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of champagne had evanished. When a cup of coffee had somewhat regulated our charitable outgoings, we were not a little chagrined and vexed at the trick; but we took no particular pains to interrupt his gainful operations, and we had the satisfaction to find that all our neighbours, drunk or sober, had been equally stupid and generous.
Within the last three years, I have had two hundred and fifty-nine similar calls from shipwrecked Germans, Spaniards and Portuguese; from exiled patriots of every country, and from other unfortunates of all sorts, who protested by signs or by some kind of Lingua Franca that they could not speak English, and who had English papers and credentials to speak and lie for them.
About two weeks ago, a stout, hale, thickset, whiskered, brazen-faced, red-nosed scape-gallows came to my house, bolted in, made his bow and tried to be graceful and to sport the gentleman-handed me his booklike a lady's album in externals-which at first I refused to look at, as I knew his object instinctively and by the aid of phrenology--thanks to my sagacity and to this superlatively invaluable and never-to-be-sufficiently lauded queen of sciences. When I bid him “begone” in blunt English, and with a scowl and a stamp of the foot which would have annihilated anything human, he smiled like a cockney and affected not to understand me. He then mumbled a little French, and intimated that he could parler Francois un peu, mais not un vor ov tam Anglois. As I could not get rid of the Hercules by words, looks, or gestures, and feeling no special penchant to attempt it
vi et armis, I cast my eye at length and in despair over the pages of his manuscript book. He was described as an Italian patriot soldier, who had suffered all but martyrdom in the holy cause of liberty-had lost his last SOUS—and had finally been whisked across the ocean or through the air, (Dr. Faust or Mother Carey can tell how,) and set down, safe and sound, in the good City of Savannah; where his misfortunes and hair-breadth escapes by flood and field had excited the deepest sympathy. And so the names of lady and gentleman donors continued to fill his pages and his pockets all the way from Augusta, (whither he had a free passage and the best birth in a steamer,) through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Tennessee, even unto Metropolitan Nashville. As I had not dined, I succeeded for once in keeping my cash.
Since the above, two wounded, maimed, crippled, wobegone, limping, groaning, pitiful, drunken old soldiers, who fought, as their story told, at New Orleans, on one side or t’other, and were all but killed in battle, and had been dying ever since, and who certainly would die before next morning unless my right worshipful honour would be pleased to bestow the needful to wet their whistles and mend their coats. Alas! what is to be done? What was our grand penitentiary built for? What are our lawyers and courts and legislature about? THE SEASON.*
[DECEMBER 16, 1831.]
The present will, probably, long be remembered as the cold winter, or, at any rate, as the cold December. Our oldest people tell us that the Cumberland River has never been completely frozen at this place but twice before:- viz., in 1786 and 1796. It is not to be inferred however from this fact, that the weather has not been sufficiently cold during any other winter to freeze ordi
The truth is, it requires more intensely severe and longer continued frost to congeal the waters of the Cumberland than to produce the same effect upon the Hudson or the Delaware. This is owing to the very high and almost perpendicular banks, and to the rapid current of our noble river. And to these two permanent causes, may be added the generally high state of the water at this season. At present, the river is not swollen beyond its ordinary summer level: and it is now completely bridged over with solid ice, so that the heaviest loaded wagons cross it in safety.
Since about the first instant, the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer has ranged, at sunrise, between several degrees below zero and ten above, and with
* Printed in the National Banner, over the signature of G. F. G.
very little increase of temperature during the day. On the morning of the 6th instant, it began to snow; and since the morning of the 7th, the snow has remained about ten inches deep without any apparent diminution. Even the roofs of the houses, with a southern exposure, continue covered as at first. Scarcely wind enough to rustle a leaf has been perceptible during all this period. This circumstance and a clear sky will account for the very bearable and rather bracing character of a Greenland atmosphere.
Many temporary sleighs have been suddenly got up, and our worthy citizens have tried to amuse themselves in Yankee style. But their rude vehicles are such pitiful caricatures of the comfortable and elegant establishments of the Northerners, that they can attain at best but a sorry notion, from this experiment, of the delightful mode of land-sailing, which renders a Northern winter the most joyous and social portion of the
This morning (Friday, Dec. 16,) the mercury stood at fourteen degeees below zero, on College Hill at sunrise, in the open air! What will the Bostonians say to this? Oh, for M. Chaubert's red hot oven! Sherry wine in decanters, in a closed sideboard, was nearly a solid mass of ice, in a well built brick house. How alcohol fared, I had no opportunity of ascertaining. Though accustomed to a Northern climate, having lived some thirty years within fifty miles of New York, I have never experienced such cold as this;-nor have I ever known a cold spell to last so long without some abatement.
I find, on referring to my memoranda, that on the 25th of January, 1821, in the City of New York, at three o'clock A.M., the thermometer was fourteen degrees below zero; and this was pronounced, in the city papers of the day, the severest weather experienced there for upwards of thirty years. At my own residence in the country, the thermometer was at the same time five degrees below zero, which is the lowest ever witnessed by myself until this morning. While writing this, I am seated close to a huge fire, with gloves, moccasins, and great coat on, and I can with difficulty keep my ink in a liquid state long enough to record the passing features of the moment.
I have now before me the last number of Brewster's Edinburgh Journal of Science, which contains an abstract of the meteorological observations made to the regents of the University of New York from 34 academies in different parts of the State for the year 1830; from which it appears that at Albany, the lowest point to which the mercury fell during the last year, was 12 degrees below zero; and at Erasmus Hall, near the City of New York, to only 4 above zero. The whole abstract would be worth republishing here, if I had leisure and warm fingers to copy it, or if space could be spared for it in the columns of a newspaper, at such a busy, political, fighting, bank-making and un-making crisis as the present.