ePub 版

tainly in that particular does not so well merit the epithet cold-blooded, by which naturalists distinguish it, as certain bipeds, afflicted with ditch-water on the brain, who take occasion to tap themselves in Fanueil Halls, meetinghouses, and other places of public resort.-H. W.]

No. V.



[The incident which gave rise to the debate satirized in the following verses was the unsuccessful attempt of Drayton and Sayres to give freedom to seventy men and women, fellow-beings and fellow-Christians. Had Tripoli, instead of Washington, been the scene of this undertaking, the unhappy leaders in it would have been as secure of the theoretic as they now are of the practical part of martyrdom. I question whether the Dey of Tripoli is blessed with a District Attorney so benighted as ours at the seat of government. Very fitly is he named Key, who would allow himself to be made the instrument of locking the door of hope against sufferers in such a cause. Not all the waters of the ocean can cleanse the vile smutch of the jailer's fingers from off that little Key. dhenea clavis, a brazen Key indeed!

Mr. Calhoun, who is made the chief speaker in this burlesque, seems to think that the light of the nineteenth century is to be put out as soon as he tinkles his little cow-bell curfew. Whenever slavery is touched, he sets up his scarecrow of dissolving the Union. This may do for the North, but I should conjecture that something more than a pumpkin-lantern is required to scare manifest and irre

[ocr errors]

trievable Destiny out of her path. Mr. Calhoun cannot let go the apron-string of the Past. The Past is a good nurse, but we must be weaned from her sooner or later, even though, like Plotinus, we should run home from school to ask the breast, after we are tolerably well-grown youths. It will not do for us to hide our faces in her lap, whenever the strange Future holds out her arms and asks us to come to her.

But we are all alike. We have all heard it said, often enough, that little boys must not play with fire; and yet, if the matches be taken away from us and put out of reach upon the shelf, we must needs get into our little corner, and scowl and stamp and threaten the dire revenge of going to bed without our supper.

The world shall -stop till we get our dangerous plaything again. Dame Earth, meanwhile, who has more than enough household matters to mind, goes bustling hither and thither as a hiss or a sputter tells her that this or that kettle of hers is boiling over, and before bedtime we are glad to eat our porridge cold, and gulp down our dignity along with it.

Mr. Calhoun has somehow acquired the name of a great statesman, and, if it be great statesmanship to put lance in rest and run a tilt at the Spirit of the Age with the certainty of being next moment hurled neck and heels into the dust amid universal laughter, he deserves the title. He is the Sir Kay of our modern chivalry. He should remember the old Scandinavian mythus. Thor was the strongest of gods, but he could not wrestle with Time, nor so much as lift up a fold of the great snake which knit the universe together; and when he smote the Earth, though with his terrible mallet, it was but as if a leaf had fallen. Yet all the while it seemed to Thor that he had only been wrestling with an old woman, striving to lift a cat, and striking a stupid giant on the head.

And in old times, doubtless, the giants were stupid, and there was no better sport for the Sir Launcelots and Sir Gawains than to go about cutting off their great blundering heads with enchanted swords. But things have wonderfully changed. It is the giants, now-a-days, that have the science and the intelligence, while the chivalrous Don Quixotes of Conservatism still cumber themselves, with the clumsy armor of a by-gone age. On whirls the restless globe through unsounded time, with its cities and its silences, its births and fun als, half light, half shade, but never wholly dark, and sure to swing round into the happy morning at last. With an involuntary smile, one sees Mr. Calhoun letting slip his pack-thread cable with a crooked pin at the end of it to anchor South Carolina upon the bank and shoal of the Past.-H. W.]


MR. EDITER, As i wuz kinder prunin round, in a little nussry sot out a year or 2 a go, the Dbait in the sennit cum inter my mine An so i took & Sot it to wut I call a nussry rime. I hev made sum onnable Gentlemun speak that dident speak in a Kind uv Poetikul lie sense the seeson is dreffle backerd up


ewers as ushul



“Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder!

It's a fact o’ wich ther's bushils o' proofs ;
Fer how could we trample on’t so, I wonder,

Ef't worn't thet it's ollers under our hoofs?”

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;

“ Human rights haint no more

Right to come on this floor,
No more’n the man in the moon," sez he.

« The North haint no kind o’ bisness with nothin',

An' you've no idee how much bother it saves; We aint none riled by their frettin' an' frothin', We're used to layin' the string on our slaves,” Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ;

Sez Mister Foote,

“ I should like to shoot The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon !”

sez he.

· Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet ther's no

doubt on,

[ocr errors]

It's sutthin' thet's--wha' d' ye call it ?_divine,-
An' the slaves thet we ollers make the most out on
Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's line,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ;-

“ Fer all thet,” sez Mangum,

66 ’T would be better to hang 'em, An' so git red on 'em soon,” sez he. “ The mass ough' to labor an’ we lay on soffies, Thet's the reason I want to spread Freedom's

aree ;
It puts all the cunninest on us in office,
An' reelises our Maker's orig’nal idee,”
Sez John C. Calhoun, seż he ;-

“ Thet's ez plain," sez Cass,

6 Ez thet some one's an ass,
It's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," sez he.


Now don't to


I'm the friend of oppression, But keep all your spare breath fer coolin' your


« 上一頁繼續 »