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two of the whole being dressed altogether alike, as you may see by the sketch, already referred to, which I declare to you, is very faithful; it was clear by my theory that no two of the whole could think alike upon any one subject under heaven. But then, if a majority of the whole should happen to think anywhere near alike upon the very subject under consideration, what would become of us? I took another survey of the whole room, and as I did so, trusting there would be no neutrals, for I wanted the question settled one way or another, "about the quickest," as we say Down-East, I saw for the first time, a stout young fellow near me, leaning with both elbows over the top of a high settle, and making faces at the baby. I saw too, that he was Irish, and felt more and more encouraged, notwithstanding his cap, which, if not altogether Yankee, was certainly very far from being British. A show of hands might help ui out of the scrape, if we could only manage to have that show of hands, before they got employed in some other way. Happening to turn my head once more toward my countryman, my eyes lighted on his large bony hand as it lay over the back of the Major's chair. I felt comforted. The strength and repose I saw there, led me to try for a look at the side of his face; and the moment I had done so, the question was settled in my mind. I saw that he was a Green Mountain boy, with the grasp of a blacksmith's vice; a thorough-bred cold water man; such as in other days followed Ethan Allen to Tycimderogue, as they call it there, heaving the rocks from their path like pebbles; and that if the puffy, porter-drinking landlord should undertake a fall with him, he would, in all human probability, get pitched head first into the street. "Oh, ho!" said I to myself, "things are not so bad after all! Who knows what the Major may do? And as the stout Scotchman has promised to see fair play, and the Irishman is ready for a row at any time, why, the sooner we begin the better."
"Row! what row?" said the Major.
I had probably been thinking aloud, and felt rather sheepish.
"Who wants a row here, hey? I should be glad to know; this ain't a question to be settled in that way," added my countryman.
"Well, how would you take to have it settled?" asked the Major.
"Hoto? why, like raytional critters," said the Vermonter. "Ever ben to one of our townmeetin's?"
The Major shook his head with a smile.
"Oh, ye haint though, have ye? Well, I declare!"
'* Never," said the Major.
"Well then, let me tell ye how they do this kind o' business over there. Fust, they come
together and get a talkin', jest as we have tonight, and then somebody jumps up and sings out, 'Hallow! I motion that we choose a moderator, and go to work right away.' 'I second the motion,' says somebody else; and then they up and choose; and then they begin to talk, some o' one side and some o' tother; but they never think o' talkin' away all together, as they always did afore they come to order. Well now, Major," slapping him on the back, "how do ye like the idee?" "Prodigiously."
"You do!—don't ye? I knew you would. Well then, feller citizens, here goes! I motion that we choose the Major for moderator o' this 'ere meetin'. As many as are for it, will say ay!—contrary-minded, no! The ay's have it! Major, shall I have the honour of leadin' you up to the cheer?"
This was too much even for the gravity of old Barleycorn, and I thought the Scotchman would have burst his waisthand. Such a clapping of hands, and stamping of feet, and barking and screaming, you never heard in your life.
And the thing took—at it they went, hammer and tongs. And the way they served up the whole subject of annexation, on both sides, before they got through, would have tickled any of our oldest debaters, into convulsions.
Perhaps a summary of the arguments employed, may be a help to the future historian. I give it, of course from recollection—not having taken a single note, upon my honour.
The landlord being called up first, as one whose loyalty had never been questioned, spoke as follows, with one leg over the back of a chair, a short pipe in his mouth, and his eye fixed upon the young traveller, who had opened the ball.
"Mr. Cheerman—I believe in my soul the world is comin' to an end. [hear, hear!] I oaa stand a plenty o' nonsense [puff—puff], an' you know that, Major [hear, hear, hear!], but I'll be—biased. 0, ye needn't think o' callin' me to order. I don't mind the rap of a penknife, I tell ye," [puff—] looking round on the company as if counting noses, before he went further [puff—puff].
"The gentleman will address the chair."
"All right, Major. Well, then, all I have to say is, that if I wouldn't rather go back to the old country, and die there, and rot and starve, under our glorious constitution, with her majesty to look up to—and gentlemen as is gentlemen—to drop in and drink with a feller, when he's flush—than to be made president o' the Yankee doodles, with Californy to boot" [hear, hear, hear!]; and the gentleman sat down, without finishing the sentence, and wiped his forehead with a Belcher he had carried for five-and-twenty years, and never used but upon great occasions—utterly overwhelmed with applause.
Here a timber-merchant took the floor, who began by saying, in a quiet way, that "he wasn't much of a speaker, and having been called upon rather unexpectedly, he had forgotten to bring with him a written speech." (Hear, hear!—and two or three raps on the table to quiet a most outrageous burst of laughter.)
"But, Mr. Chairman," said he, " there's one comfort A short horse is soon curried. Five years ago, I was in comfortable circumstances. Now I am poor. Then I was loyal—now I am not. [Heart] By a change of policy, which has ruined me and beggared the whole country about me, without helping anybody, to my belief—I have been driven from my farm; I dare not raise any wheat—and my lumber lands, bought with the savings of a long life spent in hardship and self-denial — are not worth the taxes." [Hear, hear, hear!]
And down he sat. There was a dead silence for several minutes. The Major shook his head mournfully—tried to speak—stopped— and then added. "My friends, I know what
Mr. T has said is what he believes to be
the truth. I have slept under his roof when he was a rich man—he is now a poor man—and I have no doubt made So, by the mistaken policy of our home government. Excuse me—but I could not help saying this."
With a sound that puzzled me—it was something between a growl and a groan—the doctor stood up.
"Hoozah! three cheers for her majesty! and that's all I have to say!" and down he dropped into a chair.
"An' three cheers more for our holy releegion, hech, mon?" added another, from the land o' cakes.
"Wi' all my heart—gie's thy hand, man!" And three cheers were sounded with such prodigious strength, I do believe they might have been heard across the river.
The Green Mountain boy was now called for —and up he stood. To my astonishment, he was a tall man—put together as the wire bridges are said to be at Niagara—a skeleton strung with fibre. His language and manner reminded me of the giant Wilson, who seems to have been quarried—by a thunderbolt—from the granite-hills of New Hampshire.
"My friends," said he, "this is ticklish business for a stranger; but I'm not afraid to trust ye—and there's my hand on't; open or shut—take your choice."
It was instantly clutched by the stout broadchested Caledonian, and shaken heartily.
"We have all been tippling together," (holding up a tumbler of cold water, and eyeing it
with a smile, as if he saw there something brighter than a bee's wing,) "and if I understand the arguments I have been listening to— and I acknowledge my head is none of the clearest—the whole question, appears to turn at last upon your capacity for self-government [hear, hear !]. You believe yourselves capable of self-government, drunk or sober,—Jiey •"
"To be sure we do—drunk or sober—here's to the Queen, God bless her!" shouted one of the company.
"And to the Colonial Office !" added the timber-merchant.
"And confusion to all traitors—and Yankee doodles, hip, hip, hurra!" screamed another.
"Gentlemen! gentlemen! order! order !"— and down came the penknife, with three distinct raps.
"Very well," bowing courteously to the cheer, "but that proves nothing. Confound the Yankees, if you will—but how does that help the matter? Is your wheat worth more ?—do your timber lands rise in the market?—have you manufactories and workshops springing up all along your rivers and water-courses — and thrifty villages?" [Hear, hear, hear!]
"But," he continued, after taking breath, "suppose your capacity for self-government were questioned, how would you prove it?"
"Proof it!—By licken the feller that questioned it," said the burly Scotchman.
"That would prove nothing but your greater bodily strength," continued the Vermonter.
"And your greater weakness of understanding," added the Major blandly, but decidedly.
"Aweel, how would ye proof it yesel, my mon?"
"By reasoning together. If people are qualified to govern themselves—they can argue the question for themselves—and want nobody to govern them."
"Not so fast, if you please, my friend. How do you get along on your side of the house? Have you nobody to govern you there?" asked the younger Scotchman, who had not opened his mouth before, and had so little of the accent of his country, as to render it questionable at first, whether he was an Englishman educated in Scotland, or a Scotchman caughtyoung, and domesticated in England.
"Yes, indeed—enough and to spare; but then they are people whom we have chosen for ourselves, and may get rid of whenever we've grown tired of them. But, I have already taken up too much of your time—"
"Not a bit of it—go on, go on!"
"Hear! hear! hear!—Go on! go on!"
"Well, then, for a moment longer. There are two sides to all questions, and as for myself, I tell you now and to your faces, that my mind is far from being made up. I am not sure that independence would be a good thing for your people."
"And why not V asked the Major, with a look of astonishment.
"And still further am I from believing that annexation would be desirable for either party."
"And why not, I ask again?" The young farmer and the two Scotchmen looked puzzled.
"Simply because I don't believe in the capacity of all men for self-government. Unprepared men are unfitted for such a work. Nations have to be led to it step by step—and through a wilderness of suffering and selfdenial. There are the Mexicans, the South Americans, and the French."
"What'll ye hae to tak', my lad?" whispered the Scotchman.
"NotWng, I thank ye."
"Just a wee taste, for tho sound opeenions ye hae just uttered." "Not a drop!"
"A teetotaller by the swipes !" ejaculated our landlord; "if I didn't think so the moment I clapped eyes on him, I wish I may be—blessed."
"And there's another," continued the landlord, looking at me.
"Order! order! hear! hear! hear!"
"And here's another," said the bluff old Scotchman, lifting a large pewter mug to his mouth, and emptying it to the last drop, without drawing breath.
But enough—a sketch may be better than a report. On one side it was urged, that just over the line everything was better and cheaper, and more plentiful, and labour higher; that every man willing to work was sure of employment all the year round, and not obliged to take his hat off, when he found himself in the house of a gentleman; that every man had a chance for a snug and profitable berth, where he could live without work, and have a plenty of meat every day in the year, and after a while get elected a president, or a judge, or a general for life; that the office of general was hereditary; that every man did as he liked in the States; that nobody was ever transported nor sent to the hulks for thieving; that if people didn't love to work, they needn't—they were always provided for; that nobody was obliged to pay Mb debts, or to be hung for burglary, or forgery, or rape, or murder; that all sorts
of liquor were plentiful as water, and cheap as dirt, and strong enough to take the skin off a pewter mug; that a man's vote was an estate in New York, and worth a farm anywhere else; and that he could always swap it away when he liked, for a berth in the custom-house; and in short that real genuine republicans had always everything their own way, both at home and abroad; and that every few years, when the people got strong enough, there was to be a division of all the land, and houses, and wealth, and privileges, share and share alike,—and after a while, another, and so on till everybody had got enough and to spare, and was able to live without work; that all a man had to do was to hurry over, and vote himself a farm, or a wife to begin with, and the rest would follow, of course. They didn't say what kind of rest.
On the other side it was urged that the great Yankee nation were no better than snobs ; that they hardly knew the difference between a king and a president; that they were governed altogether by mobs, and newspapers, and Lynch law; and that all men were equal—meaning by all men about two-thirds of the men, and none of the women, the rest being slaves; that there were no servants, no titles (worth having), no coats-of-arms, no liveries, no nothing that a gentleman as was a gentleman would covet, after he had been abroad; that people wore their hats day and night, and would spit a hole through a two-inch board, carpet and all, in less than no time, if left to themselves; that niggers were hatched for the market, just like so much poultry, whipped in the open street by well-dressed fashionable women till they shed their skins, which were often picked up by the boys, and cut into razor-strops, garters, and elastic ties; that all their prosperity and all their reputation were owing to what little they had left in them of their old English blood; that society could no more hold together where all men were equal, than a pyramid all the way of a size could hope to withstand an earthquake; and that, to say all in a word, they could not if they would, and they would not if they could, undergo annexation: wherefore—
It was resolved accordingly, and duly certified by the young Scotchman as secretary, that they would see us all hanged first.
Music, whan moonlight gilds the evening sky,
And the mild air 1b soft as buds in June,
Rises less sweetly than thy voice's tune,
As sparkling thoughts within thy spirit beam.
E'er breaks the current of life's happy dream. Thou art and shalt be blest beyond compare,
All hopes, all prayers shall keep thee safe from harm, Years shall not st^al one ray that shines so fair;
Love laughs at Fate, and even Death can charm. O'er thy bright face Love waves his rosy wings, Round thee he hovers, and for thee he sings.
OB THE DOU
BY MBS. EMM
"Then you believe women arc always possessed of personal vanity V
The speaker was one of those lovely old ladies upon whom the touch of time seems to produce the same softening and harmonizing effect as upon a fine picture. Everything about her was in perfect keeping, from her carved high-backed chair, and ebony footstool, to the rich black silk dress, lawn kerchief, and delicate lace cap which formed her habitual costume. Her features were moulded into such an expression of benignity, that their want of perfect symmetry would scarcely have been noticed even in a younger face, and there was an air of daintiness and refinement about her which made her seem like one of Vandyke's portraits. She had been listening with interest to an animated discussion between her grandchildren respecting the oft-mooted question of the comparative vanity of the sexes, and it was in reply to a sweeping assertion made by her handsome and somewhat coxcombical grandson, that the old lady joined in the conversation by saying:
"Then you believe that all women are naturally vain."
"Certainly I do; it is a quality inherent in
A C. EMBURY.
woman's nature, and always shows itself sooner or later."
"But vanity is usually the weakness of youth."
"I know that, yet where circumstances have repressed its development in early life, it comes out in a woman even when she is growing old. There was little Mrs. Gay;—who could have dreamed of the vanity which lay hidden in that quiet domestic little body, until she carried her eldest daughter in society, and was there flattered for her own fresh complexion and youthfulness of appearance? Even poor Miss Harbrook, notwithstanding her hump back and sickly face, is vain of her fine hair and little hands. And as a proof that the strongest minds are as much subject to its influence as the weakest, we have only to remember how delighted the philosophic Mrs. Rosemary always is with a personal compliment, though she is 'forty' without being either 'fair' or 'fat.'"
"You grow severe, and perhaps a little unjust; these few examples will not be sufficient to prove your assertion."
"When I was a little boy, grandmamma, I once overheard a half-confidential conversation between several young lady-friends of my eldest sister. One said she had never shed a tear in her life; another, who had lost both her parents, declared she had never been so unhappy as to lose her appetite for dinner; and a third, whose lover had died when the wedding-day was fixed, confessed that in all her sorrow she had never forgotten to curl her hair. Of course my childish sentiment was sadly shocked with all the ladies, but I think now that the lady who did not forget her curls was but a type of her whole sex."
"You talk like a very young man on the subject."
"Perhaps I do; but if you will give me a single instance of a woman in whom vanity is an entirely negative quality, perhaps I may modify my opinions."
"I could tell you a story of a woman who wasted some of the best years of her life in Borrowing over the errors she committed in consequence of being deficient in personal vanity."
"That would certainly be a most extraordinary tale; pray tell us, grandmamma; the story is certainly worth transmitting to posterity on account of its singularity, as such a thing will probably never occur again."
The old lady shook her finger at her saucy grandson in playful rebuke, and dropping her knitting in her lap, thus began her story.
"My reminiscences of early life are all associated with the olden time of New York, where I was born and bred, and have always lived. The race of Knickerbockers is fast dying out, and their descendants make the mistake of not claiming their birthright of ancient respectability, content, as it seems to me, with being classed among the land-loupers and foreigners that came later into the goodly country, instead of standing upon their dignity as children of those who, three centuries ago, possessed nearly all the wealth, all the honesty, all the high principle, all the Christian tolerance in Europe. My story must be one of old times and old places, but it shall be true in all its particulars.
"Sixty years have passed away since Lena Von Elmer resided in one of those fine old stone houses which then embellished the neighbourhood of our beautiful Battery. Her father, a grave, taciturn man, idolized his only child, but he showed his affection rather by quiet, constant, unremitting attention to her comfort and wishes, than by caresses and endearments. Her mother, on the contrary, was a cheerful, sunny-tempered woman, reverencing her husband, but never intruding upon his moods, and loving Lena with a passionateness that showed how necessary such an outlet was for her irrepressible tenderness. Lena's parents were remarkably handsome, but, unfortunately for her,
she resembled both in precisely those traits that did not harmonize in one individual. She had her father's blue eyes with her mother's brunette complexion; the little white teeth, which were so pretty in her mother's small mouth, looked too tiny for the more ample proportions of Lena's full red lips; and the petite figure which made her mother seem so fairylike, was not half so graceful when accompanied with the rounded contour which Lena owed to her Dutch ancestors.
"Even the partial eyes of affection could see no beauty in Lena's face; but a bright healthy complexion, soft dark hair, and that peculiar expression of kindliness which always belongs to a sympathetic nature, ought to have redeemed her from the charge of positive ugliness. But young people judge more hardly than their elders; when one grows old, the freshness of youth is in itself a species of beauty, and we see loveliness in objects that, to the exacting eye of early taste, would have seemed almost like deformity. Lena had always lived in such an atmosphere of love that she never thought of the nature of her own claims upon affection. She had never thought anything about herself; and though she looked upon her mother as one of the very prettiest of women, she never seemed to care about her own appearance. Neat, almost to a fault, fastidious in all her habits, and possessing a certain dainty taste which characterized her style of dress and decoration, she yet never thought of heeding 'how she looked.' Her dress must sit without a wrinkle, the plaited ruffles of her sleeves must be of the finest quality of cambric, the lappets of her cap must be of the rarest point lace, and everything about her was as delicate and fine as possible; but how the looked in these adornments—whether she was becomingly attired, never seemed to occur to her mind. Indeed, Lena thought but little on any subject. Life for her was made up of sensations. Everybody loved her, everybody said kindly and pleasant things to her, and, as she had been educated entirely at home, she had escaped all the disagreeable and tnubby truths one usually hears at school. So she grew up like a princess in a fairy tale. Happiness was all around her, and she never thought of tracing her enjoyments to their source, or of asking why she was beloved.
"Lena was just seventeen when she. accidentally met with a young man, whom, for the present, I will call Charles Stanley. He was a fine-looking, showy person, and would have been handsome but for a certain sinister expression in his dark blue eyes (which, by the way, Lena did not discover till long after her first acquaintance). Stanley was much admired in society for a certain fascination of