Infomotions, Inc.— or, the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville / Haliburton, Thomas Chandler, 1796-1865

Author: Haliburton, Thomas Chandler, 1796-1865
Title: — or, the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville
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Title: The Clockmaker
       or, The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville

Author: Thomas Chandler Haliburton

Release Date: June, 2004 [EBook #5817]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on September 6, 2002]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CLOCKMAKER ***




This etext was produced by Gardner Buchanan with help from
Charles Franks and Distributed Proofers.






The Clockmaker; or
The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville,

by Thomas Chandler Haliburton.


   Garrit aniles
   ex re fabellas
      --Horace.

   The cheerful sage, when solemn dictates fail,
   Conceals the moral counsel in a tale.


Halifax, N. S.
1836.


ADVERTISEMENT.

The following Sketches, as far as the twenty-first No.
originally appeared in "THE NOVASCOTIAN" newspaper. The
great popularity they acquired, induced the Editor of
that paper, to apply to the Author for the remaining part
of the series, and permission to publish the whole entire.
This request having been acceded to, the Editor has now
the pleasure of laying them before the public in their
present shape.

Halifax, December, 1836.



CONTENTS.

SLICK'S LETTER
1.  The Trotting Horse
2.  The Clockmaker
3.  The Silent Girls
4.  Conversations at the River Philip
5.  Justice Pettifog
6.  Anecdotes
7.  Go Ahead
8.  The Preacher that Wandered from His Text
9.  Yankee Eating and Horse Feeding
10. The Road to a Woman's Heart--The Broken Heart
11. Cumberland Oysters Produce Melancholy Forebodings
12. The American Eagle
13. The Clockmaker's Opinion of Halifax
14. Sayings and Doings in Cumberland
15. The Dancing Master Abroad
16. Mr. Slick's Opinion of the British
17. A Yankee Handle for a Halifax Blade
18. The Grahamite and the Irish Pilot
19. The Clockmaker Quilts a Blue Nose
20. Sister Sall's Courtship
21. Setting up for Governor
22. A Cure for Conceit
23. The Blowin Time
24. Father John O'Shaughnessy
25. Taming a Shrew
26. The Minister's Horn Mug
27. The White Nigger
28. Fire in the Dairy
29. A Body Without a Head
30. A Tale of Bunker's Hill
31. Gulling a Blue Nose
32. Too many Irons in the Fire
33. Windsor and the Far West




SLICK'S LETTER.

[After these sketches had gone through the press, and
were ready for the binder, we sent Mr. Slick a copy; and
shortly afterwards received from him the following letter,
which characteristic communication we give entire--EDITOR.]

To MR. HOWE,

SIR.--I received your letter, and note its contents; I
aint over half pleased, I tell you; I think I have been
used scandalous, that's a fact. It warn't the part of a
gentleman for to go and pump me arter that fashion and
then go right off and blart it out in print. It was a
nasty dirty mean action, and I don't thank you nor the
Squire a bit for it. It will be more nor a thousand
dollars out of my pocket. There's an eend to the Clock
trade now, and a pretty kettle of fish I've made of it,
hav'nt I? I shall never hear the last on it, and. what
am I to say when I go back to the States? I'll take my
oath I never said one half the stuff he has set down
there; and as for that long lochrum about Mr. Everett,
and the Hon. Alden Gobble, and Minister, there aint a
word of truth in it from beginnin to eend. If ever I
come near hand to him agin, I'll larn him--but never
mind, I say nothin. Now there's one thing I don't cleverly
understand. If this here book is my "Sayins and Doins,"
how comes it yourn or the Squire's either? If my thoughts
and notions are my own, how can they be any other folks's?
According to my idee you have no more right to take them,
than you have to take my clocks without payin for 'em.
A man that would be guilty of such an action is no
gentleman, that's flat, and if you don't like it, you
may lump it--for I don't valy him nor you, neither, nor
are a Blue Nose that ever stept in shoe leather the matter
of a pin's head. I don't know as ever I felt so ugly
afore since I was raised; why didn't he put his name to
it, as well as mine? When an article han't the maker's
name and factory on it, it shows its a cheat, and he's
ashamed to own it. If I'm to have the name I'll have the
game, or I'll know the cause why, that's a fact? Now
folks say you are a considerable of a candid man, and
right up and down in your dealins, and do things above
board, handsum--at least so I've hearn tell. That's what
I like; I love to deal with such folks. Now spose you
make me an offer? You'll find me not very difficult to
trade with, and I don't know but I might put off more
than half of the books myself, tu. I'll tell you how I'd
work it. I'd say, "Here's a book they've namesaked arter
me, Sam Slick the Clockmaker, but it tante mine, and I
can't altogether jist say rightly whose it is. Some say
it's the General's, and some say its the Bishop's, and
some say its Howe himself; but I aint availed who it is.
Its a wise child that knows its own father. It wipes up
the Blue Noses considerable hard, and don't let off the
Yankees so very easy neither, but it's generally allowed
to be about the prettiest book ever writ in this country;
and although it aint altogether jist gospel what's in
it, there's some pretty home truths in it, that's a fact.
Whoever wrote it must be a funny feller, too, that's
sartin; for there are some queer stories in it that no
soul could help larfin at, that's a fact. Its about the
wittiest book I ever seed. Its nearly all sold off, but
jist a few copies I've kept for my old customers. The
price is just 5s. 6d. but I'll let you have it for 5s.
because you'll not get another chance to have one." Always
ax a sixpence more than the price, and then bate it, and
when Blue Nose hears that, he thinks he's got a bargain,
and bites directly. I never see one on 'em yet that didn't
fall right into the trap.

Yes, make me an offer, and you and I will trade, I think.
But fair play's a jewel, and I must say I feel ryled and
kinder sore. I han't been used handsum atween you two,
and it don't seem to me that I had ought to be made a
fool on in that book, arter that fashion, for folks to
laugh at, and then be sheered out of the spec. If I am,
somebody had better look out for squalls, I tell you.
I'm as easy as an old glove, but a glove aint an old shoe
to be trod on, and I think a certain person will find
that out afore he is six months older, or else I'm
mistakened, that's all. Hopin to hear from you soon, I
remain yours to command,

SAMUEL SLICK.

Pugnose's Inn, River Philip, Dec. 25,1836.

P.S. I see in the last page it is writ, that the Squire
is to take another journey round the Shore, and back to
Halifax with me next Spring. Well, I did agree with him,
to drive him round the coast, but don't you mind--we'll
understand each other, I guess, afore we start. I concait
he'll rise considerable airly in the mornin, afore he
catches me asleep agin. I'll be wide awake for him next
hitch, that's a fact. I'd a ginn a thousand dollars if
he had only used Campbell's name instead of mine; for he
was a most an almighty villain, and cheated a proper raft
of folks, and then shipped himself off to Botany Bay,
for fear folks would transport him there; you couldnt
rub out Slick, and put in Campbell, could you? that's a
good feller; if you would I'd make it worth your while,
you may depend.




THE CLOCKMAKER




No. I

The Trotting Horse.

I was always well mounted; I am fond of a horse, and
always piqued myself on having the fastest trotter in
the Province. I have made no great progress in the world,
I feel doubly, therefore, the pleasure of not being
surpassed on the road. I never feel so well or so cheerful
as on horseback, for there is something exhilirating in
quick motion; and, old as I am, I feel a pleasure in
making any person whom I meet on the way put his horse
to the full gallop, to keep pace with my trotter. Poor
Ethiope! you recollect him, how he was wont to lay back
his ears on his arched neck, and push away from all
competition. He is done, poor fellow! the spavin spoiled
his speed, and he now roams at large upon 'my farm at
Truro.' Mohawk never failed me till this summer, I pride
myself (you may laugh at such childish weakness in a man
of my age,) but still, I pride myself in taking the
concert out of coxcombs I meet on the road, and on the
ease with which I can leave a fool behind, whose nonsense
disturbs my solitary musings, On my last journey to Fort
Lawrence, as the beautiful view of Colchester had just
opened upon me, and as I was contemplating its richness
and exquisite scenery, a tall thin man, with hollow cheeks
and bright twinkling black eyes, on a good bay horse,
somewhat out of condition, overtook me; and drawing up,
said, I guess you started early this morning, Sir? I did,
Sir, I replied. You did not come from Halifax, I presume,
Sir, did you? in a dialect too rich to be mistaken as
genuine Yankee. And which way may you be travelling?
asked my inquisitive companion. To Fort Lawrence. Ah!
said he, so am I, it is IN MY CIRCUIT. The word CIRCUIT
sounded so professional, I looked again at him, to
ascertain whether I had ever seen him before, or whether
I had met with one of those nameless, but innumerable
limbs of the law, who now flourish in every district of
the Province. There was a keenness about his eye, and an
acuteness of expression, much in favor of the law; but
the dress, and general bearing of the man, made against
the supposition. His was not the coat of a man who can
afford to wear an old coat, nor was it one of 'Tempest
& More's,' that distinguish country lawyers from country
boobies. His clothes were well made, and of good materials,
but looked as if their owner had shrunk a little since
they were made for him; they hung somewhat loose on him.
A large brooch, and some superfluous seals and gold keys,
which ornamented his outward man, looked 'New England'
like. A visit to the States, had perhaps, I thought,
turned this Colchester beau into a Yankee fop. Of what
consequence was it to me who he was--in either case I
had nothing to do with him, and I desired neither his
acquaintance nor his company--still I could not but ask
myself who can this man be? I am not aware, said I,
that there is a court sitting at this time at Cumberland?
Nor am I, said my friend. What then could he have to do
with the circuit? It occurred to me he must be a Methodist
preacher. I looked again, but his appearance again puzzled
me. His attire might do--the colour might be suitable--the
broad brim not out of place; but there was a want of that
staidness of look, that seriousness of countenance, that
expression, in short, so characteristic of the clergy.
I could not account for my idle curiosity--a curiosity
which, in him, I had the moment before viewed both with
suspicion and disgust; but so it was--I felt a desire to
know who he could be who was neither lawyer nor preacher,
and yet talked of his circuit with the gravity of both.
How ridiculous, I thought to myself is this; I will leave
him. Turning towards him, I said, I feared I should be
late for breakfast, and must therefore bid him good
morning. Mohawk felt the pressure of my knees, and away
we went at a slapping pace. I congratulated myself on
conquering my own curiosity, and on avoiding that of my
travelling companion. This, I said to myself, this is
the value of a good horse; I patted his neck--I felt
proud of him. Presently I heard the steps of the unknown's
horse--the clatter increased. Ah, my friend, thought I,
it won't do; you should be well mounted if you desire my
company; I pushed Mohawk faster, faster, faster--to his
best. He outdid himself; he had never trotted so
handsomely--so easily--so well.

I guess that is a pretty considerable smart horse, said
the stranger, as he came beside me, and apparently reined
in, to prevent his horse passing me; there is not, I
reckon, so spry a one on MY CIRCUIT.

CIRCUIT, OR NO CIRCUIT, one thing was settled in my mind;
he was a Yankee, and a very impertinent Yankee, too. I
felt humbled, my pride was hurt, and Mohawk was beaten.
To continue this trotting contest was humiliating; I
yielded, therefore, before the victory was palpable, and
pulled up. Yes, continued he, a horse of pretty considerable
good action, and a pretty fair trotter, too, I guess.
Pride must have a fall--I confess mine was prostrate in
the dust. These words cut me to the heart. What! is it
come to this, poor Mohawk, that you, the admiration of
all but the envious, the great Mohawk, the standard by
which all other horses are measured--trots next to Mohawk,
only yields to Mohawk, looks like Mohawk--that you are,
after all, only a counterfeit, and pronounced by a
straggling Yankee to be merely 'a pretty fair trotter!'
If he was trained, I guess that he might be made do a
little more. Excuse me, but if you divide your weight
between the knee and the stirrup, rather most on the
knee, and rise forward on the saddle, so as to leave a
little daylight between you and it, I hope I may never
ride THIS CIRCUIT AGAIN, if you don't get a mile more an
hour out of him. What! not enough, I mentally groaned,
to have my horse beaten, but I must be told that I don't
know how to ride him; and that, too, by a Yankee--Aye,
there's the rub--a Yankee what? Perhaps a half-bred puppy,
half Yankee, half Blue Nose. As there is no escape, I'll
try to make out my riding master. YOUR CIRCUIT, said I,
my looks expressing all the surprise they were capable
of--your circuit, pray what may that be? Oh, said he,
the eastern circuit--I am on the eastern circuit, sir.
I have heard, said I, feeling that I now had a lawyer to
deal with, that there is a great deal of business on this
circuit--pray, are there many cases of importance? There
is a pretty fair business to be done, at least there has
been, but the cases are of no great value--we do not make
much out of them, we get them up very easy, but they
don't bring much profit. What a beast, thought I, is
this; and what a curse to a country, to have such an
unfeeling pettifogging rascal practising in it--a horse
jockey, too--what a finished character! I'll try him on
that branch of his business.

That is a superior animal you are mounted on, said I--I
seldom meet one that can travel with mine. Yes, said he
coolly, a considerable fair traveller, and most particular
good bottom. I hesitated, this man who talks with such
unblushing effrontery of getting up cases, and making
profit out of them, cannot be offended at the question
--yes, I will put it to him. Do you feel an inclination
to part with him? I never part with a horse sir, that
suits me, said he--I am fond of a horse--I don't like to
ride in the dust after every one I meet, and I allow no
man to pass me but when I choose. Is it possible, I
thought, that he can know me; that he has heard of my
foible, and is quizzing me, or have I this feeling in
common with him. But, continued I, you might supply
yourself again. Not on THIS CIRCUIT, I guess, said he,
nor yet in Campbell's circuit. Campbell's circuit--pray,
sir, what is that? That, said he, is the western--and
Lampton rides the shore circuit; and as for the people
on the shore, they know so little of horses, that Lampton
tells me, a man from Aylesford once sold a hornless ox
there, whose tail he had cut and nicked for a horse of
the Goliath breed. I should think, said I, that Mr.
Lampton must have no lack of cases among such enlightened
clients. Clients, sir, said my friend, Mr. Lampton is
not a lawyer. I beg pardon, I thought you said he rode
the CIRCUIT. We call it a circuit, said the stranger,
who seemed by no means flattered by the mistake--we divide
the Province, as in the Almanack, into circuits, in each
of which we separately carry on our business of
manufacturing and selling clocks. There are few, I guess,
said the Clockmaker, who go upon TICK as much as we do,
who have so little use for lawyers; if attornies could
wind a MAN UP AGAIN, after he has been fairly RUN DOWN,
I guess they'd be a pretty harmless sort of folks. This
explanation restored my good humour, and as I could not
quit my companion, and he did not feel disposed to leave
me, I made up my mind to travel with him to Fort Lawrence,
the limit of HIS CIRCUIT.




No. II

The Clock Maker.

I had heard of Yankee clock pedlars, tin pedlars, and
bible pedlars, especially of him who sold Polyglot Bibles
(ALL IN ENGLISH) to the amount of sixteen thousand pounds.
The house of every substantial farmer had three substantial
ornaments, a wooden clock, a tin reflector, and a Polyglot
Bible. How is it that an American can sell his wares, at
whatever price he pleases, where a Blue Nose would fail
to make a sale at all? I will enquire of the Clockmaker
the secret of his success. What a pity it is, Mr. SLICK,
(for such was his name,) what a pity it is, said I, that
you, who are so successful in teaching these people the
value of CLOCKS, could not also teach them the value of
TIME. I guess, said he, they have got that ring to grow
on their horns yet, which every four year old has in our
country. We reckon hours and minutes to be dollars and
cents. They do nothing in these parts, but eat, drink,
smoke, sleep, ride about, lounge at taverns, make speeches
at temperance meetings, and talk about "House of Assembly."
If a man don't hoe his corn, and he don't get a crop, he
says it is all owing to the Bank; and if he runs into
debt and is sued, why says the lawyers are a curse to
the country. They are a most idle set of folks, I tell
you. But how is it, said I, that you manage to sell such
an immense number of clocks, (which certainly cannot be
called necessary articles,) among a people with whom
there seems to be so great a scarcity of money.

Mr. Slick paused, as if considering the propriety of
answering the question, and looking me in the face, said,
in a confidential tone, Why, I don't care if I do tell
you, for the market is glutted, and I shall quit this
circuit. It is done by a knowledge of SOFT SAWDER and
HUMAN NATUR. But here is Deacon Flint's, said he, I have
but one clock left, and I guess I will sell it to him.
At the gate of a most comfortable looking farm house
stood Deacon Flint, a respectable old man, who had
understood the value of time better than most of his
neighbours, if one might judge from the appearance of
every thing about him. After the usual salutation, an
invitation to "alight" was accepted by Mr. Slick, who
said, he wished to take leave of Mrs. Flint before he
left Colchester. We had hardly entered the house, before
the Clockmaker pointed to the view from the window, and,
addressing himself to me, said, if I was to tell them in
Connecticut, there was such a farm as this away down east
here in Nova Scotia, they would'nt believe me--why there
aint such a location in all New England. The deacon has
a hundred acres of dyke--seventy, said the deacon, only
seventy. Well, seventy; but then there is your fine deep
bottom, why I could run a ramrod into it--Interval, we
call it, said the Deacon, who, though evidently pleased
at this eulogium, seemed to wish the experiment of the
ramrod to be tried in the right place--well interval if
you please, (though Professor Eleazer Cumstick, in his
work on Ohio, calls them bottoms,) is just as good as
dyke. Then there is that water privilege, worth 3 or
$4,000, twice as good as what Governor Cass paid $15,000
for. I wonder, Deacon, you don't put up a carding mill
on it: the same works would carry a turning lathe, a
shingle machine, a circular saw, grind bark, and ----.
Too old, said the Deacon, too old for all those
speculations--old, repeated the clock-maker, not you;
why you are worth half a dozen of the young men we see,
now-a-days, you are young enough to have--here he said
something in a lower tone of voice, which I did not
distinctly hear; but whatever it was, the Deacon was
pleased, he smiled and said he did not think of such
things now. But your beasts, dear me, your beasts must
be put in and have a feed; saying which, he went out to
order them to be taken to the stable. As the old gentleman
closed the door after him, Mr. Slick drew near to me,
and said in an under tone, that is what I call "SOFT
SAWDER." An Englishman would pass that man as a sheep
passes a hog in a pasture, without looking at him; or,
said he, looking rather archly, if he was mounted on a
pretty smart horse, I guess he'd trot away, IF HE COULD.
Now I find--here his lecture on "SOFT SAWDER" was cut
short by the entrance of Mrs. Flint. Jist come to say
good bye, Mrs. Flint. What, have you sold all your
clocks? yes, and very low, too, for money is scarce, and
I wished to close the concarn; no, I am wrong in saying
all, for I have just one left. Neighbor Steel's wife
asked to have the refusal of it, but I guess I won't sell
it; I had but two of them, this one and the feller of
it, that I sold Governor Lincoln. General Green, the
Secretary of State for Maine, said he'd give me 50 dollars
for this here one--it has composition wheels and patent
axles, it is a beautiful article--a real first chop--no
mistake, genuine superfine, but I guess I'll take it
back; and beside, Squire Hawk might think kinder harder,
that I did not give him the offer. Dear me, said Mrs.
Flint, I should like to see it, where is it? It is in a
chest of mine over the way, at Tom Tape's store, I guess
he can ship it on to Eastport. That's a good man, said
Mrs. Flint, jist let's look at it Mr. Slick, willing to
oblige, yielded to these entreaties, and soon produced
the clock--a gawdy, highly varnished, trumpery looking
affair. He placed it on the chimney-piece, where its
beauties were painted out and duly appreciated by Mrs.
Flint, whose admiration was about ending in a proposal,
when Mr. Flint returned from giving his directions about
the care of the horses. The Deacon praised the clock, he
too thought it a handsome one; but the Deacon was a
prudent man, he had a watch, he was sorry, but he had no
occasion for a clock. I guess you're in the wrong furrow
this time, Deacon, it ant for sale, said Mr. Slick; and
if it was, I reckon neighbor Steel's wife would have it,
for she gives me no peace about it. Mrs. Flint said, that
Mr. Steele had enough to do, poor man, to pay his interest,
without buying clocks for his wife. It's no concarn of
mine, said Mr. Slick, as long as he pays me, what he has
to do, but I guess I don't want to sell it, and beside
it comes too high; that clock can't be made at Rhode
Island under 40 dollars. Why it ant possible, said the
Clockmaker, in apparent surprise, looking at his watch,
why as I'm alive it is 4 o'clock, and if I hav'nt been
two hours here--how on airth shall I reach River Philip
to-night? I'll tell you what, Mrs. Flint, I'll leave the
clock in your care till I return on my way to the States
--I'll set it a going and put it to the right time. As
soon as this operation was performed, he delivered the
key to the deacon with a sort of serio-comic injunction
to wind up the clock every Saturday night, which Mrs.
Flint said she would take care should be done, and promised
to remind her husband of it, in case he should chance to
forget it.

That, said the Clockmaker as soon as we were mounted,
that I call 'HUMAN NATUR!' Now that clock is sold for 40
dollars--it cost me just 6 dollars and 50 cents. Mrs.
Flint will never let Mrs. Steel have the refusal--nor
will the deacon learn until I call for the clock, that
having once indulged in the use of a superfluity, how
difficult it is to give it up. We can do without any
article of luxury we have never had, but when once
obtained, it is not 'IN HUMAN NATUR' to surrender it
voluntarily. Of fifteen thousand sold by myself and
partners in this Province, twelve thousand were left in
this manner, and only ten clocks were ever returned--
when we called for them they invariably bought them. We
trust to 'SOFT SAWDER' to get them into the house, and
to 'HUMAN NATUR' that they never come out of it.




No. III

The Silent Girls.

Do you see them are swallows, said the Clockmaker, how
low they fly? Well I presume we shall have rain right
away, and them noisy critters, them gulls how close they
keep to the water, down there in the Shubenacadie; well
that's a sure sign. If we study natur, we don't want no
thermometer. But I guess we shall be in time to get under
cover in a shingle-maker's shed about three miles ahead
on us. We had just reached the deserted hovel when the
rain fell in torrents.

I reckon, said the Clockmaker, as he sat himself down on
a bundle of shingles, I reckon they are bad off for inns
in this country. When a feller is too lazy to work here,
he paints his name over his door, and calls it a tavern,
and as like as not he makes the whole neighbourhood as
lazy as himself--it is about as easy to find a good inn
in Halifax, as it is to find wool on a goat's back. An
inn, to be a good concarn, must be built a purpose, you
can no more make a good tavern out of a common dwelling
house, I expect, than a good coat out of an old pair of
trowsers. They are etarnal lazy, you may depend--now
there might be a grand spec made there, in building a
good Inn and a good Church. What a sacrilegious and
unnatural union, said I, with most unaffected surprise.
Not at all, said Mr. Slick, we build both on speculation
in the States, and make a good deal of profit out of 'em
too, I tell you. We look out a good sightly place, in a
town like Halifax, that is pretty considerably well
peopled, with folks that are good marks; and if there is
no real right down good preacher among them, we build a
handsome Church, touched off like a New-York liner, a
real taking looking thing--and then we look out for a
preacher, a crack man, a regular ten horse power chap
--well, we hire him, and we have to give pretty high
wages too, say twelve hundred or sixteen hundred dollars
a year. We take him at first on trial for a Sabbath or
two, to try his paces, and if he takes with the folks,
if he goes down well, we clinch the bargain, and let and
sell the pews; and, I tell you it pays well and makes a
real good investment. There were few better specs among
us than Inns and Churches, until the Railroads came on
the carpet--as soon as the novelty of the new preacher
wears off, we hire another, and that keeps up the steam.
I trust it will be long, very long, my friend, said I,
ere the rage for speculation introduces "the money changers
into the temple," with us. Mr. Slick looked at me with
a most ineffable expression of pity and surprise. Depend
on it, Sir, said he, with a most philosophical air, this
Province is much behind the intelligence of the age. But
if it is behind us in that respect, it is a long chalk
ahead on us in others.

I never seed or heard tell of a country that had so many
natural privileges as this. Why there are twice as many
harbors and water powers were, as we have all the way
from Eastport to New OrLEENS. They have all they can ax,
and more than they desarve. They have iron, coal, slate,
grindstone, lime, firestone, gypsum, freestone, and a
list as long as an auctioneer's catalogue. But they are
either asleep, or stone blind to them. Their shores are
crowded with fish, and their lands covered with wood. A
government that lays as light on 'em as a down counterpin,
and no taxes. Then look at their dykes. The Lord seems
to have made 'em on purpose for such lazy folks. If you
were to tell the citizens of our country, that these
dykes had been cropped for a hundred years without manure,
they'd say, they guessed you had seen Col. Crookett, the
greatest hand at a flam in our nation. You have heerd
tell of a man who could'nt see London for the houses, I
tell you, if we had this country, you could'nt see the
harbors for the shipping. There'd be a rush of folks to
it, as there is in one of our inns, to the dinner table,
when they sometimes get jammed together in the door-way,
and a man has to take a running leap over their heads,
afore he can get in. A little nigger boy in New York
found a diamond worth 2,000 dollars; well, he sold it to
a watchmaker for 50 cents--the little critter did'nt
know no better. Your people are just like the nigger boy,
they don't know the value of their diamond.

Do you know the reason monkeys are no good? because they
chatter all day long--so do the niggers--and so do the
Blue Noses of Nova Scotia--its all talk and no work; now,
with us its all work and no talk--in our ship yards,
our factories, our mills, and even in our Vessels, there's
no talk--a man can't work and talk too. I guess if you
were at the factories at Lowell we'd show you a wonder
--five hundred galls at work together, all in silence.
I don't think our great country has such a real natural
curiosity as that--I expect the world don't contain the
beat of that; for a woman's tongue goes so slick of
itself, without water power or steam, and moves so easy
on its hinges, that its no easy matter to put a spring
stop on it, I tell you--it comes as natural as drinkin
mint julip.

I don't pretend to say the galls don't nullify the rule,
sometimes at intermission and arter hours, but when they
do, if they don't let go, then its a pity. You have heerd
a school come out, of little boys, Lord its no touch to
it; or a flock of geese at it, they are no more a match
for em than a pony is for a coach-horse. But when they
are at work, all's as still as sleep and no snoring. I
guess we have a right to brag o' that invention--we
trained the dear critters, so they don't think of striking
the minutes and seconds no longer.

Now the folks of Halifax take it all out in talking--
they talk of steamboats, whalers and rail roads--but they
all end where they begin--in talk. I don't think I'd be
out in my latitude, if I was to say they beat the women
kind at that. One feller says, I talk of going to
England--another says, I talk of going to the Country--
while a third says, I talk of going to sleep. If we happen
to speak of such things, we say: 'I'm right off down
East; or I'm away off South,' and away we go, jist like
a streak of lightning.

When we want folks to talk, we pay 'em for it, such as
ministers, lawyers, and members of congress: but then we
expect the use of their tongues, and not their hands;
and when we pay folks to work, we expect the use of their
hands, and not their tongues. I guess work don't come
kind o' natural to the people of this Province, no more
than it does to a full bred horse. I expect they think
they have a little TOO MUCH BLOOD in 'em for work, for
they are near about as proud as they are lazy.

Now the bees know how to sarve out such chaps, for they
have their drones too. Well they reckon its no fun, a
making honey all summer, for these idle critters to eat
all winter--so they give 'em Lynch Law. They have a
regular built mob of citizens, and string up the drones
like the Vixburg gamblers. Their maxim is, and not a bad
one neither I guess, 'no work, no honey.'




No. IV

Conversations at the River Philip.

It was late before we arrived at Pugnose's Inn--the
evening was cool, and a fire was cheering and comfortable.
Mr. Slick declined any share in the bottle of wine, he
said he was dyspeptic; and a glass or two soon convinced
me, that it was likely to produce in me something worse
than dyspepsy. It was speedily removed and we drew up to
the fire. Taking a small penknife from his pocket, he
began to whittle a thin piece of dry wood, which lay on
the hearth; and, after musing some time said, I guess
you've never been in the States. I replied that I had
not, but that before I returned to England I proposed
visiting that country. There, said he, you'll see the
great Daniel Webster--he's a great man, I tell you; King
William, number 4, I guess, would be no match for him as
an orator--he'd talk him out of sight in half an hour.
If he was in your house of Commons, I reckon he'd make
some of your great folks look pretty streaked--he's a
true patriot and statesman, the first in our country,
and a most particular cute Lawyer. There was a Quaker
chap too cute for him once tho'. This Quaker, a pretty
knowin' old shaver, had a cause down to Rhode Island; so
he went to Daniel to hire him to go down and plead his
case for him; so says he, Lawyer Webster what's your fee?
Why, says Daniel, let me see, I have to go down south to
Washington, to plead the great Insurance case of the
Hartford Company--and I've got to be at Cincinnati to
attend the Convention, and I don't see how I can go to
Rhode Island without great loss and great fatigue; it
would cost you may be more than you'd be willing to give.
Well, the Quaker looked pretty white about the gills, I
tell you, when he heard this, for he could not do without
him no how, and he did not like this preliminary talk of
his at all--at last he made bold to ask him the worst of
it, what he would take; why, says Daniel, I always liked
the Quakers, they are a quiet peaceable people who never
go to law if they can help it, and it would be better
for our great country if there were more such people in
it. I never seed or heerd tell of any harm in em except
going the whole figure for Gineral Jackson, and that
everlastin almighty villain, Van Buren; yes, I love the
Quakers, I hope they'll go the Webster ticket yet--and
I'll go for you as low as I can any way afford, say 1,000
dollars. The Quaker well nigh fainted when he heerd this,
but he was pretty deep too: so, says he, Lawyer, that's
a great deal of money, but I have more causes there, if
I give you the 1000 dollars will you plead the other
cases I shall have to give you? Yes, says Daniel, I will
to the best of my humble abilities; so down they went to
Rhode Island, and Daniel tried the case and carried it
for the Quaker. Well, the Quaker he goes round to all
the folks that had suits in court, and says he what will
you give me if I get the great Daniel to plead for you?
It cost me 1000 dollars for a fee, but now he and I are
pretty thick, and as he is on the spot, I'd get him to
plead cheap for you--so he got three hundred dollars from
one, and two from another and so on, until he got eleven
hundred dollars, jist one hundred dollars more than he
gave. Daniel was in a great rage when he heerd this;
what, said he, do you think I would agree to your letting
me out like a horse to hire? Friend Daniel, said the
Quaker, didst thou not undertake to plead all such cases
as I should have to give thee? If thou wilt not stand to
thy agreement, neither will I stand to mine. Daniel
laughed out ready to split his sides at this. Well, says
he, I guess I might as well stand still for you to put
the bridle on this time, for you have fairly pinned me
up in a corner of the fence any how--so he went good
humouredly to work and pleaded them all.

This lazy fellow, Pugnose, continued the Clockmaker; that
keeps this inn, is going to sell off and go to the States;
he says he has to work too hard here; that the markets
are dull, and the winters too long; and he guesses he
can live easier there; I guess he'll find his mistake
afore he has been there long. Why our country aim to be
compared to this, on no account whatever; our country
never made us to be the great nation we are, but we made
the country. How on airth could we, if we were all like
old Pugnose, as lazy as ugly, make that cold thin soil
of New-England produce what it does? Why, Sir, the land
between Boston and Salem would starve a flock of geese;
and yet look at Salem, it has more cash than would buy
Nova Scotia from the King. We rise early, live frugally,
and work late: what we get we take care of. To all this
we add enterprise and intelligence--a feller who finds
work too hard here, had better not go to the States. I
met an Irishman, one Pat Lannigan, last week, who had
just returned from the States; why, says I, Pat, what on
airth brought you back? Bad luck to them, says Pat, if
I warn't properly bit. What do you get a day in Nova
Scotia? says Judge Beler to me. Four shillings, your
Lordship, says I. There are no Lords here, says he, we
are all free. Well, says he, I'll give you as much in
one day as you can earn there in two; I'll give you eight
shillings. Long life to your Lordship, says I. So next
day to it I went with a party of men a-digging a piece
of canal, and if it wasn't a hot day my name is not Pat
Lannigan. Presently I looked up and straightened my
back; says I to a comrade of mine, Mick, says I, I'm very
dry; with that, says the overseer, we don't allow gentlemen
to talk at their work in this country. Faith, I soon
found out for my two days' pay in one, I had to do two
days' work in one, and pay two weeks' board in one, and
at the end of a month, I found myself no better off in
pocket than in Nova Scotia; while the devil a bone in my
body that didn't ache with pain: and as for my nose, it
took to bleeding, and bled day and night entirely. Upon
my soul, Mr. Slick, said he, the poor labourer does not
last long in your country: what with new rum, hard labor,
and hot weather, you'll see the graves of the Irish each
side of the canals, for all the world like two rows of
potatoes in a field that have forgot to come up. It is
a land, Sir, continued the Clockmaker, of hard work. We
have two kind of slaves, the niggers and the white slaves.
All European laborers and blacks, who come out to us, do
our hard bodily work, while we direct it to a profitable
end; neither rich nor poor, high nor low, with us, eat
the bread of idleness. Our whole capital is in active
operation, and our whole population is in active
employment. An idle fellow, like Pugnose, who runs away
to us, is clapt into harness afore he knows where he is,
and is made to work; like a horse that refuses to draw,
he is put into the Team-boat; he finds some before him
and others behind him, HE MUST EITHER DRAW, or be DRAGGED
TO DEATH.




No. V

Justice Pettifog.

In the morning the Clockmaker informed me that a Justice's
Court was to be held that day at Pugnose's Inn, and he
guessed be could do a little business among the country
folks that would be assembled there. Some of them, he
said, owed him for clocks, and it would save him a world
of travelling, to have the Justice and Constable to drive
them up together. If you want a fat wether, there's
nothing like penning up the whole flock in a corner. I
guess, said he, if General Campbell knew what sort of a
man that are magistrate was, he'd disband him pretty
quick: he's a regular suck egg--a disgrace to the country.
I guess if he acted that way in Kentucky, he'd get a
breakfast of cold lead some morning, out of the small
eend of a rifle, he'd find pretty difficult to digest.
They tell me he issues three hundred writs a year, the
cost of which, including that tarnation Constable's fees,
can't amount to nothing less than 3,000 dollars per annum.
If the Hon. Daniel Webster had him afore a jury, I reckon
he'd turn him inside out, and slip him back again, as
quick as an old stocking. He'd paint him to the life, as
plain to be known as the head of Gineral Jackson. He's
jist a fit feller for Lynch law, to be tried, hanged,
and damned, all at once--there's more nor him in the
country--there's some of the breed in every county in
the Province. Jist one or two to do the dirty work, as
we keep niggers, for jobs that would give a white man
the cholera. They ought to pay his passage, as we do with
such critters, tell him his place is taken in the Mail
Coach, and if he is found here after twenty four hours,
they'd make a carpenter's plumb-bob of him, and hang him
outside the church steeple, to try if it was perpendicular.
He almost always gives judgment for plaintiff, and if
the poor defendant has an offset, he makes him sue it,
so that it grinds a grist both ways for him, like the
upper and lower mill stone.

People soon began to assemble, some on foot, and others
on horseback and in waggons--Pugnose's tavern was all
bustle and confusion--Plaintiffs, Defendants, and witnesses,
all talking, quarreling, explaining, and drinking. Here
comes the Squire, said one--I'm thinking his horse carries
more roguery than law, said another; they must have been
in proper want of timber to make a justice of, said a
third, when they took such a crooked stick as that; sap
headed enough too for refuse, said a stout looking farmer;
may be so, said another, but as bard at the heart as a
log of elm; howsomever, said a third, I hope it wont be
long afore he has the wainy edge scored off of him, any
how. Many more such remarks were made, all drawn from
familiar objects, but all expressive of bitterness and
contempt.

He carried one or two large books with him in his gig,
and a considerable roll of papers. As soon as the
obsequious Mr. Pugnose saw him at the door, he assisted
him to alight, ushered him into the "best room," and
desired the constable to attend "the Squire." The crowd
immediately entered, and the Constable opened the Court
in due form, and commanded silence. Taking out a long
list of causes, Mr. Pettifog commenced reading the
names--James Sharp versus John Slug--call John Slug:
John Slug being duly called and not answering, was
defaulted. In this manner he proceeded to default some
20 or 30 persons; at last he came to a cause, William
Hare versus Dennis O'Brien--call Dennis O'Brien--here
I am, said a voice from the other room--here I am, who
has any thing to say to Dennis O'Brien? Make less noise,
sir, said the Justice, or I'll commit you. Commit me, is
it, said Dennis, take care then, Squire, you don't commit
yourself You are sued by William Hare for three pounds
for a month's board and lodging, what have you to say to
it? Say to it, said Dennis, did you ever hear what Tim
Doyle said when be was going to be hanged for stealing
a pig' says he, if the pig had'nt squeeled in the bag
I'd never have been found out, so I would'nt--so I'll
take warning by Tim Doyle's fate, I say nothing, let him
prove it. Here Mr. Hare was called on for his proof,
but taking it for granted that the board would be admitted,
and the defence opened, he was not prepared with proof.
I demand, said Dennis, I demand an unsuit. Here there
was a consultation between the Justice and the Plaintiff,
when the Justice said, I shall not nonsuit him, I shall
continue the cause. What, hang it up till next Court
--you had better hang me up then at once--how can a poor
man come here so often--this may be the entertainment
Pugnose advertises for horses, but by Jacquers, it is no
entertainment for me--I admit then, sooner than come
again, I admit it. You admit you owe him three pounds
then for a month's board? I admit no such thing, I say
I boarded with him a month, and was like Pat Moran's cow
at the end of it, at the lifting, bad luck to him. A
neighbour was here called who proved that the three pounds
might be the usual price. And do you know I taught his
children to write at the school, said Dennis--you might,
answered the witness--and what is that worth? I don't
know--you don't know, faith I believe you're right, said
Dennis, for if the children are half as big rogues as
the father, they might leave writing alone, or they'd be
like to be hanged for forgery. Here Dennis produced his
account for teaching five children, two quarters, at 9
shillings a quarter each, 4 pounds 10s. I am sorry, Mr.
O'Brien, said the Justice, very sorry, but your defence
will not avail you, your account is too large for one
Justice, any sum over three pounds must be sued before
two magistrates--but I only want to offset as much as
will pay the board--it can't be done in this shape, said
the magistrate; I will consult Justice Dolittle, my
neighbour, and if Mr. Hare won't settle with you, I will
sue it for you. Well, said Dennis, all I have to say
is, that there is not so big a rogue as Hare on the whole
river, save and except one scoundrel who shall be nameless,
making a significant and humble bow to the Justice. Here
there was a general laugh throughout the Court--Dennis
retired to the next room to indemnify himself by another
glass of grog, and venting his abuse against Hare and
the Magistrate. Disgusted at the gross partiality of the
Justice, I also quitted the Court, fully concurring in
the opinion, though not in the language, that Dennis was
giving utterance to in the bar room.

Pettifog owed his elevation to his interest at an election.
It is to be hoped that his subsequent merits will be as
promptly rewarded, by his dismissal from a bench which
he disgraces and defiles by his presence.




No. VI

Anecdotes.

As we mounted our horses to proceed to Amherst, groups
of country people were to be seen standing about Pugnose's
inn, talking over the events of the morning, while others
were dispersing to their several homes. A pretty prime
superfine scoundrel, that Pettifog, said the Clockmaker;
he and his constable are well mated, and they've travelled
in the same gear so long together, that they make about
as nice a yoke of rascals, as you'll meet in a day's
ride. They pull together like one rope reeved through
two blocks. That are constable was een almost strangled
t'other day; and if he had'nt had a little grain more
wit than his master, I guess he'd had his wind-pipe
stopped as tight as a bladder. There is an outlaw of a
feller here, for all the world like one of our Kentucky
Squatters, one Bill Smith--a critter that neither fears
man nor devil. Sheriff and constable can make no hand of
him--they can't catch him no how; and if they do come up
with him, he slips through their fingers like an eel:
and then, he goes armed, and he can knock the eye out of
a squirrel with a ball, at fifty yards hand running--a
regular ugly customer. Well, Nabb, the constable, had a
writ agin him, and he was cyphering a good while how he
should catch him; at last he hit on a plan that he thought
was pretty clever, and he scheemed for a chance to try
it. So one day he heard that Bill was up at Pugnose's
Inn, a settling some business, and was likely to be there
all night. Nabb waits till it was considerable late in
the evening, and then he takes his horse and rides down
to the inn, and hitches his beast behind the hay stack.
Then he crawls up to the window and peeps in, and watches
there till Bill should go to bed, thinking the best way
to catch them are sort of animals is to catch them asleep.
Well, he kept Nabb a waiting outside so long, with his
talking and singing, that he well nigh fell asleep fist
himself; at last Bill began to strip for bed. First he
takes out a long pocket pistol, examines the priming,
and lays it down on the table, near the head of the bed.

When Nabb sees this, he begins to creep like all over,
and feel kinder ugly, and rather sick of his job; but
when he seed him jump into bed, and heerd him snore out
a noise like a man driving pigs to market, he plucked up
courage, and thought he might do it easy arter all if he
was to open the door softly, and make one spring on him
afore he could wake. So round he goes, lifts up the latch
of his door as soft as soap, and makes a jump right atop
of him, as he lay on the bed. I guess I got you this
time, said Nabb: I guess so too, said Bill, but I wish
you would'nt lay so plaguy heavy on me--jist turn over,
that's a good fellow, will you? With that Bill lays his
arm on him to raise him up, for he said he was squeezed
as flat as a pancake, and afore Nabb knew where he was,
Bill rolled him right over and was atop of him. Then he
seized him by the throat, and twisted his pipe till his
eyes were, as big as saucers, and his tongue grew six
inches longer, while he kept making faces for all the
world like the pirate that was hanged on Monument Hill
at Boston. It was pretty near over with him, when Nabb
thought of his spurs; so he just curled up both heels,
and drove the spurs right into him; he let him have it
jist below his cruper; as Bill was naked he had a fair
chance, and he ragged him like the leaf of a book cut
open with your finger. At last, Bill could stand it no
longer; he let go his hold and roared like a bull, and
clapping both hands ahind him, he out of the door like
a shot. If it had'nt been for them are spurs, I guess
Bill would have saved the hangman a job of Nabb that
time.

The Clockmaker was an observing man, and communicative.
Nothing escaped his notice; he knew every body's genealogy,
history and means, and like a driver of an English Stage
Coach, was not unwilling to impart what he knew. Do you
see that snug looking house there, said he, with a short
sarce garden afore it, that belongs to Elder Thomson.
The Elder is pretty close fisted, and holds special fast
to all he gets. He is a just man and very pious, but I
have observed when a man becomes near about too good, he
is apt, sometimes, to slip a head into avarice, unless
he looks sharp arter his girths. A friend of mine in
Connecticut, an old sea Captain, who was once let in for
it pretty deep, by a man with a broader brim than common,
said to me, friend Sam, says he, "I don't like those
folks who are too d--n good." There is, I expect, some
truth in it, tho' he need'nt have swore at all, but he
was an awful hand to swear. Howsomever that may be, there
is a story about the Elder, that's not so coarse neither.
It appears, an old Minister came there once, to hold a
meetin at his house--well, after meetin was over, the
Elder took the minister all over his farm, which is pretty
tidy, I tell you; and he shewed him a great Ox he had,
and a swingeing big Pig, that weighed some six or seven
hundred weight, that he was plaguy proud of, but he never
offered the old minister any thing to eat or drink. The
preacher was pretty tired of all this, and seeing no
prospect of being asked to partake with the family, and
tolerably sharp set, he asked one of the boys to fetch
him his horse out of the barn. When he was taking leave
of the Elder, (there were several folks by at the time,)
says he, Elder Thomson, you have a fine farm here, a very
fine farm, indeed; you have a large Ox too, a very large
Ox; and I think, said he, I've seen to-day, (turning and
looking him full in the face, for he intended to hit him
pretty hard,) I think I have seen to-day the greatest
hag I ever saw in my life. The neighbours snickered a
good deal, and the Elder felt pretty streaked. I guess
he'd give his great Pig or his great Ox either, if that
story had'nt got wind.




No. VII

Go Ahead.

When we resumed our conversation, the Clockmaker said,
"I guess we are the greatest nation on the face of the
airth, and the most enlightened too." This was rather
too arrogant to pass unnoticed, and I was about replying,
that whatever doubts there might be on that subject,
there could be none whatever that they were the most
MODEST; when he continued "we go ahead," the Novascotians
go "astarn." Our ships go ahead of the ships of other
folks, our steam boats beat the British in speed, and so
do our stage coaches; and I reckon a real right down New
York trotter might stump the univarse for going "ahead."
But since we introduced the Rail Roads if we don't go
"ahead" its a pity. We never fairly knew what going the
whole hog was till then; we actilly went ahead of ourselves,
and that's no easy matter I tell you. If they only had
edication here, they might learn to do so too, but they
don't know nothin. You undervalue them, said I, they have
their College and Academies, their grammar schools and
primary institutions, and I believe there are few among
them who cannot read and write.

I guess all that's nothin, said he. As for Latin and
Greek, we don't valy it a cent; we teach it, and so
we do painting and music, because the English do, and
we like to go ahead on em, even in them are things. As
for reading, its well enough for them that has nothing
to do, and writing is plaguy apt to bring a man to
States-prison, particularly if he writes his name so
like another man as to have it mistaken for his'n.
Cyphering is the thing--if a man knows how to cypher,
he is sure to grow rich. We are a 'calculating' people,
we all cypher.

A horse that wont go ahead, is apt to run back, and the
more you whip him the faster he goes astarn. That's jist
the way with the Nova Scotians; they have been running back
so fast lately, that they have tumbled over a BANK or two,
and nearly broke their necks; and now they've got up and
shook themselves, they swear their dirty clothes and bloody
noses are all owing to the BANKS. I guess if they wont look
ahead for the future, they'll larn to look behind, and see
if there's a bank near hand em.

A Bear always goes down a tree STARN FOREMOST. He is a
cunning critter, he knows tante safe to carry a heavy
load over his head, and his rump is so heavy, he don't
like to trust it over hisn, for fear it might take a
lurch, and carry him heels over head, to the ground; so
he lets his starn down first, and his head arter. I wish
the Blue Noses would find as good an excuse in their
rumps for running backwards as he has. But the bear
'CYPHERS;' he knows how many pounds his hams weigh, and
he 'CALCULATES' if he carried them up in the air, they
might be top heavy for him.

If we had this Province we'd go to work and 'cypher' right
off. Halifax is nothing without a river or back country;
add nothing to nothing, and I guess you have nothing
still--add a Rail Road to the Bay of Fundy, and how much
do you get? That requires cyphering--it will cost $300,000,
or 75,000 pounds your money--add for notions omitted in
the addition column, one third, and it makes even money
--100,000 pounds. Interest at 5 per cent 5,000 pounds a
year. Now turn over the slate and count up freight--I
make it upwards of 25,000 pounds a year. If I had you at
the desk, I'd shew you a bill of items.

Now comes "SUBTRACTION," deduct cost of engines, wear
and tear, and expenses, and what not, and reduce it for
shortness down to 5,000 pounds a year, the amount of
interest. What figures have you got now? you have an
investment that pays interest, I guess, and if it don't
pay more then I don't know chalk from cheese. But suppose
it don't, and that it only yields two and a half per
cent, (and it requires good cyphering, I tell you, to
say how it would act with folks that like going astarn
better than going ahead,) what would them are wise ones
say then? Why the critters would say it wont pay; but I
say the sum ant half stated. Can you count in your head?
Not to any extent, said I. Well, that's an etarnal pity,
said the Clockmaker, for I should like to show you Yankee
Cyphering. What is the entire real estate of Halifax
worth, at a valeation? I really cannot say. Ah, said he,
I see you don't cypher, and Latin and Greek wont do; them
are people had no rail-roads. Well, find out, and then
only add ten per cent to it, for increased value, and if
it don't give the cost of a rail-road, then my name is
not Sam Slick. Well, the land between Halifax and Ardoise
is worth --- nothing, add 5 per cent to that, and send
the sum to the College, and ax the students how much it
comes to. But when you get into Hants County, I guess
you have land worth coming all the way from Boston to
see. His Royal Highness the King, I guess, hasn't got
the like in his dominions. Well, add 15 per cent to all
them are lands that border on Windsor Basin, and 5 per
cent to what butts on Basin of Mines, and then, what do
you get? A pretty considerable sum I tell you--but its
no use to give you the CHALKS, if you can't keep the
TALLIES. Now we will lay down the schoolmaster's assistant,
and take up another book every bit and grain as good as
that, although these folks affect to sneer at it--I mean
human natur. Ah! said I, a knowledge of that was of
great service to you, certainly, in the sale of your
clock to the old Deacon: let us see how it will assist
you now. What does a clock want that's run down? said
he. Undoubtedly to be wound up, I replied; I guess you've
hit it this time. The folks of Halifax have run down,
and they'll never go to all eternity, till they are wound
up into motion: the works are all good, and it is plaguy
well cased and set--it only wants a KEY. Put this railroad
into operation, and the activity it will inspire into
business, the new life it will give the place, will
surprise you. Its like lifting a child off its crawling,
and putting him on his legs to run--see how the little
critter goes ahead arter that. A kurnel, (I don't mean
a Kurnel of militia, for we don't valy that breed o'
cattle nothing--they do nothing but strut about and
screech all day, like peacocks,) but a kurnel of grain,
when sowed, will stool into several shoots, and each
shoot hear many kurnels, and will multiply itself thus
--4 times 1 is 4, and 4 times 25 is a hundred, (you see
all natur cyphers, except the Blue Noses.) Jist so, this
here rail-road will not perhaps beget other rail-roads,
but it will beget a spirit of enterprise, that will beget
other useful improvements. It will enlarge the sphere
and the means of trade, open new sources of traffic and
supply--develop resources--and what is of more value
perhaps than all--beget motion. It will teach the folks
that go astarn or stand stock still, like the statehouse
in Boston, (though they do say the foundation of that
has moved a little this summer) not only to go "AHEAD,"
BUT TO NULLIFY TIME AND SPACE.

Here his horse (who, feeling the animation of his master,
had been restive of late) set off at a most prodigious
rate of trotting. It was some time before he was reined
up. When I overtook him, the Clockmaker said, "this old
Yankee horse, you see, understands our word 'go ahead'
better nor these Blue Noses."

What is it, he continued, what is it that 'fetters' the
heels of a young country, and hangs like 'a poke' around
its neck? what retards the cultivation of its soil, and
the improvement of its fisheries?--the high price of
labor, I guess. Well, what's a rail-road? The substitution
of mechanical for human and animal labor, on a scale as
grand as our great country. Labor is dear in America,
and cheap in Europe. A rail-road, therefore, is
comparatively no manner of use to them, to what it is to
us--it does wonders there, but it works miracles here.
There it makes the old man younger, but here it makes a
child a giant. To us it is river, bridge, road and canal,
all one. It saves what we han't got to spare, men,
horses, carts, vessels, barges, and what's all in all--time.

Since the creation of the Univarse, I guess it's the
greatest invention, arter man. Now this is what I call
"cyphering" arter human natur, while figures are cyphering
arter "the assistant." These two sorts of cyphering make
idecation--and you may depend on't Squire, there is
nothing like folks cyphering, if they want to "go ahead."




No. VIII

The Preacher that Wandered from His Text.

I guess, said the Clockmaker, we know more of Nova Scotia
than the Blue Noses themselves do. The Yankees see further
ahead than most folks; they can een a most see round
t'other side of a thing; indeed some on them have hurt
their eyes by it, and sometimes I think that's the reason
such a sight of them wear spectacles. The first I ever
heerd tell of Cumberland was from Mr. Everett of Congress;
he know'd as much about it as if he had lived here all
his days, and may be a little grain more. He is a splendid
man that--we class him No. 1, letter A. One night I
chanced to go into General Peep's tavern at Boston, and
who should I see there but the great Mr. Everett, a
studying over a map of the Province of Nova-Scotia. Why
it aint possible! said I--if that aint Professor Everett,
as I am alive! why how do you do, Professor? Pretty well,
I give you thanks, said he; how be you? but I aint no
longer Professor; I gin that up, and also the trade of
Preaching, and took to politics. You don't say so, said
I; why what on airth is the cause o' that? Why, says he,
look here, Mr. Slick. What IS the use of reading the
Proverbs of Solomon to our free and enlightened citizens,
that are every mite and mortal as wise as he was? That
are man undertook to say there was nothing new under the
sun. I guess he'd think he spoke a little too fast, if
he was to see our steam boats, rail-roads, and India
rubber shoes--three inventions worth more nor all he knew
put in a heap together. Well, I don't know, said I, but
somehow or another, I guess you'd have found preaching
the best speculation in the long run; them are Unitarians
pay better than Uncle Sam (we call, said the Clockmaker,
the American public Uncle Sam, as you call the British
John Bull.)

That remark seemed to grig him a little; he felt oneasy
like, and walked twice across the room, fifty fathoms
deep in thought: at last he said, which way are you from,
Mr. Slick, this hitch? Why, says I, I've been away up
south a speculating in nutmegs. I hope, says the Professor,
they were a good article, the real right down genuine
thing. No mistake, says I,--no mistake, Professor: they
were all prime, first chop, but why did you ax that are
question? Why, says he, that eternal scoundrel, that
Captain John Allspice of Nahant, he used to trade to
Charleston, and he carried a cargo once there of fifty
barrels of nutmegs: well, he put half a bushel of good
ones into each eend of the barrel, and the rest he filled
up with wooden ones, so like the real thing, no soul
could tell the difference until HE BIT ONE WITH HIS TEETH,
and that he never thought of doing, until he was first
BIT HIMSELF. Well, its been a standing joke with them
southerners agin us ever since. It was only tother day
at Washington, that everlasting Virginy duellist General
Cuffy, afore a number of senators, at the President's
house, said to me, 'Well Everett,' says he--'you know I
was always dead agin your Tariff bill, but I have changed
my mind since your able speech on it; I shall vote for
it now.' 'Give me your hand,' says I, 'General Cuffy;
the Boston folks will be dreadful glad when they hear
your splendid talents are on our side--I think it will
go now--we'll carry it.' 'Yes,' says he, 'your factories
down east beat all natur; they go ahead on the English
a long chalk.' You may depend I was glad to hear the New
Englanders spoken of that way--I felt proud I tell
you--'and,' says he, 'there's one manufacture that might
stump all Europe to produce the like.' 'What's that?'
says I, looking as pleased all the time as a gall that's
tickled. 'Why,' says be, 'the facture of wooden nutmegs;
that's a cap sheef that bangs the bush--its a real Yankee
patent invention.' With that all the gentlemen set up a
laugh, you might have heard away down to Sandy Hook--and
the General gig gobbled like a great turkey cock, the
half nigger, half alligator like looking villain as he
is. I tell you what, Mr. Slick, said the Professor, I
wish with all my heart them are damned nutmegs were in
the bottom of the sea. That was the first oath I ever
heerd him let slip: but he was dreadful ryled, and it
made me feel ugly too, for its awful to hear a minister
swear; and the only match I know for it, is to hear a
regular sneezer of a sinner quote scripture. Says I, Mt.
Everett, that's the fruit that politics bear; for my part
I never seed a good graft on it yet, that bore any thing
good to eat, or easy to digest.

Well, he stood awhile looking down on the carpet, with
his hands behind him, quite taken up a cyphering in his
head, and then he straightened himself up, and he put
his hand upon his heart, just as he used to do in the
pulpit, (he looked pretty I tell you) and slowly lifting
his hand off his breast, he said, 'Mr. Slick, our tree
of liberty was a beautiful tree--a splendid tree--it
was a sight to look at; it was well fenced and well
protected, and it grew so stately and so handsome, that
strangers came from all parts of the globe to see it.
They all allowed it was the most splendid thing in the
world. Well, the mobs have broken in and tore down the
fences, and snapped off the branches, and scattered all
the leaves about, and it looks no better than a gallows
tree.' 'I am afeared,' said he, 'I tremble to think on
it, but I am afeared our ways will no longer be ways of
pleasantness, nor our paths, paths of peace; I am, indeed,
I vow, Mr. Slick.' He looked so streaked and so chop-fallen,
that I felt kinder sorry for him; I actilly thought he'd
a boo-hood right out. So, to turn the conversation, says
I, Professor, what are great map is that I seed you a
studyin' over when I came in? Says he, it's a map of Nova
Scotia. That, says he, is a valuable province, a real
clever province; we hant got the like on it, but its most
plagily in our way. Well, says I, send for Sam Patch
(that are man was a great diver, says the Clockmaker,
and the last dive he took was off the falls of Niagara,
and he was never heerd of agin till tother day, when
Captain Enoch Wentworth, of the Susy Ann Whaler, saw him
in the South Sea. Why, says Capt. Enoch to him, why Sam,
says he, how on airth did you get here? I thought you
was drowned at the Canadian lines. Why, says he, I didn't
get ON airth here at all, but I came right slap THROUGH
it. In that are Niagara dive, I went so everlasting deep,
I thought it was just as short to come up tother side,
so out I came in those parts. If I don't take the shine
off the Sea Serpent, when I get back to Boston, then my
name's not Sam Patch.)

Well, says I, Professor, send for Sam Patch, the diver,
and let him dive down and stick a torpedo in the bottom
of the Province and blow it up; or if that won't do, send
for some of our steam tow boats from our great Eastern
cities, and tow it out to sea; you know there's nothing
our folks can't do, when they once fairly take hold on
a thing in airnest. Well, that made him laugh; he seemed
to forget about the nutmegs, and says he, that's a bright
scheme, but it won't do; we shall want the Province some
day, and I guess we'll buy it of King William; they say
he is over head and ears in debt, and owes nine hundred
millions of pounds starling--we'll buy it, as we did
Florida. In the meantime we must have a canal from Bay
Fundy to Bay Varte, right through Cumberland neck, by
Shittyack, for our fishing vessels to go to Labradore.
I guess you must ax leave first, said I; that's jist what
I was cyphering at, says he, when you came in. I believe
we won't ax them at all, but jist fall to and do it; ITS
A ROAD OF NEEDCESSITY. I once heard Chief Justice Marshall
of Baltimore say; 'If the people's highway is dangerous
--a man may take down a fence--and pass through the fields
as a way of NEEDCESSITY;' and we shall do it on that
principle, as the way round by Isle Sable is dangerous.
I wonder the Novascotians don't do it for their own
convenience. Said I, it would'nt make a bad speculation
that. The critters don't know no better, said he.

Well, says I, the St. John's folks, why don't they? for
they are pretty cute chaps them. They remind me, says
the Professor, of Jim Billings. You knew Jim Billings,
did'nt you, Mr. Slick? Oh yes, said I, I knew him. It
was he that made such a talk by shipping blankets to the
West Indies; the same, says he. Well, I went to see him
the other day at Mrs. Lecain's Boarding House, and says
I, Billings, you have a nice location here. A plaguy
sight too nice, said he. Marm Lecain makes such an etarnal
touss about her carpets, that I have to go along that
everlasting long entry, and down both staircases, to the
street door to spit; and it keeps all the gentlemen a
running with their mouths full all day. I had a real bout
with a New Yorker this morning, I run down to the street
door, and afore I see'd any body a coming, I let go, and
I vow if I did'nt let a chap have it all over his white
waistcoat. Well, he makes a grab at me, and I shuts the
door right to on his wrist, and hooks the door chain
taught and leaves him there, and into Marm Lecain's bed
room like a shot, and hides behind the curtain. Well, he
roared like a bull, till black Lucretia, one of the house
helps, let him go, and they looked into all the gentlemen's
rooms and found nobody--so I got out of that are scrape.
So, what with Marm Lecain's carpets in the house, and
other folks' waistcoats in the street, its too nice a
location for me, I guess, so I shall up killoch and off
to morrow to the TREE-mont.

Now, says the Professor, the St. John's folks are jist
like Billings, fifty cents would have bought him a spit
box, and saved him all them are journeys to the street
door--and a canal at Bay Varte would save the St. John's
folks a voyage all round Nova-Scotia. Why, they can't
get at their own backside settlements, without a voyage
most as long as one to Europe. If we had that are neck
of land in Cumberland, we'd have a ship canal there, and
a town at each end of it as big as Portland. You may
talk of Solomon, said the Professor, but if Solomon in
all his glory was not arrayed like a lily of the field,
neither was he in all his wisdom, equal in knowledge to
a reel free American citizen. Well, said I, Professor,
we are a most enlightened people, that's sartain, but
somehow I don't like to hear you run down King Solomon
neither; perhaps he warnt quite so wise as Uncle Sam,
but then, said I, (drawing close to the Professor, and
whispering in his ear, for fear any folks in the bar room
might hear me,) but then, said I, may be he was every
bit and grain as honest. Says he, Mr. Slick, there are
some folks who think a good deal and say but little, and
they are wise folks; and there are others agin, who blart
right out whatever comes uppermost, and I guess they are
pretty considerable superfine darned fools. And with that
he turned right round, and sat down to his map and never
said another word, lookin' as mad as a hatter the whole
blessed time.




No. IX

Yankee Eating and Horse Feeding.

Did you ever heer tell of Abernethy, a British doctor?
said the Clockmaker. Frequently, said I, he was an eminent
man, and had a most extensive practice. Well, I reckon
he was a vulgar critter that, he replied, he treated the
honble. Aiden Gobble, secretary to our legation at London,
dreadful bad once; and I guess if it had been me he had
used that way, I'd a fixed his flint for him, so that
he'd think twice afore he'd fire such another shot as
that are again. I'd a made him make tracks, I guess, as
quick as a dog does a hog from a potatoe field. He'd a
found his way out of the hole in the fence a plaguy sight
quicker than he came in, I reckon. Hits manner, said I,
was certainly rather unceremonious at times, but he was
so honest, and so straightforward, that no person was,
I believe, ever seriously offended at him. IT WAS HIS
WAY. Then his way was so plague rough, continued the
Clockmaker, that he'd been the better, if it had been
hammered and mauled down smoother. I'd a levelled him as
flat as a flounder. Pray what was his offence? said I.
Bad enough you may depend. The honble. Alden Gobble was
dyspeptic, and he suffered great on easiness arter eatin,
so he gees to Abemethy for advice. What's the matter with
you, said the Doctor? jist that way, without even passing
the time o' day with him--What's the matter with you?
said he. Why, says Alden, I presume I have the Dyspepsy.
Ah! said he, I see; a Yankee swallowed more dollars and
cents than he can digest I am an American citizen, says
Alden, with great dignity, I am Secretary to our Legation
at the Court of St. James. The devil you are, said
Abernethy, then you'll soon get rid of your dyspepsy. I
don't see that are inference, said Alden, it don't follow
from what you predicate at all--it ant a natural
consequence, I guess, that a man should cease to be ill,
because he is called by the voice of a free and enlightened
people to fill an important office. (The truth is, you
could no more trap Alden than you could an Indian. He
could see other folks' trail, and made none himself; he
was a real diplomatist, and I believe our diplomatists
are allowed to be the best in the world.) But I tell you
it does follow, said the Doctor; for in the company you'll
have to keep, you'll have to eat like a Christian. It
was an everlasting pity Alden contradicted him, for he
broke out like one ravin distracted mad. I'll be d--d,
said he, if ever I saw a Yankee that did'nt bolt his food
whole like a Boa Constrictor. How the devil can you
expect to digest food, that you neither take the trouble
to dissect, nor time to masticate? It's no wonder you
lose your teeth, for you never use them; nor your digestion,
for you overload it; nor your saliva, for you expend it
on the carpets, instead of your food. Its disgusting,
its beastly. You Yankees load your stomachs as a Devonshire
man does his cart, as full as it can hold, and as fast
as he can pitch it with a dung fork, and drive off; and
then you complain that such a load of compost is too
heavy for you. Dyspepsy, eh! infernal guzzling, you mean.
I'll tell you what, Mr. Secretary of Legation, take half
the time to eat, that you do to drawl out your words,
chew your food half as much as you do your filthy tobacco,
and you'll be well in a month. I don't understand such
language, said Alden. (for he was fairly ryled, and got
his dander up, and when he shows clear grit, he looks
wicked ugly, I tell you.) I don't understand such language.
Sir: I came here to consult you professionally, and not
to be ---. Don't understand! said the Doctor, why its
plain English: but here, read my book--and he shoved a
book into his hands and left him in an instant, standing
alone in the middle of the room. If the honble. Alden
Gobble had gone right away and demanded his passports,
and returned home with the Legation, in one of our first
class frigates, (I guess the English would as soon see
pyson as one o' them are Serpents) to Washington, the
President and the people would have sustained him in it,
I guess, until an apology was offered for the insult to
the nation. I guess if it had been me, said Mr. Slick,
I'd a headed him afore he slipt out o' the door, and
pinned him up agin the wall, and made him bolt his words
again, as quick as he throw'd 'em up, for I never see'd
an Englishman that didn't cut his words as short as he
does his horse's tail, close up to the stump. It certainly
was very coarse and vulgar language, and I think, said
I, that your Secretary had just cause to be offended at
such an ungentlemanlike attack, although he showed his
good sense in treating it with the contempt it deserved,
It was plaguy lucky for the doctor, I tell you, that he
cut stick as he did, and made himself scarce, for Alden
was an ugly customer; he'd a gin him a proper scalding
--he'd a taken the bristles off his hide, as clean as
the skin of a spring shote of a pig killed at Christmas.
The Clockmaker was evidently excited by his own story,
and to indemnify himself for these remarks on his
countrymen, he indulged for some time in ridiculing the
Nova Scotians.

Do you see that are flock of colts, said he, (as we passed
one of those beautiful prairies that render the vallies
of Nova Scotia so verdant and so fertile,) well, I guess
they keep too much of that are stock. I heerd an Indian
one day ax a tavern keeper for some rum; why, Joe Spawdeeck,
said he, I reckon you have got too much already. Too much
of any thing, said Joe is not good, but too much rum is
jist enough. I guess these Blue Noses think so bout their
horses, they are fairly eat up by them, out of house and
home, and they are no good neither. They beant good saddle
horses, and they beant good draft beasts--they are jist
neither one thing nor tother. They are like the drink of
our Connecticut folks. At mowing time they use molasses
and water, nasty stuff only fit to catch flies--it spiles
good water and makes bad beer. No wonder the folks are
poor. Look at them are great dykes; well, they all go to
feed horses; and look at their grain fields on the upland;
well, they are all sowed with oats to feed horses, and
they buy their bread from us: so we feed the asses, and
they feed the horses. If I had them critters on that are
marsh, on a location of mine, I'd jist take my rifle and
shoot every one on them; the nasty yo necked, cat hammed,
heavy headed, flat eared, crooked shanked, long legged,
narrow chested, good for nothin brutes; they aint worth
their keep one winter. I vow, I wish one of these Blue
Noses, with his go-to-meetin clothes on, coat tails pinned
up behind like a leather blind of a Shay, an old spur on
one heel, and a pipe stuck through his hat band, mounted
on one of these limber timbered critters, that moves its
hind legs like a hen scratchin gravel, was sot down in
Broadway, in New York, for a sight. Lord! I think I hear
the West Point cadets a larfin at him. Who brought that
are scare-crow out of standin corn and stuck him here?
I guess that are citizen came from away down east out of
the Notch of the White Mountains. Here comes the Cholera
doctor, from Canada--not from Canada, I guess, neither,
for he don't LOOK AS IF HE HAD EVER BEEN AMONG THE RAPIDS.
If they would'nt poke fun at him its a pity. If they'd
keep less horses, and more sheep, they'd have food and
clothing, too, instead of buying both. I vow I've larfed
afore now till I have fairly wet myself a cryin, to see
one of these folks catch a horse: may be he has to go
two or three miles of an arrand. Well, down he goes on
the dyke with a bridle in one hand, and an old tin pan
in another, full of oats, to catch his beast. First he
goes to one flock of horses, and then to another, to see
if he can find his own critter. At last he gets sight on
him, and goes softly up to him, shakin of his oats, and
a coaxin him, and jist as he goes to put his hand upon
him, away he starts all head and tail, and the rest with
him: that starts another flock, and they set a third
off, and at last every troop on 'em goes, as if Old Nick
was arter them, till they amount to two or three hundred
in a drove. Well, he chases them clear across the Tantramer
marsh, seven miles good, over ditches, creeks, mire holes,
and flag ponds, and then they turn and take a fair chase
for it back again seven miles more. By this time, I
presume, they are all pretty considerably well tired,
and Blue Nose, he goes and gets up all the men folks in
the neighborhood, and catches his beast, as they do a
moose arter he is fairly run down; so he runs fourteen
miles, to ride two, because he is in a tarnation hurry.
Its e'en a most equal to eatin soup with a fork, when
you are short of time. It puts me in mind of catching
birds by sprinkling salt on their tails; its only one
horse a man can ride out of half a dozen, arter all. One
has no shoes, tother has a colt, one arnt broke, another
has a sore back, while a fifth is so etarnal cunnin, all
Cumberland could'nt catch him, till winter drives him up
to the barn for food.

Most of them are dyke marshes have what they call 'HONEY
POTS' in 'em; that is a deep hole all full of squash,
where you can't find no bottom. Well, every now and then,
when a feller goes to look for his horse, he sees his
tail a stickin right out an eend, from one of these honey
pots, and wavin like a head of broom corn; and sometimes
you see two or three trapped there, e'en a most smothered,
everlastin' tired, half swimmin' half wadin, like rats
in a molasses cask. When they find 'em in that are
pickle, they go and get ropes, and tie 'em tight round
their necks, and half hang 'em to make 'em float, and
then haul 'em out. Awful looking critters they be, you
may depend, when they do come out; for all the world like
half drowned kittens--all slinkey--slimey--with their
great long tails glued up like a swab of oakum dipped in
tar. If they don't look foolish its a pity? Well, they
have to nurse these critters all winter, with hot mashes,
warm covering, and what not, and when spring comes, they
mostly die, and if they don't they are never no good
arter. I wish with all my heart half the horses in the
country were barrelled up in these here 'honey pots,'
and then there'd be near about one half too many left
for profit. Jist look at one of these barn yards in the
spring--half a dozen half starved colts, with their hair
lookin a thousand ways for Sunday, and their coats hangin
in tatters, and half a dozen good for nothin old horses,
a crowdin out the cows and sheep.

Can you wonder that people who keep such an unprofitable
stock, come out of the small eend of the horn in the long
run?




No. X

The Road to a Woman's Heart--The Broken Heart.

As we approached the Inn at Amherst, the Clockmaker grew
uneasy. Its pretty well on in the evening, I guess, said
he, and Marm Pugwash is as onsartain in her temper as a
mornin in April; its all sunshine or all clouds with her,
and if she's in one of her tantrums, she'll stretch out
her neck and hiss, like a goose with a flock of goslins.
I wonder what on airth Pugwash was a thinkin on, when he
signed articles of partnership with that are woman; she's
not a bad lookin piece of furniture neither, and its a
proper pity sich a clever woman should carry such a stiff
upper lip--she reminds me of our old minister Joshua
Hopewell's apple trees. The old minister had an orchard
of most particular good fruit, for he was a great hand
at buddin, graftin, and what not, and the orchard (it
was on the south side of the house) stretched right up
to the road. Well, there were some trees hung over the
fence, I never seed such bearers, the apples hung in
ropes, for all the world like strings of onions, and the
fruit was beautiful. Nobody touched the minister's
apples, and when other folks lost theirn from the boys,
hisn always hung there like bait to a hook, but there
never was so much as a nibble at em. So I said to him
one day, Minister, said I, how on airth do you manage to
keep your fruit that's so exposed, when no one else cant
do it nohow. Why, says he, they are dreadful pretty
fruit, ant they? I guess, said I, there ant the like on
em in all Connecticut. Well, says he, I'll tell you the
secret, but you need'nt let on to no one about it. That
are row next the fence, I grafted it myself, I took great
pains to get the right kind, I sent clean up to Roxberry,
and away down to Squaw-neck Creek, (I was afeared he was
agoin to give me day and date for every graft, being a
terrible long-winded man in his stories,) so says I, I
know that, minister, but how do you preserve them? Why
I was a goin to tell you, said he, when you stopped me.
That are outward row I grafted myself with the choicest
kind I could find, and I succeeded. They are beautiful,
but so etarnal sour, no human soul can eat them. Well,
the boys think the old minister's graftin has all succeeded
about as well as that row, and they sarch no farther.
They snicker at my graftin, and I laugh in my sleeve, I
guess, at their penetration.

Now, Marm Pugwash is like the Minister's apples, very
temptin fruit to look at, but desperate sour. If Pugwash
had a watery mouth when be married, I guess its pretty
puckery by this time. However, if she goes to act ugly,
I'll give her a dose of 'soft sawder,' that will take
the frown out of her frontispiece, and make her dial-plate
as smooth as a lick of copal varnish. Its a pity she's
such a kickin devil, too, for she has good points--good
eye--good foot--neat pastern--fine chest--a clean set
of limbs, and carries a good ---. But here we are, now
you'll see what' soft sawder' will do. When we entered
the house, the traveller's room was all in darkness, and
on opening the opposite door into the sitting room, we
found the female part of the family extinguishing the
fire for the night. Mrs. Pugwash had a broom in her hand,
and was in the act (the last act of female housewifery)
of sweeping the hearth. The strong flickering light of
the fire, as it fell upon her tall fine figure and
beautiful face, revealed a creature worthy of the
Clockmaker's comments. Good evening, Marm, said Mr. Slick,
how do you do, and how's Mr. Pugwash? He, said she, why
he's been abed this hour, you don't expect to disturb--him
this time of night I hope. Oh no, said Mr. Stick, certainly
not, and I am sorry to have disturbed you, but we got
detained longer than we expected; I am sorry that --. So
am I, said she, but if Mr. Pugwash will keep an Inn when
he has no occasion to, his family cant expect no rest.
Here the Clockmaker, seeing the storm gathering, stooped
down suddenly, and staring intently, held out his hand
and exclaimed, well if that aint a beautiful child--come
here, my little man and shake hands along with me--well
I declare if that are little feller aint the finest child
I ever seed--what, not abed yet? ah you rogue, where did
you get them are pretty rosy cheeks; stole them from
mamma, eh? Well, I wish my old mother could see that
child, it is such a treat In our country, said he, turning
to me, the children are all as pale as chalk, or as yeller
as an orange. Lord, that are little feller would be a
show in our country--come to me my man. Here the soft
sawder began to operate. Mrs. Pugwash said in a milder
tone than we had yet heard, 'go my dear to the gentleman,
go dear.' Mr. Slick kissed him, asked him if he would go
to the States along with him, told him all the little
girls there would fall in love with him, for they didn't
see such a beautiful face once in a month of Sundays.
Black eyes, let me see, ah mamma's eyes too, and black
hair also; as I am alive, why you are mamma's own boy,
the very image of mamma. Do be seated, gentlemen, said
Mrs. Pugwash--Sally make a fire in the next room. She
ought to be proud of you, he continued. Well, if I live
to return here, I must paint your face, and have it put
on my clocks, and our folks will buy the clocks for the
sake of the face. Did you ever see, said he, again
addressing me, such a likeness between one human and
another, as between this beautiful little boy and his
mother. I am sure you have had no supper, said Mrs.
Pugwash to me; you must be hungry and weary, too--I will
get you a cup of tea. I am sorry to give you so much
trouble, said I. Not the least trouble in the world,
she replied, on the contrary a pleasure. We were then
shown into the next room, where the fire was now blazing
up, but Mr. Slick protested he could not proceed without
the little boy, and lingered behind me to ascertain his
age, and concluded by asking the child if he had any
aunts that looked like mamma.

As the door closed, Mr. Slick said, it's a pity she don't
go well in gear. The difficulty with those critters is
to get them to start, arter that there is no trouble with
them if you don't check 'em too short If you do, they'll
stop again, run back and kick like mad, and then Old Nick
himself would'nt start 'em. Pugwash, I guess, don't
understand the natur of the critter; she'll never go kind
in harness for him. When I see a child, said the Clockmaker,
I always feel safe with these women folk; for I have
always found that the road to a woman's heart lies through
her child.

You seem, said I, to understand the female heart so well,
I make no doubt you are a general favorite among the fair
sex. Any man, he replied, that understands horses, has
a pretty considerable fair knowledge of women, for they
are jist alike in temper, and require the very identical
same treatment. Incourage the timid ones, be gentle and
steady with the fractious, but lather the sulky ones like
blazes. People talk an everlastin sight of nonsense about
wine, women and horses. I've bought and sold 'em all,
I've traded in all of them, and I tell you, there aint
one in a thousand that knows a grain about either on 'em.
You hear folks say, oh, such a man is an ugly grained
critter--he'll break his wife's heart; jist as if a
woman's heart was as brittle as a pipe stalk. The female
heart, as far as my experience goes, is just like a new
India Rubber Shoe; you may pull and pull at it, till it
stretches out a yard long, and then let go, and it will
fly right back to its old shape. Their hearts are made
of stout leather, I tell you; there's a plaguy sight of
wear in 'em, I never knowed but one case of a broken
heart, and that was in tother sex, one Washington Banks.
He was a sneezer. He was tall enough to spit down on the
heads of your grenadiers, and near about high enough to
wade across Charlestown River, and as strong as a tow
boat. I guess he was somewhat less than a foot longer
than the moral law and catechism too. He was a perfect
pictur of a man; you could'nt falt him in no particular;
be was so just a made critter; folks used to run to the
winder when he passed, and say there goes Washington
Banks, beant he lovely? I do believe there was'nt a gall
in the Lowell factories, that warnt in love with him.
Sometimes, at intermission, on Sabbath days, when they
all came out together, (an amasin hansom sight too, near
about a whole congregation of young galls) Banks used to
say, 'I vow, young ladies, I wish I had five hundred arms
to reciprocate one with each of you; but I reckon I have
a heart big enough for you all; its a whapper, you may
depend, and every mite and morsel of it at your service.'
Well, how you do act, Mr. Banks, half a thousand little
clipper clapper tongues would say, all at the same time,
and their dear little eyes sparklin, like so many stars
twinklin of a frosty night.

Well, when I last see'd him, he was all skin and bone,
like a horse turned out to die. He was tetotally defleshed,
a mere walkin skeleton. I am dreadful sorry, says I, to
see you, Banks, lookin so peecked; why you look like a
sick turkey hen, all legs; what on airth ails you? I am
dyin, says he, OF A BROKEN HEART. What, says I, have the
galls been jiltin you? No, no, says he, I beant such a
fool as that neither. Well, says I, have you made a bad
speculation? No, says he, shakin his head, I hope I have
too much clear grit in me to take on so bad for that.
What under the sun, is it, then? said I. Why, says he,
I made a bet the fore part of summer with Leftenant Oby
Knowles, that I could shoulder the best bower of the
Constitution frigate. I won my bet, but the Anchor was
so eternal heavy it broke my heart. Sure enough he did
die that very fall, and he was the only instance I ever
heerd tell of A BROKEN HEART.




No. XI

Cumberland Oysters Produce Melancholy Forebodings.

The 'soft sawder' of the Clockmaker had operated effectually
on the beauty of Amherst, our lovely hostess of Pugwash's
Inn: indeed, I am inclined to think, with Mr. Slick, that
'the road to a woman's heart lies through her child,'
from the effect produced upon her by the praises bestowed
on her infant boy. I was musing on this feminine
susceptibility to flattery, when the door opened, and
Mrs. Pugwash entered, dressed in her sweetest smiles and
her best cap, an auxiliary by no means required by her
charms, which, like an Italian sky, when unclouded, are
unrivalled in splendor. Approaching me, she said, with
an irresistible smile, would you like Mr. ---, (here
there was a pause, a hiatus, evidently intended for me
to fill up with my name; but that no person knows, nor
do I intend they shall; at Medley's Hotel, in Halifax,
I was known as the stranger in No. 1. The attention that
incognito procured for me, the importance it gave me in
the eyes of the master of the house, its lodgers and
servants, is indescribable. It is only great people who
travel incog. State travelling is inconvenient and slow;
the constant weight of form and etiquette oppresses at
once the strength and the spirits. It is pleasant to
travel unobserved, to stand at ease, or exchange the full
suit for the undress coat and fatigue jacket. Wherever
too there is mystery there is importance; there is no
knowing for whom I may be mistaken--but let me once give
my humble cognomen and occupation, and I sink immediately
to my own level, to a plebeian station and a vulgar name:
not even my beautiful hostess, nor my inquisitive friend,
the Clockmaker, who calls me 'Squire,' shall extract that
secret!) Would you like, Mr. ---. Indeed, I would, said
I, Mrs. Pugwash; pray be seated, and tell me what it is.
Would you like a dish of superior Shittyacks for supper?
Indeed I would, said I, again laughing; but pray tell me
what it is? Laws me! said she with a stare, where have
you been all your days, that you never heerd of our
Shittyack Oysters? I thought every body had heerd of
them. I beg pardon, said I, but I understood at Halifax,
that the only Oysters in this part of the world were
found on the shores of Prince Edward Island. Oh! dear
no, said our hostess, they are found all along the coast
from Shittyack, through Bay of Vartes, away up to Ramshag.
The latter we seldom get, though the best; there is no
regular conveyance, and when they do come, they are
generally shelled and in kegs, and never in good order.
I have not had a real good Ramshag in my house these two
years, since Governor Maitland was here; he was amazin
fond of them, and Lawyer Talkemdeaf sent his carriage
there on purpose to procure them fresh for him. Now we
can't GET THEM, but we have the Shittyacks in perfection;
say the word, and they shall be served up immediately.
A good dish and an unexpected dish is most acceptable,
and certainly my American friend and myself did ample
justice to the Oysters, which, if they have not so
classical a name, have quite as good a flavor as their
far famed brethren of Milton. Mr. Slick eat so heartily,
that when he resumed his conversation, he indulged in
the most melancholy forebodings.

Did you see that are nigger, said he, that removed the
Oyster shells? well, he's one of our Chesapickers, one
of General Cuffy's slaves. I wish Admiral Cockburn had
a taken them all off our hands at the same rate. We made
a pretty good sale of them are black cattle, I guess, to
the British; I wish we were well rid of 'em all. THE
BLACKS AND THE WHITES in the States show their teeth and
snarl, they are jist ready to fall to. The PROTESTANTS
and CATHOLICS begin to lay back their ears, and turn tail
for kickin. THE ABOLITIONISTS AND PLANTERS are at it like
two bulls in a pastur. MOB LAW AND LYNCH LAW are working
like yeast in a barrell, and frothing at the bung hole.
NULLIFICATION AND TARIFF are like a charcoal pit, all
covered up, but burning inside, and sending out smoke at
every crack, enough to stifle a horse. GENERAL GOVERNMENT
AND STATE GOVERNMENT every now and then square off and
sparr, and the first blow given will bring a genuine
set-to. SURPLUS REVENUE is another bone of contention;
like a shin of beef thrown among a pack of dogs, it will
set the whole on 'em by the ears. You have heerd tell of
cotton rags dipt in turpentine, hav'nt you, how they
produce combustion? Well, I guess we have the elements
of spontaneous combustion among us in abundance; when it
does break out, if you don't see an eruption of human
gore, worse than Etna lava, then I'm mistaken. There'll
be the very devil to pay, that's a fact. I expect the
blacks will butcher the Southern whites, and the
northerners will have to turn out and butcher them again;
and all this shoot, hang, cut, stab, and burn business
will sweeten our folks' temper, as raw meat does that of
a dog--it fairly makes me sick to think on it. The
explosion may clear the air again, and all be tranquil
once more, but its an even chance if it don't leave us
the three steam boat options, to be blown sky high, to
be scalded to death or drowned. If this sad picture you
have drawn, be indeed true to nature, how does your
country, said I, appear so attractive, as to draw to it
so large a portion of our population? It tante its
attraction, said the Clockmaker, its nothin but its power
of suction; it is a great whirlpool--a great vortex--it
drags all the straw, and chips and floatin sticks, drift
wood and trash into it. The small crafts are sucked in,
and whirl round and round like a squirrel in a cage--
they'll never come out. Bigger ones pass through at
certain times of tide, and can come in and out with good
pilotage, as they do at HELL GATE up the Sound. You
astonish me, said I, beyond measure; both your previous
conversations with me, and the concurrent testimony of
all my friends who have visited the States, give a
different view of it. YOUR FRIENDS! said the Clockmaker,
with such a tone of ineffable contempt, that I felt a
strong inclination to knock him down for his insolence
--your friends! Ensigns and leftenants, I guess, from
the British marchin regiments in the Colonies, that run
over five thousand miles of country in five weeks, on
leave of absence, and then return, lookin as wise as the
monkey that had seen the world. When they get back they
are so chock full of knowledge of the Yankees, that it
runs over of itself, like a Hogshead of molasses rolled
about in hot weather--a white froth and scum bubbles out
of the bung; wishy washy trash they call tours, sketches,
travels, letters, and what not; vapid stuff, jist sweet
enough to catch flies, cockroaches, and half fledged
galls. It puts me in mind of my French. I larnt French
at night school one winter, of our minister, Joshua
Hopewell (he was the most larned man of the age, for he
taught himself een amost every language in Europe); well,
next spring, when I went to Boston, I met a Frenchman,
and I began to jabber away French to him: 'Polly woes a
french say,' says I. I don't understand Yankee yet, says
he. You dont understand! says I, why its French. I guess
you didn't expect to hear such good French, did you, away
down east here? but we speak it real well, and its
generally allowed we speak English, too, better than the
British. Oh, says he, you one very droll Yankee, dat
very good joke, Sare; you talk Indian and call it French.
But, says I, Mister Mount shear; it is French, I vow;
real merchantable, without wainy edge or shakes--all
clear stuff; it will pass survey in any market--its ready
stuck and seasoned. Oh, very like, says he, bowin as
polite as a black waiter at New OrLEENS, very like, only
I never heerd it afore; oh, very good French dat--CLEAR
STUFF, no doubt, but I no understand--its all my fault,
I dare say, Sare.

Thinks I to myself a nod is as good as a wink to a blind
horse, I see how the cat jumps--Minister knows so many
languages he hant been particular enough to keep 'em in
separate parcels and mark 'em on the back, and they've
got mixed, and sure enough I found my French was so
overrun with other sorts, that it was better to loose
the whole crop than to go to weedin, for as fast as I
pulled up any strange seedlin, it would grow right up
agin as quick as wink, if there was the least bit of root
in the world left in the ground, so I left it all rot on
the field. There is no way so good to larn French as to
live among 'em, and if you WANT TO UNDERSTAND US, YOU
MUST LIVE AMONG US, TOO; your Halls, Hamiltons, and De
Rouses, and such critters, what CAN they know of us? Can
a chap catch a likeness flying along a rail road? can he
even see the feature? Old Admiral Anson once axed one of
our folks afore our glorious Revolution, (if the British
had a known us a little grain better at that time, they
would'nt have got whipped like a sack as they did then)
where he came from. From the Chesapeeke, said he. Aye,
aye, said the Admiral, from the West Indies. I guess,
said the Southaner, you may have been clean ROUND THE
WORLD, Admiral, but you have been plaguy LITTLE IN IT,
not to know better nor that I shot a wild goose at River
Philip last year, with the rice of Varginey fresh in his
crops he must have cracked on near about as fast as them
other geese, the British travellers. Which know'd the
most of the country they passed over, do you suppose? I
guess it was much of a muchness--near about six of one
and a half dozen of tother; two eyes aint much better
than one, if they are both blind.

No, if you want to know all about us and the Blue Noses
(a pretty considerable share of Yankee blood in them too,
I tell you; the old stock comes from New England, and
the breed is tolerable pure yet, near about one half
apple sarce, and tother half molasses, all except to the
Easterd, where there is a cross of the Scotch,) jist ax
me and I'll tell you candidly. I'm not one of them that
can't see no good points in my neighbor's critter, and
no bad ones in my own; I've seen too much of the world
for that, I guess. Indeed, in a general way, I praise
other folks' beasts, and keep dark about my own. Says I,
when I meet Blue Nose mounted, that's a real smart horse
of yourn, put him out, I guess he'll trot like mad. Well,
he lets him have the spur, and the critter does his best,
and then I pass him like a streak of lightning with mine.
The feller looks all taken aback at that. Why, says he,
that's a real clipper of yourn, I vow. Middlin, says I,
(quite cool, as if I had heard that are same thing a
thousand times,) he's good enough for me, jist a fair
trotter, and nothin to brag of. That goes near about as
far agin in a general way, as a crackin and a boastin
does. Never TELL folks you can go a head on 'em, but DO
it; it spares a great deal of talk, and helps them to
save their breath to cool their broth. No, if you want
to know the inns and the outs of the Yankees--I've wintered
them and summered them; I know all their points, shape,
make and breed; I've tried 'em alongside of other folks,
and I know where they fall short, where they mate 'em,
and where they have the advantage, about as well as some
who think they know a plaguy sight more. It tante them
that stare the most, that see the best always, I guess.
Our folks have their faults, and I know them, (I warnt
born blind, I reckon,) but your friends, the tour writers,
are a little grain too hard on us. Our old nigger wench
had several dirty, ugly lookin children, and was proper
cross to 'em. Mother used to say, 'Juno, its better never
to wipe a child's nose at all, I guess, than to wring it
off.'




No. XII

The American Eagle.

Jist look out of the door, said the Clockmaker, and see
what a beautiful night it is, how calm, how still, how
clear it is, beant it lovely?--I like to look up at them
are stars, when I am away from home, they put me in mind
of our national flag, and it is generally allowed to be
the first flag in the univarse now. The British can whip
all the world, and we can whip the British. Its near
about the prettiest sight I know of, is one of our first
class Frigates, manned with our free and enlightened
citizens all ready for sea; it is like the great American
Eagle, on its perch, balancing itself for a start on the
broad expanse of blue sky, afeared of nothin of its kind,
and president of all it surveys. It was a good emblem
that we chose, warn't it? There was no evading so direct,
and at the same time, so conceited an appeal as this.
Certainly, said I, the emblem was well chosen. I was
particularly struck with it on observing the device on
your naval buttons during the last war--an eagle with an
anchor in its claws. That was a natural idea, taken from
an ordinary occurrence: a bird purloining the anchor of
a frigate--an article so useful and necessary for the
food of its young. It was well chosen, and exhibited
great taste and judgment in the artist. The emblem is
more appropriate than you are aware of--boasting of what
you cannot perform--grasping at what you cannot attain
--an emblem of arrogance and weakness--of ill-directed
ambition and vulgar pretension. Its a common phrase, said
he, (with great composure) among seamen, to say 'damn
your buttons,' and I guess its natural for you to say so
of the buttons of our navals; I guess you have a right
to that are oath. Its a sore subject, that, I reckon,
and I believe I hadn't ought to have spoken of it to you
at all. Brag is a good dog, but hold fast is a better
one. He was evidently annoyed, and with his usual
dexterity gave vent to his feelings, by a sally upon the
Blue Noses, who he says are a cross of English and Yankee,
and therefore first cousins to us both. Perhaps, said
he, that are Eagle might with more propriety have been
taken off as perched on an anchor, instead of holding it
in his claws, and I think it would have been more nateral;
but I suppose it was some stupid foreign artist that made
that are blunder, I never seed one yet that was equal to
ourn. If that Eagle is represented as trying what HE
CAN'T DO, its an honorable ambition arter all, but these
Blue Noses wont try what THEY CAN DO. They put me in mind
of a great big hulk of a horse in a cart, that wont put
his shoulder to the collar at all for all the lambastin
in the world, but turns his head round and looks at you,
as much as to say, 'what an everlastin heavy thing an
empty cart is, isnt it?' An Owl should be their emblem,
and the motto, 'He sleeps all the days of his life.' The
whole country is like this night; beautiful to look at,
but silent as the grave--still as death, asleep, becalmed.
If the sea was always calm, said he, it would pyson the
univarse; no soul could breathe the air, it would be so
uncommon bad. Stagnant water is always unpleasant, bat
salt water when it gets tainted beats all natur; motion
keeps it sweet and wholesome, and that our minister used
to say is one of the 'wonders of the great deep.' This
province is stagnant; it tante deep like still water
neither, for its shaller enough, gracious knows, but it
is motionless, noiseless, lifeless. If you have ever been
to sea, in a calm, you'd know what a plaguy tiresome
thing it is for a man that's in a hurry. An everlastin
flappin of the sails, and a creakin of the boombs, and
an onsteady pitchin of the ship, and folks lyin about
dozin away their time, and the sea a heavin a long heavy
swell, like the breathin of the chist of some great
monster asleep. A passenger wonders the sailors are so
plagy easy about it, and he goes a lookin out east, and
a spyin out west, to see if there's any chance of a
breeze, and says to himself 'Well, if this aint dull
music its a pity.' Then how streaked he feels when he
sees a steamboat a clippin it by him like mad, and the
folks on board pokin fun at him, and askin him if he has
any word to send to home. Well, he says, if any soul ever
catches me on board a sail vessel again, when I can go
by steam, I'll give him leave to tell me of it, that's
a fact. That's partly the case here. They are becalmed,
and they see us going a head on them, till we are een
amost out of sight; yet they hant got a steamboat, and
they hant got a rail road; indeed, I doubt if one half
on em ever see'd or heerd tell of one or tother of them.
I never see'd any folks like 'em except the Indians, and
they wont even so much as look--they hav'nt the least
morsel of curiosity in the world; from which one of our
Unitarian preachers (they are dreadful hands at DOUBTIN
them. I don't DOUBT but some day or another, they will
DOUBT whether every thing aint a DOUBT) in a very learned
work, doubts whether they were ever descended from Eve
at all. Old marm Eve's children, he says, are all lost,
it is said, in consequence of TOO MUCH curiosity, while
these copper colored folks are lost from havin TOO LITTLE
little. How can they be the same? Thinks I, that may be
logic, old Dubersome, but it ant sense, don't extremes
meet? Now these Blue Noses have no motion in 'em, no
enterprise, no spirit, and if any critter shows any
symptoms of activity, they say he is a man of no judgment,
he's speculative, he's a schemer, in short he's mad. They
vegitate like a lettuce plant in sarse garden, they grow
tall and, spindlin, run to seed right off, grow as bitter
as gaul and die.

A gall once came to our minister to hire as a house help;
says she, minister, I suppose you don't want a young lady
to do chamber business and breed worms do you? For I've
half a mind to take a spell of livin out (she meant, said
the Clockmaker, house work and rearing silk worms.) My
pretty maiden, says he, a pattin her on the cheek, (for
I've often observed old men always talk kinder pleasant
to young women,) my pretty maiden where was you brought
up? why, says she I guess I warnt brought up at all, I
growed up; under what platform, says he, (for he was very
particular that all his house helps should go to his
meetin,) under what Church platform? Church platform,
says she, with a toss of her bead, like a young colt
that's got a check of the curb, I guess I warnt raised
under a platform at all, but in as good a house as yourn,
grand as you be--you said well said the old minister,
quite shocked, when you said you growed up, dear, for
you have grown up in great ignorance. Then I guess you
had better get a lady that knows more than me, says she,
that's flat. I reckon I am every bit and grain as good
as you be--If I don't understand a bum-byx (silk worm)
both feedin, breedin, and rearin, then I want to know
who does, that's all; church platform indeed, says she,
I guess you were raised under a glass frame in March,
and transplanted on Independence day, warnt you? And off
she sot, lookin as scorney as a London lady, and leavin
the poor minister standin starin like a stuck pig. Well,
well, says he, a liftin up both hands, and turnin up the
whites of his eyes like a duck in thunder, if that don't
bang the bush!! It fearly beats sheap shearin arter the
blackberry bushes have got the wool. It does, I vow; them
are the tares them Unitarians sow in our grain fields at
night; I guess they'll ruinate the crops yet, and make
the grounds so everlastin foul; we'll have to pare the
sod and burn it, to kill the roots. Our fathers sowed
the right seed here in the wilderness, and watered it
with their tears, and watched over it with fastin and
prayer, and now its fairly run out, that's a fact, I
snore. Its got choaked up with all sorts of trash in,
natur, I declare. Dear, dear, I vow I never seed the
beat o' that in all my born days.

Now the Blue Noses are like that are gall; they have
grown up, and grown up in ignorance of many things they
had'nt ought not to know; and its as hard to teach grown
up folks as it is to break a six year old horse; and they
do ryle one's temper so--they act so ugly that it tempts
one sometimes to break their confounded necks--its near
about as much trouble as its worth. What remedy is there
for all this supineness, said I; how can these people be
awakened out of their ignorant slothfulness, into active
exertion? The remedy, said Mr, Slick, is at hand--it is
already workin its own cure. They must recede before our
free and enlightened citizens like the Indians; our folks
will buy them out, and they must give place to a more
intelligent and ac-TIVE people. They must go to the lands
of Labrador, or be located back of Canada; they can hold
on there a few years, until the wave of civilization
reaches them, and then they must move again, as the
savages do. It is decreed; I hear the bugle of destiny
a soundin of their retreat, as plain as any thing. Congress
will give them a concession of land, if they petition,
away to Alleghany backside territory, and grant them
relief for a few years; for we are out of debt, and don't
know what to do with our surplus revenue. The only way
to shame them, that I know, would be to sarve them as
Uncle Enoch sarved a neighbor of his in Varginey.

There was a lady that had a plantation near hand to hisn,
and there was only a small river atwixt the two houses,
So that folks could hear each other talk across it. Well,
she was a dreadful cross grained woman, a real catamount,
as savage as a she bear that has cubs, an old farrow
critter, as ugly as sin, and one that both hooked and
kicked too--a most particular onmarciful she devil, that's
a fact. She used to have some of her niggers tied up
every day, and flogged uncommon severe, and their screams
and screeches were horrid--no soul could stand it; nothin
was heerd all day, but OH LORD MISSUS! OH LORD MISSUS!
Enoch was fairly sick of the sound, for he was a tender
hearted man, and says he to her one day, 'Now do marm
find out some other place to give your cattle the cowskin,
for it worries me to hear em take on so dreadful bad--I
cant stand it, I vow; they are flesh and blood as well
as we be, though the meat is a different color' but It
was no good--she jist up and told him to mind his own
business, and she guessed she'd mind hern. He was determined
to shame her out of it; so one mornin after breakfast he
goes into the cane field, and says he to Lavender, one
of the black overseers, 'Muster up the whole gang of
slaves, every soul, and bring 'em down to the whippin
post, the whole stock of them, bulls, cows and calves.
Well, away goes Lavender, and drives up all the niggers.
Now you catch it, says he, you lazy villains; I tole you
so many a time--I tole you Massa he lose all patience
wid you, you good for nothin rascals. I grad, upon my
soul, I werry grad; you mind now what old Lavender say
anoder time. (The black overseers are always the most
cruel, said the Clockmaker; they have no sort of feeling
for their own people.)

Well, when they were gathered there according to orders,
they looked streaked enough you may depend, thinkin they
were going to get it all round, and the wenches they fell
to a cryin, wringin their hands, and boo-hooing like mad.
Lavender was there with his cowskin, grinnin like a chessy
cat, and crackin it about, ready for business. Pick me
out, says Enoch, four that have the loudest voices; hard
matter dat, says Lavender, hard matter dat, Massa, dey
all talk loud, dey all lub talk more better nor work--de
idle villians; better gib 'em all a little tickle, jist
to teach em larf on tother side of de mouth; dat side
bran new, they never use it yet. Do as I order you, Sir,
said Uncle, or I'll have you triced up, you cruel old
rascal you. When they were picked out and sot by themselves,
they hanged their heads, and looked like sheep goin to
the shambles. Now, says Uncle Enoch, my Pickininnies, do
you sing out as loud as Niagara, at the very tip eend of
your voice--

    Dont kill a nigger, pray,
    Let him lib anoder day.
        Oh Lord Missus--oh Lord Missus.

    My back be very sore,
    No stand it any more,
        Oh Lord Missus--oh Lord Missus.

And all the rest of you join chorus, as loud as you can
bawl, 'Oh Lord Missus.' The black rascals understood the
joke real well. They larfed ready to split their sides;
they fairly lay down on the ground, and rolled over and
over with lafter. Well, when they came to the chorus
'Oh Lord Missus,' if they did'nt let go, its a pity. They
made the river ring agin--they were heerd clean out to
sea. All the folks ran out of the Lady's House, to see
what on airth was the matter on Uncle Enoch's plantation
--they thought there was actilly a rebellion there; but
when they listened awhile, and heerd it over and over
again, they took the hint, and returned a larfin in their
sleeves. Says they, Master Enoch Slick, he upsides with
Missus this hitch any how. Uncle never heerd any thing
more of 'Oh Lord Missus' arter that Yes, they ought to
be shamed out of it, those Blue Noses. When reason fails
to convince, there is nothin left but ridicule. If they
have no ambition, apply to their feelings, slap a blister
on their pride, and it will do the business. Its like a
puttin ginger under a horse's tail; it makes him carry
up real handSUM, I tell you. When I was a boy, I was
always late to school: well father's preachin I didn't
mind much, but I never could bear to hear mother say,
'Why Sam, are you actilly up for all day? Well, I hope
your airly risin wont hurt you, I declare. What on airth
is agoin to happen now?' Well, wonders will never cease.
It raised my dander; at last says I, 'Now, mother, don't
say that are any more for gracious sake, for it makes me
feel ugly, and I'll get up as airly as any on you,' and
so I did, and I soon found what's worth knowin in this
life, 'An airly start makes easy stages.'




No. XIII

The Clockmaker's Opinion of Halifax.

The next morning was warmer than several that had preceded
it. It was one of those uncommonly fine days that
distinguish an American autumn. I guess, said Mr. Slick,
the heat to-day is like a glass of Mint Julip, with a
lump of ice in it, it tastes cool and feels warm--its
real good, I tell you; I love such a day as this dearly.
Its generally allowed the finest weather in the world is
in America--there ant the beat of it to be found anywhere.
He then lighted a cigar, and throwing himself back on
his chair, put both feet out of the window, and sat with
his arms folded, a perfect picture of happiness. You
appear, said I, to have travelled over the whole of this
Province, and to have observed the country and the people
with much attention, pray what is your opinion of the
present state and future prospects of Halifax? If you
will tell me, said he, when the folks there will wake
up, then I can answer you, but they are fast asleep; as
to the Province, its a splendid province, and calculated
to go ahead, it will grow as fast as a Varginey gall,
and they grow so amazin fast, if you put your arm round
one of their necks to kiss them, by the time you're done,
they've grown up into women. It's a pretty Province I
tell you, good above and better below; surface covered
with pastures, meadows, woods, and a nation sight of
water privileges, and under the ground full of mines--it
puts me in mind of the soup at the TREE-mont House. One
day I was a walkin in the Mall, and who should I meet
but Major Bradford, a gentleman from Connecticut, that
traded in calves and pumpkins for the Boston market. Says
he, Slick, where do you get your grub to-day? At General
Peep's tavern, says I; only fit for niggers, says he,
why don't you come to the TREE-mont house, that's the
most splendid thing its generally allowed in all the
world. Why, says I, that's a notch above my mark, I guess
it's too plagy dear for me, I cant afford it no how.
Well, says he, its dear in one sense, but its dog cheap
in another--its a grand place for speculation--there's
so many rich southerners and strangers there that have
more money than wit, that you might do a pretty good
business there, without goin out of the street door. I
made two hundred dollars this mornin in little less than
half no time. There's a Carolina Lawyer there, as rich
as a bank, and says he to me arter breakfast, Major, says
he, I wish I knew where to get a real slapping trotter
of a horse, one that could trot with a flash of lightning
for a mile, and beat it by a whole neck or so. Says I,
my Lord, (for you must know, he says he's the nearest
male heir to a Scotch dormant peerage,) my Lord, says I,
I have one a proper sneezer, a chap that can go ahead of
a rail road steamer, a real natural traveller, one that
can trot with the ball out of the small eend of a rifle,
and never break into a gallop. Says he, Major, I wish
you would'nt give me that are nickname, I dont like it,
(though he looked as tickled all the time as possible,)
I never knew says he a lord that warnt a fool, that's a
fact, and that's the reason I don't go ahead and claim
the title. Well, says I, my Lord I dont know, but somehow
I cant help a thinkin, if you have a good claim, you'd
be more like a fool not to go ahead with it. Well, says
he, Lord or no Lord, let's look at your horse. So away
I went to Joe Brown's livery stable, at tother eend of
the city, and picked out the best trotter he had, and no
great stick to brag on either; says I, Joe Brown what do
you ax for that are horse? Two hundred dollars, says he;
well says I, I will take him out and try him, and if I
like him I will keep him. So I shows our Carolina Lord
the horse, and when he gets on him, says I, dont let him
trot as fast as he can, resarve that for a heat; if folks
find out how everlastin fast he is, they'd be afeared to
stump you for a start. When he returned, he said he liked
the horse amazinly, and axed the price; four hundred
dollars, says I, you cant get nothin special without a
good price, pewter cases never hold good watches; I know
it, says he, the horse is mine. Thinks I to myself,
that's more than ever I could say of him then any how.

Well, I was goin to tell you about the soup--says the
Major its near about dinner time, jist come and see how
you like the location. There was a sight of folks there,
gentlemen and ladies in the public room (I never seed so
many afore except at commencement day,) all ready for a
start, and when the gong sounded, off we sott like a
flock of sheep. Well, if there warnt a jam you may
depend--some one give me a pull, and I near abouts went
heels up over head, so I reached out both hands, and
caught hold of the first thing I could, and what should
it be but a lady's dress--well, as I'm alive, rip went
the frock, and tare goes the petticoat, and when I righted
myself from my beam eends, away they all came home to
me, and there she was, the pretty critter, with all her
upper riggin standin as far as her waist, and nothin left
below but a short linen under garment. If she didn't
scream, its a pity, and the more she screamed the more
folks larfed, for no soul could help larfin, till one of
the waiters folded her up in a table cloth. What an
awkward devil you be, Slick, says the Major, now that
comes of not falling in first, they should have formed
four deep, rear rank in open order, and marched in to
our splendid national air, and filed off to their seats
right and left shoulders forward. I feel kinder sorry,
too, says he, for that are young heifer, but she shewed
a proper pretty leg tho' Slick, didn't she--I guess you
don't often get such a chance as that are. Well I gets
near the Major at table, and afore me stood a china
utensil with two handles, full of soup, about the size
of a foot tub, with a large silver scoop in it, near
about as big as a ladle of a maple sugar kettle. I was
jist about bailing out some soup into my dish, when the
Major said fish it up from the bottom, Slick,--well, sure
enough, I gives it a drag from the bottom, and up come
the fat pieces of turtle, and the thick rich soup, and
a sight of little forced meat balls of the size of sheep's
dung. No soul could tell how good it was--it was near
about as handSUM as father's old genuine particular cider,
and that you could feel tingle clean away down to the
tip eends of your toes. Now, says the Major, I'll give
you, Slick, a new wrinkle on your horn. Folks aint thought
nothin of unless they live at Treemont: its all the go.
Do you dine at Peep's tavern every day, and then off hot
loot to Treemont, and pick your teeth on the street steps
there, and folks will think you dine there. I do it often,
and it saves two dollars a day. Then he put his finger
on his nose, and says he, "MUM IS THE WORD." Now this
Province is jist like that are soup, good enough at top,
but dip down and you have the riches, the coal, the iron
ore, the gypsum, and what not. As for Halifax, its well
enough in itself, though no great shakes neither, a few
sizeable houses, with a proper sight of small ones, like
half a dozen old hens with their broods of young chickens;
but the people, the strange critters, they are all asleep.
They walk in their sleep, and talk in their sleep, and
what they say one day they forget the next, they say they
were dreaming. You know where Governor Campbell lives,
don't you, in a large stone house with a great wall round
it, that looks like a state prison; well, near hand there
is a nasty dirty horrid lookin buryin ground there--its
filled with large grave rats as big as kittens, and the
springs of black water there, go through the chinks of
the rocks and flow into all the wells, and fairly pyson
the folks--its a dismal place, I tell you--I wonder the
air from it don't turn all the silver in the Gineral's
house of a brass color, (and folks say he has four cart
loads of it) its so everlastin bad--its near about as
nosey as a slave ship of niggers. Well you may go there
and shake the folks to all etarnity and you wont wake
em, I guess, and yet there ant much difference atween
their sleep and the folks at Halifax, only they lie still
there and are quiet, and don't walk and talk in their
sleep like them above ground.

Halifax reminds me of a Russian officer I once seed at
Warsaw; he had lost both arms in battle: but I guess I
must tell you first why I went there, cause that will
show you how we speculate. One Sabbath day, after bell
ringin, when most of the women had gone to meetin (for
they were great hands for pretty sarmons, and our Unitarian
ministers all preach poetry, only they leave the ryme
out, it sparkles like perry,) I goes down to East India
wharf to see Captain Zeek Hancock, of Nantucket, to
enquire how oil was, and if it it would bear doing any
thing in; when who should come along but Jabish Green.
Slick, says he, how do you do; isn't this as pretty a
day as you'll see between this and Norfolk; it whips
English weather by a long chalk; and then he looked down
at my watch seals, and looked and looked as if he thought
I'd stole 'em. At last he looks up, and says he, Slick,
I suppose you would'nt go to Warsaw, would you, if it
was made worth your while? Which Warsaw? says I, for I
believe in my heart we have a hundred of them. None of
ourn at all, says he; Warsaw in Poland. Well, I don't
know, says I; what do you call worth while? Six dollars
a day, expenses paid, and a bonus of one thousand dollars,
if speculation turns out well. I am off, says I, whenever
you say go. Tuesday, says he, in the Hamburgh packet.
Now, says he, I'm in a tarnation hurry; I'm goin a
pleasurin to-day in the Custom House Boat, along with
Josiah Bradford's galls down to Nahant. But I'll tell
you what I am at: the Emperor of Russia has ordered the
Poles to cut off their queues on the 1st of January; you
must buy them all up, and ship them off to London for
the wig makers. Human hair is scarce and risin. Lord a
massy! says I, how queer they will look, wont they.
Well, I vow, that's what the sea folks call sailing UNDER
BARE POLES, come true, aint it? I guess it will turn out
a good spec, says he; and a good one it did turn out--
he cleared ten thousand dollars by it. When I was at
Warsaw, as I was a sayin, there was a Russian officer
there who had lost both his arms in battle; a good natured
contented critter, as I een amost ever see'd, and he was
fed with spoons by his neighbors, but arter awhile they
grew tired of it, and I guess he near about starved to
death at last. Now Halifax is like that are SPOONEY, as
I used to call him; it is fed by the outports, and they
begin to have enough to do to feed themselves--it must
larn to live without 'em. They have no river, and no
country about them; let them make a rail road to Minas
Basin, and they will have arms of their own to feed
themselves with. If they don't do it, and do it soon, I
guess they'll get into a decline that no human skill will
cure. They are proper thin now; you can count their ribs
een a most as far as you can see them. The only thing
that will either make or save Halifax, is a rail road
across the country to Bay of Fundy.

It will do to talk of, says one; you'll see it some day
says another; yes, says a third, it will come, but we
are too young yet. Our old minister had a darter, a real
clever lookin gall as you'd see in a day's ride, and she
had two or three offers of marriage from sponsible
men--most particular good specs--but minister always said
'Phoebe, you are too young--the day will come--but you
are too young yet dear.' Well, Phoebe did'nt think so at
all; she said she guessed she knew better nor that: so
the next offer she had, she said she had no notion to
lose another chance--off she sot to Rhode Island and got
married; says she, father's too old, he don't know. That's
jist the case at Halifax. The old folks say the country
is too young--the time will come, and so on; and in the
mean time the young folks won't wait, and run off to the
States, where the maxim is, 'youth is the time for
improvement; a new country is never too young for
exertion--push on--keep movin--go ahead.' Darn it all,
said the Clockmaker, rising with great animation, clinching
his fist, and extending his arm--darn it all, it fairly
makes my dander rise, to see the nasty idle loungin good
for nothin do little critters--they aint fit to tend a
bear trap, I vow. They ought to be quilted round and
round a room, like a lady's lap dog, the matter of two
hours a day, to keep them from dyin of apoplexy. Hush,
hush, said I, Mr. Slick, you forget. Well, said he,
resuming his usual composure--well, it's enough to make
one vexed though, I declare--is'nt it?

Mr. Slick has often alluded to this subject, and always
in a most decided manner; I am inclined to think he is
right. Mr. Howe's papers on the rail road I read till I
came to his calculations, but I never could read figures,
'I can't cypher,' and there I paused; it was a barrier:
I retreated a few paces, took a running leap, and cleared
the whole of them. Mr. Slick says he has UNDER and not
OVER rated its advantages. He appears to be such a shrewd,
observing, intelligent man, and so perfectly at home on
these subjects, that I confess I have more faith in this
humble but eccentric Clockmaker, than in any other man
I have met with in this Province. I therefore pronounce
'there will be a rail road.'

No. XIV

Sayings and Doings in Cumberland.

I reckon, said the Clockmaker, as we strolled through
Amherst, you have read Hook's story of the boy that one
day asked one of his father's guests who his next door
neighbor was, and when he heerd his name, asked him if
he warnt a fool. No, my little feller, said he, he beant
a fool, he is a most particular sensible man; but why
did you ax that are question? Why, said the little boy,
mother said tother day you were next door to a fool, and
I wanted to know who lived next door to you. His mother
felt pretty ugly, I guess, when she heerd him run right
slap on that are breaker. Now these Cumberland folks have
curious next door neighbors, too; they are placed by
their location right atwixt fire and water; they have
New Brunswick politics on one side, and Nova Scotia
politics on tother side of them, and Bay Fundy and Bay
Varte on tother two sides; they are actilly in hot water;
they are up to their croopers in politics, and great
hands for talking of House of Assembly, political Unions,
and what not. Like all folks who wade so deep, they can't
always tell the natur of the ford. Sometimes they strike
their shins agin a snag of a rock; at other times they
go whap into a quicksand, and if they don't take special
care they are apt to go souse over head and ears into
deep water. I guess if they'd talk more of ROTATIONS,
and less of ELECTIONS, more of them are DYKES, and less
of BANKS, and attend more to TOP-DRESSING, and lees to
RE-DRESSING, it ed be better for 'em. Now you mention
the subject, I think I have observed, said I, that there
is a great change in your countrymen in that respect.
Formerly, whenever you met an American, you had a dish
of politics set before you, whether you had an appetite
for it or not; but lately I have remarked they seldom
allude to it. Pray to what is this attributable? I guess,
said he, they have enough of it to home, and are sick of
the subject. They are cured the way our pastry cooks cure
their prentices of stealing sweet notions out of their
shops. When they get a new prentice they tell him he must
never so much as look at all them are nice things; and
if he dares to lay the weight of his finger upon one of
them, they'll have him up for it before a justice; they
tell him its every bit and grain as bad as stealing from
a till. Well, that's sure to set him at it, just as a
high fence does a breachy ox, first to look over it, and
then to push it down with its rump; its human natur.
Well, the boy eats and eats till he cant eat no longer,
and then he gets sick at his stomach, and hates the very
sight of sweetmeats arterwards. We've had politics with
us, till we're dog sick of 'em, I tell you. Besides, I
guess we are as far from perfection as when we set out
a roin for it. You may get PURITY OF ELECTION, but how
are you to get PURITY OF MEMBERS? It would take a great
deal of cyphering to tell that. I never see'd it yet,
and never heerd tell of one who had see'd it. The best
member I een amost ever seed was John Adams. Well, John
Adams could no more plough a straight furrow in politics
than he could haul the plough himself. He might set out
straight at beginnin for a little way, but he was sure
to get crooked afore he got to the eend of the ridge--and
sometimes he would have two or three crooks in it. I used
to say to him, how on airth is it, Mr. Adams, (for he
was no way proud like, though he was president of our
great nation--and it is allowed to be the greatest nation
in the world, too--for you might see him sometimes of an
arternoon, a swimmin along with the boys in the Potomac;
I do believe that's the way he larned to give the folks
the dodge so spry;) well, I used to say to him, how on
airth is it, Mr. Adams, you can't make straight work on
it? He was a grand hand at an excuse, (though minister
used to say that folks that were good at an excuse, were
seldom good for nothin else); sometimes, he said, the
ground was so tarnation stony, it throwed the plough out;
at other times he said the off ox was such an ugly wilful
tempered critter, there was no doin nothin with him; or
that there was so much machinery about the plough, it
made it plagy hard to steer; or may be it was the fault
of them that went afore him, that they laid it down so
bad; unless he was hired for another term of four years,
the work wouldn't look well; and if all them are excuses
wouldn't do, why he would take to scolding the nigger
that drove the team--throw all the blame on him, and
order him to have an everlastin lacin with the cowskin.
You might as well catch a weazel asleep as catch him. He
had somethin the matter with one eye--well, he knew I
know'd that when I was a boy; so one day, a feller
presented a petition to him, and he told him it was very
affectin. Says he, it fairly draws tears from me, and
his weak eye took to lettin off its water like statiee
so as soon as the chap went, he winks to me with tother
one, quite knowin, as much as to say, YOU SEE ITS ALL IN
MY EYE, Slick, but don't let on to any one about it, that
I said so. That eye was a regular cheat, a complete New
England wooden nutmeg. Folks said Mr. Adams was a very
tender hearted man. Perhaps he was, but I guess that eye
didn't pump its water out o' that place.

Members in general aint to be depended on, I tell you.
Politics makes a man as crooked as a pack does a pedlar;
not that they are so awful heavy, neither, but it TEACHES
A MAN TO STOOP IN THE LONG RUN. Arter all, there's not
that difference in 'em (at least there aint in Congress)
one would think, for if one of them is clear of one vice,
why, as like as not, he has another fault just as bad.
An honest farmer, like one of these Cumberland folks,
when he goes to choose atwixt two that offers for votes,
is jist like the flying fish. That are little critter is
not content to stay to home in the water, and mind its
business, but he must try his hand at flyin, and he is
no great dab at flyin, neither. Well, the moment he's
out of water, and takes to flyin, the sea fowl are arter
him, and let him have it; and if he has the good luck to
escape them, and makes a dive into the sea, the dolphin,
as like as not, has a dig at him, that knocks more wind
out of him than he got while aping the birds, a plagy
sight. I guess the Blue Noses know jist about as much
about politics as this foolish fish knows about flyin.
All critters in natur are better in their own element.

It beats cock fightin, I tell you, to hear the Blue Noses,
when they get together, talk politics. They have got
three or four evil spirits, like the Irish Banshees, that
they say cause all the mischief in the Province--the
Council, the Banks, the House of Assembly and the Lawyers.
If a man places a higher valiation on himself than his
neighbors do, and wants to be a magistrate before he is
fit to carry the ink horn for one, and finds himself
safely delivered of a mistake, he says it is all owing
to the Council. The members are cunnin critters, too;
they know this feelin, and when they come home from
Assembly, and people ax 'em "where are all them are fine
things you promised us?" why, they say, we'd a had 'em
all for you, but for that etarnal Council, they nullified
all we did. The country will come to no good till them
chaps show their respect for it, by covering their bottoms
with homespun. If a man is so tarnation lazy he wont
work, and in course has no money, why he says its all
owin to the banks, they wont discount, there's no money,
they've ruined the Province. If there beant a road made
up to every citizen's door, away back to the woods (who
as like as not has squatted there) why he says the House
of Assembly have voted all the money to pay great men's
salaries, and there's nothin left for poor settlers, and
cross roads. Well, the lawyers come in for their share
of cake and ale, too; if they don't catch it, its a pity.

There was one Jim Munroe of Onion County, Connecticut,
a desperate idle fellow, a great hand at singin songs,
a skatin, drivin about with the galls, and so on. Well,
if any body's windows were broke, it was Jim Munroe--and
if there were any youngsters in want of a father, they
were sure to be poor Jim's. Jist so it is with the lawyers
here; they stand Godfathers for every misfortune that
happens in the country. When there is a mad dog a goin
about, every dog that barks is said to be bit by the mad
one, so he gets credit for all the mischief that every
dog does for three months to come. So every feller that
goes yelpin home from a court house, smartin from the
law, swears he is bit by a lawyer. Now there may be
something wrong in all these things, (and it cant be
otherwise in natur) in Council, Banks, House of Assembly,
and Lawyers: but change them all, and its an even chance
if you don't get worse ones in their room. It is in
politics as in horses; when a man has a beast that's near
about up to the notch, he'd better not swap him; if he
does, he's een amost sure to get one not so good as his
own. My rule is, I'd rather keep a critter whose faults
I do know, than change him for a beast whose faults I
dont know.

No. XV

The Dancing Master Abroad.

I wish that are black heifer in the kitchen would give
over singing that are everlastin dismal tune, said the
Clockmaker, it makes my head ache. You've heerd a song
afore now, said he, hav'nt you, till you was fairly sick
of it? for I have, I vow. The last time I was in Rhode
Island, (all the galls sing there, and its generally
allowed there's no such singers any where; they beat the
EYE-talians a long chalk--they sing so high some on em,
they go clear out o' hearin sometimes, like a lark) well,
you heerd nothin but 'Oh no, we never mention her,' well,
I grew so plaguy tired of it, I used to say to myself,
I'd sooner see it, than heer tell of it, I vow, I wish
to gracious you 'would never mention her,' for it makes
me feel ugly to hear that same thing for ever and ever
and amen that way. Well, they've got a cant phrase here,
'the schoolmaster is abroad,' and every feller tells you
that fifty times a day. There was a chap said to me not
long ago, at Truro, Mr. Slick, this Country is rapidly
improving, 'the schoolmaster is abroad now,' and he looked
as knowin as though he had found a mate's nest. So I
should think, said I, and it would jist be about as well,
I guess, if he'd stay to home and mind his business, for
your folks are so consoomedly ignorant, I reckon he's
abroad een amost all his time. I hope when he returns,
he'll be the better of his travels, and that's more nor
many of our young folks are who go 'abroad,' for they
import more airs and nonsense, than they dispose of one
while, I tell you--some of the stock remains on hand all
the rest of their lives. There's nothin I hate so much
as cant, of all kinds, its a sure sign of a tricky
disposition. If you see a feller cant in religion, clap
your hand into your pocket, and lay right hold of your
puss, or he'll steal it as sure as you're alive; and if
a man cant in politics, he'll sell you if he gets a
chance, you may depend. Law and physic are jist the same,
and every mite and morsel as bad. If a lawyer takes to
cantin, its like the fox preachin to the geese, he'll
eat up his whole congregation; and if a doctor takes to
it, he's a quack as sure as rates. The Lord have massy
on you, for he wont. I'd sooner trust my chance with a
naked hook any time, than one that's half covered with
bad bait. The fish will sometimes swaller the one, without
thinkin, but they get frightened at tother, turn tail
and off like a shot. Now, to change the tune, I'll give
the Blue Noses a new phrase. They'll have an election
most likely next year, and then 'the dancin master will
be abroad.' A candidate is a most particular polite man,
a noddin here, and a bowin there, and a shakin hands all
round. Nothin improves a man's manners like an election.
'The dancin master's abroad then;' nothin gives the paces
equal to that, it makes them as squirmy as an eel, they
cross hands and back agin, set to their partners and
right and left in great style, and slick it off at the
eend, with a real complete bow, and a smile for all the
world as sweet as a cat makes at a pan of new milk. Then
they get as full of compliments as a dog is full of
fleas--enquirin how the old lady is to home, and the
little boy that made such a wonderful smart answer, they
never can forget it till next time; a praisin a man's
farm to the nines, and a tellin of him, how scandalous
the road that leads to his location has been neglected,
and how much he wants to find a real complete hand that
can build a bridge over his brook, and axin him if HE
ever built one. When he gets the hook baited with the
right fly, and the simple critter begins to jump out of
water arter it, all mouth and gills, he winds up the
reel, and takes leave, a thinkin to himself 'now you see
what's to the eend of my line, I guess I'll know where
to find you when I want you.'

There's no sort of fishin requires so much practice as
this. When bait is scarce one worm must answer for several
fish. A handful of oats in a pan, arter it brings one
horse up in a pastur for the bridle, serves for another,
a shakin of it, is better than a givin of it, it saves
the grain for another time. It's a poor business arter
all is electioneering, and when 'the Dancin Master is
abroad,' he's as apt to teach a man to cut capers and
get larfed at as any thing else. It tante every one that's
soople enough to dance real complete. Politicks take a
great deal of time, and grinds away a man's honesty near
about as fast as cleaning a knife with brick dust, 'it
takes its steel out.' What does a critter get arter all
for it in this country, why nothin but expense and
disappointment. As King Solomon says, (and that are man
was up to a thing or two, you may depend, tho' our
professor did say he warn't so knowin as Uncle Sam,) it's
all vanity and vexation of spirit.

I raised a four year old colt once, half blood, a perfect
pictur of a horse, and a genuine clipper, could gallop
like the wind; a real daisy, a perfect doll, had an eye
like a weasel, and nostril like Commodore Rodgers's
speakin trumpet. Well, I took it down to the races at
New York, and father he went along with me; for says he,
Sam, you don't know every thing, I guess, you hant cut
your wisdom teeth yet, and you are goin among them that's
had 'em through their gums this while past. Well, when
we gets to the races, father he gets colt and puts him
in an old waggon, with a worn out Dutch harness, and
breast band; he looked like Old Nick, that's a fact. Then
he fastened a head martingale on, and buckled it to the
girths atwixt his fore legs. Says I, father, what on
airth are you at? I vow I feel ashamed to be seen with
such a catamaran as that, and colt looks like old Saytan
himself--no soul would know him. I guess I warn't born
yesterday, says he, let me be, I know what I am at. I
guess I'll slip it into 'em afore I've done as slick as
a whistle. I guess I can see as far into a mill stone
as the best on 'em. Well, father never entered the horse
at all, but stood by and see'd the races, and the winnin
horse was followed about by the matter of two or three
thousand people, a praisin of him and admirin him. They
seemed as if they never had see'd a horse afore. The
owner of him was all up on eend a boastin of him, and a
stumpin the course to produce a horse to run agin him
for four hundred dollars. Father goes up to him, lookin
as soft as dough, and as meechin as you please, and says
he, friend, it tante every one that has four hundred
dollars--its a plaguy sight of money, I tell you; would
you run for one hundred dollars, and give me a little
start? if you would, I'd try my colt out of my old waggon
agin you, I vow. Let's look at your horse, says he; so
away they went, and a proper sight of people arter them
to look at colt, and when they see'd him they sot up such
a larf, I felt een a most ready to cry for spite. Says
I to myself; what can possess the old man to act arter
that fashion, I do believe he has taken leave of his
senses. You need'nt larf, says Father, he's smarter than
he looks; our Minister's old horse, Captain Jack, is
reckoned as quick a beast of his age as any in our
location, and that are colt can beat him for a lick of
a quarter of a mile quite easy--I see'd it myself. Well,
they larfed agin louder than before, and says father, if
you dispute my word, try me; what odds will you give?
Two to one, says the owner--800 to 400 dollars. Well,
that's a great deal of money, aint it, says father, if
I was to lose it I'd look pretty foolish, would'nt I.
How folks would pass their jokes at me when I went home
again. You would'nt take that are waggon and harness
for fifty dollars of it, would you? says he. Well, says
the other, sooner than disappoint you, as you seem to
have set your mind on losing your money, I don't care if
I do.

As soon as it was settled, father drives off to the
stables, and then returns mounted, with a red silk pocket
handkerchief tied round his head, and colt a looking like
himself as proud as a nabob, chock full of spring like
the wire eend of a bran new pair of trowser galluses--one
said that's a plaguy nice lookin colt that old feller
has arter all, that horse will show play for it yet, says
a third; and I heard one feller say, I guess that's a
regular Yankee trick, a complete take in. They had a
fair start for it, and off they sot, father took the lead
and kept it, and won the race, tho' it was a pretty tight
scratch, for father was too old to ride colt, he was near
about the matter of seventy years old. Well when the colt
was walked round after the race, there was an amasin
crowd arter him, and several wanted to buy him; but, says
father, how am I to get home without him, and what shall
I do with that are waggon and harness so far as I be from
Slickville. So he kept them in talk, till he felt their
pulses pretty well, and at last he closed with a Southerner
for 700 dollars, and we returned, having made a considerable
good spec of colt. Says father to me, Sam says he, you
seed the crowd a follerin the winnin horse, when we came
there, did'nt you? yes Sir, said I, I did. Well, when
colt beat him, no one follered him at all, but come a
crowded about HIM. That's popularity, said he, soon won,
soon lost--cried up sky high one minute, and deserted
the next or run down; colt will share the same fate.
He'll get beat afore long, and then he's done for. The
multitude are always fickle minded. Our great Washington
found that out, and the British officer that beat
Bounaparte, the bread they gave him turned sour afore he
got half through the loaf. His soap had hardly stiffened
afore it ran right back to lye and grease agin. I was
sarved the same way, I liked to have missed my pension,
the Committee said I warn't at Bunker's hill at all, the
villans. That was a Glo---, (thinks I, old boy, if you
once get into that are field, you'll race longer than
colt, a plaguy sight; you'll run clear away to the fence
to the far eend afore you stop, so I jist cut in and took
a hand myself,) yes, says I, you did 'em father, properly,
that old waggon was a bright scheme, it led 'em on till
you got 'em on the right spot, did'nt it? Says father,
THERE'S A MORAL SAM, IN EVERY THING IN NATUR. Never have
nothin to do with elections, you see the valy of popularity
in the case of that are horse--sarve the public 999 times,
and the 1,000th, if they don't agree with you, they desart
and abuse you--see how they sarved old John Adams, see
how they let Jefferson starve in his old age, see how
good old Munroe like to have got right into Jail, after
his term of President was up. They may talk of independence,
says father, but Sam, I'll tell you what independence
is, and he gave his hands a slap agin his trowses pocket,
and made the gold eagles he won at the race all jingle
agin; THAT, says he, giving them another wipe with his
fist, (and winkin as much as to say do you hear that my
boy) THAT I CALL INDEPENDENCE. He was in great spirits,
the old man, he was so proud of winnin the race, and
puttin the leake into the New Yorkers--he looked all
dander. Let them great hungry, ill favored, long legged
bitterns, says he, (only he called them by another name
that don't sound quite pretty) from the outlandish states
to Congress, TALK ABOUT independence; but Sam, said he,
(hitting the Shiners agin till be made them dance right
up an eend in his pocket) I LIKE TO FEEL IT.

No Sam, said be, line the pocket well first, make that
independent, and then the spirit will be like a horse
turned out to grass in the spring, for the first time,
he's all head and tail, a snortin and kickin and racin
and carryin on like mad--it soon gets independent too.
While it's in the stall it may hold up, and paw, and
whiner, and feel as spry as any thing, but the leather
strap keeps it to the manger, and the lead weight to the
eend of it makes it hold down its head at last. No, says
he, here's independence, and he gave the Eagles such a
drive with his fist, he bust his pocket and sent a whole
raft of them a spinnin down his leg to the ground--says
I, father, (and I swear I could hardly keep from larfin,
he looked so peskily vexed) Father, says I, I guess
there's a moral in that are too--EXTREMES NARY WAY ARE
NONE O' THE BEST. Well, well, says he, (kinder snappishly)
I suppose you're half right, Sam, but weve said enough
about it, let's drop the subject, and see if I have picked
em all up, for my eyes are none of the best now, I'm near
hand to seventy.




No. XVI

Mr. Slick's Opinion of the British.

What success had you, said I, in the sale of your Clocks
among the Scotch in the eastern part of the Province? do
you find them as gullible as the Blue Noses? Well, said
he, you have heerd tell that a Yankee never answers one
question, without axing another, havent you? Did you ever
see an English Stage Driver make a bow? because if you
hante observed it, I have, and a queer one it is, I swan.
He brings his right arm up, jist across his face, and
passes on, with a knowin nod of his head, as much as to
say, how do you do? but keep clear o' my wheels, or I'll
fetch your horses a lick in the mouth as sure as youre
born; jist as a bear puts up his paw to fend off the blow
of a stick from his nose. Well, that's the way I pass
them are bare breeched Scotchmen. Lord, if they were
located down in these here Cumberland mashes, how the
musquitoes would tickle them up, would'nt they? They'd
set 'em scratching thereabouts, as an Irishman does his
head, when he's in sarch of a lie. Them are fellers cut
their eye teeth afore they ever sot foot in this country,
I expect. When they get a bawbee, they know what to do
with it, that's a fact; they open their pouch and drop
it in, and its got a spring like a fox trap--it holds
fast to all it gets, like grim death to a dead nigger.
They are proper skin flints, you may depend. Oatmeal is
no great shakes at best; it tante even as good for a
horse as real yeller Varginey corn, but I guess I warnt
long in finding out that the grits hardly pay for the
riddlin. No, a Yankee has as little chance among them as
a Jew has in New England; the sooner he clears out, the
better. You can no more put a leake into them, than you
can send a chisel into Teake wood--it turns the edge of
the tool the first drive. If the Blue Noses knew the
value of money as well as they do, they'd have more cash,
and fewer Clocks and tin reflectors, I reckon. Now, its
different with the Irish; they never carry a puss, for
they never have a cent to put in it. They are always in
love or in liquor, or else in a row; they are the merriest
shavers I ever seed. Judge Beeler, I dare say you have
heerd tell of him--he's a funny feller--he put a notice
over his factory gate at Lowell, 'no cigars or Irishmen
admitted within these walls;' for, said he, the one will
set a flame agoin among my cottons, and t'other among my
galls. I wont have no such inflammable and dangerous
things about me on no account. When the British wanted
our folks to join in the treaty to chock the wheels of
the slave trade, I recollect hearin old John Adams say,
we had ought to humor them; for, says he, they supply us
with labor on easier terms, by shippin out the Irish.
Says he, they work better, and they work cheaper, and
they don't live so long. The blacks, when they are past
work hang on for ever, and a proper bill of expence they
be; but hot weather and new rum rub out the poor rates
for tother ones. The English are the boys for tradin
with; they shell out their cash like a sheef of wheat in
frosty weather--it flies all over the thrashin floor;
but then they are a cross grained, ungainly, kicken breed
of cattle, as I een a most ever see'd. Whoever gave them
the name of John Bull, knew what he was about, I tell
you; for they are bull-necked, bull-headed folks, I vow;
sulky, ugly tempered, vicious critters, a pawin and a
roarin the whole time, and plaguy onsafe unless well
watched. They are as headstrong as mules, and as conceited
as peacocks.

The astonishment with which I heard this tirade against
my countrymen, absorbed every feeling of resentment. I
listened with amazement at the perfect composure with
which he uttered it. He treated it as one of those self
evident truths, that need neither proof nor apology, but
as a thing well known and admitted by all mankind. There's
no richer sight that I know of, said he, than to see one
on 'em when he first lands in one of our great cities.
He swells out as big as a balloon, his skin is ready to
bust with wind--a regular walking bag of gas; and he
prances over the pavement like a bear over hot iron--a
great awkward hulk of a feller, (for they aint to be
compared to the French in manners) a smirkin at you, as
much as to say, 'look here, Jonathan, here's an Englishman;
here's a boy that's got blood as pure as a Norman pirate,
and lots of the blunt of both kinds, a pocket full of
one, and a mouthfull of tother; beant he lovely?' and
then he looks as fierce as a tiger, as much as to say,
'say boo TO A GOOSE, if you dare.' No, I believe we may
stump the Univarse; we improve on every thing, and we
have improved on our own species. You'll sarch one while,
I tell you, afore you'll find a man that, take him by
and large, is equal to one of our free and enlightened
citizens. He's the chap that has both speed, wind and
bottom; he's clear grit--ginger to the back bone, you
may depend. Its generally allowed there aint the beat
of them to be found any where. Spry as a fox, supple as
an eel, and cute as a weasel. Though I say it that
should'nt say it, they fairly take the shine off
creation--they are actilly equal to cash.

He looked like a man who felt that he had expressed
himself so aptly and so well, that any thing additional
would only weaken its effect; he therefore changed the
conversation immediately, by pointing to a tree at some
little distance from the house, and remarking that it
was the rock maple or sugar tree. Its a pretty tree, said
he, and a profitable one too to raise. It will bear
tapping for many years, tho' it gets exhausted at last.
This Province is like that are tree, it is tapped till
it begins to die at the top, and if they dont drive in
a spile and stop the everlastin flow of the sap, it will
perish altogether. All the money that's made here, all
the interest that's paid in it, and a pretty considerable
portion of rent too, all goes abroad for investment, and
the rest is sent to us to buy bread. Its drained like
a bog, it has opened and covered trenches all through
it, and then there's others to the foot of the upland to
cut off the springs. Now you may make even a bog too dry;
you may take the moisture out to that degree, that the
very sile becomes dust and blows away. The English funds,
and our banks, rail roads, and canals, are all absorbing
your capital like a spunge, and will lick it up as fast
as you can make it. That very Bridge we heerd of at
Windsor, is owned in New Brunswick, and will pay tole to
that province. The capitalists of Nova Scotia treat it
like a hired house, they wont keep it in repair; they
neither paint it to preserve the boards, nor stop a leak
to keep the frame from rottin; but let it go to wrack
sooner than drive a nail or put in a pane of glass. It
will sarve our turn out they say. There's neither spirit,
enterprise, nor patriotism here; but the whole country
is as inactive as a bear in winter, that does nothin but
scroutch up in his den, a thinkin to himself, "well if
I ant an unfortunate divil, it's a pity; I have a most
splendid warm coat as are a gentleman in these here woods,
let him be who he will; but I got no socks to my feet,
and have to sit for everlastingly a suckin of my paws to
keep 'em warm; if it warn't for that, I guess, I'd make
some o' them chaps that have hoofs to their feet and
horns to their heads, look about them pretty sharp, I
know." It's dismal now, aint it? If I had the framin of
the Governor's message, if I would'nt shew 'em how to
put timber together you may depend, I'd make them scratch
their heads and stare, I know. I went down to Matanzas
in the Fulton Steam Boat once--well, it was the first of
the kind they ever see'd, and proper scared they were to
see a vessel, without sails or oars, goin right straight
ahead, nine knots an hour, in the very wind's eye, and
a great streak of smoke arter her as long as the tail of
a Comet. I believe they thought it was old Nick alive, a
treatin him self to a swim. You could see the niggers a
clippin it away from the shore, for dear life, and the
soldiers a movin about as if they thought that we were
a goin to take the whole country. Presently a little half
starved orange-coloured looking Spanish officer, all
dressed off in his livery, as fine as a fiddle, came off
with two men in a boat to board us. Well, we yawed once
or twice, and motioned to him to keep off for fear he
should get hurt; but be came right on afore the wheel,
and I hope I may be shot if the paddle did'nt strike the
bow of the boat with that force, it knocked up the starn
like a plank tilt, when one of the boys playing on it is
heavier than t'other; and chucked him right atop of the
wheel house--you never see'd a feller in such a dunderment
in your life. He had picked up a little English from
seein our folks there so much, and when he got up, the
first thing he said was,' Damn all sheenery, I say,
where's my boat?' and he looked round as if he thought
it had jumped on board too. Your boat, said the Captain,
why I expect it's gone to the bottom, and your men have
gone down to look arter it, for we never see'd or heerd
tell of one or t'other of them arter the boat was struck.
Yes, I'd make 'em stare like that are Spanish officer,
as if they had see'd out of their eyes for the first
time. Governor Campbell did'nt expect to see such a
country as this, when he came here, I reckon; I know he
did'nt. When I was a little boy, about knee high or so,
and lived down Connecticut river, mother used to say,
Sam, if you don't give over acting so like old Scratch,
I'll send you off to Nova-Scotia as sure as you are born;
I will, I vow. Well, Lord, how that are used to frighten
me; it made my hair stand right up an eend, like a cat's
back when she is wrathy; it made me drop it as quick as
wink--like a tin night cap put on a dipt candle agoin to
bed, it put the fun right out. Neighbour Dearborn's darter
married a gentleman to Yarmouth, that speculates in the
smugglin line; well, when she went on board to sail down
to Nova-Scotia, all her folks took on as if it was a
funeral; they said she was goin to be buried alive like
the nuns in Portengale that get a frolickin, break out
of the pastur, and race off, and get catched and brought
back agin. Says the old Colonel, her father. Deliverance,
my dear, I would sooner foller you to your grave, for
that would be an eend to your troubles, than to see you
go off to that dismal country, that's nothin but an
iceberg aground; and he howled as loud as an Irishman
that tries to wake his wife when she is dead. Awful
accounts we have of the country, that's a fact; but if
the Province is not so bad as they make it out, the folks
are a thousand times worse. You've seen a flock of
partridges of a frosty mornin in the fall, a crowdin out
of the shade to a sunny spot, and huddlin up there in
the warmth--well, the Blue Noses have nothin else to do
half the time but sun themselves. Whose fault is that?
Why it's the fault of the legislature; they don't encourage
internal improvement, nor the investment of capital in
the country: and the result is apathy, inaction and
poverty. They spend three months in Halifax, and what do
they do? Father gave me a dollar once, to go to the fair
at Hartford, and when I came back, says he, Sam, what
have you got to show for it? Now I ax what have they to
show for their three months' setting? They mislead folks;
they make 'em believe all the use of the Assembly is to
bark at Councillors, Judges, Bankers, and such cattle,
to keep 'em from eatin up the crops; and it actilly costs
more to feed them when they are watchin, than all the
others could eat if they did break a fence and get in.
Indeed some folks say they are the most breachy of the
two, and ought to go to pound themselves. If their fences
are good them hungry cattle could'nt break through; and
if they aint, they ought to stake 'em up, and with them
well; but it's no use to make fences unless the land is
cultivated. If I see a farm all gone to wrack, I say
here's bad husbandry and bad management; and if I see a
Province like this, of great capacity, and great natural
resources, poverty-stricken, I say there's bad legislation.
No, said he, (with an air of more seriousness than I had
yet observed,) How much it is to be regretted, that,
laying aside personal attacks and petty jealousies, they
would not unite as one man, and with one mind and one
heart apply themselves sedulously to the internal
improvement and developement of this beautiful Province.
Its value is utterly unknown, either to the general or
local Government, and the only persons who duly appreciate
it, are the Yankees.




No. XVII

A Yankee Handle for a Halifax Blade.

I met a man this mornin, said the Clock Maker, from
Halifax, a real conceited lookin critter as you een a
most ever seed, all shines and didos. He looked as if he
had picked up his airs, arter some officer of the regilars
had worn 'em out and cast 'em off. They sot on him like
second hand clothes, as if they had'nt been made for him
and did'nt exactly fit. He looked fine, but awkward, like
a captain of militia, when he gets his uniform on, to
play sodger; a thinkin himself mighty handSUM, and that
all the world is a lookin at him. He marched up and down
afore the street door like a peacock, as large as life
and twice as natural; he had a riding whip in his hand
and every now and then struck it agin his thigh, as much
as to say, aint that a splendid leg for a boot, now? Wont
I astonish the Amherst folks, that's all? thinks I you
are a pretty blade, aint you? I'd like to fit a Yankee
handle on to you, that's a fact. When I came up, he held
up his head near about as high as a Shot factory, and
stood with his fists on his hips, and eyed me from head
to foot, as a shakin quaker does a town lady: as much as
to say what a queer critter you be, that's toggery I
never seed afore, you're some carnal minded maiden, that's
sartain. Well, says he to me, with the air of a man that
chucks a cent into a beggar's hat, "a fine day this,
Sir;" do you actilly think so, said I? and I gave it the
real Connecticut drawl. Why, said he, quite short, if I
did'nt think so, I would'nt say so. Well, says I, I
don't know, but if I did think so, I guess I would'nt
say so; why not? says he--because, I expect, says I, any
fool could see that as well as me; and then I stared at
him, as much as to say, now if you like that are swap,
I am ready to trade with you agin as soon as you like.
Well he turned right round on his heel and walked off,
a whistlin Yankee Doodle to himself. He looked jist like
a man that finds whistlin a plaguy sight easier than
thinkin. Presently, I heard him ax the groom who that
are Yankee lookin feller was. That, said the groom, why,
I guess its Mr. Slick. Sho!! said he, how you talk.
What, Slick the Clockmaker, why it ant possible; I wish
I had a known that are afore, I declare, for I have a
great curiosity to see HIM, folks say he is an amazin
clever feller that, and he turned and stared, as if it
was old Hickory himself. Then he walked round and about
like a pig, round the fence of a potatoe field, a watchin
for a chance to cut in; so, thinks I, I'll jist give him
something to talk about, when he gets back to the city,
I'll fix a Yankee handle on to him in no time. How's
times to Halifax, Sir, said I--better, says he, much
better, business is done on a surer bottom than it was,
and things look bright agin; so does a candle, says I,
jist afore it goes out; it burns up ever so high and then
sinks right down, and leaves nothin behind but grease,
and an everlastin bad smell. I guess they don't know how
to feed their lamp, and it can't burn long on nothin.
No, Sir, the jig is up with Halifax, and it's all their
own fault. If a man sits at his door, and sees stray
cattle in his field, a eatin up of his crop, and his
neighbours, a cartin off his grain, and won't so much as
go and drive 'em out, why I should say it sarves him
right. I don't exactly understand, Sir, said he--thinks
I, it would be strange if you did, for I never see one
of your folks yet that could understand a hawk from a
handsaw. Well, says I, I will tell you what I mean--draw
a line from Cape Sable to Cape Cansoo, right thro' the
Province, and it will split it into two, this way, and
I cut an apple into two halves; now, says I, the worst
half, like the rotten half of the apple, belongs to
Halifax, and the other and sound half belongs to St.
John. Your side of the province on the sea coast is all
stone--I never seed such a pro per sight of rocks in my
life, it's enough to starve a rabbit. Well, tother side
on the Bay of Fundy is a superfine country, there aint
the beat of it to be found any where. Now, would'nt the
folks living away up to the Bay, be pretty fools to go
to Halifax, when they can go to St. John with half the
trouble. St. John is the natural capital of the Bay of
Fundy, it will be the largest city in America next to
New York. It has an immense back country as big as Great
Britain, a first chop river, and amazin sharp folks, most
as cute as the Yankees--it's a splendid location for
business. Well, they draw all the produce of the Bay
shores, and where the produce goes the supplies return--
it will take the whole trade of the Province; I guess
your rich folks will find they've burnt their fingers,
they've put their foot in it, that's a fact. Houses with
out tenants--wharves without shipping, a town without
people--what a grand investment!! If you have any loose
dollars, let 'em out on mortgage in Halifax, that's the
security--keep clear of the country for your life--the
people may run, but the town can't. No, take away the
troops, and you're done--you'll sing the dead march folks
did at Louisburg and Shelburne. Why you hant got a single
thing worth havin, but a good harbor, and as for that
the coast is full on 'em. You hav'nt a pine log, a spruce
board or a refuse shingle; you neither raise wheat, oats,
or hay, nor never can; you have no staples on airth,
unless it be them iron ones for the padlocks, in
Bridewell--you've sowed pride and reaped poverty, take
care of your crop, for it's worth harvestin--you have no
River and no Country, what in the name of fortin have
you to trade on? But, said he, (and he shewed the whites
of his eyes like a wall eyed horse) but, said he, Mr.
Slick, how is it then, Halifax ever grew at all, has'nt
it got what it always had; it's no worse than it was. I
guess, said I, that pole aint strong enough to bear you,
neither; if you trust to that you'll be into the brook,
as sure as you are born; you once had the trade of the
whole Province, but St. John has run off with that
now--you've lost all but your trade in blue berries and
rabbits with the niggers at Hammond Plains. You've lost
your customers, your rivals have a better stand for
business--they've got the corner store--four great streets
meet there, and its near the market slip.

Well he stared; says he, I believe you're right, but I
never thought of that afore; (thinks I, nobody ever
suspect you of the trick of thinkin that ever I heer'd
tell of) some of our great men, said he, laid it all to
your folks selling so many Clocks and Polyglot Bibles,
they say you have taken off a horrid sight of money; did
they, indeed, said I; well, I guess it tante pins and
needles that's the expense of house-keepin, it is something
more costly than that. Well, some folks say its the Banks,
says he; better still, says I, perhaps you've hearn tell
too that greasing the axle, makes a gig harder to draw,
for there's jist about as much sense in that. Well then,
says he, others say its smugglin has made us so poor.
That guess, said I, is most as good as tother one, whoever
found out that secret ought to get a patent for it, for
its worth knowin. Then the country has grown poorer,
has'nt it, because it has bought cheaper this year, than
it did the year before? Why, your folks are cute chaps,
I vow; they'd puzzle a Philadelphia Lawyer, they are so
amazin knowin. Ah, said he, and he rubb'd his hands and
smiled like a young doctor, when he gets his first patient;
ah, said he, if the timber duties are altered, down comes
St. John, body and breeches, it's built on a poor
foundation--its all show--they are speculatin like
mad--they'll ruin themselves. Says I, if you wait till
they're dead, for your fortin, it will be one while, I
tell you, afore you pocket the shiners. Its no joke waitin
for a dead man's shoes. Suppose an old feller of 80 was
to say when that are young feller dies, I'm to inherit
his property, what would you think? Why, I guess you'd
think be was an old fool. No sir, if the English don't
want their timber we do want it all, we have used ourn
up, we hant got a stick even to whittle. If the British
dont offer we will, and St. John, like a dear little
weeping widow, will dry up her tears, and take to frolickin
agin and accept it right off. There is'nt at this moment
such a location hardly in America, as St. John; for beside
all its other advantages, it has this great one, its only
rival, Halifax, has got a dose of opium that will send
it snoring out of the world, like a feller who falls
asleep on the ice of a winter's night. It has been asleep
so long, I actilly think it never will wake. Its an easy
death too, you may rouse them up if you like, but I vow
I wont. I once brought a feller too that was drowned,
and one night he got drunk and quilted me, I could'nt
walk for a week; says I, your the last chap I'll ever
save from drowning in all my born days, if that's all
the thanks I get for it. No Sir, Halifax has lost the
run of its custom. Who does Yarmouth trade with? St.
John. Who does Annapolis County trade with? St. John.
Who do all the folks on the Basin of Mines, and Bay shore,
trade with? St John. Who does Cumberland trade with? St
John. Well Pictou, Lunenburg and Liverpool, supply
themselves, and the rest that aint worth havin, trade
with Halifax. They take down a few half starved pigs,
old viteran geese, and long legged fowls, some ram mutton
and tuf beef; and swap them for tea, sugar, and such
little notions for their old women to home; while the
rail roads and canals of St. John are goin to cut off
your Gulf Shore trade to Miramichi, and along there.
Flies live in the summer and die in winter, you're jist
as noisy in war as those little critters, but you sing
small in peace.

No, your done for, you are up a tree, you may depend;
pride must fall. Your town is like a ball room arter a
dance. The folks have eat, drank, and frolicked, and left
an empty house; the lamps and hangings are left, but the
people are gone. Is there no remedy for this? said he,
and he looked as wild as a Cherokee Indian. Thinks I,
the handle is fitten on proper tight now. Well, says I,
when a man has a cold, he had ought to look out pretty
sharp, afore it gets seated on his lungs; if he don't,
he gets into a gallopin consumption, and it's gone goose
with him. There is a remedy, if applied in time: make a
rail road to Minas Basin, and you have a way for your
customers to get to you, and a conveyance for your goods
to them. When I was in New York last, a cousin of mine,
Hezekiah Slick, said to me, I do believe Sam, I shall be
ruined; I've lost all my custom, they are widening and
improving the streets, and there's so many carts and
people to work in it, folks can't come to my shop to
trade, what on airth shall I do, and I'm payin a dreadful
high rent too? Stop Ki, says I, when the street is all
finished off and slicked up, they'll all come back agin,
and a whole raft more on 'em too, you'll sell twice as
much as ever you did, you'll put off a proper swad of
goods next year, you may depend; and so he did, he made
money, hand over hand. A rail-road, will bring back your
customers, if done right off; but wait till trade has
made new channels, and fairly gets settled in them, and
you'll never divart it agin to all etarnity. When a feller
waits till a gall gets married, I guess it will be too
late to pop the question then. St. John MUST go ahead,
at any rate; you MAY, if you choose, but you must exert
yourselves I tell you. If a man has only one leg, and
wants to walk, he must get an artificial one. If you have
no river, make a rail road, and that will supply its
place. But, says he, Mr. Slick, people say it never will
pay in the world; they say its as mad a scheme as the
canal. Do they indeed, says I, send them to me then, and
I'll fit the handle on to them in tu tu's. I say it will
pay, and the best proof is, our folks will take tu thirds
of the stock. Did you ever hear any one else but your
folks, ax whether a dose of medicine would pay when it
was given to save life? If that everlastin long Erie
canal can secure to New York the supply of that far off
country, most tother side of creation, surely a rail road
of 45 miles can give you the trade of the Bay of Fundy.
A rail road will go from Halifax to Windsor and make them
one town, easier to send goods from one to tother, than
from Governor Campbell's House to Admiral Cockburn's. A
bridge makes a town, a river makes a town, a canal makes
a town, but a rail road is bridge, river, thoroughfare,
canal, all in one; what a wappin large place that would
make, would'nt it? It would be the dandy, that's a fact.
No, when you go back, take a piece of chalk, and the
first dark night, write on every door in Halifax, in
large letters--a rail road--and if they don't know the
meanin of it, says you its a Yankee word; if you'll go
to Sam Slick, the Clockmaker, (the chap that fixed a
Yankee handle on to a Halifax blade, and I made him a
scrape of my leg, as much as to say, that's you,) every
man that buys a Clock shall hear all about a RAIL ROAD.




No. XVIII

The Grahamite and the Irish Pilot.

I think, said I, this is a happy country, Mr. Slick.
The people are fortunately all of one origin, there are
no national jealousies to divide, and no very violent
politics to agitate them. They appear to be cheerful and
contented, and are a civil, good natured, hospitable
race. Considering the unsettled state of almost every
part of the world, I think I would as soon cast my lot
in Nova-Scotia as in any part I know of. Its a clever
country, you may depend, said be, a very clever country;
full of mineral wealth, aboundin in superior water
privileges and noble harbors, a large part of it prime
land, and it is in the very heart of the fisheries. But
the folks put me in mind of a sect in our country they
call the Grahamites--they eat no meat and no exciting
food, and drink nothin stronger than water. They call
it Philosophy (and that is such a pretty word it has made
fools of more folks than them afore now,) but I call it
tarnation nonsense. I once travelled all through the
State of Maine with one of them are chaps. He was as
thin as a whippin post. His skin looked like a blown
bladder arter some of the air had leaked out, kinder
wrinkled and rumpled like, and his eye as dim as a lamp
that's livin on a short allowance of ile. He put me in
mind of a pair of kitchen tongs, all legs, shaft and
head, and no belly; a real gander gutted lookin critter,
as holler as a bamboo walkin cane, and twice as yaller.
He actilly looked as if he had been picked off a rack at
sea, and dragged through a gimlet hole. He was a lawyer.
Thinks I, the Lord a massy on your clients, you hungry
half starved lookin critter, you, you'll eat em up alive
as sure as the Lord made Moses. You are just the chap to
strain at a goat and swallow a camel, tank, shank and
flank, all at a gulp. Well, when we came to an inn, and
a beef steak was sot afore us for dinner, he'd say: oh
that is too good for me, its too exciting, all fat meat
is diseased meat, give me some bread and cheese. Well,
I'd say, I don't know what you call too good, but it
tante good enough for me, for I call it as tuf as laushong,
and that will bear chawing all day. When I liquidate for
my dinner, I like to get about the best that's goin, and
I ant a bit too well pleased if I don't. Exciting indeed!!
thinks I. Lord, I should like to see you excited, if it
was only for the fun of the thing. What a temptin lookin
critter you'd be among the galls, would'nt you? Why, you
look like a subject the doctor boys had dropped on the
road arter they had dug you up, and had cut stick and
run for it. Well, when tea came, be said the same thing,
it's too exciting, give me some water, do; that's follorin
the law of natur. Well, says I, if that's the case, you
ought to eat beef; why, says he, how do you make out that
are proposition? Why, says I, if drinkin water instead
of tea is natur, so is eatin grass accordin to natur;
now all flesh is grass, we are told, so you had better
eat that and call it vegetable; like a man I once seed
who fasted on fish on a Friday, and when he had none,
whipped a leg o' mutton into the oven, and took it out
fish, says he it's "changed PLAICE," that's all, and
"PLAICE" aint a bad fish. The Catholics fast enough,
gracious knows, but then they fast on a great rousin big
splendid salmon at two dollars and forty cents a pound,
and lots of old Madeira to make it float light on the
stomach; there's some sense in mortifying the appetite
arter that fashion, but plagy little in your way. No,
says I, friend, you may talk about natur as you please,
I've studied natur all my life, and I vow if your natur
could speak out, it would tell you, it don't over half
like to be starved arter that plan. If you know'd as
much about the marks of the mouth as I do, you'd know
that you have carniverous as well as graniverous teeth,
and that natur meant by that, you should eat most any
thing that are door-keeper, your nose, would give a ticket
to, to pass into your mouth. Father rode a race at New
York course, when he was near hand to seventy, and that's
more nor you'll do, I guess, and he eats as hearty as a
turkey cock, and he never confined himself to water
neither, when he could get anything convened him better.
Says he, Sam, grandfather Slick used to say there was an
old proverb in Yorkshire "a full belly makes a strong
back," and I guess if you try it, natur will tell you so
too. If ever you go to Connecticut, jist call into
father's, and he'll give you a real right down genuine
New England breakfast, and if that don't happify your
heart, then my name's not Sam Slick. It will make you
feel about among the stiffest, I tell you. It will blow
your jacket out like a pig at sea. You'll have to shake
a reef or two out of your waistbans and make good stowage,
I guess, to carry it all under hatches. There's nothin
like a good pastur to cover the ribs, and make the hide
shine, depend on't.

Now this Province is like that are Grahamite lawyer's
beef, its too good for the folks that's in it; they either
don't avail its value or wont use it, because work ant
arter their "law of natur." As you say they are quiet
enough (there's worse folks than the Blue Noses, too, if
you come to that,) and so they had ought to be quiet for
they have nothin to fight about. As for politics, they
have nothin to desarve the name, but they talk enough
about it, and a plaguy sight of nonsense they do talk
too. Now with us the country is divided into two parties,
of the mammouth breed, the INS and the OUTS, the
ADMINISTRATION and the OPPOSITION. But where's the
administration here? Where's the war office, the Foreign
Office and the Home Office? where's the Secretary of the
Navy? where the State Bank? where's the Ambassadors and
Diplomatists (them are the boys to wind off a snarl of
ravellins as slick as if it were on a reel) and where's
that Ship of State, fitted up all the way from the
forecastle clean up to the starn post, chock full of good
snug berths, handsumly found and furnished, tier over
tier, one above another, as thick as it can hold? That's
a helm worth handlen, I tell you; I don't wonder that
folks mutiny below and fight on the decks above for it
--it makes a plaguy uproar the whole time, and keeps the
passengers for everlastinly in a state of alarm for fear
they'd do mischif by bustin the byler, a runnin aground,
or gettin foul of some other craft. This Province is
better as it is, quieter and happier far; they have berths
enough and big enough, they should be careful not to
increase 'em; and if they were to do it over agin, perhaps
they'd be as well with fewer. They have two parties here,
the Tory party and the Opposition party, and both on em
run to extremes. Them radicals, says one, are for levelin
all down to their own level, tho' not a peg lower; that's
their gage, jist down to their own notch and no further;
and they'd agitate the whole country to obtain that
object, for if a man can't grow to be as tall as his
neighbor, if he cuts a few inches off him why then they
are both of one heighth. They are a most dangerous,
disaffected people--they are eternally appealin to the
worst passions of the mob. Well, says tother, them
aristocrats, they'll ruinate the country, they spend the
whole revenu on themselves. What with Bankers, Councillors,
Judges, Bishops and Public Officers, and a whole tribe
of Lawyers as hungry as hawks, and jist about as marciful,
the country is devoured as if there was a flock of locusts
a feedin on it. There's nothin left for roads and bridges.
When a chap sets out to canvass, he's got to antagonise
one side or tother. If he hangs on to the powers that
be, then he's a Council man, he's for votin large salaries,
for doin as the great people at Halifax tell him. HE IS
A FOOL. If he is on tother side, a railin at Banks,
Judges, Lawyers and such cattle, and baulin for what he
knows he can't get, then HE IS A ROGUE. So that, if you
were to listen to the weak and noisy critters on both
sides, you'd believe the House of Assembly was ONE HALF
ROGUES AND TOTHER HALF FOOLS. All this arises from
ignorance. IF THEY KNEW MORE OF EACH OTHER, I GUESS THEY'D
LAY ASIDE ONE HALF THEIR FEARS AND ALL THEIR ABUSE. THE
UPPER CLASSES DON'T KNOW ONE HALF THE VIRTUE THAT'S IN
THE MIDDLIN AND LOWER CLASSES; AND THEY DON'T KNOW ONE
HALF THE INTEGRITY AND GOOD FEELIN THAT'S IN THE OTHERS,
AND BOTH ARE FOOLED AND GULLED BY THEIR OWN NOISY AND
DESIGNIN CHAMPIONS. Take any two men that are by the
ears, they opinionate all they hear of each other, impute
all sorts of onworthy motives, and misconstrue every act;
let them see more of each other, and they'll find out to
their surprise, that they have not only been lookin thro'
a magnifyin glass, that warnt very true, but a coloured
one also, that changed the complexion and distorted the
feature, and each one will think tother a very good kind
of chap; and like as not a plaguy pleasant one too.

If I was asked which side was farthest from the mark in
this Province, I vow I should be puzzled to say. As I
don't belong to the country, and don't care a snap of my
finger for either of 'em, I suppose I can judge better
than any man in it, but I snore I dont think there's much
difference. The popular side (I wont say patriotic, for
we find in our steam boats a man who has a plaguy sight
of property in his portmanter, is quite as anxious for
its safety, as him that's only one pair of yarn stockings
and a clean shirt, is for hisn) the popular side are not
so well informed as tother, and they have the misfortin
of havin their passions addressed more than their reason,
therefore they are often out of the way, or rather led
out of it and put astray by bad guides; well, tother side
have the prejudices of birth and education to dim their
vision, and are alarmed to undertake a thing from the
dread of ambush or open foes, that their guides are
etarnally descryin in the mist--AND BESIDE, POWER HAS
A NATERAL TENDENCY TO CORPULENCY. As for them guides,
I'd make short work of 'em if it was me. In the last war
with Britain, the Constitution frigate was close in once
on the shores of Ireland, a lookin arter some marchant
ships, and she took on board a pilot; well, he was a
deep, sly, twistical lookin chap, as you een amost ever
seed. He had a sort of dark down look about him, and a
lear out of the corner of one eye, like a horse that's
goin to kick. The captain guessed he read in his face
"well now, if I was to run this here Yankee right slap
on a rock and bilge her, the King would make a man of me
forever." So, says he to the first leftenant, reeve a
rope thro' that are block at the tip eend of the fore
yard, and clap a runnin nuse in it. The leftenant did it
as quick as wink, and came back, and says he, I guess
it's done. Now says the captain, look here, pilot, here's
a rope you hant seed yet, I'll jist explain the use of
it to you in case you want the loan of it. If this here
frigate, manned with our free and enlightened citizens,
gets aground, I'll give you a ride on the slack of that
are rope, right up to that yard by the neck, by Gum.
Well, it rub'd all the writin out of his face, as quick
as spittin on a slate takes a sum out, you may depend.
Now, they should rig up a crane over the street door of
the State house at Halifax, and when any of the pilots
at either eend of the buildin, run 'em on the breakers
on purpose, string em up like an onsafe dog. A sign of
that are kind, with "a house of public entertainment,"
painted under it, would do the business in less than no
time. If it would'nt keep the hawks out of the poultry
yard, it's a pity--it would scare them out of a year's
growth, that's a fact--if they used it once, I guess they
would'nt have occasion for it agin in a hurry--it would
be like the Aloe tree, and that bears fruit only once in
a hundred years. If you want to know how to act any time,
squire, never go to books, leave them to galls and school
boys; but go right off and cypher it out of natur, that's
a sure guide, it will never deceive you, you may depend.
For instance, "what's that to me," is a phrase so common
that it shows it's a natural one, when people have no
particular interest in a thing. Well, when a feller gets
so warm on either side as never to use that phrase at
all, watch him, that's all! keep your eye on him, or
he'll walk right into you afore you know where you be.
If a man runs to me and says, "your fence is down," thank
you, says I, that's kind--if he comes agin and says, "I
guess some stray cattle have broke into your short sarce
garden," I thank him again; says I, come now, this is
neighborly; but when he keeps etarnally tellin me this
thing of one sarvant, and that thing of another sarvant,
hints that my friends ant true, that my neighbors are
inclined to take advantage of me, and that suspicious
folks are seen about my place, I say to myself, what on
airth makes this critter take such a wonderful interest
in my affairs? I don't like to hear such tales--he's
arter somethin as sure as the world, if he war'nt he'd
say, "What's that to me." I never believe much what I
hear said by a man's VIOLENT FRIEND, or VIOLENT ENEMY,
I want to hear what a disinterested man has to say--now,
as a disinterested man, I say if the members of the House
of Assembly, instead of raisin up ghosts and hobgoblins
to frighten folks with, and to shew what swordsmen they
be, a cuttin and a thrustin at phantoms that only exist
in their own brains, would turn to, heart and hand, and
develope the resources of this fine country, facilitate
the means of transport--promote its internal improvement,
and entourage its foreign trade, they would make it the
richest and greatest, as it now is one of the happiest
sections of all America--I hope I may be skinned if they
would'nt--they would I swan.




No. XIX

The Clockmaker Quilts a Blue Nose.

The descendants of Eve have profited little by her example.
The curiosity of the fair sex is still insatiable, and,
as it is often ill directed, it frequently terminates in
error. In the country this feminine propensity is
troublesome to a traveller, and he who would avoid
importunities, would do well to announce at once, on his
arrival at a Cumberland Inn, his name and his business,
the place of his abode and the length of his visit. Our
beautiful hostess, Mrs. Pugwash, as she took her seat at
the breakfast table this morning, exhibited the example
that suggested these reflections. She was struck with
horror at our conversation, the latter part only of which
she heard, and of course misapplied and misunderstood.
She was run down by the President, said I, and has been
laid up for some time. Gulard's people have stripped her,
in consequence of her making water so fast. Stripped
whom? said Mrs. Pugwash, as she suddenly dropped the
teapot from her hand; stripped whom,--for heaven's sake
tell me who it is? The Lady Ogle, said I. Lady Ogle, said
she, how horrid! Two of her ribs were so broken as to
require to be replaced with new ones. Two new ribs, said
she, well I never heer'd the beat of that in all my born
days; poor critter, how she must have suffered. On
examining her below the waist they found--Examining her
still lower, said she (all the pride of her sex revolting
at the idea of such an indecent exhibition,) you don't
pretend to say they stripped her below the waist; what
did the Admiral say? Did he stand by and see her handled
in that way? The Admiral, madam, said I, did not trouble
his head about it. They found her extremely unsound there,
and much worm eaten. Worm eaten, she continued, how awful!
it must have been them nasty jiggers, that got in there;
they tell me they are dreadful thick in the West Indies;
Joe Crow had them in his feet, and lost two of his toes.
Worm eaten, dear, dear!! but still that aint so bad as
having them great he fellows strip one. I promise you if
them Gulards had undertaken to strip me, I'd a taught
them different guess manners; I'd a died first before
I'd a submitted to it. I always heerd tell the English
quality ladies were awful bold, but I never heerd the
like o' that.

What on airth are you drivin at? said Mr. Slick. I never
seed you so much out in your latitude afore, marm, I vow.
We were talking of reparin a vessel, not strippin' a
woman, what under the sun could have put that are crotchet
into your head? She looked mortified and humbled at the
result of her own absurd curiosity, and soon quitted the
room. I thought I should have snorted right out two or
three times, said the Clockmaker; I had to pucker up my
mouth like the upper eend of a silk puss, to keep from
yawhawin in her face, to hear the critter let her clapper
run that fashion. She is not the first hand that has
caught a lobster, by puttin in her oar afore her turn,
I guess. She'll mind her stops next hitch, I reckon.
This was our last breakfast at Amherst.

An early frost that smote the potatoe fields, and changed
the beautiful green color of the Indian corn into shades
of light yellow, and dark brown, reminded me of the
presence of autumn--of the season of short days and bad
roads, I determined to proceed at once to Parrsboro, and
thence by the Windsor and Kentville route to Annapolis,
Yarmouth, and Shelburne, and to return by the shore road,
through Liverpool and Lunenburg to Halifax. I therefore
took leave, (though not without much reluctance) of the
Clockmaker, whose intention had been to go to Fort
Lawrence. Well, said he, I vow I am sorry to part company
along with you; a considerable long journey like ourn,
is like sitting up late with the galls, a body knows its
getting on pretty well towards mornin, and yet feels loth
to go to bed, for its just the time folks grow sociable.

I got a scheme in my head, said he, that I think will
answer both on us; I got debts due to me in all them are
places for Clocks sold by the concarn, now suppose you
leave your horse on these mashes this fall, he'll get as
fat as a fool, he wont be able to see out of his eyes in
a month, and I'll put "Old Clay," (I call him Clay arter
our senator, who is a prime bit of stuff) into a Yankee
waggon I have here, and drive you all round the coast.
This was too good an offer to be declined. A run at
grass for my horse, an easy and comfortable waggon, and
a guide so original and amusing as Mr. Slick, were either
of them enough to induce my acquiescence.

As soon as we had taken our seats in the waggon, he
observed, we shall progress real handsum now; that are
horse goes etarnal fast, he near about set my axle on
fire twice. He's a spanker you may depend. I had him
when he was a two year old, all legs and tail, like a
devil's darnin needle, and had him broke on purpose by
father's old nigger, January Snow. He knows English real
well, and can do near about any thing but speak it. He
helped me once to ginn a Blue Nose a proper handsum
quiltin. He must have stood a poor chance indeed, said
I, a horse kickin, and a man striking him at the same
time. Oh! not arter that pattern at all, said he, Lord
if "Old Clay" had a kicked him, he'd a smashed him like
that are sarcer you broke at Pugnose's inn, into ten
hundred thousand million flinders. Oh! no, if I did'nt
fix his flint for him in fair play it's a pity. I'll tell
you how it was. I was up to Truro, at Ezra Whitter's Inn.
There was an arbitration there atween Deacon Text and
Deacon Faithful. Well, there was a nation sight of folks
there, for they said it was a biter bit, and they came
to witness the sport, and to see which critter would get
the earmark.

Well, I'd been doin a little business there among the
folks, and had jist sot off for the river, mounted on
"Old Clay," arter takin a glass of Ezra's most particular
handsum Jamaiky, and was trottin off pretty slick, when
who should I run agin but Tim Bradley. He is a dreadful
ugly cross grained critter, as you een amost ever seed,
when he is about half shaved. Well, I stopped short, and
says, I, Mr. Bradley, I hope you beant hurt; I'm proper
sorry I run agin you, you cant feel uglier than I do
about it, I do assure you. He called me a Yankee pedlar,
a cheatin vagabond, a wooden nutmeg, and threw a good
deal of assorted hardware of that kind at me; and the
crowd of folks cried out, down with the Yankee, let him
have it Tim, teach him better manners; and they carried
on pretty high, I tell you. Well, I got my dander up
too, I felt all up on eend like; and, thinks I to myself,
my lad if I get a clever chance, I'll give you such a
quiltin as you never had since you were raised from a
seedlin, I vow. So, says I, Mr Bradley, I guess you had
better let me be, you know I cant fight no more than a
cow--I never was brought up to wranglin, and I don't like
it. Haul off the cowardly rascal, they all bawled out,
haul him off, and lay it into him. So he lays right hold
of me by the collar, and gives me a pull, and I lets on
as if I'd lost my balance and falls right down. Then I
jumps up on eend, and says I "go ahead Clay," and the
old horse he sets off a head, so I knew I had him when
I wanted him. Then, says I, I hope you are satisfied now,
Mr Bradley, with that are ungenteel fall you ginn me.
Well, he makes a blow at me, and I dodged it, now, says
I, you'll be sorry for this, I tell you, I wont be treated
this way for nothin, I'll go right off and swear my life
agin you, I'm most afeerd you'll murder me. Well, he
strikes at me agin, (thinkin he had a genuine soft horn
to deal with,) and hits me in the shoulder. Now, says I,
I wont stand here to be lathered like a dog all day long
this fashion, it tante pretty at all, I guess I'll give
you a chase for it. Off I sets arter my horse like mad,
and he arter me, (I did that to get clear of the crowd,
so that I might have fair play at him) Well, I soon found
I had the heels of him, and could play him as I liked.
Then I slackened up a little, and when he came close up
to me, so as nearly to lay his hand upon me, I squatted
right whap down, all short, and he pitched over me near
about a rod or so, I guess, on his head, and plowed up
the ground with his nose, the matter of a foot or two.
If he didn't polish up the coulter, and both mould boards
of his face, its a pity. Now, says I, you had better lay
where you be and let me go, for I am proper tired; I blow
like a horse that's got the heaves; and besides, says I,
I guess you had better wash your face, for I am most a
feared you hurt yourself. That ryled him properly; I
meant that it should; so he ups and at me awful spiteful
like a bull; then I lets him have it, right, left, right,
jist three corkers, beginning with the right hand, shifting
to the left, and then with the right hand agin. This way
I did it, said the Clockmaker, (and he showed me the
manner in which it was done) its a beautiful way of
hitting, and always does the business--a blow for each
eye and one for the mouth. It sounds like ten pounds ten
on a blacksmith's anvil; I bunged up both eyes for him,
and put in the dead lights in two tu's, and drew three
of his teeth, quicker a plaguy sight than the Truro doctor
could, to save his soul alive. Now, says I, my friend,
when you recover your eye-sight I guess you'll see your
mistake--I warnt born in the woods to be scared by an
owl. The next time you feel in a most particular elegant
good humour, come to me and I'll play you the second part
of that identical same tune, that's a fact. With that,
I whistled for old Clay, and back he comes, and I mounted
and off, jist as the crowd came up. The folks looked
staggered, and wondered a little grain how it was done
so cleverly in short metre. If I did'nt quilt him in no
time, you may depend; I went right slap into him, like
a flash of lightning into a gooseberry bush. He found
his suit ready made and fitted afore he thought he was
half measured. Thinks I, friend Bradley, I hope you know
yourself now, for I vow no livin soul would; your swallowed
your soup without singin out scaldins, and your near
about a pint and a half nearer cryin than larfin.

Yes, as I was sayin, this "old Clay" is a real knowin
one, he's as spry as a colt jet, clear grit, ginger to
the back bone; I cant help a thinkin sometimes the breed
must have come from old Kentuck, half horse, half alligator,
with a cross of the airth-quake.

I hope I may be tetotally ruinated, if I'd take eight
hundred dollars for him. Go ahead, you old clinker built
villain, said he, and show the gentleman how wonderful
handSUM you can travel. Give him the real Connecticut
quick step. That's it--that's the way to carry the
President's message to Congress, from Washington to New
York, in no time--that's the go to carry a gall from
Boston to Rhode Island, and trice her up to a Justice to
be married, afore her father's out of bed of a summer's
mornin. Aint he a beauty? a real doll? none of your
Cumberland critters, that the more you quilt them, the
more they wont go; but a proper one, that will go free
gratis for nothin, all out of his own head voluntERRILY.
Yes, a horse like "Old Clay," is worth the whole seed,
breed and generation, of them Amherst beasts put together.
He's a horse, every inch of him, stock, lock, and barrel,
is OLD CLAY.




No. XX

Sister Sall's Courtship.

There goes one of them are everlastin rottin poles in
that bridge, they are no better than a trap for a critter's
leg, said the Clockmaker. They remind me of a trap Jim
Munroe put his foot in one night, that near about made
one leg half a yard longer than tother. I believe I told
you of him, what a desperate idle feller he was--he came
from Onion County in Connecticut. Well, he was courtin
Sister Sall--she was a real handsum lookin gall; you
scarce ever seed a more out and out complete critter than
she was--a fine figur head, and a beautiful model of a
craft as any in the state: a real clipper, and as full
of fun and frolick as a kitten. Well he fairly turned
Sall's head; the more we wanted her to give him up the
more she would'nt, and we got plaguy oneasy about it,
for his character was none of the best. He was a univarsal
favorite with the galls, and tho' he did'nt behave very
pretty neither, forgetting to marry where he promised,
and where he had'nt ought to have forgot too; yet, so it
was, he had such an uncommon winnin way with him, he
could talk them over in no time--Sall was fairly bewitched.
At last, Father said to him one evening when he came a
courtin, Jim, says he, you'll never come to no good, if
you act like old Scratch as you do; you aint fit to come
into no decent man's house at all, and your absence would
be ten times more agreeable than your company, I tell
you. I won't consent to Sall's goin to them are huskin
parties and quiltin frolics along with you no more, on
no account, for you know how Polly Brown and Nancy White
---. Now don't, says he, now don't, Uncle Sam; say no
more about that; if you knowed all you would'nt say it
was my fault; and besides, I have turned right about, I
am on tother tack now, and the long leg, too; I am as
steady as a pump bolt now. I intend to settle myself and
take a farm--yes yes, and you could stock it too, by all
accounts, pretty well, unless you are much misreported,
says father, but it won't do. I knew your father; he was
our Sargeant, a proper clever and brave man he was too;
he was one of the heroes of our glorious revolution. I
had a great respect for him, and I am sorry for his sake
you will act as you do; but I tell you once for all you
must give up all thoughts of Sall, now and for everlastin.
When Sall heerd this, she began to nit away like mad in
a desperate hurry--she looked foolish enough, that's a
fact. First she tried to bite in her breath, and look as
if there was nothin particular in the wind, then she
blushed all over like scarlet fever, but she recovered
that pretty soon, and then her colour went and came, and
came and went, till at last she grew as white as chalk,
and down she fell slap off her seat on the floor, in a
faintin fit. I see, says father, I see it now, you etarnal
villain, and he made a pull at the old fashioned sword,
that always hung over the fire place, (we used to call
it old Bunker, for his stories always begun, "when I was
at Bunker's hill,") and drawing it out, he made a clip
at him as wicked as if he was stabbing at a rat with a
hay fork; but Jim he outs of the door like a shot, and
draws it too arter him, and father sends old Bunker right
through the panel. I'll chop you up as fine as mince
meat, you villain, said he, if ever I catch you inside
my door agin; mind what I tell you, "YOU'LL SWING FOR IT
YET." Well, he made himself considerable scarce arter
that, he never sot foot inside the door agin, and I
thought he had ginn up all hopes of Sall, and she of him;
when one night, a most particular uncommon dark night,
as I was a comin home from neighbor Dearborne's, I heerd
some one a talkin under Sall's window. Well, I stops and
listens, and who should be near the ash saplin, but Jim
Munroe, a tryin to persuade Sall to run off with him to
Rhode Island to be married. It was all settled, he should
come with a horse and shay to the gate, and then help
her out of the window, jist at nine o'clock, about the
time she commonly went to bed. Then he axes her to reach
down her hand for him to kiss, (for he was proper clever
at soft sawder) and she stretches it down and he kisses
it; and, says he, I believe I must have the whole of you
out arter all, and gives her a jirk that kinder startled
her; it came so sudden like it made her scream; so off
he sot hot foot, and over the gate in no time.

Well, I cyphered over this all night, a calculatin how
I should reciprocate that trick with him, and at last I
hit on a scheme. I recollected father's words at partin,
"MIND WHAT I TELL YOU, YOU'LL SWING FOR IT YET;" and
thinks I, friend Jim, I'll make that prophecy come true
yet, I guess. So the next night, jist at dark, I gives
January Snow, the old nigger, a nidge with my elbow, and
as soon as he looks up, I winks and walks out and he
arter me--says I, January can you keep your tongue within
your teeth, you old nigger you? Why massa, why you ax
that are question? my Gor Ormity, you tink old Snow he
don't know dat are yet; my tongue he got plenty room now,
debil a tooth left, be can stretch out ever so far; like
a little leg in a big bed, he lay quiet enough, Massa,
neber fear. Well, then, says I, bend down that are ash
saplin softly, you old Snowball, and make no noise. The
saplin was no sooner bent than secured to the ground by
a notched peg and a noose, and a slip knot was suspended
from the tree, jist over the track that led from the
pathway to the house. Why, my Gor, massa, that's a ---.
Hold your mug, you old nigger, says I, or I'll send your
tongue a sarchin arter your teeth; keep quiet, and follow
me in presently. Well, jist as it struck nine o'clock,
says I, Sally, hold this here hank of twine for a minute,
till I wind a trifle on it off; that's a dear critter.
She sot down her candle, and I put the twine on her hands,
and then I begins to wind and wind away ever so slow,
and drops the ball every now and then, so as to keep her
down stairs. Sam, says she, I do believe you won't wind
that are twine off all night, do give it to January, I
won't stay no longer, I'm een a most dead asleep. The
old feller's arm is so plaguy onsteady, says I, it won't
do; but hark, what's that, I'm sure I heerd something in
the ash saplin, did'nt you Sall? I heerd the geese there,
that's all, says she, they always come under the windows
at night; but she looked scared enough, and says she, I
vow I'm tired a holdin out of arms, this way, and I won't
do it no longer; and down she throw'd the hank on the
floor. Well, says I, stop one minute, dear, till I send
old January out to see if any body is there; perhaps some
o' neighbour Dearborne's cattle have broke into the sarce
garden. January went out, tho' Sall say'd it was no use,
for she knew the noise of the geese, they always kept
close to the house at night, for fear of the varmin.
Presently in runs old Snow, with his hair standin up an
eend, and the whites of his eyes lookin as big as the
rims of a soup plate; oh! Gor Ormity, said he, oh massa,
oh Miss Sally, oh!! What on airth is the matter with
you, said Sally, how you do frighten me, I vow I believe
you'r mad--oh my Gor said he, oh!! massa Jim Munroe he
hang himself, on the ash saplin under Miss Sally's
window--oh my Gor!!! That shot was a settler, it struck
poor Sall right atwixt wind and water; she gave a lurch
ahead, then healed over and sunk right down in another
faintin fit; and Juno, old Snow's wife, carried her off
and laid her down on the bed--poor thing, she felt ugly
enough, I do suppose.

Well, father, I thought he'd a fainted too, he was so
struck up all of a heap, he was completely bung fungered;
dear, dear, said he, I did'nt think it would come to pass
so soon, but I knew it would come; I foretold it; says
I, the last time I seed him, Jim, says I, mind what I
say, YOU'LL SWING FOR IT YET. Give me the sword I wore
when I was at Bunker's hill, may be there is life yet,
I'll cut him down. The lantern was soon made ready, and
out we went to the ash saplin. Cut me down, Sam, that's
a good fellow, said Jim, all the blood in my body has
swashed into my head, and's a runnin out o' my nose, I'm
een a most smothered, be quick for heaven's sake. The
Lord be praised, said father, the poor sinner is not
quite dead yet. Why, as I'm alive--well if that don't
beat all natur, why he has hanged himself by one leg,
and's a swingin like a rabbit upside down, that's a fact.
Why, if he aint snared, Sam; he is properly wired I
declare--I vow this is some o' your doins, Sam--well it
was a clever scheme too, but a little grain too dangerous,
I guess. Don't stand staring and jawin there all night,
said Jim, cut me down, I tell you--or cut my throat and
be damned to you, for I am choakin with blood. Roll over
that are hogshead, old Snow, said I, till I get a top on
it and cut him down; so I soon released him but he could'nt
walk a bit. His ankle was swelled and sprained like
vengeance, and he swore one leg was near about six inches
longer than tother. Jim Munroe, says father, little did
I think I should ever see you inside my door agin, but
I bid you enter now, we owe you that kindness, any how.
Well, to make a long story short, Jim was so chap fallen,
and so down in the mouth, he begged for heaven's sake it
might be kept a secret; he said he would RUN the state,
if ever it got wind, he was sure he could'nt STAND it.
It will be one while, I guess, said father, afore you
are able to run or stand either; but if you will give me
your hand, Jim, and promise to give over your evil ways,
I will not only keep it secret, but you shall be a welcome
guest at old Sam Slick's once more, for the sake of your
father--he was a brave man, one of the heroes of Bunker's
hill, he was our Sergeant and ---. He promises, says I,
father, (for the old man had stuck his right foot out,
the way he always stood when he told about the old war;
and as Jim could'nt stir a peg, it was a grand chance,
and he was a goin to give him the whole revolution from
General Gage up to Independence,) he promises, says I,
father. Well it was all settled, and things soon grew as
calm as a pan of milk two days old; and afore a year was
over, Jim was as steady a goin man as Minister Joshua
Hopewell, and was married to our Sall. Nothin was ever
said about the snare till arter the weddin. When the
Minister had finished axin a blessin, father goes up to
Jim, and says he, Jim Munroe, my boy, givin him a rousin
slap on the shoulder that sot him a coughin for the matter
of five minutes, (for he was a mortal powerful man, was
father) Jim Munroe, my boy, says he, you've got the snare
round your neck, I guess now, instead of your leg; the
Saplin has been a father to you, may you be the father
of many saplins.

We had a most special time of it, you may depend, all
except the minister; father got him into a corner, and
gave him chapter and verse for the whole war. Every now
and then as I come near them, I heard "Bunker's Hill,
Brandywine, Clinton, Gates," and so on. It was broad day
when we parted, and the last that went was poor minister.
Father followed him clean down to the gate, and says he,
"minister, we had'nt time this hitch, or I'd a told you
all about the 'EVAKYATION' of New York, but I'll tell
you that the next time we meet."




No. XXI

Setting up for Governor.

I never see one of them queer little old fashioned tea
pots, like that are in the cupboard of Marm Pugwash, said
the Clockmaker, that I dont think of Lawyer Crowningshield
and his wife. When I was down to Rhode Island last, I
spent an evening with them. Arter I had been there a
while, the black House help brought in a little home made
dipt candle, stuck in a turnip sliced in two, to make it
stand straight, and set it down on the table. Why, says
the Lawyer to his wife, Increase my dear, what on earth
is the meanin o' that? what does little Viney mean by
bringin in such a light as this, that aint fit for even
a log hut of one of our free and enlightened citizens
away down east; where's the lamp? My dear, says she, I
ordered it--you know they are agoin to set you up for
Governor next year, and I allot we must economise or we
will be ruined--the salary is only four hundred dollars
a year, you know, and you'll have to give up your
practice--we can't afford nothin now. Well, when tea was
brought in, there was a little wee china tea pot, that
held about the matter of half a pint or so, and cups and
sarcers about the bigness of children's toys. When he
seed that, he grew most peskily ryled, his under lip
curled down like a peach leaf that's got a worm in it,
and he stripped his teeth, and showed his grinders, like
a bull dog; what foolery is this, said he? My dear, said
she, its the foolery of being Governor; if you choose to
sacrifice all your comfort to being the first rung in
the ladder, don't blame me for it. I did'nt nominate
you--I had not art nor part in it. It was cooked up at
that are Convention, at Town Hall. Well, he sot for some
time without sayin a word, lookin as black as a thunder
cloud, just ready to make all natur crack agin. At last
he gets up, and walks round behind his wife's chair, and
takin her face between his two hands, he turns it up and
gives her a buss that went off like a pistoll--it fairly
made my mouth water to see him; thinks I, them lips aint
a bad bank to deposit one's spare kisses in, neither.
Increase, my dear, said he, I believe you are half right,
I'll decline to-morrow, I'll have nothin to do with it--I
WONT BE A GOVERNOR, ON NO ACCOUNT.

Well, she had to haw and gee like, both a little, afore
she could get her head out of his hands; and then she
said, Zachariah, says she, how you do act, aint you
ashamed? Do for gracious sake behave yourself: and she
colored up all over like a crimson piany; if you hav'nt
foozled all my hair too, that's a fact, says she; and
she put her curls to rights, and looked as pleased as
fun, though poutin all the time, and walked right out of
the room. Presently in come two well dressed House Helps,
one with a splendid gilt lamp, a real London touch, and
another with a tea tray, with a large solid silver coffee
pot, and tea pot, and a cream jug, and sugar boul, of
the same genuine metal, and a most an elegant sett of
real gilt china. Then in came Marm Crowningshield herself,
lookin as proud as if she would not call the President
her cousin; and she gave the Lawyer a look, as much as
to say, I guess when Mr. Slick is gone, I'll pay you
off that are kiss with interest, you dear you--I'll answer
a bill at sight for it, I will, you may depend. I believe,
said he agin, you are right Increase, my dear, its an
expensive kind of honor that bein Governor, and no great
thanks neither; great cry and little wool, all talk and
no cider--its enough I guess for a man to govern his own
family, aint it, dear? Sartin, my love, said she, sartin,
a man is never so much in his own proper sphere as there;
and beside, said she, his will is supreme to home, there
is no danger of any one non-concurring him there: and
she gave me a sly look, as much as to say, I let him
think he is master in his own house, FOR WHEN LADIES WEAR
THE BREECHES, THEIR PETTICOATS OUGHT TO BE LONG ENOUGH
TO HIDE THEM; but I allot, Mr. Slick, you can see with
half an eye that the "grey mare is the better horse here."

What a pity it is, continued the Clockmaker, that the
Blue Noses would not take a leaf out of Marm Crowninshield's
book--talk more of their own affairs and less of politics.
I'm sick of the everlastin sound of "House of Assembly,"
and "Council," and "great folks." They never alleviate
talking about them from July to etarnity. I had a curious
conversation about politics once, away up to the right
here. Do you see that are house, said he, in the field,
that's got a lurch to leeward, like a north river sloop,
struck with a squall, off West Point, lopsided like? It
looks like Seth Pine, a tailor down to Hartford, that
had one leg shorter than tother, when he stood at ease
at militia trainin, a restin on the littlest one. Well,
I had a special frolic there the last time I passed this
way. I lost the linch pin out of my forred axle, and I
turned up there to get it sot to rights. Just as I drove
through the gate, I saw the eldest gall a makin for the
house for dear life--she had a short petticoat on that
looked like a kilt, and her bare legs put me in mind of
the long shanks of a bittern down in a rush swamp, a
drivin away like mad full chizel arter a frog. I could
not think what on airth was the matter. Thinks I, she
wants to make herself look decent like afore I get in,
she don't like to pull her stockings on afore me; so I
pulls up the old horse and let her have a fair start.
Well, when I came to the door, I heard a proper scuddin;
there was a regular flight into Egypt, jist such a noise
as little children make when the mistress comes suddenly
into school, all a huddlin and scroudgin into their seats,
as quick as wink. Dear me, says the old woman, as she
put her head out of a broken window to avail who it was,
is it you, Mr. Slick? I sniggers, if you did not frighten
us properly, we actilly thought it was the Sheriff; do
come in. Poor thing, she looked half starved and half
savage, hunger and temper had made proper strong lines
in her face, like water furrows in a ploughed field; she
looked bony and thin, like a horse, that has had more
work than oats, and had a wicked expression, as though
it warnt over safe to come too near her heels--an everlastin
kicker. You may come out, John, said she to her husband,
its only Mr. Slick; and out came John from under the bed
backwards, on all fours, like an ox out of the shoein
frame, or a lobster skullin wrong eend foremost--he looked
as wild as a hawk. Well, I swan I thought I should have
split, I could hardly keep from bustin right out with
larfter--he was all covered with feathers, lint and
dust, the savins of all the sweepins since the house was
built, shoved under there for tidiness. He actilly sneezed
for the matter of ten minutes--he seemed half choked with
the flaff and stuff, that came out with him like a cloud.
Lord, he looked like a goose half picked, as if all the
quills were gone, but the pen feathers and down were
left, jist ready for singin and stuffin. He put me in
mind of a sick Adjutant, a great tall hulkin bird, that
comes from the East Indgies, a most as high as a man,
and most as knowin as a Blue Nose. I'd a ginn a hundred
dollars to have had that chap as a show at a fair--tar
and feathers war'nt half as nateral. You've seen a gall
both larf and cry at the same time, hante you? well, I
hope I may be shot if I could'nt have done the same. To
see that critter come like a turkey out of a bag at
Christmas, to be fired at for ten cents a shot, was as
good as a play; but to look round and see the poverty
--the half naked children--the old pine stumps for
chairs--a small bin of poor watery yaller potatoes in
the corner--day light through the sides and roof of the
house, lookin like the tarred seams of a ship, all black
where the smoak got out--no utensils for cookin or
eatin--and starvation wrote as plain as a handbill on
their holler cheeks, skinney fingers, and sunk eyes,
went right straight to the heart. I do declare I believe
I should have cried, only they did'nt seem to mind it
themselves. They had been used to it, like a man that's
married to a thunderin ugly wife, he gets so accustomed
to the look of her everlastin dismal mug, that he don't
think her ugly at all. Well, there was another chap a
settin by the fire, and he DID look as if he saw it and
felt it too, he did'nt seem over half pleased, you may
depend. He was the District Schoolmaster, and he told me
he was takin a spell at boardin there, for it was their
turn to keep him. Thinks I to myself poor devil, you've
brought your pigs to a pretty market, that's a fact. I
see how it is, the Blue Noses can't "cypher." The cat's
out of the bag now--its no wonder they don't go ahead,
for they don't know nothin--the "Schoolmaster is ABROAD,"
with the devil to it, for he has NO HOME at all. Why,
Squire, you might jist as well expect a horse to go right
off in gear, before he is halter broke, as a Blue Nose
to get on in the world, when he has got no schoolin. But
to get back to my story. Well, say's I, how's times with
you, Mrs. Spry? Dull, says she, very dull, there's no
markets now, things don't fetch nothin. Thinks I, some
folks had'nt ought to complain of markets, for they don't
raise nothin to sell, but I did'nt say so; FOR POVERTY
IS KEEN ENOUGH, WITHOUT SHARPENING ITS EDGE BY POKIN FUN
AT IT. Potatoes, says I, will fetch a good price this
fall, for it's a short crop in a general way--; how's
yourn? Grand, says she, as complete as ever you seed;
our tops were small and did'nt look well; but we have
the handsomest bottoms, its generally allowed, in all
our place; you never seed the best of them, they are
actilly worth lookin at. I vow I had to take a chaw of
tobacky to keep from snorting right out, it sounded so
queer like. Thinks I to myself, old lady, its a pity you
could'nt be changed eend for eend then, as some folks do
their stockings; it would improve the look of your dial
plate amazinly then, that's a fact.

Now there was human natur, Squire, said the Clockmaker,
there was pride even in that hovel. It is found in rags
as well as King's robes, where butter is spread with the
thumb as well as the silver knife, NATUR IS NATUR WHEREVER
YOU FIND IT. Jist then, in came one or two neighbors to
see the sport, for they took me for a Sheriff or Constable,
or something of that breed, and when they saw it was me
they sot down to hear the news; they fell right too at
politicks as keen as any thing, as if it had been a dish
of real Connecticut Slap Jacks, or Hominy; or what is
better still, a glass of real genuine splendid mint julep,
WHE-EU-UP, it fairly makes my mouth water to think of
it. I wonder, says one, what they will do for us this
winter in the House of Assembly? Nothin, says the other,
they never do nothin but what the great people at Halifax
tell 'em. Squire Yeoman is the man, he'll pay up the
great folks this hitch, he'll let 'em have their own,
he's jist the boy that can do it. Says I, I wish I could
say all men were as honest then, for I am afeard there
are a great many wont pay me up this winter; I should
like to trade with your friend, who is he? Why, says he,
he is the member for Isle Sable County, and if he don't
let the great folks have it, its a pity. Who do you call
great folks, said I, for I vow I hav'nt see'd one since
I came here. The only one that I know that comes near
hand to one is Nicholas Overknocker, that lives all along
shore, about Margaret's Bay, and HE IS a great man, it
takes a yoke of oxen to drag him. When I first see'd him,
says I, what on airth is the matter o' that man, has he
the dropsy, for he is actilly the greatest man I ever
see'd; he must weigh the matter of five hundred weight;
he'd cut three inches on the rib--he must have a proper
sight of lard, that chap? No, says I, don't call 'em
great men, for there aint a great man in the country,
that's a fact; there aint one that desarves the name;
folks will only larf at you if you talk that way. There
may be some rich men, and I believe there be, and its a
pity there warn't more on 'em, and a still greater pity
they have so little spirit or enterprise among 'em, but
a country is none the worse of having rich men in it,
you may depend. Great folks, well come, that's a good
joke--that bangs the bush. No, my friend, says I, the
meat that's at the top of the barrel, is sometimes not
so good as that that's a little grain lower down; the
upper and lower eends are plaguy apt to have a little
taint in 'em, but the middle is always good.

Well, says the Blue Nose, perhaps they beant great men,
exactly in that sense, but they are great men compared
to us poor folks; and they eat up all the revenue, there's
nothin left for roads and bridges, they want to ruin the
country, that's a fact. Want to ruin your granny, says
I, (for it raised my dander to hear the critter talk such
nonsense.) I did hear of one chap, says I, that sot fire
to his own house once, up to Squantum, but the cunnin
rascal insured it first; now how can your great folks
ruin the country without ruinin themselves, unless they
have insured the Province? Our folks will insure all
creation for half nothin, but I never heerd tell of a
country being insured agin rich men. Now if you ever go
to Wall Street to get such a policy, leave the door open
behind you, that's all; or they'll grab right hold of
you, shave your head and blister it, clap a straight
jacket on you, and whip you right into a mad house, afore
you can say Jack Robinson. No, your great men are nothin
but rich men, and I can tell you for your comfort, there's
nothin to hinder you from bein rich too, if you will take
the same means as they did. They were once all as poor
folks as you be, or their fathers afore them; for I know
their whole breed, seed and generation, and they would'nt
thank you to tell them that you knew their fathers and
grand fathers, I tell you. If ever you want the loan of
a hundred pounds from any of them, keep dark about that
--see as far ahead as you please, but it tante always
pleasant to have folks see too far back. Perhaps they be
a little proud or so, but that's nateral; all folks that
grow up right off, like a mushroom in one night, are apt
to think no small beer of themselves. A cabbage has plaguy
large leaves to the bottom, and spreads them out as wide
as an old woman's petticoats, to hide the ground it sprung
from, and conceal its extraction, but what's that to you?
If they get too large salaries, dock 'em down at once,
but don't keep talkin about it for everlastinly. If you
have too many sarvents, pay some on 'em off, or when they
quit your sarvice don't hire others in their room, that's
all; but you miss your mark when you keep firin away the
whole blessed time that way.

I went out a gunnin when I was a boy, and father went
with me to teach me. Well, the first flock of plover I
seed I let slip at them and missed them. Says father,
says he, what a blockhead you be, Sam, that's your own
fault, they were too far off, you had'nt ought to have
fired so soon. At Bunker's hill we let the British come
right on till we seed the whites of their eyes, and then
we let them have it slap bang. Well, I felt kinder grigged
at missin my shot, and I did'nt over half like to be
scolded too; so, says I yes, father, but recollect you
had a mud bank to hide behind, where you were proper
safe, and you had a rest for your guns too; but as soon
as you seed a little more than the whites of their eyes,
you run for dear life, full split, and so I don't see
much to brag on in that arter all, so come now. I'll
teach you to talk that way, you puppy you, said he, of
that glorious day; and he fetched me a wipe that I do
believe if I had'nt a dodged, would have spoiled my gunnin
for that hitch; so I gave him a wide birth arter that
all day. Well, the next time I missed, says I, she hung
fire so everlastinly, its no wonder--and the next miss,
says I, the powder is no good, I vow. Well, I missed
every shot, and I had an excuse for every one on 'em--the
flint was bad, or she flashed in the pan, or the shot
scaled, or something or another; and when all would'nt
do, I swore the gun was no good at all. Now, says father,
(and he edged up all the time, to pay me off for that
hit at his Bunker hill story, which was the only shot I
did'nt miss,) you han't got the right reason arter all.
It was your own fault, Sam. Now that's jist the case with
you; you may blame Banks and Council, and House of
Assembly, and "the great men," till you are tired, but
its all your own fault--YOU'VE NO SPIRIT AND NO ENTERPRISE,
YOU WANT INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY; USE THEM, AND YOU'LL SOON
BE AS RICH AS THE PEOPLE AT HALIFAX YOU CALL GREAT
FOLKS--they did'nt grow rich by talking, but by working;
instead of lookin after other folks' business, they looked
about the keenest arter their own. You are like the
machinery of one of our boats, good enough, and strong
enough, but of no airthly use till you get the steam up;
you want to be set in motion, and then you'll go ahead
like any thing, you may depend. Give up politics--its a
barren field, and well watched too; when one critter
jumps a fence into a good field and gets fat, more nor
twenty are chased round and round, by a whole pack of
yelpin curs, till they are fairly beat out, and eend by
bein half starved, and are at the liftin at last. look
to your farms--your water powers--your fisheries, and
factories. in short, says I, puttin on my hat and startin,
look to yourselves, and don't look to others.




No. XXII

A Cure for Conceit.

Its a most curious unaccountable thing, but its a fact,
said the Clockmaker, the Blue Noses are so conceited,
they think they know every thing; and yet there aint a
livin soul in Nova Scotia knows his own business real
complete, farmer or fisherman, lawyer or doctor, or any
other folk. A farmer said to me one day, up to Pugnose's
inn at River Philip, Mr. Slick, says he, I allot this
aint "A BREAD COUNTRY;" I intend to sell off the house
I improve, and go to the States. If it aint a bread
country, said I, I never see'd one that was. There is
more bread used here, made of best superfine flour, and
No. 1. Genesssee, than in any other place of the same
population in the univarse. You might as well say it aint
a Clock Country, when, to my sartin knowledge, there are
more clocks than bibles in it. I guess you expect to
raise your bread ready made, dont you? Well there's only
one class of our free and enlightened citizens that can
do that, and that's them that are born with silver spoons
in their mouths. It's a pity you was'nt availed of this
truth, afore you up killoch and off--take my advice and
bide where you be. Well the fishermen are jist as bad.
The next time you go into the fish market at Halifax,
stump some of the old hands; says you "how many fins has
a cod at a word," and I'll liquidate the bet if you lose
it. When I've been along-shore afore now, a vendin of my
clocks, and they began to raise my dander, by belittleing
the Yankees, I always brought them up by a round turn by
that requirement, "how many fins has a cod at a word."
Well they never could answer it; and then, says I, when
you larn your own business, I guess it will be time enough
to teach other folks theirn. How different it is with
our men folk, if they cant get thro' a question, how
beautifully they can go round it, can't they? Nothin
never stops them. I had two brothers, Josiah and Eldad,
one was a lawyer, and the other a doctor. They were a
talkin about their examinations one night, at a huskin
frolic, up to Governor Ball's big stone barn at Slickville.
Says Josy, when I was examined, the Judge axed me all
about real estate; and, says he, Josiah, says he, what's
a fee? Why, says I, Judge, it depends on the natur of
the case. In a common one, says I, I call six dollars
a pretty fair one; but lawyer Webster has got afore now,
I've heerd tell, 1,000 dollars, and that _I_ DO CALL a
fee. Well, the Judge he larfed ready to split his sides;
(thinks I, old chap, you'll bust like a steam byler, if
you hant got a safety valve somewhere or another,) and,
says he, I vow that's superfine; I'll indorse your
certificate for you, young man; there's no fear of you,
you'll pass the inspection brand any how.

Well, says Eldad, I hope I may be skinned if the same
thing did'nt een amost happen to me at my examination.
They axed me a nation sight of questions, some on 'em I
could answer, and some on 'em no soul could, right off
the reel at a word, without a little cypherin; at last
they axed me, "How would you calculate to put a patient
into a sweat, when common modes would'nt work no how?"
Why, says I, I'd do as Dr. Comfort Payne sarved father;
and how was that, said they. Why, says I, he put him into
such a sweat as I never seed him in afore, in all my born
days, since I was raised, by sending him in his bill,
and if that did'nt sweat him it's a pity; it was an ACTIVE
dose you may depend. I guess that are chap has cut his
eye teeth, said the President, let him pass as approbated.

They both knowed well enough, they only made as if they
did'nt, to poke a little fun at them, for the Slick family
were counted in a general way to be pretty considerable
cute.

They reckon themselves here, a chalk above us Yankees,
but I guess they have a wrinkle or two to grow afore they
progress ahead on us yet. If they hant got a full cargo
of conceit here, then I never seed a load, that's all.
They have the hold chock full, deck piled up to the pump
handles, and scuppers under water. They larnt that of
the British, who are actilly so full of it, they remind
me of Commodore Trip. When he was about half shaved he
thought every body drunk but himself. I never liked the
last war, I thought it unnateral, and that we hadnt ought
to have taken hold of it at all, and so most of our New
England folks thought; and I wasn't sorry to hear Gineral
Dearborne was beat, seeing we had no call to go into
Canada. But when the Guerriere was captivated by our
old Ironsides, the Constitution, I did feel lifted up
amost as high as a stalk of Varginey corn among Connecticut
middlins; I grew two inches taller I vow, the night I
heerd that news. Brag, says I, is a good dog, but hold
fast is better. The British navals had been a braggin
and a hectorin so long, that when they landed in our
cities, they swaggered een amost as much as Uncle Peleg
(big Peleg as he was called), and when he walked up the
centre of one of our narrow Boston streets, he used to
swing his arms on each side of him, so that folks had to
clear out of both foot paths; he's eat, afore now, the
fingers of both hands agin the shop windows on each side
of the street. Many the poor feller's cruper bone he's
smashed, with his great thick boots, a throwin out his
feet afore him een amost out of sight, when he was in
full rig a swigglin away at the top of his gait. Well
they cut as many shines as Uncle Peleg. One Frigate they
guessed would captivate, sink, or burn our whole navy.
Says a naval one day, to the skipper of a fishing boat
that he took, says he, is it true Commodore Decatur's
sword is made of an old iron hoop? Well, says the skipper,
I'm not quite certified as to that, seein as I never sot
eyes on it; but I guess if he gets a chance he'll shew
you the temper of it some of these days, any how.

I mind once a British man-o'-war took one of our Boston
vessels, and ordered all hands on board, and sent a party
to skuttle her; well, they skuttled the fowls and the
old particular genuine rum, but they obliviated their
arrand and left her. Well, next day another frigate (for
they were as thick as toads arter a rain) comes near her,
and fires a shot for her to bring to. No answer was made,
there bein no livin soul on board, and another shot fired,
still no answer. Why what on airth is the meanin of this,
said the Captain, why dont they haul down that damn goose
and gridiron (thats what he called our eagle and stars
on the flag.) Why, says the first leftenant, I guess they
are all dead men, that shot frightened them to death.
They are afeared to show their noses says another, lest
they should be shaved off by our shots. They are all down
below a "CALCULATIN" their loss I guess, says a third.
I'll take my davy says the Captain, its some Yankee trick,
a torpedo in her bottom or some such trap--we'll let her
be, and sure enough, next day, back she came to shore of
herself. I'll give you a quarter of an hour, says the
Captain of the Guerriere to his men, to take that are
Yankee frigate the Constitution. I guess he found his
mistake where he didn't expect it, without any great
sarch for it either. Yes; (to eventuate my story) it
did me good, I felt dreadful nice, I promise you. It was
as lovely as bitters of a cold mornin. Our folks beat
'em arter that so often, they got a little grain too much
conceit also. They got their heels too high for their
boots, and began to walk like uncle Peleg too, so that
when the Chesapeake got whipped I warnt sorry. We could
spare that one, and it made our navals look round, like
a feller who gets a hoist, to see who's a larfin at him.
It made 'em brush the dust off, and walk on rather
sheepish. It cut their combs that's a fact. The war did
us a plaguy sight of good in more ways than one, and it
did the British some good too. It taught 'em not to carry
their chins too high, for fear they should'nt see the
gutters--a mistake that's spoiled many a bran new coat
and trowsers afore now.

Well, these Blue Noses have caught this disease, as folks
do the Scotch fiddle, by shakin hands along with the
British. Conceit has become here, as Doctor Rush says,
(you have heerd tell of him, he's the first man of the
age, and its generally allowed our doctors take the shine
off of all the world) acclimated, it is citizenised among
'em, and the only cure is a real good quiltin. I met a
first chop Colchester Gag this summer a goin to the races
to Halifax, and he knowed as much about racin, I do
suppose, as a Chictaw Ingian does of a rail road. Well,
he was a praisin of his horse, and runnin on like Statiee.
He was begot, he said, by Roncesvalles, which was better
than any horse that ever was seen, because he was once
in a duke's stable in England. It was only a man that
had blood like a lord, said he, that knew what blood in
a horse was. Capt. Currycomb, an officer at Halifax, had
seen his horse and praised him, and that was enough--that
stamped him--that fixed his value. It was like the
President's name to a bank note, it makes it pass current.
Well, says I, I hant got a drop of blood in me nothin
stronger than molasses and water, I vow, but I guess I
know a horse when I see him for all that, and I dont
think any great shakes of your beast, any how; what start
will you give me, says I, and I will run "Old Clay" agin
you, for a mile lick right an eend. Ten rods, said he,
for twenty dollars. Well, we run, and I made "Old Clay"
bite in his breath and only beat him by half a neck. A
tight scratch says I, that, and it would have sarved me
right if I had been beat. I had no business to run an
old roadster so everlastin fast, it aint fair on him, is
it? Says he, I will double the bet and start even, and
run you agin if you dare. Well, says I, since I won the
last it would'nt be pretty not to give you a chance; I
do suppose I oughtn't to refuse, but I dont love to abuse
my beast by knockin him about this way.

As soon as the money was staked, I said, had'nt we better,
says I, draw stakes, that are blood horse of yourn has
such uncommon particular bottom, he'll perhaps leave me
clean out of sight. No fear of that, said he, larfin,
but he'll beat you easy, any how. No flinchin, says he,
I'll not let you go back of the bargain. Its run or
forfeit. Well, says I, friend, there is fear of it; your
horse will leave me out of sight, to a sartainty, thats
a fact, for he CANT KEEP UP TO ME NO TIME. I'll drop him,
hull down, in tu twos. If old Clay did'nt make a fool of
him, its a pity. Did'nt he gallop pretty, that's all? He
walked away from him, jist as the Chancellor Livingston
steam boat passes a sloop at anchor in the north river.
Says I, I told you your horse would beat me clean out of
sight, but you would'nt believe me; now, says I, I will
tell you something else. That are horse will help, you
to lose more money to Halifax than you are a thinkin on;
for there aint a beast gone down there that wont beat
him. He cant run a bit, and you may tell the British
Captain I say so. Take him home and sell him, buy a good
yoke of oxen; they are fast enough for a farmer, and give
up blood horses to them that can afford to keep stable
helps to tend 'em, and leave bettin alone to them, as
has more money nor wit, and can afford to lose their
cash, without thankin agin of their loss. When _I_ WANT
your advice, said he, I will ASK IT, most peskily sulky.
You might have got it before you AXED for it, said I,
but not afore you WANTED it, you may depend on it. But
stop, said I, let's see that all's right afore we part;
so I counts over the fifteen pounds I won of him, note
by note, as slow as any thing, on purpose to ryle him,
then I mounts "old Clay" agin, and says I, friend, you
have considerably the advantage of me this hitch, any
how. Possible! says he, how's that? Why, says I, I guess
you'll return rather lighter than you came--and that's
more nor I can say, any how, and then I gave him a wink
and a jupe of the head, as much as to say, "do you take?"
and rode on and left him starin and scratchin his head
like a feller who's lost his road. If that citizen aint
a born fool, or too far gone in the disease, depend on't,
he found "A CURE FOR CONCEIT."




No. XXIII

The Blowin Time.

The long rambling dissertation on conceit to which I had
just listened, from the Clockmaker, forcibly reminded me
of the celebrated aphorism "gnothi seauton," know thyself,
which, both from its great antiquity and wisdom, has been
by many attributed to an oracle.

With all his shrewdness to discover, and his humor to
ridicule the foibles of others, Mr. Slick was kind to
the many defects of his own character; and, while
prescribing "a cure for conceit," exhibited in all he
said, and all he did, the most overweening conceit himself.
He never spoke of his own countrymen, without calling
them "the most free and enlightened citizens on the face
of the airth," or as "takin the shine off of all creation."
His country he boasted to be the "best atween the poles,"
"the greatest glory under heaven." The Yankees he considered
(to use his expression) as "actilly the class-leaders in
knowledge among all the Americans," and boasted that they
have not only "gone ahead of all others," but had lately
arrived at that most enviable no plus ultra point "of
goin ahead of themselves." In short, he entertained no
doubt that Slickville was the finest place in the greatest
nation in the world, and the Slick family the wisest
family in it. I was about calling his attention to this
national trait, when I saw him draw his reins under his
foot, (a mode of driving peculiar to himself, when he
wish'd to economise the time that would otherwise be lost
by an unnecessary delay,) and taking off his hat, (which,
like a pedlar's pack, contained a general assortment,)
select from a number of loose cigars one that appeared
likely to "go," as he called it. Having lighted it by a
lucifer, and ascertained that it was "true in draft," he
resumed his reins and remarked, This must be an everlastin
fine country beyond all doubt, for the folks have nothin
to do but to ride about and talk politics. In winter,
when the ground is covered with snow, what grand times
they have a slayin over these here mashes with the galls,
or playin ball on the ice, or goin to quiltin frolics of
nice long winter evenings and then a drivin home like
mad, by moonlight. Natur meant that season on purpose
for courtin. A little tidy scrumptious lookin slay, a
real clipper of a horse, a string of bells as long as a
string of inions round his neck, and a sprig on his back,
lookin for all the world like a bunch of apples broke
off at gatherin time, and a sweetheart alongside, all
muffled up but her eyes and lips--the one lookin right
into you, and the other talkin right at you--is een a
most enough to drive one ravin tarin distracted mad with
pleasure, aint it? And then the dear critters say the
bells make such a din there's no hearin one's self speak;
so they put their pretty little mugs close up to your
face, and talk, talk, talk, till one can't help lookin
right at them instead of the horse, and then whap you
both go capsized into, a snow drift together, skins,
cushions and all. And then to see the little critter
shake herself when she gets up, like a duck landin from
a pond, a chatterin away all the time like a Canary bird,
and you a haw-hawin with pleasure, is fun alive, you may
depend. In this way Blue Nose gets led on to offer himself
as a lovier, afore he knows where he bees. But when he
gets married, he recovers his eyesight in little less
than half no time. He soon finds he's treed; his flint
is fixed then, you may depend. She larns him how vinegar
is made: Put plenty of sugar into the water aforehand,
my dear, says she, if you want to make it real sharp.
The larf is on the other side of his mouth then. If his
slay gets upsot, its no longer a funny matter, I tell
you; he catches it right and left. Her eyes don't look
right up to hisn any more, nor her little tongue ring,
ring, ring, like a bell any longer, but a great big hood
covers her head, and a whappin great muff covers her
face, and she looks like a bag of soiled clothes agoin
to the brook to be washed. When they get out, she don't
wait any more for him to walk lock and lock with her,
but they march like a horse and a cow to water, one in
each gutter. If there aint a transmogrification its a
pity. The difference atween a wife and a sweetheart is
near about as great as there is between new and hard
cider--a man never tires of puttin one to his lips, but
makes plaguy wry faces at tother. It makes me so kinder
wamblecropt when I think on it, that I'm afeared to
venture on matrimony at all. I have seen some Blue Noses
most properly bit, you may depend. You've seen a boy a
slidin on a most beautiful smooth bit of ice, ha'nt you,
larfin, and hoopin, and hallooin like one possessed, when
presently sowse he goes in over head and ears? How he
out fins and flops about, and blows like a porpoise
properly frightened, don't he? and when he gets out there
he stands; all shiverin and shakin, and the water a
squish-squashin in his shoes, and his trowsers all stickin
slimsey like to his legs. Well, he sneaks off home, lookin
like a fool, and thinkin every body he meets is a larfin
at him--many folks here are like that are boy, afore they
have been six months married. They'd be proper glad to
get out of the scrape too, and sneak off if they could,
that's a fact. The marriage yoke is plaguy apt to gall
the neck, as the ash bow does the ox in rainy weather,
unless it be most particularly well fitted. You've seen
a yoke of cattle that warn't properly mated, they spend
more strength in pullin agin each other, than in pullin
the load. Well that's apt to be the case with them as
choose their wives in sleighin parties, quiltin frolicks,
and so on; instead of the dairies, looms, and cheese
house. Now the Blue Noses are all a stirrin in winter.
The young folks drive out the galls, and talk love and
all sorts of things as sweet as dough-nuts. The old folks
find it near about as well to leave the old women to
home, for fear they should'nt keep tune together; so they
drive out alone to chat about House of Assembly with
their neighbors, while the boys and hired helps do the
chores. When the Spring comes, and the fields are dry
enough to be sowed, they all have to be plowed, CAUSE
FALL RAINS WASH THE LANDS TOO MUCH FOR FALL PLOUGHIN.
Well the plows have to be mended and sharpened, CAUSE
WHAT'S THE USE OF DOIN THAT AFORE ITS WANTED. Well the
wheat gets in too late, and then comes rust, but whose
fault is that? WHY THE CLIMATE TO BE SURE, FOR NOVA SCOTIA
AINT A BREAD COUNTRY.

When a man has to run ever so far as fast as he can clip,
he has to stop and take breath; you must do that or choke.
So it is with a horse; run him a mile, and his flanks
will heave like a Blacksmith's bellows; you must slack
up the rein and give him a little wind, or he'll fall
right down with you. It stands to reason, don't it? Atwixt
spring and fall work is "BLOWIN TIME." Then Courts come
on, and Grand Jury business, and Militia trainin, and
Race trainin, and what not; and a fine spell of ridin
about and doin nothin, a real "BLOWIN TIME." Then comes
harvest, and that is proper hard work, mowin and pitchin
hay, and reapin and bindin grain, and potatoe diggin.
That's as hard as sole leather, afore its hammered on
the lap stone--it's most next to any thing. It takes
a feller as tuff as Old Hickory (General Jackson) to
stand that.

Ohio is most the only country I knew of where folks are
saved that trouble; and there the freshets come jist in
the nick of time for 'em, and sweep all the crops right
up in a heap for 'em, and they have nothin to do but take
it home and house it, and sometimes a man gets more than
his own crop, and finds a proper swad of it all ready
piled up, only a little wet or so; but all countries aint
like Ohio. Well, arter harvest comes fall, and then
there's a grand "blowin time" till spring. Now, how the
Lord the Blue Noses can complain of their country, when
its only one third work and two-thirds "blowin time," no
soul can tell. Father used to say, when I lived on the
farm along with him--Sam, says he, I vow I wish there
was jist four hundred days in the year, for its a plaguy
sight too short for me. I can find as much work as all
hands on us can do for 365 days, and jist 35 days more,
if we had 'em. We han't got a minit to spare; you must
shell the corn and winner the grain at night, and clean
all up slick, or I guess we'll fall astarn as sure as
the Lord made Moses. If he didn't keep us all at it, a
drivin away full chisel, the whole blessed time, its a
pity. There was no "blowin time" there, you may depend.
We plowed all the fall for dear life; in winter we
thrashed, made and mended tools, went to market and mill,
and got out our firewood and rails. As soon as frost was
gone, came sowin and plantin, weedin and hoein--then
harvest and spreadin compost--then gatherin manure, fencin
and ditchin--and then turn tu and fall plowin agin. It
all went round like a wheel without stoppin, and so fast,
I guess you couldn't see the spokes, just one long
everlastin stroke from July to etarnity, without time to
look back on the tracks. Instead of racin over the
country like a young doctor, to show how busy a man is
that has nothin to do, as Blue Nose does, and then take
a "blowin time," we kept a rale travellin gate, an
eight-mile-an-hour pace, the whole year round. THEY BUY
MORE NOR THEY SELL, AND EAT MORE THAN THEY RAISE, in this
country. What a pretty way that is, is'nt it? If the
critters knew how to cypher, they would soon find out
that a sum stated that way always eends in a naught. I
never knew it to fail, and I defy any soul to cypher it
so, as to make it come out any other way, either by
Schoolmaster's Assistant or Algebra. When I was a boy,
the Slickville bank broke, and an awful disorderment it
made, that's a fact; nothin else was talked of. Well, I
studied it over a long time, but I could'nt make it out:
so says I, Father, how came that are bank to break? Warn't
it well built? I thought that are Quincy granite was so
amazin strong all natur would'nt break it. Why you foolish
critter, says he, it tante the buildin that's broke, its
the consarn that's smashed. Well, says I, I know folks
are plaguilly consarned about it, but what do you call
"folks smashin their consarns?" Father he larfed out like
any thing; I thought he never would stop--and sister
Sall got right up and walked out of the room, as mad as
a hatter. Says she, Sam, I do believe you are a born
fool, I vow. When father had done larfin, says he, I'll
tell you, Sam, how it was. They cyphered it so that they
brought out nothin for a remainder. Possible! says I;
I thought there was no eend to their puss. I thought it
was like Uncle Peleg's musquash hole, and that no soul
could ever find the bottom of. My!! says I. Yes, says
he, that are bank spent and lost more money than it made,
and when folks do that, they must smash at last, if their
puss be as long as the national one of Uncle Sam. This
Province is like that are Bank of ourn, it's goin the
same road, and they'll find the little eend of the horn
afore they think they are halfway down to it.

If folks would only give over talkin about that everlastin
House of Assembly and Council, and see to their farms,
it would be better for 'em, I guess; for arter all, what
is it? Why it's only a sort of first chop Grand Jury,
and nothin else. It's no more like Congress or Parliament,
than Marm Pugwash's keepin room is like our State hall.
It's jist nothin--Congress makes war and peace, has a
say in all treaties, confarms all great nominations of
the President, regilates the army and navy, governs
twenty-four independent States, and snaps its fingers in
the face of all the nations of Europe, as much as to say,
who be you? I allot I am as big as you be. If you are
six foot high, I am six foot six in my stockin feet, by
gum, and can lambaste any two on you in no time. The
British can whip all the world, and we can whip the
British. But this little House of Assembly that folks
make such a touss about, what is it? Why jist a decent
Grand Jury. They make their presentments of little money
votes, to mend these everlastin rottin little wooden
bridges, to throw a poultice of mud once a year on the
roads, and then take a "blowin time" of three months and
go home. The littler folks be, the bigger they talk. You
never seed a small man that did'nt wear high heel boots,
and a high, crowned bat, and that war'nt ready to fight
most any one, to show he was a man every inch of him. I
met a member the other day, who swaggered near about as
large as Uncle Peleg. He looked as if he thought you
could'nt find his "ditto" any where. He used some most
particular educational words, genuine jaw-breakers. He
put me in mind of a squirrel I once shot in our wood
location. The little critter got a hickory nut in his
mouth; well, he found it too hard to crack, and too big
to swaller, and for the life and soul of him, he could'nt
spit it out agin. If he did'nt look like a proper fool,
you may depend. We had a pond back of our barn about the
bigness of a good sizeable wash-tub, and it was chock
full of frogs. Well, one of these little critters fancied
himself a bull-frog, and he puffed out his cheeks, and
took a real "blowin time" of it; he roared away like
thunder; at last he puffed and puffed out till he bust
like a byler. If I see the Speaker this winter, (and I
shall see him to a sartainty if they don't send for him
to London, to teach their new Speaker) and he's up to
snuff, that are man; he knows how to cypher--I'll jist
say to him, Speaker, says I, if any of your folks in the
House go to swell out like dropsy, give 'em a hint in
time. Says you, if you have are a little safety valve
about you, let off a little steam now and then, or you'll
go for it; recollect the Clockmaker's story of the "Blowin
time."




No. XXIV

Father John O'Shaughnessy.

To morrow will be Sabbath day, said the Clockmaker; I
guess we'll bide where we be till Monday. I like a Sabbath
in the country--all natur seems at rest. There's a
cheerfulness in the day here, you don't find in towns.
You have natur before you here, and nothin but art there.
The deathy stillness of a town, and the barred windows,
and shut shops, and empty streets, and great long lines
of big brick buildins, look melancholy. It seems as if
life had ceased tickin, but there had'nt been time for
decay to take hold on there; as if day had broke, but
man slept. I can't describe exactly what I mean, but I
always feel kinder gloomy and whamblecropt there. Now in
the country its jist what it ought to be--a day of rest
for man and beast from labor. When a man rises on the
Sabbath, and looks out on the sunny fields and wavin
crops, his heart feels proper grateful, and he says,
come, this is a splendid day, aint it? let's get ready
and put on our bettermost close, and go to meetin. His
first thought is prayerfully to render thanks; and then
when he goes to worship he meets all his neighbors, and
he knows them all, and they are glad to see each other,
and if any two on 'em hant exactly gee'd together durin
the week, why they meet on kind of neutral ground, and
the minister or neighbours make peace atween them. But
it tante so in towns. You don't know no one you meet
there. Its the worship of neighbors, but its the worship
of strangers, too, for neighbors don't know nor care
about each other. Yes, I love a Sabbath in the country.
While uttering this soliloquy, he took up a pamphlet from
the table, and turning to the title page, said, have you
ever seen this here book on the "Elder Controversy."
[Footnote: A Controversy on the subject of Infant Baptism.]
This author's friends say its a clincher; they say he
has sealed up Elder's mouth as tight as a bottle. No,
said I, I have not; I have heard of it, but never read
it. In my opinion the subject has been exhausted already,
and admits of nothing new bein said upon it. These
religious controversies are a serious injury to the cause
of true religion; they are deeply deplored by the good
and moderate men of all parties. It has already embraced
several denominations in the dispute in this Province,
and I hear the agitation has extended to New Brunswick,
where it will doubtless be renewed with equal zeal. I am
told all the pamphlets are exceptionable in point of
temper, and this one in particular, which not only ascribes
the most unworthy motives to its antagonist, but contains
some very unjustifiable and gratuitous attacks, upon
other sects unconnected with the dispute. The author has
injured his own cause, for an INTEMPERATE ADVOCATE IS
MORE DANGEROUS THAN AN OPEN FOE. There is no doubt on
it, said the Clockmaker, it is as clear as mud, and you
are not the only one that thinks so, I tell you. About
the hottest time of the dispute, I was to Halifax, and
who should I meet but Father John O'Shaughnessy, a Catholic
Priest. I had met him afore in Cape Breton, and had sold
him a clock. Well, he was a leggin it off hot foot.
Possible! says I, Father John, is that you? Why, what on
airth is the matter of you--what makes you in such an
everlastin hurry, driven away like one ravin distracted
mad? A sick visit, says he; poor Pat Lanigan, him that
you mind to Bradore Lake, well he's near about at the
pint of death. I guess not, said I, for I jist heerd tell
he was dead. Well, that brought him up all standin, and
he bouts ship in a jiffy, and walks a little way with
me, and we got a talkin about this very subject. Says
he, what are you, Mr. Slick? Well, I looks up to him and
winks, a Clockmaker, says I; well he smiled, and says
he, I see; as much as to say I had'nt ought to have axed
that are question at all, I guess, for every man's religion
is his own, and nobody else's business. Then, says he,
you know all about this country, who do folks say has
the best of the dispute. Says I, Father John, its like
the battles up to Canada lines last war, each side claims
victory; I guess there aint much to brag on nary way,
damage done on both sides, and nothin gained, as far as
I can learn. He stopt short, and looked me in the face,
and says he, Mr. Slick you are a man that has seed a good
deal of the world, and a considerable of an understandin
man, and I guess I CAN talk to YOU. Now, says he, for
gracious sake do jist look here, and see how you heretics
(protestants I mean, says he, for I guess that are word
slipt out without leave,) are by the ears, a driven away
at each other, the whole blessed time tooth and nail,
hip and thigh, hammer and tongs, disputin, revilin,
wranglin, and beloutin each other, with all sorts of ugly
names that they can lay their tongues to. Is that the
way you love your neighbor as yourself? WE SAY THIS IS
A PRACTICAL COMMENT ON SCHISM, and by the powers of Moll
Kelly, said he, but they all ought to be well lambasted
together, the whole batch on 'em entirely. Says I, Father
John, give me your hand; there are some things, I guess,
you and I don't agree on, and most likely never will,
seein that you are a Popish priest; but in that idee I
do opinionate with you, and I wish with all my heart all
the world thought with us. I guess he didn't half like
that are word Popish priest; it seemed to grig him like;
his face looked kinder' ryled, like well water arter a
heavy rain; and said he, Mr. Slick, says he, your country
is a free country, aint it? The freest, says I, on the
face of the airth--you can't "ditto" it nowhere. We are
as free as the air, and when our dander's up, stronger
than any hurricane you ever seed--tear up all creation
most; there aint the beat of it to be found any where.
Do you call this a free country? said he. Pretty
considerable middlin, says I, seein that they are under
a king. Well, says he, if you were seen in Connecticut
a shakin hands along with a Popish priest, as you are
pleased to call me, (and he made me a bow, as much as to
say mind your trumps the next deal) as you now are in
the streets of Halifax along with me, with all your
crackin and boastin of your freedom, I guess you wouldn't
sell a clock agin in that State for one while, I tell
you, and he bid me good mornin and turned away. Father
John! says I. I can't stop, says he; I must see that poor
critter's family; they must be in great trouble, and a
sick visit is afore controvarsy in my creed. Well, says
I, one word with you afore you go; if that are name Popish
priest was an ongenteel one, I ax your pardon; I didn't
mean no offence, I do assure you, and I'll say this for
your satisfaction, tu, you're the first man in this
Province that ever gave me a real right down complete
checkmate since I first sot foot in it, I'll be skinned
if you aint. Yes, said Mr. Slick, Father John was right;
these antagonizing chaps ought to be well quilted, the
whole raft of 'em. It fairly makes me sick to see the
folks, each on 'em a backin up of their own man. At it
agin, says one; fair play, says another; stick it into
him, says a third; and that's your sort, says a fourth.
Them are the folks who do mischief. They show such clear
grit it fairly frightens me. It makes my hair stand right
up an eend to see ministers do that are. IT APPEARS TO
ME THAT I COULD WRITE A BOOK IN FAVOR OF MYSELF AND MY
NOTIONS WITHOUT WRITIN AGIN ANY ONE, AND IF I COULDN'T
I WOULDN'T WRITE AT ALL, I SNORE. Our old minister, Mr.
Hopewell, (a real good man, and a larned man too that,)
they sent to him once to write agin the Unitarians, for
they are a goin ahead like statiee in New England, but
he refused. Said he, Sam, says he, when I first went to
Cambridge, there was a boxer and wrastler came there,
and he beat every one wherever he went. Well, old Mr.
Possit was the Church of England parson at Charlestown,
at the time, and a terrible powerful man he was--a real
sneezer, and as ACTIVE as a weasel. Well, the boxer met
him one day, a little way out of town, a takin of his
evenin walk, and said he, Parson, says he, they say you
are a most a plaguy strong man and uncommon stiff too.
Now, says he, I never seed a man yet that was a match
for me; would you have any objection jist to let me be
availed of your strength here in a friendly way, by
ourselves, where no soul would be the wiser; if you will
I'll keep dark about it, I swan. Go your way, said the
Parson, and tempt me not; you are a carnal minded wicked
man, and I take no pleasure in such vain idle sports.
Very well, said the boxer; now here I stand, says he, in
the path, right slap afore you; if you pass round me,
then I take it as a sign that you are afeard on me, and
if you keep the path, why then you must first put me
out--that's a fact. The Parson jist made a spring forrard,
and kitched him up as quick as wink, and throwed him
right over the fence whap on the broad of his back, and
then walked on as if nothin had happened--as demure as
you please, and lookin as meek as if butter would'nt melt
in his mouth. Stop, said the boxer, as soon as he picked
himself up, stop Parson, said he, that's a good man, and
jist chuck over my horse too, will you, for I swan I
believe you could do one near about as easy as tother.
My! said he, if that don't bang the bush; you are another
guess chap from what I took you to be, any how. Now, said
Mr. Hopewell, says he, I won't write, but if are a
Unitarian crosses my path, I'll jist over the fence with
him in no time, as the parson did the boxer; FOR WRITIN
ONLY AGGRAVATES YOUR OPPONENTS, AND NEVER CONVINCES THEM.
I NEVER SEED A CONVERT MADE BY THAT WAY YET, BUT I'LL
TELL YOU WHAT I HAVE SEED, A MAN SET HIS OWN FLOCK A
DOUBTIN BY HIS OWN WRITIN. YOU MAY HAPPIFY YOUR ENEMIES,
CANTANKERATE YOUR OPPONENTS, AND, INJURE YOUR OWN CAUSE
BY IT, BUT I DEFY YOU TO SARVE IT. These writers, said
he, put me in mind of that are boxer's pupils. He would
sometimes set two on 'em to spar; well, they'd put on
their gloves and begin, larfin and jokin all in good
humor. Presently one on 'em would put in a pretty hard
blow; well, tother would return it in airnest. Oh, says
the other, if that's your play, off gloves and at it;
and sure enough, away would fly their gloves, and at it
they'd go tooth and nail.

No, Sam, the misfortin is, we are all apt to think Scriptur
intended for our neighbors, and not for ourselves. The
poor all think it made for the rich. Look at that are
Dives, they say, what an all fired scrape he got into by
his avarice, with Lazarus; and aint it writ as plain as
any thing, that them folks will find it as easy to go to
heaven, as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.
Well, then, the rich think it all made for the poor--that
they sharnt steal nor bear false witness, but shall be
obedient to them that's in authority. And as for them
are Unitarians, and he always got his dander up when he
spoke of them, why there's no doin nothin with them, says
he. When they get fairly stumped, and you produce a text
that they can't get over, nor get round, why they say it
tante in our varsion at all--that's an interpolation,
its an invention of them are everlastin monks; there's
nothin left for you to do with them, but to sarve them
as Parson Possit detailed the boxer--lay right hold of
'em, and chuck 'em over the fence, even if they were as
big as all out doors. That's what our folks ought to
have done with 'em at first, pitched 'em clean out of
the state, and let 'em go down to Nova-Scotia, or some
such outlandish place, for they aint fit to live in no
christian country at all.

Fightin is no way to make converts; THE TRUE WAY IS TO
WIN 'EM. You may stop a man's mouth, Sam, says he, by a
crammin a book down his throat, but you won't convince
him. Its a fine thing to write a book all covered over
with Latin, and Greek, and Hebrew, like a bridle that's
real jam, all spangled with brass nails, but who knows
whether its right or wrong? why not one in ten thousand.
If I had my religion to choose, and warn't able to judge
for myself I'll tell you what I'd do: I'd just ask myself
WHO LEADS THE BEST LIVES? Now, says he, Sam, I won't say
who do, because it would look like vanity to say it was
the folks who hold to our platform, but I'll tell you
who don't. IT AINT THEM THAT MAKES THE GREATEST PROFESSIONS
ALWAYS; and mind what I tell you, Sam, when you go a
tradin with your clocks away down east to Nova-Scotia,
and them wild provinces, keep a bright look out on them
as cant too much, FOR A LONG FACE is plaguy apt to COVER
A LONG CONSCIENCE--that's a fact.




No. XXV

Taming a Shrew.

The road from Amherst to Parrsboro' is tedious and
uninteresting. In places it is made so straight, that
you can see several miles of it before you, which produces
an appearance of interminable length, while the stunted
growth of the spruce and birch trees bespeaks a cold thin
soil, and invests the scene with a melancholy and sterile
aspect. Here and there occurs a little valley with its
meandering stream, and verdant and fertile intervale,
which, though possessing nothing peculiar to distinguish
it from many others of the same kind, strikes the traveller
as superior to them all, from the contrast to the
surrounding country. One of these secluded spots attracted
my attention, from the number and neatness of the buildings,
which its proprietor, a tanner and currier, had erected
for the purposes of his trade. Mr. Slick said be knew
him, and he guessed it was a pity he couldn't keep his
wife in as good order as he did his factory. They don't
hitch their horses together well at all. He is properly
hen-pecked, said he; he is afeerd to call his soul his
own, and he leads the life of a dog; you never seed the
beat of it, I vow. Did you ever see a rooster hatch a
brood of chickens? No, said I, not that I can recollect.
Well then I have, said he, and if he don't look like a
fool all the time he is a settin on the eggs, its a pity;
no soul could help larfin to see him. Our old nigger,
January Snow, had a spite agin one of father's roosters,
seein that he was a coward, and would'nt fight. He used
to call him Dearborne, arter our General that behaved so
ugly to Canada; and, says he one day, I guess you are no
better than a hen, you everlastin old chicken-hearted
villain, and I'll make you a larfin stock to all the
poultry. I'll put a trick on you you'll bear in mind all
your born days. So he catches old Dearborne, and pulls
all the feathers off his breast, and strips him as naked
as when he was born, from his throat clean down to his
tail, and then takes a bundle of nettles and gives him
a proper switchin that stung him, and made him smart like
mad; then he warms some eggs and puts them in a nest,
and sets the old cock right a top of 'em. Well, the warmth
of the eggs felt good to the poor critter's naked belly,
and kinder kept the itchin of the nettles down, and he
was glad to bide where he was, and whenever he was tired
and got off his skin felt so cold, he'd run right back
and squat down agin, and when his feathers began to grow,
and he got obstropolous, he got another ticklin with the
nettles, that made him return double quick to his location.
In a little time he larnt the trade real complete.

Now, this John Porter, (and there he is on the bridge I
vow, I never seed the beat o' that, speak of old Saytin
and he's sure to appear;) well, he's jist like old
Dearborne, only fit to hatch eggs. When we came to the
Bridge, Mr. Slick stopped his horse, to shake hands with
Porter, whom he recognized as an old acquaintance and
customer. He enquired after a bark mill he had smuggled
from the States for him, and enlarged on the value of
such a machine, and the cleverness of his countrymen who
invented such useful and profitable articles; and was
recommending a new process of tanning, when a female
voice from the house was heard, vociferating, "John
Porter, come here this minute." Coming, my dear, said
the husband. "Come here, I say, directly, why do you
stand talking to that Yankee villain there." The poor
husband hung his head, looked silly, and bidding us good
bye, returned slowly to the house. As we drove on, Mr.
Slick said, that was me--I did that. Did what? said I.
That was me that sent him back, I called him and not his
wife. I had that are bestowment ever since I was knee
high or so; I'm a real complete hand at Ventriloquism;
I can take off any man's voice I ever heerd to the very
nines. If there was a law agin forgin that as there is
for handwritin, I guess I should have been hanged long
ago. I've had high goes with it many a time, but its
plaguy dangersome, and I don't pracTISE it now but seldom.
I had a real bout with that are citizen's wife once, and
completely broke her in for him; she went as gentle as
a circus horse for a space, but he let her have her head
agin, and she's as bad as ever now. I'll tell you how it
was. I was down to the Island a sellin clocks, and who
should I meet but John Porter; well, I traded with him
for one, part cash, part truck and proDUCE, and also put
off on him that are bark mill you heerd me axin about,
and it was pretty considerable on in the evenin afore we
finished our trade. I came home along with him, and had
the clock in the waggon to fix it up for him, and to shew
him how to regilate it. Well, as we neared his house,
he began to fret and take on dreadful oneasy; says he,
I hope Jane wont be abed, cause if she is she'll act
ugly, I do suppose. I had heerd tell of her afore; bow
she used to carry a stiff upper lip, and make him and
the broomstick well acquainted together; and, says I,
why do you put up with her tantrums, I'd make a fair
division of the house with her, if it was me, I'd take
the inside and allocate her the outside of it pretty
quick that's a fact. Well, when we came to the house,
there was no light in it, and the poor critter looked so
streaked and down in the mouth, I felt proper sorry for
him. When he rapped at the door, she called out, who's
there? Its me, dear, says Porter. You, is it, said she,
then you may stay where you be, them as gave you your
supper, may give you your bed, instead of sendin you
sneakin home at night like a thief. Said I, in a whisper,
says I, leave her to me, John Porter--jist take the
horses up to the barn, and see after them, and I'll manage
her for you, I'll make her as sweet as sugary candy,
never fear. The barn you see is a good piece off to the
eastward of the house; and, as soon as he was cleverly
out of hearin, says I, a imitatin of his voice to the
life, do let me in, Jane, says I, that's a dear critter,
I've brought you home some things you'll like, I know.
Well, she was an awful jealous critter; says she, take
'em to her you spent the evenin with, I don't want you
nor your presents neither. Arter a good deal of coaxin
I stood on tother tack, and began to threaten to break
the door down; says I, you old unhansum lookin sinner,
you vinerger cruet you, open the door this minit or I'll
smash it right in. That grigged her properly, it made
her very wrathy, (for nothin sets up a woman's spunk like
callin her ugly, she gets her back right up like a cat
when a strange dog comes near her; she's all eyes, claws
and bristles.)

I heerd her bounce right out of bed, and she came to the
door as she was, ondressed, and onbolted it; and, as I
entered it, she fetched me a box right across my cheek
with the flat of her hand, that made it tingle agin. I'll
teach you to call names agin, says she, you varmint. It
was jist what I wanted; I pushed the door tu with my
foot, and seizing her by the arm with one hand, I quilted
her with the horsewhip real handsum, with the other. At
first she roared like mad; I'll give you the ten
commandments, says she, (meaning her ten claws,) I'll
pay you for this, you cowardly villain, to strike a woman.
How dare you lift your hand, John Porter, to your lawful
wife, and so on; all the time runnin round and round,
like a colt that's a breakin, with the mouthin bit,
rarein, kickin, and plungin like statiee. Then she began
to give in. Says she, I beg pardon, on my knees I beg
pardon--don't murder me, for Heaven's sake--don't, dear
John, don't murder your poor wife, that's a dear. I'll
do as you bid me, I promise to behave well, upon my honor
I do--oh! dear John, do forgive me, do dear. When I had
her properly brought too, for havin nothin on but a thin
under garment, every crack of the whip told like a notch
on a baker's tally, says I, take that as a taste of what
you'll catch, when you act that way like old Scratch.
Now go and dress yourself, and get supper for me and a
stranger I have brought home along with me, and be quick,
for I vow I'll be master in my own house. She moaned
like a dog hit with a stone, half whine, half yelp; dear,
dear, says she, if I aint all covered over with welts as
big as my finger, I do believe I'm flayed alive; and she
boohood right out like any thing. I guess, said I, you've
got 'em where folks wont see 'em, any how, and I calculate
you won't be over forrard to show 'em where they be. But
come, says I, be a stirrin, or I'll quilt you agin as
sure as you're alive--I'll tan your hide for you, you
may depend, you old ungainly tempered heifer you.

When I went to the barn, says I, John Porter, your wife
made right at me, like one ravin distracted mad, when I
opened the door, thinkin it was you; and I was obliged
to give her a crack or two of the cowskin to get clear
of her. It has effectuated a cure completely; now foller
it up, and don't let on for your life, it warn't you that
did it, and you'll be master once more in your own house.
She's all docity jist now, keep her so. As we returned
we saw a light in the keepin room, the fire was blazin
up cheerfulsome, and Marm Porter moved about as brisk as
a parched pea, though as silent as dumb, and our supper
was ready in no time. As soon as she took her seat and
sot down, she sprung right up on eend, as if she had sot
on a pan of hot coals, and colored all over; and then
tears started in her eyes. Thinks I to myself, I calculate
I wrote that are lesson in large letters any how, I can
read that writin without spellin, and no mistake; I guess
you've got pretty well warmed thereabouts this hitch.
Then she tried it agin, first she sot on one leg then on
tother, quite oneasy, and then right atwixt both, a
fidgettin about dreadfully; like a man that's rode all
day on a bad saddle, and lost a little leather on the
way. If you had seed how she stared at Porter, it would
have made you snicker. She could'nt credit her eyes. He
warn't drunk, and he warn't crazy, but there he sot as
peeked and as meechin as you please. She seemed all struck
up of a heap at his rebellion. The next day when I was
about startin, I advised him to act like a man, and keep
the weather gage now he had it, and all would be well,
but the poor critter only held on a day or two, she soon
got the upper hand of him, and made him confess all, and
by all accounts he leads a worse life now than ever. I
put that are trick on him jist now to try him, and I see
it's gone goose with him; the jig is up with him, she'll
soon call him with a whistle like a dog. I often think
of the hornpipe she danced there in the dark along with
me, to the music of my whip--she touched it off in great
style, that's a fact. I shall mind that go one while,
I promise you. It was actilly equal to a play at old
Bowry. You may depend, Squire, the only way to tame a
shrew, is by the cowskin. Grandfather Slick was raised
all along the coast of Kent in Old England, and he used
to say there was an old saying there, which, I expect,
is not far off the mark:

   A woman, a dog, and a walnut tree,
   The more you lick 'em, the better they be.




No. XXVI

The Minister's Horn Mug.

This Country, said Mr. Slick, abounds in superior mill
privileges, and one would naterally calculate that such
a sight of water power, would have led to a knowledge of
machinery. I guess if a Blue Nose was to go to one of
our free and enlightened citizens, and tell him Nova
Scotia was intersected with rivers and brooks in all
directions, and nearly one quarter of it covered with
water, he'd say, well I'll start right off and see it,
I vow, for I guess I'll larn somethin. I allot I'll get
another wrinkle away down east there. With such splendid
chances for experimentin, what first-chop mills they must
have, to a sartainty. I'll see such new combinations,
and such new applications of the force of water to motion,
that I'll make my fortin, for we can improve on any thing
amost. Well, he'd find his mistake out I guess, as I did
once, when I took passage in the night at New York for
Providence, and found myself the next mornin clean out
to sea, steerin away for Cape Hatteras, in the Charleston
steamer. He'd find he'd gone to the wrong place, I reckon;
there aint a mill of any kind in the Province fit to be
seen. If we had 'em, we'd sarve 'em as we do the gamblin
houses down south, pull 'em right down, there would'nt
be one on 'em left in eight and forty hours.

Some domestic factories they ought to have here; its an
essential part of the social system. Now we've run to
the other extreme, its got to be too big an interest with
us, and aint suited to the political institutions of our
great country. Natur designed us for an agricultural
people, and our government was predicated on the supposition
that we would be so. Mr. Hopewell was of the same opinion.
He was a great hand at gardenin, orchadin, farming, and
what not. One evenin I was up to his house, and says he,
Sam, what do you say to a bottle of my old genuine cider?
I guess I got some that will take the shine off of your
father's, by a long chalk, much as the old gentleman
brags of his'n--I never bring it out afore him. He thinks
he has the best in all Connecticut. Its an innocent
ambition that; and Sam, it would be but a poor thing for
me to gratify my pride, at the expense of humblin his'n.
So I never lets on that I have any better, but keep dark
about this superfine particular article of mine, for I'd
as lives he'd think so as not. He was a real primiTIVE
good man was minister. I got some, said he, that was
bottled that very year, that glorious action was fought
atween the Constitution and the Guerriere. Perhaps the
whole world could'nt shew such a brilliant whippin as
that was. It was a splendid deed, that's a fact. The
British can whip the whole airth, and we can whip the
British. It was a bright promise for our young eagle; a
noble bird that, too; great strenth, great courage, and
surpassing sagacity.

Well, he went down to the cellar, and brought up a bottle,
with a stick tied to its neck, and day and date to it,
like lye-bills on the trees in Squire Hendrick's garden.
I like to see them are cobwebs, says he, as he brushed
'em off, they are like grey hairs in an old man's head,
they indicate venerable old age. As he uncorked it, says
he, I guess Sam, this will warm your gizzard, my boy; I
guess our great nation may be stumped to produce more
eleganter liquor than this here. Its the dandy, that's
a fact. That, said he, a smackin his lips, and lookin at
its sparklin top, and layin back his head, and tippin
off a horn mug brim full of it--that, said he, and his
eyes twinkled agin, for it was plaguy strong, that is
the produce of my own orchard. Well, I said, minister,
says I, I never see you a swiggin it out of that are horn
mug, that I don't think of one of your texts. What's
that, Sam, says he? for you always had a most a special
memory when you was a boy; why says I, "that the horn of
the righteous man shall be exalted," I guess that's what
they mean by "exalten the horn," aint it? Lord if ever
you was to New OrLEENS, and seed a black thunder cloud
rise right up and cover the whole sky in a it, you'd a
thought of it if you had seed his face. It looked as dark
as Egypt. For shame, says he, Sam, that's ondecent; and
let me tell you that a man that jokes on such subjects,
shews both a lack of wit and sense too. I like mirth,
you know I do, for its only the Pharisees and hypocrites
that wear long faces, but then mirth must be innocent to
please me; and when I see a man make merry with serious
things, I set him down as a lost sheep. That comes of
your speculatin to Lowell; and, I vow, them factorin
towns will corrupt our youth of both sexes, and become
hotbeds of iniquity. Evil communications endamnify good
manners, as sure as rates; one scabby sheep will infect
a whole flock--vice is as catchin as that nasty disease
the Scotch have, it's got by shakin hands, and both eend
in the same way--in brimstone. I approbate domestic
factories, but nothin further for us. It don't suit us
or our institutions. A republic is only calculated for
an enlightened and vartuous people, and folks chiefly in
the farmin line. That is an innocent and a happy vocation.
Agriculture was ordained by Him as made us, for our chief
occupation.

Thinks I, here's a pretty how do you do; I'm in for it
now, that's a fact; he'll jist fall to and read a regular
sarmon, and he knows so many by heart hell never stop.
It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to answer him. So,
says I, minister, I ax your pardon, I feel very ugly at
havin given you offence, but I did'nt mean it, I do assure
you. It jist popt out unexpectedly, like a cork out of
one of them are cider bottles, I'll do my possibles that
the like don't happen agin, you may depend; so 'spose we
drink a glass to our reconciliation. That I will, said
he and we will have another bottle too, but I must put
a little water into MY GLASS, (and he dwelt on that word,
and looked at me, quite feelin, as much as to say, don't
for goodness sake make use of that are word HORN agin,
for it's a joke I don't like,) for my head hante quite
the strength my cider has. Taste this, Sam, said he,
(openin of another bottle,) it's of the same age as the
last, but made of different apples, and I am fairly
stumped sometimes to say which is best.

These are the pleasures, says he, of a country life. A
man's own labor provides him with food, and an appetite
to enjoy it. Let him look which way he will, and he sees
the goodness and bounty of his Creator, his wisdom, his
power, and his majesty. There never was any thing so
true, as that are old sayin, "man made the town, but God
made the country," and both bespeak their different
architects in terms too plain to be misunderstood. The
one is filled with virtue and the other with vice. One
is the abode of plenty, and the other of want; one is a
ware-duck of nice pure water--and tother one a cess-pool.
Our towns are gettin so commercial and factoring, that
they will soon generate mobs, Sam, (how true that are
has turned out, haint it? he could see near about as far
into a mill-stone, as them that picks the hole into it,)
and mobs will introduce disobedience and defiance to
laws, and that must eend in anarchy and bloodshed. No,
said the old man, raising his voice, and giving the table
a wipe with his fist that made the glasses all jingle
agin, give me the country; that country to which he that
made it said, "Bring forth grass, the herb yield in seed,
and the tree yieldin fruit," AND WHO SAW THAT IT WAS
GOOD. Let me jine with the feathered tribe in the mornin,
(I hope you get up airly now, Sam; when you was a boy
there was no gitten you out of bed at no rate,) and at
sunset, in the hymns which they utter in full tide of
song to their Creator. Let me pour out the thankfulness
of my heart to the Giver of all good things, for the
numerous blessings I enjoy, and intreat him to bless my
increase, that I may have wherewithal to relieve the
wants of others, as he prevents and relieves mine. No!
give me the country. Its --- Minister was jist like a
horse that has the spavin: he sot off considerable stiff
at first, but when he once got under way, he got on like
a house a fire. He went like the wind, full split.

He was jist beginnin to warm on the subject, and I knew
if he did, what wonderful bottom he had; how he would
hang on for ever amost; so, says I, I think so too,
minister, I like the country, I always sleep better there
than in towns; it tante so plaguy hot, nor so noisy
neither, and then its a pleasant thing to set out on the
stoop and smoke in the cool, aint it? I think, says I,
too, Minister, that that are uncommon handsum cider of
yourn desarves a pipe, what do you think? Well, says he,
I think myself a pipe would'nt be amiss, and I got some
real good Varginey, as you een amost ever seed, a present
from Rowland Randolph, an old college chum; and none the
worse to my palate, Sam, for bringin bye gone recollections
with it. Phoebe, my dear, said he to his darter, bring
the pipes and tobacco. As soon as the old gentleman
fairly got a pipe in his mouth, I give Phoebe a wink, as
much as to say, warnt that well done. That's what I call
a most particular handsum fix. He can TALK now, (and that
_I_ DO LIKE to hear him do,) but he can't make a speech,
or preach a sarmon, and that _I_ DON'T LIKE to hear him
do, except on Sabbath day, or up to Town Hall, on oration
times.

Minister was an uncommon pleasant man, (for there was
nothin amost he didn't know,) except when he got his
dander up, and then he did spin out his yarns for
everlastinly.

But I'm of his opinion. If the folks here want their
country to go ahead, they must honor the plough, and
General Campbell ought to hammer that are into their
noddles, full chisell, as hard as he can drive. I could
larn him somethin, I guess, about hammerin he aint up
to. It tante every one that knows how to beat a thing
into a man's head. How could I have sold so many thousand
clocks, if I hadn't had that nack. Why, I wouldn't have
sold half a dozen, you may depend.

Agriculture is not only neglected but degraded here.
What a number of young folks there seem to be in these
parts, a ridin about, titivated out real jam, in their
go-to-meetin clothes, a doin nothin. It's melancholy to
think on it. That's the effect of the last war. The
idleness and extravagance of those times took root, and
bore fruit abundantly, and now the young people are above
their business. They are too high in the instep, that's
a fact Old Drivvle, down here to Maccan, said to me one
day, for gracious sake, says he Mr. Slick, do tell me
what I shall do with Johnny. His mother sets great store
by him, and thinks he's the makins of a considerable
smart man--he's growin up fast now, and I am pretty well
to do in the world, and reasonable forehanded, but I
don't know what the dogs to put him to. The Lawyers are
like spiders, they've eat up all the flies, and I guess
they'll have to eat each other soon, for there's more on
'em than causes now every court. The Doctors' trade is
a poor one, too, they don't get barely cash enough to
pay for their medicines; I never seed a country practitioner
yet that made any thing worth speakin of. Then, as for
preachin, why church and dissenters are pretty much tarred
with the same stick, they live in the same pastur with
their flocks; and, between 'em, its fed down pretty close
I tell you. What would you advise me to do with him?
Well, says I, I'll tell you if you won't be miffy with
me. Miffy with you indeed, said he, I guess I'll be very
much obliged to you; it tante every day one gets a chance
to consult with a person of your experience--I count it
quite a privilege to have the opinion of such an
understandin man as you be. Well, says I, take a stick
and give him a real good quiltin, jist tantune him like
blazes, and set him to work.--What does the critter
want? you have a good farm for him, let him go and airn
his bread; and when he can raise that, let him get a wife
to make butter for it; and when he has more of both than
he wants, let him sell em and lay up his money, and he
will soon have his bread buttered on both sides--put him
to, eh! why put him to the PLOUGH, the most nateral, the
most happy, the most innocent, and the host healthy
employment in the world. But, said the old-man (and he
did not look over half pleased) markets are so confounded
dull, labor so high, and the banks and great folks a
swallerin all up so, there don't seem much encouragement
for farmers, its hard rubbin, now-a-days, to live by the
plough--he'll be a hard workin poor man all his days.
Oh! says I, if he wants to get rich by farmin, be can
do that, too. Let him sell his wheat, and eat his oatmeal
and rye; send his beef, mutton and poultry to market,
and eat his pork and potatoes; make his own cloth, weave
his own linen, and keep out of shops, and he'll soon grow
rich--there are more fortins got by savin than by makin,
I guess, a plaguy sight--he cant eat his cake and have
it too, that's a fact. No, make a farmer of him, and you
will have the satisfaction of seeing him an honest, an
independent, and a respectable member of society--more
honest than traders, more independent than professional
men, and more respectable than either.

Ahem! says Marm Drivvle, and she began to clear her throat
for action; she slumped down her nittin, and clawed off
her spectacles, and looked right straight at me, so as
to take good aim. I seed a regular norwester a bruin, I
knew it would bust somewhere sartan, and make all smoke
agin, so I cleared out and left old Drivvle to stand the
squall. I conceit he must have had a tempestical time of
it, for she had get her Ebenezer up, and looked like a
proper sneezer. Make her Johnny a farmer, eh! I guess
that was too much for the like o' her to stomach.

PRIDE, SQUIRE, continued the Clockmaker, (with such an
air of concern, that, I verily believe, the man feels an
interest in the welfare of a Province, in which he has
spent so long a time,) Pride, Squire, and a false pride,
too, is the ruin of this country, I hope I may be skinned
if it tante.




No. XXVII

The White Nigger.

One of the most amiable, and at the same time most amusing
traits, in the Clockmaker's character, was the attachment
and kindness with which he regarded his horse. He considered
"Old Clay" as far above a Provincial Horse, as he did
one of his "free and enlightened citizens" superior to
a Blue Nose. He treated him as a travelling companion,
and when conversation flagged between us, would often
soliloquize to him, a habit contracted from pursuing his
journeys alone. Well now, he would say, "Old Clay," I
guess you took your time a goin up that are hill, 'spose
we progress now. Go along you old sculpin, and turn out
your toes. I reckon you are as deff as a shad, do you
hear there, "go ahead Old Clay." There now, he'd say,
Squire aint that dreadful pretty? There's action. That
looks about right--legs all under him--gathers all up
snug--no bobbin of his head--no rollin of his shoulders
--no wabblin of his hind parts, but steady as a pump
bolt, and the motion all underneath. When he fairly lays
himself to it, he trots like all vengeance. Then look at
his ears, jist like rabbits, none o' your flop ears like
them Amherst beasts, half horses, half pigs, but strait
up and pineted, and not too near at the tips; for that
are, I concait, always shews a horse aint true to draw.
There are only two things, Squire, worth lookin at in a
horse, action and soundness, for I never saw a critter
that had good action that was a bad beast. Old Clay puts
me in mind of one of our free and enlightened ---. Excuse
me, said I, Mr. Slick, but really you appropriate that
word "free" to your countrymen, as if you thought no
other people in the world were entitled to it but
yourselves. Neither be they, said he. We first sot the
example. Look at our declaration of independence. It was
writ by Jefferson, and he was the first man of the age,
perhaps the world never seed his ditto. It's a beautiful
piece of penmanship that, he gave the British the butt
eend of his mind there. I calculate you couldn't falt it
in no particular, it's generally allowed to be his cap
shief. In the first page of it, second section, and
first varse, are these words, "We hold this truth to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal." I guess
King George turned his quid when he read that. It was
somethin to chaw on, he hadn't been used to the flavor
of, I reckon. Jefferson forgot to insert--one little
word, said I, he should have said, "all white men;" for,
as it now stands, it is a practical untruth, in a country
which tolerates domestic slavery in its worst and most
forbidding form. It is a declaration of SHAME, and not
of INDEPENDENCE. It is as perfect a misnomer as ever I
knew. Well, said he, I must admit there is a screw loose
somewhere thereabouts, and I wish it would convene to
Congress, to do somethin or another about our niggers,
but I am not quite certified how that is to be sot to
rights--I concait that you don't understand us. But, said
he, (evading the subject with his usual dexterity,) we
deal only in niggers,--and those thick skulled, crooked
shanked, flat footed, long heeled, wooly headed gentlemen,
don't seem fit for much else but slavery, I do suppose.
They aint fit to contrive for themselves. They are jist
like grasshoppers; they dance and sing all summer, and
when winter comes they have nothin provided for it, and
lay down and die. They require some one to see arter
them. Now, we deal in black niggers only, but the Blue
Noses sell their own species--they trade in white slaves.
Thank God, said I, slavery does not exist in any part of
his Majesty's dominions now, we have at last wiped off
that national stain. Not quite, I guess, said he, with
an air of triumph, it tante done with in Nova Scotia,
for I have seed these human cattle sales with my own
eyes--I was availed of the truth of it up here to old
Furlong's, last November. I'll tell you the story, said
he; and as this story of the Clockmaker's contained some
extraordinary statements, which I had never heard of
before, I noted it in my journal, for the purpose of
ascertaining their truth; and, if founded on fact, of
laying them before the proper authorities.

Last fall, said he, I was on my way to Partridge Island,
to ship off some truck and produce I had taken in, in
the way of trade; and as I neared old Furlong's house,
I seed an amazin crowd of folks about the door; I said
to myself, says I, whose dead, and what's to pay now
--what on airth is the meanin of all this? Is it a vandew,
or a weddin, or a rolin frolick, or a religious stir, or
what is it? Thinks I, I'll see, so I hitches Old Clay to
the fence, and walks in. It was some time afore I was
able to swiggle my way thro' the crowd, and get into the
house. And when I did, who should I see but deacon
Westfall, a smooth faced, slick haired, meechin lookin
chap as you'd see in a hundred, a standin on a stool,
with an auctioneer's hammer in his hand; and afore him
was one Jerry Oaks and his wife, and two little orphan
children, the prettiest little toads I ever beheld in
all my born days. Gentlemen, said he, I will begin the
sale by putting up Jerry Oaks, of Apple River, he's a
considerable of a smart man yet, and can do many little
chores besides feedin the children and pigs, I guess he's
near about worth his keep. Will you warrant him sound,
wind and limb? says a tall ragged lookin countryman, for
he looks to me as if he was foundered in both feet, and
had a string halt into the bargain. When you are as old
as I be, says Jerry, mayhap you may be foundered too,
young man. I have seen the day when you wouldn't dare
to pass that joke on me, big as you be. Will any gentleman
bid for him, says the deacon, he's cheap at 7s. 6d. Why
deacon, said Jerry, why surely your honor isn't a goin
for to sell me separate from my poor old wife, are you?
Fifty years have we lived together as man and wife, and
a good wife has she been to me, through all my troubles
and trials, and God knows I have had enough of 'em. No
one knows my ways and my ailments but her, and who can
tend me so kind, or who will bear with the complaints of
a poor old man but his wife. Do, deacon, and Heaven bless
you for it, and yours, do sell us together. We have but
a few days to live now, death will divide us soon enough.
Leave her to close my old eyes, when the struggle comes,
and when it comes to you, deacon, as come it must to us
all, may this good deed rise up for you, as a memorial
before God. I wish it had pleased him to have taken us
afore it came to this, but his will be done; and he hung
his head, as if he felt he had drained the cup of
degradation to its dregs. Can't afford it, Jerry--can't
afford it, old man, said the deacon, (with such a smile
as a November sun gives, a passin atween clouds.) Last
year they took oats for rates, now nothin but wheat will
go down, and that's as good as cash, and you'll hang on
as most of you do yet these many years. There's old Joe
Crowe, I believe in my conscience he will live for ever.
The biddin then went on, and he was sold for six shillings
a week. Well, the poor critter gave one long loud deep
groan, and then folded his arms over his breast, so tight
that he seemed tryin to keep in his heart from bustin.
I pitied the misfortinate wretch from my soul, I don't
know as I ever felt so streaked afore. Not so his wife,
she was all tongue. She begged and prayed, and cryed,
and scolded, and talked at the very tip eend of her voice,
till she became, poor critter, exhausted, and went off
in a faintin fit, and they ketched her up and carried
her out to the air, and she was sold in that condition.
Well I couldn't make head or tail of all this, I could
hardly believe my eyes and ears; so, says I, to John
Porter, (him that has that catamount of a wife, that I
had such a touss with,) John Porter, says I, who ever
seed or heerd tell of the like of this, what under the
sun does it all mean? What has that are critter done that
he should be sold arter that fashion? Done, said he, why
nothin, and that's the reason they sell him. This is
town meetin day, and we always sell the poor for the
year, to the lowest bidder. Them that will keep them for
the lowest sum, gets them. Why, says I, that feller that
bought him is a pauper himself, to my sartan knowledge.
If you were to take him up by the heels and shake him
for a week, you couldn't shake sixpence out of him. How
can he keep him? It appears to me the poor buy the poor
here, and that they all starve together. Says I, there
was a very good man once lived to Liverpool, so good, he
said he hadn't sinned for seven years; well he put a mill
dam across the river, and stopt all the fish from goin
up, and the court fined him fifty pounds for it, and this
good man was so wrathy, he thought he should feel better
to swear a little, but conscience told him it was wicked.
So he compounded with conscience, and cheated the devil,
by callin it a "dam fine business." Now, friend Porter,
if this is your poor law, it is a damn poor law, I tell
you, and no good can come of such hard-hearted doins.
It's no wonder your country don't prosper, for who ever
heerd of a blessin on such carryins on as this? Says I,
did you ever hear tell of a sartan rich man, that had a
beggar called Lazarus laid at his gate, and how the dogs
had more compassion than he had, and came and licked his
sores? cause if you have, look at that forehanded and
sponsible man there, deacon Westfall, and you see the
rich man. And then look at that are pauper, dragged away
in that ox-cart from his wife for ever, like a feller to
States' Prison, and you see Lazarus. Recollect what
follered, John Porter, and have neither art nor part in
it, as you are a Christian man. It fairly made me sick
all day. John Porter follered me out of the house, and
as I was a turnin old Clay, said he, Mr. Slick, says he,
I never seed it in that are light afore, for its our
custom, and custom you know will reconcile one to most
any thing. I must say, it does appear, as you lay it out,
an unfeelin way of providin for the poor; but, as touchin
the matter of dividen man and wife, why, (and he peered
all round to see that no one was within hearin,) why I
dont know, but if it was my allotment to be sold, I'd as
lives they'd sell me separate from Jane as not, for it
appears to me its about the best part of it.

Now, what I have told you Squire, said the Clockmaker,
is the truth; and if members, instead of their everlastin
politicks, would only look into these matters a little,
I guess it would be far better for the Country. So, as
for our declaration of independence, I guess you need'nt
twitt me with our slave-sales, for we deal only in blacks;
but Blue Nose approbates no distinction in colours, and
when reduced to poverty, is reduced to slavery, and is
sold--a White Nigger.




No. XXVIII

Fire in the Dairy.

As we approached within fifteen or twenty miles of
Parrsboro, a sudden turn of the road brought us directly
in front of a large wooden house, consisting of two
stories and an immense roof, the heighth of which edifice
was much increased by a stone foundation, rising several
feet above ground. Now, did you ever see, said Mr. Slick,
such a catamaran as that; there's a proper goney for you,
for to go and raise such a buildin as that are, and he
as much use for it, I do suppose, as my old waggon here
has for a fifth wheel. Blue Nose always takes keer to
have a big house, cause it shows a big man, and one that's
considerable forehanded, and pretty well to do in the
world. These Nova Scotians turn up their Blue Noses, as
a bottle nose porpoise turns up his snout, and puff and
snort exactly like him at a small house. If neighbor
Carrit has a two story house, all filled with winders,
like Sandy Hook light house, neighbor Parsnip must add
jist two feet more on to the post of hisn, and about as
much more to the rafter, to go ahead of him; so all these
long sarce gentlemen strive who can get the furdest in
the sky, away from their farms. In New England our maxim
is a small house, and a most an everlastin almighty big
barn; but these critters revarse it, they have little
hovels for their cattle, about the bigness of a good
sizeable bear trap, and a house for the humans as grand
as Noah's Ark. Well, jist look at it and see what a figur
it does cut. An old hat stuffed into one pane of glass,
and an old flannel petticoat, as yaller as jaundice, in
another, finish off the front; an old pair of breeches,
and the pad of a bran new cart saddle worn out, titivate
the eend, while the backside is all closed up on account
of the wind. When it rains, if there aint a pretty
how-do-you-do, it's a pity--beds toated out of this room,
and tubs set in tother to catch soft water to wash; while
the clapboards, loose at the eends, go clap, clap, clap,
like galls a hacklin flax, and the winders and doors keen
a dancin to the music. The only dry place in the house
is in the chimbley corner, where the folks all huddle
up, as an old hen and her chickens do under a cart of a
wet day. I wish I had the matter of half a dozen pound
of nails, (you'll hear the old gentleman in the grand
house say,) I'll be darned, if I don't, for if I had,
I'd fix them are clapboards, I guess they'll go for it
some o' these days. I wish you had, his wife would say,
for they do make a most particular unhansum clatter,
that's a fact; and so they let it be till the next
tempestical time comes, and then they wish agin. Now this
grand house has only two rooms down stairs, that are
altogether slicked up and finished off complete, the
other is jist petitioned off rough like, one half great
dark entries, and tother half places that look a plaguy
sight more like packin boxes than rooms. Well, all up
stairs is a great onfarnished place, filled with every
sort of good for nothin trumpery in natur--barrels without
eends--corn cobs half husked--cast off clothes and bits
of old harness, sheep skins, hides, and wool, apples,
one half rotten, and tother half squashed--a thousand or
two of shingles that have bust their withs, and broke
loose all over the floor, hay rakes, forks and sickles,
without handles or teeth; rusty scythes, and odds and
eends without number. When any thing is wanted, then
there is a general overhaul of the whole cargo, and away
they get shifted forrard, one by one, all handled over
and chucked into a heap together till the lost one is
found; and the next time, away they get pitched to the
starn agin, higglety pigglety, heels over head, like
sheep taken a split for it over a wall; only they increase
in number each move, cause some on 'em are sure to get
broke into more pieces than they was afore. Whenever I
see one of these grand houses, and a hat lookin out o'
the winder, with nary head in it, thinks I, I'll be darned
if that's a place for a wooden clock, nothin short of a
London touch would go down with them folks, so I calculate
I wont alight.

Whenever you come to such a grand place as this, Squire,
depend on't the farm is all of a piece, great crops of
thistles, and an everlastin yield of weeds, and cattle
the best fed of any in the country, for they are always
in the grain fields or mowin lands, and the pigs a rootin
in the potatoe patches. A spic and span new gig at the
door, shinin like the mud banks of Windsor, when the
sun's on 'em, and an old wrack of a hay waggon, with its
tongue onhitched, and stickin out behind, like a pig's
tail, all indicate a big man. He's above thinkin of farmin
tools, he sees to the bran new gig, and the hired helps
look arter the carts. Catch him with his go to meetin
clothes on, a rubbin agin their nasty greasy axles, like
a tarry nigger; not he, indeed, he'd stick you up with it.

The last time I came by here, it was a little bit arter
day light down, rainin cats and dogs, and as dark as
Egypt; so, thinks I, I'll jist turn in here for shelter
to Squire Bill Blake's. Well, I knocks away at the front
door, till I thought I'd a split it in: but arter a rappin
awhile to no purpose, and findin no one come, I gropes
my way round to the back door, and opens it, and feelin
all along the partition for the latch, of the keepin
room, without finding it, I knocks agin, when some one
from inside calls out 'walk.' Thinks I, I don't cleverly
know whether that indicates 'walk in,' or 'walk out,'
its plaguy short metre, that's a fact; but I'll see any
how. Well, arter gropin about awhile, at last I got hold
of the string and lifted the latch and walked in, and
there sot old marm Blake, close into one corner of the
chimbley fire place, a see-sawin in a rockin chair, and
a half grown black house help, half asleep in tother
corner, a scroudgin up over the embers. Who be you, said
Marm Blake, for I can't see you. A stranger, said I.
Beck, says she, speakin to the black heifer in the corner,
Beck, says she agin, raisin her voice, I believe you are
as deff as a post, get up this minit and stir the coals,
till I see the man. Arter the coals were stirred into a
blaze, the old lady surveyed me from head to foot, then
she axed me my name, and where I came from, where I was
agoin, and what my business was. I guess, said she, you
must be reasonable, wet, sit to the fire and dry yourself,
or mayhap your health may be endamnified p'raps.

So I sot down, and we soon got pretty considerably well
acquainted, and quite sociable like, and her tongue when
it fairly waked up, began to run like a mill race when
the gate's up. I hadn't been talkin long, 'fore I well
nigh lost sight of her altogether agin, for little Beck,
began to flourish about her broom, right and left, in
great style, a clearin up, and she did raise such an
auful thick cloud o' dust, I didn't know if I should ever
see or breathe either agin. Well when all was sot to
rights and the fire made up, the old lady began to
apologize for havin no candles; she said she'd had a
grand tea party the night afore, and used them all up,
and a whole sight of vittals too, the old man hadn't been
well since, and had gone to bed airly. But, says she, I
do wish with all my heart you had a come last night, for
we had a most a special supper--punkin pies and dough-nuts,
and apple sarce, and a roast goose stuffed with indian
puddin, and a pig's harslet stewed in molasses and onions,
and I don't know what all, and the fore part of to-day
folks called to finish. I actilly have nothin left to
set afore you; for it was none o' your skim-milk parties,
but superfine uppercrust real jam, and we made clean work
of it. But I'll make some tea, any how, for you, and
perhaps, arter that, said she, alterin of her tone,
perhaps you'll expound the Scriptures, for its one while
since I've heerd them laid open powerfully. I hant been
fairly lifted up since that good man Judas Oglethorp
travelled this road, and then she gave a groan and hung
down her head, and looked corner-ways, to see how the
land lay thereabouts. The tea kettle was accordingly put
on, and some lard fried into oil, and poured into a
tumbler; which, with the aid of an inch of cotton wick,
served as a make shift for a candle. Well, arter tea we
sot and chatted awhile about fashions, and markets, and
sarmons, and scandal, and all sorts o' things; and, in
the midst of it, in runs the nigger wench, screemin out
at the tip eend of her voice, oh Missus! Missus! there's
fire in the Dairy, fire in the Dairy! I'll give it to
you for that, said the old lady, I'll give it you for
that, you good for nothin hussy, that's all your
carelessness, go and put it out this minit, how on airth
did it get there? my night's milk gone, I dare say; run
this minit and put it out and save the milk. I am dreadful
afeard of fire, I always was from a boy, and seein the
poor foolish critter seize a broom in her fright, I ups
with the tea kettle and follows her; and away we clipt
thro' the entry, she callin out mind the cellar door on
the right, take kear of the close horse on the left, and
so on, but as I could'nt see nothin, I kept right straight
ahead. At last my foot kotched in somethin or another,
that pitched me somewhat less than a rod or so, right
agin the poor black critter, and away we went, heels over
head. I heerd a splash and a groan, and I smelt somethin
plaguy sour, but I could'nt see nothin; at last I got
hold of her and lifted her up, for she didn't scream,
but made a strange kind of choakin noise, and by this
time up came Marm Blake with a light. If poor Beck didn't
let go then in airnest, and sing out, for dear life, its
a pity, for she had gone head first into the swill tub,
and the tea kettle had scalded her feet. She kept a dancin
right up and down, like one ravin distracted mad, and
boohooed like any thing, clawin away at her head the
whole time, to clear away the stuff that stuck to her
wool.

I held in as long as I could, till I thought I should
have busted, for no soul could help a larfin, and at last
I haw hawed right out. You good for nothin stupid slut
you, said the old lady, to poor Beck, it serves you right,
you had no business to leave it there--I'll pay you. But,
said I, interferin for the unfortunate critter, Good
gracious Marm! you forget the fire. No I don't, said she,
I see him, and seesin the broom, that had fallen from
the nigger's hand, she exclaimed, I see him, the nasty
varmint, and began to belabor most onmarcifully a poor
half starved cur that the noise had attracted to the
entry. I'll teach you, said she, to drink milk; I'll larn
you to steal into the dairy; and the besot critter joined
chorus with Beck, and they both yelled together, till
they fairly made the house ring agin. Presently old Squire
Blake popt his head out of a door, and rubbin his eyes,
half asleep and half awake, said, What the devil's to
pay now, wife? Why nothin, says she, only "FIRE'S IN THE
DAIRY," and Beck's in the swill tub, that's all. Well,
don't make such a touss, then, said he, if that's all,
and he shot tu the door and went to bed agin. When we
returned to the keepin room, the old lady told me that
they always had had a dog called "FIRE," ever since her
grandfather, Major Donald Fraser's time, and what was
very odd, says she, every one on 'em would drink milk if
he had a chance. By this time the shower was over, and
the moon shinin so bright and clear that I thought I'd
better be up and stirrin, and arter slippin a few cents
into the poor nigger wench's hand, I took leave of the
grand folks in the big house. Now, Squire, among these
middlin sized farmers you may lay this down as a rule
--THE BIGGER THE HOUSE, THE BIGGER THE FOOLS BE THAT'S
IN IT.

But, howsomever, I never call to mind that are go in the
big house, up to the right, that I don't snicker when I
think of "FIRE IN THE DAIRY."




No. XXIX

A Body without a Head.


I allot you had ought to visit our great country Squire,
said the Clockmaker, afore you quit for good and all. I
calculate you don't understand us. The most splendid
location atween the Poles is the United States, and the
first man alive is Gineral Jackson, the hero of the age,
him that skeered the British out of their seven senses.
Then there's the great Danel Webster, its generally
allowed, he's the greatest orator on the face of the
airth, by a long chalk, and Mr. Van Buren, and Mr. Clay,
and Amos Kindle, and Judge White, and a whole raft of
statesmen, up to every thing, and all manner of politics;
there aint the beat of 'em to be found any where. If you
was to hear 'em, I concait you'd hear genuine pure English
for once, any how; for its generally allowed we speak
English better than the British. They all know me to be
an American citizen here, by my talk, for we speak it
complete in New England.

Yes, if you want to see a free people--them that makes
their own laws, accordin to their own notions--go to
the States. Indeed, if you can falt them at all, they
are a little grain too free. Our folks have their head
a trifle too much, sometimes, particularly in Elections,
both in freedom of speech and freedom of Press. One hadnt
ought to blart right out always all that comes uppermost.
A horse that's too free frets himself and his rider too,
and both on em lose flesh in the long run. I'd een a most
as lives use the whip sometimes, as to be for everlastenly
a pullin at the rein. One's arm gets plaguy tired, that's
a fact. I often think of a lesson I larnt Jehiel Quirk
once, for letten his tongue outrun his good manners. I
was down to Rhode Island one summer to larn gilden and
bronzin, so as to give the finishin touch to my clocks.
Well, the folks elected me a hog reave, jist to poke fun
at me, and Mr. Jehiel, a bean pole of a lawyer, was at
the bottom of it. So one day, up to Town Hall, where
there was an oration to be delivered on our Independence,
jist afore the orator commenced, in runs Jehiel in a most
allfired hurry; and, says he, I wonder, says he, if
there's are a hog reave here, because if there be I
require a turn of his office. And then, said he, a lookin
up to me and callin out at the tip eend of his voice,
Mr. Hogreave Slick, says he, here's a job out here for
you. Folks snickered a good deal, and I felt my spunk a
risen like half flood, that's a fact; but I bit in my
breath, and spoke quite cool. Possible, says I; well
duty, I do suppose, must be done, though it tante the
most agreeable in the world. I've been a thinkin, says
I, that I would be liable to a fine of fifty cents for
sufferin a hog to run at large, and as you are the biggest
one, I presume, in all Rhode Island, I'll jist begin by
ringin your nose, to prevent you for the futur from pokin
your snout where you hadnt ought to, and I seized him by
the nose and nearly wrung it off. Well, you never heerd
sich a shoutin and clappin of hands, and cheerin, in your
life--they haw hawed like thunder. Says I Jehiel Quirk
that was a superb joke of yourn, how you made the folks
larf didn't you? You are een amost the wittiest critter
I ever seed. I guess you'll mind your parts o' speech,
and study the ACCIDENCE agin afore you let your clapper
run arter that fashion, won't you?

I thought, said I, that among you republicans, there were
no gradations of rank or office, and that all were equal,
the Hogreave and the Governor, the Judge and the Crier,
the master and his servant, and although, from the natur
of things, more power might be entrusted to one than the
other, yet that the rank of all was precisely the same.
Well, said he, it is so in theory, but not always in
practice, and when we do pracTISE it, it seems to go a
little agin the grain, as if it warnt quite right neither.
When I was last to Baltimore there was a Court there,
and Chief Justice Marshall was detailed there for duty.
Well, with us in New England, the Sheriff attends the
Judge to Court and, says I to the Sheriff, why don't you
escort that are venerable old Judge to the State House,
he's a credit to our nation that man, he's actilly the
first pot hook on the crane, the whole weight is on him,
if it warnt for him the fat would be in the fire in no
time, I wonder you don't show him that respect--it wouldn't
hurt you one morsel, I guess. Says he, quite miffy like,
don't he know the way to Court as well as I do? if I
thought he didn't, I'd send one of my niggers to show
him the road. I wonder who was his lackey last year, that
he wants me to be hisn this time. It don't convene to
one of our free and enlightened citizens, to tag arter
any man, that's a fact; its too English and too foreign
for our glorious institutions. He's bound by law to be
there at 10 o'clock, and so be I, and we both know the
way there I reckon.

I told the story to our minister, Mr. Hopewell (and he
has some odd notions about him that man, though he don't
always let out what he thinks); says he, Sam, that was
in bad taste, (a great phrase of the old gentleman's
that) in bad taste, Sam. That are Sheriff was a goney;
don't cut your cloth arter his pattern, or your garment
won't become you, I tell you. We are too enlightened, to
worship our fellow citizens as the ancients did, but we
ought to pay great respect to vartue and exalted talents
in this life; and, arter their death, there should be
statues of eminent men placed in our national temples,
for the veneration of arter ages, and public ceremonies
performed annually to their honor. Arter all, Sam, said
he, (and he made a considerable of a long pause, as if
he was dubersome whether he ought to speak out or not)
arter all, Sam, said he, atween ourselves, (but you must
not let on I said so, for the fullness of time han't yet
come) half a yard of blue ribbon is a plaguy cheap way
of rewarden merit, as the English do; and, although we
larf at em, (for folks always will larf at what they hant
got, and never can get,) yet titles aint bad things as
objects of ambition, are they? Then, tappen me on the
shoulder, and lookin up and smilin, as he always did when
he was pleased with an idee, Sir Samuel Slick would not
sound bad, I guess, would it Sam?

When I look at the English House of Lords, said he, and
see so much larning, piety, talent, honor, vartue, and
refinement, collected together, I ax myself this, here
question, can a system which produces and sustains such
a body of men, as the world never saw before and never
will see agin, be defective? Well, I answer myself,
perhaps it is, for all human institutions are so, but I
guess its een about the best arter all. It wouldn't do
here now, Sam, nor perhaps for a century to come, but it
will come sooner or later with some variations. Now the
Newtown pippin, when transplanted to England, don't
produce such fruit as it does in Long Island, and English
fruits don't preserve their flavor here, neither; allowance
must be made for difference of soil and climate--(Oh
Lord! thinks I, if he turns in to his orchard, I'm done
for; I'll have to give him the dodge some how or another,
through some hole in the fence, that's a fact--but he
passed on that time.) So it is, said he, with constitutions;
ourn will gradually approximate to theirn, and theirn to
ourn. As they lose their strength of executive, they will
varge to republicanism, and as we invigorate the form of
government, (as we must do, or go to the old boy) we
shall tend towards a monarchy. If this comes on gradually,
like the changes in the human body, by the slow approach
of old age, so much the better; but I fear we shall have
fevers, and convulsion-fits, and cholics, and an everlastin
gripin of the intestines first; you and I wont live to
see it Sam, but our posteriors will, you may depend.

I don't go the whole figur with minister, said the
Clockmaker, but I do opinionate with him in part. In our
business relations we bely our political principles--we
say every man is equal in the Union, and should have an
equal vote and voice in the Government; but in our Banks,
Rail Road Companies, Factory Corporations, and so on,
every man's vote is regilated by his share and proportion
of stock; and if it warnt so, no man would take hold on
these things at all.

Natur ordained it so--a father of a family is head, and
rules supreme in his household; his eldest son and darter
are like first leftenants under him, and then there is
an overseer over the niggers; it would not do for all to
be equal there. So it is in the univarse, it is ruled by
one Superior Power; if all the Angels had a voice in the
Government I guess--Here I fell fast asleep; I had been
nodding for some time, not in approbation of what he
said, but in heaviness of slumber, for I had never before
heard him so prosy since I first overtook him on the
Colchester road. I hate politics as a subject of
conversation, it is too wide a field for chit chat, and
too often ends in angry discussion. How long he continued
this train of speculation I do not know, but, judging by
the different aspect of the country, I must have slept
an hour.

I was at length aroused by the report of his rifle, which
he had discharged from the waggon. The last I recollected
of his conversation was, I think, about American angels
having no voice in the Government, an assertion that
struck my drowsy faculties as not strictly true; as I
had often heard that the American ladies talked frequently
and warmly on the subject of politics, and knew that one
of them had very recently the credit of breaking up
General Jackson's cabinet.--When I awoke, the first I
heard was "well, I declare, if that aint an amazin fine
shot, too, considerin how the critter was a runnin the
whole blessed time; if I han't cut her head off with a
ball, jist below the throat, that's a fact." There's no
mistake in a good Kentucky rifle! I tell you. Whose head?
said I, in great alarm, whose head, Mr. Slick? for heaven's
sake what have you done? (for I had been dreaming of
those angelic politicians the American ladies.) Why that
are hen-partridge's head, to be sure, said he; don't you
see how special wonderful wise it looks, a flutterin
about arter its head. True, said I, rubbing my eyes, and
opening them in time to see the last muscular spasms of
the decapitated body; true, Mr. Slick, it is a happy
illustration of our previous conversation--A BODY WITHOUT
A HEAD.




No. XXX

A Tale of Bunker's Hill.

Mr. Slick, like all his countrymen whom I have seen, felt
that his own existence was involved in that of the
Constitution of the United States, and that it was his
duty to uphold it upon all occasions. He affected to
consider its government and its institutions as perfect,
and if any doubt was suggested as to the stability or
character of either, would make the common reply of all
Americans, "I guess you don't understand us," or else
enter into a labored defence. When left, however, to the
free expression of his own thoughts, he would often give
utterance to those apprehensions which most men feel in
the event of an experiment not yet fairly tried, and
which has in many parts evidently disappointed the sanguine
hopes of its friends. But, even on these occasions, when
his vigilance seemed to slumber, he would generally cover
them, by giving them as the remarks of others, or concealing
them in a tale. It was this habit that gave his discourse
rather the appearance of "thinking aloud," than a connected
conversation.

We are a great nation, Squire, he said, that's sartain;
but I'm afeard we didn't altogether start right. Its in
politics as in racin, every thing depends upon a fair
start. If you are off too quick, you have to pull up and
turn back agin, and your beast gets out of wind and is
baffled, and if you lose in the start you hant got a fair
chance arterwards, and are plaguy apt to be jockied in
the course. When we set up housekeepin, as it were for
ourselves, we hated our step mother, Old England, so
dreadful bad, we wouldn't foller any of her ways of
managin at all, but made new receipts for ourselves.
Well, we missed it in many things most consumedly, some
how or another. Did you ever see, said he, a congregation
split right in two by a quarrel, and one part go off and
set up for themselves. I am sorry to say, said I, that
I have seen some melancholy instances of the kind. Well,
they shoot ahead, or drop astern, as the case may be but
they soon get on another tack, and leave the old ship
clean out of sight. When folks once take to emigratin in
religion in this way, they never know where to bide.
First they try one location, and then they try another;
some settle here and some improve there, but they don't
hitch their horses together long. Some times they complain
they HAVE TOO LITTLE WATER, at other times that they HAVE
TOO MUCH; they are never satisfied, and, wherever these
separatists go, they onsettle others as bad as themselves.
I NEVER LOOK ON A DESARTER AS ANY GREAT SHAKES. My poor
father used to say, "Sam, mind what I tell you, if a man
don't agree in all particulars with his church, and can't
go the whole hog with 'em, he aint justified on that
account, no how, to separate from them, for Sam, SCHISM
IS A SIN IN THE EYE OF GOD." The whole Christian world,
he would say, is divided into two great families, the
Catholic and Protestant. Well, the Catholic is a united
family, a happy family, and a strong family, all governed
by one head; and Sam, as sure as eggs is eggs, that are
family will grub out tother one, stalk, branch and root,
it won't so much as leave the seed of it in the ground,
to grow by chance as a nateral curiosity. Now the Protestant
family is like a bundle of refuse shingles, when withed
up together, (which it never was and never will be to
all etarnity) no great of a bundle arter all, you might
take it up under one arm, and walk off with it without
winkin. But, when all lyin loose as it always is, jist
look at it, and see what a sight it is, all blowin about
by every wind of doctrine, some away up een a most out
of sight, others rollin over and over in the dirt, some
split to pieces, and others so warped by the weather and
cracked by the sun--no two of 'em will lie so as to make
a close jint. They are all divided into sects, railin,
quarrellin, separatin, and agreein in nothin, but hatin
each other. It is awful to think on. 'Tother family will
some day or other gather them all up, put them into a
bundle and bind them up tight, and condemn 'em as fit
for nothin under the sun, but the fire. Now he who splits
one of these here sects by schism, or he who preaches
schism, commits a grievous sin; and Sam, if you valy your
own peace of mind, have nothin to do with such folks.

Its pretty much the same in Politics. I aint quite clear
in my conscience, Sam, about our glorious revolution. If
that are blood was shed justly in the rebellion, then it
was the Lord's doin, but if unlawfully, how am I to answer
for my share in it. I was at Bunker's Hill (the most
splendid battle its generally allowed that ever was
fought); what effect my shots had, I can't tell, and I
am glad I can't, all except one, Sam, and that shot--Here
the Old Gentleman became dreadful agitated, he shook like
an ague fit, and he walked up and down the room, and
wrung his hands, and groaned bitterly. I have wrestled
with the Lord, Sam, and have prayed to him to enlighten
me on that pint, and to wash out the stain of that are
blood from my hands. I never told you that are story,
nor your mother neither, for she could not stand it, poor
critter, she's kinder narvous.

Well, Doctor Warren, (the first soldier of his age, though
he never fought afore,) commanded us all to resarve our
fire till the British came within pint blank shot, and
we could cleverly see the whites of their eyes, and we
did so--and we mowed them down like grass, and we repeated
our fire with awful effect. I was among the last that
remained behind the breast-work, for most on 'em, arter
the second shot, cut and run full split. The British were
close to us; and an officer, with his sword drawn, was
leading on his men and encouragin them to the charge. I
could see his features, he was a real handsum man, I can
see him now with his white breeches and black gaiters,
and red coat, and three cornered cocked hat, as plain as
if it was yesterday, instead of the year '75. Well, I
took a steady aim at him and fired. He did'nt move for
a space, and I thought I had missed him, when all of a
sudden, he sprung right straight up an eend, his sword
slipt through his hands up to the pint, and then he fell
flat on his face atop of the blade, and it came straight
out through his back. He was fairly skivered. I never
seed any thing so awful since I was raised, I actilly
screamed out with horror--and I threw away my gun, and
joined them that were retreatin over the neck to
Charlestown. Sam, that are British officer, if our
rebellion was onjust or onlawful, was murdered, that's
a fact; and the idee, now I am growin old, haunts me day
and night. Sometimes I begin with the Stamp Act, and I
go over all our grievances, one by one, and say aint they
a sufficient justification? Well, it makes a long list,
and I get kinder satisfied, and it appears as clear as
any thing. But sometimes there come doubts in my mind,
jist like a guest that's not invited or not expected,
and takes you at a short like, and I say, warn't the
Stamp Act repealed, and concessions made, and warn't
offers sent to settle all fairly--and I get troubled and
oneasy again? And then I say to myself, says I, oh yes,
but them offers came too late. I do nothin now, when I
am alone, but argue it over and over again. I actilly
dream on that man in my sleep sometimes, and then I see
him as plain as if he was afore me, and I go over it all
agin till I come to that are shot, and then I leap right
up in bed and scream like all vengeance, and your mother,
poor old critter, says, Sam, says she, what on airth ails
you to make you act so like old Scratch in your sleep--I
do believe there's somethin or another on your conscience.
And I say, Polly dear, I guess we're a goin to have rain,
for that plaguy cute rheumatis has seized my foot and it
does antagonize me so I have no peace. It always does so
when it's like for a change. Dear heart she says, (the
poor simple critter,) then I guess I had better rub it,
had'nt I, Sam? and she crawls out of bed and gets her
red flannel petticoat, and rubs away at my foot ever so
long. Oh, Sam, if she could rub it out of my heart as
easy as she thinks she rubs it out of my foot, I should
be in peace, that's a fact.

What's done, Sam, can't be helped, there is no use in
cryin over spilt milk, but still one can't help a thinkin
on it. But I dont love schisms and I dont love rebellion.

Our revolution has made us grow faster and grow richer;
but Sam, when we were younger and poorer, we were more
pious and more happy. We have nothin fixed either in
religion or politics. What connection there ought to be
atween Church and State, I am not availed, but some there
ought to be as sure as the Lord made Moses. Religion when
left to itself, as with us, grows too rank and luxuriant.
Suckers and sprouts, and intersecting shoots, and
superfluous wood make a nice shady tree to look at, but
where's the fruit, Sam? that's the question--where's the
fruit? No; the pride of human wisdom, and the presumption
it breeds will ruinate us. Jefferson was an infidel, and
avowed it, and gloried in it, and called it the
enlightenment of the age. Cambridge College is Unitarian,
cause it looks wise to doubt, and every drumstick of a
boy ridicules the belief of his forefathers. If our
country is to be darkened by infidelity, our Government
defied by every State, and every State ruled by mobs--then,
Sam, the blood we shed in our revolution will be atoned
for in the blood and suffering of our fellow citizens.
The murders of that civil war will be expiated by a
political suicide of the State.

I am somewhat of father's opinion, Said the Clockmaker,
though I dont go the whole figur with him, but he needn't
have made such an everlastin touss about fixin that are
British officer's flint for him, for he'd a died of
himself by this time, I do suppose, if he had a missed
his shot at him. Praps we might have done a little better,
and praps we mightn't, by sticken a little closer to the
old constitution. But one thing I will say, I think arter
all, your Colony Government is about as happy and as a
good a one as I know on. A man's life and property are
well protected here at little cost, and he can go where
he likes and do what he likes provided he don't trespass
on his neighbor.

I guess that's enough for any on us, now aint it?




No. XXXI

Gulling a Blue Nose.

I allot, said Mr. Slick, that the Blue Noses are the most
gullible folks on the face of the airth--rigular soft
horns, that's a fact. Politicks and such stuff set 'em
a gapin, like children in a chimbley corner listenen to
tales of ghosts, Salem witches, and Nova Scotia snowstorms;
and while they stand starin and yawpin all eyes and mouth,
they get their pockets picked of every cent that's in
'em. One candidate chap says "Feller citizens, this
country is goin to the dogs hand over hand; look at your
rivers, you have no bridges; at your wild lands, you have
no roads; at your treasury, you hante got a cent in it:
at your markets, things dont fetch nothin; at your fish,
the Yankees ketch 'em all. There's nothin behind you
but sufferin, around you but poverty, afore you, but
slavery and death. What's the cause of this unheerd of
awful state of things, ay, what's the cause? Why Judges,
and Banks, and Lawyers, and great folks, have swallered
all the money. They've got you down, and they'll keep
you down to all etarnity, you and your posteriors arter
you. Rise up like men, arouse yourselves like freemen,
and elect me to the Legislatur, and I'll lead on the
small but patriotic band, I'll put the big wigs thro'
their facins, I'll make 'em shake in their shoes, I'll
knock off your chains and make you free." Well, the goneys
fall tu and elect him, and he desarts right away, with
balls, rifle, powder horn and all. HE PROMISED TOO MUCH.

Then comes a real good man, and an everlastin fine
preacher, a most a special spiritual man, renounces the
world, the flesh, and the devil, preaches and prays day
and night, so kind to the poor, and so humble, he has no
more pride than a babe, and so short-handed he's no butter
to his bread--all self denial, mortifyin the flesh. Well,
as soon as he can work it, he marries the richest gall
in all his flock, and then his bread is buttered on both
sides. HE PROMISED TOO MUCH.

Then comes a Doctor, and a prime article he is too, I've
got, says he, a screw augur emetic and hot crop, and if
I cant cure all sorts o' things in natur my name aint
quack. Well he turns stomach and pocket, both inside out,
and leaves poor Blue Nose--a dead man. HE PROMISED TOO
MUCH.

Then comes a Lawyer, an honest lawyer too, a real wonder
under the sun, as straight as a shingle in all his dealins.
He's so honest he cant bear to hear tell of other lawyers,
he writes agin 'em, raves agin 'em, votes agin 'em, they
are all rogues but him. He's jist the man to take a case
in hand, cause HE will see justice done. Well, he wins
his case, and fobs all for costs, cause he's sworn to
see justice done to--himself. HE PROMISED TOO MUCH.

Then comes a Yankee Clockmaker, (and here Mr. Slick
looked up and smiled,) with his "Soft Sawder," and "Human
Natur," and he sells clocks warranted to run from July
to Etarnity, stoppages included, and I must say they do
run as long as--as long as wooden clocks commonly do,
that's a fact. But I'll shew you presently how I put the
leak into 'em, for here's a feller a little bit ahead on
us, whose flint I've made up my mind to fix this while
past. Here we were nearly thrown out of the waggon, by
the breaking down of one of those small wooden bridges,
which prove so annoying and so dangerous to travellers.
Did you hear that are snap? said he, well as sure as
fate, I'll break my clocks over them etarnal log bridges,
if Old Clay clips over them arter that fashion. Them are
poles are plaguy treacherous, they are jist like old Marm
Patience Doesgood's teeth, that keeps the great United
Independent Democratic Hotel, at Squaw Neck Creek, in
Massachusetts, one half gone, and tother half rotten
eends. I thought you had disposed of your last Clock,
said I, at Colchester, to Deacon Flint. So I did, he
replied, the last one I had to sell to HIM, but I got a
few left for other folks yet. Now there is a man on this
road, one Zeb Allen, a real genuINE skinflint, a proper
close fisted customer as you'll amost see any where, and
one that's not altogether the straight thing in his dealin
neither. He dont want no one to live but himself, and
he's mighty handsum to me, sayin my Clocks are all a
cheat, and that we ruinate the country, a drainin every
drop of money out of it, a callin me a Yankee broom and
what not. But it tante all jist Gospel that he says. Now
I'll put a Clock on him afore he knows it, I'll go right
into him as slick as a whistle, and play him to the eend
of my line like a trout. I'll have a hook in his gills,
while he's a thinkin he's only smellin at the bait. There
he is now, I'll be darned if he aint, standin afore his
shop door, lookin as strong as high proof Jamaiky; I
guess I'll whip it out o' the bung while he's a lookin
arter the spicket, and praps he'll be none o' the wiser
till be finds it out, neither.

Well Squire, how do you do, said he, how's all to home?
Reasonable well, I give you thanks, wont you alight? Cant
to-day, said Mr. Slick, I'm in a considerable of a hurry
to katch the Packet, have you any commands for Sow West?
I'm goin to the Island, and across the Bay to Windsor.
Any word that way? No says Mr. Allen, none that I can
think on, unless it be to enquire how butter's goin; they
tell me cheese is down, and proDUCE of all kind particular
dull this fall. Well, I'm glad I can tell you that
question, said Slick, for I don't calculate to return to
these parts, butter is risin a cent or two; I put mine
off mind at 10 pence. Dont return! possible! why how
you talk? have you done with the clock trade? I guess I
have, it tante worth follerin now. Most time, said the
other, laughing, for by all accounts the clocks warnt
worth havin, and most infarnal dear too, folks begin to
get their eyes open. It warnt needed in your case, said
Mr. Slick, with that peculiarly composed manner, that
indicates suppressed feeling, for you were always wide
awake, if all the folks had cut their eye teeth as airly
as you did, their'd be plaguy few clocks sold in these
parts, I reckon; but you are right, Squire, you may say
that, they actilly were NOT worth havin, and that's the
truth. The fact is, said he, throwing down his reins;
and affecting a most confidential tone, I felt almost
ashamed of them myself; I tell you. The long and short
of the matter is jist this, they don't make no good ones
now-a-days, no more, for they calculate 'em for shippin
and not for home use. I was all struck up of a heap when
I see'd the last lot I got from the States; I was properly
bit by them, you may depend; they didnt pay cost, for I
couldn't recommend them with a clear conscience, and I
must say I do like a fair deal, for I'm strait up and
down, and love to go right ahead, that's a fact. Did you
ever see them I fetched when I first came, them I sold
over the Bay? No, said Mr. Allen, I cant say I did. Well,
continued he, they WERE a prime article, I tell you, no
mistake there, fit for any market, its generally allowed
there aint the beat of them to be found any where. If
you want a clock, and CAN lay your hands on one of them,
I advise you not to let go the chance; you'll know 'em
by the 'Lowell' mark, for they were all made at Judge
Beler's factory, Squire Shepody, down to Five Islands,
axed me to get him one, and a special job I had of it,
near about more sarch arter it than it was worth, but I
did get him one, and a particular handsome one it is,
copald and gilt superior. I guess its worth ary half
dozen in these parts, let tothers be where they may. If
I could a got supplied with the like o' them, I could a
made a grand spec out of them, for they took at once,
and went off quick. Have you got it with you, said Mr.
Allen, I should like to see it. Yes, I have it here, all
done up in tow, as snug as a bird's egg, to keep it from
jarrin, for it hurts 'em consumedly to jolt 'em over them
are etarnal wooden bridges. But its no use to take it
out, it aint for sale, its bespoke, and I would'nt take
the same trouble to get another for twenty dollars. The
only one that I know of that there's any chance of gettin,
is one that Increase Crane has up to Wilmot, they say
he's a sellin off.

After a good deal of persuasion, Mr. Slick unpacked the
clock, but protested against his asking for it, for it
was not for sale. It was then exhibited, every part
explained and praised, as new in invention and perfect
in workmanship. Now Mr. Allen had a very exalted opinion
of Squire Shepody's taste, judgment, and saving knowledge;
and, as it was the last and only chance of getting a
clock, of such superior quality, he offered to take it
at the price the Squire was to have it, at seven pounds
ten shillings. But Mr. Slick vowed he could'nt part with
it at no rate, he didnt know where he could get the like
agin, (for he warnt quite sure about Increase Crane's)
and the Squire would be confounded disappointed, he
could'nt think of it. In proportion to the difficulties,
rose the ardor of Mr. Allen, his offers advanced to 8
pounds, to 8 pounds 10, to 9 pounds. I vow, said Mr.
Slick, I wish I had'nt let on that I had it at all. I
don't like to refuse you, but where am I to get the like.
After much discussion of a similar nature, he consented
to part with the clock, though with great apparent
reluctance, and pocketed the money with a protest that,
cost what it would, he should have to procure another,
for he could'nt think of putting the Squire's pipe out
arter that fashion, for he was a very clever man, and as
fair as a boot jack. Now, said Mr. Slick, as we proceeded
on our way, that are feller is properly sarved, he got
the most inferior article I had, and I jist doubled the
price on him. Its a pity he should be a tellin of lies
of the Yankees all the time, this will help him now to
a little grain of truth. Then mimicking his voice and
manner, he repeated Allen's words with a strong nasal
twang, "Most time for you to give over the clock trade,
I guess, for by all accounts they aint worth havin, and
most infarnel dear too, folks begin to get their eyes
open." Better for you, if you'd a had yourn open, I
reckon, a joke is a joke, but I concait you'll find that
no joke. The next time you tell stories about Yankee
pedlars, put the wooden clock in with the wooden punkin
seeds, and Hickory hams, will you? The Blue Noses, Squire,
are all like Zeb Allen, they think they know every thing,
but they get gulled from years' eend to years' eend. They
expect too much from others, and do too little for
themselves. They actilly expect the sun to shine, and
the rain to fall, through their little House of Assembly.
What have you done for us? they keep axin their members.
Who did you spunk up to last Session? jist as if all
legislation consisted in attackin some half dozen puss
proud folks at Halifax, who are jist as big noodles as
they be themselves. You hear nothin but politicks,
politicks, politicks, one everlastin sound of give, give,
give. If I was Governor I'd give 'em the butt eend of my
mind on the subject, I'd crack their pates till I let
some light in 'em, if it was me, I know. I'd say to the
members, don't come down here to Halifax with your long
lockrums about politicks, makin, a great touss about
nothin; but open the country, foster agricultur, encourage
trade, incorporate companies, make bridges, facilitate
conveyance, and above all things make a Railroad from
Windsor to Halifax; and mind what I tell you now, write
it down for fear you should forget it, for it's a fact;
and if you don't believe me, I'll lick you till you do,
for there aint a word of a lie in it, by Gum: "ONE SUCH
WORK AS THE WINDSOR BRIDGE IS WORTH ALL YOUR LAWS, VOTES,
SPEECHES AND RESOLUTIONS, FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS, IF TIED
UP AND PUT INTO A MEAL BAG TOGETHER. IF IT TANTE I HOPE
I MAY BE SHOT."




No. XXXII

Too many Irons in the Fire.

We had a pleasant sail of three hours from Parrsboro to
Windsor. The arrivals and departures by water, are
regulated at this place by the tide, and it was sunset
before we reached Mrs. Wilcox's comfortable inn. Here,
as at other places, Mr. Slick seemed to be perfectly at
home; and he pointed to a wooden clock, as a proof of
his successful and extended trade, and of the universal
influence of "soft sawder," and a knowledge of "human
natur." Taking out a pen knife, he cut off a splinter
from a stick of firewood, and balancing himself on one
leg of his chair, by the aid of his right foot, commenced
his favorite amusement of whitling, which he generally
pursued in silence. Indeed it appeared to have become
with him an indispensible accompaniment of reflection.
He sat in this abstracted manner, until he had manufactured
into delicate shavings the whole of his raw materiel,
when he very deliberately resumed a position of more ease
and security, by resting his chair on two legs instead
of one, and putting both his feet on the mantel piece.
Then, lighting his cigar, he said in his usual quiet
manner, there's a plaguy sight of truth in them are old
proverbs. They are distilled facts steamed down to an
essence. They are like portable soup, an amazin deal of
matter in a small compass. They are what I valy most,
experience. Father used to say I'd as lives have an old
homespun self taught doctor as are a Professor in the
College at Philadelphia or New York to attend me; for
what they do know, they know by experience, and not by
books; and experience is every thing, its hearin and
seein and tryin, and arter that a feller must be a born
fool if he don't know. That's the beauty of old proverbs;
they are as true as a plum line, and as short and sweet
as sugar candy. Now when you come to see all about this
Country you'll find the truth of that are one--"A MAN
THAT HAS TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE, IS PLAGUY APT TO
GET SOME ON 'EM BURNT."

Do you recollect that are tree I show'd you to Parrsboro',
it was all covered with BLACK KNOBS, like a wart rubbed
with caustic. Well, the plum trees had the same disease
a few years ago, and they all died, and the cherry trees
I concait will go for it too. The farms here are all
covered with the same "black knobs," and they do look
like old scratch. If you see a place all gone to wrack
and ruin, its mortgaged you may depend. The "black knob"
is on it. My plan, you know, is to ax leave to put a
clock in a house, and let it be till I return. I never
say a word about sellin it, for I know when I come back,
they wont let it go arter they are once used to it. Well,
when I first came, I knowed no one, and I was forced to
enquire whether a man was good for it, afore I left it
with him; so I made a pint of axin all about every man's
place that lived on the road. Who lives up there in the
big house, says I? its a nice location that, pretty
considerable improvements them. Why Sir, that's A. B.'s;
he was well to do in the world once, carried a stiff
upper lip and keerd for no one; he was one of our grand
aristocrats, wore a long tailed coat, and a ruffled shirt,
but he must take to ship buildin, and has gone to the
dogs. Oh, said I, too many irons in the fire. Well, the
next farm, where the pigs are in the potatoe field, whose
is that? Oh, Sir, that's C. D's. he was a considerable
fore handed farmer, as any in our place, but he sot up
for an Assembly-man, and opened a Store, and things went
agin him some how, he had no luck arterwards. I hear his
place is mortgaged, and they've got him cited in chancery.
"The black knob" is on him, said I. The black what, Sir,
says Blue Nose? nothin says I. But the next, who improves
that house? Why that's E. F.'s he was the greatest farmer
in these parts, another of the aristocracy, had a most
a noble stock o' cattle, and the matter of some hundreds
out in jint notes; well he took the contract for beef
with the troops; and he fell astarn so, I guess its a
gone goose with him. He's heavy mortgaged. "Too many
irons" agin, said I. Who lives to the left there? that
man has a most a special fine intervale, and a grand
orchard too, he must be a good mark that. Well he was
once, Sir, a few years ago; but he built a fullin mill,
and a cardin mill, and put up a lumber establishment,
and speculated in the West Indy line, but the dam was
carried away by the freshets, the lumber fell, and faith
he fell too; he's shot up, he hant been see'd these two
years, his farm is a common, and fairly run out. Oh, said
I, I understand now, my man, these folks had too many
irons in the fire you see, and some on 'em have got burnt.
I never heerd tell of it, says Blue Nose; they might,
but not to my knowledge; and he scratched his head, and
looked as if he would ask the meanin of it, but didn't
like too. Arter that I axed no more questions; I knew a
mortgaged farm as far as I could see it. There was a
strong family likeness in 'em all--the same ugly featurs,
the same cast o' countenance. The "black knob" was
discernible--there was no mistake--barn doors broken
off--fences burnt up--glass out of windows--more white
crops than green--and both lookin poor and weedy--no
wood pile, no sarse garden, no compost, no stock--moss
in the mowin lands, thistles in the ploughed lands, and
neglect every where--skinnin had commenced--takin all
out and puttin nothin in--gittin ready for a move, SO AS
TO HAVE NOTHIN BEHIND. Flittin time had come. Fore
gatherin, for foreclosin. Preparin to curse and quit.
--That beautiful river we came up to day, What superfine
farms it has on both sides of it, hante it? its a sight
to behold. Our folks have no notion of such a country so
far down east, beyond creation most, as Nova Scotia is.
If I was to draw up an account of it for the Slickville
Gazette, I guess few would accept it as a bona fide draft,
without some sponsible man to indorse it, that warnt
given to flammin. They'd say there was a land speculation
to the bottom of it, or water privilege to put into the
market, or a plaister rock to get off, or some such
scheme. They would, I snore. But I hope I may never see
daylight agin, if there's sich a country in all our great
nation, as the VI-cinity of Windsor.

Now its jist as like as not, some goney of a Blue Nose,
that see'd us from his fields, sailin up full spirit,
with a fair wind on the packet, went right off home and
said to his wife, "now do for gracious sake, mother, jist
look here, and see how slick them folks go along; and
that Captain has nothin to do all day, but sit straddle
legs across his tiller, and order about his sailors, or
talk like a gentleman to his passengers; he's got most
as easy a time of it as Ami Cuttle has, since he took up
the fur trade, a snarin rabbits. I guess I'll buy a
vessel, and leave the lads to do the plowin and little
chores, they've growd up now to be considerable lumps of
boys." Well, away he'll go, hot foot, (for I know the
critters better nor they know themselves) and he'll go
and buy some old wrack of a vessel, to carry plaister,
and mortgage his farm to pay for her. The vessel will
jam him up tight for repairs and new riggin, and the
Sheriff will soon pay him a visit (and he's a most
particular troublesome visitor that; if he once only gets
a slight how-d'ye-do acquaintance, he becomes so amazin
intimate arterwards, a comin in without knockin, and a
runnin in and out at all hours, and makin so plaguy free
and easy, its about as much as a bargain if you can get
clear of him afterwards.) Benipt by the tide, and benipt
by the Sheriff, the vessel makes short work with him.
Well, the upshot is, the farm gets neglected, while
Captain Cuddy is to sea a drogin of plaister. The thistles
run over his grain fields, his cattle run over his hay
land, the interest runs over its time, the mortgage runs
over all, and at last he jist runs over to the lines to
Eastport, himself. And when he finds himself there, a
standin in the street, near Major Pine's tavern, with
his bands in his trowser pockets, a chasin of a stray
shillin from one eend of 'em to another, afore he can
catch it to swap for a dinner, wont he look like a ravin
distracted fool, that's all? He'll feel about as streaked
as I did once, a ridin down the St. John river. It was
the fore part of March--I'd been up to Fredericton a
speculatin in a small matter of lumber, and was returnin
to the city, a gallopin along on one of old Buntin's
horses, on the ice, and all at one I missed my horse, he
went right slap in and slid under the ice out of sight
as quick as wink, and there I was a standin all alone.
Well, says I, what the dogs has become of my horse and
port mantle? they have given me a proper dodge, that's
a fact. That is a narrer squeak, it fairly bangs all.
Well, I guess he'll feel near about as ugly, when he
finds himself brought up all standin that way; and it
will come so sudden on him, he'll say, why it aint possible
I've lost farm and vessel both, in tu tu's that way, but
I don't see neither on 'em. Eastport is near about all
made up of folks who have had to cut and run for it.

I was down there last fall, and who should I see but
Thomas Rigby, of Windsor. He knew me the minit he laid
eyes upon me, for I had sold him a clock the summer afore.
(I got paid for it, though, for I see'd he had too many
irons in the fire not to get some on 'em burnt; and
besides, I knew every fall and spring the wind set in
for the lines, from Windsor, very strong--a regular trade
wind--a sort of monshune, that blows all one way, for a
long time without shiftin.) Well, I felt proper sorry
for him, for he was a very clever man, and looked cut up
dreadfully, and amazin down in the mouth. Why, says I,
possible! is that you, Mr. Rigby? why, as I am alive! if
that aint my old friend--why how do you do? Hearty, I
thank you, said he, how be you? Reasonable well, I give
you thanks, says I; but what on airth brought you here?
Why, says he, Mr. Slick, I couldn't well avoid it; times
are uncommon dull over the bay; there's nothin stirrin
there this year, and never will I'm thinkin. No mortal
soul CAN live in Nova Scotia. I do believe that our
country was made of a Saturday night, arter all the rest
of the Universe was finished. One half of it has got all
the ballast of Noah's ark thrown out there; and the other
half is eat up by Bankers, Lawyers, and other great folks.
All our money goes to pay salaries, and a poor man has
no chance at all. Well, says I, are you done up stock
and fluke--a total wrack? No, says he, I have two hundred
pounds left yet to the good, but my farm, stock and
utensils, them young blood horses, and the bran new vessel
I was a buildin, are all gone to pot, swept as clean as
a thrashin floor, that's a fact; Shark & Co. took all.
Well, says I, do you know the reason of all that misfortin?
Oh, says he, any fool can tell that; bad times to be
sure--every thing has turned agin the country, the banks
have it all their own way, and much good may it do 'em.
Well, says I, what's the reason the banks don't eat us
up too, for I guess they are as hungry as yourn be, and
no way particular about their food neither; considerable
sharp set--cut like razors, you may depend. I'll tell
you, says I, how you get that are slide, that sent you
heels over head--"YOU HAD TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE."
You hadn't ought to have taken hold of ship buildin at
all, you knowed nothin about it; you should have stuck
to your farm, and your farm would have stuck to you. Now
go back, afore you spend your money, go up to Douglas,
and you'll buy as good a farm for two hundred pounds as
what you lost, and see to that, and to that only, and
you'll grow rich. As for Banks, they can't hurt a country
no great, I guess, except by breakin, and I conceit
there's no fear of yourn breakin; and as for lawyers,
and them kind o' heavy coaches, give 'em half the road,
and if they run agin you, take the law of 'em. Undivided,
unremittin attention paid to one thing, in ninety-nine
cases out of a hundred, will ensure success; but you know
the old sayin about "TOO MANY IRONS."

Now, says I, Mr. Rigby, what o'clock is it? Why, says
he, the moon is up a piece, I guess its seven o'clock or
thereabouts. I suppose its time to be a movin. Stop, says
I, jist come with me, I got a real nateral curiosity to
show you--such a thing as you never laid your eyes on in
Nova-Scotia, I know. So we walked along towards the beach;
now, says I, look at that are man, old Lunar, and his
son, a sawin plank by moonlight, for that are vessel on
the stocks there; come agin to morrow mornin, afore you
can cleverly discarn objects the matter of a yard or so
afore you, and you'll find 'em at it agin. I guess that
vessel won't ruinate those folks. They know their business
and stick to it. Well, away went Rigby, considerably
sulky, (for he had no notion that it was his own fault,
he laid all the blame on the folks to Halifax,) but I
guess he was a little grain posed, for back he went, and
bought to Sowack, where I hear he has a better farm than
he had afore.

I mind once we had an Irish gall as a dairy help; well,
we had a wicked devil of a cow, and she kicked over the
milk pail, and in ran Dora, and swore the Bogle did it;
jist so, poor Rigby, he wouldn't allow it was nateral
causes, but laid it all to politics. Talkin of Dora, puts
me in mind of the galls, for she warnt a bad lookin heifer
that; my! what an eye she had, and I concaited she had
a particular small foot and ankle too, when I helped her
up once into the hay mow, to sarch for eggs; but I cant
exactly say, for when she brought em in, mother shook
her head and said it was dangerous; she said she might
fall through and hurt herself, and always sent old Snow
afterwards. She was a considerable of a long headed woman,
was mother, she could see as far ahead as most folks.
She warn't born yesterday, I guess. But that are proverb
is true as respects the galls too. Whenever you see one
on 'em with a whole lot of sweet hearts, its an even
chance if she gets married to any on em. One cools off,
and another cools off, and before she brings any one on
em to the right weldin heat, the coal is gone and the
fire is out. Then she may blow and blow till she's tired;
she may blow up a dust, but the deuce of a flame can she
blow up agin, to save her soul alive. I never see a clever
lookin gall in danger of that, I dont long to whisper in
her ear, you dear little critter, you, take care, you
have too many irons in the fire, some on 'em will get
stone cold, and tother ones will get burnt so, they'll
never be no good in natur.




No. XXXIII

Windsor and the Far West.

The next morning the Clockmaker proposed to take a drive
round the neighborhood. You hadn't ought, says he, to be
in a hurry; you should see the VIcinity of this location;
there aint the beat of it to be found anywhere. While
the servants were harnessing old Clay, we went to see a
new bridge, which had recently been erected over the Avon
River. That, said he, is a splendid thing. A New Yorker
built it, and the folks in St. John paid for it. You mean
of Halifax, said I; St. John is in the other province.
I mean what I say, he replied, and it is a credit to New
Brunswick. No, Sir, the Halifax folks neither know nor
keer much about the country--they wouldn't take hold on
it, and if they had a waited for them, it would have been
one while afore they got a bridge, I tell you. They've
no spirit, and plaguy little sympathy with the country,
and I'll tell you the reason on it. There are a good many
people there from other parts, and always have been, who
come to make money and nothin else, who don't call it
home, and don't feel to home, and who intend to up killoch
and off, as soon as they have made their ned out of the
Blue Noses. They have got about as much regard for the
country as a pedlar has, who trudges along with a pack
on his back. He WALKS, cause he intends to RIDE at last;
TRUSTS, cause he intends to SUE at last; SMILES, cause
he intends to CHEAT at last; SAVES ALL, cause he intends
to MOVE ALL at last. Its actilly overrun with transient
paupers, and transient speculators, and these last grumble
and growl like a bear with a sore head, the whole blessed
time, at every thing; and can hardly keep a civil tongue
in their head, while they're fobbin your money hand over
hand. These critters feel no interest in any thing but
cent per cent; they deaden public spirit; they han't got
none themselves, and they larf at it in others; and, when
you add their numbers to the timid ones, the stingy ones,
the ignorant ones, and the poor ones that are to be found
in every place, why the few smart spirited ones that's
left, are too few to do any thing, and so nothin is done.
It appears to me if I was a Blue Nose I'd ---; but thank
fortin I aint, so I says nothin--but there is somethin
that aint altogether jist right is this country, that's
a fact.

But what a country this Bay country is, isn't it? Look
at that medder, beant it lovely? The Prayer Eyes of
Illanoy are the top of the ladder with us, but these
dykes take the shine off them by a long chalk, that's
sartin. The land in our far west, it is generally allowed,
can't be no better; what you plant is sure to grow and
yield well, and food is so cheap you can live there for
half nothin. But it don't agree with us New England folks;
we don't enjoy good health there; and what in the world
is the use of food, if you have such an etarnal dyspepsy
you can't digest it, A man can hardly live there till
next grass afore he is in the yaller leaf. Just like one
of our bran new vessels built down in Maine, of best
hackmatack, or what's better still, of our real American
live oak, (and that's allowed to be about the best in
the world) send her off to the West Indies, and let her
lie there awhile, and the worms will riddle her bottom
all full of holes like a tin cullender, or a board with
a grist of duck shot thro it, you wouldn't believe what
a BORE they be. Well, that's jist the case with the
western climate. The heat takes the solder out of the
knees and elbows, weakens the joints and makes the frame
ricketty. Besides, we like the smell of the Salt Water,
it seems kinder nateral to us New Englanders. We can make
more a plowin of the seas, than plowin of a prayer eye.
It would take a bottom near about as long as Connecticut
river, to raise wheat enough to buy the cargo of a
Nantucket whaler, or a Salem tea ship. And then to leave
one's folks, and naTIVE place where one was raised, halter
broke, and trained to go in gear, and exchange all the
comforts of the old States, for them are new ones, dont
seem to go down well at all. Why the very sight of the
Yankee galls is good for sore eyes, the dear little
critters, they do look so scrumptious, I tell you, with
their cheeks bloomin like a red rose budded on a white
one and their eyes like Mrs. Adams's diamonds, (that
folks say shine as well in the dark as in the light,)
neck like a swan, lips chock full of kisses--lick! it
fairly makes one's mouth water to think on 'em. But its
no use talkin, they are just made critters that's a fact,
full of health and life and beauty,--now, to change them
are splendid white water lillies of Connecticut and Rhode
Island, for the yaller crocusses of Illanoy, a what we
don't like. It goes most confoundedly agin the grain, I
tell you. Poor critters, when they get away back there,
they grow as thin as a sawed lath, their little peepers
are as dull as a boiled codfish, their skin looks like
yaller fever, and they seem all mouth like a crocodile.
And that's not the worst of it neither, for when a woman
begins to grow saller its all over with her; she's up a
tree then you may depend, there's no mistake. You can no
more bring back her bloom than you can the color to a
leaf the frost has touched in the fall. It's gone goose
with her, that's a fact. And that's not all, for the
temper is plaguy apt to change with the cheek too. When
the freshness of youth is on the move, the sweetness of
temper is amazin apt to start along with it. A bilious
cheek and a sour temper are like the Siamese twins,
there's a nateral cord of union atween them. The one is
a sign board, with the name of the firm written on it in
big letters. He that don't know this, cant read, I guess.
It's no use to cry over spilt milk, we all know, but its
easier said than done that. Women kind, and especially
single folks, will take on dreadful at the fadin of their
roses, and their frettin only seems to make the thorns
look sharper. Our minister used to say to sister Sall,
(and when she was young she was a real witch, a most an
everlastin sweet girl,) Sally, he used to say, now's the
time to larn when you are young; store your mind well,
dear, and the fragrance will remain long arter the rose
has shed its leaves. The otter of roses is stronger than
the rose, and a plaguy sight more valuable. Sall wrote
it down, she said it warnt a bad idee that; but father
larfed, he said he guessed minister's courtin days warnt
over, when he made such pretty speeches as that are to
the galls. Now, who would go to expose his wife or his
darters, or himself, to the dangers of such a climate
for the sake of 30 bushels of wheat to the acre, instead
of 15. There seems a kinder somethin in us that rises in
our throat when we think on it, and wont let us. We dont
like it. Give me the shore, and let them that like the
Far West go there, I say.

This place is as fartile as Illanoy or Ohio, as healthy
as any part of the Globe, and right along side of the
salt water; but the folks want three things--INDUSTRY,
ENTERPRISE, ECONOMY; these Blue Noses don't know how to
valy this location--only look at it, and see what a place
for bisness it is--the centre of the Province--the nateral
capital of the Basin of Minas, and part of the Bay of
Fundy--the great thoroughfare to St. John, Canada, and
the United States--the exports of lime, gypsum, freestone
and grindstone--the dykes--but it's no use talkin; I wish
we had it, that's all. Our folks are like a rock maple
tree--stick 'em in any where, but eend up and top down,
and they will take root and grow; but put 'em in a real
good soil like this, and give 'em a fair chance, and they
will go ahead and thrive right off, most amazin fast,
that's a fact. Yes, if we had it we would make another
guess place of it from what it is. IN ONE YEAR WE WOULD
HAVE A RAIL ROAD TO HALIFAX, WHICH, UNLIKE THE STONE THAT
KILLED TWO BIRDS, WOULD BE THE MAKIN OF BOTH PLACES. I
often tell the folks this, but all they can say is, oh
we are too poor and too young. Says I, you put me in
mind of a great long legged, long tailed colt, father
had. He never changed his name of colt as long as he
lived, and he was as old as the hills; and though he had
the best of feed, was as thin as a whippin post. He was
colt all his days--always young--always poor; and young
and poor you'll be, I guess to the eend of the chapter.

On our return to the Inn the weather, which had been
threatening for some time past, became very tempestuous.
It rained for three successive days and the roads were
almost impassible. To continue my journey was wholly out
of the question. I determined therefore, to take a seat
in the coach for Halifax, and defer until next year the
remaining part of my tour. Mr. Slick agreed to meet me
here in June, and to provide for me the same conveyance
I had used from Amherst. I look forward with much pleasure
to our meeting again. His manner and idiom were to me
perfectly new and very amusing; while his good sound
sense, searching observation, and queer humor, rendered
his conversation at once valuable and interesting. There
are many subjects on which I should like to draw him out;
and I promise myself a fund of amusement in his remarks
on the state of society and manners at Halifax, and the
machinery of the local government, on both of which he
appears to entertain many original and some very just
opinions.

As he took leave of me in the coach, he whispered, "Inside
of your great big cloak you will find wrapped up a box,
containin a thousand real genuine first chop Havanahs--no
mistake--the clear thing. When you smoke 'em think
sometimes of your old companion, SAM SLICK THE CLOCKMAKER."




THE END.







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