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carried on by symbols, as were the diplomatic correspondences of the Scythians and Macrobii, or confined to the language of signs, like the famous interview of Panurge and Goatsnose. A candidate might then convey a suitable reply to all committees of inquiry by closing one eye, or by presenting them with a phial of Egyptian darkness to be speculated upon by their respective constituencies. These answers would be susceptible of whatever retrospective construction the exigencies of the political campaign might seem to demand, and the candidate could take his position on either side of the fence with entire consistency. Or, if letters must be written, profitable use might be made of the Dighton rock hieroglyphic or the cuneiform script, every fresh decipherer of which is enabled to educe a different meaning, whereby a sculptured stone or two supplies us, and will probably continue to supply posterity, with a very vast and various body of authentic history. For even the briefest epistle in the ordinary chirography is dangerous. There is scarce any style so compressed that superfluous words may not be detected in it. A evere critic might curtail that famous brevity of Cæsar's by two thirds, drawing his pen through the supererogatory veni and vidi. Perhaps, after all, the surest footing of hope is to be found in the rapidly increasing tendency to demand less and less of qualification in candidates. Already have statesmanship, experience, and the possession (nay, the profession, even) of principles been rejected as superfluous, and may not the patriot reasonably hope that the ability to write will follow ? At present, there may be death in pothooks as well as pots, the loop of a letter may suffice for a bow-string, and all the dreadful heresies of Anti-slavery may lurk in a flourish.-H. W.]
A SECOND LETTER FROM B. SAWIN, ESQ.
[In the following epistle, we behold Mr. Sawin returning, a miles emeritus, to the bosom of his family. Quantum mutatus ! The good Father of us all had doubtless intrusted to the keeping of this child of his certain faculties of a constructive kind. He had put in him a share of that vital force, the nicest economy of every minute atom of which is necessary to the perfect development of Humanity. He had given him a brain and heart, and so had equipped his soul with the two strong wings of knowledge and love, whereby it can mount to hang its nest under the eaves of heaven. And this child, so dowered, he had intrusted to the keeping of his vicar, the State. How stands the account of that stewardship? The State, or Society, (call her by what name you will,) had taken no manner of thought of him till she saw him swept out into the street, the pitiful leavings of last night's debauch, with cigar-ends, lemon-parings, tobacco-quids, slops, vile stenches, and the whole loathsome next-morning of the bar-room,-an own child of the Almighty God! I remember him as he was brought to be christened, a ruddy, rugged babe; and now there he wallows, reeking, seething,—the dead corpse, not of a man, but of a soul,—a putrefying lump, horrible for the life that is in it. Comes
the wind of heaven, that good Samaritan, and parts the hair upon his forehead, nor is too nice to kiss those parched, cracked lips; the morning opens upon him her eyes full of pitying sunshine, the sky yearns down to him,-and there he lies fermenting. O sleep! let me not profane thy holy name by calling that stertorous unconsciousness a slumber! By and by comes along the State, God's vicar. Does she say,—“My poor, forlorn foster-child! Behold here a force which I will make dig and plant and build for me?” Not so, but,—“Here is a recruit ready-made to my hand, a piece of destroying energy lying unprofitably idle.” So she claps an ugly gray suit on him, puts a musket in his grasp, and sends him off, with Gubernatorial and other godspeeds, to do duty as a destroyer.
I made one of the crowd at the last Mechanics' Fair, and, with the rest, stood gazing in wonder at a perfect machine, with its soul of fire, its boiler-heart that sent the hot blood pulsing along the iron arteries, and its thews of steel. And while I was admiring the adaptation of means to end, the harmonious involutions of contrivance, and the never-bewildered complexity, I saw a grimed and greasy fellow, the imperious engine's lackey and drudge, whose sole office was to let fall, at intervals, a drop or two of oil upon a certain joint. Then my soul said within me, See there a piece of mechanism to which that other you marvel at is but as the rude first effort of a child,-a force which not merely suffices to set a few wheels in motion, but which can send an impulse all through the infinite future,—a contrivance, not for turning out pins, or stitching button-holes, but for making Hamlets and Lears. And yet this thing of iron shall be housed, waited on, guarded from rust and dust, and it shall be a crime but so much as to scratch it with a pin; while the other, with its fire of God in it, shall be buffeted hither and thither, and finally sent carefully a thousand miles to be the target for a Mexican cannon-ball. Unthrifty Mother State! My heart burned within me for pity and indignation, and I renewed this covenant with my own soul,— In aliis mansuetus ero, at, in blasphemiis contra Christum, non ita.-H. W.]
I SPOSE you wonder ware I be; I can't tell, fer the
soul o' me, Exacly ware I be myself,—meanin' by thet the
holl o' me. Wen I left hum, I hed two legs, an’ they worn't
bad ones neither, (The scaliest trick they ever played wuz bringin'
on me hither,) Now one on 'em’s I dunno ware;—they thought I
wuz adyin', An’ sawed it off because they said 'twuz kin' o'
mortifyin'; I'm willin' to believe it wuz, an' yit I don't see,
nuther, Wy one should take to feelin' cheap a minnit sooner
’n t'other, Sence both wuz equilly to blame; but things is ez
they be; It took on so they took it off, an' thet's enough fer There's one good thing, though, to be said about
my wooden new one,The liquor can't git into it ez't used to in the true
one; So it saves drink; an' then, besides, a feller could
n't beg A gretter blessin' then to hev one ollers sober
It's true a chap's in want o' two fer follerin' a
drum, But all the march I'm up to now is jest to Kingdom
I've lost one eye, but thet's a loss it's easy to supply Out o' the glory that I've gut, fer thet is all my
eye; An' one is big enough, I guess, by diligently usin' it, To see all I shall ever git by way o' pay fer losin' it; Off’cers, I notice, who git paid fer all our thumps
an' kickins, Du wal by keepin' single eyes arter the fattest
pickins; So, ez the eye's put fairly out, I'll larn to go
without it, An' not allow myself to be no gret put out about
it. Now, le’ me see, thet isn't all; I used, 'fore leavin’
Jaalam, To count things on my finger-eends, but sutthin'
seems to ail 'em : Ware's my left hand ? O, darn it, yes, I recollect
wut's come on't; I haint no left arm but my right, an’ thet's .gut jest
a thumb on't; It aint so hendy ez it wuz to cal’late a sum on't. I've hed some ribs broke-six (I b’lieve),-1 haint
kep' no account on 'em ; Wen pensions git to be the talk, I'll settle the
amount on 'em. An' now I'm speakin' about ribs, it kin' o' brings
to mind One thet I couldn't never break,—the one I lef'
behind ; Ef you should see her, jest clear out the spout o'