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Title: The Attaché; or, Sam Slick in England — Volume 01
Author: Haliburton, Thomas Chandler
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE ATTACHE

or, SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND, Volume 1

By Thomas Chandler Haliburton


(Greek Text)--GREEK PROVERB.

Tell you what, report my speeches if you like, but if you put my talk
in, I’ll give you the mitten, as sure as you are born.--SLICKVILLE
TRANSLATION



London, July 3rd, 1843.

MY DEAR HOPKINSON,

I have spent so many agreeable hours at Edgeworth heretofore, that my
first visit on leaving London, will be to your hospitable mansion. In
the meantime, I beg leave to introduce to you my “Attache,” who will
precede me several days. His politics are similar to your own; I wish I
could say as much in favour of his humour. His eccentricities will stand
in need of your indulgence; but if you can overlook these, I am not
without hopes that his originality, quaint sayings, and queer views of
things in England, will afford you some amusement. At all events, I feel
assured you will receive him kindly; if not for his own merits, at least
for the sake of

Yours always,

THE AUTHOR.

To EDMUND HOPKINSON ESQ. Edgeworth, Gloucestershire.



     CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

     CHAPTER I.    UNCORKING A BOTTLE
     CHAPTER II.   A JUICY DAY IN THE COUNTRY
     CHAPTER III.  TYING A NIGHT-CAP
     CHAPTER IV.   HOME AND THE SEA
     CHAPTER V.    T’OTHER EEND OF THE GUN
     CHAPTER VI.   SMALL POTATOES AND FEW IN A HILL
     CHAPTER VII.  A GENTLEMAN AT LARGE
     CHAPTER VIII. SEEING LIVERPOOL
     CHAPTER IX.   CHANGING A NAME
     CHAPTER X.    THE NELSON MONUMENT
     CHAPTER XI.   COTTAGES
     CHAPTER XII.  STEALING THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
     CHAPTER XIII. NATUR’
     CHAPTER XIV.  THE SOCDOLAGER
     CHAPTER XV.   DINING OUT



THE ATTACHE; OR SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND.



CHAPTER I. UNCORKING A BOTTLE.

We left New York in the afternoon of -- day of May, 184-, and embarked
on board of the good Packet ship “Tyler” for England. Our party
consisted of the Reverend Mr. Hopewell, Samuel Slick, Esq., myself, and
Jube Japan, a black servant of the Attache.

I love brevity--I am a man of few words, and, therefore,
constitutionally economical of them; but brevity is apt to degenerate
into obscurity. Writing a book, however, and book-making, are two very
different things: “spinning a yarn” is mechanical, and book-making
savours of trade, and is the employment of a manufacturer. The author
by profession, weaves his web by the piece, and as there is much
competition in this branch of trade, extends it over the greatest
possible surface, so as to make the most of his raw material. Hence
every work of fancy is made to reach to three volumes, otherwise it will
not pay, and a manufacture that does not requite the cost of production,
invariably and inevitably terminates in bankruptcy. A thought,
therefore, like a pound of cotton, must be well spun out to be valuable.
It is very contemptuous to say of a man, that he has but one idea, but
it is the highest meed of praise that can be bestowed on a book. A man,
who writes thus, can write for ever.

Now, it is not only not my intention to write for ever, or as Mr. Slick
would say “for everlastinly;” but to make my bow and retire very soon
from the press altogether. I might assign many reasons for this modest
course, all of them plausible, and some of them indeed quite dignified.
I like dignity: any man who has lived the greater part of his life in
a colony is so accustomed to it, that he becomes quite enamoured of it,
and wrapping himself up in it as a cloak, stalks abroad the “observed of
all observers.” I could undervalue this species of writing if I
thought proper, affect a contempt for idiomatic humour, or hint at the
employment being inconsistent with the grave discharge of important
official duties, which are so distressingly onerous, as not to leave
me a moment for recreation; but these airs, though dignified, will
unfortunately not avail me. I shall put my dignity into my pocket,
therefore, and disclose the real cause of this diffidence.

In the year one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, I embarked at
Halifax on board the Buffalo store-ship for England. She was a noble
teak built ship of twelve or thirteen hundred tons burden, had excellent
accommodation, and carried over to merry old England, a very merry party
of passengers, _quorum parva pars fui_, a youngster just emerged from
college.

On the banks of Newfoundland we were becalmed, and the passengers amused
themselves by throwing overboard a bottle, and shooting at it with ball.
The guns used for this occasion, were the King’s muskets, taken from the
arm-chest on the quarter-deck. The shooting was execrable. It was hard
to say which were worse marksmen, the officers of the ship, or the
passengers. Not a bottle was hit: many reasons were offered for this
failure, but the two principal ones were, that the muskets were bad, and
that it required great skill to overcome the difficulty occasioned by
both, the vessel and the bottle being in motion at the same time, and
that motion dissimilar.

I lost my patience. I had never practised shooting with ball; I had
frightened a few snipe, and wounded a few partridges, but that was
the extent of my experience. I knew, however, that I could not by any
possibility shoot worse than every body else had done, and might by
accident shoot better.

“Give me a gun, Captain,” said I, “and I will shew you how to uncork
that bottle.”

I took the musket, but its weight was beyond my strength of arm. I was
afraid that I could not hold it out steadily, even for a moment, it was
so very heavy--I threw it up with a desperate effort and fired. The neck
of the bottle flew up in the air a full yard, and then disappeared. I
was amazed myself at my success. Every body was surprised, but as every
body attributed it to long practice, they were not so much astonished as
I was, who knew it was wholly owing to chance. It was a lucky hit, and I
made the most of it; success made me arrogant, and boy-like, I became a
boaster.

“Ah,” said I coolly, “you must be born with a rifle in your hand,
Captain, to shoot well. Every body shoots well in America. I do not call
myself a good shot. I have not had the requisite experience; but there
are those who can take out the eye of a squirrel at a hundred yards.”

“Can you see the eye of a squirrel at that distance?” said the Captain,
with a knowing wink of his own little ferret eye.

That question, which raised a general laugh at my expense, was a
puzzler. The absurdity of the story, which I had heard a thousand times,
never struck me so forcibly. But I was not to be pat down so easily.

“See it!” said I, “why not? Try it and you will find your sight improve
with your shooting. Now, I can’t boast of being a good marksman myself;
my studies” (and here I looked big, for I doubted if he could even read,
much less construe a chapter in the Greek Testament) “did not leave me
much time. A squirrel is too small an object for all but an experienced
man, but a “_large_” mark like a quart bottle can easily be hit at a
hundred yards--that is nothing.”

“I will take you a bet,” said he, “of a doubloon, you do not do it
again?”

“Thank you,” I replied with great indifference: “I never bet, and
besides, that gun has so injured my shoulder, that I could not, if I
would.”

By that accidental shot, I obtained a great name as a marksman, and by
prudence I retained it all the voyage. This is precisely my case now,
gentle reader. I made an accidental hit with the Clockmaker: when he
ceases to speak, I shall cease to write. The little reputation I then
acquired, I do not intend to jeopardize by trying too many experiments.
I know that it was chance--many people think it was skill. If they
choose to think so, they have a right to their opinion, and that opinion
is fame. I value this reputation too highly not to take care of it.

As I do not intend then to write often, I shall not wire-draw my
subjects, for the mere purpose of filling my pages. Still a book should
be perfect within itself, and intelligible without reference to other
books. Authors are vain people, and vanity as well as dignity is
indigenous to a colony. Like a pastry-cook’s apprentice, I see so much
of both their sweet things around me daily, that I have no appetite for
either of them.

I might perhaps be pardoned, if I took it for granted, that the
dramatis personae of this work were sufficiently known, not to require
a particular introduction. Dickens assumed the fact that his book on
America would travel wherever the English language was spoken, and,
therefore, called it “Notes for General Circulation.” Even Colonists
say, that this was too bad, and if they say so, it must be so. I shall,
therefore, briefly state, who and what the persons are that composed our
travelling party, as if they were wholly unknown to fame, and then leave
them to speak for themselves.

The Reverend Mr. Hopewell is a very aged clergyman of the Church of
England, and was educated at Cambridge College, in Massachusetts.
Previously to the revolution, he was appointed rector of a small parish
in Connecticut. When the colonies obtained their independence, he
remained with his little flock in his native land, and continued to
minister to their spiritual wants until within a few years, when his
parishioners becoming Unitarians, gave him his dismissal. Affable in
his manners and simple in his habits, with a mind well stored with human
lore, and a heart full of kindness for his fellow-creatures, he was at
once an agreeable and an instructive companion. Born and educated in the
United States, when they were British dependencies, and possessed of
a thorough knowledge of the causes which led to the rebellion, and the
means used to hasten the crisis, he was at home on all colonial
topics; while his great experience of both monarchical and democratical
governments, derived from a long residence in both, made him a most
valuable authority on politics generally.

Mr. Samuel Slick is a native of the same parish, and received his
education from Mr. Hopewell. I first became acquainted with him while
travelling in Nova Scotia. He was then a manufacturer and vendor of
wooden clocks. My first impression of him was by no means favourable. He
forced himself most unceremoniously into my company and conversation. I
was disposed to shake him off, but could not. Talk he would, and as his
talk was of that kind, which did not require much reply on my part, he
took my silence for acquiescence, and talked on. I soon found that he
was a character; and, as he knew every part of the lower colonies, and
every body in them, I employed him as my guide.

I have made at different times three several tours with him, the results
of which I have given in three several series of a work, entitled the
“Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Mr. Samuel Slick.” Our last
tour terminated at New York, where, in consequence of the celebrity he
obtained from these “Sayings and Doings” he received the appointment of
Attache to the American Legation at the Court of St. James’s. The
object of this work is to continue the record of his observations and
proceedings in England.

The third person of the party, gentle reader, is your humble servant,
Thomas Poker, Esquire, a native of Nova Scotia, and a retired member of
the Provincial bar. My name will seldom appear in these pages, as I am
uniformly addressed by both my companions as “Squire,” nor shall I have
to perform the disagreeable task of “reporting my own speeches,” for
naturally taciturn, I delight in listening rather than talking, and
modestly prefer the duties of an amanuensis, to the responsibilities of
original composition.

The last personage is Jube Japan, a black servant of the Attache.

Such are the persons who composed the little party that embarked at New
York, on board the Packet ship “Tyler,” and sailed on the -- of May,
184-, for England.

The motto prefixed to this work

   (Greek Text)

sufficiently explains its character. Classes and not individuals have
been selected for observation. National traits are fair subjects for
satire or for praise, but personal peculiarities claim the privilege of
exemption in right of that hospitality, through whose medium they have
been alone exhibited. Public topics are public property; every body has
a right to use them without leave and without apology. It is only when
we quit the limits of this “common” and enter upon “private grounds,”
 that we are guilty of “a trespass.” This distinction is alike obvious to
good sense and right feeling. I have endeavoured to keep it constantly
in view; and if at any time I shall be supposed to have erred (I say
“supposed,” for I am unconscious of having done so) I must claim the
indulgence always granted to involuntary offences.

Now the patience of my reader may fairly be considered a “private
right.” I shall, therefore, respect its boundaries and proceed at
once with my narrative, having been already quite long enough about
“uncorking a bottle.”



CHAPTER II. A JUICY DAY IN THE COUNTRY.

All our preparations for the voyage having been completed, we spent
the last day at our disposal, in visiting Brooklyn. The weather was
uncommonly fine, the sky being perfectly clear and unclouded; and though
the sun shone out brilliantly, the heat was tempered by a cool, bracing,
westwardly wind. Its influence was perceptible on the spirits of every
body on board the ferry-boat that transported us across the harbour.

“Squire,” said Mr. Slick, aint this as pretty a day as you’ll see atween
this and Nova Scotia?--You can’t beat American weather, when it chooses,
in no part of the world I’ve ever been in yet. This day is a tip-topper,
and it’s the last we’ll see of the kind till we get back agin, _I_ know.
Take a fool’s advice, for once, and stick to it, as long as there is any
of it left, for you’ll see the difference when you get to England. There
never was so rainy a place in the univarse, as that, I don’t think,
unless it’s Ireland, and the only difference atween them two is that it
rains every day amost in England, and in Ireland it rains every day and
every night too. It’s awful, and you must keep out of a country-house in
such weather, or you’ll go for it; it will kill you, that’s sartain. I
shall never forget a juicy day I once spent in one of them dismal old
places. I’ll tell you how I came to be there.

“The last time I was to England, I was a dinin’ with our consul
to Liverpool, and a very gentleman-like old man he was too; he was
appointed by Washington, and had been there ever since our glorious
revolution. Folks gave him a great name, they said he was a credit to
us. Well, I met at his table one day an old country squire, that lived
somewhere down in Shropshire, close on to Wales, and says he to me,
arter cloth was off and cigars on, ‘Mr. Slick,’ says he, ‘I’ll be very
glad to see you to Norman Manor,’ (that was the place where he staid,
when he was to home). ‘If you will return with me I shall be glad
to shew you the country in my neighbourhood, which is said to be
considerable pretty.’

“‘Well,’ says I, ‘as I have nothin’ above particular to see to, I don’t
care if I do go.’

“So off we started; and this I will say, he was as kind as he cleverly
knew how to be, and that is sayin’ a great deal for a man that didn’t
know nothin’ out of sight of his own clearin’ hardly.

“Now, when we got there, the house was chock full of company, and
considerin’ it warn’t an overly large one, and that Britishers won’t
stay in a house, unless every feller gets a separate bed, it’s a wonder
to me, how he stowed away as many as he did. Says he, ‘Excuse your
quarters, Mr. Slick, but I find more company nor I expected here. In
a day or two, some on ‘em will be off, and then you shall be better
provided.’

“With that I was showed up a great staircase, and out o’ that by a
door-way into a narrer entry and from that into an old T like looking
building, that stuck out behind the house. It warn’t the common company
sleepin’ room, I expect, but kinder make shifts, tho’ they was good
enough too for the matter o’ that; at all events I don’t want no better.

“Well, I had hardly got well housed a’most, afore it came on to rain, as
if it was in rael right down airnest. It warn’t just a roarin’, racin’,
sneezin’ rain like a thunder shower, but it kept a steady travellin’
gait, up hill and down dale, and no breathin’ time nor batin’ spell.
It didn’t look as if it would stop till it was done, that’s a fact. But
still as it was too late to go out agin that arternoon, I didn’t think
much about it then. I hadn’t no notion what was in store for me next
day, no more nor a child; if I had, I’d a double deal sooner hanged
myself, than gone brousing in such place as that, in sticky weather.

“A wet day is considerable tiresome, any where or any way you can fix
it; but it’s wus at an English country house than any where else, cause
you are among strangers, formal, cold, gallus polite, and as thick in
the head-piece as a puncheon. You hante nothin’ to do yourself and they
never have nothin’ to do; they don’t know nothin’ about America, and
don’t want to. Your talk don’t interest them, and they can’t talk to
interest nobody but themselves; all you’ve got to do, is to pull out
your watch and see how time goes; how much of the day is left, and then
go to the winder and see how the sky looks, and whether there is any
chance of holdin’ up or no. Well, that time I went to bed a little
airlier than common, for I felt considerable sleepy, and considerable
strange too; so as soon as I cleverly could, I off and turned in.

“Well I am an airly riser myself. I always was from a boy, so I waked up
jist about the time when day ought to break, and was a thinkin’ to get
up; but the shutters was too, and it was as dark as ink in the room, and
I heer’d it rainin’ away for dear life. ‘So,’ sais I to myself, ‘what
the dogs is the use of gittin’ up so airly? I can’t get out and get a
smoke, and I can’t do nothin’ here; so here goes for a second nap.’ Well
I was soon off agin in a most a beautiful of a snore, when all at once
I heard thump-thump agin the shutter--and the most horrid noise I ever
heerd since I was raised; it was sunthin’ quite onairthly.

“‘Hallo!’ says I to myself, ‘what in natur is all this hubbub about?
Can this here confounded old house be harnted? Is them spirits that’s
jabbering gibberish there, or is I wide awake or no?’ So I sets right
up on my hind legs in bed, rubs my eyes, opens my ears and listens
agin, when whop went every shutter agin, with a dead heavy sound, like
somethin’ or another thrown agin ‘em, or fallin’ agin ‘em, and then
comes the unknown tongues in discord chorus like. Sais I, ‘I know now,
it’s them cussed navigators. They’ve besot the house, and are a givin’
lip to frighten folks. It’s regular banditti.’

“So I jist hops out of bed, and feels for my trunk, and outs with
my talkin’ irons, that was all ready loaded, pokes my way to the
winder--shoves the sash up and outs with the shutter, ready to let slip
among ‘em. And what do you think it was?--Hundreds and hundreds of them
nasty, dirty, filthy, ugly, black devils of rooks, located in the trees
at the back eend of the house. Old Nick couldn’t have slept near ‘em;
caw caw, caw, all mixt up together in one jumble of a sound, like
“jawe.”

“You black, evil-lookin’, foul-mouthed villains,’ sais I, ‘I’d like
no better sport than jist to sit here, all this blessed day with these
pistols, and drop you one arter another, _I_ know.’ But they was pets,
was them rooks, and of course like all pets, everlastin’ nuisances to
every body else.

“Well, when a man’s in a feeze, there’s no more sleep that hitch; so I
dresses and sits up; but what was I to do? It was jist half past four,
and as it was a rainin’ like every thing, I know’d breakfast wouldn’t be
ready till eleven o’clock, for nobody wouldn’t get up if they could help
it--they wouldn’t be such fools; so there was jail for six hours and a
half.

“Well, I walked up and down the room, as easy as I could, not to waken
folks; but three steps and a round turn makes you kinder dizzy, so I
sits down again to chaw the cud of vexation.

“‘Ain’t this a handsum fix?’ sais I, ‘but it sarves you right, what
busniss had you here at all? you always was a fool, and always will be
to the eend of the chapter.--‘What in natur are you a scoldin’ for?’
sais I: ‘that won’t mend the matter; how’s time? They must soon be a
stirrin’ now, I guess.’ Well, as I am a livin’ sinner, it was only five
o’clock; ‘oh dear,’ sais I, ‘time is like women and pigs the more you
want it to go, the more it won’t. What on airth shall I do?--guess, I’ll
strap my rasor.’

“Well, I strapped and strapped away, until it would cut a single hair
pulled strait up on eend out o’ your head, without bendin’ it--take it
off slick. ‘Now,’ sais I, ‘I’ll mend my trowsers I tore, a goin’ to
see the ruin on the road yesterday; so I takes out Sister Sall’s little
needle-case, and sows away till I got them to look considerable jam
agin; ‘and then,’ sais I, ‘here’s a gallus button off, I’ll jist fix
that,’ and when that was done, there was a hole to my yarn sock, so I
turned too and darned that.

“‘Now,’ sais I, ‘how goes it? I’m considerable sharp set. It must be
gettin’ tolerable late now.’ It wanted a quarter to six. ‘My! sakes,’
sais I, ‘five hours and a quarter yet afore feedin’ time; well if that
don’t pass. What shall I do next?’ ‘I’ll tell you what to do,’ sais I,
‘smoke, that will take the edge of your appetite off, and if they don’t
like it, they may lump it; what business have they to keep them horrid
screetchin’ infarnal, sleepless rooks to disturb people that way?’ Well,
I takes a lucifer, and lights a cigar, and I puts my head up the chimbly
to let the smoke off, and it felt good, I promise _you_. I don’t know as
I ever enjoyed one half so much afore. It had a rael first chop flavour
had that cigar.

“‘When that was done,’ sais I, ‘What do you say to another?’ ‘Well, I
don’t know,’ sais I, ‘I should like it, that’s a fact; but holdin’ of
my head crooked up chimbly that way, has a’ most broke my neck; I’ve got
the cramp in it like.’

“So I sot, and shook my head first a one side and then the other, and
then turned it on its hinges as far as it would go, till it felt about
right, and then I lights another, and puts my head in the flue again.

“Well, smokin’ makes, a feller feel kinder good-natured, and I began to
think it warn’t quite so bad arter all, when whop went my cigar right
out of my mouth into my bosom, atween the shirt and the skin, and burnt
me like a gally nipper. Both my eyes was fill’d at the same time, and
I got a crack on the pate from some critter or another that clawed and
scratched my head like any thing, and then seemed to empty a bushel of
sut on me, and I looked like a chimbly sweep, and felt like old Scratch
himself. My smoke had brought down a chimbly swaller, or a martin, or
some such varmint, for it up and off agin’ afore I could catch it, to
wring its infarnal neck off, that’s a fact.

“Well, here was somethin’ to do, and no mistake: here was to clean and
groom up agin’ till all was in its right shape; and a pretty job it was,
I tell you. I thought I never should get the sut out of my hair, and
then never get it out of my brush again, and my eyes smarted so, they
did nothing but water, and wink, and make faces. But I did; I worked on
and worked on, till all was sot right once more.

“‘Now,’ sais I, ‘how’s time?’ ‘half past seven,’ sais I, ‘and three
hours and a half more yet to breakfast. Well,’ sais I, ‘I can’t stand
this--and what’s more I won’t: I begin to get my Ebenezer up, and feel
wolfish. I’ll ring up the handsum chamber-maid, and just fall to, and
chaw her right up--I’m savagerous.’* ‘That’s cowardly,’ sais I, ‘call
the footman, pick a quarrel with him and kick him down stairs, speak but
one word to him, and let that be strong enough to skin the coon arter it
has killed him, the noise will wake up folks _I_ know, and then we shall
have sunthin’ to eat.’

[* Footnote: The word “savagerous” is not of “Yankee” but of “Western
origin.”--Its use in this place is best explained by the following
extract from the Third Series of the Clockmaker. “In order that the
sketch which I am now about to give may be fully understood, it may
be necessary to request the reader to recollect that Mr. Slick is a
_Yankee_, a designation the origin of which is now not very obvious,
but it has been assumed by, and conceded by common consent to, the
inhabitants of New England. It is a name, though sometimes satirically
used, of which they have great reason to be proud, as it is descriptive
of a most cultivated, intelligent, enterprising, frugal, and industrious
population, who may well challenge a comparison with the inhabitants of
any other country in the world; but it has only a local application.

“The United States cover an immense extent of territory, and the
inhabitants of different parts of the Union differ as widely in
character, feelings, and even in appearance, as the people of different
countries usually do. These sections differ also in dialect and in
humour, as much as in other things, and to as great, if not a greater
extent, than the natives of different parts of Great Britain vary from
each other. It is customary in Europe to call all Americans, Yankees;
but it is as much a misnomer as it would be to call all Europeans
Frenchmen. Throughout these works it will be observed, that Mr. Slick’s
pronunciation is that of the Yankee, or an inhabitant of the _rural
districts_ of New England. His conversation is generally purely so; but
in some instances he uses, as his countrymen frequently do from choice,
phrases which, though Americanisms, are not of Eastern origin. Wholly
to exclude these would be to violate the usages of American life; to
introduce them oftener would be to confound two dissimilar dialects,
and to make an equal departure from the truth. Every section has its own
characteristic dialect, a very small portion of which it has imparted
to its neighbours. The dry, quaint humour of New England is occasionally
found in the west, and the rich gasconade and exaggerative language of
the west migrates not unfrequently to the east. This idiomatic
exchange is perceptibly on the increase. It arises from the travelling
propensities of the Americans, and the constant intercourse mutually
maintained by the inhabitants of the different States. A droll or
an original expression is thus imported and adopted, and, though not
indigenous, soon becomes engrafted on the general stock of the language
of the country.”--3rd Series, p. 142.]

“I was ready to bile right over, when as luck would have it, the rain
stopt all of a sudden, the sun broke out o’ prison, and I thought I
never seed any thing look so green and so beautiful as the country
did. ‘Come,’ sais I, ‘now for a walk down the avenue, and a comfortable
smoke, and if the man at the gate is up and stirrin’, I will just pop in
and breakfast with him and his wife. There is some natur there, but here
it’s all cussed rooks and chimbly swallers, and heavy men and fat
women, and lazy helps, and Sunday every day in the week.’ So I fills my
cigar-case and outs into the passage.

“But here was a fix! One of the doors opened into the great staircase,
and which was it? ‘Ay,’ sais I, ‘which is it, do you know?’ ‘Upon my
soul, I don’t know,’ sais I; ‘but try, it’s no use to be caged up here
like a painter, and out I will, that’s a fact.’

“So I stops and studies, ‘that’s it,’ sais I, and I opens a door: it was
a bedroom--it was the likely chambermaid’s.

“‘Softly, Sir,’ sais she, a puttin’ of her finger on her lip, ‘don’t
make no noise; Missus will hear you.’

“‘Yes,’ sais I, ‘I won’t make no noise;’ and I outs and shuts the door
too arter me gently.

“‘What next?’ sais I; ‘why you fool, you,’ sais I, ‘why didn’t you ax
the sarvant maid, which door it was?’ ‘Why I was so conflastrigated,’
sais I, ‘I didn’t think of it. Try that door,’ well I opened another, it
belonged to one o’ the horrid hansum stranger galls that dined at table
yesterday. When she seed me, she gave a scream, popt her head onder the
clothes, like a terrapin, and vanished--well I vanished too.

“‘Ain’t this too bad?’ sais I; ‘I wish I could open a man’s door, I’d
lick him out of spite; I hope I may be shot if I don’t, and I doubled
up my fist, for I didn’t like it a spec, and opened another door--it was
the housekeeper’s. ‘Come,’ sais I, ‘I won’t be balked no more.’ She sot
up and fixed her cap. A woman never forgets the becomins.

“‘Anything I can do for you, Sir?’ sais she, and she raelly did look
pretty; all good natur’d people, it appears to me, do look so.

“‘Will you be so good as to tell me, which door leads to the staircase,
Marm?’ sais I.

“‘Oh, is that all?’ sais she, (I suppose, she thort I wanted her to
get up and get breakfast for me,) ‘it’s the first on the right, and she
fixed her cap agin’ and laid down, and I took the first on the right and
off like a blowed out candle. There was the staircase. I walked down,
took my hat, onbolted the outer door, and what a beautiful day was
there. I lit my cigar, I breathed freely, and I strolled down the
avenue.

“The bushes glistened, and the grass glistened, and the air was sweet,
and the birds sung, and there was natur’ once more. I walked to the
lodge; they had breakfasted had the old folks, so I chatted away with
them for a considerable of a spell about matters and things in general,
and then turned towards the house agin’. ‘Hallo!’ sais I, ‘what’s this?
warn’t that a drop of rain?’ I looks up, it was another shower by Gosh.
I pulls foot for dear life: it was tall walking you may depend, but the
shower wins, (comprehens_ive_ as my legs be), and down it comes, as hard
as all possest. ‘Take it easy, Sam,’ sais I, ‘your flint is fixed; you
are wet thro’--runnin’ won’t dry you,’ and I settled down to a careless
walk, quite desperate.

“‘Nothin’ in natur’, unless it is an Ingin, is so treacherous as the
climate here. It jist clears up on purpose I do believe, to tempt you
out without your umbreller, and jist as sure as you trust it and leave
it to home, it clouds right up, and sarves you out for it--it does
indeed. What a sight of new clothes I’ve spilte here, for the rain has a
sort of dye in it. It stains so, it alters the colour of the cloth, for
the smoke is filled with gas and all sorts of chemicals. Well, back I
goes to my room agin’ to the rooks, chimbly swallers, and all, leavin’
a great endurin’ streak of wet arter me all the way, like a cracked
pitcher that leaks; onriggs, and puts on dry clothes from head to foot.

“By this time breakfast is ready; but the English don’t do nothin’ like
other folks; I don’t know whether it’s affectation, or bein’ wrong in
the head--a little of both I guess. Now where do you suppose the solid
part of breakfast is, Squire? Why, it’s on the side-board--I hope I may
be shot if it ain’t--well, the tea and coffee are on the table, to make
it as onconvenient as possible.

“Says I, to the lady of the house, as I got up to help myself, for I was
hungry enough to make beef ache I know. ‘Aunty,’ sais I, ‘you’ll excuse
me, but why don’t you put the eatables on the table, or else put the
tea on the side-board? They’re like man and wife, they don’t ought to be
separated, them two.’

“She looked at me, oh what a look of pity it was”, as much as to
say, ‘Where have you been all your born days, not to know better nor
that?--but I guess you don’t know better in the States--how could you
know any thing there?’ But she only said it was the custom here, for she
was a very purlite old woman, was Aunty.

“Well sense is sense, let it grow where it will, and I guess we raise
about the best kind, which is common sense, and I warn’t to be put down
with short metre, arter that fashion. So I tried the old man; sais I,
‘Uncle,’ sais I, ‘if you will divorce the eatables from the drinkables
that way, why not let the servants come and tend. It’s monstrous
onconvenient and ridikilous to be a jumpin’ up for everlastinly that
way; you can’t sit still one blessed minit.’

“‘We think it pleasant,’ said he, ‘sometimes to dispense with their
attendance.’

“‘Exactly,’ sais I, ‘then dispense with sarvants at dinner, for when
the wine is in, the wit is out.’ (I said that to compliment him, for the
critter had no wit in at no time,) ‘and they hear all the talk. But at
breakfast every one is only half awake, (especially when you rise so
airly as you do in this country,’ sais I, but the old critter couldn’t
see a joke, even if he felt it, and he didn’t know I was a funnin’.)
‘Folks are considerably sharp set at breakfast,’ sais I, ‘and not very
talkat_ive_. That’s the right time to have sarvants to tend on you.’

“‘What an idea!’ said he, and he puckered up his pictur, and the way he
stared was a caution to an owl.

“Well, we sot and sot till I was tired, so thinks I, ‘what’s next?’ for
it’s rainin’ agin as hard as ever.’ So I took a turn in the study
to sarch for a book, but there was nothin’ there, but a Guide to the
Sessions, Burn’s Justice, and a book of London club rules, and two or
three novels. He said he got books from the sarkilatin’ library.

“‘Lunch is ready.’

“‘What, eatin’ agin? My goody!’ thinks I, ‘if you are so fond of it, why
the plague don’t you begin airly? If you’d a had it at five o’clock this
morning, I’d a done justice to it; now I couldn’t touch it if I was to
die.’

“There it was, though. Help yourself, and no thanks, for there is no
sarvants agin. The rule here is, no talk no sarvants--and when it’s all
talk, it’s all sarvants.

“Thinks I to myself, ‘now, what shall I do till dinner-time, for it
rains so there is no stirrin’ out?--Waiter, where is eldest son?--he and
I will have a game of billiards, I guess.’

“‘He is laying down, sir.’

“‘Shows his sense,’ sais I, ‘I see, he is not the fool I took him to be.
If I could sleep in the day, I’de turn in too. Where is second son?’

“‘Left this mornin’ in the close carriage, sir.’

“‘Oh cuss him, it was him then was it?’

“‘What, Sir?’

“‘That woke them confounded rooks up, out o’ their fust nap, and kick’t
up such a bobbery. Where is the Parson?’

“‘Which one, Sir?’

“‘The one that’s so fond of fishing.’

“‘Ain’t up yet, Sir.’

“‘Well, the old boy, that wore breeches.’

“Out on a sick visit to one of the cottages, Sir.’

“When he comes in, send him to me, I’m shockin’ sick.’

“With that I goes to look arter the two pretty galls in the drawin’
room; and there was the ladies a chatterin’ away like any thing. The
moment I came in it was as dumb as a quaker’s meetin’. They all hauled
up at once, like a stage-coach to an inn-door, from a hand-gallop to a
stock still stand. I seed men warn’t wanted there, it warn’t the custom
so airly, so I polled out o’ that creek, starn first. They don’t like
men in the mornin’, in England, do the ladies; they think ‘em in the
way.

“‘What on airth, shall I do?’ says I, ‘it’s nothin’ but rain, rain,
rain--here in this awful dismal country. Nobody smokes, nobody talks,
nobody plays cards, nobody fires at a mark, and nobody trades; only
let me get thro’ this juicy day, and I am done: let me get out of this
scrape, and if I am caught agin, I’ll give you leave to tell me of
it, in meetin’. It tante pretty, I do suppose to be a jawin’ with
the butler, but I’ll make an excuse for a talk, for talk comes kinder
nateral to me, like suction to a snipe.’

“‘Waiter?’

“‘Sir.’

“‘Galls don’t like to be tree’d here of a mornin’ do they?’

“‘Sir.’

“‘It’s usual for the ladies,’ sais I, ‘to be together in the airly part
of the forenoon here, ain’t it, afore the gentlemen jine them?’

“‘Yes, Sir.’

“‘It puts me in mind,’ sais I, ‘of the old seals down to Sable
Island--you know where Sable Isle is, don’t you?’

“‘Yes, Sir, it’s in the cathedral down here.’

“‘No, no, not that, it’s an island on the coast of Nova Scotia. You know
where that is sartainly.’

“‘I never heard of it, Sir.’

“‘Well, Lord love you! you know what an old seal is?’

“‘Oh, yes, sir, I’ll get you my master’s in a moment.’

And off he sot full chisel.

“Cus him! he is as stupid as a rook, that crittur, it’s no use to tell
him a story, and now I think of it, I will go and smoke them black imps
of darkness,--the rooks.’

“So I goes up stairs, as slowly as I cleverly could, jist liftin’ one
foot arter another as if it had a fifty-six tied to it, on pupus to
spend time; lit a cigar, opened the window nearest the rooks, and
smoked, but oh the rain killed all the smoke in a minite; it didn’t even
make one on ‘em sneeze. ‘Dull musick this, Sam,’ sais I, ‘ain’t it? Tell
you what: I’ll put on my ile-skin, take an umbreller and go and talk to
the stable helps, for I feel as lonely as a catamount, and as dull as a
bachelor beaver. So I trampousses off to the stable, and says I to the
head man, ‘A smart little hoss that,’ sais I, ‘you are a cleaning of: he
looks like a first chop article that.’

“‘Y mae’,’ sais he.

“‘Hullo,’ sais I, ‘what in natur’ is this? Is it him that can’t speak
English, or me that can’t onderstand? for one on us is a fool, that’s
sartain. I’ll try him agin.

“So I sais to him, ‘He looks,’ sais I, ‘as if he’d trot a considerable
good stick, that horse,’ sais I, ‘I guess he is a goer.’

“Y’ mae, ye un trotter da,’ sais he.

“‘Creation!’ sais I, ‘if this don’t beat gineral trainin’. I have heerd
in my time, broken French, broken Scotch, broken Irish, broken Yankee,
broken Nigger, and broken Indgin; but I have hearn two pure gene_wine_
languages to-day, and no mistake, rael rook, and rael Britton, and I
don’t exactly know which I like wus. It’s no use to stand talkin’ to
this critter. Good-bye,’ sais I.

“Now what do you think he said? Why, you would suppose he’d say good-bye
too, wouldn’t you? Well, he didn’t, nor nothin’ like it, but he jist
ups, and sais, ‘Forwelloaugh,’ he did, upon my soul. I never felt so
stumpt afore in all my life. Sais I, ‘Friend, here is half a dollar for
you; it arn’t often I’m brought to a dead stare, and when I am, I am
willin’ to pay for it.’

“There’s two languages, Squire, that’s univarsal: the language of love,
and the language of money; the galls onderstand the one, and the men
onderstand the other, all the wide world over, from Canton to Niagara. I
no sooner showed him the half dollar, than it walked into his pocket, a
plaguy sight quicker than it will walk out, I guess.

“Sais I, ‘Friend, you’ve taken the consait out of me properly. Captain
Hall said there warn’t a man, woman, or child, in the whole of the
thirteen united univarsal worlds of our great Republic, that could speak
pure English, and I was a goin’ to kick him for it; but he is right,
arter all. There ain’t one livin’ soul on us can; I don’t believe they
ever as much as heerd it, for I never did, till this blessed day, and
there are few things I haven’t either see’d, or heern tell of. Yes,
we can’t speak English, do you take?’ ‘Dim comrag,’ sais he, which in
Yankee, means, “that’s no English,” and he stood, looked puzzled, and
scratched his head, rael hansum, ‘Dim comrag,’ sais he.

“Well, it made me larf spiteful. I felt kinder wicked, and as _I_ had
a hat on, and I couldn’t scratch my head, I stood jist like him, clown
fashion, with my eyes wanderin’ and my mouth wide open, and put my hand
behind me, and scratched there; and I stared, and looked puzzled too,
and made the same identical vacant face he did, and repeated arter him
slowly, with another scratch, mocking him like, ‘Dim comrag.’

“Such a pair o’ fools you never saw, Squire, since the last time you
shaved afore a lookin’ glass; and the stable boys larfed, and he larfed,
and I larfed, and it was the only larf I had all that juicy day.

“Well, I turns agin to the door; but it’s the old story over
again--rain, rain, rain; spatter, spatter, spatter,--‘I can’t stop
here with these true Brittons,’ sais I, ‘guess I’ll go and see the old
Squire: he is in his study.’

“So I goes there: ‘Squire,’ sais I, ‘let me offer you a rael gene_wine_
Havana cigar; I can recommend it to you.’ He thanks me, he don’t smoke,
but plague take him, he don’t say, ‘If you are fond of smokin’, pray
smoke yourself.’ And he is writing I won’t interrupt him.

“‘Waiter, order me a post-chaise, to be here in the mornin’, when the
rooks wake.’

“‘Yes, Sir.’

“Come, I’ll try the women folk in the drawin’-room, agin’. Ladies don’t
mind the rain here; they are used to it. It’s like the musk plant, arter
you put it to your nose once, you can’t smell it a second time. Oh what
beautiful galls they be! What a shame it is to bar a feller out such a
day as this. One on ‘em blushes like a red cabbage, when she speaks to
me, that’s the one, I reckon, I disturbed this mornin’. Cuss the rooks!
I’ll pyson them, and that won’t make no noise.

“She shows me the consarvitery. ‘Take care, Sir, your coat has caught
this geranium,’ and she onhitches it. ‘Stop, Sir, you’ll break this
jilly flower,’ and she lifts off the coat tail agin; in fact, it’s so
crowded, you can’t squeeze along, scarcely, without a doin’ of mischief
somewhere or another.

“Next time, she goes first, and then it’s my turn, ‘Stop, Miss,’ sais
I, ‘your frock has this rose tree over,’ and I loosens it; once
more, ‘Miss, this rose has got tangled,’ and I ontangles it from her
furbeloes.

“I wonder what makes my hand shake so, and my heart it bumps so, it has
bust a button off. If I stay in this consarvitery, I shan’t consarve
myself long, that’s a fact, for this gall has put her whole team on, and
is a runnin’ me off the road. ‘Hullo! what’s that? Bell for dressin’
for dinner.’ Thank Heavens! I shall escape from myself, and from this
beautiful critter, too, for I’m gettin’ spoony, and shall talk silly
presently.

“I don’t like to be left alone with a gall, it’s plaguy apt to set me a
soft sawderin’ and a courtin’. There’s a sort of nateral attraction like
in this world. Two ships in a calm, are sure to get up alongside of each
other, if there is no wind, and they have nothin’ to do, but look at
each other; natur’ does it. “Well, even, the tongs and the shovel, won’t
stand alone long; they’re sure to get on the same side of the fire,
and be sociable; one on ‘em has a loadstone and draws ‘tother, that’s
sartain. If that’s the case with hard-hearted things, like oak and
iron, what is it with tender hearted things like humans? Shut me up in
a ‘sarvatory with a hansum gall of a rainy day, and see if I don’t think
she is the sweetest flower in it. Yes, I am glad it is the dinner-bell,
for I ain’t ready to marry yet, and when I am, I guess I must get a gall
where I got my hoss, in Old Connecticut, and that state takes the shine
off of all creation for geese, galls and onions, that’s a fact.

“Well dinner won’t wait, so I ups agin once more near the rooks, to
brush up a bit; but there it is agin the same old tune, the whole
blessed day, rain, rain, rain. It’s rained all day and don’t talk of
stoppin’ nother. How I hate the sound, and how streaked I feel. I don’t
mind its huskin’ my voice, for there is no one to talk to, but cuss it,
it has softened my bones.

“Dinner is ready; the rain has damped every body’s spirits, and
squenched ‘em out; even champaign won’t raise ‘em agin; feedin’ is
heavy, talk is heavy, time is heavy, tea is heavy, and there ain’t
musick; the only thing that’s light is a bed room candle--heavens and
airth how glad I am this ‘_juicy day_’ is over!”



CHAPTER III. TYING A NIGHT-CAP.

In the preceding sketch I have given Mr. Slick’s account of the English
climate, and his opinion of the dulness of a country house, as nearly
as possible in his own words. It struck me at the time that they were
exaggerated views; but if the weather were unpropitious, and the company
not well selected, I can easily conceive, that the impression on his
mind would be as strong and as unfavourable, as he has described it to
have been.

The climate of England is healthy, and, as it admits of much out-door
exercise, and is not subject to any very sudden variation, or violent
extremes of heat and cold, it may be said to be good, though not
agreeable; but its great humidity is very sensibly felt by Americans and
other foreigners accustomed to a dry atmosphere and clear sky. That Mr.
Slick should find a rainy day in the country dull, is not to be wondered
at; it is probable it would be so any where, to a man who had so few
resources, within himself, as the Attache. Much of course depends on the
inmates; and the company at the Shropshire house, to which he alludes,
do not appear to have been the best calculated to make the state of the
weather a matter of indifference to him.

I cannot say, but that I have at times suffered a depression of spirits
from the frequent, and sometimes long continued rains of this country;
but I do not know that, as an ardent admirer of scenery, I would desire
less humidity, if it diminished, as I fear it would, the extraordinary
verdure and great beauty of the English landscape. With respect to my
own visits at country houses, I have generally been fortunate in the
weather, and always in the company; but I can easily conceive, that a
man situated as Mr. Slick appears to have been with respect to both,
would find the combination intolerably dull. But to return to my
narrative.

Early on the following day we accompanied our luggage to the wharf,
where a small steamer lay to convey us to the usual anchorage ground
of the packets, in the bay. We were attended by a large concourse of
people. The piety, learning, unaffected simplicity, and kind disposition
of my excellent friend, Mr. Hopewell, were well known and fully
appreciated by the people of New York, who were anxious to testify
their respect for his virtues, and their sympathy for his unmerited
persecution, by a personal escort and a cordial farewell.

“Are all those people going with us, Sam?” said he; “how pleasant it
will be to have so many old friends on board, won’t it?”

“No, Sir,” said the Attache, “they are only a goin’ to see you on
board--it is a mark of respect to you. They will go down to the “Tyler,”
 to take their last farewell of you.”

“Well, that’s kind now, ain’t it?” he replied. “I suppose they thought
I would feel kinder dull and melancholy like, on leaving my native land
this way; and I must say I don’t feel jist altogether right neither.
Ever so many things rise right up in my mind, not one arter another, but
all together like, so that I can’t take ‘em one by one and reason ‘em
down, but they jist overpower me by numbers. You understand me, Sam,
don’t you?”

“Poor old critter!” said Mr. Slick to me in an under-tone, “it’s
no wonder he is sad, is it? I must try to cheer him up, if I can.
Understand you, minister!” said he, “to be sure I do. I have been that
way often and often. That was the case when I was to Lowel factories,
with the galls a taking of them off in the paintin’ line. The dear
little critters kept up such an everlastin’ almighty clatter, clatter,
clatter; jabber, jabber, jabber, all talkin’ and chatterin’ at once,
you couldn’t hear no blessed one of them; and they jist fairly stunned a
feller. For nothin’ in natur’, unless it be perpetual motion, can equal
a woman’s tongue. It’s most a pity we hadn’t some of the angeliferous
little dears with us too, for they do make the time pass quick, that’s
a fact. I want some on ‘em to tie a night-cap for me to-night; I don’t
commonly wear one, but I somehow kinder guess, I intend to have one this
time, and no mistake.”

“A night-cap, Sam!” said he; “why what on airth do you mean?”

“Why, I’ll tell you, minister,” said he, “you recollect sister Sall,
don’t you.”

“Indeed, I do,” said he, “and an excellent girl she is, a dutiful
daughter, and a kind and affectionate sister. Yes, she is a good girl is
Sally, a very good girl indeed; but what of her?”

“Well, she was a most a beautiful critter, to brew a glass of whiskey
toddy, as I ever see’d in all my travels was sister Sall, and I used to
call that tipple, when I took it late, a night-cap; apple jack and
white nose ain’t the smallest part of a circumstance to it. On such an
occasion as this, minister, when a body is leavin’ the greatest nation
atween the poles, to go among benighted, ignorant, insolent foreigners,
you wouldn’t object to a night-cap, now would you?”

“Well, I don’t know as I would, Sam,” said he; “parting from friends
whether temporally or for ever, is a sad thing, and the former is
typical of the latter. No, I do not know as I would. We may use these
things, but not abuse them. Be temperate, be moderate, but it is a sorry
heart that knows no pleasure. Take your night-cap, Sam, and then commend
yourself to His safe keeping, who rules the wind and the waves to Him
who--”

“Well then, minister, what a dreadful awful looking thing a night-cap is
without a tassel, ain’t it? Oh! you must put a tassel on it, and that
is another glass. Well then, what is the use of a night-cap, if it has
a tassel on it, but has no string, it will slip off your head the very
first turn you take; and that is another glass you know. But one string
won’t tie a cap; one hand can’t shake hands along with itself: you must
have two strings to it, and that brings one glass more. Well then, what
is the use of two strings if they ain’t fastened? If you want to keep
the cap on, it must be tied, that’s sartain, and that is another go; and
then, minister, what an everlastin’ miserable stingy, ongenteel critter
a feller must be, that won’t drink to the health of the Female Brewer.
Well, that’s another glass to sweethearts and wives, and then turn in
for sleep, and that’s what I intend to do to-night. I guess I’ll tie the
night-cap this hitch, if I never do agin, and that’s a fact.”

“Oh Sam, Sam,” said Mr. Hopewell, “for a man that is wide awake and
duly sober, I never saw one yet that talked such nonsense as you do. You
said, you understood me, but you don’t, one mite or morsel; but men
are made differently, some people’s narves operate on the brain
sens_itively_ and give them exquisite pain or excessive pleasure; other
folks seem as if they had no narves at all. You understand my words, but
you don’t enter into my feelings. Distressing images rise up in my mind
in such rapid succession, I can’t master them, but they master me. They
come slower to you, and the moment you see their shadows before you,
you turn round to the light, and throw these dark figures behind you.
I can’t do that; I could when I was younger, but I can’t now. Reason
is comparing two ideas, and drawing an inference. Insanity is, when you
have such a rapid succession of ideas, that you can’t compare them. How
great then must be the pain when you are almost pressed into insanity
and yet retain your reason? What is a broken heart? Is it death? I think
it must be very like it, if it is not a figure of speech, for I feel
that my heart is broken, and yet I am as sensitive to pain as ever.
Nature cannot stand this suffering long. You say these good people have
come to take their last farewell of me; most likely, Sam, it _is_ a last
farewell. I am an old man now, I am well stricken in years; shall I ever
live to see my native land again? I know not, the Lord’s will be done!
If I had a wish, I should desire to return to be laid with my kindred,
to repose in death with those that were the companions of my earthly
pilgrimage; but if it be ordered otherwise. I am ready to say with truth
and meekness, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.’”

When this excellent old man said that, Mr. Slick did not enter into his
feelings--he did not do him justice. His attachment to and veneration
for his aged pastor and friend were quite filial, and such as to do
honour to his head and heart. Those persons who have made character a
study, will all agree, that the cold exterior of the New England
man arises from other causes than a coldness of feeling; much of the
rhodomontade of the attache, addressed to Mr. Hopewell, was uttered for
the kind purpose of withdrawing his attention from those griefs which
preyed so heavily upon his spirits.

“Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “come, cheer up, it makes me kinder dismal
to hear you talk so. When Captain McKenzie hanged up them three free and
enlightened citizens of ours on board of the--Somers--he gave ‘em three
cheers. We are worth half a dozen dead men yet, so cheer up. Talk to
these friends of ourn, they might think you considerable starch if
you don’t talk, and talk is cheap, it don’t cost nothin’ but breath, a
scrape of your hind leg, and a jupe of the head, that’s a fact.”

Having thus engaged him in conversation with his friends, we proceeded
on board the steamer, which, in a short time, was alongside of the great
“Liner.” The day was now spent, and Mr. Hopewell having taken leave of
his escort, retired to his cabin, very much overpowered by his feelings.

Mr. Slick insisted on his companions taking a parting glass with him,
and I was much amused with the advice given him by some of his young
friends and admirers. He was cautioned to sustain the high character
of the nation abroad; to take care that he returned as he went--a true
American; to insist upon the possession of the Oregon Territory; to
demand and enforce his right position in society; to negotiate the
national loan; and above all never to accede to the right of search
of slave-vessels; all which having been duly promised, they took an
affectionate leave of each other, and we remained on board, intending to
depart in the course of the following morning.

As soon as they had gone, Mr. Slick ordered materials for brewing,
namely: whisky, hot water, sugar and lemon; and having duly prepared in
regular succession the cap, the tassel, and the two strings, filled his
tumbler again, and said,

“Come now, Squire, before we turn in, let us _tie the night-cap_.”



CHAPTER IV. HOME AND THE SEA.

At eleven o’clock the next day the Tyler having shaken out her pinions,
and spread them to the breeze, commenced at a rapid rate her long and
solitary voyage across the Atlantic. Object after object rose in rapid
succession into distinct view, was approached and passed, until leaving
the calm and sheltered waters of the bay, we emerged into the ocean, and
involuntarily turned to look back upon the land we had left. Long after
the lesser hills and low country had disappeared, a few ambitious peaks
of the highlands still met the eye, appearing as if they had advanced
to the very edge of the water, to prolong the view of us till the last
moment.

This coast is a portion of my native continent, for though not a subject
of the Republic, I am still an American in its larger sense, having been
born in a British province in this hemisphere. I therefore sympathised
with the feelings of my two companions, whose straining eyes were still
fixed on those dim and distant specks in the horizon.

“There,” said Mr. Slick, rising from his seat, “I believe we have seen
the last of home till next time; and this I will say, it is the most
glorious country onder the sun; travel where you will, you won’t ditto
it no where. It is the toploftiest place in all creation, ain’t it,
minister?”

There was no response to all this bombast. It was evident he had not
been heard; and turning to Mr. Hopewell, I observed his eyes were
fixed intently on the distance, and his mind pre-occupied by painful
reflexions, for tears were coursing after each other down his furrowed
but placid cheek.

“Squire,” said Mr. Slick to me, “this won’t do. We must not allow him to
dwell too long on the thoughts of leaving home, or he’ll droop like any
thing, and p’raps, hang his head and fade right away. He is aged and
feeble, and every thing depends on keeping up his spirits. An old plant
must be shaded, well watered, and tended, or you can’t transplant it no
how, you can fix it, that’s a fact. He won’t give ear to me now, for
he knows I can’t talk serious, if I was to try; but he will listen to
_you_. Try to cheer him up, and I will go down below and give you a
chance.”

As soon as I addressed him, he started and said, “Oh! is it you, Squire?
come and sit down by me, my friend. I can talk to _you_, and I assure
you I take great pleasure in doing so I cannot always talk to Sam: he
is excited now; he is anticipating great pleasure from his visit to
England, and is quite boisterous in the exuberance of his spirits. I
own I am depressed at times; it is natural I should be, but I shall
endeavour not to be the cause of sadness in others. I not only like
cheerfulness myself, but I like to promote it; it is a sign of an
innocent mind, and a heart in peace with God and in charity with man.
All nature is cheerful, its voice is harmonious, and its countenance
smiling; the very garb in which it is clothed is gay; why then should
man be an exception to every thing around him? Sour sectarians, who
address our fears, rather than our affections, may say what they please,
Sir, but mirth is not inconsistent with religion, but rather an evidence
that our religion is right. If I appear dull, therefore, do not suppose
it is because I think it necessary to be so, but because certain
reflections are natural to me as a clergyman, as a man far advanced in
years, and as a pilgrim who leaves his home at a period of life, when
the probabilities are, he may not be spared to revisit it.

“I am like yourself, a colonist by birth. At the revolution I took no
part in the struggle; my profession and my habits both exempted me.
Whether the separation was justifiable or not, either on civil or
religious principles, it is not now necessary to discuss. It took place,
however, and the colonies became a nation, and after due consideration,
I concluded to dwell among mine own people. There I have continued, with
the exception of one or two short journeys for the benefit of my health,
to the present period. Parting with those whom I have known so long and
loved so well, is doubtless a trial to one whose heart is still warm,
while his nerves are weak, and whose affections are greater than his
firmness. But I weary you with this egotism?”

“Not at all,” I replied, “I am both instructed and delighted by your
conversation. Pray proceed, Sir.”

“Well it is kind, very kind of you,” said he, “to say so. I will explain
these sensations to you, and then endeavour never to allude to
them again. America is my birth-place and my home. Home has two
significations, a restricted one and an enlarged one; in its restricted
sense, it is the place of our abode, it includes our social circle, our
parents, children, and friends, and contains the living and the dead;
the past and the present generations of our race. By a very natural
process, the scene of our affections soon becomes identified with them,
and a portion of our regard is transferred from animate to inanimate
objects. The streams on which we sported, the mountains on which we
clambered, the fields in which we wandered, the school where we were
instructed, the church where we worshipped, the very bell whose pensive
melancholy music recalled our wandering steps in youth, awaken in
after-years many a tender thought, many a pleasing recollection, and
appeal to the heart with the force and eloquence of love. The country
again contains all these things, the sphere is widened, new objects are
included, and this extension of the circle is love of country. It is
thus that the nation is said in an enlarged sense, to be our home also.

“This love of country is both natural and laudable: so natural, that to
exclude a man from his country, is the greatest punishment that country
can inflict upon him; and so laudable, that when it becomes a principle
of action, it forms the hero and the patriot. How impressive, how
beautiful, how dignified was the answer of the Shunamite woman to
Elisha, who in his gratitude to her for her hospitality and kindness,
made her a tender of his interest at court. ‘Wouldst thou,’ said he, ‘be
spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?’--What an offer
was that, to gratify her ambition or flatter her pride!--‘I dwell,’ said
she, ‘among mine own people.’ What a characteristic answer! all history
furnishes no parallel to it.

“I too dwell ‘among my own people:’ my affections are there, and there
also is the sphere of my duties; and if I am depressed by the thoughts
of parting from ‘my people,’ I will do you the justice to believe, that
you would rather bear with its effects, than witness the absence of such
natural affection.

“But this is not the sole cause: independently of some afflictions of
a clerical nature in my late parish, to which it is not necessary to
allude, the contemplation of this vast and fathomless ocean, both
from its novelty and its grandeur, overwhelms me. At home I am fond
of tracing the Creator in his works. From the erratic comet in the
firmament, to the flower that blossoms in the field; in all animate, and
inanimate matter; in all that is animal, vegetable or mineral, I see His
infinite wisdom, almighty power, and everlasting glory.

“But that Home is inland; I have not beheld the sea now for many years.
I never saw it without emotion; I now view it with awe. What an emblem
of eternity!--Its dominion is alone reserved to Him, who made it.
Changing yet changeless--ever varying, yet always the same. How weak
and powerless is man! how short his span of life, when he is viewed
in connexion with the sea! He has left no trace upon it--it will not
receive the impress of his hands; it obeys no laws, but those imposed
upon it by Him, who called it into existence; generation after
generation has looked upon it as we now do--and where are they? Like
yonder waves that press upon each other in regular succession, they have
passed away for ever; and their nation, their language, their temples
and their tombs have perished with them. But there is the Undying one.
When man was formed, the voice of the ocean was heard, as it now is,
speaking of its mysteries, and proclaiming His glory, who alone lifteth
its waves or stilleth the rage thereof.

“And yet, my dear friend, for so you must allow me to call you, awful as
these considerations are, which it suggests, who are they that go down
to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters? The
sordid trader, and the armed and mercenary sailor: gold or blood is
their object, and the fear of God is not always in them. Yet the sea
shall give up its dead, as well as the grave; and all shall--

“But it is not my intention to preach to you. To intrude serious topics
upon our friends at all times, has a tendency to make both ourselves and
our topics distasteful. I mention these things to you, not that they are
not obvious to you and every other right-minded man, or that I think
I can clothe them in more attractive language, or utter them with more
effect than others; but merely to account for my absence of mind and
evident air of abstraction. I know my days are numbered, and in the
nature of things, that those that are left, cannot be many.

“Pardon me, therefore, I pray you, my friend; make allowances for an old
man, unaccustomed to leave home, and uncertain whether he shall ever be
permitted to return to it. I feel deeply and sensibly your kindness in
soliciting my company on this tour, and will endeavour so to regulate
my feelings as not to make you regret your invitation. I shall not again
recur to these topics, or trouble you with any further reflections ‘on
Home and the Sea.’”



CHAPTER V. T’OTHER EEND OF THE GUN.

“Squire,” said Mr. Hopewell, one morning when we were alone on the
quarter-deck, “sit down by me, if you please. I wish to have a little
private conversation with you. I am a good deal concerned about Sam. I
never liked this appointment he has received: neither his education, his
habits, nor his manners have qualified him for it. He is fitted for a
trader and for nothing else. He looks upon politics as he does upon his
traffic in clocks, rather as profitable to himself than beneficial to
others. Self is predominant with him. He overrates the importance of
his office, as he will find when he arrives in London; but what is still
worse, he overrates the importance of the opinions of others regarding
the States.

“He has been reading that foolish book of Cooper’s ‘Gleanings in
Europe,’ and intends to shew fight, he says. He called my attention,
yesterday, to this absurd passage, which he maintains is the most manly
and sensible thing that Cooper ever wrote: ‘This indifference to the
feelings of others, is a dark spot on the national manners of England.
The only way to put it down, is to become belligerent yourself, by
introducing Pauperism, Radicalism, Ireland, the Indies, or some other
sore point. Like all who make butts of others, they do not manifest
the proper forbearance when the tables are turned. Of this, I have had
abundance of proof in my own experience. Sometimes their remarks are
absolutely rude, and personally offensive, as a disregard of one’s
national character, is a disrespect to his principles; but as personal
quarrels on such grounds are to be avoided, I have uniformly retorted in
kind, if there was the smallest opening for such retaliation.”

“Now, every gentleman in the States repudiates such sentiments as these.
My object in mentioning the subject to you, is to request the favour
of you, to persuade Sam not to be too sensitive on these topics; not
to take offence, where it is not intended; and, above all, rather
to vindicate his nationality by his conduct, than to justify those
aspersions, by his intemperate behaviour. But here he comes; I shall
withdraw and leave you together.”

Fortunately, Mr. Slick commenced talking upon a topic, which naturally
led to that to which Mr. Hopewell had wished me to direct his attention.

“Well, Squire,” said he, “I am glad too, you are a goin’ to England
along with me: we will take a rise out of John Bull, won’t we?--We’ve
hit Blue-nose and Brother Jonathan both pretty considerable tarnation
hard, and John has split his sides with larfter. Let’s tickle him now,
by feeling his own short ribs, and see how he will like it; we’ll
soon see whose hide is the thickest, hisn or ourn, won’t we? Let’s see
whether he will say chee, chee, chee, when he gets to the t’other eend
of the gun.”

“What is the meaning of that saying?” I asked. “I never heard it
before.”

“Why,” said he, “when I was a considerable of a grown up saplin of a
boy to Slickville, I used to be a gunnin’ for everlastinly amost in our
hickory woods, a shootin’ of squirrels with a rifle, and I got amazin’
expart at it. I could take the head off of them chatterin’ little imps,
when I got a fair shot at ‘em with a ball, at any reasonable distance,
a’most in nine cases out of ten.

“Well, one day I was out as usual, and our Irish help Paddy Burke was
along with me, and every time he see’d me a drawin’ of the bead fine
on ‘em, he used to say, ‘Well, you’ve an excellent gun entirely, Master
Sam. Oh by Jakers! the squirrel has no chance with that gun, it’s an
excellent one entirely.’

“At last I got tired a hearin’ of him a jawin’ so for ever and a day
about the excellent gun entirely; so, sais I, ‘You fool you, do you
think it’s the gun that does it _entirely_ as you say; ain’t there a
little dust of skill in it? Do you think you could fetch one down?’

“‘Oh, it’s a capital gun entirely,’ said he.

“‘Well,’ said I, ‘if it ‘tis, try it now, and see what sort of a fist
you’ll make of it.’

“So Paddy takes the rifle, lookin’ as knowin’ all the time as if he
had ever seed one afore. Well, there was a great red squirrel, on the
tip-top of a limb, chatterin’ away like any thing, chee, chee, chee,
proper frightened; he know’d it warn’t me, that was a parsecutin’
of him, and he expected he’d be hurt. They know’d me, did the little
critters, when they seed me, and they know’d I never had hurt one on
‘em, my balls never givin’ ‘em a chance to feel what was the matter
of them; but Pat they didn’t know, and they see’d he warn’t the man
to handle ‘old Bull-Dog.’ I used to call my rifle Bull-Dog, cause she
always bit afore she barked.

“Pat threw one foot out astarn, like a skullin’ oar, and then bent
forrards like a hoop, and fetched the rifle slowly up to the line, and
shot to the right eye. Chee, chee, chee, went the squirrel. He see’d it
was wrong. ‘By the powers!’ sais Pat, ‘this is a left-handed boot,’ and
he brought the gun to the other shoulder, and then shot to his left eye.
‘Fegs!’ sais Pat, ‘this gun was made for a squint eye, for I can’t get
a right strait sight of the critter, either side.’ So I fixt it for him
and told him which eye to sight by. ‘An excellent gun entirely,’ sais
Pat, ‘but it tante made like the rifles we have.’

“Ain’t they strange critters, them Irish, Squire? That feller never
handled a rifle afore in all his born days; but unless it was to a
priest, he wouldn’t confess that much for the world. They are as bad as
the English that way; they always pretend they know every thing.

“‘Come, Pat,’ sais I, ‘blaze away now.’ Back goes the hind leg agin, up
bends the back, and Bull-Dog rises slowly to his shoulder; and then he
stared, and stared, until his arm shook like palsy. Chee, chee, chee,
went the squirrel agin, louder than ever, as much as to say, ‘Why the
plague don’t you fire? I’m not a goin’ to stand here all day, for you
this way,’ and then throwin’ his tail over his back, he jumped on to the
next branch.

“‘By the piper that played before Moses!’ sais Pat, ‘I’ll stop your
chee, chee, cheein’ for you, you chatterin’ spalpeen of a devil, you’.
So he ups with the rifle agin, takes a fair aim at him, shuts both eyes,
turns his head round, and fires; and “Bull-Dog,” findin’ he didn’t know
how to hold her tight to the shoulder, got mad, and kicked him head over
heels, on the broad of his back. Pat got up, a makin’ awful wry faces,
and began to limp, to show how lame his shoulder was, and to rub his
arm, to see if he had one left, and the squirrel ran about the tree
hoppin’ mad, hollerin’ out as loud as it could scream, chee, chee, chee.

“‘Oh bad luck to you,’ sais Pat, ‘if you had a been at t’other eend of
the gun,’ and he rubbed his shoulder agin, and cried like a baby, ‘you
wouldn’t have said chee, chee, chee, that way, I know.’

“Now when your gun, Squire, was a knockin’ over Blue-nose, and makin’ a
proper fool of him, and a knockin’ over Jonathan, and a spilin’ of his
bran-new clothes, the English sung out chee, chee, chee, till all was
blue agin. You had an excellent gun entirely then: let’s see if they
will sing out chee, chee, chee, now, when we take a shot at _them_. Do
you take?” and he laid his thumb on his nose, as if perfectly satisfied
with the application of his story. “Do you take, Squire? you have an
excellent gun entirely, as Pat says. It’s what I call puttin’ the leake
into ‘em properly. If you had a written this book fust, the English
would have said your gun was no good; it wouldn’t have been like the
rifles they had seen. Lord, I could tell you stories about the English,
that would make even them cryin’ devils the Mississippi crocodiles
laugh, if they was to hear ‘em.”

“Pardon me, Mr. Slick,” I said, “this is not the temper with which you
should visit England.”

“What is the temper,” he replied with much warmth, “that they visit us
in? Cuss ‘em! Look at Dickens; was there ever a man made so much of,
except La Fayette? And who was Dickens? Not a Frenchman that is a friend
to us, not a native that has a claim on us; not a colonist, who, though
English by name is still an American by birth, six of one and half a
dozen of t’other, and therefore a kind of half-breed brother. No! he was
a cussed Britisher; and what is wus, a British author; and yet, because
he was a man of genius, because genius has the ‘tarnal globe for its
theme, and the world for its home, and mankind for its readers, and
bean’t a citizen of this state or that state, but a native of the
univarse, why we welcomed him, and feasted him, and leveed him, and
escorted him, and cheered him, and honoured him, did he honour us? What
did he say of us when he returned? Read his book.

“No, don’t read his book, for it tante worth readin’. Has he said one
word of all that reception in his book? that book that will be read,
translated, and read agin all over Europe--has he said one word of that
reception? Answer me that, will you? Darned the word, his memory was
bad; he lost it over the tafrail when he was sea-sick. But his notebook
was safe under lock and key, and the pigs in New York, and the chap the
rats eat in jail, and the rough man from Kentucky, and the entire raft
of galls emprisoned in one night, and the spittin’ boxes and all that
stuff, warn’t trusted to memory, it was noted down, and printed.

“But it tante no matter. Let any man give me any sarce in England, about
my country, or not give me the right _po_-sition in society, as Attache
to our Legation, and, as Cooper says, I’ll become belligerent, too, I
will, I snore. I can snuff a candle with a pistol as fast as you can
light it; hang up an orange, and I’ll first peel it with ball and
then quarter it. Heavens! I’ll let daylight dawn through some o’ their
jackets, I know.

“Jube, you infarnal black scoundrel, you odoriferous nigger you, what’s
that you’ve got there?”

“An apple, massa.”

“Take off your cap and put that apple on your head, then stand sideways
by that port-hole, and hold steady, or you might stand a smart chance to
have your wool carded, that’s all.”

Then taking a pistol out of the side-pocket of his mackintosh, he
deliberately walked over to the other side of the deck, and examined his
priming.

“Good heavens, Mr. Slick!” said I in great alarm, “what are you about?”

“I am goin’,” he said with the greatest coolness, but at the same time
with equal sternness, “to bore a hole through that apple, Sir.”

“For shame! Sir,” I said. “How can you think of such a thing? Suppose
you were to miss your shot, and kill that unfortunate boy?”

“I won’t suppose no such thing, Sir. I can’t miss it. I couldn’t miss
it if I was to try. Hold your head steady, Jube--and if I did, it’s no
great matter. The onsarcumcised Amalikite ain’t worth over three hundred
dollars at the furthest, that’s a fact; and the way he’d pyson a shark
ain’t no matter. Are you ready, Jube?”

“Yes, massa.”

“You shall do no such thing, Sir,” I said, seizing his arm with both my
hands. “If you attempt to shoot at that apple, I shall hold no further
intercourse with you. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Sir.”

“Ky! massa,” said Jube, “let him fire, Sar; he no hurt Jube; he no
foozle de hair. I isn’t one mossel afeerd. He often do it, jist to keep
him hand in, Sar. Massa most a grand shot, Sar. He take off de ear oh de
squirrel so slick, he neber miss it, till he go scratchin’ his head. Let
him appel hab it, massa.”

“Oh, yes,” said Mr. Slick, “he is a Christian is Jube, he is as good as
a white Britisher: same flesh, only a leetle, jist a leetle darker; same
blood, only not quite so old, ain’t quite so much tarter on the bottle
as a lord’s has; oh him and a Britisher is all one brother--oh by all
means--

   Him fader’s hope--him mudder’s joy,
   Him darlin little nigger boy.

You’d better cry over him, hadn’t you. Buss him, call him brother, hug
him, give him the “Abolition” kiss, write an article on slavery, like
Dickens; marry him to a white gall to England, get him a saint’s darter
with a good fortin, and well soon see whether her father was a talkin’
cant or no, about niggers. Cuss ‘em, let any o’ these Britishers give
me slack, and I’ll give ‘em cranberry for their goose, I know. I’d jump
right down their throat with spurs on, and gallop their sarce out.”

“Mr. Slick I’ve done; I shall say no more; we part, and part for ever. I
had no idea whatever, that a man, whose whole conduct has evinced a
kind heart, and cheerful disposition, could have entertained such
a revengeful spirit, or given utterance to such unchristian and
uncharitable language, as you have used to-day. We part”--

“No, we don’t,” said he; “don’t kick afore you are spurred. I guess I
have feelins as well as other folks have, that’s a fact; one can’t help
being ryled to hear foreigners talk this way; and these critters are
enough to make a man spotty on the back. I won’t deny I’ve got some
grit, but I ain’t ugly. Pat me on the back and I soon cool down, drop in
a soft word and I won’t bile over; but don’t talk big, don’t threaten,
or I curl directly.”

“Mr. Slick,” said I, “neither my countrymen, the Nova Scotians, nor your
friends, the Americans, took any thing amiss, in our previous remarks,
because, though satirical, they were good natured. There was nothing
malicious in them. They were not made for the mere purpose of shewing
them up, but were incidental to the topic we were discussing, and their
whole tenor shewed that while “we were alive to the ludicrous, we fully
appreciated, and properly valued their many excellent and sterling
qualities. My countrymen, for whose good I published them, had the most
reason to complain, for I took the liberty to apply ridicule to them
with no sparing hand. They understood the motive, and joined in the
laugh, which was raised at their expense. Let us treat the English in
the same style; let us keep our temper. John Bull is a good-natured
fellow, and has no objection to a joke, provided it is not made the
vehicle of conveying an insult. Don’t adopt Cooper’s maxims;
nobody approves of them, on either side of the water; don’t be too
thin-skinned. If the English have been amused by the sketches their
tourists have drawn of, the Yankees, perhaps the Americans may laugh
over our sketches of the English. Let us make both of them smile, if we
can, and endeavour to offend neither. If Dickens omitted to mention the
festivals that were given in honour of his arrival in the States, he
was doubtless actuated by a desire to avoid the appearance of personal
vanity. A man cannot well make himself the hero of his own book.”

“Well, well,” said he, “I believe the black ox did tread on my toe that
time. I don’t know but what you’re right. Soft words are good enough in
their way, but still they butter no parsnips, as the sayin’ is. John may
be a good-natured critter, tho’ I never see’d any of it yet; and he may
be fond of a joke, and p’raps is, seein’ that he haw-haws considerable
loud at his own. Let’s try him at all events. We’ll soon see how he
likes other folks’ jokes; I have my scruple about him, I must say. I am
dubersome whether he will say ‘chee, chee, chee’ when he gets ‘T’other
eend of the gun.’”



CHAPTER VI. SMALL POTATOES AND FEW IN A HILL.

“Pray Sir,” said one of my fellow passengers, “can you tell me why the
Nova Scotians are called ‘Blue-noses?’”

“It is the name of a potatoe,” said I, “which they produce in great
perfection, and boast to be the best in the world. The Americans have,
in consequence, given them the nick-name of “Blue-noses.’”

“And now,” said Mr. Slick,” as you have told the entire stranger, _who_
a Blue-nose is, I’ll jist up and tell him _what_ he is.

“One day, Stranger, I was a joggin’ along into Windsor on Old Clay, on
a sort of butter and eggs’ gait (for a fast walk on a journey tires a
horse considerable), and who should I see a settin’ straddle legs “on
the fence, but Squire Gabriel Soogit, with his coat off, a holdin’ of
a hoe in one hand, and his hat in t’other, and a blowin’ like a porpus
proper tired.

“‘Why, Squire Gabe,’ sais I, ‘what is the matter of you? you look as if
you couldn’t help yourself; who is dead and what is to pay now, eh?’

“‘Fairly beat out,’ said he, ‘I am shockin’ tired. I’ve been hard at
work all the mornin’; a body has to stir about considerable smart in
this country, to make a livin’, I tell you.’

“I looked over the fence, and I seed he had hoed jist ten hills of
potatoes, and that’s all. Fact I assure you.

“Sais he, ‘Mr. Slick, tell you what, _of all the work I ever did in my
life I like hoein’ potatoes the best, and I’d rather die than do that,
it makes my back ache so_.”

“‘Good airth” and seas,’ sais I to myself, ‘what a parfect pictur of a
lazy man that is! How far is it to Windsor?’

“‘Three miles,’ sais he. I took out my pocket-book purtendin’ to write
down the distance, but I booked his sayin’ in my way-bill.

“Yes, _that_ is a _Blue-nose_; is it any wonder, Stranger, he _is small
potatoes and few in a hill_?”



CHAPTER VII. A GENTLEMAN AT LARGE.

It is not my intention to record any of the ordinary incidents of a sea
voyage: the subject is too hackneyed and too trite; and besides,
when the topic is seasickness, it is infectious and the description
nauseates. _Hominem pagina nostra sapit_. The proper study of mankind
is man; human nature is what I delight in contemplating; I love to trace
out and delineate the springs of human action.

Mr. Slick and Mr. Hopewell are both studies. The former is a perfect
master of certain chords; He has practised upon them, not for
philosophical, but for mercenary purposes. He knows the depth,
and strength, and tone of vanity, curiosity, pride, envy, avarice,
superstition, nationality, and local and general prejudice. He has
learned the effect of these, not because they contribute to make him
wiser, but because they make him richer; not to enable him to regulate
his conduct in life, but to promote and secure the increase of his
trade.

Mr. Hopewell, on the contrary, has studied the human heart as a
philanthropist, as a man whose business it was to minister to it,
to cultivate and improve it. His views are more sound and more
comprehensive than those of the other’s, and his objects are more noble.
They are both extraordinary men.

They differed, however, materially in their opinion of England and its
institutions. Mr. Slick evidently viewed them with prejudice. Whether
this arose from the supercilious manner of English tourists in America,
or from the ridicule they have thrown upon Republican society, in the
books of travels they have published, after their return to Europe,
I could not discover; but it soon became manifest to me, that Great
Britain did not stand so high in his estimation, as the colonies did.

Mr. Hopewell, on the contrary, from early associations, cherished a
feeling of regard and respect for England; and when his opinion was
asked, he always gave it with great frankness and impartiality. When
there was any thing he could not approve of, it appeared to be a subject
of regret to him; whereas, the other seized upon it at once as a matter
of great exultation. The first sight we had of land naturally called out
their respective opinions.

As we were pacing the deck speculating upon the probable termination of
our voyage, Cape Clear was descried by the look-out on the mast-head.

“Hallo! what’s that? why if it ain’t land ahead, as I’m alive!” said
Mr. Slick. “Well, come this is pleasant too, we have made amost an
everlastin’ short voyage of it, hante we; and I must say I like land
quite as well as sea, in a giniral way, arter all; but, Squire, here is
the first Britisher. That critter that’s a clawin’ up the side of the
vessel like a cat, is the pilot: now do for goodness gracious sake, jist
look at him, and hear him.”

“What port?”

“Liverpool.”

“Keep her up a point.”

“Do you hear that, Squire? that’s English, or what we used to call to
singing school short metre. The critter don’t say a word, even as much
as ‘by your leave’; but jist goes and takes his post, and don’t ask the
name of the vessel, or pass the time o’ day with the Captin. That ain’t
in the bill, it tante paid for that; if it was, he’d off cap, touch
the deck three times with his forehead, and ‘_Slam_’ like a Turk to his
Honour the Skipper.

“There’s plenty of civility here to England if you pay for it: you can
buy as much in five minits, as will make you sick for a week; but if you
don’t pay for it, you not only won’t get it, but you get sarce instead
of it, that is if you are fool enough to stand and have it rubbed in.
They are as cold as Presbyterian charity, and mean enough to put the sun
in eclipse, are the English. They hante set up the brazen image here
to worship, but they’ve got a gold one, and that they do adore and no
mistake; it’s all pay, pay, pay; parquisite, parquisite, parquisite;
extortion, extortion, extortion. There is a whole pack of yelpin’ devils
to your heels here, for everlastinly a cringin’, fawnin’ and coaxin’,
or snarlin’, grumblin’ or bullyin’ you out of your money. There’s the
boatman, and tide-waiter, and porter, and custom-er, and truck man as
soon as you land; and the sarvant-man, and chamber-gall, and boots, and
porter again to the inn. And then on the road, there is trunk-lifter,
and coachman, and guard, and beggar-man, and a critter that opens the
coach door, that they calls a waterman, cause he is infarnal dirty, and
never sees water. They are jist like a snarl o’ snakes, their name is
legion and there ain’t no eend to ‘em.

“The only thing you get for nothin’ here is rain and smoke, the rumatiz,
and scorny airs. If you could buy an Englishman at what he was worth,
and sell him at his own valiation, he would realise as much as a nigger,
and would be worth tradin’ in, that’s a fact; but as it is he ain’t
worth nothin’, there is no market for such critters, no one would buy
him at no price. A Scotchman is wus, for he is prouder and meaner.
Pat ain’t no better nother; he ain’t proud, cause he has a hole in his
breeches and another in his elbow, and he thinks pride won’t patch ‘em,
and he ain’t mean cause he hante got nothin’ to be mean with. Whether it
takes nine tailors to make a man, I can’t jist exactly say, but this
I will say, and take my davy of it too, that it would take three such
goneys as these to make a pattern for one of our rael genu_wine_ free
and enlightened citizens, and then I wouldn’t swap without large boot,
I tell you. Guess I’ll go, and pack up my fixing and have ‘em ready to
land.”

He now went below, leaving Mr. Hopewell and myself on the deck. All
this tirade of Mr. Slick was uttered in the hearing of the pilot, and
intended rather for his conciliation, than my instruction. The pilot was
immoveable; he let the cause against his country go “by default,” and
left us to our process of “inquiry;” but when Mr. Slick was in the
act of descending to the cabin, he turned and gave him a look of
admeasurement, very similar to that which a grazier gives an ox; a look
which estimates the weight and value of the animal, and I am bound to
admit, that the result of that “sizing or laying” as it is technically
called, was by no means favourable to the Attache”.

Mr. Hopewell had evidently not attended to it; his eye was fixed on
the bold and precipitous shore of Wales, and the lofty summits of the
everlasting hills, that in the distance, aspired to a companionship with
the clouds. I took my seat at a little distance from him and surveyed
the scene with mingled feelings of curiosity and admiration, until a
thick volume of sulphureous smoke from the copper furnaces of Anglesey
intercepted our view.

“Squire,” said he, “it is impossible for us to contemplate this country,
that now lies before us, without strong emotion. It is our fatherland.
I recollect when I was a colonist, as you are, we were in the habit of
applying to it, in common with Englishmen, that endearing appellation
“Home,” and I believe you still continue to do so in the provinces.
Our nursery tales, taught our infant lips to lisp in English, and the
ballads, that first exercised our memories, stored the mind with the
traditions of our forefathers; their literature was our literature,
their religion our religion, their history our history. The battle of
Hastings, the murder of Becket, the signature of Runymede, the execution
at Whitehall; the divines, the poets, the orators, the heroes, the
martyrs, each and all were familiar to us.

“In approaching this country now, after a lapse of many, many years,
and approaching it too for the last time, for mine eyes shall see it no
more, I cannot describe to you the feelings that agitate my heart. I go
to visit the tombs of my ancestors; I go to my home, and my home knoweth
me no more. Great and good, and brave and free are the English; and may
God grant that they may ever continue so!”

“I cordially join in that prayer, Sir,” said I; “you have a country
of your own. The old colonies having ripened into maturity, formed a
distinct and separate family, in the great community of mankind. You are
now a nation of yourselves, and your attachment to England, is of course
subordinate to that of your own country; you view it as the place that
was in days of yore the home of your forefathers; we regard it as the
paternal estate, continuing to call it ‘Home’ as you have just now
observed. We owe it a debt of gratitude that not only cannot be repaid,
but is too great for expression. Their armies protect us within, and
their fleets defend us, and our commerce without. Their government is
not only paternal and indulgent, but is wholly gratuitous. We neither
pay these forces, nor feed them, nor clothe them. We not only raise no
taxes, but are not expected to do so. The blessings of true religion are
diffused among us, by the pious liberality of England, and a collegiate
establishment at Windsor, supported by British friends, has for years
supplied the Church, the Bar and the Legislature with scholars and
gentlemen. Where the national funds have failed, private contribution
has volunteered its aid, and means are never wanting for any useful or
beneficial object.

“Our condition is a most enviable one. The history of the world has no
example to offer of such noble disinterestedness and such liberal rule,
as that exhibited by Great Britain to her colonies. If the policy of the
Colonial Office is not always good (which I fear is too much to say)
it is ever liberal; and if we do not mutually derive all the benefit
we might from the connexion, _we_, at least, reap more solid advantages
than we have a right to expect, and more, I am afraid, than our conduct
always deserves. I hope the Secretary for the Colonies may have the
advantage of making your acquaintance, Sir. Your experience is so great,
you might give him a vast deal of useful information, which he could
obtain from no one else.

“Minister,” said Mr. Slick, who had just mounted the companion-ladder,
“will your honour,” touching his hat, “jist look at your honour’s
plunder, and see it’s all right; remember me, Sir; thank your honour.
This way, Sir; let me help your honour down. Remember me again, Sir.
Thank your honour. Now you may go and break your neck, your honour, as
soon as you please; for I’ve got all out of you I can squeeze, that’s a
fact. That’s English, Squire--that’s English servility, which they call
civility, and English meanness and beggin’, which they call parquisite.
Who was that you wanted to see the Minister, that I heerd you a talkin’
of when I come on deck?”

“The Secretary of the Colonies,” I said.

“Oh for goodness sake don’t send that crittur to him,” said he, “or
minister will have to pay him for his visit, more, p’raps, than he
can afford. John Russell, that had the ribbons afore him, appointed a
settler as a member of Legislative Council to Prince Edward’s Island,
a berth that has no pay, that takes a feller three months a year from
home, and has a horrid sight to do; and what do you think he did? Now
jist guess. You give it up, do you? Well, you might as well, for if you
was five Yankees biled down to one, you wouldn’t guess it. ‘Remember
Secretary’s clerk,’ says he, a touchin’ of his hat, ‘give him a little
tip of thirty pound sterling, your honour.’ Well, colonist had a drop of
Yankee blood in him, which was about one third molasses, and, of course,
one third more of a man than they commonly is, and so he jist ups and
says, ‘I’ll see you and your clerk to Jericho beyond Jordan fust. The
office ain’t worth the fee. Take it and sell it to some one else that
has more money nor wit.’ He did, upon my soul.”

“No, don’t send State-Secretary to Minister, send him to me at eleven
o’clock to-night, for I shall be the toploftiest feller about that time
you’ve seen this while past, I tell you. Stop till I touch land once
more, that’s all; the way I’ll stretch my legs ain’t no matter.”

He then uttered the negro ejaculation “chah!--chah!” and putting his
arms a-kimbo, danced in a most extraordinary style to the music of a
song, which he gave with great expression:

  “Oh hab you nebber heerd ob de battle ob Orleens,
   Where de dandy Yankee lads gave de Britishers de beans;
   Oh de Louisiana boys dey did it pretty slick,
   When dey cotch ole Packenham and rode him up a creek.
   Wee my zippy dooden dooden dooden, dooden dooden dey,
   Wee my zippy dooden dooden dooden, dooden dooden dey.

“Oh yes, send Secretary to me at eleven or twelve to-night, I’ll be in
tune then, jist about up to concart pitch. I’ll smoke with him, or drink
with him, or swap stories with him, or wrastle with him, or make a fool
of him, or lick him, or any thing he likes; and when I’ve done, I’ll
rise up, tweak the fore-top-knot of my head by the nose, bow pretty, and
say ‘Remember me, your honour? Don’t forget the tip?’ Lord, how I long
to walk into some o’ these chaps, and give ‘em the beans! and I will
yet afore I’m many days older, hang me if I don’t. I shall bust, I do
expect; and if I do, them that ain’t drownded will be scalded, I know.
Chah!--chah!

  “Oh de British name is Bull, and de French name is Frog,
   And noisy critters too, when a braggin’ on a log,--
   But I is an alligator, a floatin’ down stream.
   And I’ll chaw both the bullies up, as I would an ice-cream:
   Wee my zippy dooden dooden dooden, dooden dooden dee,
   Wee my zippy dooden dooden dooden, dooden dooden dee.

“Yes, I’ve been pent up in that drawer-like lookin’ berth, till I’ve
growed like a pine-tree with its branches off--straight up and down. My
legs is like a pair of compasses that’s got wet; they are rusty on the
hinges, and won’t work. I’ll play leapfrog up the street, over every
feller’s head, till I get to the Liners’ Hotel; I hope I may be shot if
I don’t. Jube, you villain, stand still there on the deck, and hold up
stiff, you nigger. Warny once--warny twice--warny three times; now I
come.”

And he ran forward, and putting a hand on each shoulder, jumped over
him.

“Turn round agin, you young sucking Satan, you; and don’t give one mite
or morsel, or you might ‘break massa’s precious neck,’ p’raps. Warny
once--warny twice--warny three times.”

And he repeated the feat again.

“That’s the way I’ll shin it up street, with a hop, skip and a jump.
Won’t I make Old Bull stare, when he finds his head under my coat tails,
and me jist makin’ a lever of him? He’ll think he has run foul of a
snag, _I_ know. Lord, I’ll shack right over their heads, as they do over
a colonist; only when they do, they never say warny wunst, cuss ‘em,
they arn’t civil enough for that. They arn’t paid for it--there is no
parquisite to be got by it. Won’t I tuck in the Champaine to-night,
that’s all, till I get the steam up right, and make the paddles work?
Won’t I have a lark of the rael Kentuck breed? Won’t I trip up a
policeman’s heels, thunder the knockers of the street doors, and ring
the bells and leave no card? Won’t I have a shy at a lamp, and then off
hot foot to the hotel? Won’t I say, ‘Waiter, how dare you do that?’

“‘What, Sir?’

“‘Tread on my foot.’

“‘I didn’t, Sir.’

“‘You did, Sir. Take that!’ knock him down like wink, and help him up on
his feet agin with a kick on his western eend. Kiss the barmaid, about
the quickest and wickedest she ever heerd tell of, and then off to bed
as sober as a judge. ‘Chambermaid, bring a pan of coals and air my bed.’
‘Yes, Sir.’ Foller close at her heels, jist put a hand on each short
rib, tickle her till she spills the red hot coals all over the floor,
and begins to cry over ‘em to put ‘em out, whip the candle out of her
hand, leave her to her lamentations, and then off to roost in no time.
And when I get there, won’t I strike out all abroad--take up the room of
three men with their clothes on--lay all over and over the bed, and feel
once more I am a free man and a ‘_Gentleman at large_.’”



CHAPTER VIII. SEEING LIVERPOOL.

On looking back to any given period of our life, we generally find that
the intervening time appears much shorter than it really is. We see at
once the starting-post and the terminus, and the mind takes in at one
view the entire space.

But this observation is more peculiarly applicable to a short passage
across the Atlantic. Knowing how great the distance is, and accustomed
to consider the voyage as the work of many weeks, we are so astonished
at finding ourselves transported in a few days, from one continent to
another, that we can hardly credit the evidence of our own senses.

Who is there that on landing has not asked himself the question, “Is it
possible that I am in England? It seems but as yesterday that I was in
America, to-day I am in Europe. Is it a dream, or a reality?”

The river and the docks--the country and the town--the people and their
accent--the verdure and the climate are all new to me. I have not been
prepared for this; I have not been led on imperceptibly, by travelling
mile after mile by land from my own home, to accustom my senses to the
gradual change of country. There has been no border to pass, where the
language, the dress, the habits, and outward appearances assimilate.
There has been no blending of colours--no dissolving views in the
retrospect--no opening or expanding ones in prospect. I have no
difficulty in ascertaining the point where one terminates and the other
begins.

The change is sudden and startling. The last time I slept on shore,
was in America--to-night I sleep in England. The effect is magical--one
country is withdrawn from view, and another is suddenly presented to my
astonished gaze. I am bewildered; I rouse myself, and rubbing my eyes,
again ask whether I am awake? Is this England? that great country, that
world of itself; Old England, that place I was taught to call home _par
excellence_, the home of other homes, whose flag, I called our flag?
(no, I am wrong, I have been accustomed to call our flag, the flag of
England; our church, not the Church of Nova Scotia, nor the Colonial nor
the Episcopal, nor the Established, but the Church of England.) Is
it then that England, whose language I speak, whose subject I am, the
mistress of the world, the country of Kings and Queens, and nobles and
prelates, and sages and heroes?

I have read of it, so have I read of old Rome; but the sight of Rome,
Caesar and the senate would not astonish me more than that of London,
the Queen and the Parliament. Both are yet ideal; the imagination has
sketched them, but when were its sketches ever true to nature? I have
a veneration for both, but, gentle reader, excuse the confessions of an
old man, for I have a soft spot in the heart yet, _I love Old England_.
I love its institutions, its literature, its people. I love its law,
because, while it protects property, it ensures liberty. I love its
church, not only because I believe it is the true church, but because
though armed with power, it is tolerant in practice. I love its
constitution, because it combines the stability of a monarchy, with the
most valuable peculiarities of a republic, and without violating nature
by attempting to make men equal, wisely follow its dictates, by securing
freedom to all.

I like the people, though not all in the same degree. They are not what
they were. Dissent, reform and agitation have altered their character.
It is necessary to distinguish. A _real_ Englishman is generous, loyal
and brave, manly in his conduct and gentlemanly in his feeling. When I
meet such a man as this, I cannot but respect him; but when I find that
in addition to these good qualities, he has the further recommendation
of being a churchman in his religion and a tory in his politics, I know
then that his heart is in the right place, and I love him.

The drafts of these chapters were read to Mr. Slick, at his particular
request, that he might be assured they contained nothing that would
injure his election as President of the United States, in the event of
the Slickville ticket becoming hereafter the favourite one. This, he
said, was on the cards, strange as it might seem, for making a fool of
John Bull and turning the laugh on him, would be sure to take and be
popular. The last paragraphs, he said, he affectioned and approbated
with all his heart.

“It is rather tall talkin’ that,” said he; “I like its patronisin’ tone.
There is sunthin’ goodish in a colonist patronisin’ a Britisher. It’s
turnin’ the tables on ‘em; it’s sarvin’ ‘em out in their own way. Lord,
I think I see old Bull put his eye-glass up and look at you, with a dead
aim, and hear him say, ‘Come, this is cuttin’ it rather fat.’ Or, as
the feller said to his second wife, when she tapped him on the shoulder,
‘Marm, my first wife was a _Pursy_, and she never presumed to take that
liberty.’ Yes, that’s good, Squire. Go it, my shirt-tails! you’ll win if
you get in fust, see if you don’t. Patronizin’ a Britisher!!! A critter
that has Lucifer’s pride, Arkwright’s wealth, and Bedlam’s sense, ain’t
it rich? Oh, wake snakes and walk your chalks, will you! Give me your
figgery-four Squire, I’ll go in up to the handle for you. Hit or miss,
rough or tumble, claw or mud-scraper, any way, you damn please, I’m your
man.”

But to return to my narrative. I was under the necessity of devoting the
day next after our landing at Liverpool, to writing letters announcing
my safe arrival to my anxious friends in Nova Scotia, and in different
parts of England; and also some few on matters of business. Mr. Slick
was very urgent in his request, that I should defer this work till
the evening, and accompany him in a stroll about the town, and at last
became quite peevish at my reiterated refusal.

“You remind me, Squire,” said he, “of Rufus Dodge, our great ile
marchant of Boston, and as you won’t walk, p’raps you’ll talk, so I’ll
jist tell you the story.

“I was once at the Cataract House to Niagara. It is jist a short
distance above the Falls. Out of the winders, you have a view of the
splendid white waters, or the rapids of foam, afore the river takes its
everlastin’ leap over the cliff.

“Well, Rufus come all the way from Boston to see the Falls: he said he
didn’t care much about them hisself, seein’ that he warn’t in the mill
business; but, as he was a goin’ to England, he didn’t like to say he
hadn’t been there, especially as all the English knowed about America
was, that there was a great big waterfall called Niagara, an everlastin’
Almighty big river called Mississippi, and a parfect pictur of a wappin’
big man called Kentuckian there. Both t’other ones he’d seen over and
over agin, but Niagara he’d never sot eyes on.

“So as soon as he arrives, he goes into the public room, and looks at
the white waters, and, sais he, ‘Waiter,’ sais he, ‘is them the falls
down there?’ a-pintin’ by accident in the direction where the Falls
actilly was.

“‘Yes, Sir,’ sais the waiter.

“‘Hem!’ sais Rufe, ‘them’s the Falls of Niagara, eh! So I’ve seen the
Falls at last, eh! Well it’s pretty too: they ain’t bad, that’s a fact.
So them’s the Falls of Niagara! How long is it afore the stage starts?’

“‘An hour, Sir.’

“‘Go and book me for Boston, and then bring me a paper.’

“‘Yes, Sir.’

“Well he got his paper and sot there a readin’ of it, and every now
and then, he’d look out of the winder and say: ‘So them’s the Falls of
Niagara, eh? Well, it’s a pretty little mill privilege that too, ain’t
it; but it ain’t just altogether worth comin’ so far to see. So I’ve
seen the Falls at last!’

“Arter a while in comes a Britisher.

“‘Waiter,’ says he, ‘how far is it to the Falls?’

“‘Little over a half a mile, Sir.’

“‘Which way do you get there?’

“‘Turn to the right, and then to the left, and then go a-head.’

“Rufe heard all this, and it kinder seemed dark to him; so arter
cypherin’ it over in his head a bit, ‘Waiter,’ says he, ‘ain’t them the
Falls of Niagara, I see there?’

“‘No, Sir.’

“‘Well, that’s tarnation all over now. Not the Falls?’

“‘No, Sir.’

“‘Why, you don’t mean to say, that them are ain’t the Falls?’

“‘Yes, I do, Sir.’

“‘Heaven and airth! I’ve come hundreds of miles a puppus to see ‘em, and
nothin’ else; not a bit of trade, or speckelation, or any airthly thing
but to see them cussed Falls, and come as near as 100 cents to a dollar,
startin’ off without sein’ ‘em arter all. If it hadn’t a been for that
are Britisher I was sold, that’s a fact. Can I run down there and back
in half an hour in time for the stage?’

“‘Yes, Sir, but you will have no time to see them.’

“‘See ‘em, cuss ‘em, I don’t want to see ‘em, I tell you. I want to look
at ‘em, I want to say I was to the Falls, that’s all. Give me my hat,
quick! So them ain’t the Falls! I ha’n’t see’d the Falls of Niagara
arter all. What a devil of a take-in that is, ain’t it?’ And he dove
down stairs like a Newfoundland dog into a pond arter a stone, and out
of sight in no time.

“Now, you are as like Rufe, as two peas, Squire. You want to say, you
was to Liverpool, but you don’t want to see nothin’.’

“Waiter.”

“Sir.”

“Is this Liverpool, I see out of the Winder?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Guess I have seen Liverpool then. So this is the great city of
Liverpool, eh? When does the train start for London?”

“In half an hour, Sir?”

“Book me for London then, for I have been to Liverpool and seen the
city. Oh, take your place, Squire, you have seen Liverpool; and if you
see as much of all other places, as you have of this here one, afore you
return home, you will know most as much of England as them do that never
was there at all.

“I am sorry too, you won’t go, Squire,” added he, “for minister seems
kinder dull.”

“Don’t say another word, Mr. Slick,” said I; “every thing shall give way
to him.” And locking up my writing-desk I said: “I am ready.”

“Stop, Squire,” said he, “I’ve got a favour to ask of you. Don’t for
gracious sake, say nothin’ before Mr. Hopewell about that ‘ere lark I
had last night arter landin’, it would sorter worry him, and set him off
a-preachin’, and I’d rather he’d strike me any time amost than lectur,
for he does it so tender and kindly, it hurts my feelins _like_, a
considerable sum. I’ve had a pretty how-do-ye-do about it this mornin’,
and have had to plank down handsum’, and do the thing genteel; but
Mister Landlord found, I reckon, he had no fool to deal with, nother. He
comes to me, as soon as I was cleverly up this mornin’, lookin’ as full
of importance, as Jube Japan did when I put the Legation button on him.

“‘Bad business this, Sir,’ says he; ‘never had such a scene in my house
before, Sir; have had great difficulty to prevent my sarvants takin’ the
law of you.’

“‘Ah,’ sais I to myself, ‘I see how the cat jumps; here’s a little tid
bit of extortion now; but you won’t find that no go, I don’t think.’

“‘You will have to satisfy them, Sir,’ says he, ‘or take the
consequences.’

“‘Sartainly,’ said I, ‘any thin’ you please: I leave it entirely to you;
jist name what you think proper, and I will liquidate it.’

“‘I said, I knew you would behave like a gentleman, Sir,’ sais he, ‘for,
sais I, don’t talk to me of law, name it to the gentleman, and he’ll do
what is right; he’ll behave liberal, you may depend.’

“‘You said right,’ sais I, ‘and now, Sir, what’s the damage?’

“‘Fifty pounds, I should think about the thing, Sir,’ said he.

“‘Certainly,’ said I, ‘you shall have the fifty pounds, but you must
give me a receipt in full for it.’

“‘By all means,’ said he, and he was a cuttin’ off full chisel to get a
stamp, when I sais, ‘Stop,’ sais I, ‘uncle, mind and put in the receipt,
the bill of items, and charge ‘em separate?’

“‘Bill of items? sais he.

“‘Yes,’ sais I, ‘let me see what each is to get. Well, there’s the
waiter, now. Say to knockin’ down the waiter and kicking him, so much;
then there’s the barmaid so much, and so on. I make no objection, I am
willin’ to pay all you ask, but I want to include all, for I intend to
post a copy of it in the elegant cabins of each of our splendid New York
Liners. This house convenes the Americans--they all know _me_. I want
them to know how their _Attache_ was imposed on, and if any American
ever sets foot in this cussed house agin I will pay his bill, and post
that up too, as a letter of credit for him.’

“‘You wouldn’t take that advantage of me, Sir?’ said he.

“‘I take no advantage,’ sais I. ‘I’ll pay you what you ask, but you
shall never take advantage agin of another free and enlightened American
citizen, I can tell you.’

“‘You must keep your money then, Sir,’ said he, ‘but this is not a fair
deal; no gentleman would do it.’

“‘What’s fair, I am willin’ to do,’ sais I; ‘what’s onfair, is what
you want to do. Now, look here: I knocked the waiter down; here is two
sovereigns for him; I won’t pay him nothin’ for the kickin’, for that
I give him out of contempt, for not defendin’ of himself. Here’s three
sovereigns for the bar-maid; she don’t ought to have nothin’, for she
never got so innocent a kiss afore, in all her born days I know, for
I didn’t mean no harm, and she never got so good a one afore nother,
that’s a fact; but then _I_ ought to pay, I do suppose, because I hadn’t
ought to treat a lady that way; it was onhansum’, that’s fact; and
besides, it tante right to give the galls a taste for such things. They
come fast enough in the nateral way, do kisses, without inokilatin’
folks for ‘em. And here’s a sovereign for the scoldin’ and siscerarin’
you gave the maid, that spilt the coals and that’s an eend of the
matter, and I don’t want no receipt.’

“Well, he bowed and walked off, without sayin’ of a word.”

Here Mr. Hopewell joined us, and we descended to the street, to commence
our perambulation of the city; but it had begun to rain, and we were
compelled to defer it until the next day.

“Well, it ain’t much matter, Squire,” said Mr. Slick: “ain’t that
Liverpool, I see out of the winder? Well, then I’ve been to Liverpool.
Book me for London. So I have seen Liverpool at last, eh! or, as Rufus
said, I have felt it too, for this wet day reminds me of the rest of his
story.

“In about a half hour arter Rufus raced off to the Falls, back he
comes as hard as he could tear, a-puffing and a blowin’ like a sizeable
grampus. You never seed such a figure as he was, he was wet through and
through, and the dry dust stickin’ to his clothes, made him look like a
dog, that had jumped into the water, and then took a roll in the road to
dry hisself; he was a caution to look at, that’s a fact.

“‘Well,’ sais I, ‘Stranger, did you see the Falls?’

“‘Yes,’ sais he, ‘I have see’d ‘em and felt ‘em too; them’s very wet
Falls, that’s a fact. I hante a dry rag on me; if it hadn’t a been for
that ere Britisher, I wouldn’t have see’d ‘em at all, and yet a thought
I had been there all the time. It’s a pity too, that that winder don’t
bear on it, for then you could see it without the trouble of goin’
there, or gettin’ ducked, or gettin’ skeered so. I got an awful fright
there--I shall never forget it, if I live as long as Merusalem. You know
I hadn’t much time left, when. I found out I hadn’t been there arter
all, so I ran all the way, right down as hard as I could clip; and,
seein’ some folks comin’ out from onder the Fall, I pushed strait in,
but the noise actilly stunned me, and the spray wet me through and
through like a piece of sponged cloth; and the great pourin’, bilin’
flood, blinded me so I couldn’t see a bit; and I hadn’t gone far in,
afore a cold, wet, clammy, dead hand, felt my face all over. I believe
in my soul, it was the Indian squaw that went over the Falls in the
canoe, or the crazy Englisher, that tried to jump across it.

“‘Oh creation, how cold it was! The moment that spirit rose, mine fell,
and I actilly thought I should have dropt lumpus, I was so skeered. Give
me your hand, said Ghost, for I didn’t see nothin’ but a kinder dark
shadow. Give me your hand. I think it must ha’ been the squaw, for it
begged for all the world, jist like an Indgian. I’d see you hanged fust,
said I; I wouldn’t touch that are dead tacky hand o’ yourn’ for half a
million o’ hard dollars, cash down without any ragged eends; and with
that, I turned to run out, but Lord love you I couldn’t run. The stones
was all wet and slimy, and onnateral slippy, and I expected every
minute, I should heels up and go for it: atween them two critters the
Ghost and the juicy ledge, I felt awful skeered I tell _you_. So I
begins to say my catechism; what’s your name, sais I? Rufus Dodge. Who
gave you that name? Godfather and godmother granny Eells. What did
they promise for you? That I should renounce the devil and all his
works--works--works--I couldn’t get no farther, I stuck fast there, for
I had forgot it.

“‘The moment I stopt, ghost kinder jumped forward, and seized me by my
mustn’t-mention’ems, and most pulled the seat out. Oh dear! my heart
most went out along with it, for I thought my time had come. You black
she-sinner of a heathen Indgian! sais I; let me go this blessed minite,
for I renounce the devil and all his works, the devil and all his
works--so there now; and I let go a kick behind, the wickedest you ever
see, and took it right in the bread basket. Oh, it yelled and howled
and screached like a wounded hyaena, till my ears fairly cracked agin.
I renounce you, Satan, sais I; I renounce you, and the world, and the
flesh and the devil. And now, sais I, a jumpin’ on terry firm once more,
and turnin’ round and facin’ the enemy, I’ll promise a little dust more
for myself, and that is to renounce Niagara, and Indgian squaws, and
dead Britishers, and the whole seed, breed and generation of ‘em from
this time forth, for evermore. Amen.

“‘Oh blazes! how cold my face is yet. Waiter, half a pint of clear
cocktail; somethin’ to warm me. Oh, that cold hand! Did you ever touch a
dead man’s hand? it’s awful cold, you may depend. Is there any marks on
my face? do you see the tracks of the fingers there?’

“‘No, Sir,’ sais I,’ I can’t say I do.’

“‘Well, then I feel them there,’ sais he, ‘as plain as any thing.’

“‘Stranger,’ sais I, ‘it was nothin’ but some poor no-souled critter,
like yourself, that was skeered a’most to death, and wanted to be helped
out that’s all.”

“‘Skeered!’ said he, ‘sarves him right then; he might have knowed how to
feel for other folks, and not funkify them so peskily; I don’t keer if
he never gets out; but I have my doubts about its bein’ a livin’ human,
I tell _you_. If I hadn’t a renounced the devil and all his works that
time, I don’t know what the upshot would have been, for Old Scratch was
there too. I saw him as plain as I see you; he ran out afore me, and
couldn’t stop or look back, as long as I said catekism. He was in his
old shape of the sarpent; he was the matter of a yard long, and as thick
round as my arm and travelled belly-flounder fashion; when I touched
land, he dodged into an eddy, and out of sight in no time. Oh, there is
no mistake, I’ll take my oath of it; I see him, I did upon my soul. It
was the old gentleman hisself; he come there to cool hisself. Oh, it was
the devil, that’s a fact.’

“‘It was nothin’ but a fresh water eel,’ sais I; ‘I have seen thousands
of ‘em there; for the crevices of them rocks are chock full of ‘em.
How can you come for to go, for to talk arter that fashion; you are
a disgrace to our great nation, you great lummokin coward, you. An
American citizen is afeerd of nothin’, but a bad spekilation, or bein’
found oat.’

“Well, that posed him, he seemed kinder bothered, and looked down.

“‘An eel, eh! well, it mought be an eel,’ sais be, ‘that’s a fact.
I didn’t think of that; but then if it was, it was god-mother granny
Eells, that promised I should renounce the devil and all his works, that
took that shape, and come to keep me to my bargain. She died fifty years
ago, poor old soul, and never kept company with Indgians, or niggers,
or any such trash. Heavens and airth! I don’t wonder the Falls wakes the
dead, it makes such an everlastin’ almighty noise, does Niagara. Waiter,
more cocktail, that last was as weak as water.’

“‘Yes, Sir,’ and he swallered it like wink.

“‘The stage is ready, Sir.’

“‘Is it?’ said he, and he jumped in all wet as he was; for time is money
and he didn’t want to waste neither. As it drove off, I heerd him say,
‘Well them’s the Falls, eh! So I have seen the Falls of Niagara and felt
‘em too, eh!’

“Now, we are better off than Rufus Dodge was, Squire; for we hante got
wet, and we hante got frightened, but we can look out o’ the winder and
say, ‘Well, that’s Liverpool, eh! so I have--seen Liverpool.’”



CHAPTER IX. CHANGING A NAME.

The rain having confined us to the house this afternoon, we sat over
our wine after dinner longer than usual. Among the different topics
that were discussed, the most prominent was the state of the political
parties in this country. Mr. Slick, who paid great deference to the
opinions of Mr. Hopewell, was anxious to ascertain from him what
he thought upon the subject, in order to regulate his conduct and
conversation by it hereafter.

“Minister,” said he, “what do you think of the politics of the British?”

“I don’t think about them at all, Sam. I hear so much of such matters at
home, that I am heartily tired of them; our political world is divided
into two classes, the knaves and the dupes. Don’t let us talk of such
exciting, things.”

“But, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “holdin’ the high and dignified station
I do, as Attache, they will be a-pumpin’ me for everlastinly, will the
great men here, and they think a plaguy sight more of our opinion than
you are aware on; we have tried all them things they are a jawin’ about
here, and they naterally want to know the results. Cooper says not one
Tory called on him when he was to England, but Walter Scott; and that
I take it, was more lest folks should think he was jealous of him, than
any thing else; they jist cut him as dead as a skunk; but among the
Whigs, he was quite an oracle on ballot, univarsal suffrage, and all
other democratic institutions.”

“Well, he was a ninny then, was Cooper, to go and blart it all out to
the world that way; for if no Tory visited him, I should like you to ask
him the next time you see him, how many gentlemen called upon him? Jist
ask him that, and it will stop him from writing such stuff any more.”

“But, Minister, jist tell us now, here you are, as a body might say in
England, now what are you?”

“I am a man, Sam; _Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto_.”

“Well, what’s all that when it’s fried?”

“Why, that when away from home, I am a citizen of the world. I belong to
no party, but take an interest in the whole human family.”

“Well, Minister, if you choose to sing dumb, you can, but I should like
to have you answer me one question now, and if you won’t, why you must
jist do t’other thing, that’s all. Are you a Consarvative?”

“No.”

“Are you a Whig?”

“No.”

“A Radical?”

“God forbid!”

“What in natur’ are you then?”

“A Tory.”

“A Tory! well, I thought that a Tory and a Consarvative, were as the
Indgians say, “all same one brudder.” Where is the difference?”

“You will soon find that out, Sam; go and talk to a Consarvative as
a Tory, and you will find he is a Whig: go and talk to him again as a
Whig, and you will find he is a Tory. They are, for all the world, like
a sturgeon. There is very good beef steaks in a sturgeon, and very good
fish too, and yet it tante either fish or flesh. I don’t like taking
a new name, it looks amazing like taking new principles, or, at all
events, like loosenin’ old ones, and I hante seen the creed of this new
sect yet--I don’t know what its tenets are, nor where to go and look for
‘em. It strikes me they don’t accord with the Tories, and yet arn’t in
tune with the Whigs, but are half a note lower than the one, and half
a note higher than t’other. Now, changes in the body politic are always
necessary more or less, in order to meet the changes of time, and the
changes in the condition of man. When they are necessary, make ‘em, and
ha’ done with ‘em. Make ‘em like men, not when you are forced to do so,
and nobody thanks you, but when you see they are wanted, and are proper;
but don’t alter your name.

“My wardens wanted me to do that; they came to me, and said ‘Minister,’
says they, ‘we don’t want _you_ to change, we don’t ask it; jist let
us call you a Unitarian, and you can remain Episcopalian still. We are
tired of that old fashioned name, it’s generally thought unsuited to
the times, and behind the enlightment of the age; it’s only fit for
benighted Europeans. Change the name, you needn’t change any thing else.
What is a name?’

“‘Every thing,’ says I, ‘every thing, my brethren; one name belongs to a
Christian, and the other don’t; that’s the difference. I’d die before
I surrendered my name; for in surrenderin’ that, I surrender my
principles.’”

“Exactly,” said Mr. Slick, “that’s what Brother Eldad used to say.
‘Sam,’ said he, ‘a man with an _alias_ is the worst character in the
world; for takin’ a new name, shows he is ashamed of his old one; and
havin’ an old one, shows his new one is a cheat.’”

“No,” said Mr. Hopewell, “I don’t like that word Consarvative. Them
folks may be good kind of people, and I guess they be, seein’ that the
Tories support ‘em, which is the best thing I see about them; but I
don’t like changin’ a name.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said Mr. Slick, “p’raps their old name was so
infarnal dry rotted, they wanted to change it for a sound new one. You
recollect when that super-superior villain, Expected Thorne, brought
an action of defamation agin’ me, to Slickville, for takin’ away his
character, about stealing the watch to Nova Scotia; well, I jist pleaded
my own case, and I ups and sais, ‘Gentlemen of the Jury,’ sais I,
“Expected’s character, every soul knows, is about the wust in all
Slickville. If I have taken it away, I have done him a great sarvice,
for he has a smart chance of gettin’ a better one; and if he don’t find
a swap to his mind, why no character is better nor a bad one.’

“Well, the old judge and the whole court larfed right out like any
thin’; and the jury, without stirrin’ from the box, returned a vardict
for the defendant. P’raps now, that mought be the case with the Tories.”

“The difference,” said Mr. Hopewell, is jist this:--your friend, Mr.
Expected Thorne, had a name he had ought to have been ashamed of, and
the Tories one that the whole nation had very great reason to be
proud of. There is some little difference, you must admit. My English
politics, (mind you, I say English, for they hare no reference to
America,) are Tory, and I don’t want to go to Sir Robert Peel, or Lord
John Russell either.”

“As for Johnny Russell,” said Mr. Slick, “he is a clever little chap
that; he--”

“Don’t call him Johnny Russell,” said Mr. Hopewell, “or a little chap,
or such flippant names, I don’t like to hear you talk that way. It
neither becomes you as a Christian nor a gentleman. St. Luke and St.
Paul, when addressing people of rank, use the word ‘[Greek text]’
which, as nearly as possible, answers to the title of ‘your Excellency.’
Honour, we are told, should be given to those to whom honour is due;
and if we had no such authority on the subject, the omission of titles,
where they are usual and legal, is, to say the least of it, a vulgar
familiarity, ill becoming an Attache of our embassy. But as I was
saying, I do not require to go to either of those statesmen to be
instructed in my politics. I take mine where I take my religion, from
the Bible. ‘Fear God, honour the King, and meddle not with those that
are given to change.’”

“Oh, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “you mis’t a figur at our glorious
Revolution, you had ought to have held on to the British; they would
have made a bishop of you, and shoved you into the House of Lords, black
apron, lawn sleeves, shovel hat and all, as sure as rates. ‘The right
reverend, the Lord Bishop of Slickville:’ wouldn’t it look well on
the back of a letter, eh? or your signature to one sent to me, signed
‘Joshua Slickville.’ It sounds better, that, than ‘Old Minister,’ don’t
it?”

“Oh, if you go for to talk that way, Sam, I am done; but I will shew you
that the Tories are the men to govern this great nation. A Tory I may
say ‘_noscitur a sociis_.’”

“What in natur is that, when it’s biled and the skin took off?” asked
Mr. Slick.

“Why is it possible you don’t know that? Have you forgotten that common
schoolboy phrase?”

“Guess I do know; but it don’t tally jist altogether nohow, as it were.
Known as a Socialist, isn’t it?”

“If, Sir,” said Mr. Hopewell, with much earnestness, “if instead of
ornamenting your conversation with cant terms, and miserable slang,
picked up from the lowest refuse of our population, both east and west,
you had cultivated your mind, and enriched it with quotations from
classical writers, you would have been more like an Attache, and less
like a peddling clockmaker than you are.”

“Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “I was only in jeest, but you are in
airnest. What you have said is too true for a joke, and I feel it. I was
only a sparrin’; but you took off the gloves, and felt my short ribs in
a way that has given me a stitch in the side. It tante fair to kick that
way afore you are spurred. You’ve hurt me considerable.”

“Sam, I am old, narvous, and irritable. I was wrong to speak unkindly
to you, very wrong indeed, and I am sorry for it; but don’t teaze me no
more, that’s a good lad; for I feel worse than you do about it. I beg
your pardon, I--”

“Well,” said Mr. Slick, “to get back to what we was a sayin’, for you do
talk like a book, that’s a fact; ‘_noscitur a sociis_,’ says you.”

“Ay, ‘Birds of a feather flock together,’ as the old maxim goes. Now,
Sam, who supported the Whigs?”

“Why, let me see; a few of the lords, a few of the gentry, the
repealers, the manufacturin’ folks, the independents, the baptists, the
dissentin’ Scotch, the socialists, the radicals, the discontented, and
most of the lower orders, and so on.”

“Well, who supported the Tories?”

“Why, the majority of the lords, the great body of landed gentry, the
univarsities, the whole of the Church of England, the whole of the
methodists, amost the principal part of the kirk, the great marchants,
capitalists, bankers, lawyers, army and navy officers, and soon.”

“Now don’t take your politics from me, Sam, for I am no politician; but
as an American citizen, judge for yourself, which of those two parties
is most likely to be right, or which would you like to belong to.”

“Well, I must say,” replied he, “I _do_ think that the larnin’, piety,
property, and respectability, is on the Tory side; and where all them
things is united, right most commonly is found a-joggin’ along in
company.”

“Well now, Sam, you know we are a calculatin’ people, a commercial
people, a practical people. Europe laughs at us for it. Perhaps if
they attended better to their own financial affairs, they would be in a
better situation to laugh. But still we must look to facts and results.
How did the Tories, when they went out of office, leave the kingdom?--At
peace?”

“Yes, with all the world.”

“How did the Whigs leave it?”

“With three wars on hand, and one in the vat a-brewin’ with America.
Every great interest injured, some ruined, and all alarmed at the
impendin’ danger--of national bankruptcy.”

“Well, now for dollars and cents. How did the Tories leave the
treasury?”

“With a surplus revenue of millions.”

“How did the Whigs?”

“With a deficiency that made the nation scratch their head, and stare
agin.”

“I could go through the details with you, as far as my imperfect
information extends, or more imperfect memory would let me; but it
is all the same, and always will be, here, in France, with us, in the
colonies, and everywhere else. Whenever property, talent, and virtue are
all on one side, and only ignorant numbers, with a mere sprinkling of
property and talent to agitate ‘em and make use of ‘em, or misinformed
or mistaken virtue to sanction ‘em on the other side, no honest man can
take long to deliberate which side he will choose.

“As to those conservatives, I don’t know what to say, Sam; I should like
to put you right if I could. But I’ll tell you what puzzles me. I ask
myself what is a Tory? I find he is a man who goes the whole figur’ for
the support of the monarchy, in its three orders, of king, lords, and
commons, as by law established; that he is for the connexion of Church
and State and so on; and that as the wealthiest man in England, he
offers to prove his sincerity, by paying the greatest part of the taxes
to uphold these things. Well, then I ask what is Consarvitism? I am told
that it means, what it imports, a conservation of things as they are.
Where, then, is the difference? _If there is no difference, it is a mere
juggle to change the name: if there is a difference, the word is worse
than a juggle, for it don’t import any_.”

“Tell you what,” said Mr. Slick, “I heerd an old critter to Halifax once
describe ‘em beautiful. He said he could tell a man’s politicks by his
shirt. ‘A Tory, Sir,’ said he, for he was a pompious old boy was old
Blue-Nose; ‘a Tory, Sir,’ said he, ‘is a gentleman every inch of him,
stock, lock, and barrel; and he puts a clean frill shirt on every day.
A Whig, Sir,’ says he, ‘is a gentleman every other inch of him, and
he puts an onfrilled one on every other day. A Radical, Sir, ain’t no
gentleman at all, and he only puts one on of a Sunday. But a Chartist,
Sir, is a loafer; he never puts one on till the old one won’t hold
together no longer, and drops off in, pieces.’”

“Pooh!” said Mr. Hopewell, “now don’t talk nonsense; but as I was
a-goin’ to say, I am a plain man, and a straightforward man, Sam; what I
say, I mean; and what I mean, I say. Private and public life are subject
to the same rules; and truth and manliness are two qualities that
will carry you through this world much better than policy, or tact,
or expediency, or any other word that ever was devised to conceal, or
mystify a deviation from the straight line. They have a sartificate of
character, these consarvitives, in having the support of the Tories; but
that don’t quite satisfy me. It may, perhaps, mean no more than this,
arter all--they are the best sarvants we have; but not as good as we
want. However, I shall know more about it soon; and when I do, I will
give you my opinion candidly. One thing, however, is certain, a change
in the institutions of a country I could accede to, approve, and
support, if necessary and good; but I never can approve of either an
individual or a party--‘_changing a name_.’”



CHAPTER X. THE NELSON MONUMENT.

The following day being dry, we walked out to view the wonders of this
great commercial city of England, Liverpool. The side-paths were filled
with an active and busy population, and the main streets thronged with
heavily-laden waggons, conveying to the docks the manufactures of the
country, or carrying inward the productions of foreign nations. It was
an animating and busy scene.

“This,” said Mr. Hopewell, “is solitude. It is in a place like this,
that you feel yourself to be an isolated being, when you are surrounded
by multitudes who have no sympathy with you, to whom you are not only
wholly unknown, but not one of whom you have ever seen before.

“The solitude of the vast American forest is not equal to this.
Encompassed by the great objects of nature, you recognise nature’s God
every where; you feel his presence, and rely on his protection. Every
thing in a city is artificial, the predominant idea is man; and man,
under circumstances like the present, is neither your friend nor
protector. You form no part of the social system here. Gregarious by
nature, you cannot associate; dependent, you cannot attach yourself; a
rational being, you cannot interchange ideas. In seeking the wilderness
you enter the abode of solitude, and are naturally and voluntarily
alone. On visiting a city, on the contrary, you enter the residence of
man, and if you are forced into isolation there, to you it is worse than
a desert.

“I know of nothing so depressing as this feeling of unconnected
individuality, amidst a dense population like this. But, my friend,
there is One who never forsakes us either in the throng or the
wilderness, whose ear is always open to our petitions, and who has
invited us to rely on his goodness and mercy.”

“You hadn’t ought to feel lonely here, Minister,” said Mr. Slick. “It’s
a place we have a right to boast of is Liverpool; we built it, and I’ll
tell you what it is, to build two such cities as New York and Liverpool
in the short time we did, is sunthin’ to brag of. If there had been no
New York, there would have been no Liverpool; but if there had been no
Liverpool, there would have been a New York though. They couldn’t do
nothin’ without us. We had to build them elegant line-packets for ‘em;
they couldn’t build one that could sail, and if she sail’d she couldn’t
steer, and if she sail’d and steer’d, she upsot; there was always a
screw loose somewhere.

“It cost us a great deal too to build them ere great docks. They cover
about seventy acres, I reckon. We have to pay heavy port dues to keep
‘em up, and pay interest on capital. The worst of it is, too, while we
pay for all this, we hante got the direction of the works.”

“If you have paid for all these things,” said I, “you had better
lay claim to Liverpool. Like the disputed territory (to which it now
appears, you knew you had no legal or equitable claim), it is probable
you will have half of it ceded to you, for the purpose of conciliation.
I admire this boast of yours uncommonly. It reminds me of the
conversation we had some years ago, about the device on your “naval
button,” of the eagle holding an anchor in its claws--that national
emblem of ill-directed ambition and vulgar pretension.”

“I thank you for that hint,” said Mr. Slick, “I was in jeest like; but
there is more in it, for all that, than you’d think. It ain’t literal
fact, but it is figurative truth. But now I’ll shew you sunthin’ in
this town, that’s as false as parjury, sunthin that’s a disgrace to this
country and an insult to our great nation, and there is no jeest in it
nother, but a downright lie; and, since you go for to throw up to me our
naval button with its ‘eagle and anchor,’ I’ll point out to you sunthin’
a hundred thousand million times wus. What was the name o’ that English
admiral folks made such a touss about; that cripple-gaited, one-eyed,
one-armed little naval critter?”

“Do you mean Lord Nelson?”

“I do,” said he, and pointing to his monument, he continued, “There
he is as big as life, five feet nothin’, with his shoes on. Now examine
that monument, and tell me if the English don’t know how to brag, as
well as some other folks, and whether they don’t brag too sumtimes, when
they hante got no right to. There is four figures there a representing
the four quarters of the globe in chains, and among them America, a
crouchin’ down, and a-beggin’ for life, like a mean heathen Ingin. Well,
jist do the civil now, and tell me when that little braggin’ feller ever
whipped us, will you? Just tell me the day of the year he was ever able
to do it, since his mammy cut the apron string and let him run to seek
his fortin’. Heavens and airth, we’d a chawed him right up!

“No, there never was an officer among you, that had any thing to brag
of about us but one, and he wasn’t a Britisher--he was a despisable
Blue-nose colonist boy of Halifax. When his captain was took below
wounded, he was leftenant, so he jist ups and takes command o’ the
Shannon, and fit like a tiger and took our splendid frigate the
Chesapeake, and that was sumthing to brag on. And what did he get for
it? Why colony sarce, half-pay, and leave to make room for Englishers
to go over his head; and here is a lyin’ false monument, erected to this
man that never even see’d one of our national ships, much less smelt
thunder and lightning out of one, that English like, has got this for
what he didn’t do.

“I am sorry Mr. Lett [Footnote: This was the man that blew up the Brock
monument in Canada. _He was a Patriot_.] is dead to Canada, or I’d give
him a hint about this. I’d say, ‘I hope none of our free and enlightened
citizens will blow this lyin’, swaggerin’, bullyin’ monument up? I
should be sorry for ‘em to take notice of such vulgar insolence as this;
for bullies will brag.’ He’d wink and say, ‘I won’t non-concur with you,
Mr. Slick. I hope it won’t be blowed up; but wishes like dreams come
con_trary_ ways sometimes, and I shouldn’t much wonder if it bragged
till it bust some night.’ It would go for it, that’s a fact. For Mr.
Lett has a kind of nateral genius for blowin’ up of monuments.

“Now you talk of our Eagle takin’ an anchor in its claws as bad taste.
I won’t say it isn’t; but it is a nation sight better nor this. See what
the little admiral critter is about! why he is a stampin’ and a jabbin’
of the iron heel of his boot into the lifeless body of a fallen foe!
It’s horrid disgustin’, and ain’t overly brave nother; and to make
matters wus, as if this warn’t bad enough, them four emblem figures,
have great heavy iron chains on ‘em, and a great enormous sneezer of
a lion has one part o’ the chain in its mouth, and is a-growlin’ and
a-grinnin’ and a-snarling at ‘em like mad, as much as to say, ‘if you
dare to move the sixteen hundredth part of an inch, I will fall to and
make mincemeat of you, in less than half no time. I don’t think there
never was nothin’ so bad as this, ever seen since the days of old daddy
Adam down to this present blessed day, I don’t indeed. So don’t come for
to go, Squire, to tarnt me with the Eagle and the anchor no more, for I
don’t like it a bit; you’d better look to your ‘_Nelson monument_’ and
let us alone. So come now!”

Amidst much that was coarse, and more that was exaggerated, there was
still some foundation for the remarks of the Attache.

“You arrogate a little too much to yourselves,” I observed, “in
considering the United States as all America. At the time these
brilliant deeds were achieved, which this monument is intended to
commemorate, the Spaniards owned a very much greater portion of the
transatlantic continent than you now do, and their navy composed a part
of the hostile fleets which were destroyed by Lord Nelson. At that time,
also, you had no navy, or at all events, so few ships, as scarcely
to deserve the name of one; nor had you won for yourselves that high
character, which you now so justly enjoy, for skill and gallantry. I
agree with you, however, in thinking the monument is in bad taste. The
name of Lord Nelson is its own monument. It will survive when these
perishable structures, which the pride or the gratitude of his
countrymen have erected to perpetuate his fame, shall have mouldered
into dust, and been forgotten for ever. If visible objects are thought
necessary to suggest the mention of his name oftener that it would
otherwise occur to the mind, they should be such as to improve the
taste, as well as awaken the patriotism of the beholder. As an American,
there is nothing to which you have a right to object, but as a critic,
I admit that there is much that you cannot approve in the ‘_Nelson
Monument_.’”



CHAPTER XI. COTTAGES.

On the tenth day after we landed at Liverpool, we arrived in London and
settled ourselves very comfortably in lodgings at No. 202, Piccadilly,
where every possible attention was paid to us by our landlord and his
wife, Mr. and Mrs. Weeks. We performed the journey in a post-chaise,
fearing that the rapid motion of a rail car might have an unpleasant
effect upon the health of Mr. Hope well.

Of the little incidents of travel that occurred to us, or of the various
objects of attraction on the route, it is not my intention to give
any account. Our journey was doubtless much like the journeys of other
people, and every thing of local interest is to be found in Guide Books,
or topographical works, which are within the reach of every body.

This book, however imperfect its execution may be, is altogether of
another kind. I shall therefore pass over this and other subsequent
journeys, with no other remark, than that they were performed, until
something shall occur illustrative of the objects I have in view.

On this occasion I shall select from my diary a description of the
labourer’s cottage, and the parish church; because the one shews the
habits, tastes, and condition of the poor of this country, in contrast
with that of America--and the other, the relative means of religious
instruction, and its effect on the lower orders.

On the Saturday morning, while preparing to resume our journey, which
was now nearly half completed, Mr. Hopewell expressed a desire to remain
at the inn where we were, until the following Monday. As the day was
fine, he said he should like to ramble about the neighbourhood, and
enjoy the fresh air. His attention was soon drawn to some very beautiful
new cottages.

“These,” said he, “are no doubt erected at the expense, and for the
gratification of some great landed proprietor. They are not the abodes
of ordinary labourers, but designed for some favoured dependant or aged
servant. They are expensive toys, but still they are not without their
use. They diffuse a taste among the peasantry--they present them with
models, which, though they cannot imitate in costliness of material or
finish, they can copy in arrangement, and in that sort of decoration,
which flowers, and vines, and culture, and care can give. Let us seek
one which is peculiarly the poor man’s cottage, and let us go in and see
who and what they are, how they live, and above all, how they think and
talk. Here is a lane, let us follow it, till we come to a habitation.”

We turned into a grass road, bounded on either side by a high straggling
thorn hedge. At its termination was an irregular cottage with a thatched
roof, which projected over the windows in front. The latter were
latticed with diamond-shaped panes of glass, and were four in number,
one on each side of the door and two just under the roof. The door was
made of two transverse parts, the upper half of which was open. On one
side was a basket-like cage containing a magpie, and on the other, a
cat lay extended on a bench, dozing in the warmth of the sun. The blue
smoke, curling upwards from a crooked chimney, afforded proof of some
one being within.

We therefore opened a little gate, and proceeded through a neat garden,
in which flowers and vegetables were intermixed. It had a gay appearance
from the pear, apple, thorn and cherry being all in full bloom. We were
received at the door by a middle-aged woman, with the ruddy glow of
health on her cheeks, and dressed in coarse, plain, but remarkably neat
and suitable, attire. As this was a cottage selected at random, and
visited without previous intimation of our intention, I took particular
notice of every thing I saw, because I regarded its appearance as a fair
specimen of its constant and daily state.

Mr. Hopewell needed no introduction. His appearance told what he was.
His great stature and erect bearing, his intelligent and amiable face,
his noble forehead, his beautiful snow-white locks, his precise and
antique dress, his simplicity of manner, every thing, in short, about
him, at once attracted attention and conciliated favour.

Mrs. Hodgins, for such was her name, received us with that mixture of
respect and ease, which shewed she was accustomed to converse with her
superiors. She was dressed in a blue homespun gown, (the sleeves of
which were drawn up to her elbows and the lower part tucked through her
pocket-hole,) a black stuff petticoat, black stockings and shoes with
the soles more than half an inch thick. She wore also, a large white
apron, and a neat and by no means unbecoming cap. She informed us her
husband was a gardener’s labourer, that supported his family by his
daily work, and by the proceeds of the little garden attached to the
house, and invited us to come in and sit down.

The apartment into which the door opened, was a kitchen or common room.
On one side, was a large fire-place, the mantel-piece or shelf, of
which was filled with brass candlesticks, large and small, some queer
old-fashioned lamps, snuffers and trays, polished to a degree of
brightness, that was dazzling. A dresser was carried round the wall,
filled with plates and dishes, and underneath were exhibited the
ordinary culinary utensils, in excellent order. A small table stood
before the fire, with a cloth of spotless whiteness spread upon it, as
if in preparation for a meal. A few stools completed the furniture.

Passing through this place, we were shewn into the parlour, a small room
with a sanded floor. Against the sides were placed some old, dark, and
highly polished chairs, of antique form and rude workmanship. The
walls were decorated with several coloured prints, illustrative of the
Pilgrim’s Progress and hung in small red frames of about six inches
square. The fire-place was filled with moss, and its mantel-shelf had
its china sheep and sheperdesses, and a small looking-glass, the whole
being surmounted by a gun hung transversely. The Lord’s Prayer and the
Ten Commandments worked in worsted, were suspended in a wooden frame
between the windows, which had white muslin blinds, and opened on
hinges, like a door. A cupboard made to fit the corner, in a manner
to economise room, was filled with china mugs, cups and saucers of
different sizes and patterns, some old tea-spoons and a plated tea-pot.

There was a small table opposite to the window, which Contained half
a dozen books. One of these was large, handsomely bound, and decorated
with gilt edged paper. Mr. Hopewell opened it, and expressed great
satisfaction at finding such an edition of a bible in such a house. Mrs.
Hodgins explained that this was a present from her eldest son, who had
thus appropriated his first earnings to the gratification of his mother.

“Creditable to you both, dear,” said Mr. Hopewell: “to you, because it
is a proof how well you have instructed him; and to him, that he so well
appreciated and so faithfully remembered those lessons of duty.”

He then inquired into the state of her family, whether the boy who was
training a peach-tree against the end of the house was her son, and many
other matters not necessary to record with the same precision that I
have enumerated the furniture.

“Oh, here is a pretty little child!” said he. “Come here, dear, and
shake hands along with me. What beautiful hair she has! and she looks
so clean and nice, too. Every thing and every body here is so neat, so
tidy, and so appropriate. Kiss me, dear; and then talk to me; for I love
little children. ‘Suffer them to come unto me,’ said our Master, ‘for of
such is the kingdom of Heaven:’ that is, that we should resemble these
little ones in our innocence.”

He then took her on his knee. “Can you say the Lord’s Prayer, dear?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Very good. And the ten Commandments?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Who taught you?”

“My mother, Sir; and the parson taught me the Catechism.”

“Why, Sam, this child can say the Lord’s Prayer, the ten Commandments,
and the Catechism. Ain’t this beautiful? Tell me the fifth, dear.”

And the child repeated it distinctly and accurately.

“Right. Now, dear, always bear that in mind, especially towards your
mother. You have an excellent mother; her cares and her toils are many;
and amidst them all, how well she has done her duty to you. The only way
she can be repaid, is to find that you are what she desires you to be,
a good girl. God commands this return to be made, and offers you the
reward of length of days. Here is a piece of money for you. And now,
dear,” placing her again upon her feet, “you never saw so old a man
as me, and never will again; and one, too, that came from a far-off
country, three thousand miles off; it would take you a long time to
count three thousand; it is so far. Whenever you do what you ought not,
think of the advice of the ‘old Minister.’”

Here Mr. Slick beckoned the mother to the door, and whispered something
to her, of which, the only words that met my ear were “a trump,” “a
brick,” “the other man like him ain’t made yet,” “do it, he’ll talk,
then.”

To which she replied, “I have--oh yes, Sir--by all means.”

She then advanced to Mr. Hopewell, and asked him if he would like to
smoke.

“Indeed I would, dear, but I have no pipe here.”

She said her old man smoked of an evening, after his work was done, and
that she could give him a pipe and some tobacco, if he would condescend
to use them; and going to the cupboard, she produced a long white clay
pipe and some cut tobacco.

Having filled and lighted his pipe, Mr. Hopewell said, “What church do
you go to, dear?”

“The parish church, Sir.”

“Right; you will hear Sound doctrine and good morals preached there. Oh
this a fortunate country, Sam, for the state provides for the religious
instruction of the poor. Where the voluntary system prevails, the poor
have to give from their poverty, or go without; and their gifts are so
small, that they can purchase but little. It’s a beautiful system, a
charitable system, a Christian system. Who is your landlord?”

“Squire Merton, Sir; and one of the kindest masters, too, that ever was.
He is so good to the poor; and the ladies. Sir, they are so kind, also.
When my poor daughter Mary was so ill with the lever, I do think she
would have died but for the attentions of those young ladies; and when
she grew better, they sent her wine and nourishing things from their own
table. They will be so glad to see you. Sir, at the Priory. Oh, I wish
you could see them!”

“There it is, Sam,” he continued “That illustrates what I always told
you of their social system here. We may boast of our independence, but
that independence produces isolation. There is an individuality about
every man and every family in America, that gives no right of inquiry,
and imposes no duty of relief on any one. Sickness, and sorrow, and
trouble, are not divulged; joy, success, and happiness are not imparted.
If we are independent in our thoughts and actions, so are we left to
sustain the burden of our own ills. How applicable to our state is
that passage of Scripture, ‘The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a
stranger intermeddleth not with its joy.’

“Now, look at this poor family; here is a clergyman provided for them,
whom they do not, and are not even expected to pay; their spiritual
wants are ministered to, faithfully and zealously, as we see by the
instruction of that little child. Here is a friend upon whom they can
rely in their hour of trouble, as the bereaved mother did on Elisha.
‘And she went up and laid her child that was dead on the bed of the man
of God, and shut the door on him, and went out.’ And when a long train
of agitation, mis-government, and ill-digested changes have deranged
this happy country, as has recently been the case, here is an indulgent
landlord, disposed to lower his rent or give further time for payment,
or if sickness invades any of these cottages, to seek out the sufferer,
to afford the remedies, and by his countenance, his kindness, and
advice, to alleviate their trouble. Here it is, a positive duty arising
from their relative situations of landlord and tenant. The tenants
support the owner, the landlord protects the tenants: the duties are
reciprocal.

“With _us_ the duties, as far as Christian duties can be said to be
optional, are voluntary; and the voluntary discharge of duties, like
the voluntary support of religion, we know, from sad experience, to be
sometimes imperfectly performed, at others intermitted, and often wholly
neglected. Oh! it is a happy country this, a great and a good country;
and how base, how wicked, how diabolical it is to try to set such
a family as this against their best friends, their pastor and their
landlord; to instil dissatisfaction and distrust into their simple
minds, and to teach them to loathe the hand, that proffers nothing but
regard or relief. It is shocking, isn’t it?”

“That’s what I often say, Sir,” said Mrs. Hodgins, “to my old man, to
keep away from them Chartists.”

“Chartists! dear, who are they? I never heard of them.”

“Why, Sir, they are the men that want the five pints.”

“Five pints! why you don’t say so; oh! they are bad men, have nothing to
do with them. Five pints! why that is two quarts and a half; that is
too much to drink if it was water; and if any thing else, it is beastly
drunkenness. Have nothing to do with them.”

“Oh! no, Sir, it is five points of law.”

“Tut--tut--tut! what have you got to do with law, my dear?”

“By gosh, Aunty,” said Mr. Slick, “you had better not cut that pie: you
will find it rather sour in the apple sarce, and tough in the paste, I
tell _you_.”

“Yes, Sir,” she replied, “but they are a unsettling of his mind. What
shall I do? for I don’t like these night meetings, and he always comes
home from ‘em cross and sour-like.”

“Well, I am sorry to hear that,” said Mr. Hopewell, “I wish I could see
him; but I can’t, for I am bound on a journey. I am sorry to hear
it, dear. Sam, this country is so beautiful, so highly cultivated, so
adorned by nature and art, and contains so much comfort and happiness,
that it resembles almost the garden of Eden. But, Sam, the Serpent is
here, the Serpent is here beyond a doubt. It changes its shape, and
alters its name, and takes a new colour, but still it is the Serpent,
and it ought to be crushed. Sometimes it calls itself liberal, then
radical, then chartist, then agitator, then repealer, then political
dissenter, then anti-corn leaguer, and so on. Sometimes it stings the
clergy, and coils round them, and almost strangles them, for it knows
the Church is its greatest enemy, and it is furious against it. Then it
attacks the peers, and covers them with its froth and slaver, and then
it bites the landlord. Then it changes form, and shoots at the Queen, or
her ministers, and sets fire to buildings, and burns up corn to increase
distress; and, when hunted away, it dives down into the collieries, or
visits the manufactories, and maddens the people, and urges them on to
plunder and destruction. It’s a melancholy thing to think of; but he is
as of old, alive and active, seeing whom he can allure and deceive, and
whoever listens is ruined for ever.

“Stay, dear, I’ll tell you what I will do for you. I’ll inquire about
these Chartists; and when I go to London, I will write a little tract
so plain that any child may read it and understand it; and call it _The
Chartist_, and get it printed, and I will send you one for your husband,
and two or three others, to give to those whom they may benefit.

“And now, dear, I must go. You and I will never meet again in this
world; but I shall often think of you, and often speak of you. I shall
tell my people of the comforts, of the neatness, of the beauty of an
English cottage. May God bless you, and so regulate your mind as to
preserve in you a reverence for his holy word, an obedience to the
commands of your Spiritual Pastor, and a respect for all that are placed
in authority over you!”

“Well, it is pretty, too, is this cottage,” said Mr. Slick, as we
strolled back to the inn, “but the handsumestest thing is to hear that
good old soul talk dictionary that way, aint it? How nateral he is!
Guess they don’t often see such a ‘postle as that in these diggins. Yes,
it’s pretty is this cottage; but it’s small, arter all. You feel like a
squirrel in a cage, in it; you have to run round and round, and don’t go
forward none. What would a man do with a rifle here? For my part, I have
a taste for the wild woods; it comes on me regular in the fall, like the
lake fever, and I up gun, and off for a week or two, and camp out, and
get a snuff of the spruce-wood air, and a good appetite, and a bit of
fresh ven’son to sup on at night.

“I shall be off to the highlands this fall; but, cuss em, they hante got
no woods there; nothin’ but heather, and thats only high enough to tear
your clothes. That’s the reason the Scotch don’t wear no breeches, they
don’t like to get ‘em ragged up that way for everlastinly, they can’t
afford it; so they let em scratch and tear their skin, for that will
grow agin, and trowsers won’t.

“Yes, it’s a pretty cottage that, and a nice tidy body that too, is Mrs.
Hodgins. I’ve seen the time when I would have given a good deal to have
been so well housed as that. There is some little difference atween that
cottage and a log hut of a poor back emigrant settler, you and I know
where. Did ever I tell you of the night I spent at Lake Teal, with old
Judge Sandford?”

“No, not that I recollect.”

“Well, once upon a time I was a-goin’ from Mill-bridge to Shadbrooke,
on a little matter of bisness, and an awful bad and lonely road it was,
too. There was scarcely no settlers in it, and the road was all made
of sticks, stones, mud holes, and broken bridges. It was een amost
onpassible, and who should I overtake on the way but the Judge, and his
guide, on horseback, and Lawyer Traverse a-joggin’ along in his gig, at
the rate of two miles an hour at the fardest.

“‘Mornin,’ sais the Judge, for he was a sociable man, and had a kind
word for every body, had the Judge. Few men ‘know’d human natur’ better
nor he did, and what he used to call the philosophy of life. ‘I am
glad to see you on the road, Mr. Slick, sais he, ‘for it is so bad I
am afraid there are places that will require our united efforts to pass
‘em.’

“Well, I felt kinder sorry for the delay too, for I know’d we should
make a poor journey on’t, on account of that lawyer critter’s gig, that
hadn’t no more busness on that rough track than a steam engine had. But
I see’d the Judge wanted me to stay company, and help him along, and so
I did. He was fond of a joke, was the old Judge, and sais he,

“‘I’m afraid we shall illustrate that passage o’ Scriptur’, Mr. Slick,’
said he, ‘“And their judges shall be overthrown in stony places.” It’s
jist a road for it, ain’t it?’

“Well we chattered along the road this way a leetle, jist a leetle
faster than we travelled, for we made a snail’s gallop of it, that’s a
fact; and night overtook us, as I suspected it would, at Obi Rafuse’s,
at the Great Lake; and as it was the only public for fourteen miles, and
dark was settin’ in, we dismounted, but oh, what a house it was!

“Obi was an emigrant, and those emigrants are ginerally so fond of
ownin’ the soil, that like misers, they carry as much of it about ‘em
on their parsons, in a common way, as they cleverly can. Some on ‘em
are awful dirty folks, that’s a fact, and Obi was one of them. He kept
public, did Obi; the sign said it was a house of entertainment for man
and beast. For critters that ain’t human, I do suppose it spoke the
truth, for it was enough to make a hoss larf, if he could understand it,
that’s a fact; but dirt, wretchedness and rags, don’t have that effect
on me.

“The house was built of rough spruce logs, (the only thing spruce about
it), with the bark on, and the cracks and seams was stuffed with moss.
The roof was made of coarse slabs, battened and not shingled, and the
chimbly peeped out like a black pot, made of sticks and mud, the way
a crow’s nest is. The winders were half broke out, and stopped up with
shingles and old clothes, and a great bank of mud and straw all round,
reached half way up to the roof, to keep the frost out of the cellar. It
looked like an old hat on a dung heap. I pitied the old Judge, because
he was a man that took the world as he found it, and made no complaints.
He know’d if you got the best, it was no use complainin’ that the best
warn’t good.

“Well, the house stood alone in the middle of a clearin’, without an
outhouse of any sort or kind about it, or any fence or enclosure, but
jist rose up as a toodstool grows, all alone in the field. Close behind
it was a thick short second growth of young birches, about fifteen feet
high, which was the only shelter it had, and that was on the wrong side,
for it was towards the south.

“Well, when we alighted, and got the baggage off, away starts the guide
with the Judge’s traps, and ups a path through the woods to a settler’s,
and leaves us. Away down by the edge of the lake was a little barn,
filled up to the roof with grain and hay, and there was no standin’ room
or shelter in it for the hosses. So the lawyer hitches his critter to
a tree, and goes and fetches up some fodder for him, and leaves him for
the night, to weather it as he could. As soon as he goes in, I takes
Old Clay to the barn, for it’s a maxim of mine always to look out arter
number one, opens the door, and pulls out sheaf arter sheaf of grain as
fast as I could, and throws it out, till I got a place big enough for
him to crawl in.

“‘Now,’ sais I, ‘old boy,’ as I shot to the door arter him, ‘if that
hole ain’t big enough for you, eat away till it is, that’s all.’

“I had hardly got to the house afore the rain, that had threatened all
day, came down like smoke, and the wind got up, and it blew like a young
hurricane, and the lake roared dismal; it was an awful night, and it was
hard to say which was wus, the Storm or the shelter.

“‘Of two evils,’ sais I to the lawyer, ‘choose the least. It ain’t a bad
thing to be well housed in a night like this, is it?’

“The critter groaned, for both cases was so ‘bad he didn’t know which
to take up to defend, so he grinned horrid and said nothin’; and it was
enough to make him grin too, that’s a fact. He looked as if he had got
hold on a bill o’ pains and penalties instead of a bill of costs that
time, you may depend.

“Inside of the house was three rooms, the keepin’ room, where we was all
half circled round the fire, and two sleepin’ rooms off of it. One of
these Obi had, who was a-bed, groanin’, coughin’, and turnin’ over and
over all the time on the creakin’ bedstead with pleurisy; t’other was
for the judge. The loft was for the old woman, his mother, and the
hearth, or any other soft place we could find, was allocated for lawyer
and me.

“What a scarecrow lookin’ critter old aunty was, warn’t she? She was all
in rags and tatters, and though she lived ‘longside of the lake the
best part of her emigrant life, had never used water since she was
christened. Her eyes were so sunk in her head, they looked like two
burnt holes in a blanket. Her hair was pushed back, and tied so tight
with an eel-skin behind her head, it seemed to take the hide with it.
I ‘most wonder how she ever shot to her eyes to go to sleep. She had no
stockins on her legs, and no heels to her shoes, so she couldn’t lift
her feet up, for fear of droppin’ off her slippers; but she just shoved
and slid about as if she was on ice. She had a small pipe in her mouth,
with about an inch of a stem, to keep her nose warm, and her skin was
so yaller and wrinkled, and hard and oily, she looked jist like a dried
smoked red herrin’, she did upon my soul.

“The floor of the room was blacker nor ink, because that is pale
sometimes; and the utenshils, oh, if the fire didn’t purify ‘em now
and ag’in, all the scrubbin’ in the world wouldn’t, they was past that.
Whenever the door was opened, in run the pigs, and the old woman hobbled
round arter them, bangin’ them with a fryin’ pan, till she seemed out
o’ breath. Every time she took less and less notice of ‘em, for she
was ‘most beat out herself, and was busy a gettin’ of the tea-kettle to
bile, and it appeared to me she was a-goin’ to give in and let ‘em sleep
with me and the lawyer, near the fire.

“So I jist puts the tongs in the sparklin’ coals and heats the eends on
‘em red hot, and the next time they comes in, I watches a chance, outs
with the tongs, and seizes the old sow by the tail, and holds on till
I singes it beautiful. The way she let go ain’t no matter, but if she
didn’t yell it’s a pity, that’s all. She made right straight for the
door, dashed in atween old aunty’s legs, and carries her out on her
back, ridin’ straddle-legs like a man, and tumbles her head over heels
in the duck pond of dirty water outside, and then lays down along side
of her, to put the fire out in its tail and cool itself.

“Aunty took up the screamin’ then, where the pig left off; but her voice
warn’t so good, poor thing! she was too old for that, it sounded like a
cracked bell; it was loud enough, but it warn’t jist so clear. She came
in drippin’ and cryin’ and scoldin’; she hated water, and what was wus,
this water made her dirtier. It ran off of her like a gutter. The way
she let out agin pigs, travellers and houses of entertainment, was a
caution to sinners. She vowed she’d stop public next mornin’, and bile
her kettle with the sign; folks might entertain themselves and be hanged
to ‘em, for all her, that they might. Then she mounted a ladder and goes
up into the loft-to change.

“‘Judge’ sais I, ‘I am sorry, too, I singed that pig’s tail arter that
fashion, for the smell of pork chops makes me feel kinder hungry, and if
we had ‘em, no soul could eat ‘em here in such a stye as this. But, dear
me,’ sais I, ‘You’d better move, Sir; that old woman is juicy, and I
see it a comin’ through the cracks of the floor above, like a streak of
molasses.

“‘Mr. Slick,’ sais he, ‘this is dreadful. I never saw any thing so bad
before in all this country; but what can’t be cured must be endured, I
do suppose. We must only be good-natured and do the best we can, that’s
all. An emigrant house is no place to stop at, is it? There is a tin
case,’ sais he, ‘containin’ a cold tongue and some biscuits, in my
portmanter; please to get them out. You must act as butler to-night, if
you please; for I can’t eat any thing that old woman touches.’

“So I spreads one of his napkins on the table, and gets out the
eatables, and then he produced a pocket pistol, for he was a sensible
man was the judge, and we made a small check, for there warn’t enough
for a feed.

“Arter that, he takes out a night-cap, and fits it on tight, and then
puts on his cloak, and wraps the hood of it close over his head, and
foldin’ himself up in it, he went and laid down without ondressin’. The
lawyer took a stretch for it on the bench, with his gig cushions for a
pillar, and I makes up the fire, sits down on the chair, puts my legs up
on the jamb, draws my hat over my eyes, and folds my arms for sleep.

“‘But fust and foremost,’ sais I, ‘aunty, take a drop of the strong
waters: arter goin’ the whole hog that way, you must need some,’ and I
poured her out a stiff corker into one of her mugs, put some sugar and
hot water to it, and she tossed it off as if she railly did like it.

“‘Darn that pig,’ said she, ‘it is so poor, its back is as sharp as a
knife. It hurt me properly, that’s a fact, and has most broke my crupper
bone.’ And she put her hand behind her, and moaned piteous.

“‘Pig skin,’ sais I, ‘aunty, is well enough when made into a saddle, but
it ain’t over pleasant to ride on bare back that way,’ sais I, ‘is it?
And them bristles ain’t quite so soft as feathers, I do suppose.’

“I thought I should a died a holdin’ in of a haw haw that way. Stifling
a larf a’most stifles oneself, that’s a fact. I felt sorry for her, too,
but sorrow won’t always keep you from larfin’, unless you be sorry for
yourself. So as I didn’t want to offend her I ups legs agin to the jam,
and shot my eyes and tried to go to sleep.

“Well, I can snooze through most any thin’, but I couldn’t get much
sleep that night. The pigs kept close to the door, a shovin’ agin it
every now and then, to see all was right for a dash in, if the bears
came; and the geese kept sentry too agin the foxes; and one old feller
would squake out “all’s well” every five minuts, as he marched up and
down and back agin on the bankin’ of the house.

“But the turkeys was the wust. They was perched upon the lee side of the
roof, and sometimes an eddy of wind would take a feller right slap off
his legs, and send him floppin’ and rollin’ and sprawlin’ and screamin’
down to the ground, and then he’d make most as much fuss a-gettin’ up
into line agin. They are very fond of straight, lines is turkeys. I
never see an old gobbler, with his gorget, that I don’t think of a
kernel of a marchin’ regiment, and if you’ll listen to him and watch
him, he’ll strut jist like one, and say, ‘halt! dress!’ oh, he is a
military man is a turkey cock: he wears long spurs, carries a stiff
neck, and charges at red cloth, like a trooper.

“Well then a little cowardly good natured cur, that lodged in an empty
flour barrel, near the wood pile, gave out a long doleful howl, now and
agin, to show these outside passengers, if he couldn’t fight for ‘em, he
could at all events cry for ‘em, and it ain’t every goose has a mourner
to her funeral, that’s a fact, unless it be the owner.

“In the mornin’ I wakes up, and looks round for lawyer, but he was gone.
So I gathers up the brans, and makes up the fire, and walks out. The
pigs didn’t try to come in agin, you may depend, when they see’d me;
they didn’t like the curlin’ tongs, as much as some folks do, and pigs’
tails kinder curl naterally. But there was lawyer a-standin’ up by the
grove, lookin’ as peeked and as forlorn, as an onmated loon.

“‘What’s the matter of you, Squire?’ sais I. ‘You look like a man that
was ready to make a speech; but your witness hadn’t come, or you hadn’t
got no jury.’

“‘Somebody has stole my horse,’ said he.

“Well, I know’d he was near-sighted, was lawyer, and couldn’t see a pint
clear of his nose, unless it was a pint o’ law. So I looks all round and
there was his hoss, a-standin’ on the bridge, with his long tail hanging
down straight at one eend, and his long neck and head a banging down
straight at t’other eend, so that you couldn’t tell one from t’other or
which eend was towards you. It was a clear cold mornin’. The storm was
over and the wind down, and there was a frost on the ground. The critter
was cold I suppose, and had broke the rope and walked off to stretch his
legs. It was a monstrous mean night to be out in, that’s sartain.

“‘There is your hoss,’ sais I.

“‘Where?’ sais he.

“‘Why on the bridge,’ sais I; “he has got his head down and is a-lookin’
atween his fore-legs to see where his tail is, for he is so cold, I do
suppose he can’t feel it.’

“Well, as soon as we could, we started; but afore we left, sais the
Judge to me, ‘Mr. Slick,’ sais he, ‘here is a plaister,’ taking out
a pound note, ‘a plaister for the skin the pig rubbed off of the old
woman. Give it to her, I hope it is big enough to cover it.’ And he fell
back on the bed, and larfed and coughed, and coughed and larfed, till
the tears ran down his cheeks.

“Yes,” said Mr. Slick, “yes, Squire, this is a pretty cottage of Marm
Hodgins; but we have cottages quite as pretty as this, our side of the
water, arter all. They are not all like Obi Rafuses, the immigrant. The
natives have different guess places, where you might eat off the floor
a’most, all’s so clean. P’raps we hante the hedges, and flowers, and
vines and fixin’s, and what-nots.”

“Which, alone,” I said, “make a most important difference. No, Mr.
Slick’, there is nothing to be compared to this little cottage.

“I perfectly agree with you, Squire,” said Mr. Hopewell, “it is quite
unique. There is not only nothing equal to it, but nothing of its kind
at all like--_an English cottage_.”



CHAPTER XII. STEALING THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE.

Shortly after our return to the inn, a carriage drove up to the door,
and the cards of Mr. Merton, and the Reverend Mr. Homily, which
were presented by the servant, were soon followed by the gentlemen
themselves.

Mr. Merton said he had been informed by Mrs. Hodgins of our visit to her
cottage, and from her account of our conversation and persons, he was
convinced we could be no other than the party described in the “Sayings
and Doings of Mr. Samuel Slick,” as about to visit England with the
Attache. He expressed great pleasure in having the opportunity of making
our acquaintance, and entreated us to spend a few days with him at the
Priory. This invitation we were unfortunately compelled to decline, in
consequence of urgent business in London, where our immediate presence
was indispensable.

The rector then pressed Mr. Hopewell to preach for him, on the following
day at the parish church, which he also declined. He said, that he
had no sermons with him, and that he had very great objections to
extemporaneous preaching, which he thought should never be resorted to
except in cases of absolute necessity. He, however, at last consented to
do so, on condition that Mrs. Hodgins and her husband attended, and
upon being assured that it was their invariable custom to be present,
he said, he thought it not impossible, that he might make an impression
upon _him_, and as it was his maxim never to omit an opportunity of
doing good, he would with the blessing of God, make the attempt.

The next day was remarkably fine, and as the scene was new to me,
and most probably will be so to most of my colonial readers, I shall
endeavour to describe it with some minuteness.

We walked to the church by a path over the hills, and heard the bells of
a number of little churches, summoning the surrounding population to the
House of God. The roads and the paths were crowded with the peasantry
and their children, approaching the church-yard in different directions.
The church and the rectory were contiguous to each other, and situated
in a deep dell.

The former was a long and rather low structure, originally built of
light coloured stone, which had grown grey with time. It had a large
square steeple, with pointed corners, like turrets, each of which was
furnished with a vane, but some of these ornaments were loose and turned
round in a circle, while others stood still and appeared to be examining
with true rustic curiosity, the condition of their neighbours.

The old rectory stood close to the church and was very irregularly
built, one part looking as if it had stepped forward to take a peep at
us, and another as if endeavouring to conceal itself from view, behind
a screen of ivy. The windows which were constructed of diamond-shaped
glass, were almost square, and opened on hinges. Nearly half of the
house was covered by a rose-tree, from which the lattices peered very
inquisitively upon the assembled congregation. Altogether it looked like
the residence of a vigilant man, who could both see and be unseen if he
pleased.

Near the door of the church were groups of men in their clean
smock-frocks and straw hats, and of women in their tidy dark dresses and
white aprons. The children all looked clean, healthy, and cheerful.

The interior of the church was so unlike that of an American one, that
my attention was irresistibly drawn to its peculiarities. It was low,
and divided in the centre by an arch. The floor was of stone, and from
long and constant use, very uneven in places. The pews were much higher
on the sides than ours, and were unpainted and roughly put together;
while the pulpit was a rude square box, and was placed in the corner.
Near the door stood an ancient stone font, of rough workmanship, and
much worn.

The windows were long and narrow, and placed very high in the walls. On
the one over the altar was a very old painting, on stained glass, of the
Virgin, with a hoop and yellow petticoat, crimson vest, a fly cap, and
very thick shoes. The light of this window was still further subdued by
a fine old yew-tree, which stood in the yard close behind it.

There was another window of beautifully stained glass, the light of
which fell on a large monument, many feet square, of white marble. In
the centre of this ancient and beautiful work of art, were two principal
figures, with smaller ones kneeling on each side, having the hands
raised in the attitude of prayer. They were intended to represent some
of the ancestors of the Merton family. The date was as old as 1575. On
various parts of the wall were other and ruder monuments of slate-stone,
the inscriptions and dates of which were nearly effaced by time.

The roof was of a construction now never seen in America; and the old
oak rafters, which were more numerous, than was requisite, either for
strength or ornament, were massive and curiously put together, giving
this part of the building a heavy and gloomy appearance.

As we entered the church, Mr. Hopewell said he had selected a text
suitable to the times, and that he would endeavour to save the
poor people in the neighbourhood from the delusions of the chartist
demagogues, who, it appeared, were endeavouring to undermine the throne
and the altar, and bring universal ruin upon the country.

When he ascended the pulpit to preach, his figure, his great age, and
his sensible and benevolent countenance, attracted universal attention.
I had never seen him officiate till this day; but if I was struck with
his venerable appearance before, I was now lost in admiration of his
rich and deep-toned voice, his peculiar manner, and simple style of
eloquence.

He took for his text these words: “So Absalom stole the hearts of the
men of Israel.” He depicted, in a very striking manner, the arts of this
intriguing and ungrateful man to ingratiate himself with the people, and
render the government unpopular. He traced his whole course, from his
standing at the crowded thoroughfare, and lamenting that the king had
deputed no one to hear and decide upon the controversies of the people,
to his untimely end, and the destruction of his ignorant followers. He
made a powerful application of the seditious words of Absalom: “Oh that
_I_ were a judge in the land, that every man which hath a suit or cause
might come unto me, and _I_ would do him justice.” He showed the effect
of these empty and wicked promises upon his followers, who in the holy
record of this unnatural rebellion are described as “men who went out in
their simplicity, and knew not anything.”

He then said that similar arts were used in all ages for similar
purposes; and that these professions of disinterested patriotism were
the common pretences by which wicked men availed themselves of the
animal force of those “who assemble in their simplicity, and know not
any thing,” to achieve their own personal aggrandisement, and warned
them, to give no heed to such dishonest people. He then drew a picture
of the real blessings they enjoyed in this happy country, which, though
not without an admixture of evil, were as many and as great as the
imperfect and unequal condition of man was capable either of imparting
or receiving.

Among the first of these, he placed the provision made by the state for
the instruction of the poor, by means of an established Church. He said
they would doubtless hear this wise and pious deed of their forefathers
attacked also by unprincipled men; and falsehood and ridicule would be
invoked to aid in the assault; but that he was a witness on its behalf,
from the distant wilderness of North America, where the voice of
gratitude was raised to England, whose missionaries had planted a church
there similar to their own, and had proclaimed the glad tidings of
salvation to those who would otherwise have still continued to live
without its pale.

He then pourtrayed in a rapid and most masterly manner the sin and the
disastrous consequences of rebellion; pointed out the necessity that
existed for vigilance and defined their respective duties to God, and
to those who, by his permission, were set in authority over them; and
concluded with the usual benediction, which, though I had heard it
on similar occasions all my life, seemed now more efficacious, more
paternal, and more touching than ever, when uttered by him, in his
peculiarly patriarchal manner.

The abstract I have just given, I regret to say, cannot convey any
adequate idea of this powerful, excellent, and appropriate sermon. It
was listened to with intense interest by the congregation, many of whom
were affected to tears. In the afternoon we attended church again, when
we heard a good, plain, and practical discourse from the rector; but,
unfortunately, he had neither the talent, nor the natural eloquence of
our friend, and, although it satisfied the judgment, it did not affect,
the heart like that of the “Old Minister.”

At the door we met, on our return, Mrs. Hodgins. “Ah! my dear,” said Mr.
Hopewell, “how do you do? I am going to your cottage; but I am an old
man now; take my arm--it will support me in my walk.”

It was thus that this good man, while honouring this poor woman, avoided
the appearance of condescension, and received her arm as a favour to
himself.

She commenced thanking him for his sermon in the morning. She said it
had convinced her William of the sin of the Chartist agitation, and that
he had firmly resolved never to meet them again. It had saved him from
ruin, and made her a happy woman.

“Glad to hear it has done him good, my dear,” said he; “it does me good,
too, to hear its effect. Now, never remind him of past errors, never
allude to them: make his home cheerful, make it the pleasantest place
he can find any where, and he won’t want to seek amusement elsewhere,
or excitement either; for these seditious meetings intoxicate by their
excitement. Oh! I am very glad I have touched him; that I have prevented
these seditious men from ‘stealing his heart.’”

In this way they chatted, until they arrived at the cottage, which
Hodgins had just reached by a shorter, but more rugged path.

“It is such a lovely afternoon,” said Mr. Hopewell, “I believe I will
rest in this arbour here awhile, and enjoy the fresh breeze, and the
perfume of your honeysuckles and flowers.”

“Wouldn’t a pipe be better, Minister?” said Mr. Slick. “For my part, I
don’t think any thing equal to the flavour of rael good gene_wine_ first
chop tobacco.”

“Well, it is a great refreshment, is tobacco,” said Mr. Hopewell. “I
don’t care if I do take a pipe. Bring me one, Mr. Hodgins, and one for
yourself also, and I will smoke and talk with you awhile, for they seem
as natural to each other, as eating and drinking do.”

As soon as these were produced, Mr. Slick and I retired, and requested
Mrs. Hodgins to leave the Minister and her husband together for a while,
for as Mr. Slick observed, “The old man will talk it into him like a
book; for if he was possessed of the spirit of a devil, instead of a
Chartist, he is jist the boy to drive it out of him. Let him be awhile,
and he’ll tame old uncle there, like a cossit sheep; jist see if he
don’t, that’s all.”

We then walked up and down the shady lane, smoking our cigars, and Mr.
Slick observed, “Well, there is a nation sight of difference, too, ain’t
there, atween this country church, and a country meetin’ house our side
of the water; I won’t say in your country or my country; but I say _our_
side of the water--and then it won’t rile nobody; for your folks will
say I mean the States, and our citizens will say I mean the colonies;
but you and I know who the cap fits, one or t’other, or both, don’t we?

“Now here, this old-fashioned church, ain’t quite up to the notch, and
is a leetle behind the enlightment of the age like, with its queer old
fixin’s and what not; but still it looks solemcoly’ don’t it, and the
dim light seems as if we warn’t expected to be a lookin’ about, and as
if outer world was shot out, from sight and thort, and it warn’t _man’s_
house nother.

“I don’t know whether it was that dear old man’s preachin’, and he is
a brick ain’t he? or, whether it’s the place, or the place and him
together; but somehow, or somehow else, I feel more serious to-day
than common, that’s a fact. The people too are all so plain dressed, so
decent, so devout and no show, it looks like airnest.

“The only fashionable people here was the Squire’s sarvants; and they
_did_ look genteel, and no mistake. Elegant men, and most splendid
lookin’ women they was too. I thought it was some noble, or aid’s,
or big bug’s family; but Mrs. Hodgins says they are the people of
the Squire’s about here, the butlers and ladies’ maids; and superfine
uppercrust lookin’ folks they be too.

“Then every body walks here, even Squire Merton and his splendiriferous
galls walked like the poorest of the poor, there was no carriage to the
door, nor no hosses hitched to the gate, or tied to the back of waggons,
or people gossipin’ outside; but all come in and minded their business,
as if it was worth attendin’ to; and then arter church was finished off,
I liked the way the big folks talked to the little folks, and enquired
arter their families. It may he actin’, but if it is, it’s plaguy good
actin’, I _tell_ you.

“I’m a thinkin’ it tante a rael gentleman that’s proud, but only a hop.
You’ve seen a hop grow, hante you? It shoots up in a night, the matter
of several inches right out of the ground, as stiff as a poker, straight
up and down, with a spick and span new green coat and a red nose, as
proud as Lucifer. Well, I call all upstarts ‘hops,’ and I believe it’s
only “hops” arter all that’s scorny.

“Yes, I kinder like an English country church, only it’s a leetle, jist
a leetle too old fashioned for me. Folks look a leetle too much like
grandfather Slick, and the boys used to laugh at him, and call him a
benighted Britisher. Perhaps that’s the cause of my prejudice, and yet I
must say, British or no British, it tante bad, is it?

“The meetin’ houses ‘our side of the water,’ no matter where, but away
up in the back country, how teetotally different they be! bean’t they?
A great big, handsome wooden house, chock full of winders, painted so
white as to put your eyes out, and so full of light within, that inside
seems all out-doors, and no tree nor bush, nor nothin’ near it but
the road fence, with a man to preach in it, that is so strict and
straight-laced he will do _any thing_ of a week day, and _nothin’_ of
a Sunday. Congregations are rigged out in their spic and span bran new
clothes, silks, satins, ribbins, leghorns, palmetters, kiss-me-quicks,
and all sorts of rigs, and the men in their long-tail-blues, pig-skin
pads calf-skin boots and sheep-skin saddle-cloths. Here they publish a
book of fashions, there they publish ‘em in meetin’; and instead of a
pictur, have the rael naked truth.

“Preacher there don’t preach morals, because that’s churchy, and he
don’t like neither the church nor its morals; but he preaches doctrine,
which doctrine is, there’s no Christians but themselves. Well, the
fences outside of the meetin’ house, for a quarter of a mile or so,
each side of the house, and each side of the road, ain’t to be seen for
hosses and waggons, and gigs hitched there; poor devils of hosses
that have ploughed, or hauled, or harrowed, or logged, or snaked, or
somethin’ or another all the week, and rest of a Sunday by alterin’
their gait, as a man rests on a journey by a alterin’ of his sturup, a
hole higher or a hole lower. Women that has all their finery on can’t
walk, and some things is ondecent. It’s as ondecent for a woman to
be seen walkin’ to meetin’, as it is to be caught at--what shall I
say?--why caught at attendin’ to her business to home.

“The women are the fust and the last to meetin’; fine clothes cost
sunthin’, and if they ain’t showed, what’s the use of them? The men folk
remind me of the hosses to Sable Island. It’s a long low sand-bank on
Nova Scotia coast, thirty miles long and better is Sable Island, and not
much higher than the water. It has awful breakers round it, and picks
up a shockin’ sight of vessels does that island. Government keeps a
super-intender there and twelve men to save wracked people, and there is
a herd of three hundred wild hosses kept there for food for saved crews
that land there, when provision is short, or for super-intender to catch
and break for use, as the case may be.

“Well, if he wants a new hoss, he mounts his folks on his tame hosses,
and makes a dash into the herd, and runs a wild feller down, lugs him
off to the stable-yard, and breaks him in, in no time. A smart little
hoss he is too, but he always has an _eye to natur’_ arterwards; _the
change is too sudden_, and he’ll off, if he gets a chance.

“Now that’s the case with these country congregations, we know where.
The women and old tame men folk are, inside; the young wild boys and
ontamed men folk are on the fences, outside a settin’ on the top rail, a
speculatin’ on times or marriages, or markets, or what not, or a walkin’
round and studyin’ hoss flesh, or a talkin’ of a swap to be completed of
a Monday, or a leadin’ off of two hosses on the sly of the old deacon’s,
takin’ a lick of a half mile on a bye road, right slap a-head, and
swearin’ the hosses had got loose, and they was just a fetchin’ of them
back.

“‘Whose side-saddle is this?’

“‘Slim Sall Dowdie’s.’

“‘Shift it on to the deacon’s beast, and put his on to her’n and tie the
two critters together by the tail. This is old Mother Pitcher’s waggon;
her hoss kicks like a grasshopper. Lengthen the breechin’, and when
aunty starts, he’ll make all fly agin into shavin’s, like a plane. Who
is that a comin’ along full split there a horseback?’

“‘It’s old Booby’s son, Tom. Well, it’s the old man’s shaft hoss; call
out whoh! and he’ll stop short, and pitch Tom right over his head on the
broad of his back, whap.

“Tim Fish, and Ned Pike, come scale up here with us boys on the fence.’
The weight is too great; away goes the fence, and away goes the boys,
all flyin’; legs, arms, hats, poles, stakes, withes, and all, with an
awful crash and an awful shout; and away goes two or three hosses that
have broke their bridles, and off home like wink.

“Out comes Elder Sourcrout. ‘Them as won’t come in had better stay to
home,’ sais he. And when he hears that them as are in had better stay in
when they be there, he takes the hint and goes back agin. ‘Come, boys,
let’s go to Black Stump Swamp and sarch for honey. We shall be back
in time to walk home with the galls from night meetin’, by airly
candle-light. Let’s go.’

“Well, when they want to recruit the stock of tame ones inside meetin’,
they sarcumvent some o’ these wild ones outside; make a dash on ‘em,
catch ‘em, dip ‘em, and give ‘em a name; for all sects don’t always
baptise ‘em as we do, when children, but let ‘em grow up wild in the
herd till they are wanted. They have hard work to break ‘em in, for they
are smart ones, that’s a fact, but, like the hosses of Sable Island,
they have always _an eye to natur’_ arterwards; _the change is too
sudden_, you can’t trust ‘em, at least I never see one as _I_ could,
that’s all.

“Well, when they come out o’ meetin’, look at the dignity and sanctity,
and pride o’ humility o’ the tame old ones. Read their faces. ‘How does
the print go?’ Why this way, ‘I am a sinner, at least I was once,
but thank fortin’ I ain’t like you, you onconverted, benighted,
good-for-nothin’ critter you.’ Read the ontamed one’s face, what’s the
print there? Why it’s this. As soon as he sees over-righteous stalk by
arter that fashion, it says, ‘How good we are, ain’t we? Who wet his hay
to the lake tother day, on his way to market, and made two tons weigh
two tons and a half? You’d better look as if butter wouldn’t melt in
your mouth, hadn’t you, old Sugar-cane?’

“Now jist foller them two rulin’ elders, Sourcrout and Coldslaugh; they
are plaguy jealous of their neighbour, elder Josh Chisel, that exhorted
to-day. ‘How did you like Brother Josh, to-day?’ says Sourcrout, a
utterin’ of it through his nose. Good men always speak through the nose.
It’s what comes out o’ the mouth that defiles a man; but there is no
mistake in the nose; it’s the porch of the temple that. ‘How did you
like Brother Josh?’

“‘Well, he wasn’t very peeowerful.’

“‘Was he ever peeowerful?’

“‘Well, when a boy, they say he was considerable sum as a wrastler.’

“Sourcrout won’t larf, because it’s agin rules; but he gig goggles like
a turkey-cock, and says he, ‘It’s for ever and ever the same thing with
Brother Josh. He is like an over-shot mill, one everlastin’ wishy-washy
stream.’

“‘When the water ain’t quite enough to turn the wheel, and only
spatters, spatters, spatters,’ says Coldslaugh.

“Sourcrout gig goggles again, as if he was swallerin’ shelled corn
whole. ‘That trick of wettin’ the hay,’ says he, ‘to make it weigh
heavy, warn’t cleverly done; it ain’t pretty to be caught; it’s only
bunglers do that.’

“‘He is so fond of temperance,’ says Coldslaugh, ‘he wanted to make his
hay jine society, and drink cold water, too.’

“Sourcrout gig goggles ag’in, till he takes a fit of the asmy, sets down
on a stump, claps both hands on his sides, and coughs, and coughs till
he finds coughing no joke no more. Oh dear, dear convarted men, though
they won’t larf themselves, make others larf the worst kind, sometimes;
don’t they?

“I do believe, on my soul, if religion was altogether left to the
voluntary in this world, it would die a nateral death; not that _men
wouldn’t support it_, but because it would be supported _under false
pretences_. Truth can’t be long upheld by falsehood. Hypocrisy would
change its features, and intolerance its name; and religion would
soon degenerate into a cold, intriguing, onprincipled, marciless
superstition, that’s a fact.

“Yes, on the whole, I rather like these plain, decent, onpretendin’,
country churches here, although t’other ones remind me of old times,
when I was an ontamed one too. Yes, I like an English church; but as
for Minister pretendin’ for to come for to go for to preach agin that
beautiful long-haired young rebel, Squire Absalom, for ‘stealin’ the
hearts of the people,’ why it’s rather takin’ the rag off the bush,
ain’t it?

“Tell you what, Squire; there ain’t a man in their whole church here,
from Lord Canter Berry that preaches afore the Queen, to Parson Homily
that preached afore us, nor never was, nor never will be equal to Old
Minister hisself for ‘stealin’ the hearts of the people.’”



CHAPTER XIII. NATUR’.

In the course of our journey, the conversation turned upon the several
series of the “Clockmaker” I had published, and their relative merits.
Mr. Slick appeared to think they all owed their popularity mainly to the
freshness and originality of character incidental to a new country.

“You are in the wrong pew here, Squire,” said he; “you are, upon my
soul. If you think to sketch the English in a way any one will stop to
look at, you have missed a figur’, that’s all. You can’t do it nohow;
you can’t fix it. There is no contrasts here, no variation of colours,
no light and shade, no nothin’. What sort of a pictur’ would straight
lines of any thing make? Take a parcel of sodjers, officers and all, and
stretch ‘em out in a row, and paint ‘em, and then engrave ‘em, and put
it into one of our annuals, and see how folks would larf, and ask, ‘What
boardin’-school gall did that? Who pulled her up out of standin’ corn,
and sot her up on eend for an artist? they’d say.

“There is nothin’ here to take hold on. It’s so plaguy smooth and high
polished, the hands slip off; you can’t get a grip of it. Now, take Lord
First Chop, who is the most fashionable man in London, dress him in
the last cut coat, best trowsers, French boots, Paris gloves, and
grape-vine-root cane, don’t forget his whiskers, or mous-stache, or
breast-pins, or gold chains, or any thing; and what have you got?--a
tailor’s print-card, and nothin’ else.

“Take a lady, and dress her in a’most a beautiful long habit, man’s hat,
stand-up collar and stock, clap a beautiful little cow-hide whip in her
hand, and mount her on a’most a splendiferous white hoss, with long tail
and flowin’ mane, a rairin’ and a cavortin’ like mad, and a champin’
and a chawin’ of its bit, and makin’ the froth fly from its mouth, a
spatterin’ and white-spottin’ of her beautiful trailin’, skirt like any
thing. And what have you got?--why a print like the posted hand-bills of
a circus.

“Now spit on your fingers, and rub Lord First Chop out of the slate, and
draw an Irish labourer, with his coat off, in his shirt-sleeves, with
his breeches loose and ontied at the knees, his yarn stockings and thick
shoes on; a little dudeen in his mouth, as black as ink and as short as
nothin’; his hat with devilish little rim and no crown to it, and a hod
on his shoulders, filled with bricks, and him lookin’ as if he was a
singin’ away as merry as a cricket:

   When I was young and unmarried,
      my shoes they were new.
   But now I am old and am married,
      the water runs troo,’

Do that, and you have got sunthin’ worth lookin’ at, quite
pictures-quee, as Sister Sall used to say. And because why? _You have
got sunthin’ nateral_.

“Well, take the angylyferous dear a horseback, and rub her out, well, I
won’t say that nother, for I’m fond of the little critturs, dressed or
not dressed for company, or any way they like, yes, I like woman-natur’,
I tell _you_. But turn over the slate, and draw on t’other side on’t
an old woman, with a red cloak, and a striped petticoat, and a poor
pinched-up, old, squashed-in bonnet on, bendin’ forrard, with a staff
in her hand, a leadin’ of a donkey that has a pair of yaller willow
saddle-bags on, with coloured vegetables and flowers, and red beet-tops,
a goin’ to market. And what have you got? Why a pictur’ worth lookin’
at, too. Why?--_because it’s natur’_.

“Now, look here, Squire; let Copley, if he was alive, but he ain’t; and
it’s a pity too, for it would have kinder happified the old man, to see
his son in the House of Lords, wouldn’t it? Squire Copley, you know, was
a Boston man; and a credit to our great nation too. P’raps Europe never
has dittoed him since.

“Well, if he was above ground now, alive, and stirrin’, why take him
and fetch him to an upper crust London party; and sais you, ‘Old Tenor,’
sais you, ‘paint all them silver plates, and silver dishes, and silver
coverlids, and what nots; and then paint them lords with their _stars_,
and them ladies’ (Lord if he would paint them with their garters, folks
would buy the pictur, cause that’s nateral) ‘them ladies with their
jewels, and their sarvants with their liveries, as large as life, and
twice as nateral.’

“Well, he’d paint it, if you paid him for it, that’s a fact; for there
is no better bait to fish for us Yankees arter all, than a dollar. That
old boy never turned up his nose at a dollar, except when he thought
he ought to get two. And if he painted it, it wouldn’t be bad, I tell
_you_.

“‘Now,’ sais you, ‘you have done high life, do low life for me, and I
will pay you well. I’ll come down hansum, and do the thing genteel, you
may depend. Then,’ sais you, ‘put in for a back ground that noble, old
Noah-like lookin’ wood, that’s as dark as comingo. Have you done?’ sais
you.

“‘I guess so,’ sais he.

“‘Then put in a brook jist in front of it, runnin’ over stones, and
foamin’ and a bubblin’ up like any thing.’

“‘It’s in,’ sais he.

“‘Then jab two forked sticks in the ground ten feet apart, this side of
the brook,’ sais you, ‘and clap a pole across atween the forks. Is that
down?’ sais you.

“‘Yes,’ sais he.

“‘Then,’ sais you, ‘hang a pot on that horizontal pole, make a clear
little wood fire onderneath; paint two covered carts near it. Let an
old hoss drink at the stream, and two donkeys make a feed off a patch of
thistles. Have-you stuck that in?’

“‘Stop a bit,’ says he, ‘paintin’ an’t quite as fast done as writin’.
Have a little grain of patience, will you? It’s tall paintin’, makin’
the brush walk at that price. Now there you are,’ sais he. ‘What’s
next? But, mind I’ve most filled my canvass; it will cost you a pretty
considerable penny, if you want all them critters in, when I come to
cypher all the pictur up, and sumtotalize the whole of it.’

“‘Oh! cuss the cost!’ sais you. ‘Do you jist obey orders, and break
owners, that’s all you have to do, Old Loyalist.’

“‘Very well,’ sais he, ‘here goes.’

“‘Well, then,’ sais you, ‘paint a party of gipsies there; mind their
different coloured clothes, and different attitudes, and different
occupations. Here a man mendin’ a harness, there a woman pickin’ a
stolen fowl, there a man skinnin’ a rabbit, there a woman with her
petticoat up, a puttin’ of a patch in it. Here two boys a fishin’, and
there a little gall a playin’ with a dog, that’s a racin’ and a yelpin’,
and a barkin’ like mad.’

“‘Well, when he’s done,’ sais you, ‘which pictur do you reckon is the
best now, Squire Copely? speak candid for I want to know, and I ask you
now as a countryman.’

“‘Well’ he’ll jist up and tell you, ‘Mr. Poker,’ sais he, ‘your
fashionable party is the devil, that’s a fact. Man made the town, but
God made the country. Your company is as formal, and as stiff, and as
oninterestin’ as a row of poplars; but your gipsy scene is beautiful,
because it’s nateral. It was me painted old Chatham’s death in the House
of Lords; folks praised it a good deal; but it was no great shakes,
_there was no natur’ in it_. The scene was real, the likenesses was
good, and there was spirit in it, but their damned uniform toggery,
spiled the whole thing--it was artificial, and wanted life and natur.
Now, suppose, such a thing in Congress, or suppose some feller skiverd
the speaker with a bowie knife as happened to Arkansaw, if I was to
paint it, it would be beautiful. Our free and enlightened people is so
different, so characteristic and peculiar, it would give a great field
to a painter. To sketch the different style of man of each state, so
that any citizen would sing right out; Heavens and airth if that don’t
beat all! Why, as I am a livin’ sinner that’s the Hoosier of Indiana, or
the Sucker of Illinois, or the Puke of Missouri, or the Bucky of
Ohio, or the Red Horse of Kentucky, or the Mudhead of Tennesee, or the
Wolverine of Michigan or the Eel of New England, or the Corn Cracker of
Virginia! That’s the thing that gives inspiration. That’s the glass of
talabogus that raises your spirits. There is much of elegance, and more
of comfort in England. It is a great and a good country, Mr. Poker, but
there is no natur in it.’

“It is as true as gospel,” said Mr. Slick, “I’m tellin’ you no lie. It’s
a fact. If you expect to paint them English, as you have the Blue-Noses
and us, you’ll pull your line up without a fish, oftener than you are
a-thinkin’ on; that’s the reason all our folks have failed. ‘Rush’s book
is jist molasses and water, not quite so sweet as ‘lasses, and not quite
so good as water; but a spilin’ of both. And why? His pictur was of
polished life, where there is no natur. Washington Irving’s book is like
a Dutch paintin’, it is good, because it is faithful; the mop has the
right number of yarns, and each yarn has the right number of twists,
(altho’ he mistook the mop of the grandfather, for the mop of the man of
the present day) and the pewter plates are on the kitchen dresser, and
the other little notions are all there. He has done the most that could
be done for them, but the painter desarves more praise than the subject.

“Why is it every man’s sketches of America takes? Do you suppose it is
the sketches? No. Do you reckon it is the interest we create? No. Is it
our grand experiments? No. They don’t care a brass button for us, or our
country, or experiments nother. What is it then? It is because they are
sketches of natur. Natur in every grade and every variety of form; from
the silver plate, and silver fork, to the finger and huntin’ knife. Our
artificials Britishers laugh at; they are bad copies, that’s a fact; I
give them up. Let them laugh, and be darned; but I stick to my natur,
and I stump them to produce the like.

“Oh, Squire, if you ever sketch me, for goodness gracious sake, don’t
sketch me as an Attache to our embassy, with the Legation button, on the
coat, and black Jube Japan in livery. Don’t do that; but paint me in my
old waggon to Nova Scotier, with old Clay before me, you by my side,
a segar in my mouth, and natur all round me. And if that is too
artificial; oh, paint me in the back woods, with my huntin’ coat on, my
leggins, my cap, my belt, and my powder-horn. Paint me with my talkin’
iron in my hand, wipin’ her, chargin’ her, selectin’ the bullet, placin’
it in the greased wad, and rammin’ it down. Then draw a splendid oak
openin’ so as to give a good view, paint a squirrel on the tip top of
the highest branch, of the loftiest tree, place me off at a hundred
yards, drawin’ a bead on him fine, then show the smoke, and young squire
squirrel comin’ tumblin’ down head over heels lumpus’, to see whether
the ground was as hard as dead squirrels said it was. Paint me nateral,
I besech you; for I tell you now, as I told you before, and ever shall
say, there is nothin’ worth havin’ or knowin’, or hearin’, or readin’,
or seein’, or tastin’, or smellin’, or feelin’ and above all and more
than all, nothin’ worth affectionin’ but _Natur_.



CHAPTER XIV. THE SOCDOLAGER.

As soon as I found my friend Mr. Hopewell comfortably settled in his
lodgings, I went to the office of the Belgian Consul and other persons
to obtain the necessary passports for visiting Germany, where I had a
son at school. Mr. Slick proceeded at the same time to the residence of
his Excellency Abednego Layman, who had been sent to this country by the
United States on a special mission, relative to the Tariff.

On my return from the city in the afternoon, he told me he had presented
his credentials to “the Socdolager,” and was most graciously and
cordially received; but still, I could not fail to observe that there
was an evident air of disappointment about him.

“Pray, what is the meaning of the Socdolager?” I asked. “I never heard
of the term before.”

“Possible!” said he, “never heerd tell of ‘the Socdolager,’ why you
don’t say so! The Socdolager is the President of the lakes--he is the
whale of the intarnal seas--the Indgians worshipped him once on a time,
as the king of fishes. He lives in great state in the deep waters, does
the old boy, and he don’t often shew himself. I never see’d him myself,
nor any one that ever had sot eyes on him; but the old Indgians have
see’d him and know him well. He won’t take no bait, will the Socdolager;
he can’t be caught, no how you can fix, he is so ‘tarnal knowin’, and he
can’t be speared nother, for the moment he sees aim taken, he ryles the
water and is out of sight in no tune. _He_ can take in whole shoals of
others hisself, tho’ at a mouthful. He’s a whapper, that’s a fact. I
call our Minister here ‘the Socdolager,’ for our _di_plomaters were
never known to be hooked once yet, and actilly beat all natur’ for
knowin’ the soundin’s, smellin’ the bait, givin’ the dodge, or rylin’
the water; so no soul can see thro’ it but themselves. Yes, he is ‘a
Socdolager,’ or a whale among _di_plomaters.

“Well, I rigs up this morning, full fig, calls a cab, and proceeds
in state to our embassy, gives what Cooper calls a lord’s beat of six
thund’rin’ raps of the knocker, presents the legation ticket, and was
admitted to where ambassador was. He is a very pretty man all up his
shirt, and he talks pretty, and smiles pretty, and bows pretty, and he
has got the whitest hand you ever see, it looks as white, as a new bread
and milk poultice. It does indeed.

“‘Sam Slick,’ sais he, ‘as I’m alive. Well, how do you do, Mr. Slick? I
am ‘nation glad to see you, I affection you as a member of our legation.
I feel kinder proud to have the first literary man of our great nation
as my Attache.’

“‘Your knowledge of human natur, (added to your’n of soft sawder,’ sais
I,) ‘will raise our great nation, I guess, in the scale o’ European
estimation.’

“He is as sensitive as a skinned eel, is Layman, and he winced at that
poke at his soft sawder like any thing, and puckered a little about
the mouth, but he didn’t say nothin’, he only bowed. He was a Unitarian
preacher once, was Abednego, but he swapt preachin’ for politics, and a
good trade he made of it too; that’s a fact.

“‘A great change,’ sais I, ‘Abednego, since you was a preachin’ to
Connecticut and I was a vendin’ of clocks to Nova Scotia, ain’t it?
Who’d a thought then, you’d a been “a Socdolager,” and me your “pilot
fish,” eh!’

“It was a raw spot, that, and I always touched him on it for fun.

“‘Sam,’ said he, and his face fell like an empty puss, when it gets a
few cents put into each eend on it, the weight makes it grow twice as
long in a minute. ‘Sam,’ said he, ‘don’t call me that are, except when
we are alone here, that’s a good soul; not that I am proud, for I am
a true Republican;’ and he put his hand on his heart, bowed and smiled
hansum, ‘but these people will make a nickname of it, and we shall never
hear the last of it; that’s a fact. We must respect ourselves, afore
others will respect us. You onderstand, don’t you?’

“‘Oh, don’t I,’ sais I, ‘that’s all? It’s only here I talks this way,
because we are at home now; but I can’t help a thinkin’ how strange
things do turn up sometimes. Do you recollect, when I heard you
a-preachin’ about Hope a-pitchin’ of her tent on a hill? By gosh,
it struck me then, you’d pitch, your tent high some day; you did it
beautiful.’

“He know’d I didn’t like this change, that Mr. Hopewell had kinder
inoculated me with other guess views on these matters, so he began to
throw up bankments and to picket in the ground, all round for defence
like.

“‘Hope,’ sais he, ‘is the attribute of a Christian, Slick, for he hopes
beyond this world; but I changed on principle.’

“‘Well,’ sais I, ‘I changed on interest; now if our great nation is
backed by principal and interest here, I guess its credit is kinder well
built. And atween you and me, Abednego, that’s more than the soft-horned
British will ever see from all our States. Some on ‘em are intarmined to
pay neither debt nor interest, and give nothin’ but lip in retarn.’

“‘Now,’ sais he, a pretendin’ to take no notice of this,’ you know we
have the Voluntary with us, Mr. Slick.’ He said “_Mister_” that time,
for he began to get formal on puppus to stop jokes; but, dear me, where
all men are equal what’s the use of one man tryin’ to look big? He must
take to growin’ agin I guess to do that. ‘You know we have the Voluntary
with us, Mr. Slick,’ sais he.

“‘Jist so,’ sais I.

“‘Well, what’s the meanin’ of that?’

“‘Why,’ sais I, ‘that you support religion or let it alone, as you like;
that you can take it up as a pedlar does his pack, carry it till you are
tired, then lay it down, set on it, and let it support you.”

“‘Exactly,’ sais he; ‘it is voluntary on the hearer, and it’s jist so
with the minister, too; for his preachin’ is voluntary also. He can
preach or lot it alone, as he likes. It’s voluntary all through. It’s a
bad rule that won’t work both ways.’

“‘Well,’ says I, ‘there is a good deal in that, too.’ I said that just
to lead him on.

“‘A good deal!’ sais he, ‘why it’s every thing. But I didn’t rest on
that alone; I propounded this maxim to myself. Every man, sais I, is
bound to sarve his fellow citizens to his utmost. That’s true; ain’t it,
Mr. Slick?’

“‘Guess so,’ sais I.

“‘Well then, I asked myself this here question: Can I sarve my fellow
citizens best by bein’ minister to Peach settlement, ‘tendin’ on a
little village of two thousand souls, and preachin’ my throat sore, or
bein’ special minister to Saint Jimses, and sarvin’ our great Republic
and its thirteen millions? Why, no reasonable man can doubt; so I give
up preachin’.’

“‘Well,’ sais I, ‘Abednego, you are a Socdolager, that’s a fact; you are
a great man, and a great scholard. Now a great scholard, when he can’t
do a sum the way it’s stated, jist states it so--he _can_ do it. Now the
right way to state that sum is arter this fashion: “Which is best, to
endeavour to save the souls of two thousand people under my spiritual
charge, or let them go to Old Nick and save a piece of wild land in
Maine, get pay for an old steamer burnt to Canada, and uphold the slave
trade for the interest of the States.’

“‘That’s specious, but not true,’ said he; ‘but it’s a matter rather for
my consideration than your’n,’ and he looked as a feller does when he
buttons his trowsers’ pocket, as much as to say, you have no right to be
a puttin’ of your pickers and stealers in there, that’s mine. ‘We will
do better to be less selfish,’ said he, ‘and talk of our great nation.’

“‘Well,’ says I, ‘how do we stand here in Europe? Do we maintain the
high pitch we had, or do we sing a note lower than we did?’

“Well, he walked up and down the room, with his hands onder his
coat-tails, for ever so long, without a sayin’ of a word. At last, sais
he, with a beautiful smile that was jist skin deep, for it played on his
face as a cat’s-paw does on the calm waters, ‘What was you a sayin.’ of,
Mr. Slick?’ saw he.

“‘What’s our position to Europe?’ sais I, ‘jist now; is it letter A,
No. 1?’

“‘Oh!’ sais he, and he walked up and down agin, cypherin’ like to
himself; and then says he, ‘I’ll tell you; that word Socdolager, and the
trade of preachin’, and clockmakin’, it would be as well to sink here;
neither on ‘em convene with dignity. Don’t you think so?’

“‘Sartainly,’ sais I; ‘it’s only fit for talk over a cigar, alone. It
don’t always answer a good, purpose to blart every thing out. But our
_po_sition,’ says I, among the nations of the airth, is it what our
everlastin’ Union is entitled to?’

“‘Because,’ sais he, ‘some day when I am asked out to dinner, some
wag or another of a lord will call me parson, and ask me to crave a
blessin’, jist to raise the larf agin me for havin’ been a preacher.’

“‘If he does,’ sais I,’ jist say, my Attache does that, and I’ll jist up
first and give it to him atween the two eyes; and when that’s done, sais
you, my Lord, that’s _your grace_ afore meat; pr’aps your lordship will
_return thanks_ arter dinner. Let him try it, that’s all. But our great
nation,’ sais I, ‘tell me, hante that noble stand we made on the right
of sarch, raised us about the toploftiest?’

“‘Oh,’ says he ‘right of sarch! right of sarch! I’ve been tryin’ to
sarch my memory, but can’t find it. I don’t recollect that sarmont about
Hope pitchin’ her tent on the hill. When was it?’

“‘It was afore the juvenile-united-democratic-republican association to
Funnel Hall,’ sais I.

“‘Oh,’ says he, ‘that was an oration--it was an oration that.’

“Oh!” sais I, “we won’t say no more about that; I only meant it as a
joke, and nothin’ more. But railly now, Abednego, what is the state of
our legation?”

“‘I don’t see nothin’ ridikilous,’ sais he, ‘in that are expression, of
Hope pitchin’ her tent on a hill. It’s figurativ’ and poetic, but it’s
within the line that divides taste from bombast. Hope pitchin’ her tent
on a hill! What is there to reprehend in that?’

“Good airth and seas,’ sais I, ‘let’s pitch Hope, and her tent, and the
hill, all to Old Nick in a heap together, and talk of somethin’ else.
You needn’t be so perkily ashamed of havin’ preached, man. Cromwell was
a great preacher all his life, but it didn’t spile him as a Socdolager
one bit, but rather helped him, that’s a fact. How ‘av we held our
footin’ here?’

“‘Not well, I am grieved to say,’ sais he; ‘not well. The failure of the
United States’ Bank, the repudiation of debts by several of our States,
the foolish opposition we made to the suppression of the slave-trade,
and above all, the bad faith in the business of the boundary question
has lowered us down, down, e’en a’most to the bottom of the shaft.’

“‘Abednego,’ sais I, ‘we want somethin’ besides boastin’ and talkin’
big; we want a dash--a great stroke of policy. Washington hanging Andre
that time, gained more than a battle. Jackson by hanging Arbuthnot and
Anbristher, gained his election. M’Kennie for havin’ hanged them three
citizens will be made an admiral of yet, see if he don’t. Now if Captain
Tyler had said, in his message to Congress, ‘Any State that repudiates
its foreign debts, we will first fine it in the whole amount, and then
cut it off from our great, free, enlightened, moral and intellectual
republic, he would have gained by the dash his next election, and run up
our flag to the mast-head in Europe. He would have been popular to home,
and respected abroad, that’s as clear as mud,’

“‘He would have done right, Sir, if he had done that,’ said Abednego,
‘and the right thing is always approved of in the eend, and always
esteemed all through the piece. A dash, as a stroke of policy,’ said he,
‘has sometimes a good effect. General Jackson threatening France with a
war, if they didn’t pay the indemnity, when he knew the King would make
‘em pay it whether or no, was a masterpiece; and General Cass tellin’
France if she signed the right of sarch treaty, we would fight both her
and England together single-handed, was the best move on the political
chess-board, this century. All these, Sir, are very well in their way,
to produce an effect; but there’s a better policy nor all that, a far
better policy, and one, too, that some of our States and legislators,
and presidents, and Socdolagers, as you call ‘em, in my mind have got to
larn yet, Sam.’

“‘What’s that?’ sais I. “For I don’t believe in my soul there is nothin’
a’most our diplomaters don’t know. They are a body o’ men that does
honour to our great nation. What policy are you a indicatin’ of?’

“‘Why,’ sais he, ‘_that honesty is the best policy_.’

“When I heerd him say that, I springs right up on eend, like a rope
dancer. ‘Give me your hand, Abednego,’ sais I; ‘you are a man, every
inch of you,’ and I squeezed it so hard, it made his eyes water. ‘I
always knowed you had an excellent head-piece,’ sais I, ‘and now I
see the heart is in the right place too. If you have thrown preachin’
overboard, you have kept your morals for ballast, any how. I feel kinder
proud of you; you are jist a fit representat_ive_ for our great nation.
You are a Socdolager, that’s a fact. I approbate your notion; it’s as
correct as a bootjack. For nations or individuals, it’s all the same,
honesty _is_ the best policy, and no mistake. That,’ sais I, ‘is the
hill, Abednego, for Hope to pitch her tent on, and no mistake,’ and I
put my finger to my nose, and winked.

“‘Well,’ sais he, ‘it is; but you are a droll feller, Slick, there is
no standin’ your jokes. I’ll give you leave to larf if you like, but you
must give me leave to win if I can. Good bye. But mind, Sam, our
dignity is at stake. Let’s have no more of Socdolagers, or Preachin’, or
Clockmakin’, or Hope pitchin’ her tent. A word to the wise. Good bye.’

“Yes,” said Mr. Slick, “I rather like Abednego’s talk myself. I kinder
think that it will be respectable to be Attache to such a man as that.
But he is goin’ out of town for some time, is the Socdolager. There is
an agricultural dinner, where he has to make a conciliation speech; and
a scientific association, where there is a piece of delicate brag and
a bit of soft sawder to do, and then there are visits to the nobility,
peep at manufactures, and all that sort of work, so he won’t be in town
for a good spell, and until then, I can’t go to Court, for he is to
introduce me himself. Pity that, but then it’ll give me lots o’ time to
study human natur, that is, if there is any of it left here, for I have
some doubts about that. Yes, he is an able lead horse, is Abednego; he
is a’most a grand preacher, a good poet, a first chop orator, a
great diplomater, and a top sawyer of a man, in short--he _is_ a
_Socdolager_.”



CHAPTER XV. DINING OUT.

My visit to Germany was protracted beyond the period I had originally
designed; and, during my absence, Mr. Slick had been constantly in
company, either “dining out” daily, when in town, or visiting from one
house to another in the country.

I found him in great spirits. He assured me he had many capital stories
to tell me, and that he rather guessed he knew as much of the English,
and a leetle, jist a leetle, grain more, p’raps, than they knew of the
Yankees.

“They are considerable large print are the Bull family,” said he; “you
can read them by moonlight. Indeed, their faces ain’t onlike the moon
in a gineral way; only one has got a man in it, and the other hain’t
always. It tante a bright face; you can look into it without winkin’.
It’s a cloudy one here too, especially in November; and most all the
time makes you rather sad and solemncoly. Yes, John is a moony man,
that’s a fact, and at the full a little queer sometimes.

“England is a stupid country compared to our’n. _There it no variety
where there it no natur_. You have class variety here, but no
individiality. They are insipid, and call it perlite. The men dress
alike, talk alike, and look as much alike as Providence will let ‘em.
The club-houses and the tailors have done a good deal towards this, and
so has whiggism and dissent; for they have destroyed distinctions.

“But this is too deep for me. Ask Minister, he will tell you the cause;
I only tell you the fact.

“Dinin’ out here, is both heavy work, and light feedin’. It’s monstrous
stupid. One dinner like one rainy day (it’s rained ever since I
been here a’most), is like another; one drawin’-room like another
drawin’-room; one peer’s entertainment, in a general way, is
like another peer’s. The same powdered, liveried, lazy, idle,
good-for-nothin’, do-little, stand-in-the-way-of-each-other,
useless sarvants. Same picturs, same plate, same fixin’s, same
don’t-know-what-to-do-with-your-self-kinder-o’-lookin’-master. Great
folks are like great folks, marchants like marchants, and so on. It’s a
pictur, it looks like life, but’ it tante. The animal is tamed here; he
is fatter than the wild one, but he hante the spirit.

“You have seen-Old Clay in a pastur, a racin’ about, free from harness,
head and tail up, snortin’, cavortin’, attitudinisin’ of himself. Mane
flowin’ in the wind, eye-ball startin’ out, nostrils inside out a’most,
ears pricked up. _A nateral hoss_; put him in a waggon, with a rael spic
and span harness, all covered over with brass buckles and brass knobs,
and ribbons in his bridle, rael jam. Curb him up, talk Yankee to him,
and get his ginger up. Well, he looks well; but he is ‘_a broke hoss_.’
He reminds you of Sam Slick; cause when you see a hoss, you think of his
master: but he don’t remind you of the rael ‘_Old Clay_,’ that’s a fact.

“Take a day here, now in town; and they are so identical the same, that
one day sartificates for another. You can’t get out a bed afore twelve,
in winter, the days is so short, and the fires ain’t made, or the room
dusted, or the breakfast can’t be got, or sunthin’ or another. And if
you did, what’s the use? There is no one to talk to, and books only
weaken your understandin’, as water does brandy. They make you let
others guess for you, instead of guessin’ for yourself. Sarvants spile
your habits here, and books spite your mind. I wouldn’t swap ideas with
any man. I make my own opinions, as I used to do my own clocks; and I
find they are truer than other men’s. The Turks are so cussed heavy,
they have people to dance for ‘em; the English are wus, for they hire
people to think for ‘em. Never read a book, Squire, always think for
yourself.

“Well, arter breakfast, it’s on hat and coat, ombrella in hand, (don’t
never forget that, for the rumatiz, like the perlice, is always on the
look out here, to grab hold of a feller,) and go somewhere where
there is somebody, or another, and smoke, and then wash it down with a
sherry-cobbler; (the drinks ain’t good here; they hante no variety in
them nother; no white-nose, apple-jack, stone-wall, chain-lightning,
rail-road, hail-storm, ginsling-talabogus, switchel-flip, gum-ticklers,
phlem-cutters, juleps, skate-iron, cast-steel, cock-tail, or nothin’,
but that heavy stupid black fat porter;) then down to the coffee-house,
see what vessels have arrived, how markets is, whether there is a chance
of doin’ any thin’ in cotton or tobacco, whose broke to home, and so
on. Then go to the park, and see what’s a goin’ on there; whether those
pretty critturs, the rads are a holdin’ a prime minister ‘parsonally
responsible,’ by shootin’ at him; or whether there is a levee, or the
Queen is ridin’ out, or what not; take a look at the world, make a visit
or two to kill time, when all at once it’s dark. Home then, smoke a
cigar, dress for dinner, and arrive at a quarter past seven.

“Folks are up to the notch here when dinner is in question, that’s a
fact, fat, gouty, broken-winded, and foundered as they be. It’s rap,
rap, rap, for twenty minutes at the door, and in they come, one arter
the other, as fast as the sarvants can carry up their names. Cuss
them sarvants! it takes seven or eight of ‘em to carry a man’s name up
stairs, they are so awful lazy, and so shockin’ full of porter. If a
feller was so lame he had to be carried up himself, I don’t believe on
my soul, the whole gang of them, from the Butler that dresses in the
same clothes as his master, to Boots that ain’t dressed at all, could
make out to bowse him up stairs, upon my soul I don’t.

“Well, you go in along with your name, walk up to old aunty, and make a
scrape, and the same to old uncle, and then fall back. This is done
as solemn, as if a feller’s name was called out to take his place in a
funeral; that and the mistakes is the fun of it. There is a sarvant at
a house I visit at, that I suspicion is a bit of a bam, and the critter
shows both his wit and sense. He never does it to a ‘somebody,’ ‘cause
that would cost him his place, but when a ‘nobody’ has a droll name,
he jist gives an accent, or a sly twist to it, that folks can’t help a
larfin’, no more than Mr. Nobody can feelin’ like a fool. He’s a droll
boy, that; I should like to know him.

“Well, arter ‘nouncin’ is done, then comes two questions--do I know
anybody here? and if I do, does he look like talk or not? Well, seein’
that you have no handle to your name, and a stranger, it’s most likely
you can’t answer these questions right; so you stand and use your eyes,
and put your tongue up in its case till it’s wanted. Company are all
come, and now they have to be marshalled two and two, lock and lock, and
go into the dinin’-room to feed.

“When I first came I was nation proud of that title, ‘the Attache;’ now
I am happified it’s nothin’ but ‘only an Attache,’ and I’ll tell you
why. The great guns, and big bugs, have to take in each other’s ladies,
so these old ones have to herd together. Well, the nobodies go together
too, and sit together, and I’ve observed these nobodies are the
pleasantest people at table, and they have the pleasantest places,
because they sit down with each other, and are jist like yourself,
plaguy glad to get some one to talk to. Somebody can only visit
somebody, but nobody can go anywhere, and therefore nobody sees and
knows twice as much as somebody does. Somebodies must be axed, if they
are as stupid as a pump; but nobodies needn’t, and never are, unless
they are spicy sort o’ folks, so you are sure of them, and they have all
the fun and wit of the table at their eend, and no mistake.

“I wouldn’t take a title if they would give it to me, for if I had one,
I should have a fat old parblind dowager detailed on to me to take in
to dinner; and what the plague is her jewels and laces, and silks and
sattins, and wigs to me? As it is, I have a chance to have a gall to
take in that’s a jewel herself--one that don’t want no settin’ off, and
carries her diamonds in her eyes, and so on. I’ve told our minister not
to introduce me as an Attache no more, but as Mr. Nobody, from the State
of Nothin’, in America, _that’s natur agin_.

“But to get back to the dinner. Arter you are in marchin’ order, you
move in through two rows of sarvants in uniform. I used to think they
was placed there for show, but it’s to keep the air off of folks a goin’
through the entry, and it ain’t a bad thought, nother.

“Lord, the first time I went to one o’ these grand let offs I felt
kinder skeery, and as nobody was allocated to me to take in, I goes in
alone, not knowin’ where I was to settle down as a squatter, and kinder
lagged behind; when the butler comes and rams a napkin in my hand, and
gives me a shove, and sais he, ‘Go and stand behind your master, sir,’
sais he. Oh Solomon! how that waked me up. How I curled inwardly when he
did that. ‘You’ve mistaken the child,’ sais I mildly, and I held out
the napkin, and jist as he went to take it, I gave him a sly poke in the
bread basket, that made him bend forward and say ‘eugh.’ ‘Wake Snakes,
and walk your chalks,’ sais I, ‘will you?’ and down I pops on the fust
empty chair. Lord, how white he looked about the gills arterwards;
I thought I should a split when I looked at him. Guess he’ll know an
Attache when he sees him next time.

“Well, there is dinner. One sarvice of plate is like another sarvice
of plate, any one dozen of sarvants are like another dozen of sarvants,
hock is hock, and champaigne is champaigne--and one dinner is like
another dinner. The only difference is in the thing itself that’s
cooked. Veal, to be good, must look like any thing else but veal; you
mustn’t know it when you see it, or it’s vulgar; mutton must be incog.
too; beef must have a mask on; any thin’ that looks solid, take a spoon
to; any thin’ that looks light, cut with a knife; if a thing looks like
fish, you may take your oath it is flesh; and if it seems rael flesh,
it’s only disguised, for it’s sure to be fish; nothin’ must be
nateral, natur is out of fashion here. This is a manufacturin’ country,
everything is done by machinery, and that that ain’t must be made to
look like it; and I must say, the dinner machinery is parfect.

“Sarvants keep goin’ round and round in a ring, slow, but sartain, and
for ever, like the arms of a great big windmill, shovin’ dish after
dish, in dum show, afore your nose, for you to see how you like the
flavour; when your glass is empty it’s filled; when your eyes is off
your plate, it’s off too, afore you can say Nick Biddle.

“Folks speak low here; steam is valuable, and noise onpolite. They call
it a “_subdued tone_.” Poor tame things, they are subdued, that’s a
fact; slaves to an arbitrary tyrannical fashion that don’t leave ‘em no
free will at all. You don’t often speak across a table any more nor you
do across a street, but p’raps Mr. Somebody of West Eend of town, will
say to a Mr. Nobody from West Eend of America: ‘Niagara is noble.’
Mr. Nobody will say, ‘Guess it is, it got its patent afore the “Norman
_Conquest_,” I reckon, and afore the “_subdued_ tone” come in fashion.’
Then Mr. Somebody will look like an oracle, and say, ‘Great rivers and
great trees in America. You speak good English.’ And then he will seem
surprised, but not say it, only you can read the words on his face,
‘Upon my soul, you are a’most as white as us.’

“Dinner is over. It’s time for ladies to cut stick. Aunt Goosey looks
at the next oldest goosey, and ducks her head, as if she was a goin’
through a gate, and then they all come to their feet, and the goslins
come to their feet, and they all toddle off to the drawin’ room
together.

“The decanters now take the “grand tour” of the table, and, like most
travellers, go out with full pockets, and return with empty ones. Talk
has a pair of stays here, and is laced up tight and stiff. Larnin’ is
pedantic; politics is onsafe; religion ain’t fashionable. You must tread
on neutral ground. Well, neutral ground gets so trampled down by both
sides, and so plundered by all, there ain’t any thing fresh or good
grows on it, and it has no cover for game nother.

“Housundever, the ground is tried, it’s well beat, but nothin’ is put
up, and you get back to where you started. Uncle Gander looks at next
oldest gander hard, bobs his head, and lifts one leg, all ready for a
go, and says, ‘Will you take any more wine?’ ‘No, sais he, ‘but I take
the hint, let’s jine the ladies.’

“Well, when the whole flock is gathered in the goose pastur, the
drawin’-room, other little flocks come troopin’ in, and stand, or walk,
or down on chairs; and them that know each other talk, and them that
don’t twirl their thumbs over their fingers; and when they are tired of
that, twirl their fingers over their thumbs. I’m nobody, and so I goes
and sets side-ways on an ottarman, like a gall on a side-saddle, and
look at what’s afore me. And fust I always look at the galls.

“Now, this I will say, they are amazin’ fine critters are the women
kind here, when they are taken proper care of. The English may stump the
univarse a’most for trainin’ hosses and galls. They give ‘em both plenty
of walkin’ exercise, feed ‘em regular, shoe ‘em well, trim ‘em neat, and
keep a beautiful skin on ‘em. They keep, ‘em in good health, and don’t
house ‘em too much. They are clippers, that’s a fact. There is few
things in natur, equal to a hoss and a gall, that’s well trained and in
good condition. I could stand all day and look at ‘em, and I call myself
a considerable of a judge. It’s singular how much they are alike too,
the moment the trainin’ is over or neglected, neither of ‘em is fit to
be seen; they grow out of shape, and look coarse.

“They are considerable knowin’ in this kind o’ ware too, are the
English; they vamp ‘em up so well, it’s hard to tell their age, and I
ain’t sure they don’t make ‘em live longer, than where the art ain’t
so well pract_ised_. The mark o’ mouth is kept up in a hoss here by the
file, and a hay-cutter saves his teeth, and helps his digestion. Well,
a dentist does the same good turn for a woman; it makes her pass for
several years younger; and helps her looks, mends her voice, and makes
her as smart as a three year old.

“What’s that? It’s music. Well, that’s artificial too, it’s scientific
they say, it’s done by rule. Jist look at that gall to the piany: first
comes a little Garman thunder. Good airth and seas, what a crash! it
seems as if she’d bang the instrument all to a thousand pieces. I guess
she’s vexed at somebody and is a peggin’ it into the piany out of spite.
Now comes the singin’; see what faces she makes, how she stretches her
mouth open, like a barn door, and turns up the white of her eyes, like
a duck in thunder. She is in a musical ecstasy is that gall, she feels
good all over, her soul is a goin’ out along with that ere music. Oh,
it’s divine, and she is an angel, ain’t she? Yes, I guess she is, and
when I’m an angel, I will fall in love with her; but as I’m a man, at
least what’s left of me, I’d jist as soon fall in love with one that
was a leetle, jist a leetle more of a woman, and a leetle, jist a leetle
less of an angel. But hullo! what onder the sun is she about, why her
voice is goin’ down her own throat, to gain strength, and here it comes
out agin as deep toned as a man’s; while that dandy feller along side
of her, is singin’ what they call falsetter. They’ve actilly changed
voices. The gall sings like a man, and that screamer like a woman. This
is science: this is taste: this is fashion; but hang me if it’s natur.
I’m tired to death of it, but one good thing is, you needn’t listen
without you like, for every body is talking as, loud as ever.

“Lord, how extremes meet sometimes, as Minister says. _Here_, how,
fashion is the top of the pot, and that pot hangs on the highest hook on
the crane. In _America_, natur can’t go no farther; it’s the rael thing.
Look at the women kind, now. An Indgian gall, down South, goes most
naked. Well, a splendiferous company gall, here, when she is _full
dressed_ is only _half covered_, and neither of ‘em attract you one mite
or morsel. We dine at two and sup at seven; _here_ they lunch at two,
and dine at seven. The words are different, but they are identical
the same. Well, the singin’ is amazin’ like, too. Who ever heerd them
Italian singers recitin’ their jabber, showin’ their teeth, and cuttin’
didoes at a great private consart, that wouldn’t take his oath he had
heerd niggers at a dignity ball, down South, sing jist the same, and
jist as well. And then do, for goodness’ gracious’ sake, hear that great
absent man, belongin’ to the House o’ Commons, when the chaplain says
‘Let us pray!’ sing right out at once, as if he was to home, ‘Oh! by all
means,’ as much as to say, ‘me and the powers above are ready to hear
you; but don’t be long about it.’

“Ain’t that for all the world like a camp-meetin’, when a reformed
ring-tail roarer calls out to the minister, ‘That’s a fact, Welly Fobus,
by Gosh; amen!’ or when preacher says, ‘Who will be saved?’ answers, ‘Me
and the boys, throw us a hen-coop; the galls will drift down stream on a
bale o’ cotton.’ Well then, _our_ very lowest, and _their_ very highest,
don’t always act pretty, that’s a fact. Sometimes ‘_they repudiate_.’
You take, don’t you?

“There is another party to-night; the flock is a thinnin’ off agin; and
as I want a cigar most amazin’ly, let’s go to a divan, and some other
time, I’ll tell you what a swoi_ree_ is. But answer me this here
question now, Squire: when this same thing is acted over and over, day
after day, and no variation, from July to etarnity, don’t you think
you’d get a leetle--jist a leetle more tired of it every day, and wish
for natur once more. If you wouldn’t I would, that’s all.”





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