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The right to be a cussed fool
Is safe from all devices human,
critter born o'
So we're all right, an' I, fer one,
Don't think our cause 'll lose in vally By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun,
An' gittin' Natur' fer an ally:
To lift one human bein's level,
Or, anyhow, to spile a devil!
Not thet I'm one thet much expec'
Millennium by express to-morrer; They will miscarry,- I rec'lec'
Tu many on 'em, to my sorrer: Men ain't made angels in a day,
No matter how you mould an' labor 'em, a Nor ’riginal ones, I guess, don't stay
With Abe so of'n ez with Abraham.
The'ry thinks Fact a pooty thing,
An' wants the banns read right ensuin’; But fact wun't noways wear the ring,
'Thout years o' settin' up an' wooin': Though, arter all, Time’s dial-plate
Marks centries with the minute-finger, An' Good can't never come tu late,
Though it doos seem to try an' linger.
An' come wut will, I think it's grand
Abe's gut his will et last bloom-furnaced
The strain o' bein' in deadly earnest:
we want to know
Set the two forces foot to foot,
An' every man knows who 'll be winner,
Thet goes down deeper than his dinner:
Without no need o' proclamation,
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation!
In the month of February, 1866, the editors of the “ Atlantic Monthly” received from the Rev. Mr. Hitchcock of Jaalam a letter enclosing the macaronic verses which follow, and promising to send more, if more should be communicated. “They were rapped out on the evening of Thursday last past," he says, " by what claimed to be the spirit of my late predecessor in the ministry here, the Rev. Dr. Wilbur, through the medium of a young man at present domiciled in my family. As to the possibility of such spiritual manifestations, or whether they be properly so entitled, I express no opinion, as there is a division of sentiment on that subject in the parish, and many persons of the highest respectability in social standing entertain opposing views. The young man who was improved as a medium submitted himself to the experiment with manifest reluctance, and is still unprepared to believe in the authenticity of the manifestations. During his residence with me his deportment has always been exemplary; he has been constant in his attendance upon our family devotions and the public ministrations of the Word, and has more than once privately stated to me, that the latter had often brought him under deep concern of mind. The table is an ordinary quadrupedal one, weighing about thirty pounds, three feet seven inches and a half in height, four feet square on the top, and of beech or maple, I am not definitely prepared to say which. It had once belonged to my respected predecessor, and had been, so far as I can learn upon careful inquiry, of perfectly regular and correct habits up to the evening in question. On that occasion the young man previously alluded to had been sitting with his hands resting carelessly upon it, while I read over to him at his request certain portions of my last Sabbath's discourse. On a sudden the rappings, as they are called, commenced to render themselves audible, at first faintly, but in process of time more distinctly and with violent agitation of the table. The young man expressed himself both surprised and pained by the wholly unexpected, and, so far as he was concerned, unprecedented occurrence. At the earnest solicitation, however, of several who happened to be present, he consented to go on with the experiment, and with the assistance of the alphabet commonly employed in similar emergencies, the following communication was obtained and written down immediately by myself. Whether any, and if so, how much weight should be attached to it, I venture no decision. That Dr. Wilbur had sometimes employed his leisure in Latin versification I have ascertained to be the case, though all that has been discovered of that nature among
consists of some fragmentary passages of a version into hexameters of portions of the Song of Solomon. These I had communicated about a week or ten days previous[ly] to the young gentleman who officiated as medium in the communication afterwards received. I have thus, I believe, stated all the material facts that have
elucidative bearing upon this mysterious occurrence.”
So far Mr. Hitchcock, who seems perfectly master of Webster's unabridged quarto, and whose flowing style leads him into certain further expatiations for which we have not room.
We have since learned that the young man he speaks of was a sophomore, put under his care during a sentence of rustication from College, where he had distinguished himself rather by physical experiments on the comparative power of resistance in window-glass to various solid substances, than in the more regular studies of the place. In answer to a letter of inquiry, the professor of Latin says, “ There was no harm in the boy that I know of beyond his loving mischief more than Latin, nor can I think of any spirits likely to possess him except those commonly called animal. He was certainly not remarkable for his Latinity, but I see nothing in the verses you enclose that would lead me to think them beyond his capacity, or the result of any special inspiration whether of beech or maple. Had that of birch been tried upon him earlier and more faithfully, the verses would perhaps have been better in quality and certainly in quantity.” This exact and thorough scholar then goes on to point out many
quantities and barbarisms. It is but fair to say, however, that the author, whoever he was, seems not to have been unaware of some of them himself, as is shown by a great many notes appended to the verses as we received them, and purporting to be by Scaliger, Bentley and others, among them the Esprit de Voltaire! These we have omitted as clearly meant to be humorous and altogether failing therein.
Though entirely satisfied that the verses are altogether unworthy of Mr. Wilbur, who seems to have been a tolerable Latin scholar after the fashion of his day, yet we have determined to print them here partly as belonging to the res geste of this collection, and partly as a warning to their putative author which may keep him from such indecorous pranks for the future.
P. Ovidii Nasonis carmen heroicum macaronicum perplexametrum, inter Getas getico more compostum, denuo per medium ardentispiritualem, adjuvante mensâ diabolice obsessâ, recuperatum, curâque Jo. Conradi Schwarzii umbræ, aliis necnon plurimis adjuvantibus, restitutum.
PUNCTORUM garretos colens et cellara Quinque, Gutteribus quæ et gaudes sundayam abstingere
frontem, Plerumque insidos solita fluitare liquore