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Title: The Attaché; or, Sam Slick in England — Complete
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.

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


     CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.

     CHAPTER I.    THE NOSE OF A SPY
     CHAPTER II.   THE PATRON; OR, THE COW’S TAIL
     CHAPTER III.  ASCOT RACES
     CHAPTER IV.   THE GANDER PULLING
     CHAPTER V.    THE BLACK STOLE
     CHAPTER VI.   THE PRINCE DE JOINVILLE’S HORSE
     CHAPTER VII.  LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
     CHAPTER VIII. BUNKUM
     CHAPTER IX.   THROWING THE LAVENDER
     CHAPTER X.    AIMING HIGH
     CHAPTER XI.   A SWOI-REE
     CHAPTER XII.  TATTERSALL’S
     CHAPTER XIII. LOOKING BACK
     CHAPTER XIV.  CROSSING THE BORDER
     CHAPTER XV.   THE IRISH PREFACE



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.”



THE SECOND VOLUME.



CHAPTER I. THE NOSE OF A SPY

“Squire.” said Mr. Hopewell, “you know Sam well enough, I hope, to make
all due allowances for the exuberance of his fancy. The sketch he has
just given you of London society, like the novels of the present
day, though founded on fact, is very unlike the reality. There may be
assemblages of persons in this great city, and no doubt there are, quite
as insipid and absurd as the one he has just pourtrayed; but you must
not suppose it is at all a fair specimen of the society of this place.
My own experience is quite the reverse. I think it the most refined,
the most agreeable, and the most instructive in the world. Whatever
your favourite study or pursuit may be, here you are sure to find
well-informed and enthusiastic associates. If you have merit, it is
appreciated; and for an aristocratic country, that merit places you on
a level with your superiors in rank in a manner that is quite
incomprehensible to a republican. Money is the great leveller of
distinctions with us; here, it is talent. Fashion spreads many tables
here, but talent is always found seated at the best, if it thinks proper
to comply with certain usages, without which, even genius ceases to be
attractive.

“On some future occasion, I will enter more at large on this subject;
but now it is too late; I have already exceeded my usual hour for
retiring. ‘Excuse me, Sam,’ said he. ‘I know you will not be offended
with me, but Squire there are some subjects on which Sam may amuse, but
cannot instruct you, and one is, fashionable life in London. You must
judge for yourself, Sir. Good night, my children.’”

Mr. Slick rose, and opened the door for him, and as he passed, bowed and
held out his hand. “Remember me, your honour, no man opens the door in
this country without being paid for it. Remember me, Sir.”

“True, Sam,” said the Minister, “and it is unlucky that it does not
extend to opening the mouth, if it did, you would soon make your
fortune, for you can’t keep yours shut. Good night.”

The society to which I have subsequently had the good fortune to be
admitted, fully justifies the eulogium of Mr. Hopewell. Though many
persons can write well, few can talk well; but the number of those who
excel in conversation is much greater in certain circles in London, than
in any other place. By talking well, I do not mean talking wisely or
learnedly; but agreeably, for relaxation and pleasure, are the principal
objects of social assemblies. This can only be illustrated by instancing
some very remarkable persons, who are the pride and pleasure of every
table they honour and delight with their presence But this may not be.
For obvious reasons, I could not do it if I would; and most assuredly,
I would not do it if I could. No more certain mode could be devised
of destroying conversation, than by showing, that when the citadel is
unguarded, the approach of a friend is as unsafe as that of an enemy.

Alas! poor Hook! who can read the unkind notice of thee in a late
periodical, and not feel, that on some occasions you must have admitted
to your confidence men who were as unworthy of that distinction as, they
were incapable of appreciating it, and that they who will disregard the
privileges of a table, will not hesitate to violate even the sanctity
of the tomb. Cant may talk of your “_inter pocula_” errors with pious
horror; and pretension, now that its indulgence is safe, may affect to
disclaim your acquaintance; but kinder, and better, and truer men than
those who furnished your biographer with his facts will not fail to
recollect your talents with pride, and your wit and your humour with
wonder and delight.

We do not require such flagrant examples as these to teach us our duty,
but they are not without their use in increasing our caution.

When Mr. Hopewell withdrew, Mr. Slick observed:

“Ain’t that ere old man a trump? He is always in the right place.
Whenever you want to find him, jist go and look for him where he
ought to be, and there you will find him as sure as there is snakes in
Varginy. He is a brick, that’s a fact. Still, for all that, he ain’t
jist altogether a citizen of this world nother. He fishes in deep water,
with a sinker to his hook. He can’t throw a fly as I can, reel out his
line, run down stream, and then wind up, wind up, wind up, and let out,
and wind up again, till he lands his fish, as I do. He looks deep into
things, is a better religionist, polititioner, and bookster than I be:
but then that’s all he does know. If you want to find your way about, or
read a man, come to me, that’s all; for I’m the boy that jist can do
it. If I can’t walk into a man, I can dodge round him; and if he is too
nimble for that, I can jump over him; and if he is too tall for that,
although I don’t like the play, yet I can whip him.

“Now, Squire, I have been a good deal to England, and crossed this big
pond here the matter of seven times, and know a good deal about it, more
than a great many folks that have writtin’ books on it, p’raps. Mind
what I tell you, the English ain’t what they was. I’m not speakin’ in
jeest now, or in prejudice. I hante a grain of prejudice in me. I’ve
see’d too much of the world for that I reckon. I call myself a candid
man, and I tell you the English are no more like what the English used
to be, when pigs were swine, and Turkey chewed tobacky, than they are
like the Picts or Scots, or Norman, French, or Saxons, or nothin’.”

“Not what they used to be?” I said. “Pray, what do you mean?”

“I mean,” said he, “jist what I say. They ain’t the same people no
more. They are as proud, and overbearin’, and concaited, and haughty
to foreigners as ever; but, then they ain’t so manly, open-hearted, and
noble as they used to be, once upon a time. They have the Spy System
now, in full operation here; so jist take my advice, and mind your
potatoe-trap, or you will be in trouble afore you are ten days older,
see if you ain’t.”

“The Spy System!” I replied. “Good Heavens, Mr. Slick, how can you talk
such nonsense, and yet have the modesty to say you have no prejudice?”

“Yes, the Spy System,” said he, “and I’ll prove it. You know Dr.
Mc’Dougall to Nova Scotia; well, he knows all about mineralogy, and
geology, and astrology, and every thing a’most, except what he ought to
know, and that is dollar-ology. For he ain’t over and above half well
off, that’s a fact. Well, a critter of the name of Oatmeal, down to
Pictou, said to another Scotchman there one day, ‘The great nateralist
Dr. Mc’Dougall is come to town.’

“‘Who?’ says Sawney.

“‘Dr. Mc’Dougall, the nateralist,’ says Oatmeal.

“‘Hout, mon,’ says Sawney, ‘he is nae nateral, that chiel; he kens mair
than maist men; he is nae that fool you take him to be.’

“Now, I am not such a fool as you take _me_ to be, Squire. Whenever I
did a sum to, school, Minister used to say, ‘Prove it, Sam, and if it
won’t prove, do it over agin, till it will; a sum ain’t right when it
won’t prove.’ Now, I say the English have the Spy System, and I’ll prove
it; nay, more than that, they have the nastiest, dirtiest, meanest,
sneakenest system in the world. It is ten times as bad as the French
plan. In France they have bar-keepers, waiters, chamber galls, guides,
quotillions,--”

“Postilions, you mean,” I said.

“Well, postilions then, for the French have queer names for people,
that’s a fact; disbanded sodgers, and such trash, for spies. In England
they have airls and countesses, Parliament men, and them that call
themselves gentlemen and ladies, for spies.”

“How very absurd!” I said.

“Oh yes, very absurd,” said Mr. Slick; “whenever I say anythin’ agin
England, it’s very absurd, it’s all prejudice. Nothin’ is strange,
though, when it is said of us, and the absurder it is, the truer it is.
I can bam as well as any man when bam is the word, but when fact is the
play, I am right up and down, and true as a trivet. I won’t deceive you;
I’ll prove it.

“There was a Kurnel Dun--dun--plague take his name, I can’t recollect
it, but it makes no odds--I know _he_ is Dun for, though, that’s a fact.
Well, he was a British kurnel, that was out to Halifax when I was there.
I know’d him by sight, I didn’t know him by talk, for I didn’t fill then
the dignified situation I now do, of Attache. I was only a clockmaker
then, and I suppose he wouldn’t have dirtied the tip eend of his white
glove with me then, any more than I would sile mine with him now, and
very expensive and troublesome things them white gloves be too; there is
no keepin’ of them clean. For my part, I don’t see why a man can’t make
his own skin as clean as a kid’s, any time; and if a feller can’t be let
shake hands with a gall except he has a glove on, why ain’t he made to
cover his lips, and kiss thro’ kid skin too.

“But to get back to the kurnel, and it’s a pity he hadn’t had a glove
over his mouth, that’s a fact. Well, he went home to England with his
regiment, and one night when he was dinin’ among some first chop men,
nobles and so on, they sot up considerable late over their claret; and
poor thin cold stuff it is too, is claret. A man _may_ get drowned in
it, but how the plague he can get drunk with it is dark to me. It’s like
every thing else French, it has no substance in it; it’s nothin’ but red
ink, that’s a fact. Well, how it was I don’t know, but so it eventuated,
that about daylight he was mops and brooms, and began to talk somethin’
or another he hadn’t ought to; somethin’ he didn’t know himself, and
somethin’ he didn’t mean, and didn’t remember.

“Faith, next mornin’ he was booked; and the first thing he see’d when he
waked was another man a tryin’ on of his shoes, to see how they’d fit to
march to the head of his regiment with. Fact, I assure you, and a fact
too that shows what Englishmen has come to; I despise ‘em, I hate ‘em, I
scorn such critters as I do oncarcumcised niggers.”

“What a strange perversion of facts,” I replied.

But he would admit of no explanation. “Oh yes, quite parvarted; not a
word of truth in it; there never is when England is consarned. There is
no beam in an Englishman’s eye; no not a smell of one; he has pulled it
out long ago; that’s the reason he can see the mote in other folks’s
so plain. Oh, of course it ain’t true; it’s a Yankee invention; it’s a
hickory ham and a wooden nutmeg.

“Well, then, there was another feller got bagged t’other day, as
innocent as could be, for givin’ his opinion when folks was a talkin’
about matters and things in gineral, and this here one in partikilar. I
can’t tell the words, for I don’t know ‘em, nor care about ‘em; and if I
did, I couldn’t carry ‘em about so long; but it was for sayin’ it
hadn’t ought to have been taken notice of, considerin’ it jist popt out
permiscuous like with the bottle-cork. If he hadn’t a had the clear
grit in him, and showed teeth and claws, they’d a nullified him so, you
wouldn’t have see’d a grease spot of him no more. What do you call that,
now? Do you call that liberty? Do you call that old English? Do you call
it pretty, say now? Thank God, it tante Yankee.”

“I see you have no prejudice, Mr. Slick,” I replied.

“Not one mite or morsel,” he replied. “Tho’ I was born in Connecticut, I
have travelled all over the thirteen united univarsal worlds of ourn and
am a citizen at large. No, I have no prejudice. You say I am mistaken;
p’raps I am, I hope I be, and a stranger may get hold of the wrong eend
of a thing sometimes, that’s a fact. But I don’t think I be wrong, or
else the papers don’t tell the truth; and I read it in all the jarnals;
I did, upon my soul. Why man, it’s history now, if such nasty mean doins
is worth puttin’ into a book.

“What makes this Spy System to England wuss, is that these
eaves-droppers are obliged to hear all that’s said, or lose what
commission they hold; at least so folks tell me. I recollect when I was
there last, for it’s some years since Government first sot up the Spy
System; there was a great feed given to a Mr. Robe, or Robie, or some
such name, an out and out Tory. Well, sunthin’ or another was said over
their cups, that might as well have been let alone, I do suppose, tho’
dear me, what is the use of wine but to onloosen the tongue, and what
is the use of the tongue, but to talk. Oh, cuss ‘em, I have no patience
with them. Well, there was an officer of a marchin’ regiment there, who
it seems ought to have took down the words and sent ‘em up to the head
Gineral, but he was a knowin’ coon, was officer, and _didn’t hear it_.
No sooner said than done; some one else did the dirty work for him; but
you can’t have a substitute for this, you must sarve in person, so the
old Gineral hawls him right up for it.

“‘Why the plague, didn’t you make a fuss?’ sais the General, ‘why didn’t
you get right up, and break up the party?’

“‘I didn’t hear it,’ sais he.

“‘You didn’t hear it!’ sais Old Sword-belt, ‘then you had ought to have
heerd it; and for two pins, I’d sharpen your hearin’ for you, so that a
snore of a fly would wake you up, as if a byler had bust.’

“Oh, how it has lowered the English in the eyes of foreigners! How
sneakin’ it makes ‘em look! They seem for all the world like scared
dogs; and a dog when he slopes off with his head down, his tail atween
his legs, and his back so mean it won’t bristle, is a caution to
sinners. Lord. I wish I was Queen!”

“What, of such a degraded race as you say the English are, of such a
mean-spirited, sneaking nation?”

“Well, they warn’t always so,” he replied. “I will say that, for I
have no prejudice. By natur, there is sunthin’ noble and manly in a
Britisher, and always was, till this cussed Spy System got into fashion.
They tell me it was the Liberals first brought it into vogue. How that
is. I don’t know; but I shouldn’t wonder if it was them, for I know
this, if a feller talks _very_ liberal in politics, put him into office,
and see what a tyrant he’ll make. If he talks very liberal in religion,
it’s because he hante got none at all. If he talks very liberal to the
poor, talk is all the poor will ever get out of him. If he talks liberal
about corn law, it tante to feed the hungry, but to lower wages, and
so on in every thing a most. None is so liberal as those as hante got
nothin’. The most liberal feller I know on is “Old Scratch himself.” If
ever the liberals come in, they should make him Prime Minister. He is
very liberal in religion and would jine them in excludin’ the Bible from
common schools I know. He is very liberal about the criminal code, for
he can’t bear to see criminals punished. He is very liberal in politics,
for he don’t approbate restraint, and likes to let every critter ‘go
to the devil’ his own way. Oh, he should be Head Spy and Prime Minister
that feller.

“But without jokin’ tho’, if I was Queen, the fust time any o’ my
ministers came to me to report what the spies had said, I’d jist up and
say, ‘Minister,’ I’d say, ‘it is a cussed oninglish, onmanly, niggerly
business, is this of pumpin’, and spyin’, and tattlin’. I don’t like it
a bit. I’ll have neither art nor part in it; I wash my hands clear of
it. It will jist break the spirit of my people. So, minister look here.
The next report that is brought to me of a spy, I’ll whip his tongue out
and whop your ear off, or my name ain’t Queen. So jist mind what I say;
first spy pokes his nose into your office, chop it off and clap it up
over Temple Bar, where they puts the heads of traitors and write these
words over, with your own fist, that they may know the handwritin’, and
not mistake the meanin’, _This is the nose of a Spy_.”



CHAPTER II. THE PATRON; OR, THE COW’S TAIL.

Nothing is so fatiguing as sight-seeing. The number and variety of
objects to which your attention is called, and the rapid succession in
which they pass in review, at once wearies and perplexes the mind; and
unless you take notes to refresh your memory, you are apt to find you
carry away with you but an imperfect and indistinct recollection.

Yesterday was devoted to an inspection of the Tunnel and an
examination of the Tower, two things that ought always to be viewed
in juxta-position; one being the greatest evidence of the science and
wealth of modern times; and the other of the power and pomp of our
forefathers.

It is a long time before a stranger can fully appreciate the extent
of population and wealth of this vast metropolis. At first, he is
astonished and confused; his vision is indistinct. By degrees he begins
to understand its localities, the ground plan becomes intelligible and
he can take it all in at a view. The map is a large one; it is a chart
of the world. He knows the capes and the bays; he has sailed round them,
and knows their relative distance, and at last becomes aware of the
magnitude of the whole. Object after object becomes more familiar. He
can estimate the population; he compares the amount of it with that
of countries that he is acquainted with, and finds that this one town
contains within it nearly as great a number of souls as all British
North America. He estimates the incomes of the inhabitants, and finds
figures almost inadequate to express the amount. He asks for the
sources from whence it is derived. He resorts to his maxims of political
economy, and they cannot inform him. He calculates the number of acres
of land in England, adds up the rental, and is again at fault. He
inquires into the statistics of the Exchange, and discovers that even
that is inadequate; and, as a last resource, concludes that the whole
world is tributary to this Queen of Cities. It is the heart of the
Universe. All the circulation centres here, and hence are derived all
those streams that give life and strength to the extremities. How vast,
how populous, how rich, how well regulated, how well supplied, how
clean, how well ventilated, how healthy!--what a splendid city! How
worthy of such an empire and such a people!

What is the result of his experience? _It is, that there is no such
country in the world as England, and no such place in England as London;
that London is better than any other town in winter, and quite as good
as any other place in summer; that containing not only all that he
requires, but all that he can wish, in the greatest perfection, he
desires never to leave it._

Local description, however, is not my object; I shall therefore, return
to my narrative.

Our examination of the Tower and the Tunnel occupied the whole day, and
though much gratified, we were no less fatigued. On returning to our
lodgings, I found letters from Nova Scotia. Among others, was one
from the widow of an old friend, enclosing a memorial to the
Commander-in-Chief, setting forth the important and gratuitous services
of her late husband to the local government of the province, and
soliciting for her son some small situation in the ordnance department,
which had just fallen vacant at Halifax. I knew that it was not only
out of my power to aid her, but that it was impossible for her, however
strong the claims of her husband might be, to obtain her request. These
things are required for friends and dependants in England; and in the
race of competition, what chance of success has a colonist?

I made up my mind at once to forward her memorial as requested, but
pondered on the propriety of adding to it a recommendation. It could do
no good. At most, it would only be the certificate of an unknown man; of
one who had neither of the two great qualifications, namely, county or
parliamentary interest, but it might do harm. It might, by engendering
ridicule from the insolence of office, weaken a claim, otherwise well
founded. “Who the devil is this Mr. Thomas Poker, that recommends the
prayer of the petition? The fellow imagines all the world must have
heard of him. A droll fellow that, I take it from his name: but all
colonists are queer fellows, eh?”

“Bad news from home?” said Mr. Slick, who had noticed my abstraction.
“No screw loose there, I hope. You don’t look as if you liked the
flavour of that ere nut you are crackin’ of. Whose dead? and what is to
pay now?”

I read the letter and the memorial, and then explained from my own
knowledge how numerous and how valuable were the services of my
deceased friend, and expressed my regret at not being able to serve the
memorialist.

“Poor woman!” said Mr. Hopewell, “I pity her. A colonist has no chance
for these things; they have no patron. In this country merit will always
obtain a patron--in the provinces never. The English are a noble-minded,
generous people, and whoever here deserves encouragement or reward,
is certain to obtain either or both: but it must be a brilliant man,
indeed, whose light can be perceived across the Atlantic.”

“I entertain, Sir,” I said, “a very strong prejudice against relying
on patrons. Dr. Johnson, after a long and fruitless attendance on Lord
Chesterfield, says: ‘Seven years, my Lord, have now past, since I waited
in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time
I have been pushing on my work, through difficulties, of which it
is useless to complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of
publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement,
or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never bad
a patron before.”

“Ah!” said Mr. Hopewell, “a man who feels that he is wrong, is always
angry with somebody else. Dr. Johnson, is not so much to be admired
for the independence that dictated that letter, as condemned for the
meanness and servility of seven years of voluntary degradation. It is no
wonder he spoke with bitterness; for, while he censured his Lordship,
he must have despised himself. There is a great difference between a
literary and a political patron. The former is not needed, and a man
does better without one; the latter is essential. A good book, like
good wine, needs no bush; but to get an office, you want merits or
patrons;--merits so great, that they cannot be passed over, or friends
so powerful, they cannot be refused.”

“Oh! you can’t do nothin’, Squire,” said Mr. Sick, “send it back to Old
Marm; tell her you have the misfortin to be a colonist; that if her son
would like to be a constable, or a Hogreave, or a thistle-viewer, or
sunthin’ or another of that kind, you are her man: but she has got the
wrong cow by the tail this time. I never hear of a patron, I don’t think
of a frolic I once had with a cow’s tail; and, by hanging on to it like
a snappin’ turtle, I jist saved my life, that’s a fact.

“Tell you what it is, Squire, take a fool’s advice, for once. Here you
are; I have made you considerable well-known, that’s a fact; and will
introduce you to court, to king and queen, or any body you please. For
our legation, though they can’t dance, p’raps, as well as the French one
can, could set all Europe a dancin’ in wide awake airnest, if it chose.
They darsent refuse us nothin’, or we would fust embargo, and then go
to war. Any one you want to know, I’ll give you the ticket. Look round,
select a good critter, and hold on to the tail, for dear life, and see
if you hante a patron, worth havin’. You don’t want none yourself, but
you might want one some time or another, for them that’s a comin’ arter
you.

“When I was a half grow’d lad, the bears came down from Nor-West one
year in droves, as a body might say, and our woods near Slickville was
jist full of ‘em. It warn’t safe to go a-wanderin’ about there a-doin’
of nothin’, I tell _you_. Well, one arternoon, father sends me into the
back pastur’, to bring home the cows, ‘And,’ says he, ‘keep a stirrin’,
Sam, go ahead right away, and be out of the bushes afore sun-set, on
account of the bears, for that’s about the varmints’ supper-time.’

“Well, I looks to the sky, and I sees it was a considerable of a piece
yet to daylight down, so I begins to pick strawberries as I goes along,
and you never see any thing so thick as they were, and wherever
the grass was long, they’d stand up like a little bush, and hang in
clusters, most as big and twice as good, to my likin’, as garden ones.
Well, the sun, it appears to me, is like a hoss, when it comes near dark
it mends its pace, and gets on like smoke, so afore I know’d where I
was, twilight had come peepin’ over the spruce tops.

“Off I sot, hot foot, into the bushes, arter the cows, and as always
eventuates when you are in a hurry, they was further back than common
that time, away ever so fur back to a brook, clean off to the rear of
the farm, so that day was gone afore I got out of the woods, and I got
proper frightened. Every noise I heerd I thought it was a bear, and when
I looked round a one side, I guessed I heerd one on the other, and I
hardly turned to look there before, I reckoned it was behind me, I was
e’en a’most skeered to death.

“Thinks I, ‘I shall never be able to keep up to the cows if a bear comes
arter ‘em and chases ‘em, and if I fall astarn, he’ll just snap up a
plump little corn fed feller like me in less than half no time. Cryin’,’
says I, ‘though, will do no good. You must be up and doin’, Sam, or it’s
gone goose with you.’

“So a thought struck me. Father had always been a-talkin’ to me about
the leadin’ men, and makin’ acquaintance with the political big bugs
when I growed up and havin’ a patron, and so on. Thinks I, I’ll take
the leadin’ cow for my patron. So I jist goes and cuts a long tough ash
saplin, and takes the little limbs off of it, and then walks along side
of Mooley, as meachin’ as you please, so she mightn’t suspect nothin’,
and then grabs right hold of her tail, and yelled and screamed like mad,
and wallopped away at her like any thing.

“Well, the way she cut dirt was cautionary; she cleared stumps, ditches,
windfalls and every thing, and made a straight track of it for home as
the crow flies. Oh, she was a dipper: she fairly flow again, and if ever
she flagged, I laid it into her with the ash saplin, and away we started
agin, as if Old Nick himself was arter us.

“But afore I reached home, the rest of the cows came a bellowin’, and a
roarin’ and a-racin’ like mad arter us, and gained on us too, so as most
to overtake us, jist as I come to the bars of the cow yard, over went
Mooler, like a fox, brought me whap up agin ‘em, which knocked all the
wind out of my lungs and the fire out of my eyes, and laid me sprawlin
on the ground, and every one of the flock went right slap over me, all
but one--poor Brindle. She never came home agin. Bear nabbed her, and
tore her most ridiculous. He eat what he wanted, which was no trifle, I
can tell you, and left the rest till next time.

“Don’t talk to me, Squire, about merits. We all want a lift in this
world; sunthin’ or another to lay hold on, to help us along--_we want
the cow’s tail_.

“Tell your friend, the female widder, she has got hold of the wrong cow
by the tail in gettin’ hold of you, for you are nothin’ but a despisable
colonist; but to look out for some patron here, some leadin’ man, or
great lord, to clinch fast hold of him, and stick to him like a leach,
and if he flags, (for patrons, like old Mooley, get tired sometimes), to
recollect the ash saplin, to lay into him well, and keep him at it, and
no fear but he’ll carry her through. He’ll fetch her home safe at last,
and no mistake, depend on it, Squire. The best lesson that little boy
could be taught, is, that of _the Patron, or the Cows Tail_.”



CHAPTER III. ASCOT RACES.

To-day I visited Ascot. Race-courses are similar every where, and
present the same objects; good horses, cruel riders, knowing men, dupes,
jockeys, gamblers, and a large assemblage of mixed company. But this
is a gayer scene than most others; and every epithet, appropriate to a
course, diminutive or otherwise, must be in the superlative degree when
applied to Ascot. This is the general, and often the only impression
that most men carry away with them.

Mr. Slick, who regards these things practically, called my attention to
another view of it.

“Squire,” said he, “I’d a plaguy sight sooner see Ascot than any thing
else to England. There ain’t nothin’ like it. I don’t mean the racin’,
because they can’t go ahead like us, if they was to die for it. We have
colts that can whip chain lightnin’, on a pinch. Old Clay trotted with
it once all round an orchard, and beat it his whole length, but it
singed his tail properly as he passed it, you may depend. It ain’t its
runnin’ I speak of, therefore, though that ain’t mean nother; but it’s
got another featur’, that you’ll know it by from all others. Oh it’s an
everlastin’ pity you warn’t here, when I was to England last time. Queen
was there then; and where she is, of coarse all the world and its wife
is too. She warn’t there this year, and it sarves folks right. If I was
an angelyferous queen, like her, I wouldn’t go nowhere till I had a
tory minister, and then a feller that had a “trigger-eye” would stand
a chance to get a white hemp-neckcloth. I don’t wonder Hume don’t like
young England; for when that boy grows up, he’ll teach some folks that
they had better let some folks alone, or some folks had better take care
of some folks’ ampersands that’s all.

“The time I speak of, people went in their carriages, and not by
railroad. Now, pr’aps you don’t know, in fact you can’t know, for you
can’t cypher, colonists ain’t no good at figurs, but if you did know,
the way to judge of a nation is by its private carriages. From Hyde Park
corner to Ascot Heath, is twenty odd miles. Well, there was one whole
endurin’ stream of carriages all the way, sometimes havin’ one or two
eddies, and where the toll-gates stood, havin’ still water for ever so
far. Well, it flowed and flowed on for hours and hours without stoppin’,
like a river; and when you got up to the race-ground, there was the
matter of two or three tiers of carriages, with the hosses off, packed
as close as pins in a paper.

“It costs near hand to twelve hundred dollars a-year to keep up a
carriage here. Now for goodness’ sake jist multiply that everlastin’
string of carriages by three hundred pounds each, and see what’s spent
in that way every year, and then multiply that by ten hundred thousand
more that’s in other places to England you don’t see, and then tell me
if rich people here ain’t as thick as huckleberries.”

“Well, when you’ve done, go to France, to Belgium, and to Prussia, three
sizeable places for Europe, and rake and scrape every private carriage
they’ve got, and they ain’t no touch to what Ascot can show. Well, when
you’ve done your cypherin’, come right back to London, as hard as you
can clip from the race-course, and you won’t miss any of ‘em; the town
is as full as ever, to your eyes. A knowin’ old coon, bred and born to
London, might, but you couldn’t.

“Arter that’s over, go and pitch the whole bilin’ of ‘em into the
Thames, hosses, carriages, people, and all; and next day, if it warn’t
for the black weepers and long faces of them that’s lost money by it,
and the black crape and happy faces of them that’s got money, or
titles, or what not by it, you wouldn’t know nothin’ about it. Carriages
wouldn’t rise ten cents in the pound in the market. A stranger, like
you, if you warn’t told, wouldn’t know nothin’ was the matter above
common. There ain’t nothin’ to England shows its wealth like this.

“Says father to me when I came back, ‘Sam,’ sais he, ‘what struck you
most?’

“‘Ascot Races,’ sais I.

“‘Jist like you,’ sais he. ‘Hosses and galls is all you think of.
Wherever they be, there you are, that’s a fact. You’re a chip of the old
block, my boy. There ain’t nothin’ lake ‘em; is there?’

“Well, he was half right, was father. It’s worth seein’ for hosses and
galls too; but it’s worth seein’ for its carriage wealth alone. Heavens
and airth, what a rich country it must be that has such a show in that
line as England. Don’t talk of stock, for it may fail; or silver-smiths’
shops, for you can’t tell what’s plated; or jewels, for they may be
paste; or goods, for they may be worth only half nothin’; but talk of
the carriages, them’s the witnesses that don’t lie.

“And what do they say? ‘Calcutta keeps me, and China keeps me, and
Bot’ney Bay keeps me, and Canada keeps me, and Nova Scotia keeps me, and
the whales keep me, and the white bears keep me, and every thing on the
airth keeps me, every thing under the airth keeps me. In short, all the
world keeps me.’”

“No, not all the world, Sam,” said Mr. Hopewell; “there are some
repudiative States that _don’t keep me_; and if you go to the auction
rooms, you’ll see some beautiful carriages for sale, that say, ‘the
United States’ Bank used to keep me,’ and some more that say, ‘Nick
Biddle put me down.’”

“Minister, I won’t stand that,” said Mr. Slick. “I won’t stay here and
hear you belittle Uncle Sam that way for nothin’. He ain’t wuss than
John Bull, arter all. Ain’t there no swindle-banks here? Jist tell me
that. Don’t our liners fetch over, every trip, fellers that cut and run
from England, with their fobs filled with other men’s money? Ain’t
there lords in this country that know how to “repudiate” as well as
ring-tail-roarers in ourn. So come now, don’t throw stones till you put
your window-shutters to, or you may stand a smart chance of gettin’ your
own glass broke, that’s a fact.’

“And then, Squire, jist look at the carriages. I’ll bet you a goose and
trimmin’s you can’t find their ditto nowhere. They _are_ carriages, and
no mistake, that’s a fact. Look at the hosses, the harness, the paint,
the linin’s, the well-dressed, lazy, idle, infarnal hansum servants,
(these rascals, I suspicion, are picked out for their looks), look at
the whole thing all through the piece, take it, by and large, stock,
lock, and barrel, and it’s the dandy, that’s a fact. Don’t it cost
money, that’s all? Sumtotalize it then, and see what it all comes to.
It would make your hair stand on eend, I know. If it was all put into
figure, it would reach clean across the river; and if it was all put
into dollars, it would make a solid tire of silver, and hoop the world
round and round, like a wheel.

“If you want to give a man an idea of England, Squire, tell him of
Ascot; and if you want to cram him, get old Multiplication-table Joe H--
to cast it up; for he’ll make it come to twice as much as it railly is,
and that will choke him. Yes, Squire, _stick to Ascot_.”



CHAPTER IV. THE GANDER PULLING.

A cunning man is generally a suspicious one, and is as often led into
error himself by his own misconceptions, as protected from imposition by
his habitual caution.

Mr. Slick, who always acted on a motive, and never on an impulse, and
who concealed his real objects behind ostensible ones, imagined that
everybody else was governed by the same principle of action; and,
therefore, frequently deceived himself by attributing designs to others
that never existed but in his own imagination.

Whether the following story of the gander pulling was a fancy sketch of
the Attache, or a narrative of facts, _I_ had no means of ascertaining.
Strange interviews and queer conversations he constantly had with
official as well as private individuals, but as he often gave his
opinions the form of an anecdote, for the purpose of interesting his
hearers, it was not always easy to decide whether his stories were facts
or fictions.

If, on the present occasion, it was of the latter description, it is
manifest that he entertained no very high opinion of the constitutional
changes effected in the government of the colonies by the Whigs,
during their long and perilous rule. If of the former kind, it is to
be lamented that he concealed his deliberate convictions under an
allegorical piece of humour. His disposition to “humbug” was so great,
it was difficult to obtain a plain straightforward reply from him; but
had the Secretary of State put the question to him in direct terms, what
he thought of Lord Durham’s “Responsible government,” and the
practical working of it under Lord Sydenham’s and Sir Charles Bagot’s
administration, he would have obtained a plain and intelligible answer.
If the interview to which he alludes ever did take place, (which I am
bound to add, is very doubtful, notwithstanding the minuteness with
which it is detailed), it is deeply to be regretted that he was not
addressed in that frank manner which could alone elicit his real
sentiments; for I know of no man so competent to offer an opinion on
these subjects as himself.

To govern England successfully, it is necessary to know the temper of
Englishmen. Obvious as this appears to be, the frequent relinquishment
of government measures, by the dominant party, shows that their own
statesmen are sometimes deficient in this knowledge.

Mr. Slick says, that if Sir James Graham had consulted him, _he_ could
have shown him how to carry the educational clauses of his favourite
bill This, perhaps, is rather an instance of Mr. Slick’s vanity, than a
proof of his sagacity. But if this species of information is not easy of
attainment here, even by natives, how difficult must it be to govern a
people three thousand miles off, who differ most materially in thought,
word, and deed, from their official rulers.

Mr. Slick, when we had not met during the day, generally visited me at
night, about the time I usually returned from a dinner-party, and amused
me by a recital of his adventures.

“Squire,” said he, “I have had a most curious capur to-day, and one that
will interest you, I guess. Jist as I was a settin’ down to breakfast
this mornin’, and was a turnin’ of an egg inside out into a wine-glass,
to salt, pepper and batter it for Red-lane Alley, I received a note from
a Mister Pen, saying the Right Honourable Mr. Tact would be glad, if it
was convenient, if I would call down to his office, to Downin’ Street,
to-day, at four o’clock. Thinks says I to myself, ‘What’s to pay now? Is
it the Boundary Line, or Creole Case, or Colonial Trade, or the Burnin’
of the Caroline, or Right o’ Sarch? or what national subject is on the
carpet to-day? Howsundever,’ sais I, ‘let the charge be what it will,
slugs, rifle-bullets, or powder, go I must, that’s a fact.’ So I tips
him a shot right off; here’s the draft, Sir; it’s in reg’lar state
lingo.

   “Sir,

   “I have the high honour to acknowledge the receipt of
   your letter of this present first of June instant and
   note its contents. The conference (subject unknown),
   proffered by the Right Honourable Mr. Tact, I accede
   to hereby protesting and resarving all rights of
   conformation and reniggin’ of our Extraordinary
   Embassador, now absent from London, at the great
   agricultural meetin’. I would suggest, next time, it
   would better convene to business, to insart subject
   of discussion, to prevent being taken at a short.

   “I have to assure you of the high consideration of
   your most obedient servant to command.

   “THE HON. SAM SLICK,

   “Attache”.

“Well, when the time comes, I rigs up, puts on the legation coat, calls
a cab, and downs to Downing Street, and looks as dignified as I cleverly
knew how.

“When I enters the outer door, I sees a man in an arm-chair in the
entry, and he looked like a buster, I tell you, jist ready to blow up
with the steam of all the secrets he had in his byler.

“‘Can I see Mr. Tact?’ sais I.

“‘Tell you directly,’ sais he, jist short like; for Englishmen are
kinder costive of words; they don’t use more nor will do, at no time;
and he rings a bell. This brings in his second in command; and sais he,
‘Pray walk in here, if you please, Sir,’ and he led me into a little
plain, stage-coach-house lookin’ room, with nothin’ but a table and two
or three chairs in it; and says he, ‘Who shall I say, Sir?’

“‘The Honourable Mr. Slick,’ sais I, ‘Attache of the American Legation
to the court of Saint Jimses’ Victoria.’

“Off he sot; and there I waited and waited for ever so long, but he
didn’t come back. Well, I walked to the winder and looked out, but there
was nothin’ to see there; and then I turned and looked at a great big
map on the wall, and there was nothin’ I didn’t know there; and then
I took out my pen-knife to whittle, but my nails was all whittled off
already, except one, and that was made into a pen, and I didn’t like to
spile that; and as there wasn’t any thing I could get hold of, I jist
slivered a great big bit off the leg of the chair, and began to make
a toothpick of it. And when I had got that finished, I begins to get
tired; for nothin’ makes me so peskilly oneasy as to be kept waitin’;
for if a Clockmaker don’t know the valy of time, who the plague does?

“So jist to pass it away, I began to hum ‘Jim Brown.’ Did you ever hear
it, Squire? it’s a’most a beautiful air, as most all them nigger
songs are. I’ll make you a varse, that will suit a despisable colonist
exactly.

  “I went up to London, the capital of the nation,
   To see Lord Stanley, and get a sitivation.
   Says he to me, ‘Sam Slick, what can you do?’
   Says I, ‘Lord Stanley, jist as much as you.
   Liberate the rebels, and ‘mancipate the niggers.
   Hurror for our side, and damn thimble-riggers.

“Airth and seas! If you was to sing that ‘ere song there, how it would
make ‘em stare; wouldn’t it? Such words as them was never heerd in that
patronage office, I guess; and yet folks must have often thort it too;
that’s a fact.

“I was a hummin’ the rael ‘Jim Brown,’ and got as far as:

   Play upon the banjo, play upon the fiddle,
   Walk about the town, and abuse old Biddle,

when I stopped right in the middle of it, for it kinder sorter struck it
me warn’t dignified to be a singin’ of nigger-catches that way. So says
I to myself, ‘This ain’t respectful to our great nation to keep a high
functionary a waitin’ arter this fashion, is it? Guess I’d better assart
the honour of our republic by goin’ away; and let him see that it warn’t
me that was his lackey last year.’

“Well, jist as I had taken the sleeve of my coat and given my hat a
rub over with it, (a good hat will carry off an old suit of clothes any
time, but a new suit of clothes will never carry off an old hat, so I
likes to keep my hat in good order in a general way). Well, jist as I
had done, in walks the porter’s first leftenant; and sais he, ‘Mr. Tact
will see you, Sir.’

“‘He come plaguy near not seein’ of me, then,’ sais I; ‘for I had jist
commenced makin’ tracks as you come in. The next time he sends for me,
tell him not to send till he is ready, will you? For it’s a rule o’ mine
to tag arter no man.’

“The critter jist stopped short, and began to see whether that spelt
treason or no. He never heerd freedom o’ speech afore, that feller, I
guess, unless it was somebody a jawin’ of him, up hill and down dale; so
sais I, ‘Lead off, my old ‘coon, and I will foller you, and no mistake,
if you blaze the line well.’

“So he led me up stairs, opened a door, and ‘nounced me; and there was
Mr. Tact, sittin’ at a large table, all alone.

“‘How do you do, Mr. Slick,’ says he. ‘I am very glad to see you. Pray
be seated.’ He really was a very gentlemanlike man, was Squire Tact,
that’s a fact. Sorry I kept you waitin’ so long,’ sais he, ‘but the
Turkish Ambassador was here at the time, and I was compelled to wait
until he went. I sent for you, Sir, a-hem!’ and he rubbed his hand
acrost his mouth, and looked’ up at the cornish, and said, ‘I sent for
you, Sir, ahem!’--(thinks I, I see now. All you will say for half an
hour is only throw’d up for a brush fence, to lay down behind to take
aim through; and arter that, the first shot is the one that’s aimed at
the bird), ‘to explain to you about this African Slave Treaty,’ said he.
‘Your government don’t seem to comprehend me in reference to this Right
of Sarch. Lookin’ a man in the face, to see he is the right man, and
sarchin’ his pockets, are two very different things. You take, don’t
you?’

“‘I’m up to snuff, Sir,’ sais I, ‘and no mistake.’ I know’d well enough
that warn’t what he sent for me for, by the way he humm’d and hawed when
he began.

“‘Taking up a trunk, as every hotel-keeper does and has a right to
do, and examinin’ the name on the brass plate to the eend on’t, is one
thing; forcin’ the lock and ransackin’ the contents, is another. One is
precaution, the other is burglary.’

“‘It tante burglary,’ sais I, ‘unless the lodger sleeps in his trunk.
It’s only--’

“‘Well,’ says he, a colourin’ up, ‘that’s technical. I leave these
matters to my law officers.’

“I larnt that little matter of law from brother Eldad, the lawyer, but
I guess I was wrong there. I don’t think I had ought to have given him
that sly poke; but I didn’t like his talkin’ that way to me. Whenever a
feller tries to pull the wool over your eyes, it’s a sign he don’t think
high of your onderstandin’. It isn’t complimental, that’s a fact. ‘One
is a serious offence, I mean, sais he; ‘the other is not. We don’t want
to sarch; we only want to look a slaver in the face, and see whether
he is a free and enlightened American or not. If he is, the _flag of
liberty_ protects him and _his slaves_; if he ain’t, it don’t protect
him, nor them nother.’

“Then he did a leadin’ article on slavery, and a paragraph on
non-intervention, and spoke a little soft sawder about America, and
wound up by askin’ me if he had made himself onderstood.

“‘Plain as a boot-jack,’ sais I.

“When that was over, he took breath. He sot back on his chair, put one
leg over the other, and took a fresh departur’ agin.

“‘I have read your books, Mr. Slick,’ said he, ‘and read ‘em, too, with
great pleasure. You have been a great traveller in your day. You’ve been
round the world a’most, haven’t you?’

“‘Well,’ sais I, ‘I sharn’t say I hante.’

“‘What a deal of information a man of your observation must have
acquired.’ (He is a gentlemanly man, that you may depend. I don’t know
when I’ve see’d one so well mannered.)

“‘Not so much, Sir, as you would suppose,’ sais I.

“‘Why how so?’ sais he.

“‘Why,’ sais I, ‘the first time a man goes round the world, he is plaguy
skeered for fear of fallin’ off the edge; the second time he gets used
to it, and larns a good deal.’

“‘Fallin’ off the edge!’ sais he; ‘what an original idea that is. That’s
one of your best. I like your works for that they are original. We have
nothin’ but imitations now. Fallin’ off the the edge, that’s capital. I
must tell Peel that; for he is very fond of that sort of thing.’

“He was a very pretty spoken man, was Mr. Tact; he is quite the
gentleman, that’s a fact. I love to hear him talk; he is so very
perlite, and seems to take a likin’ to me parsonally.”

Few men are so open to flattery as Mr. Slick; and although “soft sawder”
 is one of the artifices he constantly uses in his intercourse with
others, he is often thrown off of his guard by it himself. How much
easier it is to discover the weaknesses of others than to see our own!

But to resume the story.

“‘You have been a good deal in the colonies, haven’t you?’ said he.

“‘Considerable sum,’ sais I. Now, sais I to myself, this is the rael
object he sent for me for; but I won’t tell him nothin’. If he’d a up
and askt me right off the reel, like a man, he’d a found me up to the
notch; but he thort to play me off. Now I’ll sarve him out his own way;
so here goes.

“‘Your long acquaintance with the provinces, and familiar intercourse
with the people,’ sais he, ‘must have made you quite at home on all
colonial topics.’

“‘I thought so once,’ sais I; ‘but I don’t think so now no more, Sir.’

“‘Why how is that?’ sais he.

“‘Why, Sir,’ sais I, ‘you can hold a book so near your eyes as not to be
able to read a word of it; hold it off further, and get the right focus,
and you can read beautiful. Now the right distance to see a colony, and
know all about it, is England. Three thousand miles is the right focus
for a political spy-glass. A man livin’ here, and who never was out of
England, knows twice as much about the provinces as I do.’

“‘Oh, you are joking,’ sais he.

“Not a bit,’ sais I. ‘I find folks here that not only know every thing
about them countries, but have no doubts upon any matter, and ask no
questions; in fact, they not only know more than me, but more than the
people themselves do, what they want. It’s curious, but it’s a fact. A
colonist is the most beautiful crittur in natur to try experiments on,
you ever see; for he is so simple and good-natured he don’t know no
better; and so weak, he couldn’t help himself if he did. There’s great
fun in making these experiments, too. It puts me in mind of “Gander
Pulling;” you know what this is, don’t you?’

“‘No,’ he said. ‘I never heard of it. Is it an American sport?’

“‘Yes,’ sais I, ‘it is; and the most excitin’ thing, too, you ever see.’

“‘You are a very droll man. Mr Slick,’ said he, ‘a very droll man
indeed. In all your books there is a great deal of fun; but in all
your fun, there is a meanin’. Your jokes hit, and hit pretty hard, too,
sometimes. They make a man think as well as laugh. But, describe this
Gander Pulling.’

“‘Well, I’ll tell you how it is,’ sais I. ‘First and foremost, a
ring-road is formed, like a small race-course; then, two great long
posts is fixed into the ground, one on each side of the road, and a rope
made fast by the eends to each post, leavin’ the middle of the rope to
hang loose in a curve. Well, then they take a gander and pick his neck
as clean as a babby’s, and then grease it most beautiful all the way
from the breast to the head, till it becomes as slippery as a soaped
eel. Then they tie both his legs together with a strong piece of cord,
of the size of a halyard, and hang him by the feet to the middle of the
swingin’ rope, with his head downward. All the youngsters, all round the
county, come to see the sport, mounted a horseback.

“‘Well, the owner of the goose goes round with his hat, and gets so much
a-piece in it from every one that enters for the “Pullin’;” and when all
have entered, they bring their hosses in a line, one arter another; and
at the words, ‘Go ahead!’ off they set, as hard as they can split; and
as they pass under the goose, make a grab at him; and whoever carries
off the head, wins.

“‘Well, the goose dodges his head and flaps his wings, and swings about
so, it ain’t no easy matter to clutch his neck; and when you do, it’s so
greasy, it slips right through the fingers, like, nothin’. Sometimes it
takes so long, that the hosses are fairly beat out, and can’t scarcely
raise a gallop; and then a man stands by the post, with a heavy loaded
whip, to lash ‘em on, so that they mayn’t stand under the goose, which
ain’t fair. The whoopin’, and hollerin’, and screamin’, and bettin’,
and excitement, beats all; there ain’t hardly no sport equal to it. It’s
great fun _to all except the poor goosey-gander_.

“‘The game of colony government to Canady, for some years back, puts me
in mind of that exactly. Colonist has had his heels put where his head
used to be, this some time past. He has had his legs tied, and his neck
properly greased, I tell _you_; and the way every parliament man, and
governor, and secretary, gallops round and round, one arter another, a
grabbin’ at poor colonist, ain’t no matter. Every new one on ‘em that
comes, is confident he is a goin’ to settle it; but it slips through his
hand, and off he goes, properly larfed at.

“‘They have pretty nearly fixed goosey colonist, though; he has got his
neck wrung several times; it’s twisted all a one side, his tongue hangs
out, and he squeaks piteous, that’s a fact. Another good grab or two
will put him out o’ pain; and it’s a pity it wouldn’t, for no created
critter can live long, turned wrong eend up, that way. But the sport
will last long arter that; for arter his neck is broke, it ain’t no easy
matter to get the head off; the cords that tie that on, are as thick
as your finger. It’s the greatest fun out there you ever see, _to all
except poor goosey colonist_.

“‘I’ve larfed ready to kill myself at it. Some o’ these Englishers that
come out, mounted for the sport, and expect a peerage as a reward for
bringin’ home the head and settlin’ the business for colonist, do cut
such figurs, it would make you split; and they are all so everlastin’
consaited, they won’t take no advice. The way they can’t do it is
cautionary. One gets throwed, another gets all covered with grease, a
third loses his hat, a fourth gets run away with by his horse, a fifth
sees he can’t do it, makes some excuse, and leaves the ground afore the
sport is over; and now and then, an unfortunate critter gets a hyste
that breaks his own neck. There is only one on ‘em that I have see’d out
there, that can do it right.

“It requires some experience, that’s a fact. But let John Bull alone for
that; he is a critter that thinks he knows every thing; and if you told
him he didn’t, he wouldn’t believe you, not he. He’d only pity your
ignorance, and look dreadful sorry for you. Oh if you want to see high
life, come and see “a colonial gander pulling.”

“‘Tying up a goose, Sir, is no great harm,’ sais I, ‘seein’ that a goose
was made to be killed, picked and devoured, and nothin’ else. Tyin’ up
a colonist by the heels is another thing. I don’t think it right; but
I don’t know nothin’; I’ve had the book too close to my eyes. Joe H--e,
that never was there, can tell you twice as much as I can about the
colonies. The focus to see right, as I said afore, is three thousand
miles off.’

“‘Well,’ sais he, ‘that’s a capital illustration, Mr. Slick. There is
more in that than meets the ear. Don’t tell me you don’t know nothin’
about the colonies; few men know so much as you do. I wish to heavens
you was a colonist,’ sais he; ‘if you were, I would offer you a
government.’

“‘I don’t doubt it,’ sais I; ‘seein’ that your department have advanced
or rewarded so many colonists already.’ But I don’t think he heard that
shot, and I warn’t sorry for it; for it’s not right to be a pokin’ it
into a perlite man, is it?

“‘I must tell the Queen that story of _the Gander Pulling_,’ sais he; ‘I
like it amazingly. It’s a capital caricature. I’ll send the idea to H.
B. Pray name some day when you are disengaged; I hope you will give me
the pleasure of dining with me. Will this day fortnight suit you?’

“‘Thank you,’ sais I, ‘I shall have great pleasure.’

“He railly was a gentlemany man that. He was so good natured, and took
the joke so well, I was kinder sorry I played it off on him. I hante
see’d no man to England I affection so much as Mr. Tact, I swear! I
begin to think, arter all, it was the right of _sarchin’ vessels_ he
wanted to talk to me about, instead of _sarchin’ me_, as I suspicioned.
It don’t do always _to look for motives, men often act without any_. The
next time, if he axes me, I’ll talk plain, and jist tell him what I
_do_ think; but still, if he reads that riddle right, he may larn a good
deal, too, from the story of “the Gander Pulling,” mayn’t he?”



CHAPTER V. THE BLACK STOLE.

The foregoing sketch exhibits a personal trait in Mr. Slick’s character,
the present a national one. In the interview, whether real or fanciful,
that he alleges to have had with one of the Secretaries of State, he was
not disposed to give a direct reply, because his habitual caution led
him to suspect that an attempt was made to draw him out on a particular
topic without his being made aware of the object. On the present
occasion, he exhibits that irritability, which is so common among all
his countrymen, at the absurd accounts that travellers give of the
United States in general, and the gross exaggerations they publish of
the state of slavery in particular.

That there is a party in this country, whose morbid sensibility is
pandered to on the subject of negro emancipation there can be no doubt,
as is proved by the experiment made by Mr. Slick, recorded in this
chapter.

On this subject every man has a right to his own opinions, but any
interference with the municipal regulations of another country, is so
utterly unjustifiable, that it cannot be wondered at that the Americans
resent the conduct of the European abolishionists, in the most
unqualified and violent manner.

The conversation that I am now about to repeat, took place on the
Thames. Our visits, hitherto, had been restricted by the rain to London.
To-day, the weather being fine, we took passage on board of a steamer,
and went to Greenwich.

While we were walking up and down the deck, Mr. Slick again adverted to
the story of the government spies with great warmth. I endeavoured, but
in vain, to persuade him that no regular organized system of espionage
existed in England. He had obtained a garbled account of one or two
occurrences, and his prejudice, (which, notwithstanding his disavowal,
I knew to be so strong, as to warp all his opinions of England and the
English), immediately built up a system, which nothing I could say,
could at all shake.

I assured him the instances he had mentioned were isolated and
unauthorized acts, told in a very distorted manner but mitigated, as
they really were, when truly related, they were at the time received
with the unanimous disapprobation of every right-thinking man in the
kingdom, and that the odium which had fallen on the relators, was so
immeasurably greater than what had been bestowed on the thoughtless
principals, that there was no danger of such things again occurring in
our day. But he was immovable.

“Oh, of course, it isn’t true,” he said, “and every Englishman will
swear it’s a falsehood. But you must not expect us to disbelieve it,
nevertheless; for your travellers who come to America, pick up here and
there, some absurd ontruth or another; or, if they are all picked up
already, invent one; and although every man, woman, and child is ready
to take their bible oaths it is a bam, yet the English believe this one
false witness in preference to the whole nation.

“You must excuse me, Squire; you have a right to your opinion, though
it seems you have no right to blart it out always; but I am a freeman,
I was raised in Slickville, Onion County, State of Connecticut, United
States of America, which _is_ a free country, and no mistake; and I have
a right to my opinion, and a right to speak it, too; and let me see the
man, airl or commoner, parliamenterer or sodger officer, that dare to
report me, I guess he’d wish he’d been born a week later, that’s all.
I’d make a caution of him, _I_ know. I’d polish his dial-plate fust, and
then I’d feel his short ribs, so as to make him larf, a leetle jist a
leetle the loudest he ever heerd. Lord, he’d think thunder and lightnin’
a mint julip to it. I’d ring him in the nose as they do pigs in my
country, to prevent them rootin’ up what they hadn’t ought.”

Having excited himself by his own story, he first imagined a case and
then resented it, as if it had occurred. I expressed to him my great
regret that he should visit England with these feelings and prejudices,
as I had hoped his conversation would have been as rational and as
amusing as it was in Nova Scotia, and concluded by saying that I felt
assured he would find that no such prejudice existed here against his
countrymen, as he entertained towards the English.

“Lord love you!” said he, “I have no prejudice. I am the most candid man
you ever see. I have got some grit, but I ain’t ugly, I ain’t indeed.”

“But you are wrong about the English; and I’ll prove it to you. Do you
see that turkey there?” said he.

“Where?” I asked. “I see no turkey; indeed, I have seen none on board.
What do you mean?”

“Why that slight, pale-faced, student-like Britisher; he is a turkey,
that feller. He has been all over the Union, and he is a goin’ to write
a book. He was at New York when we left, and was introduced to me in the
street. To make it liquorish, he has got all the advertisements about
runaway slaves, sales of niggers, cruel mistresses and licentious
masters, that he could pick up. He is a caterer and panderer to English
hypocrisy. There is nothin’ too gross for him to swaller. We call them
turkeys; first because they travel so fast--for no bird travels hot foot
that way, except it be an ostrich--and second, because they gobble
up every thing that comes in their way. Them fellers will swaller a
falsehood as fast as a turkey does a grasshopper; take it right down
whole, without winkin’.

“Now, as we have nothin’ above particular to do, ‘I’ll cram him’ for
you; I will show you how hungry he’ll bite at a tale of horror, let it
be never so onlikely; how readily he will believe it, because it is agin
us; and then, when his book comes out, you shall see that all England
will credit it, though I swear I invented it as a cram, and you swear
you heard it told as a joke. They’ve drank in so much that is strong,
in this way, have the English, they require somethin’ sharp enough to
tickle their palates now. Wine hante no taste for a man that drinks
grog, that’s a fact. It’s as weak as Taunton water. Come and walk up and
down deck along with me once or twice, and then we will sit down by him,
promiscuously like; and as soon as I get his appetite sharp, see how I
will cram him.”

“This steam-boat is very onsteady to-day. Sir,” said Mr. Slick; “it’s
not overly convenient walking, is it?”

The ice was broken. Mr. Slick led him on by degrees to his travels,
commencing with New England, which the traveller eulogised very much.
He then complimented him on the accuracy of his remarks and the depth
of his reflections, and concluded by expressing a hope that he would
publish his observations soon, as few tourists were so well qualified
for the task as himself.

Finding these preliminary remarks taken in good part, he commenced the
process of “cramming.”

“But oh, my friend,” said he, with a most sanctimonious air, “did you
visit, and I am ashamed as an American citizen to ask the question, I
feel the blood a tannin’ of my cheek when I inquire, did you visit the
South? That land that is polluted with slavery, that land where
the boastin’ and crackin’ of freemen pile up the agony pangs on the
corroding wounds inflicted by the iron chains of the slave, until natur
can’t stand it no more; my heart bleeds like a stuck critter, when I
think of this plague spot on the body politic. I ought not to speak
thus; prudence forbids it, national pride forbids it; but genu_wine_
feelings is too strong for polite forms. ‘Out of the fulness of the
heart the mouth speaketh.’ Have you been there?”

“Turkey” was thrown off his guard, he opened his wallet, which was well
stocked, and retailed his stories, many of them so very rich, that I
doubted the capacity of the Attache to out-Herod him. Mr. Slick received
these tales with evident horror, and complimented the narrator with a
well simulated groan; and when he had done, said, “Ah, I see how it
is, they have purposely kept dark about the most atrocious features of
slavery. Have you never seen the Gougin’ School?”

“No, never.”

“What, not seen the Gougin’ School?”

“No, Sir; I never heard of it.”

“Why, you don’t mean to say so?”

“I do, indeed, I assure you.”

“Well, if that don’t pass! And you never even heerd tell of it, eh?”

“Never, Sir. I have never either seen it or heard of it.”

“I thought as much,” said Mr. Slick. “I doubt if any Britisher ever did
or ever will see it. Well, Sir, in South Carolina, there is a man called
Josiah Wormwood; I am ashamed to say he is a Connecticut man. For a
considerable of a spell, he was a strollin’ preacher, but it didn’t
pay in the long run. There is so much competition in that line in our
country, that he consaited the business was overdone, and he opened a
Lyceum to Charleston South Car, for boxin’, wrestlin’ and other purlite
British accomplishments; and a most a beautiful sparrer he is, too; I
don’t know as I ever see a more scientific gentleman than he is, in
that line. Lately, he has halfed on to it the art of gougin’ or
‘monokolisin,’ as he calls it, to sound grand; and if it weren’t so
dreadful in its consequences, it sartinly is amost allurin’ thing, is
gougin’. The sleight-of-hand is beautiful. All other sleights we know
are tricks; but this is reality; there is the eye of your adversary in
your hand; there is no mistake. It’s the real thing. You feel you have
him; that you have set your mark on him, and that you have took your
satisfaction. The throb of delight felt by a ‘monokolister’ is beyond
all conception.”

“Oh heavens!” said the traveller, “Oh horror of horrors! I never heard
any thing so dreadful. Your manner of telling it, too, adds to its
terrors. You appear to view the practice with a proper Christian
disgust; and yet you talk like an amateur. Oh, the thing is sickening.”

“It is, indeed,” said Mr. Slick, “particularly to him that loses his
peeper. But the dexterity, you know, is another thing. It is very
scientific. He has two niggers, has Squire Wormwood, who teach the
wrastlin’ and gouge-sparrin’; but practisin’ for the eye is done for
punishment of runaways. He has plenty of subjects. All the planters
send their fugit_ive_ niggers there to be practised on for an eye. The
scholars ain’t allowed to take more than one eye out of them; if they
do, they have to pay for the nigger; for he is no sort o’ good after,
for nothin’ but to pick oakum. I could go through the form, and give you
the cries to the life, but I won’t; it is too horrid; it really is too
dreadful.”

“Oh do, I beg of you,” said the traveller.

“I cannot, indeed; it is too shocking. It will disgust you.”

“Oh, not at all,” said Turkey, “when I know it is simulated, and not
real, it is another thing.”

“I cannot, indeed,” said Mr. Slick. “It would shock your philanthropic
soul, and set your very teeth of humanity on edge. But have you ever
seen--the Black Stole?”

“No.”

“Never seen the Black Stole?”

“No, never.”

“Why, it ain’t possible? Did you never hear of it nother?”

“No, never. Well now, do tell!”

“So you never heerd tell of it, nor never sot eyes on it?”

“Certainly never.”

“Well, that bangs the bush, now! I suppose you didn’t. Guess you never
did, and never will, nor no other traveller, nother, that ever slept
in shoe-leather. They keep dark about these atrocities. Well, the Black
Stole is a loose kind of shirt-coat, like an English carter’s frock;
only, it is of a different colour. It is black instead of white, and
made of nigger hide, beautifully tanned, and dressed as soft as a glove.
It ain’t every nigger’s hide that’s fit for a stole. If they are too
young, it is too much like kid; if they are too old, it’s like sole
leather, it’s so tough; and if they have been whipt, as all on ‘em have
a’most, why the back is all cut to pieces, and the hide ruined. It
takes several sound nigger skins to make a stole; but when made, it’s a
beautiful article, that’s a fact.

“It is used on a plantation for punishment. When the whip don’t do its
work, strip a slave, and jist clap on to him the Black Stole. Dress
him up in a dead man’s skin, and it frightens him near about to death.
You’ll hear him screetch for a mile a’most, so ‘tarnally skeered. And
the best of the fun is, that all the rest of the herd, bulls, cows, and
calves, run away from him, jist as if he was a panther.”

“Fun, Sir! Do you call this fun?”

“Why sartainly I do. Ain’t it better nor whippin’ to death? “What’s
a Stole arter all? It’s nothin’ but a coat. Philosophizin’ on it,
Stranger, there is nothin’ to shock a man. The dead don’t feel.
Skinnin’, then, ain’t cruel, nor is it immoral. To bury a good hide, is,
waste--waste is wicked. There are more good hides buried in the
States, black and white, every year, than would pay the poor-rates and
state-taxes. They make excellent huntin’-coats, and would make beautiful
razor-straps, bindin’ for books, and such like things; it would make a
noble export. Tannin’ in hemlock bark cures the horrid nigger flavour.
But then, we hante arrived at that state of philosophy; and when it is
confined to one class of the human family, it would be dangerous.
The skin of a crippled slave might be worth more than the critter was
himself; and I make no doubt, we should soon hear of a stray nigger
being shot for his hide, as you do of a moose for his skin, and a bear
for his fur.

“Indeed, that is the reason (though I shouldn’t mention it as an
Attache), that our government won’t now concur to suppress the slave
trade. They say the prisoners will all be murdered, and their peels
sold; and that vessels, instead of taking, in at Africa a cargo of
humans, will take in a cargo of hides, as they do to South America. As a
Christian, a philanthropist, indeed, as a man, this is a horrid subject
to contemplate, ain’t it?”

“Indeed it is,” said Turkey. “I feel a little overcome--my head swims--I
am oppressed with nausea--I must go below.”

“How the goney swallered it all, didn’t he?” said Mr. Slick, with great
glee. “Hante he a most a beautiful twist that feller? How he gobbled it
down, tank, shank and flank at a gulp, didn’t he. Oh! he is a Turkey
and no mistake, that chap. But see here, Squire; jist look through the
skylight. See the goney, how his pencil is a leggin’ it off, for dear
life. Oh, there is great fun in crammin’ those fellers.

“Now tell me candid, Squire; do you think there is no prejudice in the
Britishers agin us and our free and enlightened country, when they can
swaller such stuff as the Gougin’ School and _Black Stole_?”



CHAPTER VI. THE PRINCE DE JOINVILLE’S HORSE.

“There is more in that story, Squire,” said Mr. Hopewell, “of the
Patron, and Sam’s queer illustration of the Cow’s Tail, than you are
aware of. The machinery of the colonies is good enough in itself, but
it wants a safety valve. When the pressure within is too great, there
should be something devised to let off the steam. This is a subject
well worthy of your consideration; and if you have an opportunity of
conversing with any of the ministry, pray draw their attention to it. By
not understanding this, the English have caused one revolution at home,
and another in America.”

“Exactly,” said Mr. Slick. “It reminds me of what I once saw done by the
Prince de Joinville’s horse, on the Halifax road.”

“Pardon me,” said Mr. Hopewell, “you shall have an opportunity presently
of telling your story of the Prince’s horse, but suffer me to proceed.

“England, besides other outlets, has a never-failing one in the
colonies, but the colonies have no outlet. Cromwell and Hampden were
actually embarked on board of a vessel in the Thames, for Boston, when
they were prevented from sailing by an Order in Council. What was the
consequence? The sovereign was dethroned. Instead of leading a small
sect of fanatical puritans, and being the first men of a village in
Massachussets, they aspired to be the first men in an empire, and
succeeded. So in the old colonies. Had Washington been sent abroad
in command of a regiment, Adams to govern a colony, Franklin to make
experiments in an observatory like that at Greenwich, and a more
extended field been opened to colonial talent, the United States would
still have continued to be dependencies of Great Britain.

“There is no room for men of talent in British America; and by not
affording them an opportunity of distinguishing themselves, or rewarding
them when they do, they are always ready to make one, by opposition. In
comparing their situation with that of the inhabitants of the British
Isles, they feel that they labour under disabilities; these disabilities
they feel as a degradation; and as those who impose that degradation
live three thousand miles off, it becomes a question whether it is
better to suffer or resist.”

“The Prince de Joinville’s horse,” said Mr. Slick, “is a case in pint.”

“One moment, Sam,” said Mr. Hopewell.

“The very word ‘dependencies’ shows the state of the colonies. If they
are to be retained, they should be incorporated with Great Britain.
The people should be made to feel, not that they are colonists, but
Englishmen. They may tinker at constitutions as much as they please;
the root of the evil lies deeper than statesmen are aware of. O’Connell,
when he agitates for a repeal of the Union, if he really has no ulterior
objects beyond that of an Irish Parliament, does not know what he is
talking about. If his request were granted, Ireland would become a
province, and descend from being an integral part of the empire, into
a dependency. Had he ever lived in a colony, he would have known the
tendencies of such a condition.

“What I desire to see, is the very reverse. Now that steam has united
the two continents of Europe and America, in such a manner that you
can travel from Nova Scotia to England, in as short a time as it
once required to go from Dublin to London, I should hope for a united
legislature. Recollect that the distance from New Orleans to the head
of the River is greater than from Halifax N. S., to Liverpool. I do
not want to see colonists and Englishmen arrayed against each other, as
different races, but united as one people, having the same rights and
privileges, each bearing a share of the public burdens, and all having a
voice in the general government.

“The love of distinction is natural to man. Three millions of people
cannot be shut up in a colony. They will either turn on each other, or
unite against their keepers. The road that leads to retirement in the
provinces, should be open to those whom the hope of distinction invites
to return and contend for the honours of the empire. At present, the
egress is practically closed.”

“If you was to talk for ever, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “you couldn’t
say more than the Prince de Joinville’s hoss on that subject.”

The interruption was very annoying; for no man I ever met, so thoroughly
understands the subject of colonial government as Mr. Hopewell. His
experience is greater than that of any man now living, and his views
more enlarged and more philosophical.

“Go on, Sam,” said he with great good humour. “Let us hear what the
Prince’s horse said.”

“Well,” said Mr. Slick, “I don’t jist exactly mean to say he spoke, as
Balaam’s donkey did, in good English or French nother; but he did that
that spoke a whole book, with a handsum wood-cut to the fore, and that’s
a fact.

“About two years ago, one mortal brilin’ hot day, as I was a pokin’
along the road from Halifax to Windsor, with Old Clay in the waggon,
with my coat off, a ridin’ in my shirt-sleeves, and a thinkin’ how slick
a mint-julep would travel down red-lane, if I had it, I heard such a
chatterin’, and laughin’, and screamin’ as I never a’most heerd afore,
since I was raised.

“‘What in natur’ is this,’ sais I, as I gave Old Clay a crack of the
whip, to push on. ‘There is some critters here, I guess, that have found
a haw haw’s nest, with a tee hee’s egg in it. What’s in the wind now?’
Well, a sudden turn of the road brought me to where they was, and who
should they be but French officers from the Prince’s ship, travellin’
incog. in plain clothes. But, Lord bless you, cook a Frenchman any way
you please, and you can’t disguise him. Natur’ will out, in spite of
all, and the name of a Frencher is written as plain as any thing in his
whiskers, and his hair, and his skin, and his coat, and his boots, and
his air, and his gait, and in everythin’, but only let him open his
mouth, and the cat’s out of the bag in no time, ain’t it? They are droll
boys, is the French, that’s a fact.

“Well, there was four on ‘em dismounted, a holdin’ of their hosses by
the bridle, and a standin’ near a spring of nice cool water; and there
was a fifth, and he was a layin’ down belly flounder on the ground, a
tryin’ to drink out of the runnin’ spring.

“‘Parley vous French,’ sais I, ‘Mountsheer?’ At that, they sot to, and
larfed again more than ever, I thought they would have gone into the
high strikes, they hee-hawed so.

“Well, one on ‘em, that was a Duke, as I found out afterwards, said ‘O
yees, Saar, we spoked English too.’

“‘Lawful heart!’ sais I, ‘what’s the joke?’

“‘Why,’ sais he, ‘look there, Sare.’ And then they larfed agin, ready to
split; and sore enough, no sooner had the Leftenant layed down to drink,
than the Prince’s hoss kneeled down, and put his head jist over his
neck, and began to drink too. Well, the officer couldn’t get up for the
hoss, and he couldn’t keep his face out of the water for the hoss, and
he couldn’t drink for the hoss, and he was almost choked to death, and
as black in the face as your hat. And the Prince and the officers larfed
so, they couldn’t help him, if they was to die for it.

“Sais I to myself, ‘A joke is a joke, if it tante carried too far,
but this critter win be strangled, as sure as a gun, if he lays here
splutterin’ this way much longer.’ So I jist gives the hoss a dab in
the mouth, and made him git up; and then sais I, ‘Prince,’ sais I, for I
know’d him by his beard, he had one exactly like one of the old
saint’s heads in an Eyetalian pictur, all dressed to a pint, so sais I,
‘Prince,’ and a plaguy handsum man he is too, and as full of fun as a
kitten, so sais I, ‘Prince,’ and what’s better, all his officers seemed
plaguy proud and fond of him too; so sais I, ‘Prince, voila le condition
of one colonist, which,’ sais I, ‘Prince, means in English, that
leftenant is jist like a colonist.’

“‘Commong,’ sais he, ‘how is dat?’

“‘Why’ sais I, ‘Prince, whenever a colonist goes for to drink at a
spring of the good things in this world, (and plaguy small springs we
have here too,) and fairly lays down to it, jist as he gets his lips
cleverly to it, for a swig, there is some cussed neck or another, of
some confounded Britisher, pops right over him, and pins him there. He
can’t get up, he can’t back out, and he can’t drink, and he is blacked
and blued in the face, and most choked with the weight.’

“‘What country was you man of?’ said he, for he spoke very good for a
Frenchman.

“With that I straightened myself up, and looked dignified, for I know’d
I had a right to be proud, and no mistake; sais I, ‘Prince, I am an
American citizen.’ How them two words altered him. P’raps there beant no
two words to ditto ‘em. He looked for all the world like a different man
when he seed I wasn’t a mean uncircumcised colonist.

“‘Very glad to see you, Mr. Yankee,’ said he, ‘very glad indeed. Shall I
have de honour to ride with you a little way in your carriage?’

“‘As for the matter of that,’ sais I, ‘Mountsheer Prince, the honour is
all the other way,’ for I can be as civil as any man, if he sets out to
act pretty and do the thing genteel.

“With that he jumped right in, and then he said somethin’ in French
to the officers; some order or another, I suppose, about comin on and
fetchin’ his hoss with them. I have hearn in my time, a good many men
speak French, but I never see the man yet, that could hold a candle
to _him_. Oh, it was like lightnin’, jist one long endurin’ streak; it
seemed all one sentence and one word. It was beautiful, but I couldn’t
onderstand it, it was so everlastin’ fast.

“‘Now,’ sais he, ‘set sail.’ And off we sot, at the rate of sixteen
notts an hour. Old Clay pleased him, you may depend; he turned round and
clapped his hands, and larfed, and waved his hat to his officers to
come on; and they whipped, and spurred, and galloped, and raced for dear
life; but we dropped ‘em astarn like any thing, and he larfed again,
heartier than ever There is no people a’most, like to ride so fast as
sailors; they crack on, like a house a fire.

“Well, arter a while, sais he, ‘Back topsails,’ and I hauled up, and
he jumped down, and outs with a pocket book, and takes a beautiful gold
coronation medal. (It was solid gold, no pinchback, but the rael yaller
stuff, jist fresh from King’s shop to Paris, where his money is made),
and sais he, ‘Mr. Yankee, will you accept that to remember the Prince de
Joinville and his horse by?’ And then he took off his hat and made me a
bow, and if that warn’t a bow, then I never see one, that’s all. I don’t
believe mortal man, unless it was a Philadelphia nigger, could make such
a bow. It was enough to sprain his ankle he curled so low. And then off
he went with a hop, skip, and a jump, sailor fashion, back to meet his
people.

“Now, Squire, if you see Lord Stanley, tell him that story of the Prince
de Joinville’s horse; but before you get so far as that, pin him by
admissions. When you want to get a man on the hip, ax him a question
or two, and get his answers, and then you have him in a corner, he must
stand and let you put on the bridle. He cant help it no how, he can fix
it.

“Says you, ‘My Lord’--don’t forget his title--every man likes the sound
of that, it’s music to his ears, it’s like our splendid national air,
Yankee Doodle, you never get tired of it. ‘My Lord,’ sais you, ‘what do
you suppose is the reason the French keep Algiers?’ Well, he’ll up
and say, it’s an outlet for the fiery spirits of France, it gives them
employment and an opportunity to distinguish themselves, and what the
climate and the inimy spare, become valuable officers. It makes good
soldiers out of bad subjects.

“‘Do you call that good policy?’ sais you.

“Well, he’s a trump, is Mr. Stanley, at least folks say so; and he’ll
say right off the reel ‘onquestionably it is--excellent policy.’

“When he says that, you have him bagged, he may flounder and spring like
a salmon jist caught; but he can’t out of the landin’ net. You’ve got
him, and no mistake. Sais you ‘what outlet have you for the colonies?’

“Well, he’ll scratch his head and stare at that, for a space. He’ll
hum and haw a little to get breath, for he never thought of that afore,
since he grow’d up; but he’s no fool, I can tell you, and he’ll out with
his mould, run an answer and be ready for you in no time. He’ll say,
‘They don’t require none. Sir. They have no redundant population. They
are an outlet themselves.’

“Sais you, ‘I wasn’t talking of an outlet for population, for France or
the provinces nother. I was talking of an outlet for the clever men, for
the onquiet ones, for the fiery spirits.’

“‘For that. Sir,’ he will say, ‘they have the local patronage.’

“‘Oh!’ sais you, ‘I warn’t aware. I beg pardon, I have been absent some
time, as long as twenty days or perhaps twenty-five, there must have
been great changes, since I left.’

“‘The garrison,’ sais you.

“‘Is English,’ sais he.

“‘The armed ships in the harbour?’

“‘English.’

“‘The governor and his secretary?’

“‘English.’

“‘The principal officer of customs and principal part of his deputies?’

“‘English.’

“‘The commissariat and the staff?’

“‘English to a man.’

“‘The dockyard people?’

“‘English.’

“‘The postmaster giniral?’

“‘English.’

“‘What, English?’ sais you, and look all surprise, as if you didn’t
know. ‘I thought he was a colonist, seein’ the province pays so much for
the mails.’

“‘No,’ he’ll say, ‘not now; we have jist sent an English one over, for
we find it’s a good thing that.’

“‘One word more,’ sais you, ‘and I have done. If your army officers out
there, get leave of absence, do you stop their pay?’

“‘No.’

“‘Do you sarve native colonists the same way?’

“‘No, we stop half their salaries.’

“‘Exactly,’ sais you, ‘make them feel the difference. Always make a
nigger feel he is a nigger, or he’ll get sassy, you may depend. As for
patronage,’ sais you, ‘you know as well as I do, that all that’s
not worth havin’, is jist left to poor colonist. He is an officer of
militia, gets no pay and finds his own fit out. Like Don Quixote’s
tailor, he works for nothin’ and finds thread. Any other little matters
of the same kind, that nobody wants, and nobody else will take; if
Blue-nose makes interest for, and has good luck, he can get as a great
favour, to conciliate his countrymen. No, Minister,’ sais you, ‘you are
a clever man, every body sais you are a brick; and if you ain’t, you
talk more like one, than any body I have seen this while past. I don’t
want no office myself, if I did p’raps, I wouldn’t talk about patronage
this way; but I am a colonist, I want to see the colonists remain so.
They _are_ attached to England, that is a fact, keep them so, by making
them Englishmen. Throw the door wide open; patronise them; enlist them
in the imperial sarvice, allow them a chance to contend for honours and
let them win them, if they can. If they don’t, it’s their own fault, and
cuss ‘em they ought to be kicked, for if they ain’t too lazy, there is
no mistake in ‘em, that’s a fact. The country will be proud of them, if
they go ahead. Their language will change then. It will be _our_ army,
the delighted critters will say, not the English army; _our_ navy, _our_
church, _our_ parliament, _our_ aristocracy, &c., and the word English
will be left out holus-bolus, and that proud, that endearin’ word
“our” will be insarted. Do this, and you will shew yourself the first
statesman of modern times. You’ll rise right up to the top of the pot,
you’ll go clean over Peel’s head, as your folks go over ourn, not by
jumpin’ over him, but by takin’ him by the neck and squeezin’ him
down. You ‘mancipated the blacks, now liberate the colonists and make
Englishmen of them, and see whether the goneys won’t grin from ear to
ear, and shew their teeth, as well as the niggers did. Don’t let
Yankee clockmakers, (you may say that if you like, if it will help your
argument,) don’t let travellin’ Yankee clockmakers tell such stories,
against _your_ justice and _our_ pride as that of the Prince de
Joinville and his horse.’”



CHAPTER VII. LIFE IN THE COUNTRY.

“Here,” said Mr. Sick, “is an invitation for you and me, and minister to
go and visit Sir Littleeared Bighead, down to Yorkshire. You can go if
you like, and for once, p’raps it’s worth goin’ to see how these chaps
first kill time, and then how time kills them in turn. Eatin’,
drinkin’, sleepin’, growlin’, fowlin’, and huntin’ kills time; and
gout, aperplexy, dispepsy, and blue devils kills them. They are like two
fightin’ dogs, one dies of the thrashin’ he gets, and t’other dies of
the wounds he got a killin’ of him. Tit for tat; what’s sarce for the
goose, is sarce for the gander.

“If you want to go, Minister will go with you; but hang me if I do. The
only thing is, it’ll puzzle you to get him away, if he gets down there.
You never see such a crotchical old critter in your life as he is. He
flies right off the handle for nothin’. He goes strayin’ away off in the
fields and gullies, a browsin’ about with a hammer, crackin’ up bits of
stones like walnuts, or pickin’ up old weeds, faded flowers, and what
not; and stands starin’ at ‘em for ever so long, through his eye-glass,
and keeps a savin’ to himself, ‘Wonderful provision of natur!’ Airth and
seas! what does he mean? How long would a man live on such provision, I
should like to know, as them bitter yarbs.

“Well, then, he’ll jist as soon set down and jaw away by the hour
together with a dirty-faced, stupid little poodle lookin’ child, as
if it was a nice spry little dog he was a trainin’ of for treein’
partridges; or talk poetry with the galls, or corn-law with the
patriots, or any thing. Nothin’ comes amiss to him.

“But what provokes me, is to hear him go blartin’ all over the country
about home scenes, and beautiful landscape, and rich vardure. My sakes,
the vardure here is so deep, it looks like mournin’; it’s actilly
dismal. Then there’s no water to give light to the pictur, and no sun to
cheer it; and the hedges are all square; and the lime trees are as stiff
as an old gall that was once pretty, and has grow’d proud on the memory
of it.

“I don’t like their landscape a bit, there ain’t no natur in it. Oh! if
you go, take him along with you, for he will put you in consait of all
you see, except reform, dissent, and things o’ that kind; for he is an
out and out old Tory, and thinks nothin’ can be changed here for the
better, except them that don’t agree with him.

“He was a warnin’ you t’other day not to take all I said for Gospel
about society here; but you’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong afore
you’ve done, I know. I described to you, when you returned from Germany,
_Dinin’ out_ to London. Now I’ll give you my opinion of “Life in the
Country.” And fust of all, as I was a sayin’, there is no such thing as
natur’ here. Every thing is artificial; every thing of its kind alike;
and every thing oninterestin’ and tiresome.

“Well, if London is dull, in the way of West Eend people, the country, I
guess, is a little mucher. Life in the country is different, of course,
from life in town; but still life itself is alike there, exceptin’ again
_class difference_. That is, nobility is all alike, as far as their
order goes; and country gents is alike, as far as their class goes; and
the last especially, when they hante travelled none, everlastin’ flat,
in their own way. Take a lord, now, and visit him to his country seat,
and I’ll tell you what you will find--a sort of Washington State
house place. It is either a rail old castle of the genuine kind, or a
gingerbread crinkum crankum imitation of a thing that only existed in
fancy, but never was seen afore--a thing that’s made modern for use, and
in ancient stile for shew; or else it’s a great cold, formal, slice of a
London terrace, stack on a hill in a wood.

“Well, there is lawn, park, artificial pond called a lake, deer that’s
fashionablized and civilized, and as little natur in ‘em as the humans
have. Kennel and hounds for parsicutin’ foxes--presarves (not what we
call presarves, quinces and apple sarce, and green gages done in sugar,
but preserves for breedin’ tame partridges and peasants to shoot at),
H’aviaries, Hive-eries, H’yew-veris, Hot Houses, and so on; for they put
an H before every word do these critters, and then tell us Yankees we
don’t speak English.

“Well, when you have seen an old and a new house of these folks, you
have seen all. Featurs differ a little, but face of all is so alike,
that though p’raps you wouldn’t mistake one for another, yet you’d say
they was all of one family. The king is their father.

“Now it may seem kinder odd to you, and I do suppose it will, but what
little natur there is to England is among these upper crust nobility.
_Extremes meet_. The most elegant critter in America is an Indgian
chief. The most elegant one in England is a noble. There is natur in
both. You will vow that’s a crotchet of mine, but it’s a fact; and I
will tell you how it is, some other time. For I opine the most charmin’,
most nateral, least artificial, kindest, and condescendenest people here
are rael nobles. Younger children are the devil, half rank makes ‘em
proud, and entire poverty makes ‘em sour. _Strap pride on an empty puss,
and it puts a most beautiful edge on, it cuts like a razor_. They have
to assart their dignity, tother one’s dignity don’t want no assartin’.
It speaks for itself.

“I won’t enter into particulars now. I want to shew you country life;
because if you don’t want to hang yourself, don’t tarry there, that’s
all; go and look at ‘em, but don’t stay there. If you can’t help it no
how, you can fix it, do it in three days; one to come, one to see, and
one to go. If you do that, and make the fust late, and the last airly,
you’ll get through it; for it won’t only make a day and a half, when
sumtotalized. We’ll fancy it, that’s better than the rael thing, any
time.

“So lets go to a country gentleman’s house, or “landed,” as they call
‘em, cause they are so infarnally heavy. Well, his house is either an
old onconvenient up and down, crooked-laned place, bad lighted, bad
warmed, and shockin’ cut up in small rooms; or a spic and span formal,
new one, havin’ all or most, according to his puss, of those things,
about lord’s houses, only on a smaller scale.

“Well, I’ll arrive in time for dinner, I’ll titivate myself up, and down
to drawin’-room, and whose the company that’s to dine there? Why, cuss
‘em, half a dozen of these gents own the country for miles round, so
they have to keep some company at the house, and the rest is neighbours.

“Now for goodness gracious sake, jist let’s see who they be! Why one or
two poor parsons, that have nothin’ new in ‘em, and nothin’ new on
‘em, goodish sort of people too, only they larf a leetle, jist a leetle
louder at host’s jokes, than at mine, at least, I suspicion it, ‘cause I
never could see nothin’ to larf at in his jokes. One or two country nobs
of brother landed gents, that look as big as if the whole of the three
per cent consols was in their breeches pockets; one or two damsels, that
was young once, but have confessed to bein’ old maids, drop’t the word
‘Miss,’ ‘cause it sounded ridikilous, and took the title of ‘Mrs.’
to look like widders. Two or three wivewomen of the Chinese stock, a
bustin’ of their stays off a’most, and as fat as show-beef; an oldest
son or two, with the eend of the silver spoon he was born with, a
peepin’ out o’ the corner of his mouth, and his face as vacant as a horn
lantern without a candle in it; a younger son or so jist from college,
who looks as if he had an idea he’d have to airn his livin’, and whose
lantern face looks as if it had had a candle in it, that had e’en amost
burnt the sides out, rather thin and pale, with streaks of Latin and
Greek in it; one or two everlastin’ pretty young galls, so pretty as
there is nothin’ to do, you can’t hardly help bein’ spooney on ‘em.

“Matchless galls, they be too, for there is no matches for ‘em. The
primur-genitur boy takes all so they have no fortin. Well, a younger son
won’t do for ‘em, for he has no fortin; and t’other primo geno there,
couldn’t if he would, for he wants the estate next to hisn, and has to
take the gall that owns it, or he won’t get it. I pity them galls, I
do upon my soul. It’s a hard fate, that, as Minster sais, in his pretty
talk, to bud, unfold, bloom, wither, and die on the parent stock, and
have no one to pluck the rose, and put it in his bosom, aint it?

“Dinner is ready, and you lock and lock, and march off two and two, to
t’other room, and feed. Well, the dinner is like town dinner, there aint
much difference, there is some; there is a difference atween a country
coat, and a London coat; but still they look alike, and are intended to
be as near the same as they can. The appetite is better than town folks,
and there is more eatin’ and less talkin’, but the talkin’, like the
eatin’, is heavy and solemcoloy.

“Now do, Mr. Poker, that’s a good soul, now do, Squire, look at the
sarvants. Do you hear that feller, a blowin’ and a wheesin’ like a hoss
that’s got the heaves? Well he is so fat and lazy, and murders beef and
beer so, he has got the assmy, and walkin’ puts him out o’ breath--aint
it beautiful! Faithful old sarvant that, so attached to the family!
which means the family prog. Always to home! which means he is always
eatin’ and drinkin’, and hante time to go out. So respectful! which
means bowin’ is an everlastin’ sight easier, and safer too, nor talkin’
is. So honest! which means, parquisites covers all he takes. Keeps every
thin’ in such good order! which means he makes the women do his work.
Puts every thin’ in it’s place, he is so methodical! which means, there
is no young children in the house, and old aunty always puts things back
where she takes ‘em from. For she is a good bit of stuff is aunty, as
thin, tough, and soople as a painter’s palate knife. Oh, Lord! how I
would like to lick him with a bran new cow hide whip, round and round
the park, every day, an hour afore breakfast, to improve his wind, and
teach him how to mend his pace. I’d repair his old bellowses for him, I
know.

“Then look at the butler, how he tordles like a Terrapin; he has got the
gout, that feller, and no wonder, nother. Every decanter that comes in
has jist half a bottle in it, the rest goes in tastin’, to see it aint
corked. His character would suffer if a bit o’ cork floated in it. Every
other bottle is corked, so he drinks that bottle, and opens another, and
gives master half of it. The housekeeper pets him, calls him Mr., asks
him if he has heard from Sir Philip lately, hintin’ that he is of gentle
blood, only the wrong side of the blanket, and that pleases him. They
are both well to do in the world. Vails count up in time, and they talk
big sometimes, when alone together, and hint at warnin’ off the old
knight, marryin’, and settin’ up a tripe shop, some o’ these days; don’t
that hint about wedlock bring him a nice little hot supper that night,
and don’t that little supper bring her a tumbler of nice mulled wine,
and don’t both on ‘em look as knowin’ as a boiled codfish, and a shelled
oyster, that’s all.

“He once got warned himself, did old Thomas, so said he, ‘Where do you
intend to go master?’ ‘Me,’ said the old man, scratchin’ his head, and
lookin’ puzzled ‘nowhere.’ ‘Oh, I thought _you_ intend to leave, said
Thomas for _I_ don’t.’ ‘Very good that, Thomas, come I like that.’ The
old knight’s got an anecdote by that, and nanny-goats aint picked
up every day in the country. He tells that to every stranger, every
stranger larfs, and the two parsons larf, and the old ‘Sir’ larfs so, he
wakes up an old sleepin’ cough that most breaks his ribs, and Thomas is
set up for a character.

“Well, arter servants is gone, and women folks made themselves scarce,
we haul up closer to the table, have more room for legs, and then comes
the most interestin’ part. Poor rates, quarter sessions, turnpikes,
corn-laws, next assizes, rail-roads and parish matters, with a touch
of the horse and dog between primo and secondo genitur, for variety. If
politics turn up, you can read who host is in a gineral way with half an
eye. If he is an ante-corn-lawer, then he is a manufacturer that wants
to grind the poor instead of grain. He is a _new man_ and reformer. If
he goes up to the bob for corn-law, then he wants to live and let live,
is _of an old family_, and a tory. Talk of test oaths bein’ done away
with. Why Lord love you, they are in full force here yet. See what a
feller swears by--that’s his test, and no mistake.

“Well, you wouldn’t guess now there was so much to talk of, would you?
But hear ‘em over and over every day, the same everlastin’ round, and
you would think the topics not so many arter all, I can tell you. It
soon runs out, and when it does, you must wait till the next rain, for
another freshet to float these heavy logs on.

“Coffee comes, and then it’s up and jine the ladies. Well, then talk
is tried agin, but it’s no go; they can’t come it, and one of the
good-natured fat old lady-birds goes to the piany, and sits on the music
stool. Oh, Hedges! how it creaks, but it’s good stuff, I guess, it
will carry double this hitch; and she sings ‘I wish I was a butterfly.’
Heavens and airth! the fust time I heard one of these hugeaceous
critters come out with that queer idee, I thought I should a dropt right
off of the otter man on the floor, and rolled over and over a-laughin’,
it tickled me so, it makes me larf now only to think of it. Well, the
wings don’t come, such big butterflies have to grub it in spite of Old
Nick, and after wishin’ and wishin’ ever so long in vain, one of the
young galls sits down and sings in rael right down airnest, ‘I _won’t_
be a nun.’ Poor critter! there is some sense in that, but I guess she
will be bleeged to be, for all that.

“Now eatin’ is done, talkin’ is done, and singin’ is done; so here is
chamber candles, and off to bed, that is if you are a-stayin’ there.
If you ain’t, ‘Mr. Weather Mutton’s carriage is ready, Sir,’ and Mr.
Weather Mutton and Mrs. Weather Mutton and the entire stranger get in,
and when you do, you are in for it, I can tell you. You are in for a
seven mile heat at least of cross country roads, axletree deep, rain
pour-in’ straight up and down like Niagara, high hedges, deep ditches
full of water, dark as Egypt; ain’t room to pass nothin’ if you meet
it, and don’t feel jist altogether easy about them cussed alligators and
navigators, critters that work on rail-roads all day, and on houses and
travellers by night.

“If you come with Mr. Weather Mutton, you seed the carriage in course.
It’s an old one, a family one, and as heavy as an ox cart. The hosses
are old, family hosses, everlastin’ fat, almighty lazy, and the way
they travel is a caution to a snail. It’s vulgar to go fast, its only
butcher’s hosses trot quick, and besides, there is no hurry--there is
nothin’ to do to home. Affectionate couple! happy man! he takes his
wife’s hand in his--kisses it? No, not he, but he puts his head back in
the corner of the carriage, and goes to sleep, and dreams--of her? Not
he indeed, but of a saddle of mutton and curren’ jelly.

“Well, if you are a-stoppin’ at Sir Littleeared Bighead’s, you escape
the flight by night, and go to bed and think of homeland natur’. Next
mornin’, or rather next noon, down to breakfast. Oh, it’s awfully
stupid! That second nap in the mornin’ always fuddles the head, and
makes it as mothery as ryled cyder grounds. Nobody looks as sweet as
sugar candy quite, except them two beautiful galls and their honey
lips. But them is only to look at. If you want honey, there is some on
a little cut glass, dug out of a dish. But you can’t eat it, for lookin’
at the genu_wine_, at least I can’t, and never could. I don’t know what
you can do.

“P’raps you’d like to look at the picture, it will sarve to pass away
time. They are family ones. And family picture, sarve as a history. Our
Mexican Indgians did all their history in picture. Let’s go round the
room and look. Lawful heart! what a big “Brown ox” that is. Old “Star
and Garters;” father fatted him. He was a prize ox; he eat a thousand
bushel of turnips, a thousand pound of oil cake, a thousand of hay, and
a thousand weight of mangel wurzel, and took a thousand days to fat, and
weighed ever so many thousands too. I don’t believe it, but I don’t
say so, out of manners, for I’ll take my oath he was fatted on porter,
because he looks exactly like the footman on all fours. He is a walking
“_Brown Stout_,” that feller.

“There is a hunter, come, I like hosses; but this brute was painted when
at grass, and is too fat to look well, guess he was a goodish hoss in
his day though. He ain’t a bad cut that’s a fact.

“Hullo! what’s this pictur? Why, this is from our side of the water, as
I am a livin’ sinner, this is a New-Foundlander, this dog; yes, and he
is of the true genu_wine_ breed too, look at his broad forehead--his
dew-claws--his little ears; (Sir Littleeared must have been named arter
him), his long hair--his beautiful eye. He is a first chop article
that; but, oh Lord, he is too shockin’ fat altogether. He is like Mother
Gary’s chickens, they are all fat and feathers. A wick run through ‘em
makes a candle. This critter is all hair and blubber, if he goes too
near the grate, he’ll catch into a blaze and set fire to the house.

“There’s our friend the host with cap and gold tassel on, ridin’ on
his back, and there’s his younger brother, (that died to Cambridge from
settin’ up all night for his degree, and suppin’ on dry mathematics, and
swallerin’ “Newton” whole) younger brother like, walkin’ on foot, and
leadin’ the dog by the head, while the heir is a scoldin’ him for not
goin’ faster.

“Then, there is an old aunty that a forten come from. She looks like a
bale o’ cotton, fust screwed as tight as possible, and then corded hard.
Lord, if they had only a given her a pinch of snuff, when she was full
dressed and trussed, and sot her a sneezin’, she’d a blowed up, and the
fortin would have come twenty years sooner.

“Yes, it’s a family pictur, indeed, they are all family picture. They
are all fine animals, but over fed and under worked.

“Now it’s up and take a turn in the gardens. There is some splendid
flowers on that slope. You and the galls go to look at ‘em, and jist as
you get there, the grass is juicy from the everlastin’ rain, and awful
slippy; up go your heels, and down goes stranger on the broad of his
back, slippin’ and slidin’ and coastin’ right down the bank, slap over
the light mud-earth bed, and crushin’ the flowers as flat as a pancake,
and you yaller ochered all over, clean away from the scruff of your
neck, down to the tip eend of your heel. The galls larf, the helps larf,
and the, bed-room maid larfs; and who the plague can blame them? Old
Marm don’t larf though, because she is too perlite, and besides, she’s
lost her flowers, and that’s no larfin’ matter; and you don’t larf,
‘cause you feel a little the nastiest you ever did, and jist as near
like a fool as to be taken for one, in the dark, that’s a fact.

“Well, you renew the outer man, and try it agin, and it’s look at the
stable and hosses with Sir Host, and the dogs, and the carriages,
and two American trees, and a peacock, and a guinea hen, and a gold
pheasant, and a silver pheasant, and all that, and then lunch. Who the
plague can eat lunch, that’s only jist breakfasted?

“So away goes lunch, and off goes you and the ‘Sir,’ a trampousin’ and a
trapsein’ over the wet grass agin (I should like to know what ain’t wet
in this country), and ploughed fields, and wide ditches chock full of
dirty water, if you slip in, to souse you most ridikelous; and over
gates that’s nailed up, and stiles that’s got no steps for fear of
thoroughfare, and through underwood that’s loaded with rain-drops, away
off to tother eend of the estate, to see the most beautiful field of
turnips that ever was seen, only the flies eat all the plants up; and
then back by another path, that’s slumpier than t’other, and twice
as long, that you may see an old wall with two broke-out winders, all
covered with ivy, which is called a ruin. And well named it is, too, for
I tore a bran new pair of trousers, most onhandsum, a scramblin’ over
the fences to see it, and ruined a pair of shoes that was all squashed
out of shape by the wet and mud.

“Well, arter all this day of pleasure, it is time to rig up in your
go-to-meetin’ clothes for dinner; and that is the same as yesterday,
only stupider, if that’s possible; and that is Life in the Country.

“How the plague can it be otherwise than dull? If there is nothin’
to see, there can’t be nothin’ to talk about. Now the town is full of
things to see. There is Babbage’s machine, and Bank Governor’s machine,
and the Yankee woman’s machine, and the flyin’ machine, and all sorts of
machines, and galleries, and tunnels, and mesmerisers, and theatres, and
flower-shows, and cattle-shows, and beast-shows, and every kind of show,
and what’s better nor all, beautiful got-up women, and men turned out in
fust chop style, too.

“I don’t mean to say country women ain’t handsum here, ‘cause they be.
There is no sun here; and how in natur’ can it be otherways than that
they have good complexions. But it tante safe to be caged with them in
a house out o’ town. Fust thing you both do, is to get spooney, makin’
eyes and company-faces at each other, and then think of matin’, like
a pair of doves, and that won’t answer for the like of you and me. The
fact is, Squire, if you want to see _women_, you musn’t go to a house
in the country, nor to mere good company in town for it, tho’ there
be first chop articles in both; but you must go among the big bugs the
top-lofty nobility, in London; for since the days of old marm Eve, down
to this instant present time, I don’t think there ever was or ever will
be such splendiferous galls as is there. Lord, the fust time I seed ‘em
it put me in mind of what happened to me at New Brunswick once. Governor
of Maine sent me over to their Governor’s, official-like, with a state
letter, and the British officers axed me to dine to their mess. Well,
the English brags so like niggers, I thought I’d prove ‘em, and set ‘em
off on their old trade jist for fun. So, says I, stranger captain, sais
I, is all these forks and spoons, and plates and covers, and urns,
and what nots, rael genu_wine_ solid silver, the clear thing, and no
mistake. ‘Sartainly,’ said he, ‘we have nothin’ but silver here.’ He
did, upon my soul, just as cool, as if it was all true; well you can’t
tell a mili_tary_ what he sais ain’t credible, or you have to fight
him. It’s considered ongenteel, so I jist puts my finger on my nose, and
winks, as much as to say, ‘I ain’t such a cussed fool as you take me to
be, I can tell you.’

“When he seed I’d found him out, he larfed like any thing. Guess he
found that was no go, for I warn’t born in the woods to be scared by
an owl, that’s a fact. Well, the fust time I went to lord’s party, I
thought it was another brag agin; I never see nothin’ like it. Heavens
and airth, I most jumpt out o’ my skin. Where onder the sun, sais I to
myself, did he rake and scrape together such super-superior galls as
these. This party is a kind o’ consarvitory, he has got all the raree
plants and sweetest roses in England here, and must have ransacked the
whole country for ‘em. Knowin’ I was a judge of woman kind, he wants me
to think they are all this way; but it’s onpossible. They are only
“shew frigates” arter all; it don’t stand to reason, they can’t be all
clippers. He can’t put the leake into me that way, so it tante no
use tryin’. Well, the next time, I seed jist such another covey of
partridges, same plumage, same step, and same breed. Well done, sais I,
they are intarmed to pull the wool over my eyes, that’s a fact, but they
won’t find that no easy matter, I know. Guess they must be done now,
they can’t show another presarve like them agin in all Britain. What
trouble they do take to brag here, don’t they? Well, to make a long
story short; how do you think it eventuated, Squire? Why every party I
went to, had as grand a shew as them, only some on ‘em was better, fact
I assure you, it’s gospel truth; there ain’t a word of a lie in it,
text to the letter. I never see nothin’ like it, since I was raised, nor
dreamed nothin’ like it, and what’s more, I don’t think the world has
nothin’ like it nother. It beats all natur. It takes the rag off quite.
If that old Turk, Mahomed, had seed these galls, he wouldn’t a bragged
about his beautiful ones in paradise so for everlastinly, I know; for
these English heifers would have beat ‘em all holler, that’s a fact. For
my part, I call myself a judge. I have an eye there ain’t no deceivin’.
I have made it a study, and know every pint about a woman, as well as I
do about a hoss; therefore, if I say so, it must be so, and no mistake.
I make all allowances for the gear, and the gettin’ up, and the vampin’,
and all that sort o’ flash; but toggery won’t make an ugly gall handsum,
nohow you can fix it. It may lower her ugliness a leetle, but it won’t
raise her beauty, if she hante got none. But I warn’t a talkin’ of
nobility; I was a talkin’ of Life in the Country. But the wust of it is,
when galls come on the carpet, I could talk all day; for the dear little
critters, I _do_ love ‘em, that’s a fact. Lick! it sets me crazy a’most.
Well, where was we? for petticoats always puts every thing out o’ my
head. Whereabouts was we?”

“You were saying that there were more things to be seen in London than
in the country.”

“Exactly; now I have it. I’ve got the thread agin. So there is.

“There’s England’s Queen, and England’s Prince, and Hanover’s King, and
the old Swordbelt that whopped Bony; and he is better worth seem’ than
any man now livin’ on the face of the univarsal airth, let t’other one
be where he will, that’s a fact. He is a great man, all through the
piece, and no mistake. If there was--what do you call that word, when
one man’s breath pops into ‘nother man’s body, changin’ lodgins, like?”

“Do you mean transmigration?”

“Yes; if there was such a thing as that, I should say it was old Liveoak
himself, Mr. Washington, that was transmigrated into him, and that’s no
mean thing to say of him, I tell you.

“Well now, there’s none o’ these things to the country; and it’s so
everlastin’ stupid, it’s only a Britisher and a nigger that could live
in an English country-house. A nigger don’t like movin’, and it would
jist suit him, if it warn’t so awful wet and cold.

  “Oh if I was President of these here United States,
   I’d suck sugar candy and swing upon de gates;
   And them I didn’t like, I’d strike ‘em off de docket,
   And the way we’d go ahead, would be akin to Davy Crockit.
   With my zippy dooden, dooden dooden, dooden dooden dey,
   With my zippy dooden, dooden dooden, dooden dooden dey.

“It might do for a nigger, suckin’ sugar candy and drinkin’ mint-julep;
but it won’t do for a free and enlightened citizen like me. A country
house--oh goody gracious! the Lord presarve me from it, I say. If ever
any soul ever catches me there agin, I’ll give ‘em leave to tell me of
it, that’s all. Oh go, Squire, by all means; you will find it monstrous
pleasant, I know you will. Go and spend a week there; it will make you
feel up in the stirrups, I know. Pr’aps nothin’ can exceed it. It takes
the rag off the bush quite. It caps all, that’s a fact, does ‘Life in
the Country.’”



CHAPTER VIII. BUNKUM.

I am not surprised at the views expressed by Mr. Slick in the previous
chapter. He has led too active a life, and his habits and thoughts are
too business-like to admit of his enjoying retirement, or accommodating
himself to the formal restraints of polished society. And yet, after
making this allowance for his erratic life, it is but fair to add that
his descriptions were always exaggerated; and, wearied as he no doubt
was by the uniformity of country life, yet in describing it, he has
evidently seized on the most striking features, and made them more
prominent than they really appeared, even to his fatigued and prejudiced
vision.

In other respects, they are just the sentiments we may suppose would
be naturally entertained by a man like the Attache, under such
circumstances. On the evening after that on which he had described “Life
in the Country” to me, he called with two “orders” for admission to the
House of Commons, and took me down with him to hear the debates.

“It’s a great sight,” said he. “We shall see all their uppercrust
men put their best foot out. There’s a great musterin’ of the tribes,
to-night, and the Sachems will come out with a great talk. There’ll be
some sport, I guess; some hard hittin’, scalpin’, and tomahawkin’. To
see a Britisher scalp a Britisher is equal to a bullfight, anytime. You
don’t keer whether the bull, or the horse, or the rider is killed, none
of ‘em is nothin’ to you; so you can enjoy it, and hurror for him that
wins. I don’t keer who carries the day, the valy of a treat of julep,
but I want to see the sport. It’s excitin’, them things. Come, let’s
go.”

We were shown into a small gallery, at one end of the legislative
wall (the two side ones being appropriated to members), and with some
difficulty found sitting room in a place that commanded a view of the
whole house. We were unfortunate. All the great speakers, Lord Stanley,
Sir Robert Peel, Sir James Graham, Shiel, and Lord John Russell, had
either already addressed the Chair, and were thereby precluded by the
rules of the House from coming forward again, or did not choose to
answer second-rate men. Those whom we did hear, made a most wretched
exhibition. About one o’clock, the adjournment took place, and we
returned, fatigued and disappointed.

“Did you ever see the beat of that, Squire?” said Mr. Slick. “Don’t that
take the rag off quite? Cuss them fellers that spoke, they are wuss than
assembly men, hang me if they aint; and _they_ aint fit to tend a bear
trap, for they’d be sure to catch themselves, if they did, in their own
pit-fall.

“Did you hear that Irishman a latherin’ away with both arms, as if he
was tryin’ to thrash out wheat, and see how bothered he looked, as if
he couldn’t find nothin’ but dust and chaff in the straw? Well, that
critter was agin the Bill, in course, and Irish like, used every
argument in favour of it. Like a pig swimmin’ agin stream, every time
he struck out, he was a cuttin’ of his own throat. He then blob blob
blobbered, and gog gog goggled, till he choked with words and passion,
and then sot down.

“Then that English Radical feller, that spoke with great voice, and
little sense. Aint he a beauty, without paint, that critter? He know’d
he had to vote agin the Bill, ‘cause it was a Government Bill, and be
know’d he had to speak for _Bunkum_, and therefore--”

“_Bunkum!_” I said, “pray, what is that?”

“Did you never hear of Bunkum?”

“No, never.”

“Why, you don’t mean to say you don’t know what that is?”

“I do not indeed.”

“Not Bunkum? Why, there is more of it to Nova Scotia every winter, than
would paper every room in Government House, and then curl the hair of
every gall in the town. Not heer of _Bunkum_? why how you talk!”

“No, never.”

“Well, if that don’t pass! I thought every body know’d that word. I’ll
tell you then, what Bunkum is. All over America, every place likes to
hear of its members to Congress, and see their speeches, and if they
don’t, they send a piece to the paper, enquirin’ if their member died a
nateral death, or was skivered with a bowie knife, for they hante seen
his speeches lately, and his friends are anxious to know his fate. Our
free and enlightened citizens don’t approbate silent members; it don’t
seem to them as if Squashville, or Punkinville, or Lumbertown was right
represented, unless Squashville, or Punkinville, or Lumbertown, makes
itself heard and known, ay, and feared too. So every feller in bounden
duty, talks, and talks big too, and the smaller the State, the louder,
bigger, and fiercer its members talk.

“Well, when a critter talks for talk sake, jist to have a speech in
the paper to send to home, and not for any other airthly puppus but
electioneering, our folks call it _Bunkum_. Now the State o’ Maine is a
great place for _Bunkum_--its members for years threatened to run foul
of England, with all steam on, and sink her, about the boundary line,
voted a million of dollars, payable in pine logs and spruce boards, up
to Bangor mills--and called out a hundred thousand militia, (only they
never come,) to captur’ a saw mill to New Brunswick--that’s _Bunkum_.
All that flourish about Right o’ Sarch was _Bunkum_--all that brag about
hangin’ your Canada sheriff was _Bunkum_. All the speeches about the
Caroline, and Creole, and Right of Sarch, was _Bunkum_, In short,
almost all that’s said _in Congress_ in _the colonies_, (for we set
the fashions to them, as Paris galls do to our milliners,) and all over
America is _Bunkum_.

“Well, they talk Bunkum here too, as well as there. Slavery speeches are
all Bunkum; so are reform speeches, too. Do you think them fellers that
keep up such an everlastin’ gab about representation, care one cent
about the extension of franchise? Why no, not they; it’s only to secure
their seats to gull their constituents, to get a name. Do you think
them goneys that make such a touss about the Arms’ Bill, care about the
Irish? No, not they; they want Irish votes, that’s all--it’s _Bunkum_.
Do you jist go and mesmerise John Russell, and Macauley, and the other
officers of the regiment of Reformers, and then take the awkward squad
of recruits--fellers that were made drunk with excitement, and then
enlisted with the promise of a shillin’, which they never got, the
sargeants having drank it all; go and mesmerise them all, from General
Russell down to Private Chartist, clap ‘em into a caterwaulin’ or
catalapsin’ sleep, or whatever the word is, and make ‘em tell the
secrets of their hearts, as Dupotet did the Clear-voyancing gall, and
jist hear what they’ll tell you.

“Lord John will say--‘I was sincere!’ (and I believe on my soul he was.
He is wrong beyond all doubt, but he is an honest man, and a clever man,
and if he had taken his _own_ way more, and given Powlet Thompson _his_
less, he would a’ been a great colony secretary; and more’s the pity
he is in such company. He’ll get off his beam ends, and right
himself though, yet, I guess.) Well, he’d say--‘I was sincere, I was
disinterested; but I am disappointed. I have awakened a pack of hungry
villains who have sharp teeth, long claws, and the appetite of the
devil. They have swallered all I gave ‘em, and now would eat me up
without salt, if they could. Oh, that I could hark back! _there is no
satisfyin’ a movement party_.’

“Now what do the men say, (I don’t mean men of rank, but the men in
the ranks),--‘Where’s all the fine things we were promised when Reform
gained the day?’ sais they, ‘ay, where are they? for we are wuss off
than ever, now, havin’ lost all our old friends, and got bilked by our
new ones tarnationly. What did all their fine speeches end in at last?
Bunkum; damn the thing but Bunkum.

“But that aint the wust of it, nother. Bunkum, like lyin’, is plaguy apt
to make a man believe his own bams at last. From telling ‘em so often,
he forgets whether he grow’d ‘em or dreamt ‘em, and so he stands’
right up on end, kisses the book, and swears to ‘em, as positive as the
Irishman did to the gun, which he said he know’d ever since it was a
pistol. Now, _that’s Bunkum_.

“But to get back to what we was a talkin’ of, did you ever hear such bad
speakin’ in your life, now tell me candid? because if you have, I never
did, that’s all. Both sides was bad, it aint easy to say which is wus,
six of one and half a dozen of t’other, nothin to brag of nary way. That
government man, that spoke in their favour, warn’t his speech rich?

“Lord love you! I aint no speaker, I never made but one speech since I
was raised, and that was afore a Slickville legislatur, and then I broke
down. I know’d who I was a talkin’ afore; they was men that had cut
their eye-teeth, and that you could’nt pull the wool over their eyes,
nohow you could fix it, and I was young then. Now I’m growed up, I
guess, and I’ve got my narves in the right place, and as taught as a
drum; and I _could_ speak if I was in the House o’ Commons, that’s a
fact. If a man was to try there, that was worth any thin’, he’d find he
was a flute without knowin’ it. They don’t onderstand nothin’ but Latin
and Greek, and I’d buoy out them sand banks, keep the lead agoin’, stick
to the channel, and never take ground, I know. The way I’d cut water
aint no matter. Oh Solomon! what a field for good speakin’ that question
was to-night, if they only had half an eye, them fellers, and what
a’most a beautiful mess they made of it on both sides!

“I ain’t a vain man, and never was. You know, Squire, I hante a mossel
of it in my composition; no, if you was to look at me with a ship’s
glass you wouldn’t see a grease spot of it in me. I don’t think any of
us Yankees is vain people; it’s a thing don’t grow in our diggins. We
have too much sense in a giniral way for that; indeed if we wanted any,
we couldn’t get none for love nor money, for John Bull has a monopoly
of it. He won’t open the trade. It’s a home market he looks to, and the
best of it is, he thinks he hante none to spare.

“Oh, John Bull, John Bull, when you are full rigged, with your white
cravat and white waistcoat like Young England, and have got your
go-to-meetin’ clothes on, if you ain’t a sneezer, it’s a pity, that’s
all. No, I ain’t a vain man, I despise it, as I do a nigger; but,
Squire, what a glorious field the subject to-night is for a man that
knows what’s what, and was up to snuff, ain’t it? Airth and seas! if I
was there, I could speak on either side; for like Waterloo it’s a fair
field; it’s good ground for both parties. Heavens what a speech I could
make! I’d electrify ‘em and kill ‘em dead like lightnin’, and
then galvanise ‘em and fetch’ em to life agin, and then give them
exhiliratin’ gass and set ‘em a larfin’, till they fairly wet themselves
agin with cryin’. Wouldn’t it be fun, that’s all? I could sting Peel
so if I liked, he’d think a galley nipper had bit him, and he’d spring
right off the floor on to the table at one jump, gout or no gout, ravin’
mad with pain and say, ‘I’m bit thro’ the boot by Gosh;’ or if I was
to take his side, for I care so little about the British, all sides is
alike to me, I’d make them Irish members dance like ravin’, distractin’
bed bugs. I’d make ‘em howl, first wicked and then dismal, I know.

“But they can’t do it, to save their souls alive; some has it in ‘em and
can’t get it out, physic ‘em as you would, first with vanity, and then
with office; others have got a way out, but have nothin’ to drive thro’
the gate; some is so timid, they can’t go ahead; and others are in such
an infarnal hurry, they spend the whole time in false starts.

“No, there, is no good oratory to parliament now, and the English brag
so, I doubt if it ever was so good, as they say it was in old times. At
any rate, it’s all got down to “Bunkum” now. It’s makin’ a speech for
newspapers and not for the House. It’s to tell on voters and not on
members. Then, what a row they make, don’t they? Hear, hear, hear;
divide, divide, divide; oh, oh, oh; haw, haw, haw. It tante much
different from stump oratory in America arter all, or speakin’ off a
whiskey barrel, is it? It’s a sort of divil me-kear-kind o’ audience;
independent critters, that look at a feller full in the face, as sarcy
as the divil; as much as to say, ‘Talk away, my old ‘coon, you won’t
alter me, I can tell you, it’s all _Bunkum_.’

“Lord, I shall never forget poor old Davy Crocket’s last speech; there
was no “bunkum” in that. He despised it; all good shots do, they aim
right straight for the mark and hit it. There’s no shootin’ round the
ring, with them kinder men. Poor old feller, he was a great hunter; a
great shot with the rifle, a great wit, and a great man. He didn’t leave
his _span_ behind him, when he slipt off the handle, I know.

“Well he stood for an election and lost it, just afore he left the
States; so when it was over, he slings his powder horn on, over his
shoulders, takes his “Betsey,” which was his best rifle, onder his arm,
and mounts on a barrel, to talk it into his constituents, and take leave
of ‘em.

“‘Feller citizens,’ sais he, ‘we’ve had a fair stand-up fight for it,
and I’m whipped, that are a fact; and thar is no denyin’ of it. I’ve
come now to take my leave of you. You may all go to H--l, and I’ll go to
Texas.’

“And he stepped right down, and went over the boundary, and jined the
patriots agin Mexico, and was killed there.

“Why it will never be forgot, that speech. It struck into the bull’s eye
of the heart. It was noble. It said so much in a few words, and left
the mind to fill the gaps up. The last words is a sayin’ now, and
always will be, to all etarnity. Whenever a feller wants to shew how
indifferent he is, he jist sais, ‘you may go to (hem, hem, you know,)
and I’ll go to Texas.’ There is no _Bunkum_ in that, Squire.

“Yes, there is no good speakin’ there, speakin’ is no use. Every
feller is pledged and supports his party. A speech don’t alter no man’s
opinions; yes it _may_ alter his _opinions_, but it don’t alter his
vote, that ain’t his’n, it’s his party’s. Still, there is some credit
in a good speech, and some fun too. No feller there has any ridicule; he
has got no ginger in him, he can neither crack his whip, nor lay it on;
he can neither cut the hide nor sting it. Heavens! if I was there I and
I’m sure it’s no great boastin’ to say I’m better than such fellers, as
them small fry of white bait is. If I was there, give me a good subject
like that to-night, give me a good horn of lignum vitae--”

“Lignum vitae--what’s that?”

“Lord-o-massy on us! you don’t know nothin’, Squire. Where have you been
all your born days, not to know what lignum vitae is? why lignum vitae,
is hot brandy and water to be sure, pipin’ hot, scald an iron pot amost,
and spiced with cloves and sugar in it, stiff enough to make a tea-spoon
stand up in it, as straight as a dead nigger. Wine ain’t no good, it
goes off as quick as the white beads off of champaign does, and then
leaves a stupid head-ache behind it. But give me the subject and a horn
of lignum vitae (of the wickedest kind), and then let a feller rile me,
so as to get my back up like a fightin’ cat’s, and I’ll tell you
what I’d do, I’d sarve him as our Slickville boys sarve the cows to
California. One on ‘em lays hold of the tail, and the other skins her
as she runs strait an eend. Next year, it’s all growed ready for another
flayin’. Fact, I assure you. Lord! I’d skin a feller so, his hide would
never grow agin; I’d make a caution of him to sinners, I know.

“Only hear them fellers now talk of extendin’ of the representation;
why the house is a mob now, plaguy little better, I assure you. Like the
house in Cromwell’s time, they want “Sam Slick’s” purge. But talkin’
of mobs, puts me in mind of a Swoi-ree, I told you I’d describe that to
you, and I don’t care if I do now, for I’ve jist got my talkin’ tacks
aboard. A Swoi-ree is--

“We’ll talk of that some other time, Mr. Slick,” said I; “it is now near
two o’clock, I must retire.”

“Well, well,” said he, “I suppose it is e’en a’most time to be a movin’.
But, Squire, you are a Britisher, why the plague don’t you get into the
house? you know more about colony matters than the whole bilin’ of” them
put together, quite as much about other things, and speak like a--”

“Come, come, Mr. Slick,” said I, rising and lighting my bed-room candle,
“it is now high time to bid you good night, for you are beginning to
talk _Bunkum_.”



CHAPTER IX. THROWING THE LAVENDER.

Mr. Slick’s character, like that of many of his countrymen, is not so
easily understood as a person might suppose. We err more often than we
are aware of, when we judge of others by ourselves. English tourists
have all fallen into this mistake, in their, estimate of the Americans.
They judge them by their own standard; they attribute effects to wrong
causes, forgetting that a different tone of feeling, produced by a
different social and political state from their own, must naturally
produce dissimilar results.

Any person reading the last sketch containing the account, given by Mr.
Slick of the House of Commons, his opinion of his own abilities as a
speaker, and his aspiration after a seat in that body, for the purpose
of “skinning,” as he calls it, impertinent or stupid members, could not
avoid coming to the conclusion that he was a conceited block-head; and
that if his countrymen talked in that absurd manner, they must be the
weakest, and most vain-glorious people in the world.

That he is a vain man, cannot be denied--self-taught men are apt to be
so every where; but those who understand the New England humour, will
at once perceive, that he has spoken in his own name merely as a
personification, and that the whole passage means after all, when
transposed into that phraseology which an Englishman would use, very
little more than this, that the House of Commons presented a noble
field for a man of abilities as a public speaker; but that in fact, it
contained very few such persons. We must not judge of words or phrases,
when used by foreigners, by the sense we attribute to them, but
endeavour to understand the meaning they attach to them themselves.

In Mexico, if you admire any thing, the proprietor immediately says,
“Pray do me the honour to consider it yours, I shall be most happy, if
you will permit me, to place it upon you, (if it be an ornament), or to
send it to your hotel,” if it be of a different description. All
this means in English, a present; in Mexican Spanish, a civil speech,
purporting that the owner is gratified, that it meets the approbation
of his visiter. A Frenchman, who heard this grandiloquent reply to his
praises of a horse, astonished his friend, by thanking him in terms
equally amplified, accepting it, and riding it home.

Mr. Slick would be no less amazed, if understood literally. He has used
a peculiar style; here again, a stranger would be in error, in supposing
the phraseology common to all Americans. It is peculiar only to a
certain class of persons in a certain state of life, and in a particular
section of the States. Of this class, Mr. Slick is a specimen. I do
not mean to say he is not a vain man, but merely that a portion only of
that, which appears so to us, is vanity, and that the rest and by far
the greater portion too, is local or provincial peculiarity.

This explanation is due to the Americans, who have been grossly
misrepresented, and to the English, who have been egregiously deceived,
by persons attempting to delineate character, who were utterly incapable
of perceiving those minute lights and shades, without which, a portrait
becomes a contemptible daub, or at most a mere caricature.

“A droll scene that at the house o’ represen_tatives_ last night,” said
Mr. Slick when we next met, “warn’t it? A sort o’ rookery, like that
at the Shropshire Squire’s, where I spent the juicy day. What a darned
cau-cau-cawin’ they keep, don’t they? These members are jist like the
rooks, too, fond of old houses, old woods, old trees, and old harnts.
And they are jist as proud, too, as they be. Cuss ‘em, they won’t visit
a new man, or new plantation. They are too aristocratic for that. They
have a circle of their own. Like the rooks, too, they are privileged to
scour over the farmers’ fields all round home, and play the very devil.

“And then a fellow can’t hear himself speak for ‘em; divide, divide,
divide, question, question, question; cau, cau, cau, cau, cau, cau. Oh!
we must go there again. I want you to see Peel, Stanley, Graham, Shiel,
Russell, Macauley, Old Joe, and so on. These men are all upper crust
here. Fust of all, I want to hear your opinion of ‘em. I take you to be
a considerable of a good judge in these matters.”

“No Bunkum, Mr. Slick.”

“D---- that word Bunkum! If you say that ‘ere agin, I won’t say another
syllable, so come now. Don’t I know who you are? You know every mite,
and morsel as well as I do, that you be a considerable of a judge of
these critters, though you are nothin’ but an outlandish colonist; and
are an everlastin’ sight better judge, too, if you come to that, than
them that judge _you_. Cuss ‘em, the state would be a nation sight
better sarved, if one o’ these old rooks was sent out to try trover for
a goose, and larceny for an old hat, to Nova Scotia, and you was sent
for to take the ribbons o’ the state coach here; hang me if it wouldn’t.
You know that, and feel your oats, too, as well as any one. So don’t be
so infarnal mealy-mouthed, with your mock modesty face, a turnin’ up
of the whites of your eyes as if you was a chokin’, and savin’ ‘No
_Bun-kum_, Mr. Slick.’ Cuss that word Bunkum! I am sorry I ever told you
that are story, you will be for everlastinly a throwin’ up of that are,
to me now.

“Do you think if I warnted to soft sawder you, I’d take the white-wash
brush to you, and slobber it, on, as a nigger wench does to a board
fence, or a kitchen wall to home, and put your eyes out with the lime?
No, not I; but I could tickel you though, and have done it afore now,
jist for practice, and you warn’t a bit the wiser. Lord, I’d take a
camel’s-hair brush to you, knowin’ how skittish and ticklesome you are,
and do it so it would feel good. I’d make you feel kinder pleasant, I
know, and you’d jist bend your face over to it, and take it as kindly as
a gall does a whisper, when your lips keep jist a brushin’ of the cheek
while you are a talkin’. I wouldn’t go to shock you by a doin’ of it
coarse; you are too quick, and too knowin’ for that. You should smell
the otter o’ roses, and sniff, sniff it up your nostrils, and say to
yourself, ‘How nice that is, ain’t it? Come, I like that, how sweet
it stinks!’ I wouldn’t go for to dash scented water on your face, as a
hired lady does on a winder to wash it, it would make you start back,
take out your pocket-handkercher, and say, “Come, _Mister_ Slick, no
nonsense, if you please.” I’d do it delicate, I know my man: I’d use a
light touch, a soft brush, and a smooth oily rouge.”

“Pardon me,” I said, “you overrate your own powers, and over-estimate
my vanity. You are flattering yourself now, you can’t flatter me, for I
detest it.”

“Creation, man,” said Mr. Slick, “I have done it now afore your face,
these last five minutes, and you didn’t know it. Well, if that don’t
bang the bush. It’s tarnation all over that. Tellin’ you, you was so
knowin’, so shy if touched on the flanks; how difficult you was to
take-in, bein’ a sensible, knowin’ man, what’s that but soft sawder? You
swallowed it all. You took it off without winkin’, and opened your mouth
as wide as a young blind robbin does for another worm, and then down
went the Bunkum about making you a Secretary of State, which was rather
a large bolus to swaller, without a draft; down, down it went, like a
greased-wad through a smooth rifle bore; it did, upon my soul. Heavens!
what a take in! what a splendid sleight-of-hand! I never did nothin’
better in all my born days. I hope I may be shot, if I did. Ha! ha! ha!
ain’t it rich? Don’t it cut six inches on the rib of clear shear, that.
Oh! it’s han_sum_, that’s a fact.”

“It’s no use to talk about it, Mr. Slick,” I replied; “I plead guilty.
You took me in then. You touched a weak point. You insensibly flattered
my vanity, by assenting to my self-sufficiency, in supposing I was
exempt from that universal frailty of human nature; you “_threw the
Lavender_” well.”

“I did put the leake into you, Squire, that’s a fact,” said he; “but let
me alone, I know what I am about; let me talk on, my own way. Swaller
what you like, spit out what is too strong for you; but don’t put a
drag-chain on to me, when I am a doin’ tall talkin’, and set my wheels
as fast as pine stumps. You know me, and I know you. You know my speed,
and I know your bottom don’t throw back in the breetchin’ for nothin’
that way.”

“Well, as I was a-sayin’, I want you to see these great men, as they
call ‘em. Let’s weigh ‘em, and measure ‘em, and handle ‘em, and then
price ‘em, and see what their market valy is. Don’t consider ‘em as
Tories, or Whigs, or Radicals; we hante got nothin’ to do with none o’
them; but consider ‘em as statesmen. It’s pot-luck with ‘em all; take
your fork as the pot biles up, jab it in, and fetch a feller up, see
whether he is beef, pork or mutton; partridge, rabbit or lobster;
what his name, grain and flavour is, and how you like him. Treat ‘em
indifferent, and treat ‘em independent.

“I don’t care a chaw o’ tobacky for the whole on ‘em; and none on ‘em
care a pinch o’ snuff for you or any Hortentort of a colonist that ever
was or ever will be. Lord love you! if you was to write like Scott, and
map the human mind like Bacon, would it advance you a bit in prefarment?
Not it. They have done enough for the colonists, they have turned ‘em
upside down, and given ‘em responsible government? What more do the
rascals want? Do they ask to be made equal to us? No, look at their
social system, and their political system, and tell ‘em your opinion
like a man. You have heard enough of their opinions of colonies, and
suffered enough from their erroneous ones too. You have had Durham
reports, and commissioners’ reports, and parliament reports till your
stomach refuses any more on ‘em. And what are they? a bundle of mistakes
and misconceptions, from beginnin’ to eend. They have travelled by
stumblin’, and have measured every thing by the length of their knee,
as they fell on the ground, as a milliner measures lace, by the bendin’
down of the forefinger--cuss ‘em! Turn the tables on ‘em. Report on
_them_, measure _them_, but take care to keep your feet though, don’t be
caught trippin’, don’t make no mistakes.

“Then we’ll go to the Lords’ House--I don’t mean to meetin’ house,
though we must go there too, and hear Me Neil and Chalmers, and them
sort o’ cattle; but I mean the house where the nobles meet, pick out
the big bugs, and see what sort o’ stuff they are made of. Let’s take
minister with us--he is a great judge of these things. I should like you
to hear his opinion; he knows every thin’ a’most, though the ways of the
world bother him a little sometimes; but for valyin’ a man, or stating
principles, or talkin’ politics, there ain’t no man equal to him,
hardly. He is a book, that’s a fact; it’s all there what you want; all
you’ve got to do is to cut the leaves. Name the word in the index, he’ll
turn to the page, and give you day, date, and fact, for it. There is no
mistake in him.

“That cussed provokin’ visit of yours to Scotland will shove them things
into the next book, I’m afeered. But it don’t signify nothin’; you can’t
cram all into one, and we hante only broke the crust yet, and p’rhaps
it’s as well to look afore you leap too, or you might make as big a fool
of yourself, as some of the Britishers have a-writin’ about us and the
provinces. Oh yes, it’s a great advantage havin’ minister with you.
He’ll fell the big stiff trees for you; and I’m the boy for the
saplin’s, I’ve got the eye and the stroke for them. They spring so
confoundedly under the axe, does second growth and underwood, it’s
dangerous work, but I’ve got the sleight o’ hand for that, and we’ll
make a clean field of it.

“Then come and survey; take your compass and chain to the ground and
measure, and lay that off--branch and bark the spars for snakin’ off the
ground; cord up the fire-wood, tie up the hoop poles, and then burn off
the trash and rubbish. Do it workman-like. Take your time to it as if
you was workin’ by the day. Don’t hurry, like job work; don’t slobber it
over, and leave half-burnt trees and logs strewed about the surface, but
make smack smooth work. Do that, Squire, do it well, and that is, only
half as good as you can, if you choose, and then--”

“And then,” said I, “I make no doubt you will have great pleasure ‘_in
throwin’ the Lavender again_.”



CHAPTER X. AIMING HIGH.

“What do you intend to do, Squire, with your two youngest boys?” said
Mr. Slick to me to-day, as we were walking in the Park.

“I design them,” I said, “for professions. One I shall educate for a
lawyer, and the other for a clergyman.”

“Where?”

“In Nova Scotia.”

“Exactly,” says he. “It shews your sense; it’s the very place for ‘em.
It’s a fine field for a young man; I don’t know no better one no where
in the whole univarsal world. When I was a boy larnin’ to shoot, sais
father to me, one day, ‘Sam,’ sais he, ‘I’ll give you a lesson in
gunnin’ that’s worth knowin’. “_Aim high_,” my boy; your gun naterally
settles down a little takin’ sight, cause your arm gets tired, and
wabbles, and the ball settles a little while it’s a travellin’,
accordin’ to a law of natur, called Franklin’s law; and I obsarve you
always hit below the mark. Now, make allowances for these things in
gunnin’, and “aim high,” for your life, always. And, Sam,’ sais he,
‘I’ve seed a great deal of the world, all mili_tary_ men do. ‘I was to
Bunker’s Hill durin’ the engagement, and I saw Washington the day he was
made President, and in course must know more nor most men of my age;
and I’ll give you another bit of advice, “Aim high” in life, and if you
don’t hit the bull’s eye, you’ll hit the “fust circles,” and that ain’t
a bad shot nother.’

“‘Father,’ sais I, ‘I guess I’ve seed more of the world than you have,
arter all.’

“‘How so, Sam?’ sais he.

“‘Why,’ sais I, ‘father, you’ve only been to Bunker’s Hill, and that’s
nothin’; no part of it ain’t too steep to plough; it’s only a sizeable
hillock, arter all. But I’ve been to the Notch on the White Mountain,
so high up, that the snow don’t melt there, and seed five States all to
once, and half way over to England, and then I’ve seed Jim Crow dance.
So there now?’ He jist up with the flat of his hand, and gave me a wipe
with it on the side of my face, that knocked me over; and as I fell, he
lent me a kick on my musn’t-mention-it, that sent me a rod or so afore I
took ground on all fours.

“‘Take that, you young scoundrel!’ said he, ‘and larn to speak
respectful next time to an old man, a mili_tary_ man, and your father,
too.’

“It hurt me properly, you may depend. ‘Why,’ sais I, as I picked myself
up, ‘didn’t you tell me to “aim high,” father? So I thought I’d do it,
and beat your brag, that’s all.’

“Truth is, Squire, I never could let a joke pass all my life, without
havin’ a lark with it. I was fond of one, ever since I was knee high to
a goose, or could recollect any thin’ amost; I have got into a horrid
sight of scrapes by ‘em, that’s a fact. I never forgot that lesson
though, it was kicked into me: and lessons that are larnt on the right
eend, ain’t never forgot amost. I _have_ “aimed high” ever since, and
see where I be now. Here I am an Attache, made out of a wooden clock
pedlar. Tell you what, I shall be “embassador” yet, made out of nothin’
but an “Attache,” and I’ll be President of our great Republic, and
almighty nation in the eend, made out of an embassador, see if I don’t.
That comes of “aimin’ high.” What do you call that water near your
coach-house?”

“A pond.”

“Is there any brook runnin’ in, or any stream runnin’ out?”

“No.”

“Well, that’s the difference between a lake and a pond. Now, set that
down for a traveller’s fact. Now, where do you go to fish?”

“To the lakes, of course; there are no fish in the ponds.”

“Exactly,” said Mr. Slick, “that is what I want to bring you to; there
is no fish in a pond, there is nothin’ but frogs. Nova Scotia is only
a pond, and so is New Brunswick, and such outlandish, out o’ the way,
little crampt up, stagnant places. There is no ‘big fish’ there, nor
never can be; there ain’t no food for ‘em. A colony frog!! Heavens and
airth, what an odd fish that is? A colony pollywog! do, for gracious
sake, catch one, put him into a glass bottle full of spirits, and send
him to the Museum as a curiosity in natur. So you are a goin’ to make
your two nice pretty little smart boys a pair of colony frogs, eh? Oh!
do, by all means.

“You’ll have great comfort in ‘em, Squire. Monstrous comfort. It will
do your old heart good to go down to the edge of the pond on the fust of
May, or thereabouts, accordin’ to the season, jist at sun down, and hear
‘em sing. You’ll see the little fellers swell out their cheeks, and roar
away like young suckin’ thunders. For the frogs beat all natur there for
noise; they have no notion of it here at all. I’ve seed Englishmen that
couldn’t sleep all night, for the everlastin’ noise these critters made.
Their frogs have somethin’ else to do here besides singin’. Ain’t it a
splendid prospect that, havin’ these young frogs settled all round you
in the same mud-hole, all gathered in a nice little musical family
party. All fine fun this, till some fine day we Yankee storks will come
down and gobble them all up, and make clear work of it.

“No, Squire, take my advice now for once; jist go to your colony
minister when he is alone. Don’t set down, but stand up as if you was in
airnest, and didn’t come to gossip, and tell him, ‘Turn these ponds into
a lake,’ sais you, my lord minister, give them an inlet and an outlet.
Let them be kept pure, and sweet, and wholesome, by a stream, runnin’
through. Fish will live there then if you put them in, and they will
breed there, and keep up the stock. At present they die; it ain’t big
enough; there ain’t room. If he sais he hante time to hear you, and asks
you to put it into writin’, do you jist walk over to his table, take up
his lignum vitae ruler into your fist, put your back to the door, and
say ‘By the ‘tarnal empire, you _shall_ hear me; you don’t go out of
this, till I give you the butt eend of my mind, I can tell you. I am an
old bull frog now; the Nova Scotia pond is big enough for me; I’ll get
drowned if I get into a bigger one, for I hante got no fins, nothin’ but
legs and arms to swim with, and deep water wouldn’t suit me, I ain’t fit
for it, and I must live and die there, that’s my fate as sure as rates.’
If he gets tired, and goes to get up or to move, do you shake the big
ruler at him, as fierce as a painter, and say, ‘Don’t you stir for your
life; I don’t want to lay nothin’ _on_ your head, I only want to put
somethin’ _in_ it. I am a father and have got youngsters. I am a native,
and have got countrymen. Enlarge our sphere, give us a chance in the
world.’ ‘Let me out,’ he’ll say, ‘this minute, Sir, or I’ll put you in
charge of a policeman.’ ‘Let you out is it,’ sais you. ‘Oh! you feel
bein’ pent up, do you? I am glad of it. The tables are turned now,
that’s what we complain of. You’ve stood at the door, and kept us in;
now I’ll keep you in awhile. I want to talk to you, that’s more than you
ever did to us. How do you like bein’ shut in? Does it feel good? Does
it make your dander rise?’ ‘Let me out,’ he’ll say agin, ‘this moment,
Sir, how dare you.’ Oh! you are in a hurry, are you?’ sais you. ‘You’ve
kept me in all my life; don’t be oneasy if I keep you in five minutes.’

“‘Well, what do you want then?’ he’ll say, kinder peevish; ‘what do you
want?’ ‘I don’t want nothin’ for myself,’ sais you. ‘I’ve got all I
can get in that pond; and I got that from the Whigs, fellers I’ve been
abusin’ all my life; and I’m glad to make amends by acknowledging this
good turn they did me; for I am a tory, and no mistake. I don’t want
nothin’; but I want to be an _Englishman_. I don’t want to be an
English _subject_; do you understand that now? If you don’t, this is the
meanin’, that there is no fun in bein’ a fag, if you are never to have a
fag yourself. Give us all fair play. Don’t move now,’ sais you, ‘for I’m
gettin’ warm; I’m gettin’ spotty on the back, my bristles is up, and I
might hurt you with this ruler; it’s a tender pint this, for I’ve rubbed
the skin off of a sore place; but I’ll tell you a gospel truth, and mind
what I tell you, for nobody else has sense enough, and if they had, they
hante courage enough. If you don’t make _Englishmen of us_, the force of
circumstances will _make Yankees_ of us, as sure as you are born.’ He’ll
stare at that. He is a clever man, and aint wantin’ in gumption. He
is no fool, that’s a fact. ‘Is it no compliment to you and your
institutions this?’ sais you. ‘Don’t it make you feel proud that even
independence won’t tempt us to dissolve the connexion? Ain’t it a noble
proof of your good qualities that, instead of agitatin’ for Repeal of
the Union, we want a closer union? But have we no pride too? We would be
onworthy of the name of Englishmen, if we hadn’t it, and we won’t stand
beggin’ for ever I tell _you_. Here’s our hands, give us yourn; let’s
be all Englishmen together. Give us a chance, and if us, young English
boys, don’t astonish you old English, my name ain’t Tom Poker, that’s
all.’ ‘Sit down,’ he’ll say, ‘Mr. Poker;’ there is a great deal in that;
sit down; I am interested.’

“The instant he sais that, take your ruler, lay it down on the table,
pick up your hat, make a scrape with your hind leg, and say, ‘I regret
I have detained you so long, Sir. I am most peskily afraid my warmth
has kinder betrayed me into rudeness. I really beg pardon, I do upon
my soul. I feel I have smashed down all decency, I am horrid ashamed of
myself.’ Well, he won’t say you hante rode the high hoss, and done the
unhandsum thing, because it wouldn’t be true if he did; but he’ll say,
‘Pray be seated. I can make allowances, Sir, even for intemperate zeal.
And this is a very important subject, very indeed. There is a monstrous
deal in what you say, though you have, I must say, rather a peculiar,
an unusual, way of puttin’ it.’ Don’t you stay another minit though,
nor say another word, for your life; but bow, beg pardon, hold in your
breath, that your face may look red, as if you was blushin’, and back
out, starn fust. Whenever you make an impression on a man, stop; your
reasonin’ and details may ruin you. Like a feller who sais a good thing,
he’d better shove off, and leave every one larfin’ at his wit, than stop
and tire them out, till they say what a great screw augur that is. Well,
if you find he opens the colonies, and patronises the smart folks, leave
your sons there if you like, and let ‘em work up, and work out of it, if
they are fit, and time and opportunity offers. But one thing is sartain,
_the very openin’ of the door will open their minds_, as a matter of
course. If he don’t do it, and I can tell you before hand he won’t--for
they actilly hante got time here, to think of these things--send your
boys here into the great world. Sais you to the young Lawyer, ‘Bob,’
sais you, ‘“aim high.” If you don’t get to be Lord Chancellor, I shall
never die in peace. I’ve set my heart on it. It’s within your reach, if
you are good for anything. Let me see the great seal--let me handle it
before I die--do, that’s a dear; if not, go back to your Colony pond,
and sing with your provincial frogs, and I hope to Heaven the fust
long-legged bittern that comes there will make a supper of you.”

“Then sais you to the young parson, ‘Arthur,’ sais you ‘Natur jist
made you for a clergyman. Now, do you jist make yourself ‘Archbishop of
Canterbury.’ My death-bed scene will be an awful one, if I don’t see you
‘the Primate’; for my affections, my hopes, my heart, is fixed on it.
I shall be willin’ to die then, I shall depart in peace, and leave this
world happy. And, Arthur,’ sais you, ‘they talk and brag here till one
is sick of the sound a’most about “Addison’s death-bed.” Good people
refer to it as an example, authors as a theatrical scene and hypocrites
as a grand illustration for them to turn up the whites of their cold
cantin’ eyes at. Lord love you, my son,’ sais you, ‘let them brag of it;
but what would it be to mine; you congratulatin’ me on goin’ to a better
world, and me congratulatin’ you on bein’ “Archbishop.” Then,’ sais you,
in a starn voice like a boatsan’s trumpet--for if you want things to be
remembered, give ‘em effect, “Aim high,” Sir,’ sais you. Then like my
old father, fetch him a kick on his western eend, that will lift him
clean over the table, and say ‘that’s the way to rise in the world, you
young sucking parson you. “Aim high,” Sir.’

“Neither of them will ever forget it as long as they live. The hit does
that; for a kick is a very _striking_ thing, that’s a fact. There
has been _no good scholars since birch rods went out o’ school, and
sentiment went in_.”

“But you know,” I said, “Mr. Slick, that those high prizes in the
lottery of life, can, in the nature of things, be drawn but by few
people, and how many blanks are there to one-prize in this world.”

“Well, what’s to prevent your boys gettin’ those prizes, if colonists
was made Christians of, instead of outlawed, exiled, transported,
oncarcumcised heathen Indgean niggers, as they be. If people don’t put
into a lottery, how the devil can they get prizes? will you tell
me that. Look at the critters here, look at the publicans, taylors,
barbers, and porters’ sons, how the’ve rose here, ‘in this big lake,’
to be chancellors and archbishops; how did they get them? They ‘aimed
high,’ and besides, all that, like father’s story of the gun, by ‘aiming
high,’ though they may miss the mark, they will be sure to hit the
upper circles. Oh, Squire, there is nothing like ‘aiming high,’ in this
world.”

“I quite agree with you, Sam,” said Mr. Hopewell. “I never heard you
speak so sensibly before. Nothing can be better for young men than
“Aiming high.” Though they may not attain to the highest honours,
they may, as you say, reach to a most respectable station. But surely,
Squire, you will never so far forget the respect that is due to so high
an officer as a Secretary of State, or, indeed, so far forget yourself
as to adopt a course, which from its eccentricity, violence, and
impropriety, must leave the impression that your intellects are
disordered. Surely you will never be tempted to make the experiment?”

“I should think not, indeed,” I said. “I have no desire to become an
inmate of a lunatic asylum.”

“Good,” said he; “I am satisfied. I quite agree with Sam, though.
Indeed, I go further. I do not think he has advised you to recommend
your boys to ‘aim high enough.’”

“Creation! said Mr. Slick, “how much higher do you want provincial frogs
to go, than to be ‘Chancellor’ and ‘Primate?’

“I’ll tell you, Sam; I’d advise them to ‘aim higher’ than earthly
honours. I would advise them to do their duty, in any station of life in
which it shall please Providence to place them; and instead of striving
after unattainable objects here, to be unceasing in their endeavours to
obtain that which, on certain conditions, is promised to all hereafter.
In their worldly pursuits, as men, it is right for them to ‘_aim high_;’
but as Christians, it is also their duty to ‘_aim higher_.’”



CHAPTER XI. A SWOI-REE.

Mr. Slick visited me late last night, dressed as if he had been at a
party, but very cross, and, as usual when in that frame of mind, he
vented his ill-humour on the English.

“Where have you been to-night, Mr. Slick?”

“Jist where the English hosses will be,” he replied, “when Old Clay
comes here to this country;--no where. I have been on a stair-case,
that’s where I have been; and a pretty place to see company in, ain’t
it? I have been jammed to death in an entry, and what’s wus than all, I
have given one gall a black eye with my elbow, tore another one’s frock
off with my buttons, and near about cut a third one’s leg in two with my
hat. Pretty well for one night’s work, ain’t it? and for me too, that’s
so fond of the dear little critturs, I wouldn’t hurt a hair of their
head, if I could help it, to save my soul alive. What a spot o’ work!

“What the plague do people mean here by askin’ a mob to their house,
and invitin’ twice as many as can get into it? If they think it’s
complimental, they are infarnally mistaken, that’s all: it’s an insult
and nothin’ else, makin’ a fool of a body that way. Heavens and airth! I
am wringing wet! I’m ready to faint! Where’s the key of your cellaret? I
want some brandy and water. I’m dead; bury me quick, for I won’t be
nice directly. Oh dear! how that lean gall hurt me! How horrid sharp her
bones are!

“I wish to goodness you’d go to a Swoi-ree oncet, Squire, jist oncet--a
grand let off, one that’s upper crust and rael jam. It’s worth seein’
oncet jist as a show, I tell _you_, for you have no more notion of it
than a child. All Halifax, if it was swept up clean and shook out into a
room, wouldn’t make one swoi-ree. I have been to three to night, and all
on ‘em was mobs--regular mobs. The English are horrid fond of mobs, and
I wonder at it too; for of all the cowardly, miserable, scarry mobs,
that ever was seen in this blessed world, the English is the wust.
Two dragoons will clear a whole street as quick as wink, any time. The
instant they see ‘em, they jist run like a flock of sheep afore a couple
of bull dogs, and slope off properly skeered. Lawful heart, I wish
they’d send for a dragoon, all booted, and spurred, and mounted, and let
him gallop into a swoi-ree, and charge the mob there. He’d clear ‘em out
_I_ know, double quick: he’d chase one quarter of ‘em down stairs head
over heels, and another quarter would jump out o’ the winders, and break
their confounded necks to save their lives, and then the half that’s
left, would he jist about half too many for comfort.

“My first party to-night wus a conversation one; that is for them that
_could_ talk; as for me I couldn’t talk a bit, and all I could think
was, ‘how infarnal hot it is! I wish I could get in!’ or, ‘oh dear, if
I could only get out!’ It was a scientific party, a mob o’ men. Well,
every body expected somebody would be squashed to death, and so ladies
went, for they always go to executions. They’ve got a kinder nateral
taste for the horrors, have women. They like to see people hanged or
trod to death, when they can get a chance. It _was_ a conversation
warn’t it? that’s all. I couldn’t understand a word I heard. Trap shale
Greywachy; a petrified snail, the most important discovery of modern
times. Bank governor’s machine weighs sovereigns, light ones go to the
right, and heavy ones to the left.

“‘Stop,’ says I, ‘if you mean the sovereign people here, there are none
on ‘em light. Right and left is both monstrous heavy; all over weight,
every one on ‘em. I’m squeezed to death.’

“‘Very good, Mr. Slick. Let me introduce you to ----,’ they are whipt
off in the current, and I don’t see ‘em again no more. ‘A beautiful shew
of flowers, Madam, at the garden: they are all in full blow now. The
rhododendron--had a tooth pulled when she was asleep.’ ‘Please to let me
pass, Sir.’ ‘With all my heart, Miss, if I could; but I can’t move; if I
could I would down on the carpet, and you should walk over me. Take care
of your feet, Miss, I am off of mine. Lord bless me! what’s this? why as
I am a livin’ sinner, it’s half her frock hitched on to my coat button.
Now I know what that scream meant.’

“‘How do you do, Mr. Slick? When did you come?’ ‘Why I came--’ he
is turned round, and shoved out o’ hearin.’ ‘Xanthian marbles at the
British Museum are quite wonderful; got into his throat, the doctor
turned him upside down, stood him on his head, and out it came--his own
tunnel was too small.’ ‘Oh, Sir, you are cuttin’ me.’ ‘Me, Miss! Where
had I the pleasure of seein’ you before, I never cut a lady in my life,
could’nt do so rude a thing. Havn’t the honour to recollect you.’ ‘Oh,
Sir, take it away, it cuts me.’ Poor thing, she is distracted, I don’t
wonder. She’s drove crazy, though I think she must have been mad to come
here at all. ‘Your hat, Sir.’ ‘Oh, that cussed French hat is it? Well,
the rim is as stiff and as sharp as a cleaver, that’s a fact, I don’t
wonder it cut you.’ ‘Eddis’s pictur--capital painting, fell out of the
barge, and was drowned.’ ‘Having been beat on the shillin’ duty; they
will attach him on the fourpence, and thimble rigg him out of that.’
‘They say Sugden is in town, hung in a bad light, at the Temple
Church.’----‘Who is that?’ ‘Lady Fobus; paired off for the Session;
Brodie operated.’----Lady Francis; got the Life Guards; there will be
a division to-night.’----That’s Sam Slick; I’ll introduce you;
made a capital speech in the House of Lords, in answer to
Brougham--Lobelia--voted for the bill--The Duchess is very fond
of----Irish Arms--’

“Oh! now I’m in the entry. How tired I am! It feels shockin’ cold here,
too, arter comin’ out o’ that hot room. Guess I’ll go to the grand
musical party. Come, this will do; this is Christian-like, there is room
here; but the singin’ is in next room, I will go and hear them. Oh! here
they are agin; it’s a proper mob this. Cuss, these English, they can’t
live out of mobs. Prince Albert is there in that room; I must go and see
him. He is popular; he is a renderin’ of himself very agreeable to the
English, is Prince: he mixes with them as much as he can; and shews
his sense in that. Church steeples are very pretty things: that one to
Antwerp is splendiriferous; it’s everlastin’ high, it most breaks your
neck layin’ back your head to look at it; bend backward like a hoop, and
stare at it once with all your eyes, and you can’t look up agin, you are
satisfied. It tante no use for a Prince to carry a head so high as that,
Albert knows this; he don’t want to be called the highest steeple,
cause all the world knows he is about the top loftiest; but he want’s to
descend to the world we live in.

“With a Queen all men love, and a Prince all men like, royalty has a
root in the heart here. Pity, too, for the English don’t desarve to have
a Queen; and such a Queen as they have got too, hang me if they do. They
ain’t men, they hante the feelin’s or pride o’ men in ‘em; they ain’t
what they used to be, the nasty, dirty, mean-spirited, sneakin’ skunks,
for if they had a heart as big as a pea--and that ain’t any great size,
nother--cuss ‘em, when any feller pinted a finger at her to hurt her, or
even frighten her, they’d string him right up on the spot, to the lamp
post. Lynch him like a dog that steals sheep right off the reel, and
save mad-doctors, skary judges, and Chartist papers all the trouble of
findin’ excuses. And, if that didn’t do, Chinese like, they’d take the
whole crowd present and sarve _them_ out. They’d be sure to catch the
right one then. I wouldn’t shed blood, because that’s horrid; it shocks
all Christian people, philosophisin’ legislators, sentimental ladies,
and spooney gentlemen. It’s horrid barbarous that, is sheddin’ blood; I
wouldn’t do that, I’d jist hang him. A strong cord tied tight round his
neck would keep that precious mixtur, traitor’s blood, all in as close
as if his mouth was corked, wired, and white-leaded, like a champagne
bottle.

“Oh dear! these are the fellers that come out a travellin’ among us,
and sayin’ the difference atween you and us is ‘the absence of loyalty.’
I’ve heard tell a great deal of that loyalty, but I’ve seen precious
little of it, since I’ve been here, that’s a fact. I’ve always told you
these folks ain’t what they used to be, and I see more and more, on
‘em every day. Yes, the English are like their hosses, they are so fine
bred, there is nothin’ left of ‘em now but the hide, hair, and shoes.

“So Prince Albert is there in that room; I must get in there and see
him, for I have never sot eyes on him since I’ve been here, so here
goes. Onder, below there, look out for your corns, hawl your feet in,
like turtles, for I am a comin’. Take care o’ your ribs, my old ‘coons,
for my elbows are crooked. Who wants to grow? I’ll squeeze you out as a
rollin’-pin does dough, and make you ten inches taller. I’ll make good
figures of you, my fat boys and galls, I know. Look out for scaldin’s
there. Here I am: it’s me, Sam Slick, make way, or I’ll walk right over
you, and cronch you like lobsters. ‘Cheap talkin’, or rather thinkin’,
sais I; for in course I couldn’t bawl that out in company here; they
don’t understand fun, and would think it rude, and ongenteel. I have to
be shockin’ cautious what I say here, for fear I might lower our great
nation in the eyes of foreigners. I have to look big and talk big the
whole blessed time, and I am tired of it. It ain’t nateral to me; and,
besides braggin’ and repudiatin’ at the same time, is most as bad as
cantin’ and swearin’. It kinder chokes me. I thought it all though, and
said it all to myself. ‘And,’ sais I, ‘take your time, Sam; you can’t do
it, no how, you can fix-it. You must wait your time, like other folks.
Your legs is tied, and your arms is tied down by the crowd, and you
can’t move an inch beyond your nose. The only way is, watch your chance,
wait till you can get your hands up, then turn the fust two persons
that’s next to you right round, and slip between them like a turn stile
in the park, and work your passage that way. Which is the Prince? That’s
him with the hair carefully divided, him with the moustaches. I’ve seed
him; a plaguy handsum man he is, too. Let me out now. I’m stifled, I’m
choked. My jaws stick together, I can’t open ‘em no more; and my wind
won’t hold out another minute.

“I have it now, I’ve got an idea. See if I don’t put the leake into
‘em. Won’t I _do_ them, that’s all? Clear the way there, the Prince is a
comin’, _and_ so is the Duke. And a way is opened: waves o’ the sea roll
hack at these words, and I walks right out, as large as life, and the
fust Egyptian that follers is drowned, for the water has closed
over him. Sarves him right, too, what business had he to grasp my
life-preserver without leave. I have enough to do to get along by my own
wit, without carry in’ double.

“‘Where is the Prince? Didn’t they say he was a comin’? Who was that
went out? He don’t look like the Prince; he ain’t half so handsum, that
feller, he looks, like a Yankee.’ ‘Why, that was Sam Slick.’ ‘Capital,
that! What a droll feller he is; he is always so ready! He desarves
credit for that trick.’ Guess I do; but let old Connecticut alone;
us Slickville boys always find a way to dodge in or out embargo or no
embargo, blockade or no blockade, we larnt that last war.

“Here I am in the street agin; the air feels handsum. I have another
invitation to-night, shall I go? Guess I will. All the world is at these
two last places, I reckin there will be breathin’ room at the next; and
I want an ice cream to cool my coppers, shockin’ bad.--Creation! It is
wus than ever; this party beats t’other ones all holler. They ain’t no
touch to it. I’ll jist go and make a scrape to old uncle and aunty, and
then cut stick; for I hante strength to swiggle my way through another
mob.

“‘You had better get in fust, though, hadn’t you, Sam? for here you
are agin wracked, by gosh, drove right slap ashore atween them two fat
women, and fairly wedged in and bilged. You can’t get through, and can’t
get out, if you was to die for it.’ ‘Can’t I though? I’ll try; for I
never give in, till I can’t help it. So here’s at it. Heave off, put
all steam on, and back out, starn fust, and then swing round into the
stream. That’s the ticket, Sam.’ It’s done; but my elbow has took that
lady that’s two steps furder down on the stairs, jist in the eye, and
knocked in her dead light. How she cries! how I apologize, don’t I?
And the more I beg pardon, the wus she carries on. But it’s no go; if I
stay, I must fust fight somebody, and then marry _her_; for I’ve spiled
her beauty, and that’s the rule here, they tell me.’

“So I sets studen sail booms, and cracks on all sail, and steers for
home, and here I am once more; at least what’s left of me, and that
ain’t much more nor my shader. Oh dear! I’m tired, shockin’ tired,
almost dead, and awful thirsty; for Heaven’s sake, give me some lignum
vitae, for I am so dry, I’ll blow away in dust.

“This is a Swoi-ree, Squire, this is London society; this is rational
enjoyment, this is a meeting of friends, who are so infarnal friendly
they are jammed together so they can’t leave each other. Inseparable
friends; you must choke ‘em off, or you can’t part ‘em. Well, I ain’t
jist so thick and intimate with none o’ them in this country as all that
comes to nother. I won’t lay down my life for none on ‘em; I don’t see
no occasion for it, _do you_?

“I’ll dine with you, John Bull, if you axe me; and I ain’t nothin’ above
particular to do, and the cab hire don’t cost more nor the price of a
dinner; but hang me if ever I go to a Swoi-ree agin. I’ve had enough of
that, to last me _my_ life, I know. A dinner I hante no objection to,
though that ain’t quite so bright as a pewter button nother, when you
don’t know you’re right and left, hand man. And an evenin’ party, I
wouldn’t take my oath I wouldn’t go to, though I don’t know hardly what
to talk about, except America; and I’ve bragged so much about that, I’m
tired of the subject. But a _Swoi-ree is the devil, that’s a fact_.”



CHAPTER XII. TATTERSALL’S OR, THE ELDER AND THE GRAVE DIGGER.

“Squire,” said Mr. Slick, “it ain’t rainin’ to-day; suppose you come
along with me to Tattersall’s. I have been studyin’ that place a
considerable sum to see whether it is a safe shop to trade in or no. But
I’m dubersome; I don’t like the cut of the sportin’ folks here. If I can
see both eends of the rope, and only one man has hold of one eend, and
me of the tother, why I know what I am about; but if I can only see my
own eend, I don’t know who I am a pullin’ agin. I intend to take a rise
out o’ some o’ the knowin’ ones here, that will make ‘em scratch their
heads, and stare, I know. But here we are. Cut round this corner, into
this Lane. Here it is; this is it to the right.”

We entered a sort of coach-yard, which was filled with a motley and
mixed crowd of people. I was greatly disappointed in Tattersall’s.
Indeed, few things in London have answered my expectations. They have
either exceeded or fallen short of the description I had heard of them.
I was prepared, both from what I was told by Mr. Slick, and heard, from
others, to find that there were but very few gentlemen-like looking men
there; and that by far the greater number neither were, nor affected to
be, any thing but “knowing ones.” I was led to believe that there
would be a plentiful use of the terms _of art_, a variety of provincial
accent, and that the conversation of the jockeys and grooms would be
liberally garnished with appropriate slang.

The gentry portion of the throng, with some few exceptions, it was said,
wore a dissipated look, and had that peculiar appearance of incipient
disease, that indicates a life of late hours, of excitement, and
bodily exhaustion. Lower down in the scale of life, I was informed,
intemperance had left its indelible marks. And that still further down,
were to be found the worthless lees of this foul and polluted stream of
sporting gentlemen, spendthrifts, gamblers, bankrupts, sots, sharpers
and jockeys.

This was by no means the case. It was just what a man might have
expected to have found a great sporting exchange and auction mart, of
horses and carriages, to have been, in a great city like London, had he
been merely told that such was the object of the place, and then left
to imagine the scene. It was, as I have before said, a mixed and motley
crowd; and must necessarily be so, where agents attend to bid for their
principals, where servants are in waiting upon their masters, and above
all, where the ingress is open to every one.

It is, however, unquestionably the resort of gentlemen. In a great and
rich country like this, there must, unavoidably, be a Tattersall’s; and
the wonder is, not that it is not better, but that it is not infinitely
worse. Lake all striking pictures, it had strong lights and shades.
Those who have suffered, are apt to retaliate; and a man who has been
duped, too often thinks he has a right to make reprisals. Tattersall’s,
therefore, is not without its privateers. Many persons of rank and
character patronize sporting, from a patriotic but mistaken notion,
that it is to the turf alone the excellence of the English horse is
attributable.

One person of this description, whom I saw there for a short time, I had
the pleasure of knowing before; and from him I learned many interesting
anecdotes of individuals whom he pointed out as having been once well
known about town, but whose attachment to gambling had effected their
ruin. Personal stories of this kind are, however, not within the scope
of this work.

As soon as we entered, Mr. Slick called my attention to the carriages
which were exhibited for sale, to their elegant shape and “beautiful
fixins,” as he termed it; but ridiculed, in no measured terms, their
enormous weight. “It is no wonder,” said he, “they have to get fresh
hosses here every ten miles, and travellin’ costs so much, when the
carriage alone is enough to kill beasts. What would Old Bull say, if
I was to tell him of one pair of hosses carryin’ three or four people,
forty or fifty miles a-day, day in and day out, hand runnin’ for a
fortnight? Why, he’d either be too civil to tell me it was a lie, or
bein’ afeerd I’d jump down his throat if he did, he’d sing dumb, and let
me see by his looks, he thought so, though.

“I intend to take the consait out of these chaps, and that’s a fact. If
I don’t put the leak into ‘em afore I’ve done with them, my name ain’t
Sam Slick, that’s a fact. I’m studyin’ the ins and the outs of this
place, so as to know what I am about, afore I take hold; for I feel
kinder skittish about my men. Gentlemen are the lowest, lyinest,
bullyinest, blackguards there is, when they choose to be; ‘specially if
they have rank as well as money. A thoroughbred cheat, of good blood,
is a clipper, that’s a fact. They ain’t right up-and-down, like a cow’s
tail, in their dealin’s; and they’ve got accomplices, fellers that
will lie for ‘em like any thing, for the honour of their company; and
bettin’, onder such circumstances, ain’t safe.

“But, I’ll tell you what is, if you have got a hoss that can do it, and
no mistake: back him, hoss agin hoss, or what’s safer still, hoss agin
time, and you can’t be tricked. Now, I’ll send for Old Clay, to come in
Cunard’s steamer, and cuss ‘em they ought to bring over the old hoss and
his fixins, free, for it was me first started that line. The way old Mr.
Glenelg stared, when I told him it was thirty-six miles shorter to go
from Bristol to New York by the way of Halifax, than to go direct warn’t
slow. It stopt steam for that hitch, that’s a fact, for he thort I was
mad. He sent it down to the Admiralty to get it ciphered right, and it
took them old seagulls, the Admirals a month to find it out.

“And when they did, what did they say? Why, cuss ‘em, says they, ‘any
fool knows that.’ Says I, ‘If that’s the case you are jist the boys then
that ought to have found it out right off at oncet.’

“Yes, Old Clay ought to go free, but he won’t; and guess I am able to
pay freight for him, and no thanks to nobody. Now, I’ll tell you what,
English trottin’ is about a mile in two minutes and forty-seven seconds,
and that don’t happen oftener than oncet in fifty years, if it was ever
done at all, for the English brag so there is no telling right. Old Clay
_can_ do his mile in two minutes and thirty-eight seconds. He _has_ done
that, and I guess he _could_ do more. I have got a car, that is as light
as whalebone, and I’ll bet to do it with wheels and drive myself. I’ll
go in up to the handle, on Old Clay. I have a hundred thousand dollars
of hard cash made in the colonies, I’ll go half of it on the old hoss,
hang me if I don’t, and I’ll make him as well knowd to England as he is
to Nova Scotia.

“I’ll allow him to be beat at fust, so as to lead ‘em on, and Clay is
as cunnin’ as a coon too, if he don’t get the word g’lang (go along)
and the Indgian skelpin’ yell with it, he knows I ain’t in airnest, and
he’ll allow me to beat him and bully him like nothin’. He’ll pretend to
do his best, and sputter away like a hen scratchin’ gravel, but he won’t
go one mossel faster, for he knows I never lick a free hoss.

“Won’t it be beautiful? How they’ll all larf and crow, when they see me
a thrashin’ away at the hoss, and then him goin’ slower, the faster I
thrash, and me a threatenin’ to shoot the brute, and a talkin’ at the
tip eend of my tongue like a ravin’ distracted bed bug, and offerin’
to back him agin, if they dare, and planken down the pewter all round,
takin’ every one up that will go the figur’, till I raise the bets to
the tune of fifty thousand dollars. When I get that far, they may
stop their larfin’ till next time, I guess. That’s the turn of the
fever--that’s the crisis--that’s my time to larf then.

“I’ll mount the car then, take the bits of list up, put ‘em into right
shape, talk a little Connecticut Yankee to the old hoss, to set his
ebenezer up, and make him rise inwardly, and then give the yell,” (which
he uttered in his excitement in earnest; and a most diabolical one it
was. It pierced me through and through, and curdled my very blood, it
was the death shout of a savage.) “G’lang you skunk, and turn out your
toes pretty,” said he, and he again repeated this long protracted,
shrill, infernal yell, a second time.

Every eye was instantly turned upon us. Even Tattersall suspended his
“he is five years old--a good hack--and is to be sold,” to give time for
the general exclamation of surprise. “Who the devil is that? Is he
mad? Where did _he_ come from? Does any body know him? He is a devilish
keen-lookin’ fellow that; what an eye he has! He looks like a Yankee,
that fellow.”

“He’s been here, your honour, several days, examines every thing and
says nothing; looks like a knowing one, your honour. He handles a hoss
as if he’d seen one afore to-day, Sir.”

“Who is that gentleman with him?”

“Don’t know, your honour, never saw him before; he looks like a
furriner, too.”

“Come, Mr. Slick,” said I, “we are attracting too much attention here,
let us go.”

“Cuss ‘em,” said he, “I’ll attract more attention afore I’ve done yet,
when Old Clay comes, and then I’ll tell ‘em who I am--Sam Slick,
from Slickville, Onion County, State of Connecticut, United States of
America. But I do suppose we had as good make tracks, for I don’t want
folks to know me yet. I’m plaguy sorry I let put that countersign of Old
Clay too, but they won’t onderstand it. Critters like the English, that
know everything have generally weak eyes, from studyin’ so hard.

“Did you take notice of that critter I was a handlin’ of, Squire? that
one that’s all drawed up in the middle like a devil’s darnin’ needle;
her hair a standin’ upon eend as if she was amazed at herself, and
a look out of her eye, as if she thort the dogs would find the steak
kinder tough, when they got her for dinner. Well, that’s a great mare
that ‘are, and there ain’t nothin’ onder the sun the matter of her,
except the groom has stole her oats, forgot to give her water, and let
her make a supper sometimes off of her nasty, mouldy, filthy beddin’. I
hante see’d a hoss here equal to her a’most--short back, beautiful rake
to the shoulder, great depth of chest, elegant quarter, great stifle,
amazin’ strong arm, monstrous nice nostrils, eyes like a weasel, all
outside, game ears, first chop bone and fine flat leg, with no gum on no
part of it. She’s a sneezer that; but she’ll be knocked down for twenty
or thirty pound, because she looks as if she was used up.

“I intended to a had that mare, for I’d a made her worth twelve hundred
dollars. It was a dreadful pity, I let go, that time, for I actilly
forgot where I was. I’ll know better next hitch, for boughten wit is
the best in a general way. Yes, I’m peskily sorry about that mare. Well,
swappin’ I’ve studied, but I doubt if it’s as much the fashion here as
with us; and besides, swappin’ where you don’t know the county and its
tricks, (for every county has its own tricks, different from others), is
dangersome too. I’ve seen swaps where both sides got took in. Did ever I
tell you the story of the “Elder and the grave-digger?”

“Never,” I replied; “but here we are at our lodgings. Come in, and tell
it to me.”

“Well,” said he, “I must have a glass of mint julip fust, to wash down
that ere disappointment about the mare. It was a dreadful go that. I
jist lost a thousand dollars by it, as slick as grease. But it’s an
excitin’ thing is a trottin’ race, too. When you mount, hear the word
‘Start!’ and shout out ‘G’lang!’ and give the pass word.”

Good heavens! what a yell he perpetrated again. I put both hands to my
ears, to exclude the reverberations of it from the walls.

“Don’t be skeered, Squire; don’t be skeered. We are alone now: there is
no mare to lose. Ain’t it pretty? It makes me feel all dandery and on
wires like.”

“But the grave-digger?” said I.

“Well,” says he, “the year afore I knowed you, I was a-goin’ in the
fall, down to Clare, about sixty miles below Annapolis, to collect some
debts due to me there from the French. And as I was a-joggin’ on along
the road, who should I overtake but Elder Stephen Grab, of Beechmeadows,
a mounted on a considerable of a clever-lookin’ black mare. The Elder
was a pious man; at least he looked like one, and spoke like one too.
His face was as long as the moral law, and p’rhaps an inch longer, and
as smooth as a hone; and his voice was so soft and sweet, and his tongue
moved so ily on its hinges, you’d a thought you might a trusted him with
ontold gold, if you didn’t care whether you ever got it agin or no. He
had a bran new hat on, with a brim that was none of the smallest, to
keep the sun from makin’ his inner man wink, and his go-to-meetin’
clothes on, and a pair of silver mounted spurs, and a beautiful white
cravat, tied behind, so as to have no bows to it, and look meek. If
there was a good man on airth, you’d a said it was him. And he seemed to
feel it, and know it too, for there was a kind of look o’ triumph about
him, as if he had conquered the Evil One, and was considerable well
satisfied with himself.

“‘H’are you,’ sais I, ‘Elder, to-day? Which way are you from?”

“‘From the General Christian Assembly, sais he, ‘to Goose Creek. We had
a “_most refreshin’ time on’t_.” There was a great “_outpourin’ of the
spirit_.”’

“‘Well, that’s awful,’ says I, ‘too. The magistrates ought to see to
that; it ain’t right, when folks assemble that way to worship, to be
a-sellin’ of rum; and gin, and brandy, and spirits, is it?’

“‘I don’t mean that,’ sais he, ‘although, p’rhaps, there was too much of
that wicked traffic too, I mean the preachin’. It was very peeowerful;
there was “_many sinners saved_.”

“‘I guess there was plenty of room for it,’ sais I, ‘onless that
neighbourhood has much improved since I knowed it last.’

“‘It’s a sweet thing,’ sais he. ‘Have you ever “_made profession_,” Mr.
Slick?’

“‘Come,’ sais I to myself, ‘this is cuttin’ it rather too fat. I must
put a stop to this. This ain’t a subject for conversation with such a
cheatin’, cantin’, hippocrytical skunk as this is. Yes,’ sais I, ‘long
ago. My profession is that of a clockmaker, and I make no pretension
to nothin’ else. But come, let’s water our hosses here and liquor
ourselves.’

“And we dismounted, and gave ‘em a drop to wet their mouths.

“‘Now,’ sais I, a-takin’ out of a pocket-pistol that I generally
travelled with, ‘I think I’ll take a drop of grog;’ and arter helpin’
myself, I gives the silver cover of the flask a dip in the brook, (for
a clean rinse is better than a dirty wipe, any time), and sais I, ‘Will
you have a little of the “_outpourin’ of the spirit?_” What do you say,
Elder?’

“‘Thank you,’ sais he, ‘friend Slick. I never touch liquor, it’s agin
our rules.’

“And he stooped down and filled it with water, and took a mouthful, and
then makin’ a face like a frog afore he goes to sing, and swellin’ his
cheeks out like a Scotch bagpiper, he spit it all out. Sais he, ‘That
is so warm, it makes me sick; and as I ain’t otherwise well, from the
celestial exhaustion of a protracted meetin’, I believe I will take a
little drop, as medicine.’

“Confound him! if he’d a said he’d only leave a little drop, it would a
been more like the thing; for he e’en a’most emptied the whole into the
cup, and drank it off clean, without winkin’.

“‘It’s a “_very refreshin’ time_,”’ sais I, ‘ain’t’ it?’ But he didn’t
make no answer. Sais I, ‘that’s a likely beast of yourn, Elder,’ and I
opened her mouth, and took a look at her, and no easy matter nother, I
tell you, for she held on like a bear trap, with her jaws. “‘She won’t
suit you,’ sais he, “with a smile, ‘Mr. Slick.’

“‘I guess not,’ sais I.

“‘But she’ll jist suit the French,’ sais he.

“‘It’s lucky she don’t speak French then,’ sais I, ‘or they’d soon
find her tongue was too big for her mouth. That critter will never see
five-and-twenty, and I’m a thinkin’, she’s thirty year old, if she is a
day.’

“‘I was a thinkin’, said he, with a sly look out o’ the corner of his
eye, as if her age warn’t no secret to him. ‘I was a thinkin’ it’s time
to put her off, and she’ll jist suit the French. They hante much for
hosses to do, in a giniral way, but to ride about; and you won’t say
nothin’ about her age, will you? it might endamnify a sale.’

“‘Not I,’ sais I, ‘I skin my own foxes, and let other folks skin
their’n. I have enough to do to mind my own business, without
interferin’ with other people’s.’

“‘She’ll jist suit the French,’ sais he; ‘they don’t know nothin’ about
hosses, or any thing else. They are a simple people, and always will be,
for their priests keep ‘em in ignorance. It’s an awful thing to see them
kept in the outer porch of darkness that way, ain’t it?’

“‘I guess you’ll put a new pane o’ glass in their porch,’ sais I, ‘and
help some o’ them to see better; for whoever gets that mare, will have
his eyes opened, sooner nor he bargains for, I know.’

“Sais he, ‘she ain’t a bad mare; and if she could eat bay, might do a
good deal of work yet,’ and he gave a kinder chuckle laugh at his own
joke, that sounded like the rattles in his throat, it was so dismal and
deep, for he was one o’ them kind of fellers that’s too good to larf,
was Steve.

“Well, the horn o’ grog he took, began to onloosen his tongue; and I got
out of him, that she come near dyin’ the winter afore, her teeth was
so bad, and that he had kept her all summer in a dyke pasture up to her
fetlocks in white clover, and ginn’ her ground oats, and Indgian meal,
and nothin’ to do all summer; and in the fore part of the fall, biled
potatoes, and he’d got her as fat as a seal, and her skin as slick as an
otter’s. She fairly shined agin, in the sun.

“‘She’ll jist suit the French’, said he, ‘they are a simple people and
don’t know nothin’, and if they don’t like the mare, they must blame
their priests for not teachin’ ‘em better. I shall keep within the
strict line of truth, as becomes a Christian man. I scorn to take a man
in.’

“Well, we chatted away arter this fashion, he a openin’ of himself and
me a walk in’ into him; and we jogged along till we came to Charles
Tarrio’s to Montagon, and there was the matter of a thousand French
people gathered there, a chatterin’, and laughin’, and jawin’, and
quarrellin’, and racin’, and wrastlin’, and all a givin’ tongue, like a
pack of village dogs, when an Indgian comes to town. It was town meetin’
day.

“Well, there was a critter there, called by nickname, ‘Goodish Greevoy,’
a mounted on a white pony, one o’ the scariest little screamers, you
ever see since you was born. He was a tryin’ to get up a race, was
Goodish, and banterin’ every one that had a hoss to run with him.

“His face was a fortin’ to a painter. His forehead was high and narrer,
shewin’ only a long strip o’ tawny skin, in a line with his nose, the
rest bein’ covered with hair, as black as ink, and as iley as a seal’s
mane. His brows was thick, bushy and overhangin’, like young brush-wood
on a cliff, and onderneath, was two black peerin’ little eyes, that kept
a-movin’ about, keen, good-natured, and roguish, but sot far into his
skull, and looked like the eyes of a fox peepin’ out of his den, when
he warn’t to home to company hisself. His nose was high, sharp, and
crooked, like the back of a reapin’ hook, and gave a plaguy sight
of character to his face, while his thinnish lips, that closed on a
straight line, curlin’ up at one eend, and down at the other, shewed, if
his dander was raised, he could be a jumpin’, tarin’, rampagenous devil
if he chose. The pint of his chin projected and turned up gently, as if
it expected, when Goodish lost his teeth, to rise in the world in rank
next to the nose. When good natur’ sat on the box, and drove, it warn’t
a bad face; when Old Nick was coachman, I guess it would be as well to
give Master Frenchman the road.

“He had a red cap on his head, his beard hadn’t been cut since last
sheep shearin’, and he looked as hairy as a tarrier; his shirt collar,
‘which was of yaller flannel, fell on his shoulders loose, and a black
hankercher was tied round his neck, slack like a sailor’s. He wore a
round jacket and loose trowsers of homespun with no waistcoat, and his
trowsers was held up by a gallus of leather on one side, and of old cord
on the other. Either Goodish had growed since his clothes was made, or
his jacket and trowsers warn’t on speakin’ tarms, for they didn’t meet
by three or four inches, and the shirt shewed atween them like a yaller
militia sash round him. His feet was covered with moccasins of ontanned
moose hide, and one heel was sot off with an old spur and looked sly
and wicked. He was a sneezer that, and when he flourished his great long
withe of a whip stick, that looked like a fishin’ rod, over his head,
and yelled like all possessed, he was a caution, that’s a fact.

“A knowin’ lookin’ little hoss, it was too, that he was mounted on. Its
tail was cut close off to the stump, which squared up his rump, and made
him look awful strong in the hind quarters. His mane was “hogged” which
fulled out the swell and crest of the neck, and his ears being
cropped, the critter had a game look about him. There was a proper good
onderstandin’ between him and his rider: they looked as if they had
growed together, and made one critter--half hoss, half man with a touch
of the devil.

“Goodish was all up on eend by what he drank, and dashed in and out of
the crowd arter a fashion, that was quite cautionary, callin’ out, ‘Here
comes “the grave-digger.” Don’t be skeered, if any of you get killed,
here is the hoss that will dig his grave for nothin’. Who’ll run a lick
of a quarter of a mile, for a pint of rum. Will you run?’ said he, a
spunkin’ up to the Elder, ‘come, let’s run, and whoever wins, shall go
the treat.’

“The Elder smiled as sweet as sugar candy, but backed out; he was too
old, he said, now to run.

“‘Will you swap hosses, old broad cloth then?’ said the other, ‘because
if you will, here’s at you.’

“Steve took a squint at pony, to see whether that cat would jump or no,
but the cropt ears, the stump of a tail, the rakish look of the horse,
didn’t jist altogether convene to the taste or the sanctified habits of
the preacher. The word no, hung on his lips, like a wormy apple, jist
ready to drop the fust shake; but before it let go, the great strength,
the spryness, and the oncommon obedience of pony to the bit, seemed to
kinder balance the objections; while the sartan and ontimely eend that
hung over his own mare, during the comin’ winter, death by starvation,
turned the scale.

“‘Well,’ said he, slowly, ‘if we like each other’s beasts, friend, and
can agree as to the boot, I don’t know as I wouldn’t trade; for I don’t
care to raise colts, havin’ plenty of hoss stock on hand, and perhaps
you do.’

“‘How old is your hoss?’ said the Frenchman.

“‘I didn’t raise it,’ sais Steve, ‘Ned Wheelock, I believe, brought her
to our parts.’

“‘How old do you take her to be?’

“‘Poor critter, she’d tell you herself, if she could,’ said he, ‘for
she knows best, but she can’t speak; and I didn’t see her, when she was
foalded.’

“‘How old do you think?’

“‘Age,’ sais Steve, ‘depens on use, not on years. A hoss at five, if ill
used, is old; a hoss at eight, if well used is young.’

“‘Sacry footry!’ sais Goodish, ‘why don’t you speak out like a man? Lie
or no lie, how old is she?’

“‘Well, I don’t like to say,’ sais Steve, ‘I know she is eight for
sartain, and it may be she’s nine. If I was to say eight, and it turned
out nine, you might be thinkin’ hard of me. I didn’t raise it. You can
see what condition she is in; old hosses ain’t commonly so fat as that,
at least I never, see one that was.’

“A long banter then growed out of the ‘boot money.’ The Elder, asked
7 pounds 10s. Goodish swore he wouldn’t give that for him and his hoss
together; that if they were both put up to auction that blessed minute,
they wouldn’t bring it. The Elder hung on to it, as long as there was
any chance of the boot, and then fort the ground like a man, only givin’
an inch or so at a time, till he drawed up and made a dead stand, on one
pound.

“Goodish seemed willing to come to tarms too; but like a prudent man,
resolved to take a look at the old mare’s mouth, and make some kind of
a guess at her age; but the critter knowed how to keep her own secrets,
and it was ever so long, afore he forced her jaws open, and when he did,
he came plaguy near losin’ of a finger, for his curiosity; and as he
hopped and danced about with pain, he let fly such a string of oaths,
and sacry-cussed the Elder and his mare, in such an all-fired passion,
that Steve put both his hands up to his ears, and said, ‘Oh, my dear
friend, don’t swear, don’t swear; it’s very wicked. I’ll take your pony,
I’ll ask no boot, if you will only promise not to swear. You shall have
the mare as she stands. I’ll give up and swap even; and there shall be
no after claps, nor ruin bargains, nor recantin’, nor nother, only don’t
swear.’

“Well, the trade was made, the saddles and bridles was shifted, and
both parties mounted their new hosses. ‘Mr. Slick,’ sais Steve,’ who was
afraid he would lose the pony, if he staid any longer, ‘Mr. Slick,’
sais he, ‘the least said, is the soonest mended, let’s be a movin’, this
scene of noise and riot is shockin’ to a religious man, ain’t it?’ and
he let go a groan, as long as the embargo a’most.

“Well, we had no sooner turned to go, than the French people sot up a
cheer that made all ring again; and they sung out, “La Fossy Your,” “La
Fossy Your,” and shouted it agin and agin ever so loud.

“‘What’s that?’ sais Steve.

“Well, I didn’t know, for I never heerd the word afore; but it don’t do
to say you don’t know, it lowers you in the eyes of other folks. If you
don’t know What another man knows he is shocked at your ignorance. But
if he don’t know what you do, he can find an excuse in a minute. Never
say you don’t know.

“‘So,’ sais I, ‘they jabber so everlastin’ fast, it ain’t no easy matter
to say what they mean; but it sounds like “good bye,” you’d better
turn round and make ‘em a bow, for they are very polite people, is the
French.’

“So Steve turns and takes off his hat, and makes them a low bow, and
they larfs wus than ever, and calls out again, “La Fossy Your,” “La
Fossy Your.” He was kinder ryled, was the Elder. His honey had begun
to farment, and smell vinegery. ‘May be, next Christmas,’ sais he, ‘you
won’t larf so loud, when you find the mare is dead. Goodish and the old
mare are jist alike, they are all tongue them critters. I rather think
it’s me,’ sais he, ‘has the right to larf, for I’ve got the best of this
bargain, and no mistake. This is as smart a little hoss as ever I see.
I know where I can put him off to great advantage. I shall make a good
day’s work of this. It is about as good a hoss trade as I ever made. The
French don’t know nothin’ about hosses; they are a simple people, their
priests keep ‘em in ignorance on purpose, and they don’t know nothin’.’

“He cracked and bragged considerable, and as we progressed we came
to Montagon Bridge. The moment pony sot foot on it, he stopped short,
pricked up the latter eends of his ears, snorted, squeeled and refused
to budge an inch. The Elder got mad. He first coaxed and patted, and
soft sawdered him, and then whipt and spurred, and thrashed him like any
thing. Pony got mad too, for hosses has tempers as well as Elders; so he
turned to, and kicked right straight up on eend, like Old Scratch, and
kept on without stoppin’ till he sent the Elder right slap over his
head slantendicularly, on the broad of his back into the river, and he
floated down thro’ the bridge and scrambled out at t’other side.

“Creation! how he looked. He was so mad, he was ready to bile over; and
as it was he smoked in the sun, like a tea-kettle. His clothes stuck
close down to him, as a cat’s fur does to her skin, when she’s out in
the rain, and every step he took his boots went squish, squash, like an
old woman churnin’ butter; and his wet trowsers chafed with a noise like
a wet flappin’ sail. He was a shew, and when he got up to his hoss, and
held on to his mane, and first lifted up one leg and then the other to
let the water run out of his boots. I couldn’t hold in no longer, but
laid back and larfed till I thought on my soul I’d fall off into the
river too.

“‘Elder,’ says I, ‘I thought when a man jined your sect, ‘he could never
“_fall off agin_,” but I see you ain’t no safer than other folks arter
all.’

“‘Come,’ says he, ‘let me be, that’s a good soul, it’s bad enough,
without being larfed at, that’s a fact. I can’t account for this caper,
no how.’

“‘It’s very strange too, ain’t it! What on airth got into the hoss to
make him act so ugly. Can you tell, Mr. Slick?’

“‘Why,’ sais I, ‘he don’t know English yet, that’s all. He waited for
them beautiful French oaths that Goodish used. Stop the fust Frenchman
you meet and give him a shillin’ to teach you to swear, and he’ll go
like a lamb.’

“I see’d what was the matter of the hoss by his action as soon as we
started; but I warn’t agoin’ for to let on to him about it. I wanted to
see the sport. Well, he took his hoss by the bridle and led him over the
bridge, and he follered kindly, then he mounted, and no hoss could go
better. Arter a little, we came to another bridge agin, and the same
play was acted anew, same coaxin’, same threatenin’, and same thrashin’;
at last pony put down his head, and began to shake his tail, a gettin’
ready for another bout of kickin’; when Steve got off and led him, and
did the same to every bridge we come to.

“‘It’s no use,’ sais I, ‘you must larn them oaths, he’s used to ‘em
and misses them shocking. A sailor, a hoss, and a nigger ain’t no good
without you swear at ‘em; it comes kinder nateral to them, and they look
for it, fact I assure you. Whips wear out, and so do spurs, but a good
sneezer of a cuss hain’t no wear out to it; it’s always the same.’

“‘I’ll larn him sunthin’, sais he, ‘when I get him to home, and out o’
sight that will do him good, and that he won’t forget for one while, I
know.’

“Soon arter this we came to Everett’s public-house on the bay, and
I galloped up to the door, and went as close as I cleverly could on
purpose, and then reined up short and sudden, when whap goes the pony
right agin the side of the house, and nearly killed himself. He never
stirred for the matter of two or three minutes. I actilly did think he
had gone for it, and Steve went right thro’ the winder on to the floor,
with a holler noise, like a log o’ wood thrown on to the deck of a
vessel. ‘Eugh!’ says he, and he cut himself with the broken glass quite
ridikilous.

“‘Why,’ sais Everett, ‘as I am a livin’ sinner this is “the
Grave-digger,” he’ll kill you, man, as sure as you are born, he is the
wickedest hoss that ever was seen in these clearins here; and he is
as blind as a bat too. No man in Nova Scotia can manage that hoss but
Goodish Greevoy, and he’d manage the devil that feller, for he is man,
horse, shark, and sarpent all in one, that Frenchman. What possessed you
to buy such a varmint as that?’

“‘Grave digger!’ said doleful Steve, ‘what is that?’

“‘Why,’ sais he, ‘they went one day to bury a man, down to Clare did
the French, and when they got to the grave, who should be in it but the
pony. He couldn’t see, and as he was a feedin’ about, he tumbled in head
over heels and they called him always arterwards ‘the Grave-digger.’”

“‘Very simple people them French,’ sais I, ‘Elder; they don’t know
nothin’ about hosses, do they? Their priests keep them in ignorance on
purpose.’

“Steve winced and squinched his face properly; and said the glass in
his hands hurt him. Well, arter we sot all to rights, we began to jog
on towards Digby. The Elder didn’t say much, he was as chop fallen as
a wounded moose; at last, says he, ‘I’ll ship him to St. John, and sell
him. I’ll put him on board of Captain Ned Leonard’s vessel, as soon as I
get to Digby.’ Well, as I turned my head to answer him, and sot eyes on
him agin, it most sot me a haw, hawin’ a second time, he _did_ look so
like Old Scratch. Oh Hedges! how haggardised he was! His new hat was
smashed down like a cap on the crown of his head, his white cravat was
bloody, his face all scratched, as if he had been clapper-clawed by a
woman, and his hands was bound up with rags, where the glass cut ‘em.
The white sand of the floor of Everett’s parlour had stuck to his
damp clothes, and he looked like an old half corned miller, that was a
returnin’ to his wife, arter a spree. A leetle crest fallen for what he
had got, a leetle mean for the way he looked, and a leetle skeered
for what he’d catch, when he got to home. The way he sloped warn’t no
matter. He was a pictur, and a pictur I must say, I liked to look at.

“And now Squire, do you take him off too, ingrave him, and bind him up
in your book, and let others look at it, and put onder it ‘_the Elder
and the Grave-digger_.’”

“Well, when we got to town, the tide was high, and the vessel jist ready
to cast off, and Steve, knowin’ how skeer’d pony was of the water, got
off to lead him, but the critter guessed it warn’t a bridge, for he
smelt salt water on both sides of him, and ahead too, and budge he
wouldn’t. Well, they beat him most to death, but he beat back agin with
his heels, and it was a drawd fight. Then they goes to the fence and
gets a great strong pole, and puts it across his hams, two men at each
eend of the pole, and shoved away, and shoved away, till they progressed
a yard or so; when pony squatted right down on the pole, throwd over the
men, and most broke their legs, with his weight.

“At last, the captain fetched a rope, and fixes it round his neck, with
a slip knot, fastens it to the windlass, and dragged him in as they do
an anchor, and tied him by his bridle to the boom; and then shoved off,
and got under weigh.

“Steve and I sot down on the wharf, for it was a beautiful day, and
looked at them driftin’ out in the stream, and hystin’ sail, while the
folks was gettin’ somethin’ ready for us to the inn.

“When they had got out into the middle of the channel, took the breeze,
and was all under way, and we was about turnin’ to go back, I saw the
pony loose, he had slipped his bridle, and not likin’ the motion of the
vessel, he jist walked overboard, head fust, with a most a beautiful
splunge.

“‘_A most refreshin’ time_,’ said I, ‘Elder, that critter has of it. I
hope _that sinner will be saved_.’

“He sprung right up on eend, as if he had been stung by a galley nipper,
did Steve, ‘Let me alone,’ said he. ‘What have I done to be jobed, that
way? Didn’t I keep within the strict line o’ truth? Did I tell that
Frenchman one mossel of a lie? Answer me, that, will you? I’ve been
cheated awful; but I scorn to take the advantage of any man. You
had better look to your own dealin’s, and let me alone, you pedlin’,
cheatin’ Yankee clockmaker you.’

“‘Elder,’ sais I, ‘if you warn’t too mean to rile a man, I’d give you a
kick on your pillion, that would send you a divin’ arter your hoss; but
you ain’t worth it. Don’t call me names tho’, or I’ll settle your coffee
for you, without a fish skin, afore you are ready to swaller it I can
_tell_ you. So keep your mouth shut, my old coon, or your teeth might
get sun-burnt. You think you are angry with me; but you aint; you are
angry with yourself. You know you have showd yourself a proper fool for
to come, for to go, for to talk to a man that has seed so much of the
world as I have, bout “_refreshin’ time_,” and “_outpourin’ of spirit_,”
 and “_makin’ profession_” and what not; and you know you showd yourself
an everlastin’ rogue, a meditatin’ of cheatin’ that Frenchman all
summer. It’s biter bit, and I don’t pity you one mossel; it sarves
you right. But look at the grave-digger; he looks to me as if he was a
diggin’ of his own grave in rael right down airnest.’

“The captain havin’ his boat histed, and thinkin’ the hoss would swim
ashore of hisself, kept right straight on; and the hoss swam this way,
and that way, and every way but the right road, jist as the eddies took
him. At last, he got into the ripps off of Johnston’s pint, and they
wheeled him right round and round like a whip-top. Poor pony! he got
his match at last. He struggled, and jumpt, and plunged and fort, like
a man, for dear life. Fust went up his knowin’ little head, that had no
ears; and he tried to jump up and rear out of it, as he used to did
out of a mire hole or honey pot ashore; but there was no bottom there;
nothin’ for his hind foot to spring from; so down he went agin ever so
deep: and then he tried t’other eend, and up went his broad rump, that
had no tail; but there was nothin’ for the fore feet to rest on nother;
so he made a summerset, and as he went over, he gave out a great long
end wise kick to the full stretch of his hind legs.

“Poor feller! it was the last kick he ever gave in this world; he sent
his heels straight up on eend, like a pair of kitchen tongs, and the
last I see of him was a bright dazzle, as the sun shined on his iron
shoes, afore the water closed over him for ever.

“I railly felt sorry for the poor old ‘grave-digger,’ I did upon my
soul, for hosses and ladies are two things, that a body can’t help
likin’. Indeed, a feller that hante no taste that way ain’t a man at
all, in my opinion. Yes, I felt ugly for poor ‘grave-digger,’ though I
didn’t feel one single bit so for that cantin’ cheatin’, old Elder. So
when I turns to go, sais I, ‘Elder,’ sais I, and I jist repeated his own
words--‘I guess it’s your turn to laugh now, for you have got the best
of the bargain, and no mistake. Goodish and the old mare are jist alike,
all tongue, ain’t they? But these French is a simple people, so they
be; they don’t know nothin’, that’s a fact. Their priests keep ‘em in
ignorance a puppus.

“The next time you tell your experience to the great Christian meetin’
to Goose Creek, jist up and tell ‘em, from beginnin’ to eend, the story
of the--‘_Elder and the Grave-digger_.’”



CHAPTER XIII. LOOKING BACK.

In the course of the evening, Mr. Hopewell adverted to his return as
a matter of professional duty, and spoke of it in such a feeling and
earnest manner, as to leave no doubt upon my mind, that we should not be
able to detain him long in this country, unless his attention should be
kept fully occupied by a constant change of scene.

Mr. Slick expressed to me the same fear, and, knowing that I had been
talking of going to Scotland, entreated me not to be long absent, for he
felt convinced that as soon as he should be left alone, his thoughts and
wishes would at once revert to America.

“I will try to keep him up,” said he, “as well as I can, but I can’t do
it alone. If you do go, don’t leave us long. Whenever I find him dull,
and can’t cheer him up no how I can fix it, by talk, or fun, or sight
seein’ or nothin’, I make him vexed, and that excites him, stirs him up
with a pot stick, and is of great sarvice to him. I don’t mean actilly
makin’ him wrathy in airnest, but jist rilin of him for his own good, by
pokin’ a mistake at him. I’ll shew you, presently, how I do it.”

As soon as Mr. Hopewell rejoined us, he began to inquire into the
probable duration of our visit to this country, and expressed a wish to
return, as soon as possible, to Slickville.

“Come, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, tapping him on the shoulder, “as
father used to say, we must ‘right about face’ now. When we are at home
let us think of home, when we are here, let us think of this place. Let
us look a-head, don’t let’s look back, for we can’t see nothin’ there.”

“Indeed, Sam,” said he, with a sad and melancholy air, “it would be
better for us all if we looked back oftener than we do. From the errors
of the past, we might rectify our course for the future. Prospective sin
is often clothed in very alluring garments; past sin appears in all its
naked deformity. Looking back, therefore--”

“Is very well,” said Mr. Slick, “in the way of preachin’; but lookin’
back when you can’t see nothin’, as you are now, is only a hurtin’ of
your eyes. I never hear that word, ‘lookin’ back,’ that I don’t think of
that funny story of Lot’s wife.”

“Funny story of Lot’s wife, Sir! Do you call that a funny story, Sir?”

“I do, Sir.”

“You do, Sir?”

“Yes, I do, Sir; and I defy you or any other man to say it ain’t a funny
story.”

“Oh dear, dear,” said Mr. Hopewell, “that I should have lived to see
the day when you, my son, would dare to speak of a Divine judgment as a
funny story, and that you should presume so to address me.”

“A judgment, Sir?”

“Yes, a judgment, Sir.”

“Do you call the story of Lot’s wife a judgment?”

“Yes, I do call the story of Lot’s wife a judgment; a monument of the
Divine wrath for the sin of disobedience.”

“What! Mrs. Happy Lot? Do you call her a monument of wrath? Well, well,
if that don’t beat all, Minister. If you had a been a-tyin’ of the
night-cap last night I shouldn’t a wondered at your talkin’ at that
pace. But to call that dear little woman, Mrs. Happy Lot, that dancin’,
laughin’ tormentin’, little critter, a monument of wrath, beats all to
immortal smash.”

“Why who are you a-talkin’ of, Sam?”

“Why, Mrs. Happy Lot, the wife of the Honourable Cranbery Lot, of
Umbagog, to be sure. Who did you think I was a-talkin’ of?”

“Well, I thought you was a-talkin’ of--of--ahem--of subjects too serious
to be talked of in that manner; but I did you wrong, Sam; I did you
injustice. Give me your hand, my boy. It’s better for me to mistake and
apologize, than for you to sin and repent. I don’t think I ever heard of
Mr. Lot, of Umbagog, or of his wife either. Sit down here, and tell me
the story, for ‘with thee conversing, I forget all time.’”

“Well, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “I’ll tell you the ins and outs of it;
and a droll story it is too. Miss Lot was the darter of Enoch Mosher,
the rich miser of Goshen; as beautiful a little critter too, as ever
slept in shoe-leather. She looked for all the world like one of the
Paris fashion prints, for she was a parfect pictur’, that’s a fact.
Her complexion was made of white and red roses, mixed so beautiful, you
couldn’t tell where the white eended, or the red begun, natur’ had
used the blendin’ brush so delicate. Her eyes were screw augurs, I tell
_you_; they bored right into your heart, and kinder agitated you, and
made your breath come and go, and your pulse flutter. I never felt
nothin’ like ‘em. When lit up, they sparkled like lamp reflectors; and
at other tunes, they was as soft, and mild, and clear as dew-drops that
hang on the bushes at sun-rise. When she loved, she loved; and when she
hated, she hated about the wickedest you ever see. Her lips were like
heart cherries of the carnation kind; so plump, and fall, and hard, you
felt as if you could fall to and eat ‘em right up. Her voice was like a
grand piany, all sorts o’ power in it; canary-birds’ notes at one eend,
and thunder at t’other, accordin’ to the humour she was in, for she
was a’most a grand bit of stuff was Happy, she’d put an edge on a knife
a’most. She was a rael steel. Her figur’ was as light as a fairy’s, and
her waist was so taper and tiny, it seemed jist made for puttin’ an
arm round in walkin’. She was as ac_tive_ and springy on her feet as a
catamount, and near about as touch me-not a sort of customer too.
She actilly did seem as if she was made out of steel springs and
chicken-hawk. If old Cran, was to slip off the handle, I think I should
make up to her, for she is ‘a salt,’ that’s a fact, a most a heavenly
splice.

“Well, the Honourable Cranbery Lot put in for her, won her, and married
her. A good speculation it turned out too, for he got the matter of one
hundred thousand of dollars by her, if he got a cent. As soon as they
were fairly welded, off they sot to take the tour of Europe, and they
larfed and cried, and kissed and quarrelled, and fit and made up all
over the Continent, for her temper was as onsartain as the climate
here--rain one minit and sun the next; but more rain nor sun.

“He was a fool, was Cranbery. He didn’t know how to manage her. His
bridle hand warn’t good, I tell you. A spry, mettlesome hoss, and a dull
critter with no action, don’t mate well in harness, that’s a fact.

“After goin’ every where, and every where else amost, where should they
get to but the Alps. One arternoon, a sincerely cold one it was too, and
the weather, violent slippy, dark overtook them before they reached the
top of one of the highest and steepest of them mountains, and they had
to spend the night at a poor squatter’s shanty.

“Well, next mornin’, jist at day-break, and sun-rise on them everlastin’
hills is tall sun-rise, and no mistake, p’rhaps nothin was ever seen so
fine except the first one, since creation. It takes the rag off quite.
Well, she was an enterprisin’ little toad, was Miss Lot too, afeered of
nothin’ a’most; so nothin’ would sarve her but she must out and have a
scramb up to the tip-topest part of the peak afore breakfast.

“Well, the squatter there, who was a kind o’ guide, did what he could to
dispersuade her, but all to no purpose; go she would, and a headstrong
woman and a runaway hoss are jist two things it’s out of all reason to
try to stop; The only way is to urge ‘em on, and then, bein’ contr_ary_
by natur’, they stop of themselves.

“‘Well,’ sais the guide, ‘if you will go, marm, do take this pike staff,
marm,’ sais he; (a sort of walkin’-stick with a spike to the eend of
it), ‘for you can’t get either up or down them slopes without it, it is
so almighty slippy there.’ So she took the staff, and off she sot and
climbed and climbed ever so far, till she didn’t look no bigger than a
snowbird.

“At last she came to a small flat place, like a table, and then she
turned round to rest, get breath, and take a look at the glorious view;
and jist as she hove-to, up went her little heels, and away went her
stick, right over a big parpendicular cliff, hundreds and hundreds, and
thousands of feet deep. So deep, you couldn’t see the bottom for the
shadows, for the very snow looked black down there. There is no way in,
it is so steep, but over the cliff; and no way out, but one, and that
leads to t’other world. I can’t describe it to you, though. I have see’d
it since myself. There are some things too big to lift; some, too big
to carry after they be lifted; and some too grand for the tongue to
describe too. There’s a notch where dictionary can’t go no farther, as
well as every other created thing, that’s a fact. P’rhaps if I was to
say it looked like the mould that that ‘are very peak was cast in, afore
it was cold and stiff, and sot up on eend, I should come as near the
mark as any thing I know on.

“Well away she slid, feet and hands out, all flat on her face, right
away, arter her pike staff. Most people would have ginn it up as gone
goose, and others been so frightened as not to do any thing at all; or
at most only jist to think of a prayer, for there was no time to say
one.

“But not so Lot’s ‘wife. She was of a conquerin’ natur’. She never gave
nothin’ up, till she couldn’t hold on no longer. She was one o’ them
critters that go to bed mistress, and rise master; and just as she
got to the edge of the precipice, her head hangin’ over, and her eyes
lookin’ down, and she all but ready to shoot out and launch away into
bottomless space, the ten commandments brought her right short up. Oh,
she sais, the sudden joy of that sudden stop swelled her heart so big,
she thought it would have bust like a byler; and, as it was, the great
endurin’ long breath she drew, arter such an alfired escape, almost
killed her at the ebb, it hurt her so.”

“But,” said Mr. Hopewell, “how did the ten commandments save her? Do you
mean that figuratively, or literally. Was it her reliance on providence,
arising from a conscious observance of the decalogue all her life, or
was it a book containing them, that caught against some thing, and stopt
her descent. It is very interesting. Many a person, Sam, has been saved
when at the brink of destruction, by laying fast hold on the bible. Who
can doubt, that the commandments had a Divine origin? Short, simple and
yet comprehensive; the first four point to our duty to our Maker, the
last six, towards our social duties. In this respect there is a great
similarity of structure, to that excellent prayer given us--”

“Oh, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “I beg your pardon, I do, indeed, I
don’t mean that at all; and I do declare and vow now, I wasn’t a playin’
possum with you, nother. I won’t do it no more, I won’t, indeed.”

“Well, what did you mean then?”

“Why I meant her ten fingers, to be sure. When a woman clapper claws her
husband, we have a cant tarm with us boys of Slickville, savin’ she gave
him her ten commandments.”

“And a very improper expression too, Sir,” said Mr. Hopewell; “a very
irreverent, indecent, and I may say profane expression; I am quite
shocked. But as you say you didn’t mean it, are sorry for it, and will
not repeat it again, I accept your apology, and rely on your promise. Go
on, Sir.”

“Well, as I was a savin’, the moment she found herself a coasting of it
that way, flounder fashion, she hung on by her ten com--I mean her ten
fingers, and her ten toes, like grim death to a dead nigger, and it
brought her up jist in time. But how to get back was the question? To
let go the hold of any one hand was sartain death, and there was nobody
to help her, and yet to hold on long that way, she couldn’t, no how she
could fix it.

“So what does she do, (for nothin’ equals a woman for contrivances), but
move one finger at a time, and then one toe at a time, till she gets
a new hold, and then crawls backward, like a span-worm, an inch at a
hitch. Well, she works her passage this way, wrong eend foremost, by
backin’ of her paddles for the matter of half an hour or so, till she
gets to where it was roughish, and somethin’ like standin’ ground, when
who should come by but a tall handsome man, with a sort of a half coat,
half cloak-like coverin’ on, fastened round the waist with a belt, and
havin’ a hood up, to ambush the head.

“The moment she clapt eyes on him, she called to him for help. ‘Oh,’
sais she, ‘for heaven’s sake, good man, help me up! Jist take hold of my
leg and draw me back, will you, that’s a good soul?’ And then she
held up fust one leg for him, and then the other, most beseechin’, but
nothin’ would move him. He jist stopt, looked back for a moment and then
progressed agin.

“Well, it ryled her considerable. Her eyes actilly snapped with fire,
like a hemlock log at Christmas: (for nothin’ makes a woman so mad as a
parsonal slight, and them little ankles of hern were enough to move the
heart of a stone, and make it jump out o’ the ground, that’s a fact,
they were such fine-spun glass ones), it made her so mad, it gave her
fresh strength; and makin’ two or three onnateral efforts, she got clear
back to the path, and sprung right up on eend, as wicked as a she-bear
with a sore head. But when she got upright agin, she then see’d what a
beautiful frizzle of a fix she was in. She couldn’t hope to climb far;
and, indeed, she didn’t ambition to; she’d had enough of that, for one
spell. But climbin’ up was nothin’, compared to goin’ down hill without
her staff; so what to do, she didn’t know.

“At last, a thought struck her. She intarmined to make that man help
her, in spite of him. So she sprung forward for a space, like a painter,
for life or death, and caught right hold of his cloak. ‘Help--help me!’
said she, ‘or I shall go for it, that’s sartain. Here’s my puss, my
rings, my watch, and all I have got; but oh, help me! for the love of
God, help me, or my flint is fixed for good and all.’

“With that, the man turned round, and took one glance at her, as if he
kinder relented, and then, all at once, wheeled back again, as amazed as
if he was jist born, gave an awful yell, and started off as fast as he
could clip, though that warn’t very tall runnin’ nother, considerin’ the
ground. But she warn’t to be shook off that way. She held fast to his
cloak, like a burr to a sheep’s tail, and raced arter him, screamin’ and
screechin’ like mad; and the more she cried, the louder he yelled, till
the mountains all echoed it and re-echoed it, so that you would have
thought a thousand devils had broke loose, a’most.

“Such a gettin’ up stairs you never did see.

“Well, they kept up this tantrum for the space of two or three hundred
yards, when they came to a small, low, dismal-lookin’ house, when
the man gave the door a kick, that sent the latch a flyin’ off to the
t’other eend of the room, and fell right in on the floor, on his face,
as flat as a flounder, a groanin’ and a moanin’ like any thing, and
lookin’ as mean as a critter that was sent for, and couldn’t come, and
as obstinate as a pine stump.

“‘What ails you?’ sais she, ‘to act like Old Scratch that way? You ought
to be ashamed of yourself, to behave so to a woman. What on airth is
there about me to frighten you so, you great onmannerly, onmarciful,
coward, you. Come, scratch up, this minute.’

“Well, the more she talked, the more he groaned; but the devil a word,
good or bad, could she get out of him at all. With that, she stoops
down, and catches up his staff, and says she, ‘I have as great a mind to
give you a jab with this here toothpick, where your mother used to spank
you, as ever I had in all my life. But if you want it, my old ‘coon, you
must come and get it; for if you won’t help me, I shall help myself.’

“Jist at that moment, her eyes being better accustomed to the dim light
of the place, she see’d a man, a sittin’ at the fur eend of the room,
with his back to the wall, larfin’ ready to kill himself. He grinned
so, he showed his corn-crackers from ear to ear. She said, he stript his
teeth like a catamount, he look’d so all mouth.

“Well, that encouraged her, for there ain’t much harm in a larfin’ man;
it’s only them that never larf that’s fearfulsome. So sais she ‘My good
man, will you he so kind as to lend me your arm down this awful peak,
and I will reward you handsomely, you may depend.’

“Well, he made no answer, nother; and thinkin’ he didn’t onderstand
English, she tried him in Italian, and then in broken French, and then
bungled out a little German; but no, still no answer. He took no more
notice of her and her mister, and senior, and mountsheer, and mynheer,
than if he never heerd them titles, but jist larfed on.

“She stopped a minit, and looked at him full in the face, to see what he
meant by all this ongenteel behaviour, when all of a sudden, jist as she
moved one step nearer to him, she saw he was a dead man, and had been so
long there, part of the flesh had dropt off or dried off his face; and
it was that that made him grin that way, like a fox-trap. It was the
bone-house they was in. The place where poor, benighted, snow-squalled
stragglers, that perish on the mountains, are located, for their friends
to come and get them, if they want ‘em; and if there ain’t any body that
knows ‘em or cares for ‘em, why they are left there for ever, to dry
into nothin’ but parchment and atomy, as it’s no joke diggin’ a grave in
that frozen region.

“As soon as she see’d this, she never said another blessed word, but
jist walked off with the livin’ man’s pike, and began to poke her way
down the mountain as careful as she cleverly could, dreadful tired, and
awful frighted.

“Well, she hadn’t gone far, afore she heard her name echoed all round
her--Happy! Happy! Happy! It seemed from the echoes agin, as if there
was a hundred people a yelling it put all at once.

“Oh, very happy,’ said she, ‘very happy, indeed; guess you’d find it
so if you was here. I know I should feel very happy if I was out of it,
that’s all; for I believe, on my soul, this is harnted ground, and the
people in it are possessed. Oh, if I was only to home, to dear Umbagog
agin, no soul should ever ketch me in this outlandish place any more,
_I_ know.’

“Well, the sound increased and increased so, like young thunder she was
e’en a’most skeared to death, and in a twitteration all over; and her
knees began to shake so, she expected to go for it every minute; when a
sudden turn of the path show’d her her husband and the poor squatter a
sarchin’ for her.

“She was so overcome with fright and joy, she could hardly speak--and it
warn’t a trifle that would toggle her tongue, that’s a fact. It was
some time after she arrived at the house afore she could up and tell the
story onderstandable; and when she did, she had to tell it twice over,
first in short hand, and then in long metre, afore she could make out
the whole bill o’ parcels. Indeed, she hante done tellin’ it yet, and
wherever she is, she works round, and works round, till she gets Europe
spoke of, and then she begins, ‘That reminds me of a most remarkable
fact. Jist after I was married to Mr. Lot, we was to the Alps.’

“If ever you see her, and she begins that way, up hat and cut stick,
double quick, or you’ll find the road over the Alps to Umbagog, a little
the longest you’ve ever travelled, I know.

“Well, she had no sooner done than Cranbery jumps up on eend, and sais
he to the guide, ‘Uncle,’ sais he, ‘jist come along with me, that’s a
good feller, will you? We must return that good Samaritan’s’ cane to
him; and as he must be considerable cold there, I’ll jist warm his hide
a bit for him, to make his blood sarculate. If he thinks I’ll put that
treatment to my wife, Miss Lot, into my pocket, and walk off with it,
he’s mistaken in the child, that’s all, Sir. He may be stubbeder than I
be, Uncle, that’s a fact; but if he was twice as stubbed, I’d walk
into him like a thousand of bricks. I’ll give him a taste of my breed.
Insultin’ a lady is a weed we don’t suffer to grow in our fields
to Umbagog. Let him be who the devil he will, log-leg or
leather-breeches--green-shirt or blanket-coat--land-trotter or
river-roller, I’ll let him know there is a warrant out arter him, I
know.”

“‘Why,’ sais the guide, ‘he couldn’t help himself, no how he could work
it. He is a friar, or a monk, or a hermit, or a pilgrim, or somethin’
or another of that kind, for there is no eend to them, they are so many
different sorts; but the breed he is of, have a vow never to look at a
woman, or talk to a woman, or touch a woman, and if they do, there is a
penance, as long as into the middle of next week.’

“‘Not look at a woman?’ sais Cran, ‘why, what sort of a guess world
would this be without petticoats?--what a superfine superior tarnation
fool he must be, to jine such a tee-total society as that. Mint julip I
could give up, I _do_ suppose, though I had a plaguy sight sooner not
do it, that’s a fact: but as for womankind, why the angeliferous
little torments, there is no livin’ without _them_. What do you think,
stranger?’

“‘Sartainly,’ said Squatter; ‘but seein’ that the man had a vow, why it
warn’t his fault, for he couldn’t do nothin’ else. Where _he_ did wrong,
was _to look back_; if he hadn’t a _looked back_, he wouldn’t have
sinned.’

“‘Well, well,’ sais Cran, ‘if that’s the case, it is a hoss of another
colour, that. I won’t look back nother, then. Let him he. But he is
erroneous considerable.’

“So you see, Minister,” said Mr. Slick, “where there is nothin’ to be
gained, and harm done, by this retrospection, as you call it, why I
think lookin’ a-head is far better than--_lookin’ back_.”



CHAPTER XIV. CROSSING THE BORDER.

The time had now arrived when it was necessary for me to go to
Scotland, for a few days. I had two very powerful reasons for this
excursion:--first, because an old and valued friend of mine was there,
whom I had not met for many years, and whom I could not think of leaving
this country without seeing again; and secondly, because I was desirous
of visiting the residence of my forefathers on the Tweed, which,
although it had passed out of their possession many years ago, was still
endeared to me as their home, as the scene of the family traditions; and
above all, as their burial place.

The grave is the first stage on the journey, from this to the other
world. We are permitted to escort our friends so far, and no further; it
is there we part for ever. It is there the human form is deposited, when
mortality is changed for immortality. This burial place contains no one
that I have ever seen or known; but it contains the remains of those
from whom I derived my lineage and my name. I therefore naturally
desired to see it.

Having communicated my intention to my two American companions, I was
very much struck with the different manner in which they received the
announcement.

“Come back soon, Squire,” said Mr. Slick; “go and see your old friend,
if you must, and go to the old campin’ grounds of your folks; though the
wigwam I expect has gone long ago, but don’t look at anythin’ else.
I want we should visit the country together. I have an idea from what
little I have seed of it, Scotland is over-rated. I guess there is a
good deal of romance about their old times; and that, if we knowed all,
their old lairds warn’t much better, or much richer than our Ingian
chiefs; much of a muchness. Kinder sorter so, and kinder sorter not so,
no great odds. Both hardy, both fierce; both as poor as Job’s Turkey,
and both tarnation proud, at least, that’s my idea to a notch.

“I have often axed myself what sort of a gall that splenderiferous,
‘Lady of the Lake’ of Scott’s was, and I kinder guess she was a
red-headed Scotch heifer, with her hair filled with heather, and
feather, and lint, with no shoes and stockings to her feet, and that

   “Her lips apart
    Like monument of Grecian art”

meant that she stared with her eyes and mouth wide open, like other
county galls that never see’d nothing before--a regilar screetch owl
in petticoats. And I suspicion, that Mr. Rob Roy was a sort of thievin’
devil of a white Mohawk, that found it easier to steal cattle, than
raise them himself; and that Loch Katrin, that they make such a touss
about, is jist about equal to a good sizeable duck-pond in our country;
at least, that’s my idea. For I tell you it does not do to follow arter
a poet, and take all he says for gospel.

“Yes, let’s go and see Sawney in his “Ould _Reeky_.” Airth and seas! if
I have any nose at all, there never was a place so well named as that.
Phew! let me light a cigar to get rid of the fogo of it.

“Then let’s cross over and see “Pat at Home;” let’s look into
matters and things there, and see what “Big Dan” is about, with his
“association” and “agitation” and “repail” and “tee-totals.” Let’s see
whether it’s John Bull or Patlander that’s to blame, or both on ‘em; six
of one and half-a-dozen of tother. By Gosh! Minister would talk, more
sense in one day to Ireland, than has been talked there since the
rebellion; for common sense is a word that don’t grow like Jacob’s
ladder, in them diggins, I guess. It’s about, as stunted as Gineral
Nichodemus Ott’s corn was.

“The Gineral was takin’ a ride with a southerner one day over his farm
to Bangor in Maine, to see his crops, fixin mill privileges and what
not, and the southerner was a turning up his nose at every thing amost,
proper scorney, and braggin’ how things growed on his estate down south.
At last the Gineral’s ebenezer began to rise, and he got as mad as a
hatter, and was intarmed to take a rise out of him.

“‘So,’ says he, ‘stranger,’ says he, ‘you talk about your Indgian corn,
as if nobody else raised any but yourself. Now I’ll bet you a thousand
dollars, I have corn that’s growd so wonderful, you can’t reach the top
of it a standin’ on your horse.’

“‘Done,’ sais Southener, and ‘Done,’ sais the General, and done it was.

“‘Now,’ sais the Giniral, ‘stand up on your saddle like a circus rider,
for the field is round that corner of the wood there.’ And the entire
stranger stood up as stiff as a poker. ‘Tall corn, I guess,’ sais he,
‘if I can’t reach it, any how, for I can e’en a’most reach the top o’
them trees. I think I feel them thousand dollars of yourn, a marchin’
quick step into my pocket, four deep. Reach your corn, to be sure I
will. Who the plague, ever see’d corn so tall, that a man couldn’t reach
it a horseback.’

“‘Try it,’ sais the Gineral, as he led him into the field, where the
corn was only a foot high, the land was so monstrous, mean and so
beggarly poor.

“‘Reach it,’ sais the Gineral.

“‘What a damned Yankee trick,’ sais the Southener. ‘What a take in
this is, ain’t it?’ and he leapt, and hopt, and jumped like a snappin’
turtle, he was so mad. Yes, common sense to Ireland, is like Indgian
corn to Bangor, it ain’t overly tall growin’, that’s a fact. We must see
both these countries together. It is like the nigger’s pig to the West
Indies “little and dam old.”

“Oh, come back soon, Squire, I have a thousand things, I want to tell
you, and I shall forget one half o’ them, if you don’t; and besides,”
 said he in an onder tone, “_he_” (nodding his head towards Mr.
Hopewell,) “will miss you shockingly. He frets horridly about his flock.
He says, ‘’Mancipation and Temperance have superceded the Scriptures
in the States. That formerly they preached religion there, but now they
only preach about niggers and rum.’ Good bye, Squire.”

“You do right, Squire,” said Mr. Hopewell, “to go. That which has to
be done, should be done soon, for we have not always the command of our
time. See your friend, for the claims of friendship are sacred; and see
your family tomb-stones also, for the sight of them, will awaken a train
of reflections in a mind like yours, at once melancholy and elevating;
but I will not deprive you of the pleasure you will derive from first
impressions, by stripping them of their novelty. You will be pleased
with the Scotch; they are a frugal, industrious, moral and intellectual
people. I should like to see their agriculture, I am told it is by far
the best in Europe.

“But, Squire, I shall hope to see you soon, for I sometimes think duty
calls me home again. Although my little flock has chosen other shepherds
and quitted my fold, some of them may have seen their error, and wish to
return. And ought I not to be there to receive them? It is true, I am no
longer a labourer in the vineyard, but my heart is there. I should like
to walk round and round the wall that encloses it, and climb up, and
look into it, and talk to them that are at work there. I might give some
advice that would be valuable to them. The blossoms require shelter, and
the fruit requires heat, and the roots need covering in Winter. The vine
too is luxuriant, and must be pruned, or it will produce nothing but
wood. It demands constant care and constant labour; I had decorated the
little place with flowers too, to make it attractive and pleasant.

“But, ah me! dissent will pull all these up like weeds, and throw them
out; and scepticism will raise nothing but gaudy annuals. The perennials
will not flourish without cultivating and enriching the ground; _their
roots are in the heart_. The religion of our Church, which is the same
as this of England, is a religion which inculcates love: filial love
towards God; paternal love to those committed to our care; brotherly
love, to our neighbour, nay, something more than is known by that term
in its common acceptation, for we are instructed to love our neighbour
as ourselves.

“We are directed to commence our prayer with “Our Father.” How much
of love, of tenderness, of forbearance, of kindness, of liberality, is
embodied in that word--children: of the same father, members of the same
great human family I Love is the bond of union--love dwelleth in the
heart; and the heart must be cultivated, that the seeds of affection may
germinate in it.

“Dissent is cold and sour; it never appeals to the affections, but it
scatters denunciations, and rules by terror. Scepticism is proud
and self-sufficient. It refuses to believe in mysteries and deals in
rhetoric and sophistry, and flatters the vanity, by exalting human
reason. My poor lost flock will see the change, and I fear, feel it too.
Besides, absence is a temporary death. Now I am gone from them, they
will forget my frailties and infirmities, and dwell on what little good
might have been in me, and, perhaps, yearn towards me.

“If I was to return, perhaps I could make an impression on the minds of
some, and recall two or three, if not more, to a sense of duty. What a
great thing that would be, wouldn’t it? And if I did, I would get our
bishop to send me a pious, zealous, humble-minded, affectionate, able
young man, as a successor; and I would leave my farm, and orchard, and
little matters, as a glebe for the Church. And who knows but the
Lord may yet rescue Slickville from the inroads of ignorant fanatics,
political dissenters, and wicked infidels?

“And besides, my good friend, I have much to say to you, relative to
the present condition and future prospects of this great country. I have
lived to see a few ambitious lawyers, restless demagogues, political
preachers, and unemployed local officers of provincial regiments,
agitate and sever thirteen colonies at one time from the government of
England. I have witnessed the struggle. It was a fearful, a bloody and
an unnatural one. My opinions, therefore, are strong in proportion as my
experience is great. I have abstained on account of their appearing like
preconceptions from saying much to you yet, for I want to see more of
this country, and to be certain, that I am quite right before I speak.

“When you return, I will give you my views on some of the great
questions of the day. Don’t adopt them, hear them and compare them with
your own. I would have you think for yourself, for I am an old man now
and sometimes I distrust my powers of mind.

“The state of this country you, in your situation, ought to be
thoroughly acquainted with. It is a very perilous one. Its prosperity,
its integrity, nay its existence as a first-rate power, hangs by a
thread, and that thread but little better and stronger than a cotton
one. _Quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat_. I look in vain for that
constitutional vigour, and intellectual power, which once ruled the
destinies of this great nation.

“There is an aberration of intellect, and a want of self-possession here
that alarms me. I say, alarms me, for American as I am by birth, and
republican as I am from the force of circumstances, I cannot but regard
England with great interest, and with great affection. What a beautiful
country! What a noble constitution! What a high minded, intelligent, and
generous people! When the Whigs came into office, the Tories were not
a party, they were the people of England. Where and what are they now?
Will they ever have a lucid interval, or again recognise the sound of
their own name? And yet, Sam, doubtful as the prospect of their recovery
is, and fearful as the consequences of a continuance of their malady
appear to be, one thing is most certain, _a Tory government is the
proper government for a monarchy, a suitable one for any country, but
it is the only one for England_. I do not mean an ultra one, for I am
a moderate man, and all extremes are equally to be avoided. I mean a
temperate, but firm one: steady to its friends, just to its enemies, and
inflexible to all. “When compelled to yield, it should be by the force
of reason, and never by the power of agitation. Its measures should be
actuated by a sense of what is right, and not what is expedient, for
to concede is to recede--to recede is to evince weakness--and to betray
weakness is to invite attack.

“I am a stranger here. I do not understand this new word, Conservatism.
I comprehend the other two, Toryism and Liberalism. The one is a
monarchical, and the other a republican word. The term, Conservatism,
I suppose, designates a party formed out of the moderate men of both
sides, or rather, composed of Low-toned Tories and High Whigs. I do not
like to express a decided opinion yet, but my first impression is always
adverse to mixtures, for a mixture renders impure the elements of which
it is compounded. Every thing will depend on the preponderance of the
wholesome over the deleterious ingredients. I will analyse it carefully.
See how one neutralizes or improves the other, and what the effect of
the compound is likely to be on the constitution. I will request our
Ambassador, Everett, or Sam’s friend, the Minister Extraordinary,
Abednego Layman, to introduce me to Sir Robert Peel, and will endeavour
to obtain all possible information from the best possible source.

“On your return I will give you a candid and deliberate opinion.”

After a silence of some minutes, during which he walked up and down
the room in a fit of abstraction, he suddenly paused, and said, as if
thinking aloud--

“Hem, hem--so you are going to cross the border, eh? That northern
intellect is strong. Able men the Scotch, a little too radical in
politics, and a little too liberal, as it is called, in a matter of much
greater consequence; but a superior people, on the whole. They will give
you a warm reception, will the Scotch. Your name will insure that; and
they are clannish; and another warm reception will, I assure you, await
you here, when, returning, you again _Cross the Border_.”



CHAPTER XV. THE IRISH PREFACE.

Gentle reader,

If an Irishman were asked what a preface was, he would, without
hesitation reply, that it was the last chapter of a book, and we should
unquestionably pronounce that answer to be a bull; for how can prefatory
remarks be valedictory ones? A few moments’ consideration, however,
would induce us to withdraw such a hasty opinion, and convince us that
his idea is, after all, a correct one. It is almost always the part
that is last written, and _we_ perpetrate the bull, by placing it at the
beginning instead of the end of the book, and denominating our parting
words introductory remarks.

The result of our arrangement is, that nobody reads it. The public do
not want to hear an apology or explanation, until it first ascertains,
whether the one can be accepted, or the other is required. This
contemptuous neglect arises from two causes, first because it is out
of place, and secondly because it too often contains a great deal
of twaddle. Unfortunately, one half of what is said in this world is
unmeaning compliment. A man who wishes to mark his respect for you,
among other inconvenient methods of shewing it, offers to accompany you
to the Hall. You are in consequence arrested in your progress. You are
compelled to turn on your pursuer, and entreat him not to come to the
door. After a good deal of lost time he is prevailed upon to return.
This is not fair. Every man should be suffered to depart in peace.

Now, it is my intention to adopt the Irish definition. The word preface
is a misnomer. What I have to say I shall put into my last chapter, and
assign to it its proper place. I shall also adopt another improvement,
on the usual practice. I shall make it as short as possible, and speak
to the point.

My intention then, gentle reader, was when I commenced this work, to
write but one volume, and at some future time to publish a second.
The materials, however, were so abundant, that selection became very
difficult, and compression much more so. To touch as many topics as I
designed, I was compelled to extend it to its present size, and I still
feel that the work is only half done. Whether I shall ever be able to
supply this deficiency I cannot say. I do not doubt your kind reception;
I have experienced too much indulgence and favour at your hands, to
suppose that you will withdraw it from one whom you have honoured with
repeated marks of approbation; but I entertain some fears that I shall
not be able to obtain the time that is necessary for its completion,
and that if I can command the leisure, my health will insist on a prior
claim to its disposal.

If, however, I shall be enabled so to do, it is my intention, hereafter
to add another series of the Sayings and Doings of the Attache, so as to
make the work as complete as possible.

I am quite confident it is not necessary to add, that the sentiments
uttered by Mr. Slick, are not designed either as an expression of those
of the author, or of the Americans who visit this country. With respect
to myself no disavowal is necessary; but I feel it due to my American
friends, for whose kindness I can never be sufficiently grateful,
and whose good opinion I value too highly to jeopardise it by any
misapprehension, to state distinctly, that I have not the most remote
idea of putting Mr. Slick forward, as a representative of any opinions,
but his own individual ones. They are peculiar to himself.
They naturally result from his shrewdness--knowledge of human
nature--quickness of perception and appreciation of the ridiculous on
the one hand; and on the other from his defective education, ignorance
of the usages of society, and sudden elevation, from the lower walks of
life, to a station for which he was wholly unqualified.

I have endeavoured, as far as it was possible, in a work of this kind,
to avoid all personal allusions to _private_ persons, or in any way to
refer to scenes that may be supposed to have such a hearing. Should any
one imagine that he can trace any resemblance, to any private occurrence
I can only assure him that such resemblance is quite accidental.

On the other hand, I have lost no opportunity of inculcating what I
conceive to be good sound constitutional doctrines. Loyal myself, a
great admirer of the monarchical form of government; attached to British
Institutions, and a devoted advocate for the permanent connexion
between the parent State, and its transatlantic possessions, I have not
hesitated to give utterance to these opinions. Born a Colonist, it is
natural I should have the feelings of one, and if I have obtruded
local matters on the notice of the reader oftener than may be thought
necessary, it must be remembered that an inhabitant of those distant
countries has seldom an opportunity of being heard. I should feel,
therefore, if I were to pass over in silence our claims or our
interests, I was affording the best justification for that neglect,
which for the last half century, has cramped our energies, paralized our
efforts, and discouraged and disheartened ourselves. England is liberal
in concessions, and munificent in her pecuniary grants to us; but is
so much engrossed with domestic politics, that she will bestow upon us
neither time nor consideration.

It has been my object, therefore, to convey to the public some important
truths, under a humorous cover, which, without the amusement afforded by
the wrapper would never be even looked at.

This portion of the work requires no apology. To do as I have done, is
a duty incumbent on any person who has the means of doing good, afforded
him by such an extensive circulation of his works, as I have been
honoured with.

I have already expressed some doubts whether I shall be enabled to
furnish a second series of this work or not. In this uncertainty, I will
not omit this, perhaps my only opportunity, of making my most grateful
acknowledgments, for the very great measure of indulgence I have
received, from the public on both sides of the Atlantic, and of
expressing a hope that Mr. Slick, who has been so popular as a
Clockmaker may prove himself equally deserving of favour as “an
Attache.”

I have the honour to subscribe myself,

Your most obedient servant,

THE AUTHOR.

London, July 1st., 1843.


THE END.





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