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After a pause the Bazvalan seems struck with a new thought, and cries,
Ah! my dove perchance might fly
To thy sheltering granary.
I will seek it all around.
See, this ear of corn I found,
For this roving bird of thine. He makes another erit, and enters once more with the grandmother of the fair lady for whom there is all “this coil,” and sings as he presents her,
Vain my wand'rings; but I found,
Though some wrinkles mark its face;
Seeks my pigeon in this place.
The Brotaer interrupts.
Wilt thou still
I have kept her safe and warm ;
Held thy fav'rite free from harm.
Full of smiles, and deck'd for thee !
gala costume : he seats himself at table, and then claims her. The father of the family leads her to him, and gives a bridle, which the Bazvalan passes through her girdle, while the Brotaer sings
THE GIRDLE SONG,
gay Roam'd a fair young colt at play,
Sporting in the sunny beam,
This curious ceremony over, the poet calls down on the bride the blessing of all the saints in the calendar. Her right hand is then placed in that of the bridegroom, they exchange rings, the Bazvalan repeats several prayers, and eternal constancy is sworn by the contracted pair. The bride then retires, and presently after re-appears, led by the garçon d'honneur, whose arms are adorned with as many bands of silver as she receives thousands (of livres) as her dower. The bridegroom forthwith approaches with the fille d'honneur, and then the relations. The Bazvalan leads forward the horse of the bridegroom to the threshold, and holds the rein while he mounts; the Brotaer takes the bride in his arms, and places her behind her husband. All the horses of the company are then brought, the gates are opened, and the whole party set off at full gallop for the parish church,—the first who arrives in a given time having a right to claim a sheep, and the second some ribbons.
In some cantons, when the priest quits the altar to go into the sacristy, the married pair and the relations follow him, the garçon d'honneur carrying a basket on his arm covered with a white cloth. The priest takes from this basket a white loaf, on which he makes the sign of the cross with a knife, cuts a piece, and breaking the remainder, divides it between the couple. He takes out after this
a bottle of wine, pours out a few drops in a cup, which he gives to the husband, who passes it to his wife.
On leaving the church, the party is greeted by a salute of a hundred guns, and a concert of rural instruments, the music of which accompanies them to the bride's house, where a gala is prepared for them. White draperies, ornamented with bouquets and garlands, are hung round the chambers of ceremony; and numerous tables are placed in various parts,—at the head of one the bride is set in a sort of arbour of verdure and flowers. As the guests arrange themselves at the festive board, the Benedicite is recited by an old man, and between each service airs are played by the minstrels present, and each is followed by a dance. When the dessert appears, the guests rise no more and remain all night at table.
The day after the wedding is called le jour des pauvres, and presents a curious feature in the spectacle of an immense concourse of beggars, who arrive from far and near, and are received with great honour, being served and attended by the new-married pair at a feast of which they partake, and after which they dance with their hosts, and conclude with prayers, songs, and benedictions.
TOO KNOWING BY HALF.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE CLOCKMAKER; OR, THE SAYINGS AND
DOINGS OP SAM SLICK OF SLICKVILLE."
INSTEAD of embarking at Windsor in the steamer for New Brunswick, as we had originally designed, Mr. Slick proposed driving me in his waggon to Horton, by the Mount Denson route, that I might have an opportunity of seeing what he pronounced to be some of the most beautiful scenery in the province. Having arranged with the commander of the boat to call for us at the Blutf; we set out accordingly a few hours before high water, and proceeded at our leisure through the lower part of Falmouth.
Mr. Slick, as the reader, no doubt, has observed, had a good deal of extravagance of manner about him, and was not less remarkable for his exaggeration of language, and therefore I was by no means prepared to find a scene of such exquisite beauty as now lay before me. I had seen, at different periods of my life, a good deal of Europe, and much of America ; but I have seldom seen anything to be compared to the view of the Basin of Minas, and its adjacent landscape, as it presents itself to you on your ascent of Mount Denson; and yet, strange to say, so little is it known or appreciated here, that I never recollect to have heard it spoken of before as anything remarkable. I am not writing a book of travels, and shall not attempt, therefore, to describe it. I am sketching character, and not scenery, and shall content myself by recommending all American tourists to visit Mount Denson. It is an old saying of the French, that he who has not seen Paris has seen nothing. In like manner, he who travels on this continent, and does not spend a few days on the shores of this beautiful and extraordinary basin, may be said to have missed one of the greatest attractions on this side of the water. Here, too, may be studied the phenomena of tides, that are only presented to the same extent in one other part of the world; while the mineralogist and geologist will find much to employ and interest him. It possesses also the charm of novelty ; it lies out of the beaten track, and is new. In these days of steam, how long will this be the case anywhere? While musing on this subject, my attention was directed by Mr. Slick, who suddenly reined up his horse, to a scene of a different description.
There, said he, there is a picture for you, squire. Now, that's what minister would call love in a cottage, or rural felicity; for he was fond of fine names was the old man.-A neat and pretty little cottage stood before us as we emerged from a wood, having an air of comfort about it not often found in the forest, where the necessaries of life demand and engross all the attention of the settler. — Look at that crittur, said he, Bill Dill Mill. There he sits on the gate, with his go-to-meetin' clothes on, a-doin' of nothin', with a pocket full of potatoes, cuttin' them up into small pieces with his jacknife, and teachin' a pig to jump up and catch 'em in his mouth. It's the schoolmaster to home, that. And there sets his young wife, a-balancin' of herself on the top-rail of the fence opposite, and a-swingin' her foot backward and forward, and a-watchin' of him. Ain't she a heavenly splice that ! By Jacob's spotted cattle, what an ankle she has ! Jist look! A rael corn-fed heifer that, ain't she? She is so plump, she'd shed rain like
a duck. Them blue noses do beat all in galls, I must say ; for they raise some desperate handsome ones. But then there is nothin’in that crittur ; she is nothin' but wax-work; no life there; and he looks tired of his bargain already, what you call fairly onswaggled. Now don't speak loud; for if she sees us, she'll cut and run like a weasel. She has got her hair all covered over with paper curls, and stuck through with pins like a porcupine's back. She's for a tea-squall tonight; and nothin' vexes women like bein' taken of a nonplush this way by strangers. That's matrimony, squire, and nothin' to do; a honey-moon in the woods, or young love growed ten days old. Oh, dear! if it was me, I should yawn so afore a week, I should be skeerd lest my wife should jump down my throat. To be left alone that way idle, with a wife that has nothin' to do, and nothin' to say, if she was as pretty as an angel, would drive me melancholy mad. I should either get up a quarrel for vanity sake, or go hang myself to get out of the scrape. A tame, vacant, doll-faced, idle gall ! O Lord! what a fate for a man who knows what's what, and is up to snuff! Who the plague can live on sugar-candy? I am sure I couldn't. Nothin' does for me like honey; arter a while I get to hate it like sin ; the very sight of it is enough for me. Vinegar ain't half so bad; for that sti. mulates, and you can't take more nor enough of it if you would. Sense is better nor looks any time; but when sense and looks go together, why then a woman is worth havin', that's a fact. But the best of the joke is, that crittur Bill Dill Mill has found out he “knows too much,” and is most frettin' himself to death about it. He is actilly pinin' away so, that it will soon take two such men put together to make a shadow; and this I will say, that he is the first feller ever I met that actilly was “ too knowin' by half.” But time progresses, and 80 must we, I guess.
The noise of the waggon, as Mr. Slick anticipated, soon put the young bride of the woods to flight, and a few hasty and agile bounds carried her to the house ; but her curiosity proved quite as strong as her vanity, for the paper head was again visible peeping over the windowblind. The bridegroom put up his knife with an air of confusion, as if he was half ashamed of his employment, and, having given a nod of recognition to Mr. Slick, turned and followed his wife into the cottage.
That is the effect, said Mr. Slick, of a want of steady habits of industry. That man lives by tradin', and bein' a cute chap, and always gitting the right eend of the bargain, folks don't think it a profitable business to sell always to a loss ; so he says he is ruined by knowin' too much. Ah! said he to me the other day, I don't know what on airth I shall do, Mr. Slick ; but I am up a tree, you may depend. It's gone goose with me, I tell you. People have such a high opinion of my judgment, and think I know so much, they won't buy nor sell with me. If I go to an auction and bid, people say, Oh, if Bill Dill Mill bids, then it must be cheap, and it goes beyond its valy right away. If I go to sell anything, every one thinks I wouldn't sell it if I hadn't a very good reason for it, for I am too knowin' for that. If I offer to swap, I only stamp a valy on the thing I want, and put it right out of my reach ; for the owner wouldn't let me have it at no rate, but doubles his price, and goes and says, Bill Dill Mill offered me so much for it, and everybody knows he only offers half a thing is worth. I can't hire a help for what anybody else can, for the same reason ; and I had to marry before I was ready, or had quite made up my mind to it; for I
knew folks would think twice as much of my gall, as soon as they knew I was after her. Darn it! said he, if they said I was a fool, I wouldn't a minded it a bit; or said it was luck, or anything. Indeed, I don't know as I wouldn't as lif they 'd call me a rogue, as say for ever and ever, Oh, he is too knowin' by half. It's the divil, that's a fact. Before this misfortin came, I used to do a considerable smart chance of business ; but now it's time for me to cut dirt, and leave the country. I believe I must hang out the G. T. T. sign. Why, what the plague is that, says 1.—Gone to Texas, said he. What else on airth shall I do. I have nothin' to see to, and the day seems twice as long as it used to did. —Ah, says I, I have heern folks say so afore, when they was jist new married. But I see what you want ; you want excitement. How would politics do? It's a wide field, and some considerable sport in it, too. Agitate the country; swear the Church is a-goin' to levy tythes, or dissenters to be taxed to support them, or that the Governor is a-goin' to have martial law. Call office-holders by the cant tarms of compact cliques and official gang, and they will have to gag you with a seat in the council, or somethin' or another, see if they don't.-No, said he, a-shakin' of his head; poor business that, there is nothin' to be made by it, as far as I see, but inimies; and, besides, people are fond of a change; they get tired of professions at last, and, jist as you are agoin' to reap the advantage, another feller outbids you, and carries off the prize. No that won't do. -Well, preachin', says I, how would that answer? Take up some new pinte, and you will have lots of folks to hear you, and the more extravagant the better. Go the whole figur' for “religious liberty,” it has no meanin' here, where all are free; but it's a catchword, and sounds well. You don't want ordination now-a-days; it's out of fashion; give yourself a call; it's as good as any other man's call. A man that can't make himself a preacher is a poor tool, that's a fact, and not fit to make convarts.-Hem! says he, I was a-thinkin' of that, for ministers fare well in a giniral way, that's sartin ; and a-travellin' about, and a-livin' on the best, and sleepin' in the spare bed always, ain't a bad move nother; but I hante the gift of the gab, I am afeered, and I couldn't come in no how I could fix it.-Well, 'tis awkward, says I, to be thought too knowing by half' too; did any one ever accuse you of bein' too indifferent by half.
What do you mean by that, said he, a little grumphy like?-Nothin', says I, but what I say. Get a spinnin' wheel for your wife, and a plough for yourself; work more, and trade less ; live by your labour, and not by your wits; and the day, instead of being so 'tarnal long, won't be long enough by a jug-full. Instead of bein" too knowin' by half," you don't know half enough," or you'd know that. Fact, I assure you, squire ; if that crittur had really been a knowin' one, the name of it wouldn't a-fixed his fluit for him, for there is always a why for every wherefore in this world. There is a thousand ways for managing that. Now I got the name myself. Them tricks in the clock-trade I told you. I didn't think you would go right away, and publish, but you did, and it put people on their guard, so there was no doin' nothin' with them for some time hardly; and if I went to say a civil thing, people looked shy at me, and called out, “Soft Sawder.” Well, what does I do? Instead of goin' about mopin' and complainin' that I was "too knowin' by half,” I sot myself about repairin'damage, and gitten up something new; so I took to phrenology. « Soft Sawder" by itself requires a knowledge of paintin', of light and