her head twisted toward his bosom, a
twittering like a white swan that would a flown clear off, if the feller
hadn't held on like all natur. It raly seemed as if you could a seen the
white feathers a ruffling up she was so eager to fly away.

Consarn that chap--darn him to darnation, I say! It made me riley to see
him a holding on her as if there warn't nobody in creation but himself.
I'll be hanged and choked to death if it wouldn't a done me good to have
licked him on the spot. The mean finefied varmint! It was lucky the
curtain went down ca-smash as it did. It give me time to kinder think
what I was a doing, or he'd a ketched it.

I'd eenamost forgot about the auction, for arter the Astor House chap
read the card, I begun to think there was some mistake; but by-am-by out
come a queer looking chap, as chirk as a catydid, and he begun to sing
off a lot of men and women folks to auction.

Think sez I, goodness gracious! if any body but me bids off that
harnsome critter, I shall go off the handle; I sartinly shall. He'd
knocked off an old maid and a widder, and an Irishman, and was jest a
crying up an old bachelor, when I made up my mind to bid on her any way,
if I had to sell the old sloop, garden sarse and all, to toe the mark.

I knew the sloop and cargo wasn't mine, but that gal had got into my
head, and I didn't seem to know right from wrong. I forgot Judy White
and all the gals on arth for the time being. The feller kept a singing
out and a knocking on 'em off, but I didn't hear nobody bid, so I
s'posed they did it by winking. They tell me that's the fashion at the
big York vendues. At the very tip eend of the batch, he up and said he'd
got the best one yet for the young men to bid on, a gal jest eighteen,
and then he run on with a lot of soft sodder about her, but I can't
write what he said, I was in such a twitteration. Think sez I, it's
Fanny Elssler as sure as a gun, and I'll be darn'd if any of them chaps
out-wink me, so I got up and bent for'ard clear over the cushion, and
the way I snapped my eyewinkers at the auctioneer was awful savage I can
tell you.

"No more bids," sez he, a histing his fist, "no more bids,--going!" Here
I winked like all natur. "Going." I snapped my eyes till they a'most
struck fire, and I stuck out my fist to arms length and my breath seemed
to stop short, I was so dreadful eager. "Gone!" sez the chap, a stepping
back and a lifting his hand as if he didn't care if I shook to death,
and then he made a bow to the folks in ginral, and sez he,

"Yours with one eye out."

I sallied back and clapped my hand to my eye, for at first I thought
mebby it was out, I'd winked so etarnal arnest: but there it was, safe
and sound, and some etarnal wall-eyed coot had got that harnsome critter
away from me. At first I was mad enough to bite a tenpenny nail in tu
without chawing; then I began to feel dreadful wamblecropped, and
eenamost boo-hooed out a crying. In the eend I made up my mind that it
was a mean cheat, and that I'd have the gal in spite of all the one-eyed
fellers in all creation; "for," sez I, "it aint the natur of things that
a critter could wink with one eye as fast as I could with both winkers
under full steam," so I jest made up my mind to look out the auctioneer,
and stick up for my rights.

There was another play, but I felt so down in the mouth that I up and
went right straight off in sarch of that auctioneer, but nobody seemed
to understand who I wanted, till, arter wandering around like a cat in a
strange garret ever so long, I asked the man at the door; and he said
the chap had gone hum, but that he'd be there agin to-morrow night.

"Wal," sez I, "I'll come and see him agin, and he'll find out I aint to
be imposed upon if I am from the country."

With that I went back to the Astor House box, jest in time to see Fanny
Elssler, the critter I'd been bidding off, out on the stage agin.

There she was, all dressed out in yaller silk, with heaps on heaps of
the black shiney lace a streaming over it, a hopping about and
twistifying round like a love-sick yaller-hammer hankering arter a mate.
She had a rattle-box on each hand, and she gin a rattle at every new
twist, and sometimes it was rattle, rattle, rattle, as swift as
lightning, and then twist, twist, twist; now her head eenamost bumped
agin the floor, and the hump on her back stuck up higher than ever; then
her arms went curlecueing over her head, and the rattle-boxes gin out a
whole hail-storm of noises, and then she'd stick her arms out at full
length and sidle off, dragging her feet along kind of easy, till I raly
didn't know what she was a doing, till I looked on the piece of paper
the man gin me, and saw that she was a doing up a Cachuca; but if it
wasn't dancing, it sartinly was fust cousin to it, or I aint a judge of
cat-fish. But then who knows but Cachuca is French for dancing? I don't!
any how, she sartinly cachukied it off like all natur, and no mistake.

By-am-by she give her foot a flirt out and her arms a flourish upwards,
and off she was a going like a trout with a fish-hook in his mouth; but
the folks begun to holler and yell, and take on so, that she had to cum
back whether or no.

She cum back sort of modest, a curchying and a smiling, and looking so
consarned harnsome and mealy-mouthed, that I thought the men would bust
the ruff right off from the theatre, they stomped and yelled, and made
such darned coots of themselves. All to once, down cum a hull baking of
posies, all around her, as thick as hops. But there wasn't none of them
a priming to the one I had stuffed, stem downwards, in the crown of my
hat.

I jumped up, and gripped the consarn with both hands, and when the rest
had got through, I drew back both hands with a jerk, and it whizzed
downwards with the yaller ribbons a streaming out, right over the row of
lamps, and the pen full of fiddlers, till it fell ca-swash right down to
Miss Elssler's feet.

Gauly offilus! didn't she give a jump! and didn't the folks in the
theatre set up another pow-wow, that a'most lifted the ruff off the
theatre! The chaps seemed to have a notion what a bunch of posies ought
to be when mine cum down amongst the mean leetle bunches that they'd
been a throwing, and sent them a streaming every which way.

Miss Elssler, arter the fust jump, looked tickled a'most to death to see
such a whopper a lying there, so tempting and sweet; and I rather guess
she took a squint, and sent one of her tarnal killing smiles towards a
good looking sort of a chap, about my size, that sot with a checkered
vest on a leaning over the Astor House box. I say nothing, but Jonathan
Slick haint been to husking balls and apple cuts ever since he was knee
high to a toad, without knowing the cut of a gal's looks when she's
taken a shine to you, or wants you to see her hum.

I gin her a sort of a knowing squint and a half bow, jest to let her see
that she needn't feel uneasy for fear that I shouldn't toe the mark; and
then I sot still, but awful impatient, till a chap cum in and picked up
a hull armful of the posies. He had to git down on one of his marrow
bones and boost hard at the whopper that I flung; and when Miss Elssler
took 'em all in her arms, and curchied over and over agin, that bunch
of mine lay right agin her bosom, and spread out so as a'most to kiver
her harnsome white neck. Jest as she was a going off on one side, she
gin another of her tarnal sweet squints up to where I sot, and then
stuck that harnsome face of her'n down into my posey so tantalizing, I
swan, I couldn't stand it no longer, but up I got, and in less than no
time I coaxed the door-keeper to show me the way back of the theatre,
where the critter was.

The chap took me along that entry way, up stairs by the Astor House box,
and through a leetle narrow door, and there he left me on the top of a
lot of stairs that looked as if they'd take me down into sumbody's
cellar. Sich a tarnal, dark, pokerish set of things I never did see,
that's a fact. But I'd got the steam up, and there aint no whoa to me at
sich times,--so down I went, hickle-te-picklety, head fust among the
paint-pots and boards, and slabs, and smoky lamps, and arter wandering
around like the babes in the woods, I cum ca-smash right into a room
chuck full of the darncing gals that I'd been half in love with all the
evening.

Oh gracious! it made me sick to think what a tarnal coot I'd been a
making of myself. Some of the critters that I'd thought so darned
harnsome were as old as the hills, and as homely as a sassafras root,
close tu. The paint and white-wash was an inch thick on some of their
faces, and most on 'em were a cutting about the room as awk'ard as a
flock of sheep jest arter shearing time--and these were the light purty
critters that had a'most drove me off the handle, they looked so
harnsome and taking a leetle way off. I swow, but it a'most sot me agin
all the feminine gender to think I'd made such a shote of myself as to
take such a shine to them as I had.

The room was chock full of folks. There were old men and young ones, and
all sorts of critters dressed off jest as I'd seen 'em in the play; but
they didn't look no more like the same critters, close to 'em, than
chalk's like a new milk's cheese. That darn'd leetle Yankee chap was
there, and while I was considering whether it was best to scrape
acquaintance or not, the identical auctioneer that had knocked off the
old maids and widders, and Fanny Elssler into the bargain, stood right
agin me. I felt my dander rise the minit I sot eyes on him, so I went
up to the Yankee chap, and sez I--

"You can't tell me who that chap is, can you?"

The Yankee looked round, and sez he--

"Oh, yes, that's Billy Williams, a good hearted comical chap as ever
lived. Don't you know him sir? I thought every body knew Billy
Williams."

"I don't know jest yet, but I guess I shall afore long," sez I, a
looking pitchforks and hatchel teeth at the auctioneer, and with that I
walked right straight up to him, with my hands dug down into my
trousers' pockets, as savage as could be, and sez I--

"How do you du sir? I'll jest speak a few words to you, if you haint no
objection."

"Sartinly," sez he, as easy as all natur, and with that he got up and
walked out of the room, and I arter him, till we cum out onto a sort of
an etarnal big barn floor that was shut out from the rest of the
Theatre, by that whopping curtain that I'd seen the t'other side on it.
There was a hull regiment of empty hay lofts--or what looked jest like
'em, great naked rafters and posts, with rows of smoky lamps stuck on
'em, and what looked like pieces of board fence daubed over with all
sorts of paint, and the wind come a whistling and croaking among them
all, till my teeth a'most begun to chatter in my head.

I was so busy a wondering what on arth those awful dismal premises could
be used for, that I forgot the auctioneer, till he turned round as good
natured as a sucking pig, and asked what I wanted of him.

"Look a here," sez I, as wrothy as could be for the cold, "I want the
gal that I bid off in the Theatre to-night, so you jest hand over and
save trouble, that's all."

The feller he stared at me like a stuck pig, and then he bust right out
a larfing in my face as if he meant to make fun of it all, but he'd got
hold of the wrong chicken for that sort of corn, and I give him to
understand as much afore he'd done with me.

"Now," sez I, "look a here. It aint of no use for you to try to
bamboozle me with your haw-hawing. I want the gal that I bid off--I
don't care how much the charge is. I'll hand over the chink the minit
you'll go to one of them pesky lawyers and git the deed drawn out. I'm
sartin that I outwinked every chap in the theatre, and darn me if I give
up to any of em."

He stared at fust like a calf's head jest dressed, and then he bust out
a larfin, till I was mad enough to kick him on eend till he flew up into
one of the empty hay lofts.

"Come," sez I, "do you mean to toe the mark or not? I'm getting awful
tingley about the fingers eends, I can tell you."

"Now," sez he, a sobering down a leetle, "did you take me for an
auctioneer, in rale arnest?"

I began to feel sort of unsartin what to say, and instead of speaking
right out, I circumnavigated a leetle, for a sort of a notion cum over
me, that mebby, arter all, it wasn't nothing but make-believe, and that
I was jest on the point of making a consarned coot of myself.

"Wal, now, you did it up as cute as a razor, didn't you?" sez I. "It was
eenamost enough to make a feller think that you was in arnest, wasn't
it? but then I aint quite sich a green horn as some chaps that come from
the country, and know what's what. I haint seen anything that tickled me
so much as that--that----"

"Comic song," sez he.

"Oh," sez I, as quick as wink, "you needn't take a feller up afore he's
down. I was jest a going to say that you raly are a sneezer at saying
over them comic songs, and sartinly you do look as nat'ral as life. In
course I knew there warn't no wall-eyed critter a bidding, and thought
I'd jest see if you was as cute a looking critter close to. More than
that, I've got a notion to take a peak at the fixins back of the curtain
close tu--so s'posing you and I jest walk among them hills, and housen,
and trees, that looked so plaguey cool and shady."

I kept on a talking so that he needn't see how tarnal sheepish I felt,
arter making sich a coot of myself as to believe he'd sold Miss Elssler
in rale arnest.

"Why," sez he, as good natured as could be, "here you are, right in the
midst of all the trees and hills and houses that you saw in front."

"Oh, now, you git out!" sez I, "I aint green enough to swaller that, any
how."

He looked round at a pile of old wooden partitions, daubed over with
paint, and a standing edgeways, and sort of slantindicular, under the
naked rafters and hay lofts, and sez he--

"I'm in arnest now--this is all the scenery that you saw from the front.
You stand on the stage, jest back of where I sung my comic song, and
that is the curtain."

"What, that old sloop sail?" sez I. "How you du talk! I sniggers, but I
can't believe it."

"Jest go to the curtain and look through the edge there," sez he.

And with that he went with me, and pulled back the edge of the curtain,
and I gin a sudden peak through. Sure enough, the theatre was right
before me, chuck full of folks, jest as I'd left it; and the pen full of
fiddlers, was a streaming out the music right under my nose, till I
couldn't hear myself think. When I turned round agin, and see how awful
dark and chilly every thing looked, and found myself wandering with Mr.
Williams among a hull univarse of posts, and boards, and lamps, and
painted cloth, I felt chilled through and through, as if I'd got ketched
in a rain storm, and had found kiver in a saw mill. Nothing but a
rickety old barn, or a lot full of white pine stumps, could look half so
dismal.

"Wal," sez I, "if this is the theatre, I pity the poor critters that's
got to get a living in it, any how."

"It's bad enuf," sez Mr. Williams, a twistifying up his face sort of
comical, and yit looking as if he'd bust out a crying if you said two
words more, "its bad enuf, but then we put the best side out."

"I should think you did," sez I, a looking round; but jest that minit I
got a squint at a gal, a streaking it through the posts and boards, all
kivered over with a cloak, but there warn't no cheating me in the
critter. I knew in the dark who it was--nobody on arth but Miss Elssler
could walk so teaterish. My heart riz in my mouth, and without stopping
to say goodnight, I cut away from Mr. Williams and pulled foot after her
like all possessed. She was jest a going out of a dark entryway that led
out doors, when I ketched up with her.

"How do you du, Miss Elssler?" sez I, all in a twitter, "shall I have
the pleasure to see you hum?"

With that I crooked my right elbow and looked right straight down into
the darndest consarned, harnsomest pair of eyes, as arnest as could be,
for I was awfully afeard of gitting the mitten; but she looked up and
see who it was a standing there, with the blood a biling up into his
face, and a trembling all over, he was so arnest; and then she up and
give me one of them tantalizing smiles of her'n, and sez she, as nat'ral
as life, sez she--

"Oh, Mr. Slick, I am so pleased to see you again," and with that she
laid them purty white fingers of her'n on my coat sleeve jest as if I
had been her twin brother. Gracious goodness! how the blood did tingle
and cut about up my arm, and all around the vicinity of my life engine,
the minit that etarnal purty leetle hand touched my arm; but when I
helped her down them dark steps, and had to put my arm kinder round her
waist to keep her from slipping up, I never did feel so all overish in
my hull life. It seemed as if I could a danced on one toe with her to
all eternity, and never felt a hungry nor a dry. There was a coach stood
close to the steps right by the back door of the theatre, and a feller
stood by it a holding the door open. Miss Elssler kinder staggered a
trifle as I went to help her in, so I lent her the leetlest mite of a
genteel boost and got in arter her, jest as if I was tu hum. The inside
of the carriage was chuck full of posies, and there I sot right in the
middle on 'em, with that consarned harnsome critter a smiling and a
talking her soft sodder right in my face till I got to the Astor House.
Gaully offilus! wasn't I as happy as a bee on a red clover top! You
don't know nothing about it, Par.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXIII.

Jonathan gets out of love with Fanny Elssler--Doctors the Ague in her
Face and Leaves her--Receives an Invitation from his Pussey Cousin to a
Thanksgiving Dinner, with a three cornered Note for Lord
Morpeth--Jonathan's Opinion of the Travelling Lords and Democratic
Hospitality.


DEAR PAR:

When I'd seen Miss Elssler hum arter the Theatre, I couldn't shut my
eyes all night a thinking about her. She seems to get into a critter's
head like a glass of Cousin Beebe's cider, and dances about there till
everything else is kicked out. Her harnsome face seemed to be a bending
over mine and smiling into my eyes through the dark all night, and if it
was to save my life, I couldn't get a wink of sleep. Sometimes it seemed
as if she was a whirling round and round with one toe on the bed post, a
spreading out her hands so tempting, and flying about jest at my feet.
Then again it seemed to me as if she was a standing in a corner of the
room and holding her finger up jest to tantalize me, larfing in her
sweet, cunning way, and a cutting up all sorts of tantrims, jest to keep
me awake all night. I got up arly in the morning, but it wasn't of the
leastest mite of use my trying to do anything but think of that
consarned critter; so arter trying to write a letter without making out
anything for two hull hours, I slicked up and went down to Miss
Elssler's room detarmined to give up to once, and not try any more, but
jest stay with her till it was time to go to the sloop, and take a cold
cut as we'd agreed on.

I felt in a tarnation twitter, for all she'd asked me to cum; but I
knocked at the door and walked straight in as if I'd been tu hum. Miss
Elssler was a half lying on that settee that I wrote to you about; her
head was boosted up with pillows and cushions with tossels to the arms,
and them consarned leetle feet of hern jest peaked out from under a
great red shawl that she'd flung over 'em. She ris up sort of quick as
I cum in, and kinder tried to smile, but oh! gracious, how her face
looked! I cut right off short with a jerk in the bow I was a making, and
stared at her with all the eyes I'd got in my head. She'd got the ager,
and that harnsome face of hern was puckered and twistified up till it
looked as if she'd been fed on crab-apples for a whole month.

Her cheeks were swelled a trifle and as red as a piney, and her eyes
kinder sunk in till you couldn't but jest see 'em twinkle, and when she
started herself to larf, her mouth tipped up at one corner and down at
t'other, till it cut across her face slantindic'lar, and made her look
all one side every time she squinched her face. I swow, but it made me
feel wamblecropped to see her; I begun to think there wasn't much chance
for a cold bite aboard the sloop that day, but think sez I, there's no
harm in doctoring any how. So I thought over all the cures marm has for
the ager, and arter calling a waiter, I told him to bring up about a
peck of hops biling hot with vinegar.

When the chap cum back, I tied a hull swad of 'em in a pink silk long
shawl that I found a lying on a chair, and crossed them over the
critter's face, and tied the shawl in a double bow knot on the top of
her head; but the hops were rather hot I reckon, and she squalled out
like all natur till I took 'em off, and sent the waiter off for a ginger
plaster and a bag of hot ashes. Arter she'd tried them a few minits,
they seemed to mollify the ager quite considerable; but as the pain went
off, her face begun to swell and puff up, like a baking of bread wet up
with turnpike emptins, and I see that there warn't no chance left of her
going to Captin Doolittle's cold bite, nor nowhere else for a long
spell.

By-am-by that old maid, that I'd seen before, she cum in, and begun too
look pitchforks and darning-needles at me, as if she thought my room was
as good as my company, so I up and went off, jest stopping to make a
leetle chunk of a bow at the door, to let the old maid see I hadn't
forgot my manners if she had.

I cut for my room, feeling a leetle streaked to think how I'd been a
follering round arter Miss Elssler. I'd been a hankering arter that
critter for nothing on arth but her harnsome face and finefied manners,
when a trifle of cold could transmogrify it so tarnally. It made me feel
cheap, and I couldn't help it.

Marm al'rs said that harb tea was a cure all, but raly I never should a
thought of taking it to get rid of a lovesick fit, and arter all I'm
afeared that Miss Elssler's face will git cured up afore I git over the
tantrum it's sot me into.

Wal, when I'd got to my room agin, there was a letter on the mantle
shelf, sealed with a great whopping bunch of wax, and stomped down with
a round "O," as big as a cent, with a rooster stuck right in the middle
of it. I broke the consarn open, and found out it was an invite to
Thanksgiving Dinner to Cousin Jason Slick's. Arter writing a hull page
of soft sodder, the pussy coot let the cat out of the bag. There's an
English lord a putting up here, and he wanted me to ask him up to his
house to dinner, and said Lord Morpeth would sartinly come if I asked
him, because we were both kinder of literary together.

Now, if there's anything on arth that I despise, it's a genuine true
born Yankee a hankering arter the big-bug lords that come over here,
on'y jest because they've got a long tail to their names. For my part, I
haint no idee of demeaning myself in that way anyhow. If a lord behaves
himself like folks, he's as good as a Yankee any day; and he ought to be
treated jest as well, and I don't think the most ginuine republican
amongst us ought to be ashamed to ask him to take pot luck or a glass of
drink, if he likes it.

As long as they treat us according to gunter, when we go to see them on
t'other side of the water, it is no more than the fair thing if we take
turn about, and do the genteel by them a trifle. We ought to feel
streaked with all our lands and barns full of grain, if we can't give a
foreign chap something to eat and drink without grudging on it, and then
agin, without being tickled to death because they don't feel too much
pomposity to eat it.

Jason had sent a leetle finefied letter inside of mine, doubled over and
twisted up at the corners like an old fashioned cocked hat, and smelling
as sweet as a garden pink root in full blow. It was directed in leetle
finefied writing to His Highness the Right Honorable Lord
Morpeth--Howard Member of Parliament, &c., &c. Think sez I, this
English chap needn't be consarned that his kite wont sail high among the
Yankees for want of a long tail to it, if they all tuck the etceteras
onto his name so strong as cousin Jase does.

But I hadn't no idee of being waiter to my pussy cousin, anyhow. If Jase
has a mind to send his invite to a lord, done up like a cocked hat, let
him be his own nigger, or else send it by the post-office--I wasn't a
going to do it for him nor touch it. No lord that is any great shakes
will think the better of an honest Republican for acting as if he was
scared to ask him to eat dinner, or tickled to death if he didn't feel
tu much stuck up to come with plain Yankee asking.

I made up my mind, that if Lord Morpeth took a notion to eat
Thanksgiving with Jase, he'd be jest as likely to get his paper cocked
hat from the Post Office, as anywhere. So, as I was a going through the
Park, I took the consarn between my thumb and finger, for fear of siling
it, and tucked it through a slit in the post office, made a purpose for
city letters; and off I went, a tickling myself eenamost to death, with
thinking how the post office clarks would giggle and stare, and snuff up
their noses to see such a pinted critter directed to a Lord, and a
smelling so sweet, with a long tail of names curled up in all the
corners,--and Lord Morpeth, tu, wouldn't he set our Jase down for a
shaller pated coot? I've a kind of a sneaking notion that it's as like
as not he would, but that's none of my bisness. In this country, a
feller aint to blame for his relations, that's one comfort.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXIV.

Description of Cousin Jason's Equipage--Figure cut by Mrs. Jason Slick
and her Daughter--Manners of a Noble Lord--The Dinner--Jason boasts of
his Birth, Heraldry, and Coat of Arms--Jonathan creates great
Consternation by proclaiming the Head of the Family as a
Shoemaker--Makes a Speech.


DEAR PAR:

Wal, next day was Thanksgiving, and down come another letter to say that
Lord Morpeth was a coming, and that Jase was a going to send down his
span fired new carriage to the Astor House, arter Lord Morpeth and I,
afore dinner time; and he gin me to understand, that if I could keep the
carriage a spell afore the Astor House steps, where folks could get a
chance to see the new fixings and horses, there wouldn't be no harm done
to nobody,--the darned mean pussy coot! When a feller tries to make me
do a mean thing I'm awful ugly, my Yankee grit is up in a jiffy, and I'm
jest like a skeery horse that al'rs backs up hill when you want to lead
him down.

Afore this I'd been on a cyphering voyage through my purse to see if I
couldn't afford to go down to Lynde & Jennings' and bye a new narrow
collar'd coat and some other dandy consarns, seeing I was a going to
dine with a Lord; but when this letter cum I detarmined to go in the old
fix up, jest to let this Lord and my pussy cousin see a ginuine Yankee
that wasn't ashamed of hisself in a homespun coat and trousers.

Howsomever I gin myself a purty good sudsing, and shaved as close as a
Wall street broker; besides I did some extra fixing to my collar and
hair, and paired off my finger-nails harnsomely, and scrubbed the yaller
from off my teeth with the corner of a brown towel that I found in my
saddle-bags; for there aint no reason that I know on, why a true born
American shouldn't wash up and keep a clean face and a stiff upper lip,
if he does weed his own onions and wear a humspun coat. A chap may live
in a land of Liberty and let these lords know it tu, without swellin
like a toad to outshine the British, or going slouching about as if we
put a tax on soap and water, jest as they do on winder glass.

For my part, I didn't mean to let Lord Morpeth think that we give so
much soft soap here in York without keeping enough to wash our own faces
on thanksgiving day.

When I was fixed up about tu the right noch, down stairs I went, with
the eend of my checkered silk neck-hankercher a tucked under my streaked
vest, my hair slicked down on both sides, my face a shining like a new
pin, and my boots blacked up till they glistened like a gal's eye.

I tucked up my yaller silk hankercher clear into my coat pocket, for I
didn't feel like showing all out to once, and I put my new mittens on
sort a careless, and streaked the blue and red fringe up as I went down
the Astor House steps through a double row of dandies that had swarmed
out of the stun hall above to see my pussey cousin's carriage and horses
that stood a glistening jest afore the house.

There the carriage stood right in Broadway, about the dashingest consarn
that ever I sot eyes on. The wheels were a good ways apart and black as
a minister's coat, and a great harnsome box swung over 'em, shut up
tight, and a glistening in the sun till it a'most blinded a feller's
eye-sight to look on it. There was a door on each side as big as them in
the pulpit of our meeting house, with a whopping square of glass in the
top and bottom all figgered off with gold, and then crouchonts, and
lions, and roosters all pictered out in gold tu, and looking as nat'ral
as life, for all they were so yaller and jammed down in a heap till it
seemed as if the lions would roar right out, and the rooster give a
coo-co-doo-dle-do if any body went tu tuch them.

Behind the hull consarn, was a great wide flat stair, with two pussy
fellers a standing on it,--each on 'em holding to a yaller tossel fixed
tight to the coach and dressed out like folks in the theatre, with great
high boots, and topped off with a wide rim of white, wide white cuffs to
their coats, and white ribbons and beaus twisted round their hats.

Right in front was a seat with a great square cushion on it, and all
hung off with the finest kind of boughten cloth and piles of heavy
yaller fringe, with the golden lions, and crouchants, and roosters
pictered out and a glistening among the folds, till it a'most outshined
the sun--and that was purty bright for November.

A tall feller dressed out like the chaps behind, sot on this heap of
gimcracks with a great long whip stuck up by his elbow, and a holding in
two tremendous harnsome black horses that stood hitched to the carriage,
under a hull net of black shiney leather, golden buckles, and deers'
heads cut out in chunks of gold, and sot on to the blinder, and
saddle-trees, and every place an inch square that they could be poked
in.

If there is a critter on arth that I take tu, it's a good horse, and I
couldn't help but be proud of them smashing arnimals as they shook their
heads up so sarsy, as if the sun hadn't no business in their great eyes
that had fire enough in 'em without its help, and pawed on the ground
with their fore-feet--the mettlesome varmints!--like a couple of
harnsome women, chuck full of music and crazy to dance it off.

When the chaps saw me a coming down the Astor House steps, one of 'em
jumped down and opened the door and let out a hull grist of steps down
to the ground, all kivered over with the brightest kind of carpet, till
it looked as if somebody had been a flinging hull baskets full of posies
all over 'em for me to stomp down with my shiney boots, if I wanted tu.

Jest as I was a thinking whether it was best for Lord Morpeth to come
before I got in myself--for I didn't want to du nothing that wasn't
according to gunter, if he was a lord--a feller come down the Astor
House steps dressed off to the nines, with a harnsome cloak slung across
his shoulder, and one side of his hat tipped up jest enough to show a
hull swad of curly hair a frizzling round his ears.

He had a leetle dab of hair a curling jest under his nose, and another
leetle peaked consarn up in a pint from his chin.

When this chap come down the steps, the other varmint that stood behind
the carriage in his white topped stompers give a dive to the arth, and
stood a one side the door which t'other one held open. Think sez I, this
is Lord Morpeth as sure as a gun; so I haul'd back my foot from the fust
step, for I was jest a going to get in, and I stepped back as the chap
come up, and arter making him a half bow--for I never give off the extra
touches in a bow only to the harnsome gals--sez I,

"Walk in, Lord Morpeth, and I'll foller arter."

The feller looked at me sort of supercillious, and I could see the dab
of hair on his lip curl the leastest mite scornful as if he smelt
something that didn't agree with him. He didn't make a bow, but stepped
back as if he didn't jest know what to du.

I give my mitten a short flourish towards my hat, and arter stepping
back agin, sez I--

"Arter you is manners for me. Make yourself to hum, Lord Morpeth."

The chap looked at me agin, and then he went close to the feller that
held the door, and said that Lord Morpeth couldn't go jest yit, but that
we'd better go on and he'd come by-am-by; and with that he went up the
steps agin without as much as saying, git out, to me.

Gawrie, but wasn't I wrothy to see that crowd of York dandies see me
slighted so by a lord. There they stood a puckering up their faces like
monkeys in a show, and there I stood feeling as mean as the meanest
among 'em; but arter a minit my dander ris right up.

"Darn the critter," sez I, a'most out loud, and a pulling my mitten up
so wrothy that a whole swad of frieze gin away in my hand. "Does the
stuck up varmint feel above riding with an honest Yankee, because he
haint got no title? I'll be licked if a lord ever gets a speck of good
manners from me agin, consarn the hull biling on 'em."

With that I gin an allfired jump, and settled down in the carriage, as
savage as a young arthquake, and sot down on one of the harnsome
cushions kivered over with silks and figgered off with blue and white
roses, that kivered the two seats and sort of sprangled up over the
sides and ruff of the carriage. A narrow finefied border squirmed all
around the cushions, around the doors, and into all the corners, and the
hull consarn made a chap feel as if he was shut up in a band-box, lined
with silk and with a chunk of the sky, white clouds and all, shut over
him for a lid.

I was so allfired wrothy, that, without thinking on it, I histed my
boots agin one of the cushions, jest as it's nat'ral tu, when a feller's
so mad he can't help it, and left a purty considerable smooch of
blacking amongst the blue and white posies, that sot them off ruther
more than cousin Jase would like, I calculate.

Them carriages do cut dirt so soft and easy like a streak of greased
lightning, that there is no knowing how fast a feller gets along. It
didn't seem more than a half a jiffy when we drew up co-wallop right
afore Jase's house. Down got the two varmints in white topped stompers,
open went the door, and out I jumped.

I didn't have to ring at the silver knob, but the door swung open of
itself, or seemed tu, and in I poked, as independent as a clam in high
water, but not afore I'd ketched a squint at that shaller little Jemima,
a peaking out from behind the winder curtains to see who was coming with
me.

A chap took my hat and things in the entry way, and asked me what my
name was, sort of low, as if it was something I ought to be ashamed of;
and the minnit I told him, he went to the door of the keeping-room and
bawled out,

"Mr. Jonathan Slick."

I went in and there sot our Jase, in a great armed chair, as red and
pussy as a turkey-gobbler, jest afore Christmas. He got up and come
for'ard, but looked nation wamblecropped when he see that there wasn't
nobody with me. That wife of his'n cum up with her fat hands stuck out,
and asked how I was, and why Lord Morpeth didn't cum, and Jemima, she
stood a giggling worse than ever, and a tossing them yaller curls of
her'n about on her shoulders and cousined me off to kill.

I told Jase how Lord Morpeth had sarved me, but he didn't seem to mind
that, arter he found out that he was a coming by-am-by, so we sot down.
I took a sort of a survey of the premises. Now if there is anything that
makes me mad, it's to see a chap a selling off his harnsome things when
they git a little siled or out of fashion. I couldn't no more sell a
cheer or a table that any of my friends had eat off from, or sot on,
than I would strike my granny. Jest think how you'd feel to see grand
par Slick's arm'd chair sold at Vandue, or the chest o' drawers that
marm kept her "leetle things" in when I was a baby bought in by the
neighbors. It makes me feel wamblecropped only jest to think of it, and
yet there wasn't a single thing in the two great rooms that I went into
at Cousin Jase's, that had a place where it was the last time I was
there. Everything looked spick-span new, and I haint no doubt that the
hull house had been transmogrified and titivated up jest cause a Lord
was coming to eat dinner there. The carpets were a'most all red, with a
vine of pink and yaller a running crinkle-crankle all over 'em as if
somebody had been a scattering a hat full of butter-cups and meadow
pinks all over it, the whole consarn giving under your feet like a flat
meadow lot thick with a fall arter growth.

Great smashing looking-glasses were set into the wall from top to bottom
between the winders, and a hull dry-goods store of red silk curtains sot
off with yaller bordering, fell in great heavy winrows from over a
couple of long spikes, feathered off at the eend, and a glistening with
gold, kivered both ends of the room all but the looking-glasses and
winders. A whopping great picter of Jase a setting in his easy chair,
and reading a book, kivered with velvet and gold, was hung over one
mantle-tree shelf, and over t'other sot his wife, all feathers and
flowers, and silks and satins, with her red pussy face a shining among
the whole, and all pen'd up in a gold frame, as wide as a slab, and a
glist'ning like all natur.

Cousin Jase had gone into the fine arts to kill, arter he got hopes of a
Lord. There was Jemima's shaller head cut out in marble, a kind of half
swarry, with stun curls a hanging like icicles down her back, and a stun
post to stand on, a rolling up its eyes to a corner of the room; and
there were two funny sort of women, with wings that looked as if they'd
been made of gold at fust, and then touched off with a thin coat of
blacking, that made a sort of amalgamation critters, black and gold,
stood each side of the looking-glasses, a holding back the silk curtains
that would have fell ca-swash over the whole eend of the room if it
hadn't been for them; then out on the carpet was tables made out of
black shiny stuff, and the whole round tops kivered over with picters
that seemed as if they were polished down clear into the black wood, and
all around was benches and foot-stools of the same black wood, sprigged
off with gold, and cushioned off with red silk, besides the settees that
had high backs and high arms at one eend, but curlecued down at the
back, tapered off to a square bench on t'other, and sot out like the
stools with thick red cushions.

Right over the pictered tables was a sort of a golden tree, chained to
the ruff, and kivered over and over with chunks of glass, that shone
like tears in a gal's eye, when she gits the grit up.

Besides all these, was tu great round silk cushions, as thick as
mother's cheese tub, a sitting right squat on the carpet, and tassled
off to kill, with a mess of other things that I hadn't a chance to look
at afore the door was pushed open by the help that stood in the hall;
and there stood a tall man, with a blue coat on, and gilt buttons, each
on 'em pictered off like our ten cent pieces, on'y instead of the Eagle,
there was a Lion, and some kind of a one-horned animal, a pawing up hill
arter a sort of a cap with pints to it.

Afore I saw these pictered buttons, I kinder thought the chap must be
Lord Morpeth himself, for he come in sort of softly, and yit
independent, like a feller that felt himself to hum any where, but yit
didn't want to walk over other folks, as them big bug foreigners al'rs
du; but on a second peak I see that it wasn't the chap that I had seen
at the Astor House, and beside that he was shaved clean, and hadn't a
speck of hair, only on his head and eye-brows, and that was a little
mite gray; so, think sez I to myself, that other chap was the Lord, and
this is his waiter, cum to tell Jase that the big bug has gin up cumin.
For no Lord that can git dye stuff or buy a wig, would ever come a
visiting with gray hairs in his head. You wouldn't ketch one of our York
tippies at that, let alone a ginuine Lord.

I never saw Jase so wrothy as he was when he ketched sight of the
feller, for he got a peak at the buttons the fust thing, and sez he,--

"By gracious! if his lordship haint sent word to say he can't come!"

With that he went to the door, and sez he to the man, sez he,--

"Wal, Sir, did you bring a note for me, or what?"

And then he strutted right in the door-way, as pussy and pompous as a
prize pig jest afore killing time, and there stood the tall chap, jest
afore him, a looking right into his red face, with a pair of eyes as
black and keen as a weazle's, yit sort of easy and good natured, as if
he couldn't think what the matter was. He took off his hat sort of easy,
and kinder bent his head a leetle, and sez he,--

"Is it Mr. Slick?"

He spoke so soft and humble that it seemed to mollify Jase; he stepped
for'ard and waved his hand about as big as cuffy, and sez he, as
condescending as could be, sez he,--

"Put on your hat, my good fellow, I've been a poor man myself. What word
did his lordship send? don't be afeard to speak!"

The chap looked at Jase, and I could see his mouth pucker up the
leastest mite in the world, and his eyes begun to twinkle as if he'd
choked back a smile from his lips that was detarmined to break through
somewhere. He bowed his head a little, and then he handed over a piece
of square pasteboard jest like that Miss Elssler gave to me.

Didn't my pussy cousin look as if he'd fell through a thin place in the
ice! He wilted right down, and looked as sneaking as a turkey gobbler
ketch'd out in a rainy storm; but when he see that Lord Morpeth didn't
seem to know that he'd mistook him for a waiter, he walked into the room
a spreading his hands and a sending out a storm of excuses, and
welcomes, and friendships, like a junk bottle of cider letting off
steam.

Lord Morpeth, he walked along into the room jest as if he'd been to hum,
and then Jase he spread himself agin, and made him acquainted with his
wife.

Lord Morpeth made a little slow bow, and Mrs. Jase Slick she gin her
turban a toss, spread out the skirts of her velvet frock that was jest
the color of a wild cherry, and then, after sticking out her fat foot,
she began to fold up her jints, till she threatened to settle down on
the carpet all in a heap, before she'd a let out all her kinks agin.
Jemima she come up and begun to flourish out her foot, and show her
curls, and her teeth, and twitter about, while Lord Morpeth was a bowing
to her. I swow, it made me grit my teeth to see what tarnal coots the
whole consarn were a making of themselves! Then cum my turn. I stood a
leaning agin the mantle-shelf, detarmined to show this Lord that all
the Slicks on arth warn't darned etarnal chuckleheads if some of them
was. I'd a seen him in Guinea and further yet, afore he'd a got one
speck of a bow more than he give me.

Well, Lord Morpeth, he bowed his head rather sparing of his neck, and I
stood right straight up, and gin him as good as he sent, and no more on
it, by hokey; yet there was something about this critter that took my
notion amazingly; he didn't seem stuck up a bit, nor yet as if he wanted
to poke fun at us, but sot down on one of the curlecued settees, and
begun to talk about the weather, and things in general, jest like our
folks. Miss Slick, she sot down by him, and purty soon let him into the
state of things here in York. She went into a fit of the dreadful suz,
to think Lord Morpeth didn't ride up in the carriage--it was a dreadful
thing to walk in the streets among the common people--her daughter
Jemima had once brushed the skirt of her tunic agin a mechanic, as she
went down Broadway, and they felt it their bounden duty to keep her from
walking ever since,--Jemima was so delicate, so very literary, so--here
Jemima, who sot on a bench close by the settee, turned up them eyes of
her'n and gin a sigh that made the pucker come to Lord Morpeth's mouth
agin, and when Miss Slick got up and handed over some varses that she
said Jemima had writ the minit she heard that Lord Morpeth had come to
this country, the tickle burst into his eyes, and he went to the winder
with the paper in his hand, jest as if he wanted to read it over agin.
Miss Slick she stretched up and looked at Jase, and Jemima, and me, and
nodded her head, as much as to say--

"That's clenched the business. If Lord Morpeth don't take a shine to my
darter arter reading that, I want to know, that's all!"

Jase he twirled his great gold watch key, and peaked at Lord Morpeth
from under his eye-brows, and Jemima, she struck her head a one side and
tried to look as if she couldn't help it, till Lord Morpeth he come back
agin from the winder, a looking as meek as a gray cat with a dab of
cream on her whiskers, jest as if he hadn't been tickling himself to
death behind the curtains there; and I, consarn me, if I didn't feel as
mean as a frozen potater, to think my name was Slick.

Miss Slick she spread herself out on the settee agin beside Lord
Morpeth, and give him another dose of soft sodder, till I raly felt
sorry for the poor critter. She held up her two chunked hands, and
rolled up her eyes like all natur, when he told her which side of
Broadway he come up; but Lord Morpeth said the west side was the most
crowded, and so he took t'other.

"On'y jest to think, Jemima," sez Miss Slick, "Lord Morpeth come up on
the east side of Broadway, dear me!"

Jemima she lifted up her head, and looked a whole biling of lasses candy
at Lord Morpeth, and said she shouldn't wonder if it would be all the
fashion to walk that side after that.

Lord Morpeth bowed agin, and looked as meek as new milk, and kinder
acted as if he'd jest as lives talk about something else, but my pussy
cousin stuck to him like a dog to a briar.

"Now my Lord," sez she, a laying her hand on to his'n, rings and all,
"now, arter reading my darter's poetry, jest give me your opinion; we
shouldn't think of ever letting her print anything, on'y we've heard
that it's getting to be the fashion for English Lords and ladies to be
sort of literary, and Jemima is so full of poetry and writes so sweet
and soft--don't you think so, my Lord?"

"Very soft," says Lord Morpeth, as sober as a deacon, but yet giving a
sort of a sly squint at Jemima, where she sot a puckering up her mouth
and half shutting her eyes, and a shaking for'ard her yaller curls, till
they eenamost touched her lap, and a trying to look like a love-sick
robin on an apple-tree limb.

"Oh, you can't form no idee, you can't, indeed," sez Miss Slick,
"without you hear Jemima read them herself, but she's so modest, so
sensitive--but mebby she'll be persuaded by your lordship."

Lord Morpeth give another squint at the stuck up little varmint, and
sed, "he was afeared to urge the young lady agin her feelings."

"Oh, but she'll do it to oblige you, I'm sartin she will," sez Miss
Slick agin; "and here's our literary cousin, he will persuade her, I am
sure;" and with that she cum across the room and put her hand on my coat
sleeve, and sez she, "Now do, cousin."

"Oh, you go to grass," sez I; "If Jemima there is a mind to make a coot
of herself, she can do it without my boosting her along." Lord Morpeth
kinder give a start, and looked at me like all natur, but yet he didn't
look mad.

"Why, Cousin Slick!" sez my pussey she cousin, a dropping her hand as if
it had gripped a hot potatoe.

"Oh dear!" sez Jemima.

Jase he let his watch-key drop, and turned as red as a tomato. "What on
arth do you mean by that, Mr. Jonathan Slick?" sez he.

"Wal, I reckon I mean just what I say," sez I, a dropping my hands into
my trousers pockets; and a crossing one boot over t'other, as I leaned
sort of slantindicular, with my shoulder agin the mantle-tree. "If
there's anything on arth that makes a man sick of all the feminine
gender, it's the etarnal hankering which some on 'em get to show off and
trot themselves out afore the men folks, jest to show that their
stockings have been in a dye-tub, and that what they are lacking in
brains, is made up by impudence. I wouldn't marry a gal that could get
up afore a stranger, before a hull room full on 'em, and shake her curls
about, roll up her eyes like a pious hen, and squinch her face over a
lot of poetry, whether it's her's or anybody else's. I swow, I wouldn't
marry her if her heart was a solid lump of gold, and every hair of her
head strung with diamonds. That's my opinion, and Cousin Jemima is
welcome to it such as it is."

I wish you could a seen Jase and his wimmen folks when I burst out with
that speech. Didn't they turn red and white in streaks? I ruther guess
so! And Lord Morpeth! I never seed a feller's face brighten up as his
did. Jase put his arm through mine, and asked me to slip into the hall a
minit.

"Look a here, cousin, this is ruther too bad," sez Jase, eenamost
crying; "you ought to make apology to his lordship for speaking so afore
him--what'll he think of American manners?"

"What'll he think," sez I, "darn me if I care what he thinks; if he's a
ginuine nobleman--one that's got good English common sense--he wont
think the better of us for trying to make believe we're a notch above
what we raly be, and he'll like my human natur better than your soft
sodder by a jug full. If he expects the hull nation of America to pucker
and twist itself out of all nat'ral shape jest to gibe with his
notions, he _ought_ to be disappointed and that's the long and the short
of it; and if he believes that we want to see our wimmen folks to be
spitting out poetry and varses afore strangers, or that the ginuine
wimmen of America want to du sich things, he'd better stay to hum and
read Mrs. Trollope's books. Now, jest hold your gab, Jase," sez I, as he
was a going to speak again, "I'm in the right on't--if we want to give
these English Lords a true idea of us, act out human natur, and give me
a warm, honest welcome, but less soft soap."

As I'd spoke out, jest so, the bell rung, and a hull grist of big bugs
got out of some carriages at the door and come in. There was three or
four harnsome wimmen and gals dressed off in silks and satins, with the
dresses all fringed off round the bottom and a hugging tight up to them
white necks as close as the skin to an eel, and a showing off the wide
shoulders and leetle tapering waists about the best of any dresses I
ever sot eyes on. The men folks had on span white gloves, and looked as
if they'd jest come out of a band-box. While Jase was a blustering about
from one to t'other, I jest cut stick for the other room, detarmined not
to have any more jaw with the critter if I could help it. Miss Slick and
Jemima looked sour enough to turn new milk; but Lord Morpeth he cum
right up to me and begun to talk as if I'd been his twin brother. He
asked me about every thing on arth, and more too; all about the way we
raise onions and garden sarce, how much hay our Weathersfield meadows
give to an acre, and all about our district schools, meeting houses, and
the old blue laws of Connecticut. When I told him that a man was fined
five dollars for bussing his wife on the sabberday arter he'd been away
to sea four years, Lord Morpeth he larfed right out as nat'ral as could
be. Then I took turn about and asked him a few pozers about Old England,
and he answered right up like a man that understood things, for all he
was a Lord. I raly took a shine to the critter, though I'd made up my
mind agin it, tooth and nail, and while he was a talking I took a good
squint at his head and face.

He aint so over harnsome, not quite so good looking as a sartin chap I
could tell you on if I wasn't so mealy-mouthed, but then he's got an
allfired big head, high up over the ears, and one that looks chuck full
of brains as an egg is full of meat. His eyes aint great black starers
like some folk's, but as bright as diamonds, and as sharp as a hull
paper of cambrick needles, and they know how to look right straight
through a feller without flinching the first glance.

Purty soon, the gals and them chaps I'd seen in the hall cum a pouring
in, and then there was no more talk with Lord Morpeth; he had to be led
around like a race-horse by Miss Slick and Jemima, and I cum in for my
share of the fun, for arter he and I got so thick together, they begun
to think what I'd said was according to gunter, and sot it all down for
eccentricity of genius instead of ginuine common sense; howsomever, I
did not care so long as all was ship-shape agin with 'em, for I hate to
get a woman a pouting with me, for if I'm ever so right it makes me feel
kinder ugly.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE DINNER SCENE.

We hadn't but just got settled down when the great wide looking-glass
that I've told you of, seemed to slide back of the curtains to the lower
eend of the room, and by gauly! there was another room further on, with
a table sot in it all kivered over with silver plates, and soup dishes,
and Chiny ware, with one of them trees of gold and glass all lighted up,
and swung to the wall, a glittering, and flashing, and pouring down the
shine over the heap of silver things, till it made a feller ketch his
breath on'y jest to peak in.

Lord Morpeth he gin his arm to my pussy she cousin--Jase gin his to a
harnsome gal that stood close to him, and I crooked my elbow up to
Jemima, for I kinder wanted to make up for what I'd sed about her
reading--poor critter! she aint to blame if she is a little shaller. The
rest on 'em followed on two and two, and arter a little we all sot down
round the table with six great strapping fellers, with blue and white
regimentals on, and gloves on all their twelve hands, a standing up
behind our chairs. I can't give you no idea of what we had to eat, for
they called every thing by some darn'd jaw-breaker of a name, and kept a
carrying things on and off and giving a feller clean plates all of
solid silver, till it a'most made me dizzy with seeing them a flashing
about so in the critters' hands. They had all sorts of mince meat with
hard names tucked to it, and fish kivered with gravy, and butter, and
every thing else, and sich a darn'd heap of things that I can't begin to
tell you all. I tried to take a bite of everything, but it wasn't of no
use--I was purty well filled up afore the puddings, and pies, and
custards cum on, and arter they were carried off I thought we'd all made
a purty good Thanksgiving dinner, considering it wasn't to hum, and I
can't tell when I've felt so big and pussy; but jest as I was thinking
we'd got about through, the fellers went to work and swept the hull
table clean as could be, and by-am-by on they cum agin with silver
baskets full of grapes, and oranges, and prunes, with a grist of fust
rate apples, and hull bunches of raisins that made a feller feel wrothy
because he'd eat enough, they looked so tempting a hanging over the
sides of them silver baskets, and a looking so meller in the light that
cum a shining down from the consarn overhead.

When the wimmen folks had jest eat a few grapes, and mebby a chunk of
orange or so, Miss Slick she got up and off they went into t'other room,
but yet a looking back sort of longing, jest as Eve did when the angels
made her quit the garden of Eden, poor critter!

The minit the wimmen folks had made themselves scarce the servants begun
to cut about like all possessed, and a hull regiment of decanters and
cider bottles with sheet-lead caps to 'em, marched onto the table, and
arter them cum another regiment of glasses, some of 'em round and bulky
with short stems and kinder dark green, some white as ice, and then agin
some that was short and slender, cut on in squares, and red as a gal's
lip, besides the long necked cider glasses that stood poking up among
the rest, like a Down East gineral, and his officers ready to lead on
the red and green militia agin the hull squad of bottles and decanters,
till one side gin up beat. The help gin the first shot, for each on 'em
took a bottle, and pop, pop, pop, went the corks--then the red, and
green, and white glasses marched up, and cum off chuck full and a
brimming over with plunder. As for me, I sent up a long necked feller
and took a swig at the cider, and Lord Morpeth he went dead into the
green glasses, but they put me in mind of an old maid's goggles, and I
couldn't take a notion to 'em till arter I'd drunk two hull glasses of
the cider, and then I didn't seem to care what I drank out on. By-am-by
some one called out and wanted a toast. I never heard of topping off a
Thanksgiving dinner with toast afore, but it made me think of hum, and
so I thought I'd have one tu.

"Look a here," sez I to the chap that stood back of my chair, "you may
make me a toast tu, but none of your dry stuff now, but make it as marm
used to, you remember Jase," sez I, "half a pint of hot milk with a
chunk of butter about as big as a piece of chalk melted in, and then the
hull soaked up with slices of toasted bread--hum made is best--one slice
laid on top of t'other. Now you git out, and make some right off," sez I
to the chap, sez I.

"Look a here, Jonce, what are you about?" sez Jase, a poking his elbow
sort of sly into my ribs. "It aint that we mean, we're a going to drink
a toast."

"Wal," sez I, "I haint no arthly objection, but if the feller makes it
according to rule it'll be ruther tough to swaller without some
chawing."

"I tell you," sez Jase agin, "we are a going to drink a toast to Lord
Morpeth in wine."

"Wal," sez I agin, "I haint no objection, if Lord Morpeth likes toast
and wine, it's his idee of what's good, and I can't help it; but as for
me, hand over a bowl of ginuine toast and cider with the bread crumbled
in, Weathersfield fashion, ruther hot, and sweetened well with lasses,
that's my notion. Lord a massey, how marm does mix them critters up,
it's enough to make a feller's nose tingle to think on it, aint it,
cousin Jase."

It warn't of no use a speaking to him, there he stood a strutting over
back with a glass in his hand and a singing out, "Our noble guest, Lord
Morpeth," like all possessed. Every critter at the table, excepting Lord
Morpeth and I, jumped up with glasses in our hands, and begun to drink
like a patch of seed onions after a six weeks' dry spell; but Lord
Morpeth and I sot still and looked as if we didn't know what possessed
the critters; but the minit they sot down up he jumped like a house a
fire, and the way he cracked jokes and said smart things, made the fire
fly from every body's eyes round the table. I swanny, if he didn't take
me a'most off the handle with his consarned sweet voice and harnsome
manners. It raly was eenamost as good as a play, to hear him reel out
the common sense and soft sodder about this land of liberty and old
England. When he sot down, it was as much as I could du to keep from
going right up and giving him a hug, if he was a lord. Arter this we
mixed in the talk altogether, like lemon, and sugar, and brandy in a
punch bowl, as sociable as so many chickens in a coop, till by-am-by,
Jase he begun to swell up and talk to Lord Morpeth about the Slicks, and
the crouchants, and lions, that belonged to the family coat of arms as
he called it; he gin us all to understand that the Slick's warn't a
family to be sneezed at by any of the English Lords, and gin out some
purty broad hints about a barron-night, and a lord, that gin a start to
the name ever so long back in England; then the consarned shote branched
out into a sarmon about ancient birth, and pure blood, a running from
one generation to another, without being siled by anything low since the
Slick's cum to this country, jest arter the Pilgrims, and a hull lot of
the darndest stuff that ever a transmogrified hand-cartman thought on.
I'd topped off my cider with two or three glasses of hock, the feller
called it, and it made me feel dreadful smart, and I felt jest like
tackling Jase in his own camp.

"Look a here, cousin Jase," sez I, "what on arth do you want to make out
that we Slick's are anything but jest what we be, for aint it a darned
sight more to our credit, Yankees as we are, and Republicans as we ought
to be, to own it at once, that we had to hoe our own row up, and found
it a purty tough one? Now you know well enough, for all your crouchongs,
and lions, and roosters,--that you've picked up, lord-a-massey knows
where--that you begun life, or any how begun to save up chink, fust by a
horse cart on Peck Slip, and that wife of your'n went out a nussing
other folk's children till arter you married her, and that aint no
disgrace to her nor you neither, so long as you don't try to make out
that you're something more than you raly be. It is too bad you're trying
to make out that you're a English big bug, when you can prove yourself
as good a nobleman as ever lived, by going back to our grand-par, the
brave old shoemaker, that swung his lap-stone over his shoulder when
the Revolution broke out, and jined the patriots when their struggle was
dark as the grave. The old man never gave way once, but fought like a
lion when fighting was to be done. He clung to his companions in good
and bad luck, and though he fought, and marched, and suffered with the
toughest of 'em, never once gin out or got discouraged, but arter a long
day's march would unsling his lap-stone, take out his rusty tools, and
hammer and stitch away half the night long, to make up shoes for his
tired and sore footed feller soldiers, whenever he could find a scrap of
sole leather or a piece of cow skin to make up!"

I was a going on, but Lord Morpeth he got up, and sez he, "Let us drink
to the memory of Mr. Slick's ancestor, the 'brave Shoemaker.'"

Jase looked sort of ugly about what I'd said--but I couldn't help that,
and when Lord Morpeth jined in, the hull biling on us got up, and
another squad of wine glasses was put into action. When the rest had sot
down, I felt as if I couldn't break off so, but I thought it wouldn't do
no harm to give 'em a short specimen of Weathersfied chin music, seeing
as there was a lord to hear me.

"Now," sez I, "it's of no use denying that we Yankees do think a good
deal of noble birth and pure blood, and all of them ere things that the
English have boosted up their throne with so many hundred years; for my
part, I du feel a kind of love and reverence for a family of any kind,
whose blood has run pure from one generation to another, through brave
men and good women, till it beats full of warm ginerous human natur in
the heart of a true nobleman, whether he has a title or not. It gives a
man something to be proud of, something to guard and keep himself good
and honorable for. A man must be mean as pusley, and meaner yet, who
could do a small action while he knew that his blood had been kept, pure
as spring water, by a hull line of good men, all a sleeping in their
graves."

"But, arter all," sez I, "what is the nobility of Old England more than
that which we Yankees have a right to?"

"Was William the Conqueror, that they brag so much about, any thing to
be compared to our Washington? Was his conquest of Old England, half so
great, or so tough a job as the tussle we had to get New England into
our own native land? Now, the whole truth is, blood is like wine, the
older it is, the stronger and clearer it grows. If it warn't for that,
we Yankees, that had forefathers in the Revolutionary war, have as good
a right to brag about our pure blood, as the greatest and oldest line of
proud England." Here I stopped jest long enough to make a bow to Lord
Morpeth, and on I went agin. "I say," sez I, a stretching out my arm,
"there aint a true born American on arth, if he owns the truth, that
haint English grit and pride enough about him to feel a kind of respect
for an English nobleman, if he behaves himself like folks: but if he
don't," sez I, "we've got a right to dispise him more than we do one
another when we act mean; for he not only disgraces hisself, but all the
forefathers that he ought to be proud on, and a man that can do that
must be mean as git out and meaner tu, a darned sight. Now," sez I, a
looking at Lord Morpeth, "we Yankees and the English are purty much
alike, for all. If they've got their lords, and dukes, and princes,
haint we no military captins, and generals, and deacons, and
squires,--rather small potatoes compared to the English, but yet it
shows a sort of native notion we've got arter sich things, and don't du
no sort of harm one way nor t'other. Now," sez I, "in a few hundred
years from this, we Americans, shall have a sort of republican nobility
of our own. I aint sartin about the titles, but by-am-by, when the 'tea
party,' and the battle of Bunker Hill lies clear back in our history, as
William the Conquerer's does among the British, Cousin Jase there,
wouldn't have to make up a story about his British ancestors; for the
pure blood of this ere country will be that which goes right back to the
Revolutionary war. All Yankee noblemen will have to sarch for their
titles on the pension list of this ere very generation; and the old man
that now draws his twenty dollars a month, will be the founder of a
line, jest as noble as any that ever sprung up in the heart of old
England! That's my ginuine opinion. Now," sez I, "if we Slicks wanted to
make out that we are any great shakes, it aint no very hard job to du
it. It aint by no means sartin that we, any on us, ever had any
forefathers afore the old Shoemaker, that we've jest been a telling on;
but he was a hull team and horse to boot. When the ammunition gin out at
Bunker Hill, he flung away his gun, and went to storming a hull
regiment, tooth and nail, on his own hook, till in the eend he was shot
down dead with a piece of the old lap stun in his hand, that he gripped
like an Injun arter his teeth was sot, and his fingers stiff and stun
cold. Old England, I must own, has got a grist of noble families and
great men, that are an honor and etarnal glory to it, but the blood that
biled up in that old man's heart, was as red, as brave, yes, and as
noble tu, as ever poured itself out on the sile of old England, in the
time of William, or any other Conqueror; and if I ever set up for a big
bug, and put picters on my carriage door, I kinder think that I shan't
be much ashamed to have Jonathan Slick's coat of arms, a 'hand gripped
hard on a lap-stun;' for consarn me, if we, any on us, ever get to be
much, it will be through the old Shoemaker, and I aint ashamed to own
it."

With that I took another swig at the hock, and was a going on agin, but
all tu once my head began to whirl round like a top. The table began to
spread itself into half a dozen, and it seemed as if the glass consarn
over head had got a hull family of leetle ones around it, dancing jigs
and pouring out the shine all over the room--and then the wine bottles,
and the decanters, and the grapes, and apples, and raisins, seemed to
get onsteady, and more on 'em kept a starting up. Then the waiters in
regimentals grew taller and taller, and I'm consarned if Lord Morpeth
hadn't half a dozen chaps a looking like so many twin brothers a dodging
up and down all around him, awful onsteady though, for Lords. Then,
arter all, the floor begun to rise and pitch up and down till I was
obliged to give up, and so I sot down, and held onto my chair with both
hands, and called out 'Whoa' like a house afire, for it seemed as if
everything was a getting upsot; and between you and I and the post, Par,
my ginuine opinion is, that all the chaps in the room had got about half
seas over, except me. I was as steddy as a judge, and sot up
parpendicular and independent, jest as a true born Republican ought tu,
determined to set that English Lord and the rest on 'em a good example.
It wasn't no wonder, though, that they got a leetle how come-you-so,
for they all drank wine, but I only took that sparkling white cider and
hock, for I was detarmined not to make a shote of myself. Yet it made me
feel so bad to see how they went on, that I got a'most sick thinking
about it.

Arter a while we all went back into the keeping-room, and there the
wimmen folks sot on them red benches, all in pimlico order, drinking
coffee out of some leetle finefied cups, but I'm afeared they didn't set
up so straight as young ladies ought tu in company--their heads did seem
to set rather unsartin on their shoulders every time I looked at 'em.

I drunk off a cup of coffee jest to oblige Jase, and then I begun to be
kinder sociable with a young gal that sot by Jemima, while Jase took
Lord Morpeth round to look at his marble head, and the two whopping
picters of himself and wife.

Arter he had gone the rounds--as we Editors say of a prime article--Lord
Morpeth made his bow and went out, I begun to feel kinder as if I'd like
to take a snooze, and so I jest gin one smashing bow at the door for
all, and arter getting my hat, I follered Lord Morpeth out. It was
tarnal cold, and I begun to chirk up a leetle, when I see that Jase's
carriage stood there. Lord Morpeth stepped back when he see me close to
him, and moved his hand as much as to say--Git in; but I stepped back,
and sez I, "I guess I've been taught better manners than to help myself
fust,"--so with that he got in, and I arter.

We had a good deal of talk in the carriage; and when we both got out,
Lord Morpeth shook hands with me as if I'd been his twin brother, and
asked me to come and see him to his room, for he wanted to talk with me
about picters and the fine arts, and things in general.

I gin his hand an allfired grip, and sez I, "Lord Morpeth, you can
depend on this chap, for he'll tell you the truth and no soft sodder. I
didn't take much of a notion to you at fust, for I aint a chap to run
arter you because you're a lord, but I like you in _spite_ of that, for
you're a darned good hearted, smart critter, and lord or no lord, that's
enough."

With that I shook hands agin, and went up stairs to bed. Fanny Elssler
didn't keep me awake that night I reckon. That hock is tarnal sleepy
stuff, Par.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXV.

Jonathan rides to Mill--The Millerite Excitement--His Marm waits for the
World to come to an End--Letter from New York--The old White Horse.


_To the Editors of the New York Express, a darned great Newspaper down
in York._

DEAR GENTLEMEN SIRS:

I s'pose your letter came down from York like a streak of chalk, but
I've got kinder out of the literary world since I cum back hum here, and
I didn't hear a word about it till the 22d of April, jest as all
Weathersfield had got their robes made and their caps sot for t'other
world.

I'd been out to work all day in the onion patch, and toward night I
thought it wouldn't do no harm to take a ride and git the kinks out of
my back. So I jest went to the barn, and arter saddling the old horse,
and measuring out some rye from the bin I went into the house for some
bags, and concluded I'd go to mill, and take the way back by old
White's, jest to see how Judy got along arter the last singing school.

Wal, I took a short cut through the orchard, and it made me feel kinder
chirk to hear the robins a singing in the apple trees, and to see the
young buds busting out all over my head, and the grass a sprouting under
my feet, all on it a looking fresh as a gal's lip, and greener than a
hull meetin-house full of Millerites. The peach trees in the back yard
had jest begun to blow out; they warn't in full blow yet, but seemed to
be kinder blushing all over at their own back'ardness; and that are old
pear tree by the well, looked as if natur had shook a flour bag all
over it, and yit, the old critter wasn't in full blow more than the
rest on 'em. I wasn't dry, but the air smelt so tarnal sweet, and the
water in the bucket, that was a leetle leaky, kept a falling drop, drop,
drop, down the well, so kinder tempting, that I couldn't help ketching
hold of the well-pole as I went by, and after tilting the bucket on the
curb, I tipt it down and took a drink that raly did me good.

Wal, I went through the yard, and opened the back kitchen door to ask
marm for the bags, and there she sot, close by the table, with her
linsey woolsey apron on yit, jest as she'd washed the morning dishes.
Her old gray hair was sort a rumpled up under her cap, and her steel
spectacles had slid half way down her nose, she was bending so arnest
over the big Bible, and reading the Prophecies of Daniel. Poor old marm,
she looked dreadfully wamblecropped, as if she'd jest made the discovery
of a new mare's egg in the Bible, and was waiting to see what sort of a
critter it would hatch out.

"Marm," sez I, "if you'll give me the bags I'll go to the mill, the last
grist must be purty nearly out by this time."

Marm sot still, looking at the Bible, and didn't seem to know as I was
talking. She shook her head kinder awful, till the specs rattled on her
nose, and then she groaned out something consarning fire and brimstone
and the eend of all things; and she wiped her eyes with her apron, as if
she felt dreadfully and couldn't help it.

"Marm," sez I, "what on arth ails you? you'll make me boo-hoo right out,
if you look so melancholy and take on so."

Marm give a jump, and looked up sort a skeery, and sez she, "Oh,
dreadful suz! Jonathan, is it only you?"

"Wal, I reckon so," sez I; "where's the bags?"

"Oh, Jonathan!" sez she, "are you ready for the eend?"

"Yes," sez I, "I guess I be; I ruther calculate these two strings are
tough enough to tie up the eend of any bag on these ere premises."

Marm shook her head agin, and her face was as solemncholy as a gal
that's got the mitten, and sez she, "Jonathan," sez she, "have you ever
calculated on the beast with the horns?"

"Wal," sez I, a putting my hands in my pockets, "I can't say that I
ever calculated much on them critters; if you and par want me to take
'em, I don't object to the old oxen, but I'd a leetle ruther have the
black steers, if you'd jest as lives."

Marm shook her head worse than ever.

"Wal," sez I, "the old oxen will do, so chirk up and tell me where the
bags are."

With that I went up the back stairs and found the things myself, and was
a going out when she called arter me, and, sez she, "Jonathan, Jonathan,
don't go on so--oh dear me, poor unregenerate critter, what do we want
of another grist; have you forgot Miller and his promise?"

"Goodness gracious, no," sez I, a swinging my bags over the old horse,
"how could I forget him--he's as clever a critter as ever lived, and he
promised to give this grist a tarnation bolting: I told him how mad you
was about t'other."

With that I got out the horse, hitched up the bags to make 'em lie even
under me, give the bridle a shake and jogged on, wondering what on arth
had sot marm up so. Jest as I was a turning down the lane toward Squire
White's, I looked back and there she was a standing by the winder, with
both hands up, and her cap knocked a one side like a crazy critter. Jest
then par come across the corn lot, where he and old uncle White had been
a ploughing, and I told him what a tantrum marm was in about the oxen
and the grist.

Par shook his head, and sez he, "Consarn that Miller! she's been a
brooding over the varmint's nonsense this ever so long, till she
couldn't sleep a nights, and now as it's jest coming on to the 23d of
April, I s'pose she's broke out in a new spot."

"Darn the old scamp to darnation!" sez I, "it's jest got through my head
what ails marm; the sneaking old varmint, he ought to be sung to death
by screech owls, and knocked into the middle of next week by crippled
grasshoppers!" With that I rode along, and par went hum, a looking jest
as if he was ready to bust out a crying or a swearing, he didn't care
which.

Wal, I was purty much womblecropped all the way to the mill, for somehow
it made me feel sort of all-overish to think how near the time had come.
I wasn't raly a skeered, but every thing looked pokerish all around. The
mill was shet up, so I stood up my grist at the door, and got on to the
old horse agin, detarmined to ride into town and see if I could find any
thing to chirk me up. Jest as I got agin the post office, a chap
hollered out that they'd got a letter for me from York, post paid and
all. I turned up and laid the bridle on the old horse's neck, while I
broke open the letter and read it. By gauley! didn't it make my heart
jump right up into my mouth! But yet I felt a leetle uneasy about it. I
wanted to come like all natur, but par hain't been willing to hear a
word about York never since I took sich a shine to Miss Elssler, at the
Astor House, and I was afeard that he'd say no to it. Then there was
marm and Judy White both on 'em sot agin York, and hating Miss Elssler
like rank pison; howsomever, I'm purty good grit when I sot out in
arnest, and I rode along thinking the matter over till I got to old Mr.
White's. Judy come out with her calico sun bonnet on, looking good
enough to eat.

"Come, Judy," sez I, "jump on behind, and go hum with me; marm has got a
fit of the dreadful suz, about that tarnal old Miller's bisness, and I
want you to chirk her up a leetle, if you can."

Judy run up to the fence, so I made the old horse side up while she took
off her check apron and spread it on behind. "Come up," sez I agin to
the old critter; he got so close to the fence that he a'most smashed my
leg agin the boards, and then shied agin; but Judy White is clear grit
and no mistake--she give a jump and cum down square right on the crooper
with one arm round me. The horse shied agin; Judy kinder slipped a
leetle, and she hung on to me closer yit, and larfed till you couldn't
tell which made the sweetest noise, she or the robins in old White's
orchard. When I turned to ketch her, them pesky red lips of her'n were
poked right agin my face; the harnsome varmint hung on to me with both
arms like all natur, and every time she larfed out, that tempting breath
of her'n come right over my mouth. Consarn the critter, I eenamost gin
her a buss afore I knew it, and when the tee-hee bust out through them
lips agin, I had to stop her mouth for fear she'd scare the horse.

"Now you git out, Jonathan!" sez she, a righting herself agin in no
time; "aint you ashamed?"

That stubborn old varmint begun another double shuffle, right there in
the street, and it was all I could du to hold him in, so I hadn't no
time to mollify Judy with another buss. The critter wouldn't speak a
word all the way hum, but there she sot, with one arm round me kinder
loose, as if she'd a kept herself on some other way if she could, and a
holding on her sun bonnet with t'other hand, till one couldn't git the
leastest peep at her face. It was purty near dark when we got hum. The
cows stood by the gate a lowing to be milked. The old hens, setting ones
and all, come round us hilter-skilter, as if they were eenamost starved
to death, and when we got into the kitchen, there stood the table jest
as it was left arter breakfast, covered with dirty dishes; the strainer
lay in a leetle wad in one of the sarsers, and the cat was a licking off
the cream from a pan of milk that stood on a chair by the cheese-room
door. Marm had gone off and shut herself up in the out room, with the
Bible and a hull heap of the "Midnight Cry" newspapers.

I swanny, it eenamost made me boo-hoo right out to see how the things
lay about the house. There never was a neater critter on arth than marm;
but the hull premises raly looked more like a hog pen than any thing
else. Judy and I went to work like good fellers--she forgot to be mad
and tackled to, washing dishes and gitting supper, while I went out to
milk. Marm wouldn't come to supper, and par eenamost choked with every
mouthful he eat, and yit he looked more than half wrathy, as if he'd
about as much trouble to keep his dander down as to hold up the tears
that every once in a while kept a dropping from under his eyes down the
side of his nose.

I guess you never sot eyes on so melancholy a set of critters as sot
round our kitchen till midnight, for marm wouldn't go to bed, and we
were afeard to leave her up alone in the out room with that pictur of
the horned beast a staring her right in the eyes. When the old clock
struck twelve, we heard the out door room shut to, and by-am-by marm
come where we sot in the kitchen, dressed out in a great long consarn
like an overgrown night-gown, with white shoes on her old feet, and
that gray hair of her'n a hanging down her back; I swow, it made me
ketch my breath to see her!

I haint got the heart to write all the shines marm cut up that night and
all day the Sunday arter--it seems like pokin fun at one's own marm--as
she went from one room to t'other, a ringing her hands and a crying her
eyes out, because we wouldn't put on the robes she'd made for us, and go
right up to heaven without making a fuss about it. I thought it wouldn't
do no harm to try and rile her up to thinking of something besides the
horned beast.

"Marm," sez I, all tu once, "I can't think of fixing up for t'other
world yit, no how. I've jest got a letter from York, and if you're so
detarmined on going to heaven, I ruther guess York's the place for me."

Marm jumped right up from her knees, and sez she, "Jonathan what _du_
you mean?"

My heart riz; it was the only sign of gumption she had made for a hull
day. Par looked up, and his chin kinder quivered, for he thought I was
poking fun at the old woman, and Judy White, she sidled up to me, and
sez she, all in a twitter, "Jonathan you aint in arnest now?"

"If I was, would you give up and let me go?" sez I.

Darn the harnsome critter, how mad she looked! "No I won't nor touch
tu!" sez she, and afore I knew it, she bust right out a crying and went
out of the room.

I didn't foller her, for marm had got down on her knees agin, and was a
looking through her specs at a tarnal big thunder cloud that cum a
rolling its blackness in knolls and furrows all over the sky, as if the
world had raly cum to an eend, and all the niggers in creation was a
going up fust.

Marm's face was as white as a taller candle, she was enough to scare
anybody out of a week's growth, a kneeling there in that white gown, and
her old hands a wrenching away at each other, like a crazy critter.
Thinks I, I'll try and rile her up agin, but it wasn't of the leastest
use, she wouldn't git up from the winder, but knelt there stock
still--with her head flung back'ards, and the lightning a blazing over
her steel specs, and the grizzley hair that hung away down her back. I
swan to man, it made my hair stand on eend to look at her. By-am-by the
thunder come a rolling and tumbling through the clouds, as if somebody
was a blasting rocks up above: and the lightning come a streaming out
agin in great blazes of fire, till it seemed as if all natur was turned
wrong eend up, and all the brick kilns, coal mines, and founderies on
arth were a playing away in the clouds, and a groaning and hissing
through the rain that came down in pailsfull, and a scaring folks to
death.

"There!--look a there!" sez marm all tu once, a jumping up, and a
stretching her arm through the winder. "I'm ready--I'm a coming!--Look a
there, Deacon Zephaniah Slick--look there, my unregenerated son--look!"

Sure as a gun, there was something all dressed out in white a standing
in the orchard, right agin the winder. Par and Judy White--for the
critter ran back from the out room when she see that I wasn't a going to
foller her--riz right up, and they wur about the streakedest looking
critters that ever you sot eyes on. Jest then cum a loud noise--snort,
snort, snort--from the orchard. "Oh gracious me!" sez marm--"the
trumpet! the trumpet!"--and down she slumped on her knees agin.

"By gracious," think sez I, "I'll see what the matter is, any how;" so I
gin a dive to the winder, and I hollored out, "shew--stuboy--git out!"
but I kinder think I didn't yell over loud, the words stuck like
wax-eends in my throat, and afore I could git 'em untangled, out cum the
noise agin, louder, and twice as scary as it was before.

Think sez I, "Gracious knows, I'm afeard we're gone suckers, but I'll
try agin anyhow;" so sez I, a clapping my hands, "git away, you varmint,
tramp--scoot--stuboy--y--y--"

I guess I yelled it out like a training gun that time. The white spirit
seemed to feel it tu, for it flung its arms in the dark, and gin us
another blast of his consarned old trumpet. Jest then the lightning came
cutting down agin, and--oh, git out!--it was only the old white horse, a
snorting and a kicking up his heels, in the orchard. I sot down, and
haw-hawed right out, till it was all I could du to catch my breath agin;
then I bust out agin, till par and Judy jined chorus, and we made the
old house ring as if there had been a quilting frolic in it: just then
the clock struck twelve.

"Hurra!" I sung out, "marm, the 23d of April has cum and gone; come,
marm, git up, the storm is blowing over, and the moon haint turned to
blood yit. Hurra!"

I was jest a going to give poor old marm a buss, but par had got her in
his arms a kissing her white face, and a boo-hooing, the old coot, like
a spring colt. So as the buss was all made up, and too heavy for my
mouth, I gin it to Judy. And she handed over a cuff for pay, the
tanterlizing little snapping turtle.

Judy was all sot to rights agin, afore the old horse had got over his
double shuffle.

"Oh dear, only to think that I should a cut up such a heap of factory
cloth, and all for nothing!" sez marm arter a while.

We didn't say much to marm that night, but when par and she got up to go
to bed, she took a slantindicular look at her robe, and then gin a
sneaking squint at us. I couldn't hardly keep from busting right out
agin, but choked in. And par says,--he never seems to mind it--"you can
use it for a night-gown." When the old folks had gone, Judy and I went
into the out room, and seeing as it was Sunday night, and nobody to
interfere, we sot down, and hitching our chairs close together, didn't
get sleepy till nigh about morning, but kept on talking, as chipper as
two birds. I didn't say anything to Judy about coming to York; she is a
sneezer when her dander is once up, and I kinder think it best to come
off, and then write a letter to her arter it is all done. She's allfired
jealous of the York gals, and dreads them that dance like Miss Elssler
as a cat hates hot soap.

I guess I shall cum any how, but not jest yit. I must git in all the
onions fust, and help about the grain some; arter that, you'll see me at
the office as large as life, and twice as nat'ral. Par wont hear a word
on it yit, I'm sartin, he got so allfired uneasy about me and Miss
Elssler, that he sent for me right hum, when I was at the Express
office; he thinks politics and dancing gals about the meanest things
that a feller can hanker arter. But I'll set Captin Doolittle to arguing
the matter with him, and as for marm, I guess she'll feel rather tu
streaked to make much of a fuss about any thing jest now. I meant to cum
the soft sodder over her a leetle any how; so this morning I went out
to my onion bed back of the barn, where the sun comes all day from
morning till night, and I pulled up a harnful of young onions that would
make your mouth water; they had the tenderest green tops you ever see,
and when I held 'em up and shook the dirt off, they looked more like a
harnful of snow drops a blowing out at the wrong eend, than anything
else. I gin these to marm, jest as she was a setting down to breakfast.
She was eenamost tickled to death with them, and I reckon that is one
long step towards York.

Mebby I shall be in York afore you git another letter from these parts
and mebby not, there's no knowing when I can git away.

                                        Yours tu command,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXVI.

Jonathan arrives in New York--Travels on the Deacon's Mare--Has Trouble
with the Colt--Embarks from Peck Slip, on Capt. Doolittle's Sloop, to
meet the President--His Introduction--Jonathan's Idea of the Cold
Collation--The Reception--Landing at Castle Garden--Review of the
Troops--The Procession, &c.


DEAR PAR:

Here I am, safe and sound, but about the tiredest critter that you ever
sot eyes on. Afore I got to Bridgeport, I begun to be kinder sorry that
I didn't stand my chance and come on with Captin Doolittle in the sloop,
for the fust thing that I see arter I got tu cousin Smith's in
Bridgeport, was the old sloop a scooting down the Sound like a four
horse team, with all sails sot, and loaded down to the water with garden
sarce. It seemed tu me that I could a'most see Captin Doolittle hisself,
a standing on the deck and a poking fun at me for coming down on the old
mare. The poor colt tu was eenamost tuckered out, and I begun tu feel
sort o' wamblecropped for fear something would happen tu one of the poor
critters afore I got tu York; but my keeping didn't cost nothing, and I
got cousin Smith to put a good feed in one eend of my saddle-bags and
gin the colt a warm drink of milk afore we started in the morning, so we
all three on us jogged on towards Stamford, in party good condition,
considerin'. Our cousin at Stamford warn't tu hum, so I had to put the
old mare and colt up to a tavern, and arter letting into a few of marm's
doughnuts, that lightened one eend of my saddle-bags quite a
considerable, I turned in till morning. The barkeeper made me pay three
York shillings for the horse keeping. My grit riz at it, for the old
mare looked as lank as a shad; but I didn't want to git into a scrape,
so I shelled out, and rode along darning all the cousins to darnation.
What are the varmints good for, if they can't be tu hum when a feller
travels their way?

It was purty well into the morning when I got down to York; the old mare
was eenamost tired out, and I begun to think she wouldn't cut much of a
dash; but jest as we were turning down the Bowery, she got a sight of
one of them consarned great railroad cars, and seemed to take it for a
stable trying to run off; for she gin a snort, stuck her tail right
straight out and her ears right up, and away she streaked it arter the
cars, like a house a fire and no engines to be had. The colt, it come a
whinnering arter, and if we didn't cut a figger, you never saw one in
the multiplication table. My coat tail was a streaming out behind, and I
held on to my bell-crowned hat with one hand while I shook my bridle
with t'other, and stuboyed the old critter along; for I didn't want the
people to think that I was afeard to go as fast as any thing in creation
took a notion to, if it was a steam engine loaded with fire and
brimstun, instead of a harnsome bay mare with a nussing colt.

Jest as we got away down the Bowery, the cars stopped stock still, and
the mare cum up and saw that it was only a box full of folks, she kicked
up her heels till I was eenamost spilt in the street. The colt it come
up and flurished its leetle spindle shanks agin the car, jest as its
mother had afore, and away we went, cutting dirt down Chatham street
like a streak of iled lightning, till I drew the mare up with a snort
and a kick that tapered off into a double shuffle right agin the Express
office.

I jumped off and streaked it into the office, and right up stairs, three
steps at a time.

I walked right into the editor's room, with my hand out, and sez I,

"How do you du?"

Afore he could answer, a clock in the City Hall steeple struck. The
editor, he jumped up, and sez he,

"We're tu late, the boat is off. There's your ticket, Mr. Slick, but
it's of no use now."

I took the paper that he gin me,--it was an invite to meet the
President, and the boat was off.

"Darn me, if I don't ketch up with him!" sez I, and out I went, right
ahead down stairs, with out another word.

"Look a here," sez I to the boy that held the mare, "when the President
comes in, you jest lead my horse down to the landing, and I'll give you
a four-pence-ha'penny, clear silver."

"I'll du it," sez the little chap.

"You'll be a man before your marm," sez I, a turning the corner, to go
the shortest cut to Peck Slip.

Captin Doolittle, was jest a hauling in, but I gin the old bell crown a
swing, and sez I, "Hold on, you consarned old coot, hold on, and hist
sail arter the President."

With that I jumped aboard a boat, and afore I reached the sloop she had
worked about and was ready for a chase. The wind was coming right up the
East River--and the minit I jumped aboard, Captin Doolittle, he and the
black boy gin a hurra, and the way we cut water was a caution to small
craft. We ploughed right ahead, full chisel, down the harbor, till
by-am-by we saw two steamboats a coming towards us, brim full, and a
running over with people--with banners a flying, and colors a
streaming--toot horns a blowing, and fifes a letting off Yankee
Doodle--drums a rattling out "Hail Columbia," and the big paddles a
playing the water up, till it seemed tu kinder ketch fire in the hot
sun, and drop into the waves to get cool agin.

"Captin," sez I, "hist another flag."

The captin, he put his chaw of terbacco into t'other cheek, and sez he,
"I haint got none."

"I guess I have," sez the leetle nigger, a running down into the cabin.

In a minit he cum back with one of the captin's red woollen shirts
fastened to the eend of a bean pole, and he stuck it up on the stern of
the sloop, jest as we cum bearing right down on the two steamboats.

A tall chap with a sort of good natered face, but the darndest fish-hawk
nose that you ever sot eyes on, stood with a lot of fellers on the deck
of the boat that had the most music in it--an old codger, with a blue
coat lined and faced all over with yaller, and a cocked hat right on his
head, with one eend curling up, jest over his nose, like a hen-hawk
ready to pick his eyes out, and with his two legs swallered up in a pair
of black and yaller boots, stood close by the man with the nose.

"Captin Doolittle," sez I, "get out the gun, there's the President."

"What, that old chap with the yaller legs and breast," sez he, "that
looks like an overgrown grasshopper a skipping out of the last century
into this?"

"Jest so," sez I, "that's the President of the United States, I haint no
doubt--so three cheers, and then blaze away!"

The nigger, he went down and brought up the old gun--Captin Doolittle,
he loaded her down purty tight, pushed the charge hum with his ramrod,
shook down the powder in the pan, and arter trying it to his shoulder,
sez he,

"Jonathan, go ahead."

"I took a squint at the leetle nigger tu see if all was ready, and then
I off with my old bell-crown," and sez I, "now"--with that I gin it a
flurrish--"Hurra!!!" I yelled out like the bust of a cannon--"Hurra!!"
sung out Captin Doolittle on the taper eend of my yell--"Hurra!"
squeaked the leetle nigger. With that the old gun banged away, and the
tall man with the nose, he bowed and flurrished his hand at us, and with
that I saw Alderman Purdy, a chap that used to come to the Express
office when I was there afore, and the minit he saw that it was me, the
boat stopped all tu once, and begun tu snort and roll on the water like
a sick porpoise, and some one sung out, "Cum aboard."

Captin Doolittle and the nigger, they let down the boat, and afore I
knew it there I was, standing in the steamboat. The minit I stepped
aboard, the swad of fellers on deck with toot-horns and fifes and drums,
let out a hull thunder storm of music. Captin Doolittle, he banged off
the old gun agin; the leetle nigger, he got up an extra shirt and gin
another leetle hurra; and Mr. Purdy, sez he,

"Mr. Slick, the President wants to see you."

"Wal," sez I, "I haint no objection, only give me time to slick up a
mite."

With that I took out my hankercher and kinder dusted off my new coat and
trousers, and slicked down my hair a leetle, and I follered Mr. Purdy,
right up tu where the President was a standing, in his yaller clothes
and his cocked hat.

"Mr. Tyler, how do you du?" sez I, a taking one hand from my trousers'
pocket, and a holding it out.

The yaller chap, he stepped back a leetle, and the tall coon, with the
nose, he gin my hand a tarnal grip, and sez he,

"Mr. Slick, I'm glad tu see you."

"You're kinder got the advantage of me, I reckon," sez I, but that minit
Alderman Purdy whispered to me,

"Why, it's the President," sez he.

"Gauly oppilus," sez I, "you don't say so!"

"Mr. President, how do you du, and how are all the folks tu hum, about
these times, all purty smart I s'pose?" With that I worked away at the
old chap's hand, with both mine, as if I'd made up my mind tu pump an
office out of him, afore I let go.

"Wal," sez I, "Captin, I hope you mean to stay in York a spell, now
you've got here; some harnsome gals about these diggings jest now, rale
sneezers in the way of beauty--you haint no idee of that sort, nor
nothing have you?" sez I, a giving him a slantindicular squint from one
eye, and a leetle punch in the ribs with the tip eend of my finger, "no
you haint now."

The captin he larfed, and sez he, "Oh no, I'm only making a little
unpremeditated tour a--"

"Jest so," sez I, "an _accidental_ visit."

The captin gin me a squint across his nose, and then I made him a low
bow, and sez I, "Jest so, but the folks seem tu be rather tickled with
sich accidents, don't they?"

This seemed to kinder mollify the captin, and jest as I was a spreading
myself for a new speech, a feller cum up with a great red and green and
white rosy, pinned on to his coat, and he whispered tu the President,
and the President looked round tu me, and sez he,

"Mr. Slick, they tell me that the collation is ready--will you go with
me into the ladies' cabin, and lead down one of my fair friends?"

I made him a prime bow--a rale darnsing school smasher--and, sez I,

"Wal now, I don't know what kind of horned cattle a collation is, but
seeing as it's you, I'll tackle in, if it's only tu git acquainted with
a downright ginuine fair friend of your'n, captin, for folks say that
your friends are purty darned _unfair_ in a gineral way."

"Folks don't du me justice," sez he, a turning red in the gills; "No man
ever had better or devoted friends on arth."

"What there is on 'em," sez I.

The captin didn't seem tu hear me, but he took out his chaw of terbacco
and pitched it over the side of the boat. I dug both hands into my
trousers' pockets, and sez I tu the man with the silk rosy, sez I--

"Come, now, I s'pose it's about time for you and I and the President to
be a movin. Where du you keep that critter of your'n?"

"What critter?" sez he.

"Why, the collation?" sez I.

"Down in the cabin," sez he.

"Wal," sez I, "I hope the varmint is considerable tame; but come on,
whose afeard!"

With that, Captin Tyler and I and the old yaller chap, with a hull swad
of fellers, some on 'em in training clothes, and some on 'em with cocked
hats on, went into a leetle room fenced off from the deck, and there,
jest as sartin as you live, were five or six wimmen folks, right in
amongst all them men, like one clover top tu a hull hive of honey bees,
a lookin as contented as git out. "Wal," think sez I, "If they ain't
scared, I ain't." The President seemed to know 'em, for he put his arm
right under mine so arnest, that he eenamost lifted my right hand out of
my pocket; and, sez he,--

"Ladies, Mr. Slick, of the New York Press."

With that, I took off old bell-crown with one hand, and I put out my
right foot and gin a draw kinder softly into the holler of t'other, and
I bent down like a jack-knife; my eyes had tu kinder roll up a leetle,
to look into the gals', and sez I,--

"Ladies, I hope you're purty well?"

One on 'em kinder got up half way, she was a proper purty woman, and
looked as good natered and kind as a robin red breast in the spring
time, and reached out that harnsome white hand, and smiled sort of
softly, and sez she--

"Mr. Slick, we're happy tu see you."

Another harnsome critter in a checkered frock, a rale ginuine beauty,
without paint or whitewash, she gin her leetle foot a twirl, and was a
beginning tu reel off a curchy, so I jest stuck out my left stomper, and
sot the hinge of my back a going for her; but jest as I was gittin
head's up agin and my arms a swinging back tu their place, I ketched her
a looking at t'other one, and a puckering up them lips of her'n, till
they looked like two red rosberries jest a going to drop off from their
bushes. I settled both hands back in my pockets agin, and stood right up
parpendicular, as a true born American ought tu.

"Marm," sez I, "what do you think of the weather?" and with that, I jest
curled my upper lip and gin her a ginuine grin from one ear tu t'other,
and sez I, "Look a here, marm, if you want tu do this kinder business up
harnsome, take a lesson from me; I ile the jints of my under jaw every
morning. Them screw larfs ain't good for the mouth, you may be sartin of
that."

The critter, she colored all over, till she looked as sweet as a pina,
then a lot of fun bust right into them blue eyes of her'n, and her pesky
leetle mouth begun tu tremble and work itself about, like a red rosy a
trying tu fold itself up into a bud agin; and then she bust right out
into a leetle finefied haw-haw; and two leetle teenty gals, dressed out
in black, they begun to titter like two pigeons on a gutter--pesky sweet
leetle varmints--and a smasher of a woman, that was older than any of
'em, she jined in and larfed sort of easy and nat'ral, as if she'd fed
on nothing but ripe muskmellons for a hull fortnight; and then the
President he jined in, and we had a fust rate haw-haw, right there in
the cabin.

Jest then, a leetle chap, with an allfired swad of yaller hair a
sticking out all round his head, cum in, and the good natered lady in
the gray dress, she hitched on to the President, and a great tall
chuckle-headed feller, dressed out in frock and trousers like a boy,
with gold buttons a glittering all over his bosom, and a streak of gold
a running across his shoulder, he made a dive at the harnsome gal in the
checkered frock, the consarned overgrown coot! but I jest then sidled
right up with my elbow ready crooked, and sez I, a looking as perlite as
all natur, sez I--

"Arter me is manners for you."

The feller looked mad enough tu eat me hull, without vinegar or
sarse--but I didn't seem to mind it. The harnsome gal had clenched her
white fingers over my coat sleeve, as loving as a young grape vine round
a black elder bush; and when I git hitched on to a fust rate gal, all
the fellers in creation may go to old Nick, for what I care. The old
Sogers, they mixed in with us and the fellers with silk rosies, and out
we went, on deck and down stairs. The music, it bust out agin, and one
of the fellers with a silk rose, he yelled out, "Make room for the
President!" so the free-born Americans on deck, they crowded back and
made a lane for us.

"Make room for the President and his sweet," the feller sung out agin.

Think sez I, "That aint fair now; the gal with the President is a nice
critter as ever lived; but darn me if mine aint sweeter than his'n, a
pesky sight,"--so I sung out, and sez I--

"Make room for Jonathan Slick and _his_ sweet;" with that I took a
marching step and went down stairs heads up, and with the gal hanging on
my arm, as independent as a cork-screw. Gaury, but wasn't there a feed,
considering it was nothing but a cold cut--sich hunks of beef, and ham,
and pork, and piles of bread, and bottles of "the critter," you never
sot eyes on, without it was day arter thanksgiving. We all sot down at
one eend of the table, and afore we'd got a single bite, the doors
banged open, and down cum the free-born citizens from on deck, helter
skelter, higgle-te-pigglety, black coats, red coats, blue, green, every
color on arth, and sogers, spartans, tailors, shoemakers--every sort of
two-legged animals under 'em, eating away for dear life, and a drinking
like so many house gutters, right afore the face and eyes of the
President and me, with all the harnsome leetle sweets a setting round
us,--I swan tu man, it eenamost sot me agin my victuals: and the
harnsome gal by my side, she looked kinder scared, as if she hadn't
ought tu be there.

"Try and take a bite, du now!" sez I, a piling some cold pork on her
plate, "it aint a mite rusty, and makes me feel a'most to hum, it tastes
so nat'ral."

She put the leastest mite between them temptin lips, but didn't seem to
eat with a relish yet. "I swan," sez I, a bending down to take a squint
at her face, "I only wish I could git aboard the sloop, and bring you a
prime bunch of young onions. Wait a minit and I'll try?"

"Oh, no, no," sez the sweet critter, "I'd ruther not--don't leave me,
Mr. Slick."

"Darn me, if I du--onions or no onions," sez I, but I felt kinder
disappointed though, for a bunch of white onions, tops and all, would a
ben prime with the cold pork--howsomever, I gin in as a feller ought tu,
when a gal is in the case; but I didn't feel a bit satisfied about the
stomach. When the President got up tu go on deck agin, I looked into the
gal's eyes, and tried not tu feel a hungry.

Oh, par, I wish you'd a ben standing on the deck, with us, when we went
up. It was a tarnation harnsome sight; the water was a blazing with the
sun, and a shining around us, all checkered over with boats, and sloops,
and shipping of all sorts, then right ahead was the hull city of York,
steeples, housen, and wharves, piled together and heaped up with people
a swarming down tu the shore, a hanging over the water, and a climbing
up the masts all along the East and North rivers, like bees in hiving
time. Two allfired big ships sot on the water, right agin the Battery,
with a hull regiment of men, all dressed out in white, a standing up in
the rigging, tu see the President and us cum in. The hills all round
Brooklyn, was kivered thick with folks a hurraing and a flinging their
hats up--and a leetle island that lies close up tu York, was chuck full
and a running over with human live stock.

When we got agin the big ships, the men in the riggin flurrished their
hats, and gin us a thundering loud hurra. The President he took his hat
off, and I and the old yaller chap boosted him up onto a chair, that
everybody might have a good squint at him. Mr. Curtis wanted tu hold on
tu his coat tail, and make believe boost, but the old yaller chap and
I--we shoved him off about the quickest.

"Git out," sez I, "git out! if a President of the United States, can't
stand without the help of a pack of office-holders, he'd better fall tu
once. Here's this old revolutionary soger, and I--the army, and the
people--if we can't keep him up, he'll have tu go tu grass that's all!"

But while we was talking, the two ships blazed away with every darn'd
gun in their sides, and the sailors hurraed agin, and afore we knew it,
a hull thunder cloud of hot smoke cum a pouring over us all--ca-smash
went the chair, and the President he pitched head for'ard, right amongst
the office holders. The old yaller chap and I shook our heads, and begun
to feel a trifle streaked.

"I'm afeard he's a gone shote," sez I, as the old feller put his cocked
hat on agin.

"A _unfortunate accident_," says a feller close by.

"Not so unfortunate as you think for," sez Captin Tyler, a jumping up
and a nussing his nose with one hand, "I've had worse falls than this,
and riz agin arter all. Give us another boost, feller citizens--I stand
ready for a second boost."

The office-holders made believe help him, but Lord a massy! they hadn't
grit enough tu hist a grasshopper out of a bog of swamp grass; but I and
the yaller gineral, though, we sot him up as good as new, afore half the
smoke cleared off.

Jest as all was put tu rights agin, the brass cannon at the eend of our
boat, let off a blast of young thunder. We gin the ship a fust rate
hurra, and the minit we were a done, Captin Doolittle and the nigger,
they got up a small chance of a cheer, and let off the old gun agin
right under our starn. Arter that, we made a curlecue round both the
ships with our music a rolling out and our flags a flying, and Captin
Doolittle he chased right arter with the red shirts a cutting capers
from the bean-poles; and the leetle nigger, he stood on the bows a
rolling his eyes and a blowing away at Yankee Doodle on a crooked fife
like all natur. I swan tu man, it was enough tu set a feller's
patriotism to working like a beer barrel. We gin the ship another hurra
and cut for the Battery, with Captin Doolittle and the sloop a streaking
it right arter; the guns on the little island they bellowed away at us
as we cut by, and the folks on the Battery, they flung up their hats and
hollered eenamost as loud as the guns that kept a roaring every minit,
till by-am-by in we went ca-smash, right amongst the trees and a hull
gineral training of sogers. The President and us we walked ashore and
went right into Castle Garden. It was chuck full of feller citizens and
sogers, and the mayor was a waitin for us to cum up; he measured off a
hull bilin of soft soap to the captin, and then the captin he stuck out
his right arm and gin the mayor back as good as he sent, with a pint cup
full over. Then we went out amongst the trees, the captin he got on tu a
horse all finefied off with gold and shiny leather, and then the leetle
boys that hung on the trees as thick as acorns in the fall, they gin us
a cheer, and jest that minit I see the newsboy a leading my mare right
towards me. I forked over a fourpence-ha'penny and got on tu the
critter, tickled eenamost tu death tu git a chance tu sit down agin.

That mare is clear grit, par, and no mistake; the music, and the guns,
and the shoutin, had sot her blood a bilin, and she danced about like a
two year old colt jest off grass.

I rode through the trainers full chisel arter the President, and the
colt, he cum a kickin up his heels amongst the wimmen and children as
crazy as a bed bug. I pushed in close up tu the captin, and he and I and
the rest on 'em rode along afore the sogers as crank as you please. But
the mare, she didn't seem tu like the way they pinted them guns at her,
and once in a while she'd kick up and grow a leetle sarcy, and snort
right in their faces like a tin toot-horn about dinner time. When we'd
got about half way through the sogers--and it seemed as if all creation
had got intu regimentals jest then--the mare she got anxious about the
colt, and sot up a whinner that a'most shook me off from her back. I
tried tu make her git along, but she only bust out in a new spot, dug
her hoofs close tu the ground and backed into the crowd till I got
wrathy as all natur with her; but the more I paid the gad on, the worse
she got, till by-am-by she stood stock still, a shakin her head, a
stompin with her fore foot, and a yellin arter the colt like a lovesick
gal.

The President he was a gitting ahead, and the darn'd coots all around,
begun to larf and poke fun at us, when the colt he cum a scampering
through the trees, and a scattering hull squads of wimmen, and boys, and
babies, every jump, till he ended off in a crazy caper, all around the
mare and me. This pacified the critter, and arter whinnering over the
colt a leetle, she jogged on as meek as a cosset lamb, and the colt he
follered close tu, till I came up with the captin agin, and then he'd
stop every once in a while, and face about, look right into the sogers'
eyes, so arnest, that they couldn't help but bust out a larfin, if the
President and I was a lookin at 'em.

It was about the greatest show that I ever sot eyes on. The Battery is
one of the harnsomest spots on arth, all kivered with grass, and chuck
full of trees, and a hull army of sogers, some in brown regimentals,
some in green, with yaller feathers, and some in red, yaller, blue, and
all sorts of colors, a wheelin round under the trees, was enough to make
a feller proud of his country.

When we got to the gate, which opens at the eend of Broadway, Captin
Tyler he got into a carriage, and wanted me to git in tu, but I was
afeard to leave the mare, and so Robert Tyler, the chap with the yaller
hair, we agreed to hitch tackle, and ride along with one another. A hull
army of sogers with their drums a beating, and colors a flying, went
ahead; Robert Tyler and I, and the colt, and a hull squad of other great
men cum next, and then come on the President with his hat off, and a
bowin to all the winders and stoops as he went along. Wasn't them
winders and ruffs and stoops a sight tu behold! Every square of glass,
and every railing that a critter could hold on to was kivered with
folks. In my hull life, I never see so many harnsome gals. It seemed as
if every man in York, had hung out a sample of his family, for the
fellers to pick and choose from. I swan tu man, if it didn't seem to me
as if all the gals in creation was a swarming round the President and I,
like yaller butterflies round a mud hole, all on 'em anxious for a
smile at one or t'other on us. It made the blood kinder tingle all over
me to feel that hull battery of bright eyes a pouring fire down on us. I
raly don't see how the President stood it! He couldn't, if the crowds of
free born citizens that swarmed every step of the way, layer on layer,
hadn't kept him a shakin hands out of the carriage a'most every step,
till he was clear tuckered out, and a'most wilted down in the carriage,
long afore we got up the _Express_ office. When the news boys see me and
the colt, they sot up a hurra that outdid anything I'd heard since we
come away from the Battery, all the purty gals waved their hankerchers
about, and every winder was jammed full, and all on 'em a lookin
straight at me and Bob Tyler and the colt. So I lifted my right hand
kinder slow, and took off the old bell-crown--I drew in the bridle so as
to make the mare caper about right, and made six bows one arter t'other,
till my forred near about touched the old mare's neck.

They gin me three more cheers of the tallest kind, as they say in York,
but when I looked round, there was Bob Tyler with his hat off, and a
shakin that swad of yaller hair about, jest as if _our_ news boys would
cheer him, or any body else, when _I_ was a goin by!

"That's right, Mr. Slick," sez he, when he see my bell-crown off.

"_Par the President_ must be a'most tired to death, a bowin and a shakin
hands so much, it's quite proper that you and I should do a little on it
for him."

"Wal," think sez I, "if you aint a self-conceited critter, I don't know
who is," but the feller looked as innocent as a lamb, and I was afeard
he'd feel about as sheepish as if I let out on him--so I put my
bell-crown on agin, with a leetle knock at the top, for I had to settle
the grit somehow, and sez I,

"Wal, Mr. Tyler--to git on a new subject--how'll you swap horses?--say
my mare and colt agin that harnsome critter of your'n, saddle and bridle
thrown in?"

The feller kinder smiled, but didn't answer right off, so I jest turned
about, and leaned one hand on the old mare's cropper, while I whistled
the colt up tu us, and pinted out his harnsome head and chist, and the
clean notion that he has got of flingin out his legs.

"He's a smart critter, I can tell you," sez I; "and as for the old mare
here, she's worth her weight in silver dollars. Haint got but one fault
on arth."

"And what's that?" sez Mr. Robert Tyler, sez he.

"Why, she's troubled with the _botts_ a leetle, once in a while, but it
aint nothin worth mentionin."

Mr. Robert Tyler he give a start, and he turned as white as skim milk in
the face. Sez he, all in a twitter, sez he, "Don't mention it, Mr.
Slick. My par, the President, wouldn't let a horse go into his stable
that had ever gin symptoms of the botts. It's an awful disease. Don't
mention it to him, for he'd never git over it if you did!"

"Wal, then, I s'pose we can't trade," sez I. "Think on it agin. Mebby
you'll change your mind to-morrow."

"Hello!" sez I agin. "What's that. Captin Tyler's druv his carriage
right out of the ranks, and is gone fair split down Broome street."

Mr. Robert Tyler he turned his horse, and he and I and the colt took
arter the President full chisel. We cum up with him jest as he was a
gittin out before the Howard Hotel. He was so beat out and tuckered down
that I raly felt sorry for him; for arter all that folks say, I believe
that he's a good hearted old chap, and wants to du the thing that's
about right, if he could only be sartin what it was. He couldn't but
jest hold up his head, and had tu go to the Theatre yit. As I was a
looking at him, a notion cum intu my head, and, sez I--

"Captin, jest put on your hat a minit, and drive down to the sloop--I've
got somethin there that'll make your nose tingle, and chirk you right
up, till you'll be as chipper as a squirrel in the fall time."

Captain Tyler he got right up, and sez he--"I'll do anything on arth
that'll make me feel better." "Mr. Robert," sez I, "tell the gals that
we'll come back right off"--so down we went, I helped the President into
the carriage, and in less than no time we got out and went aboard the
sloop.

Captain Doolittle had gone ashore, and there wasn't nobody aboard but
the leetle nigger. I sent him to the wharf for a pitcher of cold Croton
water, and then I asked the President down into the cabin. It was
cleared out, and swept as neat as a new pin. The table that stood in the
middle of the cabin was scoured off as white as milk, and Captain
Doolittle he'd hung up the checkered curtins that marm made for him,
right over the highest berth, till it looked as temptin as our spare
bed. I gin the Captin a chair, and he sot his hat down on the table,
close by old bell-crown, while I opened a locker and took out a hull
dishfull of doughnuts that marm biled up for me afore I cum away. Just
as I'd sot them on the table, the nigger cum with the cold water. I took
it up tu the locker, and filled in with vinegar and lasses enough to
make it prime switchel, such as marm mixes up for the workin hands since
you took the pledge, par. When I stirred it up well, and took a swig, to
see if it was the rale critter, I got a tumbler, and arter filling one
for the President, I sot down, and sez I--

"Now, Captin, make yourself to hum, and take hold."

He didn't need much urgin, for the switchel was ginuine stuff, sweety
and yet sort of tart, and cool as a cowcumber, and the doughnuts beat
all natur.

The President hadn't eat more than half a dozen, and had his tumbler
filled about as often, afore he begun to chirk up, and look as good as
new agin.

"Mr. Slick," sez he, "this is what I call livin," but my mouth was half
full of a middling-sized doughnut, and I had to wash it down afore I
could answer.

"Help yourself, Captin; don't be afeard--there's enough more where these
cum from," sez I, a swollering the last mouthful.

"Wal, I think I've done purty well," sez he, a stretching hisself up and
putting his hands in his pockets, "I raly begin to feel like myself
agin; that's excellent drink of yourn, aint it, Mr. Slick?"

"Coolin," sez I, "and ruther toothsome; shall I mix another pitcher,
captin?"

"No, not now," sez he, "but I wish you'd write me out a receipt."

"I'll do it," sez I, "and glad of the chance, for darn me if I haint
took a sort of a notion to you; my opinion is that you're a rale ginuine
feller, if them consarned politicians would only let you be; all you
want is a downright honest chap that'll tell you the truth right out,
and that you can trust, he'd be worth a hull bilin of Whigs, or
Loco-focos either."

"But where is he to be found?" sez the President, sort of melancholy.

"Look a here!" sez I, a flingin one arm over the chair and a leaning
t'other elbow on the table; "look a here!"

The President he sot with both hands in his pockets a looking right in
my face for ever so long, and sez he at last, sez he--

"Mr. Slick, will you go back with me to the hotel, and sleep with me
to-night? I want to have some talk with you: of course you'll go with us
to the Park Theatre?"

"With all the pleasure in natur," sez I, "and we'd better be a-goin;
take another swig of the pitcher, captin, and stow away some of the
doughnuts in your pockets, they'll be prime at the Theatre."

The President said he'd eat enough, so as I was a follering up my own
advice, he got up and was a puttin on his gloves, when he see his own
pictur a hanging by Captin Doolittle's berth, and I could see that he
was kinder tickled with it.

"Captin Doolittle aint much of a politician," sez I, "but he bought that
picter because he parsists that it proves you to be the most consistent
President that ever lived, when you veto so many bills."

"How does my face prove that," sez he, looking sort of puzzled.

"Why," sez I, "he sez that a man that runs so ginerally to _nose_ can't
be expected to say yes when he don't want to."

The President he bust right out a larfin, and with that I took old
bell-crown, and arter sending the nigger to put up the mare and colt I
follered on to the hotel; but it's gittin late and I can't write any
more till next week; but mebby you'll hear from me then, for the
President and I went to the Theatre, and slept together, and are as
thick as three in a bed jest now, and if he haint no objections I shall
write all about it, but 'twill be jest as it takes my notion whether I
send it right on or print it.

I send you my pictur and the captin's tu, but it was engraved in a
hurry, and aint nigh on so harnsome as either on us; by-am-by I'll set
for another, and then you'll see a chap worth while a figgering in the
Express agin.

                                        Your dutiful son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXVII.

JONATHAN SLICK IN NEW YORK.

Jonathan attends the President at the Howard House--Visits the Park Theatre
with the President and his Handsome Girl--Goes with Mr. Robert Tyler to
have his Hair Cut at Clairhugh's--Takes Refreshments with the Ladies at the
Howard House--Bed-chamber Scene with the President--Serenade, &c.


DEAR PAR:

I begin tu feel a leetle sort of better, but nothing to brag on yit. I
raly believe that I'd a been a gone sucker, if it hadn't been for the
mustard plasters and the onions that Captin Doolittle kept a filling
into me, outside and in, till I can a'most feel myself sprouting out
greener than ever, and twice as strong. My gracious! when this ere
influenza does git hold of a feller, it aint a critter that you can
scare off in a hurry. It's the worst kind of a Down East cold, double
and twisted strong; and if you don't humor it like a cosset lamb, jest
as like as not it ups and goes off, stuboy, into a galloping
consumption; and the worst on it is, it carries you off with it, whether
you will or no.

Let me see; I was a telling you about the President, and how he seemed
tu enjoy the doughnuts and switchel aboard the sloop. The old chap took
tu it like a nussin baby, and if he wasn't clear grit, and no mistake,
arter it, I don't know the symptoms of prime living.

Wal, we went back to the Howard Hotel, and the President he jumped out
of the carriage as spry as a kitten, and both on us run up the steps
that open out of Maiden Lane, to git rid of a hull swad of
office-holders that was a hurraing at the front door in Broadway.

The President he took off his hat, and slicked down his hair a leetle in
the entry-way, and I pulled up my dickey a trifle, and hauled out a
corner of my yaller hankercher, and sez I--

"Captin, go ahead, I'm all ready."

We went right intu the harnsomest room that I ever sot eyes on in my
hull life. Nothing that I ever see at the Astor House was a primin to
it. The carpeting was all finefied off, and curlecued with posies, and
green leaves, and morning-glory vines went a twistifying all over it as
nat'ral as life, and all on 'em seemed kinder tangled up and trying to
unsnarl all over the floor, till it raly seemed like treading on a patch
of wild posies, with the moonshine a streamin over it; you would a'most
smell the roses when a feller sot his foot on a bunch on 'em, they were
pictered out so nat'ral and temptin.

The President, he sidled off to one of the cushioned benches, and sot
down right in a swad of the harnsomest of the gals that sot in the room.
They squeezed together tu make room for him, and larfed so good natered,
and looked all in a twitter they was so tickled tu git him among 'em;
and there I was, eenamost alone, a standin up parpindicular, and a
feelin as streaked as a pair of old cotton trousers in washing time.
That pesky harnsome critter that wore the checkered frock aboard the
boat, she got nigh agin the door, so when she see me a standin there,
she pinted with that leetle white hand of her'n, and sez she--

"Why don't you take a seat, Mr. Slick?"

"Wal," sez I, a bowin, "I don't care if I du, jest to oblige you;" so
down I sot, but the cushion give so, that I sprung right up on eend
agin, and when I see it rise up as shiney and smooth as ever, I looked
at her, and sez I--

"Did you ever!"

"It's elastic," sez she, a puckering up her mouth.

"I don't know the name on it," sez I, "but it gives like an old friend,
so I'll try it agin."

"These cushions are very beautiful and pleasant," sez she.

"Yes," sez I, a spreadin my hankercher over the cushion and a settin
down, "they're as soft and blue as them tarnal sweet eyes of your'n, but
not half so bright."

She kinder larfed a leetle cozy, and begun tu play with a tossel that
hung to a corner of her seat, and then she went to talkin with the fat
woman that sot t'other side, like all possessed--the darned tanterlizin
varmint.

The President he was as chipper as a blackbird, with the gals around him
a smiling and a twitterin as tickled as so many trout round a bait. It
raly made my dander rise tu see it, and me a settin there as lonesome as
git out. There, jest afore me on the wall, was great smashin pictur,--a
rale pen of gold, with a man and a woman a huggin and kissin, and a
lookin into each other's eyes, right in the middle on it,--as if there
wasn't enough rale live temptin critters to rile a feller up without
tanterlizin him with picturs tu.

I say, par, did you ever see a checkered adder a charmin a bird, with
his head stuck up in the sun, and kinder slanted a one side,--his mouth
wide open, and that are leetle forked tongue a tremblin in the middle on
it, as if it was sot to dancin by that lazy hum, hum, hum, that comes
etarnally a bilin up from the pison critter's throat? Haint you never
observed the purty bird, half scared tu death, and yit a flutterin
closer and closer to the varmint, till by-am-by, she lights right in his
jaw, and lies a twitterin there while he's a swallerin it hull? Wal,
par, jest take away the pison, and you've some idee how I and old
bell-crown come the soft sodder round that gal; but I didn't want to git
her to hankering arter me tu much, for nothin on arth is so likely to
cure a chap of a love-sick fit, as to see the gal a gittin tu strong a
notion arter him; so I gin my fingers another snap, to change the tune,
and tapered of into Old Hundred with a touch of Greenbank, and that
froze her down, eyes, feet and all, in less than no time.

The Theatre was chuck full of folks, and the minit we went in, the hull
bilin on 'em got up and begun to fling their hats about and yell agin
like all possessed. I tell you what, par, these ere Yorkers are nigh
about tickled tu death to think that I've cum back agin. The President
and I, we both got up and laid our hands aginst our vest pockets on the
left side, and then we begun tu grin like two whipporwills in a black
alder bush, and sot tu bowin and rollin up our eyes, till they went at
it a consarned sight more fearce than ever. Arter they begun to cool
down a trifle, the President and I, we sot down on one of the front
benches; so I jest gin the harnsome gal a wink to set down close tu
t'other side, and then the hull on 'em begun tu pile in, till we cut
about as harnsome a dash as a'most anybody need tu see.

The mayor, he was a goin tu set down by the President, but when he see
me, of course he gin away, and sot on t'other seat.

Jest then the curtain cum down ca-chunk, and the folks all riz and gin
me three cheers that made the blood bile in my heart like maple sap in a
sugar kittle. Then a leetle, lank, office-seekin chap sticks hisself up
in the back seats, and yelled out, "Three cheers for the President."

But lord a marcy, cheers aint to be hauled out of a crowd of free-born
citizens like fish from a mill pond. Two or three mean looking shotes
like him squealed out "Hurra!" but that bait wasn't temptin enough for
known fish. I didn't want to make the President feel bad, nor jealous,
nor nothin, so I jest gin old bell-crown a whirl, and hollered out,
"Three cheers for _my_ friend, the captin."

Gaury, didn't they let into it then! the ruff with all its picturs and
curlecues seemed a liftin right up from the walls, hats and hankerchers
streamed out; and sich a blast of human thunder aint heerd every night
at the Park Theatre.

"That'll du," sez I, a sinkin old bell-crown, and letting myself off in
a bow like an iled jack-knife. "That'll du. Now, captin, I guess we'd
better go hum."

"But I've got to go to the Chatham Theatre yit," sez the President, a
takin up his hat. "The Democracy, the Democracy, you know, Mr. Slick,
that must be our fust consideration."

"You aint a goin, Mr. Slick?" sez the harnsome gal, a lookin with them
two eyes right into mine, and a clinchin them ere white fingers over the
edge of old bell crown.

"I ruther guess not," sez I, a droppin my yaller hankercher over that
pesky white hand, for it looked so temptin that I was afeard the
President would want to git hold on it, and somehow a President al'ers
does purty much as he's a mind to with the gals, except now and then one
that's got a right idee of her place.

"Wal," sez I, "captin, if you're detarmined to tackle in with that
arnimal that you jest mentioned, make up your mind to cut your own
fodder. I go for human natur in gineral--the best part of natur I take
to be the wimmen folks--so, if you'd jest as lives, I'll stay and go hum
with the gals."

With that, Captin Tyler and the mayor, and the chaps with the silk
rosies went off; but Robert Tyler and I jest hitched ontu the wimmen
critters, and took them hum to the Howard Hotel. The landlord, he sent
us some drink that was enough to make your eyes water, besides a great
dish of pine-apples sliced up, sugared off and with wine poured all over
'em, that he sot right under the glass dish full of fire, where they lay
yaller and shiny enough to tempt a tee-totaler to break his pledge. The
wimmen they all drawed up round the table, and while they were laying
into the eatables and drinkables, I jest sidled round to the harnsome
gal and took one of marm's doughnuts out of my pocket, and I slid it
into her hand. I gin her a wink, and, sez I,

"Keep dark, I don't want tu be mean, nor nothin; I haint got enough to
go all round."

She was so tickled that she turned red all over, and eenamost larfed
out; but she took the hint and rolled the doughnut up in her hankercher,
not to make the rest jealous.

Jest then, I slipped out and run down tu the sloop, for I felt a dry
agin, and them pine-apples made me feel sort of womble-cropped about the
stomach.

                                        Your dutiful son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXVIII.

JONATHAN SLICK IN NEW YORK.

Jonathan goes to see Mr. Macready--Description of the
Theatre--Introduces himself to a Handsome Girl at the Theatre--Enters
into a Flirtation--Promises to Visit her--Jonathan takes a Novel Method
of providing himself with a Fashionable Dress--Quarrels with Captain
Doolittle--Is reconciled, and starts off to make a Morning Call on the
Handsome Girl.


DEAR PAR:

Here I am agin, safe and sound, large as life, and chipper as a
grasshopper on a high rock in a sunshiny day. I tell you what, a few
ginuine huskings to hum, with purty gals to put the music in a feller's
elbows, as he strips the husks off from the corn, is jest the sort of
occasions to put the grit into a feller from top to toe--jest top them
off with an apple cut or so, sich as we had to our house when you and
marm cut about amongst the gals and the young chaps, like two spring
colts jest let out to grass; and taper the hull off with a week sich as
I had a ropin onions with Judy White, with her pesky red pouters a one
side, and two or three prim Weathersfield gals on t'other a turning
their good natured eyes at a feller every string, till his heart is a
cuttin pigeon wings agin his ribs to the music of their larf--jest let a
chap get used to that sort o'pastur, and consarn me, if it don't do more
towards making a ginuine man of him than a hull etarnity of York life,
where every other man and gal you meet have got their hearts so tarnally
used up, that they have to lean agin their back bones to rest more than
half the time, and likely as not get sound to sleep at that.

The old sloop jest hit the nail on the head, and hauled into Peck Slip
the night arter Mr. Macready, a smashin actor from the old country, got
to the Park Theatre, where he's been a acting out things that'd make
your hair stand right up an eend eenajest to see it. I tell you what,
he's a hull team and a horse to let--no mistake in that.

Did you ever see a race horse up on eend for a run, with his neck curled
over like an ox bow, and his skin shinen like a junk bottle? Did you
ever look into the critter's eyes, and see the fire dancing through the
black?--arnimal lightning, every darned spark on it. If you've seen that
are, then you've got some idee of the allfired smashin critter that my
arm was eenamost girting afore I took a squint at her face.

Wal, she squinched a trifle and gin a leetle start, and then gin me a
look with them etarnal long big eyes that made me a'most jump on eend,
and yit I sot like a great gawk a staring right intu her face, jest as
if I hadn't no marners. Quill wheels and cheese presses! wasn't that
critter something worth while! sich lips--red as a blood beet, and shiny
as a harnful of wintergreen berries! Consarn it, if ther'd been a honey
bee in the theatre, he couldn't a kept from lighting right between 'em;
and if he didn't find the breath as sweet agin as all the honey he ever
stole from a clover top, I must a been darndly cheated by the looks on
'em--that's jest it. Her neck, and that great broad forred of her'n,
looked sort brown and slick, alike a hazlenut jest afore it rattles from
the shuck; and I never see a crow a flying in the hot sun so black and
shiny, as the thick swad of hair that hung braided and twistified up
with gold chains, rale ginuine gold, all round that harnsome head of
her'n. I swan tu man, she was the fust gal that ever made Jonathan Slick
feel as if he wasn't tu hum in good company. Our black colt, with his
taperin limbs, that soft shiny mane, and them eyes that seemed to ketch
fire when the sun strikes 'em--is about as much like a common cider mill
horse, as she is like the generality of wimmin folks. She was eenajest
as tall as I be, and big enough every way to match--a rale downright
sneezer of a gal, that a'most took away my breath every time my eye
ketched her'n: and consarn me, if that wasn't every two seconds while I
sot there.

Wal, there we sot and sot, till the curtin right afore us came down
ca-chunk agin the floor, and all the folks riz up as if it was time tu
be a goin. The gal got up, took the bottle and hankercher in one hand,
and seemed tu be kinder lookin around for something. I was jest a
crookin my elbow, and had eenamost said, "Shall I have the pleasure to
see you hum marm?" as we do at singin school, when a feller that had
been settin right behind us riz up and stuck out his hand as nat'ral as
git out.

The gal kinder gin a turn, and while she made bleeve pin her shawl,
chucked a piece o' paper into my hand, and put the consarned little hand
that I'd been a nussing in mine, right through that tall chap's arm, and
went off as if nothing was the matter. I turned round like a great gawk,
and took arter em. I jest ketched one squint at them tarnal black eyes
and at a swad o' hair that stuck out on his upper lip, like a gray cat's
whiskers, and then I found myself standing, like any other darned coot,
all alone under a street lamp, a tryin to cypher out the leetle finefied
words writ out on that piece o' paper. Arter a good deal of extra
spellin I found out the meanin, and that was an invite to come and see
that gal in the morning, at a house in ----.

Wal, I did the paper up, put both hands in my trousers pockets, and
arter lookin at myself from top to toe, sez I--

"Jonathan Slick, you must be a consarned sight harnsomer chap than ever
I took you to be, that's sartin."

Wal, I couldn't ketch a wink of sleep all night, but kept up a tarnal
thinkin about that gal; and there lay Captin Doolittle a snorin away in
the berth right above me, like a tin peddler's toot-horn run crazy. I
swan, it was as much as I could du to keep from gettin up and chokin the
varmint. Turights the daylight cum a sneakin intu the cabin as lazy as
ever you see daybreak come on; and jest arter the sun got up, Captin
Doolittle begun to stir his stumps about breakfast. He and I and the
little nigger sot down, but I felt kinder peaked and couldn't hoe my row
a bit; so the Captin and the nigger did extra duty, and stowed away for
me.

                                        Your loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXIX.

Jonathan Visits the Handsome Girl--Describes a Gambling-House in the
Morning before it is put to rights--Visits the Lady's Boudoir--Describes
the Furniture, the Lady, her Dress, and Conversation--Is Interrupted by
the Gentleman of the House--And leaves with a promise to return and
escort Miss Sneers to Mad. Castellan's Concert.


DEAR PAR:

Wal, as I was sayin, I pulled foot down one of them streets that run off
kinder catecorned by the Park, till I cum right agin the house pinted
out in the paper which that harnsome gal had gin me. I kinder cut across
the street and stood over agin the house, detarmined tu take a sort o'
observation afore I sot my foot inside the doorway. It was an allfired
harnsome consarn, with one story piled atop of t'other, till you could
count four rows of winders, besides a row of young ones, stuck right in
tu the edge of the ruff. A lot of stone steps run up tu the front door,
and an iron fence twistified and curlecued round the edges run along
each eend. The winders all on 'em had green slats shut over 'em, the
door follered the fashion, and the hull consarn seemed tu be shut up
agin winter.

Wal, I cut across the street and went straight up the steps. There was a
great chunk o' silver sot intu a kind of a silver sarser nailed agin the
door post, and with a name writ round the edge on it. Arter giving the
chunk a sneakin pull, to be sartin it would give and meant somethin, I
gin it an allfired jerk--and turights there was a tinklin and ringin
inside, as if an old wether with a fust rate bell on, had took to
scootin over the house.

I hadn't more'n got my hand off the chunk, when the green slats swung
open jest as easy, and a yaller nigger stood inside a eyeing me from top
tu toe, as if he had a sort of hankerin arter some human arnimal, but
didn't think me jest good enough tu eat hull without considerable sarse.

"How do you du," sez I, as mealy as a pink eyed potater jest out o' the
pot--"How are all the folks this mornin?--purty smart I reckon."

The coot stared and kinder shook the two great swads o' curly hair that
stuck out over each side of his head; and arter lookin back intu the
house, then up the street, and then agin at me, sez he, "What du you
want?" sez he.

"Wal," sez I, a divin both hands down to where my pockets ought to
a'been, but eenamost keelin head over heels with the dive I gin without
finding bottom--"I seem tu surmise that I want tu see some body a trifle
more like folks than you seem tu be--so I guess I'll walk in."

With that I gin the chap a shove with one of my mudgrapplers, and walked
right intu the long entry-way, as crank as a militia trainer with his
regimentals on.

"What's your name and who do you want?" sez the yaller nigger kinder
wrothy, and a shakin that swad o' curly hair at me like a darned great
sun flower in a foggy storm.

"Wal," sez I, "you ought tu go Down East and learn to ask questions. If
your tongue was only half as greasy as your face now, you could a done
it as slick agin. I aint got no name tu speak on, and all I want o' you
is jest tu tell the harnsome critter that lives here, that I'm on hand,
a waitin down here as spry as a cricket, and about as arnest tu see her
agin as ever a chap was."

The chap he kinder eyed me askew. Fust he took a squint at my puffy
trousers, then at old bell crown, and then at me all over.

"You can't be the gentleman that she told me to let in," sez he; "does
Miss Sneers expect you?"

"Wal, I kinder reckon she does," sez I.

"Wal," sez the feller, lookin sort o' unsartain, "jest step intu this
room and I'll go and see."

"That's a leetle more like folks," sez I, a followin the chap intu a
room at one eend of the entry-way, where I sot down with old bell crown
over my knees, and took a squint round. It was kinder dark, for them
between slats shut out the light; but I could see that the room hadn't
been fixed up since over night. Two of the chairs lay keeled up on the
carpet--the kiver was a slidin off from the table a'most tu the carpet,
and slopped over with wine that wasn't dry yit--a decanter with a trifle
o' wine, or per'aps brandy, stood on the table where the cloth had left
it bare, and an allfired purty wine glass lay on the harnsome carpet
broke to smash; and round under the table and close around my chair was
a hull squad of playin cards, a'most new, as if somebody had got beat a
playin high-low-jack and the game, and flung the hull bilin down in a
huff. I'd jest picked up two or three of the cards, when the yaller
nigger turned back and sez he--

"It aint of no use--I can't tell my mistress who wants tu see her, if
you wont give me your name, or a card."

"Wal," sez I, "if you must have one or t'other, there's a card--now git
out, and don't let me see that consarned yaller face agin till it's
wanted."

With that I handed over the jack-o'-spades; he turned his great sarser
eyes, fust on the leetle feller that sot stuck up on the card, and
then agin at me, as if he didn't know what tu make on't. There was no
satisfy in him, I could see that, but I'd begun to get tired o' waitin,
and sez I,

"Wal, there's the card, and a harnsome one tu--my name is Jonathan Slick
of Weathersfield--my father is a Squire and a Deacon of the Church--my
mother was Jerusha Pettebone--my ---- but darn me, if you aint satisfied
now, you consarned pryin shote, you may go tu grass, and the harnsome
gal with you."

The feller cut stick afore I'd half done, and cum back a bowin and a
scrapin, as if he'd got a set of new jints while he was a goin up
stairs.

"My mistress wants tu know if you're the gentleman that she saw at the
theatre last night."

"Jest so," sez I, a flingin down the ten spot o' clubs and the ace o'
diamonds, for somehow I jest didn't like the touch of the
varmints--"jest so!"

"Walk up stairs," sez he, a bowin eenamost tu the ground.

"Wal, I don't care if I du," sez I, follerin the chap.

I took off old bell crown and riled up my curls with a leetle flourish
o' fingers amongst the thickest on 'em, as I went up stairs--then I
kinder shook up the pletes of my trousers, and pulled out the eend of my
yaller hankercher, as I went along behind the buff colored nigger.

I swan tu man, Par, it was like walkin through a footpath kivered over
with meadow grass and wild posies, as I went up the stairs, all carpeted
off and a shinin with bars of gold. Jest at the top stood a black
figger, a'most as large as life and all but naked, a holdin one finger
tu his lips and with a lamp in t'other hand, that seemed as if it had
burnt itself out, for there wasn't any ile in it, and the wick was sooty
as a nigger's eye lashes.

Wal, I follered on intu another entry-way, where another figger stood,
as white as if it had been cut out of a fust rate cheese curd. It had
one foot up, as if it was a darncin, one arm was flung over its own
head, and both its pesky leetle hands was chuck full of posies, that
looked as if they'd been planted in a snow bank and watered with new
milk, afore that harnsome half dressed, indecent figger had found 'em.
She looked like a ginuine purty gal froze tu death for the want of
kiverin.

Wal, while I was a lookin at the poor critter, that yaller nigger he
opened the door and stood a flurishin his hand about, jest as our
minister does when he dismisses meetin, and is tu allfired lazy tu use
both hands tu once.

I went by the varmint and there I stood stock still in the door way a
starin about like a stuck calf. I swan, Par, I never sot eyes on any
thing that could shake a stick at that are room in my born days. The
floor was all spread off with a carpet, like a meadow that slants tu the
fust spring sun when the grass is a springin up, and sot off thick with
dandelions, buttercups and clovertops; and I swan tu man, there was
something in the room that smelt just about as sweet.

The room wasn't over large, and a whoppin winder eenamost took up one
eend on't. Yet it was kinder dark for all that, for a hull harvest of
shiny silk, as thin as a locust's wing, and sort a rosy colored, like a
gal's cheek jest arter a chap has kissed it--was kinder tumblin down the
winder in winrows turned lengthwise, one arter t'other, till the hull
was grabbed up in one alfired swad, and ketched back in a great hook all
of solid gold, that glistened like a lookin-glass frame when the fire
light ketches it fair.

There wasn't but two chairs in the room, and they seemed tu be made out
o' solid gold tu, stuffed down with shining silk figered off with posies
redder than the winder silk, and yet kinder like it. There was a bench
agin the winder, standin on chunks o' gold cut out like a lion's paw,
and that tu was all cushioned off with shiny silk like the chairs, and
on the back on it, right agin the wall, two pillars were stuck up, all
kivered over with posies that looked good enough tu smell on. Right agin
the door was the harnsomest consarn that I ever sot eyes on. It was a
kind of a round table cut in tew in the middle, dressed up in white and
ruffled off with harnsome lace, like a gal when she means tu cut a dash.
A lookin glass stood on it sot in a gold frame work, curlecued off like
a great vine, with the golden grapes a bustin out all over it, and sort
a droppin down over the glass. I snum, if it wasn't a sight tu behold!
There was a finefied gold watch about as big as a ninepence, a lyin on
the table, and some leetle red morocco boxes, with a newfangled pitcher
pictured off tu kill, chuck full of ginuine roses and green leaves, that
looked as if they'd that minit cum off from the bushes.

There was one thing more a standin up in the corner that beat all I ever
did see. It was an allfired overgrown candlestick a standin on legs, and
eenamost as tall as I be. That tu, seemed to be of solid gold, curlecued
off with little picters. On the top was a great golden sarser, and what
chawed me up was a stream o' smoke that ris from the sarser, and kinder
spread all over the room, jest enough to let a chap know that there was
a fire somewhere about. Jest behind the whoppin candlestick was the
figger of a critter, sort o' half bird and t'other half baby, the
cunninest varmint that I ever did see. The wings grew out of his chubby
shoulders, and the pesky little scamp seemed tu be a larfin at me
through the smoke all the while that he made believe that he was a
droppin somethin down intu the gold sarser. The critter was as white as
a tomb stun; but if it hadn't kept still, I should eenamost thought it
was alive. There I stood bendin for'ard, with my mouth kinder opened and
old bell crown between both hands, a lookin at that little varmint, and
there he was a'most winken at me, when somebody said,--

"Walk in Mr. Slick,--pray walk in!"

I gin a jump and dropped old bell crown, for it seemed tu me as if the
flyin baby had spoke; but in stoopin tu pick up old bell crown agin, I
kinder turned round; and there, on a bench cushioned off with silk, like
the one I've told you on, sot the gal I'd seen at the theatre last
night; but oh, get out! more than as harnsome agin. She was all dressed
out in a white gown, that hung kinder slimsy from that purty neck, till
it eenajest kivered the pesky leetle feet that lay on a footstool like
two black squirrels asleep together. The cloth that her dress was made
on, was so thin that I could a seen her arms through clean tu the wrist,
if the sleeves hadn't been made so full, that every time she moved the
hull arm got more than half unkivered. I swan, it made me ketch my
breath, when she kinder half ris and reached out that are soft hand, a
smilin all the time as if she was tickled eenajest tu death tu see me.

I gin her hand a leetle mechin shake, and turned round tu set down in
one of the chairs, for I couldn't help but feel a trifle streaked
amongst all that heap o' silk and gold. But before I was quite sot down
she settled back aginst the pillar, and whilst she let one foot drop
from the stool, she fixed t'other pillar agin the wall; and while she
was a pattin the posies on it with her hand, she lifted them tarnal
black eyes and gin me a smile that had more than the sweetness of a hull
bilin of sugar in it; and there she sot with that hand kinder stuck
intu the pillar yet.

Now, Par, you don't think I was shote enough tu set down in the big
chair arter that, do you? I guess I wheeled round, about the quickest,
and sot down so close by that harnsome critter, that I could feel her
breath on my hair; and yit, I sot as fur off as I could, and close on
the edge of the bench, but it was orfal short, and I had tu set close
any how; but oh gauly, didn't my fingers tingle. There was that leetle
hand, as soft and white as a snowball, a lyin among the posies worked on
that pillar right behind me, and I hadn't but jest tu lean back, and
that are arm would a been a'most round me. But there I sot, close on the
edge, all in a flusterfication, fust a lookin at that are hand, then at
her smilin face, and then agin at old bell crown, and so over agin.
Arter I'd sot about a minit, I hitched back a trifle, and gin a kind
o'skeery squint at her--she was eenajest larfin. With that, I gin
another hitch, and looked right straight at old bell crown, as if I
wanted tu eat it. The harnsome critter didn't seem tu rile up any, so I
jest dropped bell crown, dived tu pick it up agin, and riz right up
parpendicler agin the pillar. I could feel the leetle hand a movin on
the pillar agin my back, like a chip squirrel in its nest; but think
says I, you'r ketched this time, any how, and I guess you may as well
lie still. With that, I turned my head sort of a slow, and larfed a
leetle, jest enough tu show my teeth round the edges, and sez I,

"How do you du marm?"

Did you ever see a spring begin tu gurgle and shine up all tu once, when
you've parted the peppermint that grows over it, and let in the broad
daylight on the water? If you have, per'aps you have some idea how
consarned harnsome the smile was that cum bustin all over that gal's
face, a dimpling up them pesky red lips, and a dancin through them great
black eyes. I could see the tantelizen critter a bitin them plump lips
of hern, to keep from snickerin out in my face; so I put on a leetle
extra grin myself, for I'm a hull team at larfin, and a hoss tu let,
when I once begin. By-am-by, sez she, as well as she could git it out,
sez she--

"I hope you enjoy yourself in town, Mr. Slick."

"I reckon I du jest now," sez I, "quite a considerable deal, and
upwards."

With that she sort a smiled agin, and somehow that other leetle hand in
her lap kinder crept along under the loose slimsey sleeve, as if it
wanted tu get better acquainted with mine. My mudgrappler didn't object
tu be introduced.

"It's orful pleasant weather, for time o'year," sez I, and my hand
kinder crept along towards hern a mite.

"Very," sez she, a looking at the tall candlestick as soft as summer
butter; "very."

"I also kinder like tu go into the woods in the fall, and see the trees
a turnin all sorts o' colors, red and blue and yaller; and see the
chesnuts, jest ripe enough tu drop from there prickly shucks, and hear
the but'nuts a ratlin down tu the dry leaves. Oh, gauly! I wish you and
I was there now, if it was ony jest tu watch the chip-munks and gray
squirrels a carrying off the nuts in their mouths and fore paws. Did you
ever see a harnsome black squirrel, with a shagbark between his
whiskers, a hoppin among the trees, arter they're stript more'rn half
naked by the frost?"

Then my fingers begun to travel agin like anything.

"Yes," sez she, "I love a pet squirrel dearly."

By this time my hand had got tu the eend of its journey and put up.

"Harnsome critters, aint they," sez I, a'most out o'breath, I was so
skeared. "Captin Doolittle has got a rale sneezer down at the vessel, as
black as git out, his tail curls up over his side like the feather in a
gal's bonnet, and he's got an eye as bright and sharp as if it had been
cut out o' yourn. I'll hook it from the old coot, cage and all, and
bring it up tu you, if you've a notion tu it, consarn me if I don't."

"You're very kind," sez she.

"Oh, you git out!" sez I; "that aint a primin tu what I mean tu du, if
you and I can only agree tu draw in the same tacklin. I aint mean as
some chaps that I know on--nobody ever ketched me a halving a long nine,
or askin a gal tu pay her own shot when she went a slayin with me--ask
Captin Doolittle, if you don't believe _me_."

The critter looked up and kinder smiled agin so darned winnin, that I
histed her hand tu my lips, and gin it a nibble afore I knew what I was
about. She seemed tu try tu pull it away, and turned her head so that I
couldn't see her face.

"You aint mad nor nothin?" sez I, a lettin go her hand. "I swan tu man,
you looked so darned sweet I couldn't help it."

She got up and went tu the table that was dressed off so, and smelt of
the posies on it, and then she cum back agin and sot down as good
natured as a pussey cat; but she'd put me in such a tantrum, for fear
I'd made her mad, that I didn't know what tu say next; so there I sot, a
feelin streakeder and streakeder every minit; but arter a while I bust
out agin--

"Speakin of the woods," sez I, "aint the maple trees harnsome? Did you
ever see the leaves when they're jest a turnin red, a kinder tremblin on
the limbs, as if every one on 'em was kinder afraid of fallin off? I've
seen 'em over night as green as some of these country chaps when they
fust come tu York; and then agin in the mornin, as red as your lips; and
a'most as bright when the sun shines on 'em."

I could see them lips begin to pucker up agin, as if they wanted to give
me a chance of judgin. So I kept on--

"I swan," sez I, "sometimes it seems to me as if the sugar had stuck up
through the leaves and turned 'em red, they look so pesky sweet. Speakin
o' that, du you love maple sugar?"

"Very much," sez she.

"Wal," sez I, "next time I cum I'll bring you an allfired hunk, see if I
don't."

Jest then, the chap that I'd seen at the theatre with her the night
afore, opened the door and cum straight in. I eenamost jumped on eend
and dropped her hand, that some how or other had got intu mine agin, as
if it had been a hot chesnut.

But the chap only looked around, and made a sort of a slidin bow, and
shet the door agin.

"Wal," sez I, all in a twitter, for my heart had riz right up intu my
mouth; "I guess I'll be goin."

"So soon?" sez she, a liftin them eyes sort o' mournful.

I wilted right down agin, like a cabbage plant in the sun.

"And who may that chap be," sez I, for I begun tu feel ugly about the
heart.

"Oh, he's only my brother," sez she, "never mind him. Are you fond of
music, Mr. Slick?"

"I guess I be," sez I. "When the chorister is gone, I al'ers lead the
singin at meetin tu hum."

"Have you ever heard Castellan?" sez she.

"No," sez I, "I don't know as ever I've heard that instrument, but I'm
great on the bas-viol, and could beat all natur on the toot horn when I
was a leetle shaver, not more than knee high to a toad."

Consarn the critter, I couldn't speak but what that pesky mouth of hern
would brighten and pucker up.

"Would you like to go with me and hear her this evening?" sez she. "We
shall hear some fine music."

"If you'll only talk tu me there can't be a doubt on it," sez I, a
bowin.

"Then you will go?" sez she.

"I reckon I will," sez I, "twice over if you want me tu, and tickled to
death with the chance."

"Wal," sez she, "I'll be ready at half past seven."

"You'll find me on hand," sez I; "and now I guess I must be a goin."

With that I took up old bell crown, and arter makin a prime bow, was a
goin out; but I happened tu think what a coot I'd been, and turned back.

"I swan," sez I, "I'd a'most forgot tu ask what you wanted tu see me
for."

I snum, it seemed as if the maple leaves I'd been a talking of had been
flung, a hull swad on 'em into her face, she turned so red; but afore
she could speak I heard that chap a comin agin; so I made her a low bow,
but sudden, like a jack-knife opened and shet in a hurry, and I cut for
the sloop agin.

                                        Your dutiful son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXX.

The Gambling House--Jonathan is taken in with Cards.


DEAR PAR:

I've tried to write tu you agin and agin since my t'other letter, but I
felt so dreadful bad, there was no makin it out, all I could du. I've
been dreadful sick, and about the darndest melancholy critter that ever
sot up an eend in bed.

I own it eenamost kills me to begin, but the truth will out some time or
other; and a feller that aint ashamed to du wrong, must be a snakin
shote if he can't pick up courage tu own up tu the truth, like a man.
It's a tough job, though, to own that you've been made a darn'd coot,
and a leetle wus than that--but all I've got to du is to grin and bear
it. I was a tellin you that Miss Sneers gin me an invite to supper. I
slicked up and went, nigh about dark, a feelin sort a streaked, I
couldn't tell why, and a thinkin of Judy White all the way; that pesky
harnsome critter had riled up my feelins so desperately that I raly
hadn't known which eend my head was on--but, somehow, as I went along,
Judy seemed close by me, with her hand on my arm, kinder holdin me back;
and once I was eenamost tempted tu turn back, and never think o' this
York gal agin on arth. I swow, I raly believe the tears stood in my eyes
when I went up the steps--for I couldn't keep from thinkin of hum all I
could du, and it seemed jest as if you and marm were a holdin family
prayers, and all for my sake, jest then. I do believe, Par, that the
spirits of live folks that love you are as likely agin to haunt a feller
when he's in danger as them of dead people. Wal, I rung the door-bell
kinder loth, for I hadn't felt very chipper all day, and, somehow,
thinkin of hum and sich things gin me a kind of timersome feelin. The
buff nigger was on hand in no time. He swung open the door, and stood a
bowin and a shakin that etarnal swad of hair till I got clear into the
entry-way. I was a goin right up stairs, but the nigger he opened a
side door, and says he, "walk in."

"Jest so," sez I, and I went through the door inter a room that was sot
off tu kill with all sorts o' notions and foreign fixins. The winders
were shut up close, and kivered from top tu bottom with a hull Niagara
of red silk. The benches and settees and chairs shone and glistened all
around, and overhead was one of them concerns of fire and chink glass, a
blazin and flashing round us till it seemed as if the ruff overhead was
made of solid gold. The wall were kivered all over with picters--them
golden frames was all cirlicued off, and shone out dreadful harnsome, I
can tell you. Right under that heap of swinging glass, and jest where
the fire felt strongest, there was a table about as large round as
marm's cheese tub, and kivered over with a red cloth, all figured off
that fell clear to the carpet, and looked sort o' rich, like a pile of
winter apples heaped afore a cider mill.

Two or three chaps sot afore the table, larfin and a talkin together,
while they kinder tilted back the chairs they sot in, and seemed to make
themselves tu hum all over.

I looked around for Miss Sneers, but she wasn't there yit, and the chaps
by the table didn't seem tu know that I was standin there, and a lettin
off my prime bows all for nothin. But jest as I was a goin to back out,
a feller that lay on one of these new-fangled settees that have an arm
chair at each eend, and a bench in the middle all cushioned off with red
silk, he kinder riz up, and I see it was the chap that waited on Miss
Sneers at the theatre the first time I ever saw her. He cum for'ard on
seein me, and a lookin eenamost tickled tu death tu think I'd cum. He
told the chaps by the table who I was, and they got up tu, and was in a
mighty takin about my bein there. I sot down on a chair, and histed one
leg top of t'other, and begun tu teeter my right foot sort of
independent, and looked about for Miss Sneers. She wasn't there jest
then, and I begun to feel rather awkward. But the man that I'd seen with
her at the theatre, he sot down close by me, and begin to talk as
chipper as if he'd known me a hundred years. I hadn't had a good chance
tu look at the feller before in arnest, but now as he sot agin me, I gin
him considerable observation. He was a tall, harnsome chap, with hair
as thick and black as midnight. His eyes were black tu, and as sharp as
darningneedles, but you never could ketch them a lookin at you more'n a
minute at a time--they al'ers shied when a feller looked right straight
into them. His voice was as soft as a mealy potater, and he kinder slid
up to you across the room like a gray cat, and seemed tu be jest about
as innocent. He begun tu talk about farming, and the price of produce in
York, jest as cozey as git out, and seemed tu be right tu hum on any
subject that cum up. The other chaps they jined in' and laid on a
considerable soft sodder about my letters in the Express--but they did
it slick, I can tell you, smoothed it down nice and ily, till you
couldn't jest tell exactly whether it was soft sodder or not.

Arter a few minutes, Miss Sneers she cum in--I felt my heart jump intu
my mouth, and the blood bile up over my face, like hot flip when the
iron is put in. It seemed tu me, as if she never did look so harnsome
afore--her frock was all blue shiny velvet, as bright as a damson
plum--that ere round neck so pesky white, hadn't no kiverin on, but a
leetle finefied gold chain, and another gold chain was tangled up with
the great swad of hair that was twistified up on the nap of her neck.
She kinder slid intu the room sort of easy, jest like a trout sailin
along the bottom of a brook--her cheeks looked as fresh as a full blown
rosy, and her mouth, the darned provokin thing, looked jest like a bunch
of ripe strawberries, ready tu drop from the stems.

She kinder bowed tu the chaps that sot by the table, and then cum right
up tu where I stood with both her hands out tu once, as if she was
tickled all over tu see me agin.

Both them little white hands wasn't more than one handful for me, and I
wasn't in no very great hurry tu let go, when I once got a good grip at
'em--she didn't seem tu mind my havin 'em, but sot down right between me
and her brother, and there she sot a smilin right intu my eyes and a
askin so arnest arter my helth that I couldn't but jest speak, my heart
riz so. The critter really seemed tu have took a notion tu you, and
marm. She was dreadful arnest tu know if I'd hearn from you, and how you
stood the cold weather, and then consarn me! if she didn't ask how
Captin Doolittle did, jest as if the old coot had a ben her own Par.
By-am-by she bent over, and kinder whispered tu me, and sez she--

"I must go and speak tu the gentlemen there--you make me forget
everything but yourself."

With that she gin my fingers a leetle grip and went up tu the table.

"You seem dull," sez she, "supposin you take a game at cards till supper
is ready."

"If Mr. Slick hain't no objection" sez her brother, a lookin at me
kinder anxious. "His father's a deacon you know."

They all turned on their chairs, and looked at me, as if a man that
didn't like cards must a have been brought up in the woods. It made me
feel kinder streaked--so sez I, "oh never seem tu mind me, I aint a
skeered at a pack of cards, if my Par is."

"Du you ever play," sez Miss Sneers, a smilin on me like a June sun.

"Wal," sez I, speakin up crank, "I haint done much at it, since I was a
little shaver, and used tu play high-low-jack and the game, with one of
our workmen in Par's barn tu hum, but I was a considerable of a sneezer
at it in them days, I recon."

Miss Sneers's brother, sez he, "Wal then, supposin you take a hand
here."

I felt kinder bad at the idea of touching cards arter promisin you not
tu, Par, when you ketched me at it and gin me that allfired lickin in
the barn--but Miss Sneers stood right afore me, shuffling a bran new
pack o' cards in them little white hands and a lookin at me so cunnin
that I couldn't stand it--yet I felt sort o' loth and held back.

"I'm afeared I've eenajest forgot how," sez I; a loungin back.

"Oh never mind," sez one of the chaps in a red and green vest, and with
checkered trousers on, "Miss Sneers will show you how."

"Certainly," says the harnsome critter--a smilin right in my face again;
"Shall I be your teacher, Mr. Slick?"

"Jest so," sez I--"I'd jump down my own throat, if you on'y told me tu."

With that I sot down by the table--crossed one leg a top of t'other and
wiped my nose. Miss Sneers, she leaned her arm on my chair and the rest
sot down.

"Wal, what shall we play?" sez the chap in checkered trousers.

"Oh, high-low-jack and the game--Mr. Slick understands that"--sez the
rest, sort a larfin. I begun to rile a trifle--"I guess Mr. Slick knows
a thing or two besides that," sez I; "he wasn't born in the woods tu be
skared at owls!" sez I.

They all choked in at that--one feller shuffled the cards, I cut, and
the checkered trousers took the deal. I got an allfired good hand the
first dive--ace, jack and the two spot of trumps, besides a ten. Miss
Sneers she bent over until I could feel her breath agin my cheek, as
warm and sweat as the steam from an apple-sarse cag when the sarse is
sot off to cool. I swow, it made me feel so kinder unsettled, that the
cards danced afore my eyes, like picters run crazy. We begun to play.
Miss Sneers kept a pokin that pesky little finger of hern amongst my
cards every minute, puttin out them that I ought to play, one by
one--and afore I knew it myself, I'd beat the hull biling on 'em three
games without stoppin. Miss Sneers she seemed to be eenamost tickled to
death to think I'd done 'em up so slick, and the men they looked
streaked enough. I tell you--that one in the checkered trousers above
all. Jest as we was cuttin in for a new deal, the doors right afore me
slid back inter the wall, and there was another room spread out afore us
like a picter. It was as light as day from one eend of the room tu
t'other--and it was enough to dazzle one's eyes to see the shiney silk
tumblin down from the golden poles over the winders--the great whoppin
lookin glasses a blazin all over that eend of the room--the carpet
kivered over and trod down with posies--the picters agin the walls and
leetle marble babies a standing round, with the candle light a pourin
down over 'em. Oh, Gosh! it was enough to make a feller loose his
breath, and never ketch it agin. There, right in the midst of the room,
was a table a shinin and a glistenin, like a heap of ice-chunks and new
half dollars piled up together in the hot sun. The plates and the knives
and forks spoons and all, was solid silver--everything else was silver
but the glasses, and they were all pinted and pictered off, and cut
down in lines, till there was nothing but flash, flash, flash, wherever
the light fell, and that was strong enough; for right overhead was
another of them great gold spangles branching out every which way, and
runnin over with fire.

Miss Sneers she put her hand on my arm, jest so as tu let the tip eend
of her leetle finger lie agin my wrist. I swore it made the blood tingle
up my arm. We went intu the room with the rest a follerin arter, Indian
file. A great strappin nigger stood at each side of the door-place, when
we went, with white gloves on, and towels in their hands--they bowed
a'most tu the carpet as we went by, and when we sot down, then they
stood right up on eend behind our chairs, like militia trainers jist
tryin tu drill. They lifted up the kivers from a lot of dishes, and up
riz the steam among the glasses and silver, till it seemed as if they
hung in a cloud. Oh gracious, I can't begin to tell you all that them
dishes had in 'em. There was leetle teinty tonty birds cooked hull,
claws and all--partridges with their stomachs stuffed till they looked
as pussey as cousin Jasin--squirrels a lyin there like human babies jest
baked over a trifle, and all sorts of wild varmints that a feller ever
thought of killin.

The niggers they dodged about, fillin plates and a handin 'em round like
lightnin. They gin Miss Sneers and I each on us a leetle bird--darn me
if I know what it was, without it was a woodpecker stewed hull. It raly
seemed tu be a shame tu stick a fork intu the teinty varmint. I kinder
diddled my knife and fork about, till Miss Sneers got purty intimate
with her bird, for I wanted tu see if it was the fashion tu swaller 'em
down in'ards and all. She'd used her little chap purty well up, when I
sot my jaws a workin in arnest. The bird went down my throat the
quickest. It was awful sweet tastin; and the leg bones scratched a
trifle as they went down, but nothin tu speak on.

Wal, we laid into the squirrels and other wild critters rather hard,
till I begun tu feel a dry. There was a leetle bottle of water stood
agin each plate. I poured some out of mine, and was a goin tu drink, but
Miss Sneers, she laid her hand on the glass, and sez she--

"Mr. Slick, let me help you tu wine?"

"Not as you know on," sez I, a bowin, and a takin the tumbler from under
her hand--"I'm a teetotaler, marm, tu the back bone!"

"Oh, I'd forgot," sez she, a lookin at her brother. He took up a bottle
with leetle chunks of sheet lead a stickin tu the neck, and sez he--

"You will not refuse a glass of this cider, Mr. Slick--there's no
alcohol in this, I can tell you."

I was jest a goin tu say no, but Miss Sneers, she held out her glass,
and all the time that cider was a gurglin out of the bottle and a sendin
up sparkles in her glass, she kept them smilin eyes a pourin their
brightness right intu mine. When the glass was full, she touched it tu
her mouth, and gin a leetle sip, jest enough tu make them pesky lips
look a trifle damp, and redder than ever, and sez she, a reachin the
glass towards me--

"You must drink this, Mr. Slick."

I felt the blood bile intur my face agin. I kinder part reached out my
hand--then I pulled it back, and sez I--

"I've signed the pledge."

"Not agin this harmless cider," sez they altogether.

"Not when a lady kisses the glass," says Miss Sneers--a holdin out the
tumbler yit, and a lookin kinder anxious, as if she'd cry right out if I
didn't give up.

"Take it for my sake," sez she, a bendin close tu me, and a holdin the
glass right up tu my lips. They were all a lookin at me, and kinder
larfin, as if they thought I darsent take it.

"You see Mr. Slick will not give up the point, even tu you Miss Sneers,"
sez the man with checkered trousers. "Allow me to drain the glass your
sweet lips have kissed."

"You be darned," sez I, a takin the cider and drinkin it down a'most at
three swallers.

"Bravo!" they all sung out tu once. "Here's to the ladies!" Miss Sneers,
she held out my glass agin. Her brother lifted the bottle, and this time
the cider splashed over that leetle white hand, and come drippin over
the table all the way tu my mouth. I felt streaked about makin any more
touse about a leetle cider, and poured the glass down without squinchin.
By the time I found the bottom of that glass, I didn't feel askeared of
the next one the leastest might in the world. But, somehow, the more I
drank, the plates seemed to grow brighter and more unsteady. The birds
that lay yet in one of the silver dishes seemed to grow smaller, but
more on em, like young robins in a nest, when they jest begin tu feather
out. The wine decanters blazed out redder and redder, and the
cider-bottles popped and foamed like ginger-beer in the summer time. The
folks, tu, sot orful oneasy, and somehow, the feller that sot agin me
looked jest as if he'd found a twin with checkered trousers, and a
red-and-green vest, as much like his'n as two peas in a pod.

I kinder seemed tu remember that Miss Sneers kept a kissin the glasses
for me, till by-am-by I sot out to do it myself, and kissed her instead.
With that, she went intu tother room. We followed arter, and the two
niggers arter us with the cider and wine decanters in their hands.

"Now," sez Miss Sneers' brother sez he, "less have another game; I'll
bet Mr. Slick wont beat three times runnin agin."

"I'll bet he will," sez Miss Sneers, a pintin tu a seat by the table,
and a lookin good enough tu eat.

I sot down, and the chap in checkered trousers he begun to shuffle away,
like a house a fire.

Miss Sneers she bent over me agin, and her brother he sot down and cut
cards. I beat agin, right straight ahead; the hull swad on em begun to
grow kinder wamblecropped at that, and Miss Sneers she larfed so
good-natured, and bent forward so much that her cheek a'most lay agin
mine all the next game.

By gauly, I beat agin; and by that time, they all begun tu look a trifle
rily. The checkered trousers he took the cards and gin em a snap along
the eends that might a ben heard in the street. With that, he slapped em
down on the table, and sez he, a nodden his head at me, sez he, "I'll
bet fifty dollars you don't beat this time." With that, he larfed till
the hair on his upper lip curled up and showed his teeth, like a dog
when he snarls.

"Nonsense," sez Miss Sneers, "we can beat twenty such felers--you and I,
Mr. Slick, can't we?"

"I ruther thinks so," sez I.

"I'll bet fifty dollars," sez checkered trousers, "that we beat you all
hollow."

"I'll bet you don't," sez I, a rilin up.

"Plank the money," sez he, a slappin the cards agin, "plank the chink."

I took your old wallet from the leetle pocket in my under vest, and
unrolled the bills that I'd put there arter sellin out the sloop
load--"I spose you think I haint got it," sez I, a shakin the harnful of
bills that was left. "Hurra for old Connecticut!" The other chaps they
shell'd out, and a hull heap of bills lay on the table. Miss Sneers she
went away a minute, and then bent over me agin, with another glass of
that white cider in her hand--she held the glass to my lips, and
wouldn't take it away till I'd drunk the hull.

That was prime cider, and I was a beginnin to feel dry agin, so I drunk
another glass; and at it we went, shovel and tongs. As true as you live,
they raly did beat that game; and when they saw how wrothy I was, they
offered tu bet a hundred dollars on my luck the next time. I don't know
who beat arter that; for somehow I seemed tu be sort o' dreamin; the
candles seemed tu be a darncin round us, and it seemed as if the cards
were leetle teenty folks, all alive and a grinnin at us as we handled
em. I took out the old wallet every few minutes--I du seem to remember
that--and arter it was empty, Miss Sneer's brother, sez he, "Never mind,
my boy, we'll take your autograph."

"I don't keep any such new-fangled varmints," sez I.

"Oh, on'y jest write your name here," sez he, a handin over a strip of
paper.

"Jest so," sez I, a takin the pen he held out; "jest so, but good gauly,
du hold the paper still. I can't ketch up with it if it moves about the
table this way."

"It's your hand," sez he.

"My hand!" sez I--"you git out!"

I gin a dive at the paper and held it kinder still, while I did up a
long tailed J. I had tu begin agin at the S, but arter a dive or tu, I
curlecued it up about right, and then we went tu playin cards agin. They
seemed tu take a great shine tu my name that night, and kept a askin me
for it every few minutes, till I went away. I don't jest know when Miss
Sneers went away, or exactly how I got away myself; but the next
morning I woke up in my bunk with the darndest head ache that I ever
dreamed on. Captin Doolittle he sot in the cabin a lookin at me, and a
cryin like a great baby.

"What's the matter, Captin?" sez I, a turnin over.

"Jonathan," sez he, a risin from the locker, and diggin both hands in
his old trousers pocket, "Jonathan, its time for us tu haul up stakes
and go hum."

The tears run down the old chap's face, as he said this, and he turned
his face away that I shouldn't see them.

I tried tu think of what had turned up tu make the captin take on so. My
head beat like a drum--I partly remembered the cider, the cards and Miss
Sneers. I looked at Captin Doolittle; he had the poor old empty wallet
in his hands, and I could see the tears drop into it.

I lay down agin, kivered my face with the piller, and burst out a cryin.

I guess I lay still a cryin like a baby as much as ten minutes and there
sot Captin Doolittle a holdin the empty wallet all the time. At last I
sot up an eend and looked at the captin as well as I dare, and sez I,

"Captin what shall I du?"

The Captin he looked up, and sez he,

"Jonathan you'd better fust tell me jest what you have done a'ready." I
sot to as well as I could and told him the hull story about Miss Sneers,
the theatre, playing cards, the bird supper, and the cider. When I'd got
through he shook his head sort of mournful, and sez he--

"Jonathan, this is a bad business; you've made a shote of yourself and
gambled all your father's money away; it's eenamost as bad as stealen."

"Oh don't say that are," sez I, a kiverin my face with both hands. "I
feel bad enough without bein twitted of what I've done, gracious knows?"

"Wal, I know it aint generous tu strike a feller when he's down," sez
the captin, "but what is to be done? That's the question."

"Wal," sez the Captin, "supposin you put on your things and we'll go up
to that consarned gamblin hole and see if any thing can be done to git
the money back. I hain't no doubt but that Miss Sneers will be tickled
tu death tu see you agin."

I got up and dressed myself as well as I could for my head ached as if
it would crack open. The Captin he was as good as any thing; he poured a
hull pitcher full of cold water over my hair, and arter making me drink
a strong cup of tea, I felt kinder better about the head, but oh Lord a
massy, how my heart ached!

I felt so down in the mouth that I couldn't talk, so we both started off
towards that consarned house agin.

"Now Jonathan," sez the Captin, as we got agin the steps, "it goes agin
the grain tu say so, but you jest make believe that I am a police
officer, and keep a stiff upper lip, ring the bell and walk right in;
I'll come arter and we'll du their bisness for em in less than no time."

I rung the bell.

"Is Miss Sneers tu hum?" sez I.

"No," sez he, as quick as lightning, "she went into the country this
morning."

I was a going tu say that I'd seen her, when Captin Doolittle pushed
right by and giving the nigger a shove on one side, sez he,

"Walk in, Jonathan, walk in and make yourself tu hum." With that he dove
into the hall and I arter him--he opened the side door into the room we
were in the night before, and gin a peak round.

"Nobody there," sez he, "go up stairs, I'll settle the nigger if he gets
obstropulous, and then follow arter."

I went right up stairs, and was jest a knocking at the door of Miss
Sneers' room, when I see that it was open a trifle; and as I gin a peak
through, there was the chap that she called her brother shying out
through the eend door--I jest gin a knock that sent the door a flyin
open, and went in. Miss Sneers was settin on that silken bench, dressed
out in a ruffled white frock, and with her hair twisted back in a hurry,
and kinder tousled up with a gold chain in it, as if she hadn't touched
it since the night afore. She jumped half up when she see me, and then
settled down agin with her lips shet tight together, and a lookin hard
in my eyes as if uncertain who it was.

I walked right up to her and held out my hand, "How do you du this
morning, Miss Sneers," sez I.

She kinder leaned back, and lookin right straight in my eyes, sez she,

"You must have mistook the room, sir, I do not usually receive company
here."

I swow, it seemed as if the critter had swallered a chunk of ice, she
spoke so stiff and cold. I looked around the room a minit, and then I
turned tu her agin, and sez I,

"Look a here marm, you don't seem tu be over tickled tu see me this
morning, so I'll make myself scarce the minit you'll give me a chance tu
see that brother of yourn."

"You are laborin under another mistake," sez she, as frosty as ever. "My
brother is not in the house."

"Perhaps you'll tell me by-am-by that I mustn't believe my own eyes,"
sez I a getting wrothy. "Jest ask that mean shote to come out of the
other room there--I saw him sneak off with my own eyes not three minutes
ago."

She turned a trifle red when I talked up to her so, and arter chokin a
second, sez she, as cool as a cowcumber, sez she,

"Not my brother, you did not see my brother, he is my husband, sir."

I felt the blood bile in my veins and my face seemed afire. "Your
husband marm?" sez I, a getting up a laugh that eended off in a savage
grin, "and so you're, you're,"--

"His wife sir," sez she, with a cold tarntalisin smile, "and now, as I
am particularly engaged, perhaps you will leave the house."

"Not jest yet," sez Captin Doolittle, a bolting intu the room. "We've
got some business with that husband of your'n, marm."

"And who are you sir?" sez the woman a turnin white as curd and sittin
down half scared tu death.

"I don't know as that is any consarn of your'n," sez he, a hauling a
piece of paper folded up square from his pocket. "I want that swindlin
scamp that you call husband, and its my opinion that he and I get
better acquainted afore I leave these ere premises."

I never see a poor critter wilt down as she did, her face was as white
as snow, so was her mouth, and I could see it begin tu tremble all she
could du to help it.

"Surely, surely, you havn't brought a police officer here?" sez she, a
lookin at me, and them soft eyes of her'n were a swimmin in tears. I
begun to relent.

"Jonathan, don't make a coot of yourself," sez the Captin, a givin me a
sly poke in the ribs; then he went right up tu her, and sez he,

"I don't wonder you're surprised marm, it aint often that you get a
decent chap like me in this nest of varmints, but when one on us du come
we generally make purty clean work of it, I can tell you that! Perhaps
your husband won't be the only one that will get hauled over the coals.
I've seen purtyer women than you are afore the police magistrates afore
now."

The critter began tu tremble and looked at me as pitiful as a rabbit in
a trap.

"It ain't of no use," sez Captin Doolittle a pushin me back, "salt won't
save you if that scamp of your'n don't shell out. Mr. Slick here haint
nothin to du with the bisness now that he's gin it up tu the law. You
haint got sich a mealy hearted chap as him to deal with, I can tell
you."

"But what du you want?" sez she, a shakin as if she was a cold.

"I want the money you swindled out of this young feller las night," sez
he. "The money and the notes you made him give and by the living hokey
if it aint handed over in less than ten minutes, I'll have every darned
varmint in the house marched off tu the tombs."

The poor critter grew wuss and wuss; after a minute she turned to me and
sez she, a sobbin like all natur,

"So you've indicted the house, have you?"

I didn't just know what she meant, and the Captin seemed as bad off, but
he gin me a poke to keep still, and sez he, "You'll find out I reckon,
but as that are husband of yourn seems loth tu come out I'll jest give
him a little invite." With that he went into t'other room and arter a
little noise of scuffling cum out agin a leadin the woman's brother or
husband by the ear. He had taken an orful hard grip, and the critter's
souse looked as red as if it had just been scalded.

"Are you a goin to shell out or not?" sez the Captin. The feller gin a
pull, and the Captin follered suit, which stretched his ear rather more
than he seemed to relish.

"Come, we're in something of a hurry," sez the Captin, "we'd jist as
leave have you as the money."

The feller gin his head a jerk, but the Captin's fingers made a fust
rate vice, and the old feller put on the screws tight enough.

"Jake, Jake!" the feller yelled out.

"If your nigger's name is Jake I'm afeared he won't hear," sez the
Captin a puttin a chaw of tobaccer intur his mouth with one hand, while
he gin the ear an extra pinch with the other. "I locked him up in a
pantry down stairs, plenty of wine bottles there, he's comfortable
enough, don't disturb the poor nigger now, don't."

The feller gin the Captin's side a dig with his fist; with that the
Captin jest gin him a jerk towards the door, and sez he, a turning tu me
as cool as get out, sez he, "call the rest on em up Mr. Slick, I can du
this feller's business; but the lady there may want two beaus agin--call
'em up."

I really felt sorry for the poor woman, she jumped up and flung her arms
around the chap, and sez she,

"Du give it up, du, I cannot bear this, they will do it, you see they
will."

"Tell him to let go my ear," sez the feller a turning his tarnal white
face tu mine, "and I'll give you the money, provided you don't molest us
agin."'

"Jest so," sez the Captin, undoing his grip, "shell out, shell out."

The feller put his hand in his pocket and hauled out a swad of bills and
five slips of paper with my name on em, all rumpled up together.

"Jest see tu him," sez the Captin, a nodden his head towards the chap,
"while I see if it's all right." So he sot down on the silk settee close
by that poor woman, and histing one leg over tother, spit on his
fingers and counted over the money. It was all fair, so he rolled it up
in a swad, put it intu the old wallet and handed it over to me.

"There," sez he, "Mr. Slick, I spose we may as well be a joggin."

With that he told the chap that he'd find the key in the closet door and
the nigger safe, and we went down.

"There Jonathan," sez the Captin, "I rather guess we've done it! But
what makes you look so womblecroped?"

"I don't know," sez I, a brushin my hands across my eyes, "but it seems
tu me that I've lost something more than all that money's worth."

"And what is that?" sez he.

"It's the fust time on earth that I could believe that women could raly
be so deceitful and bad. I feel as though I never should think so well
of them agin--as if a part of my own heart had dried up all tu once.
Captin, Captin, I'd rather work night and day for the money than feel so
lonesome about the heart as I do now; I'd as lives stay in a world
without sun, as to have no sartinty in the truth of women folks."

                                  I remain your humble, but loving son,

                                           JONATHAN SLICK.



                                        THE END.

       *       *       *       *       *



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  Tom Burke of Ours. By Charles Lever,                         Cloth,  2 00

  The Knight of Gwynne. By Charles Lever,                      Cloth,  2 00

  Arthur O'Leary. By Charles Lever,                            Cloth,  2 00

  Con Cregan. By Charles Lever,                                Cloth,  2 00

  Horace Templeton. By Charles Lever,                          Cloth,  2 00

  Kate O'Donoghue. By Charles Lever,                           Cloth,  2 00

  Valentine Vox, the Ventriloquist. By Harry Cockton,          Cloth,  2 00

Above are each in cloth, or each one is in paper cover, at 75 cents
each.


NEW AND GOOD BOOKS BY BEST AUTHORS.

  Beautiful Snow, and Other Poems. _New Illustrated Edition._ By
  J. W. Watson, author of "The Outcast and Other Poems." With Original
  Illustrations by Edward L. Henry. One volume, green morocco cloth,
  gilt top, side, and back, price $2.00; or in maroon morocco cloth,
  full gilt edges, full gilt back, full gilt sides, etc.              $3 00

  The Outcast, and Other Poems. By J. W. Watson, author of
  "Beautiful Snow and Other Poems." One volume, green morocco
  cloth, gilt top, side and back, price $2.00; or in maroon morocco
  cloth, full gilt edges, full gilt back, full gilt sides, etc.,       3 00

  Hans Breitmann's Ballads. By Charles G. Leland. _Volume One._
  Containing "Hans Breitmann's Party, with Other Ballads," "Hans
  Breitmann About Town, and Other Ballads," and "Hans Breitmann
  In Church, and Other New Ballads," _being the "First," "Second,"
  and "Third Series" of the "Breitmann Ballads,"_ bound in morocco
  cloth, gilt, beveled boards,                                         3 00

  Hans Breitmann's Ballads. By Charles G. Leland. _Volume Two._
  Containing "Hans Breitmann as an Uhlan, with other New Ballads,"
  and "Hans Breitmann's Travels in Europe, with Other New
  Ballads," _being the "Fourth" and "Fifth Series" of the "Breitmann
  Ballads,"_ bound in morocco cloth, gilt, beveled boards,             2 00

  Hans Breitmann's Ballads. By Charles G. Leland. Being the above
  two volumes complete in one. Containing all the Ballads written
  by "Hans Breitmann." Complete in one large volume, bound in
  morocco cloth, gilt side, gilt top, and full gilt back, with beveled
  boards. With a full and complete Glossary to the whole work,         4 00

  Meister Karl's Sketch Book. By Charles G. Leland. (Hans Breitmann.)
  Complete in one volume, green morocco cloth, gilt side, gilt top,
  gilt back, with beveled boards, price $2.50, or in maroon morocco
  cloth, full gilt edges, full gilt back, full gilt sides, etc.,       3 50

  John Jasper's Secret. A Sequel to Charles Dickens' "Mystery of
  Edwin Drood." With 18 Illustrations. Bound in cloth,                 2 00

  The Last Athenian. From the Swedish of Victor Rydberg. Highly
  recommended by Fredrika Bremer. Paper $1.50, or in cloth,            2 00

  Across the Atlantic. Letters from France, Switzerland, Germany,
  Italy, and England. By C. H. Haeseler, M.D. Bound in cloth,          2 00

  The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners. By
  Miss Leslie. Every lady should have it. Cloth, full gilt back,       1 75

  The Ladies' Complete Guide to Needlework and Embroidery. With
  113 illustrations. By Miss Lambert. Cloth, full gilt back,           1 75

  The Ladies' Work Table Book. With 27 illustrations. Cloth, gilt,     1 50

  The Story of Elizabeth. By Miss Thackeray, paper $1.00, or cloth,    1 50

  Dow's Short Patent Sermons. By Dow, Jr. In 4 vols., cloth, each,     1 50

  Wild Oats Sown Abroad. A Spicy Book. By T. B. Witmer, cloth,         1 50

  Aunt Patty's Scrap Bag. By Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz, author of
  "Linda," etc. Full of Illustrations, and bound in cloth,             1 50

  Hollick's Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Figure. Illustrated
  by a perfect dissected plate of the Human Organization, and by
  other separate plates of the Human Skeleton, such as Arteries,
  Veins, the Heart, Lungs, Trachea, etc. Illustrated. Bound,           2 00

  Life and Adventures of Don Quixote and his Squire Sancho Panza,
  complete in one large volume, paper cover, for $1.00, or in cloth,   1 75

  The Laws and Practice of the Game of Euchre. By a Professor.
  This is the book of the "Laws of Euchre," adopted and got up by
  the Euchre Club of Washington, D. C. Bound in cloth,                 1 00

  Treason at Home. A Novel. By Mrs. Greenough, cloth,                  1 75

  Letters from Europe. By Colonel John W. Forney. Bound in cloth,      1 75

  Moore's Life of Hon. Schuyler Colfax, with a Portrait on steel,
  cloth,                                                               1 50

  Whitefriars; or, The Days of Charles the Second. Illustrated,        1 00

  Tan-go-ru-a. An Historical Drama, in Prose. By Mr. Moorhead,         1 00

  The Impeachment Trial of President Andrew Johnson. Cloth,            1 50

  Trial of the Assassins for the Murder of Abraham Lincoln. Cloth,     1 50

  Lives of Jack Sheppard and Guy Fawkes. Illustrated. One vol.,
  cloth,                                                               1 75

  Consuelo, and Countess of Rudolstadt. One volume, cloth,             2 00

  Monsieur Antoine. By George Sand. Illustrated. One vol., cloth,      1 00

  Frank Fairleigh. By author of "Lewis Arundel," cloth,                1 75

  Lewis Arundel. By author of "Frank Fairleigh," cloth,                1 75

  Aurora Floyd. By Miss Braddon. One vol., paper 75 cents, cloth,      1 00

  Christy and White's Complete Ethiopian Melodies, bound in cloth,     1 00

  The Life of Charles Dickens. By R. Shelton Mackenzie, cloth,         2 00

  Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott. One 8vo. volume, fine binding,   5 00

  Life of Sir Walter Scott. By John G. Lockhart. With Portrait,        2 50

  The Shakspeare Novels. Complete in one large octavo volume, cloth,   4 00

  Miss Pardoe's Choice Novels. In one large octavo volume, cloth,      4 00

  The Waverley Novels. _National Edition._ Five large 8vo. vols.,
  cloth,                                                              15 00

  Charles Dickens' Works. _People's 12mo. Edition._ 21 vols.,
  cloth,                                                              32 00

  Charles Dickens' Works. _Green Cloth 12mo. Edition._ 21 vols.,
  cloth,                                                              40 00

  Charles Dickens' Works. _Illustrated 12mo. Edition._ 34 vols.,
  cloth,                                                              50 00

  Charles Dickens' Works. _Illustrated 8vo. Edition._ 18 vols.,
  cloth,                                                              31 50

  Charles Dickens' Works. _New National Edition._ 7 volumes,
  cloth,                                                              20 00


HUMOROUS ILLUSTRATED WORKS.

_Each one is full of Illustrations, by Felix O. C. Darley, and bound in
Cloth._

  Major Jones' Courtship and Travels. With 21 Illustrations,          $1 75

  Major Jones' Scenes in Georgia. With 16 Illustrations,               1 75

  Simon Suggs' Adventures and Travels. With 17 Illustrations,          1 75

  Swamp Doctor's Adventures in the South-West. 14 Illustrations,       1 75

  Col. Thorpe's Scenes in Arkansaw. With 16 Illustrations,             1 75

  The Big Bear's Adventures and Travels. With 18 Illustrations,        1 75

  High Life in New York, by Jonathan Slick. With Illustrations,        1 75

  Judge Haliburton's Yankee Stories. Illustrated,                      1 75

  Harry Coverdale's Courtship and Marriage. Illustrated,               1 75

  Piney Wood's Tavern; or, Sam Slick in Texas. Illustrated,            1 75

  Sam Slick, the Clockmaker. By Judge Haliburton. Illustrated,         1 75

  Humors of Falconbridge. By J. F. Kelley. With Illustrations,         1 75

  Modern Chivalry. By Judge Breckenridge. Two vols., each,             1 75

  Neal's Charcoal Sketches. By Joseph C. Neal. 21 Illustrations,       2 50


CHARLES LEVER'S BEST WORKS.

  Charles O'Malley,   75

  Harry Lorrequer,    75

  Jack Hinton,        75

  Tom Burke of Ours,  75

  Knight of Gwynne,   75

  Arthur O'Leary,     75

  Con Cregan,         75

  Davenport Dunn,     75

  Horace Templeton,   75

  Kate O'Donoghue,    75

Above are in paper cover, or a fine edition in cloth at $2.00 each.

  A Rent in a Cloud,  50

  St. Patrick's Eve,  50

  Ten Thousand a Year, in one volume, paper cover, $1.50; or in cloth, 2 00

  The Diary of a Medical Student, by author of "Ten Thousand a Year,"    75


DUMAS', REYNOLDS', AND OTHER BOOKS IN CLOTH.

_The following are cloth editions of the following good books, and they
are each issued in one large volume, bound in cloth, price $1.75 each._

  The Three Guardsmen; or The Three Mousquetaires. By A. Dumas,       $1 75

  Twenty Years After; or the "_Second Series of Three Guardsmen_,"     1 75

  Bragelonne; Son of Athos; or "_Third Series of Three Guardsmen_,"    1 75

  The Iron Mask; or the "_Fourth Series of The Three Guardsmen_,"      1 75

  Louise La Valliere; or the "_Fifth Series and End of the Three
  Guardsmen Series_,"                                                  1 75

  The Memoirs of a Physician. By Alexander Dumas. Illustrated,         1 75

  Queen's Necklace; or "_Second Series of Memoirs of a Physician_,"    1 75

  Six years Later; or the "_Third Series of Memoirs of a Physician_,"  1 75

  Countess of Charny; or "_Fourth Series of Memoirs of a Physician_,"  1 75

  Andree De Taverney; or "_Fifth Series of Memoirs of a Physician_,"   1 75

  The Chevalier; or the "_Sixth Series and End of the Memoirs of a
  Physician Series_,"                                                  1 75

  The Adventures of a Marquis. By Alexander Dumas,                     1 75

  Edmond Dantes. A Sequel to the "Count of Monte-Cristo,"              1 75

  The Forty-Five Guardsmen. By Alexander Dumas. Illustrated,           1 75

  Diana of Meridor, or Lady of Monsoreau. By Alexander Dumas,          1 75

  The Iron Hand. By Alex. Dumas, author "Count of Monte-Cristo,"       1 75

  The Mysteries of the Court of London. By George W. M. Reynolds,      1 75

  Rose Foster; or the "_Second Series of Mysteries of Court of
  London_,"                                                            1 75

  Caroline of Brunswick; or the "_Third Series of the Court of
  London_,"                                                            1 75

  Venetia Trelawney; or "_End of the Mysteries of the Court of
  London_,"                                                            1 75

  Lord Saxondale; or the Court of Queen Victoria. By Reynolds,         1 75

  Count Christoval. Sequel to "Lord Saxondale." By Reynolds,           1 75

  Rosa Lambert; or Memoirs of an Unfortunate Woman. By Reynolds,       1 75

  Mary Price; or the Adventures of a Servant Maid. By Reynolds,        1 75

  Eustace Quentin. Sequel to "Mary Price." By G. W. M. Reynolds,       1 75

  Joseph Wilmot; or the Memoirs of a Man Servant. By Reynolds,         1 75

  Banker's Daughter. Sequel to "Joseph Wilmot." By Reynolds,           1 75

  Kenneth. A Romance of the Highlands. By G. W. M. Reynolds,           1 75

  Rye-House Plot; or the Conspirator's Daughter. By Reynolds,          1 75

  Necromancer; or the Times of Henry the Eighth. By Reynolds,          1 75

  Within the Maze. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "East Lynne,"         1 75

  Dene Hollow. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "Within the Maze,"        1 75

  Bessy Rane. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "The Channings,"           1 75

  George Canterbury's Will. By Mrs. Wood, author "Oswald Cray,"        1 75

  The Channings. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "Dene Hollow,"          1 75

  Roland Yorke. A Sequel to "The Channings." By Mrs. Wood,             1 75

  Shadow of Ashlydyatt. By Mrs. Wood, author of "Bessy Rane,"          1 75

  Lord Oakburn's Daughters; or The Earl's Heirs. By Mrs. Wood,         1 75

  Verner's Pride. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "The Channings,"       1 75

  The Castle's Heir; or Lady Adelaide's Oath. By Mrs. Henry Wood,      1 75

  Oswald Cray. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "Roland Yorke,"           1 75

  Squire Trevlyn's Heir; or Trevlyn Hold. By Mrs. Henry Wood,          1 75

  The Red Court Farm. By Mrs. Wood, author of "Verner's Pride,"        1 75

  Lister's Folly. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "Castle's Heir,"       1 75

  St. Martin's Eve. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "Dene Hollow,"       1 75

  Mildred Arkell. By Mrs. Henry Wood, author of "East Lynne,"          1 75

  Cyrilla; or the Mysterious Engagement. By author of "Initials,"      1 75

  The Miser's Daughter. By William Harrison Ainsworth,                 1 75

  The Mysteries of Florence. By Geo. Lippard, author "Quaker City,"    1 75


CHARLES DICKENS' WORKS.

GREAT REDUCTION IN THEIR PRICES.

       *       *       *       *       *

PEOPLE'S DUODECIMO EDITION. ILLUSTRATED.

_Reduced in price from $2.50 to $1.50 a volume._

_This edition is printed on fine paper, from large, clear type, leaded,
that all can read, containing Two Hundred Illustrations on tinted
paper._

  Our Mutual Friend,                                           Cloth, $1.50

  Pickwick Papers,                                              Cloth, 1.50

  Nicholas Nickleby,                                            Cloth, 1.50

  Great Expectations,                                           Cloth, 1.50

  David Copperfield,                                            Cloth, 1.50

  Oliver Twist,                                                 Cloth, 1.50

  Bleak House,                                                  Cloth, 1.50

  A Tale of Two Cities,                                         Cloth, 1.50

  Little Dorrit,                                                Cloth, 1.50

  Dombey and Son,                                               Cloth, 1.50

  Christmas Stories,                                            Cloth, 1.50

  Sketches by "Boz,"                                            Cloth, 1.50

  Barnaby Rudge,                                                Cloth, 1.50

  Martin Chuzzlewit,                                            Cloth, 1.50

  Old Curiosity Shop,                                           Cloth, 1.50

  Dickens' New Stories,                                         Cloth, 1.50

  Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Master Humphrey's Clock,          Cloth, 1.50

  American Notes; and the Uncommercial Traveller,               Cloth, 1.50

  Hunted Down; and other Reprinted Pieces,                      Cloth, 1.50

  The Holly-Tree Inn; and other Stories,                        Cloth, 1.50

  The Life and Writings of Charles Dickens,                     Cloth, 2.00

  Price of a set, in Black cloth, in twenty-one volumes,             $32.00
    "   "            Full sheep, Library style,                       42.50
    "   "            Half calf, sprinkled edges,                      53.00
    "   "            Half calf, marbled edges,                        58.00
    "   "            Half calf, antique, or half calf, full gilt
                     backs, etc.                                      63.00

GREEN MOROCCO CLOTH, DUODECIMO EDITION.

_This is the "People's Duodecimo Edition" in a new style of Binding, in
Green Morocco Cloth, Bevelled Boards, Full Gilt descriptive back, and
Medallion Portrait on sides in gilt, in Twenty-one handy volumes,_ 12_mo.,
fine paper, large clear type, and Two Hundred Illustrations on tinted
paper. Price_ $40 _a set, and each set put up in a neat and strong box.
This is the handsomest and best edition ever published for the price._

ILLUSTRATED DUODECIMO EDITION.

_Reduced in price from $2.00 to $1.50 a volume._

_This edition is printed on the finest paper, from large, clear type,
leaded, that all can read, containing Six Hundred full page
Illustrations, on tinted paper, from designs by Cruikshank, Phiz,
Browne, Maclise, McLenan, and other artists. This is the only edition
published that contains all the original illustrations, as selected by
Mr. Charles Dickens._

_The following are each contained in two volumes._

  Our Mutual Friend,                                           Cloth, $3.00

  Pickwick Papers,                                              Cloth, 3.00

  Tale of Two Cities,                                           Cloth, 3.00

  Nicholas Nickleby,                                            Cloth, 3.00

  David Copperfield,                                            Cloth, 3.00

  Oliver Twist,                                                 Cloth, 3.00

  Christmas Stories,                                            Cloth, 3.00

  Bleak House,                                                  Cloth, 3.00

  Sketches by "Boz,"                                            Cloth, 3.00

  Barnaby Rudge,                                                Cloth, 3.00

  Martin Chuzzlewit,                                            Cloth, 3.00

  Old Curiosity Shop,                                           Cloth, 3.00

  Little Dorrit,                                                Cloth, 3.00

  Dombey and Son,                                               Cloth, 3.00

_The following are each complete in one volume._

  Great Expectations,                                                 $1.50

  Dickens' New Stories,                                         Cloth, 1.50

  Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Master Humphrey's Clock,          Cloth, 1.50

  American Notes; and the Uncommercial Traveller,               Cloth, 1.50

  Hunted Down: and other Reprinted Pieces,                      Cloth, 1.50

  The Holly-Tree Inn; and other Stories,                        Cloth, 1.50

  The Life and Writings of Charles Dickens,                     Cloth, 2.00

  Price of a set, in thirty-five volumes, bound in cloth,            $50.00
    "   "            Full sheep, Library style,                       68.00
    "   "            Half calf, antique, or half calf, full gilt
                     backs, etc.                                     100.00

ILLUSTRATED OCTAVO EDITION.

_Reduced in price from $2.50 to $1.75 a volume._

_This edition is printed from large type, double column, octavo page,
each book being complete in one volume, the whole containing near Six
hundred Illustrations, by Cruikshank, Phiz, Browne, Maclise, and other
artists._

  Our Mutual Friend,                Cloth, $1.75

  Pickwick Papers,                   Cloth, 1.75

  Nicholas Nickleby,                 Cloth, 1.75

  Great Expectations,                Cloth, 1.75

  Lamplighter's Story,               Cloth, 1.75

  Oliver Twist,                      Cloth, 1.75

  Bleak House,                       Cloth, 1.75

  Little Dorrit,                     Cloth, 1.75

  Dombey and Son,                    Cloth, 1.75

  Sketches by "Boz,"                 Cloth, 1.75

  David Copperfield,                 Cloth, 1.75

  Barnaby Rudge,                     Cloth, 1.75

  Martin Chuzzlewit,                 Cloth, 1.75

  Old Curiosity Shop,                Cloth, 1.75

  Christmas Stories,                 Cloth, 1.75

  Dickens' New Stories,              Cloth, 1.75

  A Tale of Two Cities,              Cloth, 1.75

  American Notes and Pic-Nic Papers, Cloth, 1.75

  Price of a set, in Black cloth, in eighteen volumes,        $31.50
  "  "   Full sheep, Library style,                            40.00
  "  "   Half calf, sprinkled edges,                           48.00
  "  "   Half calf, marbled edges                              54.00
  "  "   Half calf, antique, or Half calf, full gilt backs,    60.00


"NEW NATIONAL EDITION" OF DICKENS' WORKS.

This is the cheapest bound edition of the works of Charles Dickens,
published, all his writings being contained in _seven large octavo
volumes_, with a portrait of Charles Dickens, and other illustrations.

  Price of a set, in Black cloth, in seven volumes,            $20.00
  "   "  Full sheep, Library style,                             25.00
  "   "  Half calf, antique, or Half calf, full gilt backs,     30.00


CHEAP PAPER COVER EDITION.

_Each book being complete in one large octavo volume._

  Pickwick Papers,                                     35

  Nicholas Nickleby,                                   35

  Dombey and Son,                                      35

  David Copperfield,                                   25

  Martin Chuzzlewit,                                   35

  Old Curiosity Shop,                                  25

  Oliver Twist,                                        25

  American Notes,                                      25

  Great Expectations,                                  25

  Hard Times,                                          25

  A Tale of Two Cities,                                25

  Somebody's Luggage,                                  25

  Message from the Sea,                                25

  Barnaby Rudge,                                       25

  Sketches by "Boz,"                                   25

  Our Mutual Friend,                                   35

  Bleak House,                                         35

  Little Dorrit,                                       35

  Christmas Stories,                                   25

  The Haunted House,                                   25

  Uncommercial Traveller,                              25

  A House to Let,                                      25

  Perils of English Prisoners,                         25

  Wreck of the Golden Mary,                            25

  Tom Tiddler's Ground,                                25

  Joseph Grimaldi,                                     25

  The Pic-Nic Papers,                                  25

  Hunted Down,                                         25

  The Holly-Tree Inn,                                  25

  No Thoroughfare,                                     25

  Mystery of Edwin Drood. Charles Dickens' last work,  25

  Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings and Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy, 25

  Mugby Junction and Dr. Marigold's Prescriptions,     25


THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF CHARLES DICKENS.

  =THE LIFE OF CHARLES DICKENS.= By _Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie_,
  containing a full history of his Life, his Uncollected Pieces, in Prose
  and Verse; Personal Recollections and Anecdotes; His Last Will in
  full; and Letters from Mr. Dickens never before published. With
  a Portrait and Autograph of Charles Dickens.  Price: Two Dollars.


ALEXANDER DUMAS' WORKS.

  Count of Monte-Cristo,                                       $1 50

  Edmond Dantes,                                                  75

  The Three Guardsmen,                                            75

  Twenty Years After,                                             75

  Bragelonne,                                                     75

  The Iron Mask,                                                1 00

  Louise La Valliere,                                           1 00

  Diana of Meridor,                                             1 00

  Adventures of a Marquis,                                      1 00

  Love and Liberty,                                             1 50

  Memoirs of a Physician,                                       1 00

  Queen's Necklace,                                             1 00

  Six Years Later,                                              1 00

  Countess of Charny,                                           1 00

  Andree de Taverney,                                           1 00

  The Chevalier,                                                1 00

  Forty-five Guardsmen,                                         1 00

  The Iron Hand,                                                  75

  The Conscript,                                                1 50

  Countess of Monte-Cristo,                                     1 00

  Camille; or, The Fate of a Coquette, (La Dame Aux Camelias,)  1 50

The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

  The Fallen Angel,                               75

  Felina de Chambure,                             75

  The Horrors of Paris,                           75

  Sketches in France,                             75

  Isabel of Bavaria,                              75

  Twin Lieutenants,                               75

  Man with Five Wives,                            75

  The Black Tulip,                                50

  The Corsican Brothers,                          50

  The Count of Moret,                             50

  Mohicans of Paris,                              50

  The Marriage Verdict,                           50

  Buried Alive,                                   25

  Annette; or, Lady of Pearls,                    50

  George; or, The Planter of the Isle of France,  50


GEORGE W. M. REYNOLDS' WORKS.

  Mysteries Court of London,    $1 00

  Rose Foster,                   1 50

  Caroline of Brunswick,         1 00

  Venetia Trelawney,             1 00

  Lord Saxondale,                1 00

  Count Christoval,              1 00

  Rosa Lambert,                  1 00

  Mary Price,                    1 00

  Eustace Quentin,               1 00

  Joseph Wilmot,                 1 00

  Banker's Daughter,             1 00

  Kenneth,                       1 00

  The Rye-House Plot,            1 00

  The Necromancer,               1 00

The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

  The Opera Dancer,                                       75

  Child of Waterloo,                                      75

  Robert Bruce,                                           75

  The Gipsy Chief,                                        75

  Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots,                            75

  Wallace, Hero of Scotland,                           $1 00

  Isabella Vincent,                                       75

  Vivian Bertram,                                         75

  Countess of Lascelles,                                  75

  Duke of Marchmont,                                      75

  Massacre of Glencoe,                                    75

  Loves of the Harem,                                     75

  The Soldier's Wife,                                     75

  May Middleton,                                          75

  Ellen Percy,                                            75

  Agnes Evelyn,                                           75

  Pickwick Abroad,                                        75

  Parricide,                                              75

  Discarded Queen,                                        75

  Life in Paris,                                          50

  Countess and the Page,                                  50

  Edgar Montrose,                                         50

  The Ruined Gamester,                                    50

  Clifford and the Actress,                               50

  Queen Joanna; or the Mysteries of the Court of Naples,  75

  Ciprina; or, the Secrets of a Picture Gallery,          50


MISS PARDOE'S POPULAR WORKS.

  Confessions of a Pretty Woman,  75

  The Wife's Trials,              75

  The Jealous Wife,               50

  The Rival Beauties,             75

  Romance of the Harem,           75

The five above books are also bound in one volume, cloth, for $4.00.

  The Adopted Heir. One volume, paper, $1.50; or in cloth,  $1 75

  The Earl's Secret. One volume, paper, $1.50; or in cloth,  1 75


MRS. HENRY WOOD'S BEST BOOKS.

  Within the Maze,                                $1 50

  Dene Hollow,                                     1 50

  Bessy Rane,                                      1 50

  George Canterbury's Will,                        1 50

  Verner's Pride,                                  1 50

  The Channings,                                   1 50

  Shadow of Ashlydyat,                             1 50

  Oswald Cray,                                     1 50

  Mildred Arkell,                                  1 50

  Red Court Farm,                                  1 50

  Elster's Folly,                                  1 50

  St. Martin's Eve,                                1 50

  Roland Yorke. A Sequel to "The Channings,"       1 50

  Lord Oakburn's Daughters; or, The Earl's Heirs,  1 50

  The Castle's Heir; or, Lady Adelaide's Oath,     1 50

  Squire Trevlyn's Heir; or, Trevlyn Hold,         1 50

The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

  The Mystery,                   75

  The Lost Bank Note,            75

  The Lost Will,                 50

  Orville College,               50

  A Light and a Dark Christmas,  25

  A Life's Secret,               50

  The Haunted Tower,             50

  The Runaway Match,             50

  Foggy Night at Offord,         25

  William Allair,                25


EUGENE SUE'S GREAT WORKS.

  Wandering Jew,              $1 50

  Mysteries of Paris,          1 50

  Martin, the Foundling,       1 50

Above are in cloth at $2.00 each.

  First Love,                                                      50

  Woman's Love,                                                    50

  Female Bluebeard                                                 50

  Man-of-War's-Man                                                 50

  Life and Adventures of Raoul de Surville. A Tale of the Empire,  25


MADAME GEORGE SAND'S WORKS.

  Consuelo, 12mo., cloth,     $1 50

  Countess of Rudolstadt,      1 50

  Jealousy, 12mo., cloth,      1 50

  Indiana, 12mo., cloth,       1 50

Above are only published in 12mo., cloth, gilt side and back.

  Fanchon, the Cricket, price $1.00 in paper, or in cloth,         $1 50

  First and True Love,                                                75

  Simon. A Love Story,                                                50

  The Corsair,                                                        50

  The Last Aldini,                                                    50

  Monsieur Antoine. With 11 Illustrations. Paper, 75 cents; cloth,  1 00

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The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

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SAMUEL WARREN'S BEST BOOKS.

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  Love in High Life,                               50

  Year after Marriage,                             50

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  Orphan Children,                                 50

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Six Nights with the Washingtonians; and other Temperance Tales. By T. S.
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MRS. GREY'S CELEBRATED NOVELS.

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The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

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  Young Prima Donna,              50

  Hyacinthe,                      25

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  Mary Seaham,                    75

  Passion and Principle,          75

  The Flirt,                      75

  Good Society,                   75

  Lion-Hearted,                   75


G. P. R. JAMES'S BEST BOOKS.

  Lord Montague's Page,        $1 50

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The above are each in paper cover, or in cloth, price $1.75 each.

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CAPTAIN MARRYAT'S WORKS.

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  Pacha of Many Tales,            50

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  Snarleyow,                      50

  Newton Forster,                 50

  King's Own,                     50

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  Peter Simple,                   50

  Percival Keene,                 50

  Poor Jack,                      50

  Sea King,                       50


REVOLUTIONARY TALES.

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  Old Pete; or Days of 1776,      50

  Legends of Mexico,              50

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  The Guerilla Chief,             75

  The Quaker Soldier, paper,   $1 50
     do.     do.      cloth,    1 75


J. F. SMITH'S WORKS.

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GEORGE LIPPARD'S GREAT BOOKS.

  The Quaker City,                                                    $1 50

  Paul Ardenheim,                                                      1 50

  Blanche of Brandywine,                                               1 50

  Washington and his Generals; or, Legends of the American Revolution, 1 50

  Mysteries of Florence,                                               1 00

Above in cloth at $2.00 each.

  The Empire City,                  75

  Memoirs of a Preacher,            75

  The Nazarene,                     75

  Washington and his Men,           75

  Legends of Mexico,                50

  The Entranced,                    25

  The Robbers,                      25

  The Bank Director's Son,          25


EXCITING SEA TALES.

  Adventures of Ben Brace,          75

  Jack Adams, the Mutineer,         75

  Jack Ariel's Adventures,          75

  Petrel; or, Life on the Ocean,    75

  Life of Paul Periwinkle,          75

  Life of Tom Bowling,              75

  Percy Effingham,                  75

  Cruising in the Last War,         75

  Red King,                         50

  The Corsair,                      50

  The Doomed Ship,                  50

  The Three Pirates,                50

  The Flying Dutchman,              50

  The Flying Yankee,                50

  The Yankee Middy,                 50

  The Gold Seekers,                 50

  The King's Cruisers,              50

  Life of Alexander Tardy,          50

  Red Wing,                         50

  Yankee Jack,                      50

  Yankees in Japan,                 50

  Morgan, the Buccaneer,            50

  Jack Junk,                        50

  Davis, the Pirate,                50

  Valdez, the Pirate,               50

  Gallant Tom,                      50

  Harry Helm,                       50

  Harry Tempest,                    50

  Rebel and Rover,                  50

  Man-of-War's-Man,                 50

  Dark Shades of City Life,         25

  The Rats of the Seine,            25

  Charles Ransford,                 25

  The Iron Cross,                   25

  The River Pirates,                25

  The Pirate's Son,                 25

  Jacob Faithful,                   50

  Phantom Ship,                     50

  Midshipman Easy,                  50

  Pacha of Many Tales,              50

  Naval Officer,                    50

  Snarleyow,                        50

  Newton Forster,                   50

  King's Own,                       50

  Japhet,                           50

  Pirate and Three Cutters,         50

  Peter Simple,                     50

  Percival Keene,                   50

  Poor Jack,                        50

  Sea King,                         50


MILITARY NOVELS. BY BEST AUTHORS.

With Illuminated Military Covers, in five Colors.

  Charles O'Malley,                 75

  Jack Hinton, the Guardsman,       75

  The Knight of Gwynne,             75

  Harry Lorrequer,                  75

  Tom Burke of Ours,                75

  Arthur O'Leary,                   75

  Con Cregan,                       75

  Kate O'Donoghue,                  75

  Horace Templeton,                 75

  Davenport Dunn,                   75

  Jack Adams' Adventures,           75

  Valentine Vox,                    75

  Twin Lieutenants,                 75

  Stories of Waterloo,              75

  The Soldier's Wife,               75

  Guerilla Chief,                   75

  The Three Guardsmen,              75

  Twenty Years After,               75

  Bragelonne, Son of Athos,         75

  Tom Bowling's Adventures,         75

  Life of Robert Bruce,             75

  The Gipsy Chief,                  75

  Massacre of Glencoe,              75

  Life of Guy Fawkes,               75

  Child of Waterloo,                75

  Adventures of Ben Brace,          75

  Life of Jack Ariel,               75

  Forty-five Guardsmen,          $1 00

  Wallace, the Hero of Scotland,  1 00

  Following the Drum,               50

  The Conscript, a Tale of War.
  By Alexander Dumas,             1 50


HARRY COCKTON'S WORKS.

  Valentine Vox, Ventriloquist,     75

  Valentine Vox, cloth,          $2 00

  Sylvester Sound,                  75

  The Love Match,                   75

  The Fatal Marriage,               75

  The Steward,                      75

  Percy Effingham,                  75

  The Prince,                       75


GUSTAVE AIMARD'S WORKS.

  The Prairie Flower,               75

  The Indian Scout,                 75

  The Trail Hunter,                 75

  The Indian Chief,                 75

  The Red Track,                    75

  The White Scalper,                50

  The Freebooters,                  50

  Trapper's Daughter,               75

  The Tiger Slayer,                 75

  The Gold Seekers,                 75

  The Rebel Chief,                  75

  The Border Rifles,                75

  Pirates of the Prairies,          75


HENRY MORFORD'S AMERICAN NOVELS.

  Shoulder-Straps,               $1 50

  The Coward,                     1 50

  The Days of Shoddy. A History
    of the Late War,              1 50

Above are each in paper cover, or each one is in cloth, price $1.75
each.


LIVES OF NOTED HIGHWAYMEN, ETC.

  Life of John A. Murrel,           50

  Life of Joseph T. Hare,           50

  Life of Col. Monroe Edwards,      50

  Life of Jack Sheppard,            50

  Life of Jack Rann,                50

  Life of Dick Turpin,              50

  Life of Helen Jewett,             50

  Desparadoes of the New World,     50

  Mysteries of New Orleans,         50

  The Robber's Wife,                50

  Obi; or, Three Fingered Jack,     50

  Kit Clayton,                      50

  Life of Tom Waters,               50

  Nat Blake,                        50

  Bill Horton,                      50

  Galloping Gus,                    50

  Life & Trial of Antoine Probst,   50

  Ned Hastings,                     50

  Eveleen Wilson,                   50

  Diary of a Pawnbroker,            50

  Silver and Pewter,                50

  Sweeny Todd,                      50

  Life of Grace O'Malley,           50

  Life of Davy Crockett,            50

  Life of Sybil Grey,               50

  Life of Jonathan Wild,            25

  Life of Henry Thomas,             25

  Life of Arthur Spring,            25

  Life of Jack Ketch,               25

  Life of Ninon De L'Enclos,        25

  Lives of the Felons,              25

  Life of Mrs. Whipple,             25

  Life of Biddy Woodhull,           25

  Life of Mother Brownrigg,         25

  Dick Parker, the Pirate,          25

  Life of Mary Bateman,             25

  Life of Captain Blood,            25

  Capt. Blood and the Beagles,      25

  Sixteen-Stringed Jack's Fight
    for Life,                       25

  Highwayman's Avenger,             25

  Life of Raoul De Surville,        25

  Life of Rody the Rover,           25

  Life of Galloping Dick,           25

  Life of Guy Fawkes,               75

  Life and Adventures of Vidocq,  1 50


LIEBIG'S WORKS ON CHEMISTRY.

  Agricultural Chemistry,           25

  Animal Chemistry,                 25

  Liebig's celebrated Letters on
    the Potato Disease,             25

Liebig's Complete Works on Chemistry, is also issued in one large octavo
volume, bound in cloth. Price Two Dollars.


MILITARY AND ARMY BOOKS.

  Ellsworth's Zouave Drill,         25

  U. S. Government Infantry &
    Rifle Tactics,                  25

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  The Soldier's Companion,          25

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WORKS AT 75 CENTS. BY BEST AUTHORS.

  The Brigand; or, the Demon of the North. By Victor Hugo,           75

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  The Red Indians of Newfoundland. Illustrated,                      75

  Webster and Hayne's Speeches in Reply to Colonel Foote,            75

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  The Banditti of the Prairie,    75

  Tom Racquet,                    75

  Salathiel, by Croly,            75

  Corinne; or, Italy,             75

  Ned Musgrave,                   75

  Aristocracy,                    75

  Popping the Question,           75

  Paul Periwinkle,                75

  The Inquisition in Spain,       75

  Elsie's Married Life,           75

  Leyton Hall. By Mark Lemen,     75

  Flirtations in America,         75

  The Coquette,                   75

  Thackeray's Irish Sketch Book,  75

  Whitehall,                      75

  The Beautiful Nun,              75

  Mysteries of Three Cities,      75

  Genevra. By Miss Fairfield,     75

  Crock of Gold. By Tupper,       75

  Twins and Heart. By Tupper,     75

  New Hope; or, the Rescue,       75

  Nothing to Say,                 75

  Hans Breitmann's Party. With other Ballads. By Charles G. Leland,  75

  Hans Breitmann In Church, with other Ballads. By C. G. Leland,     75

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WORKS AT 50 CENTS. BY BEST AUTHORS.

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  Moreton Hall,                    50

  Bell Brandon,                    50

  Sybil Grey,                      50

  Female Life in New York,         50

  Agnes Grey,                      50

  Diary of a Physician,            50

  The Emigrant Squire,             50

  The Monk, by Lewis,              50

  The Beautiful French Girl,       50

  Father Clement, paper,           50
  do.   do.  cloth,                75

  Miser's Heir, paper,             50
  do.  do. cloth,                  75

  Kate Kennedy,                    50

  The Admiral's Daughter           50

  The American Joe Miller,         50

  Ella Stratford,                  50

  Josephine, by Grace Aguilar,     50

  The Fortune Hunter,              50

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  Jenny Ambrose,                   50

  Train's Union Speeches,          50

  The Romish Confessional,         50

  Victims of Amusements,           50

  Ladies' Work Table Book,         50

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  General Scott's $5 Portrait,  $1 00

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  Father Tom and the Pope, in cloth gilt, 75 cents, or paper,  50


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WORKS AT 25 CENTS. BY BEST AUTHORS.

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THE SHAKSPEARE NOVELS.

  Shakspeare and his Friends,  $1 00

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Above three Books are also in one volume, cloth. Price Four Dollars.


WAVERLEY NOVELS. BY SIR WALTER SCOTT.

  Ivanhoe,                    20

  Rob Roy,                    20

  Guy Mannering,              20

  The Antiquary,              20

  Old Mortality,              20

  Heart of Mid Lothian,       20

  Bride of Lammermoor,        20

  Waverley,                   20

  St. Ronan's Well,           20

  Kenilworth,                 20

  The Pirate,                 20

  The Monastery,              20

  The Abbot,                  20

  The Fortunes of Nigel,      20

  The Betrothed,              20

  Peveril of the Peak,        20

  Quentin Durward,            20

  Red Gauntlet,               20

  The Talisman,               20

  Woodstock,                  20

  Highland Widow, etc.        20

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  Anne of Geierstein,         20

  Count Robert of Paris,      20

  The Black Dwarf and Legend
    of Montrose,              20

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Above edition is the cheapest in the world, and is complete in
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A finer edition is also published of each of the above, complete in
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  Moredun. A Tale of 1210,    50

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  Life of Scott, cloth,     2 50


"NEW NATIONAL EDITION" OF WAVERLEY NOVELS.

This edition of the Waverley Novels is contained in _five large octavo
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  Price of a set, in Black cloth, in five volumes,            $15 00
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  The Complete Prose and Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott,
  are also published in ten volumes, bound in half calf, for  $60 00


SIR E. L. BULWER'S NOVELS.

  The Roue,      50

  The Oxonians,  50

  The Courtier,  25

  Falkland,      25

       *       *       *       *       *

  =Above Books will be sent, postage paid, on Receipt of Retail Price,
         by T. B. Peterson & Brothers, Philadelphia, Pa.=



EVERY LADY SHOULD HAVE IT.

       *       *       *       *       *

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Specimens sent gratis if written for.



[Transcibers note:

Notable changes made:-


The table of contents for Letter XXVIII was fixed, page 272 instead of
273.

The letter descriptions were changed to make them consistent with the
table of contents. These minor changes have been made without note.

In the following list the text as corrected is listed first, original is
second:


First illustration caption was modified to make it consistent with the
text:

"Come, now, s'posing we strike up a trade. I've took a sort of a
sneaking notion to that ere new-fashioned side-saddle. So if you'll
throw in the tackling, I'll give you ten dollars for it, cash on the
nail."

"Come, now, s'posing we strike up a trade. I've took a sort of a
sneaking notion to that _are_ new-fashioned side-saddle. So, if you'll
throw in the tackling, I'll give you ten dollars for it, cash on the
nail."


Other changes made to body of text:

Pg. 19
the harnsome critters that the niggers drive about them coaches
the _barnsome_ critters that the niggers drive about them coaches

Pg. 35
believe such a lot of white Injuns ever got together before, or
believe such a lot of white _Inguns_ ever got together before, or

Pg. 82
"Oh, I haint partic'lar," sez I; "you may take up any you
"Oh, I haint _parlic'lar_," sez I; "you may take up any you

Pg. 97
could be tu help the hens feed their little chickens.
could be _to_ tu help the hens feed their little chickens.

Pg. 115
a good turkey with plenty of gravy
a _gook_ turkey with plenty of gravy

Pg. 142
pulled foot like scared sheep, till I got outside the door.
pulled foot like _sacred_ sheep, till I got outside the door.

Pg. 176
the Russian Embassador's wife and all on 'em."
the Russian _Elbassador's_ wife and all on 'em."

Pg. 246
till she couldn't sleep a nights, and now as it's jest coming on to
till she _couln't_ sleep a nights, and now as it's jest coming on to

Pg. 250
scary as it was before.
_sarcy_ as it was before.

Pg. 287
sharp as darningneedles, but you never could ketch them a lookin
_sharb_ as darningneedles, but you never could ketch them a lookin

Pg. 290
tip eend of her leetle finger lie agin my wrist. I swore it made
tip eend of her leetle finger lie agin my wrist. I _snore_ it made


In adverts

Brian O'Linn, 75
Brian _O'Lynn_, 75

CAPTAIN MARRYAT'S WORKS.
CAPTAIN _MARRYATT'S_ WORKS.]





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