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by Thomas Chandler Haliburton

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Title: Nature and Human Nature

Author: Thomas Chandler Haliburton

Release Date: July, 2004  [EBook #6112]
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[This file was first posted on November 10, 2002]
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Thomas Chandler Haliburton






Hominem, pagina nostra sapit.--MART


Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies,
And catch the manners living as they rise.--POPE





































Thinks I to myself, as I overheard a person inquire of the servant at the door, in an unmistakeable voice and tone, "Is the Squire to hum?" that can be no one else than my old friend Sam Slick the Clockmaker. But it could admit of no doubt when he proceeded, "If he is, tell him I am here."

"Who shall I say, Sir?"

The stranger paused a moment, and then said, "It's such an everlastin' long name, I don't think you can carry it all to wunst, and I don't want it broke in two. Tell him it's a gentleman that calculates to hold a protracted meeten here to-night. Come, don't stand starin' there on the track, you might get run over. Don't you hear the engine coming? Shunt off now."

"Ah, my old friend," said I, advancing, and shaking him by the hand, "how are you?"

"As hearty as a buck," he replied, "though I can't jist jump quite so high now."

"I knew you," I said, "the moment I heard your voice, and if I had not recognised that, I should have known your talk."

"That's because I am a Yankee, Sir," he said, "no two of us look alike, or talk alike; but being free and enlightened citizens, we jist talk as we please."

"Ah, my good friend, you always please when you talk, and that is more than can be said of most men."

"And so will you," he replied, "if you use soft sawder that way. Oh, dear me! it seems but the other day that you laughed so at my theory of soft sawder and human natur', don't it? They were pleasant days, warn't they? I often think of them, and think of them with pleasure too. As I was passing Halifax harbour, on my way hum in the 'Black Hawk,' the wind fortunately came ahead, and thinks I to myself, I will put in there, and pull foot1 for Windsor and see the Squire, give him my Journal, and spend an hour or two with him once more. So here I am, at least what is left of me, and dreadful glad I am to see you too; but as it is about your dinner hour I will go and titivate up a bit, and then we will have a dish of chat for desert, and cigars, to remind us of by-gones, as we stroll through your shady walks here."


1 The Americans are not entitled to the credit or ridicule, whichever people may be disposed to bestow upon them, for the extraordinary phrases with which their conversation is occasionally embellished. Some of them have good classical authority. That of "pull-foot" may be traced to Euripides, [Greek text].


My old friend had worn well; he was still a wiry athletic man, and his step as elastic and springy as ever. The constant exercise he had been in the habit of taking had preserved his health and condition, and these in their turn had enabled him to maintain his cheerfulness and humour. The lines in his face were somewhat deeper, and a few straggling grey hairs were the only traces of the hand of time. His manner was much improved by his intercourse with the great world; but his phraseology, in which he appeared to take both pride and pleasure, was much the same as when I first knew him. So little indeed was he changed, that I could scarcely believe so many years had elapsed since we made our first tour together.

It was the most unexpected and agreeable visit. He enlivened the conversation at dinner with anecdotes that were often too much for the gravity of my servant, who once or twice left the room to avoid explosive outbreaks of laughter. Among others, he told me the following whimsical story.

"When the 'Black Hawk' was at Causeau, we happened to have a queer original sort of man, a Nova Scotia doctor, on board, who joined our party at Ship Harbour, for the purpose of taking a cruise with us. Not having anything above particular to do, we left the vessel and took passage in a coaster for Prince Edward's Island, as my commission required me to spend a day or two there, and inquire about the fisheries. Well, although I don't trade now, I spekelate sometimes when I see a right smart chance, and especially if there is fun in the transaction. So, sais I, 'Doctor, I will play possum1 with these folks, and take a rise out of them, that will astonish their weak narves, I know, while I put several hundred dollars in my pocket at the same time.' So I advertised that I would give four pounds ten shillings for the largest Hackmetack knee in the island, four pounds for the second, three pounds ten shillings for the third, and three pounds for the fourth biggest one. I suppose, Squire, you know what a ship's knee is, don't you? It is a crooked piece of timber, exactly the shape of a man's leg when kneeling. It forms two sides of a square, and makes a grand fastening for the side and deck beams of a vessel.


1 The opossum, when chased by dogs, will often pretend to be dead, and thus deceives his pursuers.


"'What in the world do you want of only four of those knees?' said the Doctor.

"'Nothing,' said I, 'but to raise a laugh on these critters, and make them pay real handsome for the joke.'

"Well, every bushwhacker and forest ranger in the island thought he knew where to find four enormous ones, and that he would go and get them, and say nothing to nobody, and all that morning fixed for the delivery they kept coming into the shipping place with them. People couldn't think what under the light of the living sun was going on, for it seemed as if every team in the province was at work, and all the countrymen were running mad on junipers. Perhaps no livin' soul ever see such a beautiful collection of ship-timber afore, and I am sure never will again in a crow's age. The way these 'old oysters' (a nick-name I gave the islanders, on account of their everlastin' beds of this shell-fish) opened their mugs and gaped was a caution to dying calves.

"At the time appointed, there were eight hundred sticks on the ground, the very best in the colony. Well, I went very gravely round and selected the four largest, and paid for them cash down on the nail, according to contract. The goneys seed their fix, but didn't know how they got into it. They didn't think hard of me, for I advertised for four sticks only, and I gave a very high price for them; but they did think a little mean of themselves, that's a fact, for each man had but four pieces, and they were too ridiculous large for the thunderin' small vessels built on the island. They scratched their heads in a way that was harrowing, even in a stubble field.

"'My gracious,' sais I, 'hackmetacks, it seems to me, is as thick in this country as blackberries in the Fall, after the robins have left to go to sleep for the winter. Who on earth would have thought there was so many here? Oh, children of Israel! What a lot there is, ain't there? Why, the father of this island couldn't hold them all.'

"'Father of this island,' sais they, 'who is he?'

"'Why,' sais I, 'ain't this Prince Edward's?'

"'Why, yes,' sais they, looking still more puzzled.

"'Well,' sais I, 'in the middle of Halifax harbour is King George's Island, and that must be the father of this.'

"Well if they could see any wit in that speech, it is more than I could, to save my soul alive; but it is the easiest thing in the world to set a crowd off a tee-heeing. They can't help it, for it is electrical. Go to the circus now, and you will hear a stupid joke of the clown; well, you are determined you won't laugh, but somehow you can't help it no how you can fix it, although you are mad with yourself for doing so, and you just roar out and are as big a fool as all the rest.

"Well it made them laugh, and that was enough for me.

"Sais I, 'the wust of it is, gentlemen, they are all so shocking large, and there is no small ones among them; they can't be divided into lots, still, as you seem to be disappointed, I will make you an offer for them, cash down, all hard gold.' So I gave them a bid at a very low figure, say half nothing, 'and,' sais I, 'I advise you not to take it, they are worth much more, if a man only knows what to do with them. Some of your traders, I make no manner of doubt, will give you twice as much if you will only take your pay in goods, at four times their value, and perhaps they mightent like your selling them to a stranger, for they are all responsible government-men, and act accordin' 'to the well understood wishes of the people.' I shall sail in two hours, and you can let me know; but mind, I can only buy all or none, for I shall have to hire a vessel to carry them. After all,' sais I, 'perhaps we had better not trade, for,' taking out a handful of sovereigns from my pocket, and jingling them, 'there is no two ways about it; these little fellows are easier to carry by a long chalk than them great lummokin' hackmetacks. Good bye, gentlemen.'

"Well, one of the critters, who was as awkward as a wrong boot, soon calls out, 'woh,' to me, so I turns and sais 'well, "old hoss," what do you want?' At which they laughed louder than before.

"Sais he, 'we have concluded to take your offer.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'there is no back out in me, here is your money, the knees is mine.' So I shipped them, and had the satisfaction to oblige them, and put two hundred and fifty pounds in my pocket. There are three things, Squire, I like in a spekelation:--First. A fair shake; Second. A fair profit; and Third, a fair share of fun."

In the course of the afternoon, he said, "Squire, I have brought you my Journal, for I thought when I was a startin' off, as there were some things I should like to point out to my old friend, it would be as well to deliver it myself and mention them, for what in natur' is the good of letter writing? In business there is nothing like a good face to face talk. Now, Squire, I am really what I assume to be--I am, in fact, Sam Slick the Clockmaker, and nobody else. It is of no consequence however to the world whether this is really my name or an assumed one. If it is the first, it is a matter of some importance to take care of it and defend it; if it is a fictitious one, it is equally so to preserve my incognito. I may not choose to give my card, and may not desire to be known. A satirist, like an Irishman, finds it convenient sometimes to shoot from behind a shelter. Like him, too, he may occasionally miss his shot, and firing with intent to do bodily harm is almost as badly punished as if death had ensued. And besides, an anonymous book has a mystery about it. Moreover, what more right has a man to say to you, 'Stand and deliver your name,' than to say, 'Stand and fork out your purse'--I can't see the difference for the life of me. Hesitation betrays guilt. If a person inquires if you are to home, the servant is directed to say No, if you don't want to be seen, and choose to be among the missing. Well, if a feller asks if I am the Mr Slick, I have just as good a right to say, 'Ask about and find out.'

"People sometimes, I actilly believe, take you for me. If they do, all I have to say is they are fools not to know better, for we neither act alike, talk alike, nor look alike, though perhaps we may think alike on some subjects. You was bred and born here in Nova Scotia, and not in Connecticut, and if they ask you where I was raised, tell them I warn't raised at all, but was found one fine morning pinned across a clothes line, after a heavy washing to hum. It is easy to distinguish an editor from the author, if a reader has half an eye, and if he hain't got that, it's no use to offer him spectacles, that's a fact. Now, by trade I am a clockmaker, and by birth I have the honour to be a Yankee. I use the word honour, Squire, a purpose, because I know what I am talking about, which I am sorry to say is not quite so common a thing in the world as people suppose. The English call all us Americans, Yankees, because they don't know what they are talking about, and are not aware that it is only the inhabitants of New England who can boast of that appellation.1


1 Brother Jonathan is the general term for all. It originated thus. When General Washington, after being appointed commander of the army of the Revolutionary War, came to Massachusetts to organize it, and make preparations for the defence of the country, he found a great want of ammunition and other means necessary to meet the powerful foe he had to contend with, and great difficulty to obtain them. If attacked in such condition, the cause at once might be hopeless. On one occasion at that anxious period, a consultation of the officers and others was had, when it seemed no way could be devised to make such preparations as was necessary. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, the elder, was then Governor of the State of Connecticut, on whose judgment and aid the General placed the greatest reliance, and remarked, "We must consult 'Brother Jonathan' on the subject. The General did so, and the Governor was successful in supplying many of the wants of the army. When difficulties arose, and the army was spread over the country, it became a by-word, "We must consult Brother Jonathan." The term Yankee is still applied to a portion, but "Brother Jonathan" has now become a designation of the whole country, as John Bull is for England.--BARTLETT'S AMERICANISMS.


"The southerners, who are both as proud and as sarcy as the British, call us Eastern folk Yankees as a term of reproach, because having no slaves, we are obliged to be our own niggers and do our own work, which is'nt considered very genteel, and as we are intelligent, enterprising, and skilful, and therefore too often creditors of our more luxurious countrymen, they do not like us the better for that, and not being Puritans themselves, are apt to style us scornfully, those 'd--d Yankees.'

"Now all this comes of their not knowing what they are talking about. Even the New Englanders themselves, cute as they be, often use the word foolishly; for, Squire, would you believe it, none of them, though they answer to and acknowledge the appellation of Yankee with pride, can tell you its origin. I repeat, therefore, I have the honour to be a Yankee. I don't mean to say that word is 'all same,' as the Indians say, as perfection; far from it, for we have some peculiarities common to us all. Cracking and boasting is one of these. Now braggin' comes as natural to me as scratchin' to a Scotchman. I am as fond of rubbing myself agin the statue of George the Third, as he is of se-sawing his shoulders on the mile-stones of the Duke of Argyle. Each in their way were great benefactors, the one by teaching the Yankees to respect themselves, and the other by putting his countrymen in an upright posture of happiness. So I can join hands with the North Briton, and bless them both.

"With this national and nateral infirmity therefore, is it to be wondered at if, as my 'Sayings and Doings' have become more popular than you or I ever expected, that I should crack and boast of them? I think not. If I have a claim, my role is to go ahead with it. Now don't leave out my braggin', Squire, because you are afraid people will think it is you speaking, and not me, or because you think it is bad taste as you call it. I know what I am at, and don't go it--blind. My Journal contains much for my own countrymen as well as the English, for we expect every American abroad to sustain the reputation in himself of our great nation.

"Now our Minister to Victoria's Court, when he made his brag speech to the great agricultural dinner at Gloucester last year, didn't intend that for the British, but for us. So in Congress no man in either house can speak or read an oration more than an hour long, but he can send the whole lockrum, includin' what he didn't say, to the papers. One has to brag before foreign assemblies, the other before a Congress, but both have an eye to the feelings of the Americans at large, and their own constituents in particular. Now that is a trick others know as well as we do. The Irish member from Kilmany, and him from Kilmore, when he brags there never was a murder in either, don't expect the English to believe it, for he is availed they know better, but the brag pleases the patriots to home, on account of its impudence.

"So the little man, Lord Bunkum, when he opens Oxford to Jew and Gentile, and offers to make Rothschild Chancellor instead of Lord Derby, and tells them old dons, the heads of colleges, as polite as a stage-driver, that he does it out of pure regard to them, and only to improve the University, don't expect them to believe it; for he gives them a sly wink when he says so, as much as to say, how are you off for Hebrew, my old septuagenarians? Droll boy is Rothey, for though he comes from the land of Ham, he don't eat pork. But it pleases the sarcumsised Jew, and the unsarcumsised tag-rag and bobtail that are to be admitted, and who verily do believe (for their bump of conceit is largely developed) that they can improve the Colleges by granting educational excursion tickets.

"So Paddy O'Shonnosey the member for Blarney, when he votes for smashing in the porter's lodges of that Protestant institution, and talks of Toleration and Equal Rights, and calls the Duke of Tuscany a broth of a boy, and a light to illumine heretical darkness, don't talk this nonsense to please the outs or ins, for he don't care a snap of his finger for either of them, nor because he thinks it right, for it's plain he don't, seeing that he would fight till he'd run away before Maynooth should be sarved arter that fashion; but he does it, because he knows it will please him, or them, that sent him there.

"There are two kinds of boastin', Squire, active and passive. The former belongs exclusively to my countrymen, and the latter to the British. A Yankee openly asserts and loudly proclaims his superiority. John Bull feels and looks it. He don't give utterance to this conviction. He takes it for granted all the world knows and admits it, and he is so thoroughly persuaded of it himself, that, to use his own favourite phrase, he don't care a fig if folks don't admit it. His vanity, therefore, has a sublimity in it. He thinks, as the Italians say, 'that when nature formed him, she broke the mould.' There never was, never can, and never will be, another like him. His boastin', therefore, is passive. He shows it and acts it; but he don't proclaim it. He condescends and is gracious, patronizes and talks down to you. Let my boastin' alone therefore, Squire, if you please. You know what it means, what bottom it has, and whether the plaster sticks on the right spot or not.

"So there is the first division of my subject. Now for the second. But don't go off at half-cock, narvous like. I am not like the black preacher that had forty-eleven divisions. I have only a few more remarks to make. Well, I have observed that in editin' my last Journal, you struck out some scores I made under certain passages and maxims, because you thought they were not needed, or looked vain. I know it looks consaited as well as you do, but I know their use also. I have my own views of things. Let them also be as I have made them. They warn't put there for nothin'. I have a case in pint that runs on all fours with it, as brother Josiah the lawyer used to say, and if there was anythin' wantin' to prove that lawyers were not strait up and down in their dealings, that expression would show it.

"I was to court wunst to Slickville, when he was addressin' of the jury. The main points of his argument he went over and over again, till I got so tired I took up my hat and walked out. Sais I to him, arter court was prorogued and members gone home,

"'Sy,' sais I, 'why on airth did you repeat them arguments so often? It was everlastin' yarny.'

"'Sam,' sais he, and he gave his head a jupe, and pressed his lips close, like a lemon-squeezer, the way lawyers always do when they want to look wise, 'when I can't drive a nail with one blow, I hammer away till I do git it in. Some folks' heads is as hard as hackmetacks--you have to bore a hole in it first to put the nail in, to keep it from bendin', and then it is as touch as a bargain if you can send it home and clinch it.'

"Now maxims and saws are the sumtotalisation of a thing. Folks won't always add up the columns to see if they are footed right, but show 'em the amount and result, and that they are able to remember and carry away with them. No--no, put them Italics in, as I have always done. They show there is truth at the bottom. I like it, for it's what I call sense on the short-cards--do you take? Recollect always, you are not Sam Slick, and I am not you. The greatest compliment a Britisher would think he could pay you, would be to say, 'I should have taken you for an Englishman.' Now the greatest compliment he can pay me is to take me for a Connecticut Clockmaker, who hoed his way up to the Embassy to London, and preserved so much of his nationality, after being so long among foreigners. Let the Italics be--you ain't answerable for them, nor my boastin' neither. When you write a book of your own, leave out both if you like, but as you only edit my Journal, if you leave them out, just go one step further, and leave out Sam Slick also.

"There is another thing, Squire, upon which I must make a remark, if you will bear with me. In my last work you made me speak purer English than you found in my Journal, and altered my phraseology, or rather my dialect. Now, my dear Nippent--"

"Nippent!" said I, "what is that?"

"The most endearing word in the Indian language for friend," he said, "only it's more comprehensive, including ally, foster-brother, life-preserver, shaft-horse, and everything that has a human tie in it."

"Ah, Slick," I said, "how skilled you are in soft sawder! You laid that trap for me on purpose, so that I might ask the question, to enable you to throw the lavender to me."

"Dod drot that word soft sawder," said he, "I wish I had never invented it. I can't say a civil thing to anybody now, but he looks arch, as if he had found a mare's nest, and says, 'Ah, Slick! none of your soft sawder now.' But, my dear nippent, by that means you destroy my individuality. I cease to be the genuine itinerant Yankee Clockmaker, and merge into a very bad imitation. You know I am a natural character, and always was, and act and talk naturally, and as far as I can judge, the little alteration my sojourn in London with the American embassy has made in my pronunciation and provincialism, is by no means an improvement to my Journal. The moment you take away my native dialect, I become the representative of another class, and cease to be your old friend 'Sam Slick, the Clockmaker.' Bear with me this once, Squire, and don't tear your shirt, I beseech you, for in all probability it will be the last time it will be in your power to subject me to the ordeal of criticism, and I should like, I confess, to remain true to myself and to Nature to the last.

"On the other hand, Squire, you will find passages in this Journal that have neither Yankee words nor Yankee brag in them. Now pray don't go as you did in the last, and alter them by insarten here and there what you call 'Americanisms,' so as to make it more in character and uniform; that is going to t'other extreme, for I can write as pure English, if I can't speak it, as anybody can.1 My education warn't a college one, like my brothers, Eldad's and Josiah's, the doctor and lawyer; but it was not neglected for all that. Dear old Minister was a scholar, every inch of him, and took great pains with me in my themes, letters, and composition. 'Sam,' he used to say, 'there are four things needed to write well: first, master the language grammatically; second, master your subject; third, write naturally; fourth, let your heart as well as your hand guide the pen.' It ain't out of keeping therefore for me to express myself decently in composition if I choose. It warn't out of character, with Franklin, and he was a poor printer boy, nor Washington, and he was only a land-surveyor, and they growed to be 'some punkins' too.


1 The reader will perceive from a perusal of this Journal, that Mr Slick, who is always so ready to detect absurdity in others, has in this instance exhibited a species of vanity by no means uncommon in this world. He prides himself more on composition, to which he has but small pretensions, than on those things for which the public is willing enough to give him full credit. Had he however received a classical education, it may well be doubted whether he would have been as useful or successful a man as President of Yale College, as he has been as an itinerant practical Clockmaker.


"An American clockmaker ain't like a European one. He may not be as good a workman as t'other one, but he can do somethin' else besides makin' wheels and pulleys. One always looks forward to rise in the world, the other to attain excellence in his line. I am, as I have expressed it in some part of this Journal, not ashamed of having been a tradesman--I glory in it; but I should indeed have been ashamed if, with the instruction I received from dear old Minister, I had always remained one. No, don't alter my Journal. I am just what I am, and nothing more or less. You can't measure me by English standards; you must take an American one, and that will give you my length, breadth, height, and weight to a hair. If silly people take you for me, and put my braggin' on your shoulders, why jist say, 'You might be mistakened for a worse fellow than he is, that's all.' Yes, yes, let my talk remain 'down-east talk,'1 and my writin' remain clear of cant terms when you find it so.


1 It must not be inferred from this expression that Mr Slick's talk is all "pure down-east dialect." The intermixture of Americans is now so great, in consequence of their steamers and railroads, that there is but little pure provincialism left. They have borrowed from each other in different sections most liberally, and not only has the vocabulary of the south and west contributed its phraseology to New England, but there is recently an affectation in consequence of the Mexican war, to naturalise Spanish words, some of which Mr Slick, who delights in this sort of thing, has introduced into this Journal.--ED.


"I like Yankee words--I learned them when young. Father and mother used them, and so did all the old folks to Slickville. There is both fun, sense, and expression in 'em too, and that is more than there is in Taffy's, Pat's, or Sawney's brogue either. The one enriches and enlarges the vocabulary, the other is nothing but broken English, and so confoundedly broken too, you can't put the pieces together sometimes. Again, my writing, when I freeze down solid to it, is just as much in character as the other. Recollect this--Every woman in our country who has a son knows that he may, and thinks that he will, become President of the United States, and that thought and that chance make that boy superior to any of his class in Europe.

"And now, Squire," said he, "I believe there has been enough said about myself and my Journal. Sposen we drink success to the 'human nature,' or 'men and things,' or whatever other name you select for this Journal, and then we will talk of something else."

"I will drink that toast," I said, "with all my heart, and now let me ask you how you have succeeded in your mission about the fisheries?"

"First rate," he replied; "we have them now, and no mistake!"

"By the treaty?" I inquired.

"No," he said, "I have discovered the dodge, and we shall avail of it at once. By a recent local law foreigners can hold real estate in this province now. And by a recent Act of Parliament our vessels can obtain British registers. Between these two privileges, a man don't deserve to be called an American who can't carry on the fisheries in spite of all the cruisers, revenue officers, and prohibitary laws under the sun. It is a peaceable and quiet way of getting possession, and far better than fighting for them, while it comports more with the dignity of our great and enlightened nation."

"What do you think," I said, "of the Elgin treaty as a bargain?"

After some hesitation, he looked up and smiled.

"We can't complain," said he. "As usual we have got hold of the right eend of the rope, and got a vast deal more than we expected. The truth is, the English are so fond of trade, and so afraid of war, if we will only give them cotton, and flour at a fair price, and take their manufactures in return, we can bully them into anythin' almost. It is a positive fact, there were fifty deserters from the British army taken off of the wreck of the 'San Francisco,' and carried to England. John Bull pretended to wink at it, hired a steamer, and sent them all out again to us. Lord! how our folks roared when they heard it; and as for the President, he laughed like a hyena over a dead nigger. Law sakes alive man! Make a question between our nation and England about fifty desarters, and if the ministers of the day only dared to talk of fighting, the members of all the manufactoren towns in England, the cottonocracy of Great Britain, would desert too!

"It's nateral, as an American, I should be satisfied with the treaty; but I'll tell you what I am sorry for. I am grieved we asked, or your Governor-General granted, a right to us to land on these shores and make our fish. Lord Elgin ought to have known that every foot of the sea-coast of Nova Scotia has been granted, and is now private property.

"To concede a privilege to land, with a proviso to respect the rights of the owner, is nonsense. This comes of not sending a man to negociate who is chosen by the people, not for his rank, but for his ability and knowledge. The fact is, I take blame to myself about it, for I was pumped who would do best and be most acceptable to us Americans. I was afeared they would send a Billingsgate contractor, who is a plaguy sight more posted up about fisheries than any member of parliament, or a clever colonist (not a party man), and they know more than both the others put together; and I dreaded if they sent either, there would be a quid pro quo, as Josiah says, to be given, afore we got the fisheries, if we ever got them, at all. 'So,' sais I, out of a bit of fun, for I can't help taken a rise out of folks no how I can fix it, 'send us a lord. We are mighty fond of noblemen to Washington, and toady them first-rate. It will please such a man as Pierce to show him so much respect as to send a peer to him. He will get whatever he asks.'

"Well, they fell into the trap beautiful. They sent us one, and we rowed him up to the very head waters of Salt River in no time.1 But I am sorry we asked the privilege to land and cure fish. I didn't think any created critter would have granted that. Yes, I foresee trouble arising out of this. Suppose 'Cayenne Pepper,' as we call the captain that commanded the 'Cayenne' at Grey Town, was to come to a port in Nova Scotia, and pepper it for insultin' our flag by apprehenden trespassers (though how a constable is to arrest a crew of twenty men unless, Irishman like, he surrounds them, is a mystery to me). What would be done in that case? Neither you nor I can tell, Squire. But depend upon it, there is a tempestical time comin', and it is as well to be on the safe side of the fence when there is a chance of kicking going on.


1 To row up Salt River is a common phrase, used generally to denote political defeat. The distance to which a party is rowed up Salt River depends entirely upon the magnitude of the majority against him. If the defeat is overwhelming, the unsuccessful party is said "to be rowed up to the very head waters of Salt River." The phrase has its origin in the fact that there is a small stream of that name in Kentucky, the passage of which is made difficult and laborious, as well by its tortuous course as by numerous shallows and bars. The real application of the phrase is to the unhappy wight who propels the boat, but politically, in slang usage, it means the man rowed up, the passenger--I. INMAN.


"The bombardment of Grey Town was the greatest and bravest exploit of modern times. We silenced their guns at the first broadside, and shut them up so sudden that envious folks like the British now swear they had none, while we lost only one man in the engagement, but he was drunk and fell overboard. What is the cannonade of Sebastopool to that? Why it sinks into insignificance."

He had hardly ceased speaking, when the wheels of a carriage were heard rapidly approaching the door. Taking out his watch, and observing the hour, he said: "Squire, it is now eleven o'clock. I must be a movin'. Good bye! I am off to Halifax. I am goin' to make a night flight of it. The wind is fair, and I must sail by daylight to-morrow morning. Farewell!"

He then shook hands most cordially with me, and said: "Squire, unless you feel inclined at some future day to make the tour of the States with me, or somethin' turns up I am not availed of, I am afraid you have seen the last Journal of your old friend 'Sam Slick.'"






Whoever has taken the trouble to read the "Wise Saws" of Mr Slick, will be prepared to resume the thread of his narrative without explanation, if indeed these unconnected selections deserve the appellation. But as this work may fall into the hands of many people who never saw its predecessor, it may be necessary to premise that our old friend Sam, having received a commission from the President of the United States, to visit the coast of Nova Scotia, and report to him fully on the state of the fisheries, their extent and value, the manner in which they were prosecuted, and the best mode of obtaining a participation in them, he proceeded on his cruise in a trading vessel, called the "Black Hawk," whereof Timothy Cutler was master, and Mr Eldad Nickerson the pilot. The two preceding volumes contained his adventures at sea, and in the harbours of the province, to the westward of Halifax. The present work is devoted to his remarks on "nature and human nature."

While amusing himself fishing within three miles of the coast, off La Haive, in contravention of the treaty, he narrowly escaped capture by the British cruiser "Spitfire," commanded by Captain Stoker. By a skilful manoeuvre, he decoyed the man-of-war, in the eagerness of the chase, on to a sand-bar, when he dexterously slipt through a narrow passage between two islands, and keeping one of them in a line between the "Black Hawk" and her pursuer, so as to be out of the reach of her guns, he steered for the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, and was soon out of sight of the islands behind which his enemy lay embedded in the sand; from this point the narrative is resumed in Mr Slick's own words.1


1 His remarks on the fisheries I have wholly omitted, for they have now lost their interest. His observations on "nature and human nature" are alone retained, as they may be said to have a universal application.--ED.


"I guess," said I, "Captain, the 'Spitfire' will have to put into Halifax to report herself and be surveyed, so we may pursue our course in peace. But this 'Black Hawk' is a doll, ain't she? don't she skim over the water like a sea gull? The truth is, Cutler, when you ain't in a hurry, and want to enjoy yourself at sea, as I always do, for I am a grand sailor, give me a clipper. She is so light and buoyant, and the motion so elastic, it actilly exilerates your spirits. There is something like life in her gait, and you have her in hand like a horse, and you feel as if you were her master, and directed her movements. I ain't sure you don't seem as if you were part of her yourself. Then there is room to show skill and seamanship, and if you don't in reality go as quick as a steamer, you seem to go faster, if there is no visible object to measure your speed by, and that is something, for the white foam on the leeward side rushes by you in rips, raps, and rainbows like Canadian rapids.

"Then if she is an atrysilly1 like this, and she is doing her prettiest, and actilly laughs again, she is so pleased, why you are satisfied, for you don't make the breeze, you take it as you find it, like all other good gifts of Providence, and say, 'ain't she going like wink, how she forges ahead, don't she?' Your attention is kept alive, too, watchin' the wind, and trimmin' sail to it accordingly, and the jolly 'Oh, heave oh,' of the sailors is music one loves to listen to, and if you wish to take a stretch for it in your cloak on deck, on the sunny or shady side of the companion-way, the breeze whistles a nice soft lullaby for you, and you are off in the land of Nod in no time."


1 The Atricilla, or laughing sea-gull. Its note resembles a coarse laugh. Hence its name. It is very common in the Bahamas.


"Dreaming of Sophy Collingwood," sais the Captain, "and the witch of Eskisooney, eh?"

"Yes, dreamin' of bright eyes and smilin' faces, or anythin' else that's near and dear, for to my idea, the heart gives the subject for the head to think upon. In a fair wind and a charmin' day like this, I never coiled up on the deck for a nap in my life, that I had'nt pleasant dreams. You feel as if you were at peace with all the world in general, and yourself in partikeler, and that it is very polite of folks to stay to home ashore, and let you and your friends enjoy yourselves without treadin' on your toes, and wakin' of you up if asleep, or a jostlin' of you in your turn on the quarter-deck, or over-hearin' of your conversation.

"And ain't you always ready for your meals, and don't you walk into them in rael right down earnest? Oh, nothing ever tastes so good to me as it does at sea. The appetite, like a sharp knife, makes the meat seem tender, and the sea air is a great friend of digestion, and always keeps company with it. Then you don't care to sit and drink after dinner as you do at an hotel of an idle day, for you want to go on deck, light your cigar, take a sweep round the horizon with your glass to see if there is any sail in sight, glance at the sky to ascertain if the breeze is likely to hold, and then bring yourself to anchor on a seat, and have a dish of chat for a dessert with the captain, if he is a man of books like you, Cutler, or a man of reefs, rocks, and sandbars, fish, cordwood, and smugglin', or collisions, wracks, and salvage, like the pilot.

"Then, if you have a decent sample or two of passengers on board, you can discuss men and things, and women and nothings, law, physick, and divinity, or that endless, tangled ball of yarn, politicks, or you can swap anecdotes, and make your fortune in the trade. And by the same trail of thought we must give one or two of these Blue-Noses now and then a cast on board with us to draw them out. "Well, if you want to read, you can go and turn in and take a book, and solitudinise to it, and there is no one to disturb you. I actilly learned French in a voyage to Calcutta, and German on my way home. I got enough for common use. It warn't all pure gold; but it was kind of small change, and answered every purpose of trade or travel. Oh, it's no use a talkin'; where time ain't the main object, there's nothin' like a sailin' vessel to a man who ain't sea-sick, and such fellows ought to be cloriformed, put to bed, and left there till the voyage is over. They have no business to go to sea, if they are such fools as not to know how to enjoy themselves.

"Then sailors are characters; they are men of the world, there is great self-reliance in them. They have to fight their way in life through many trials and difficulties, and their trust is in God and their own strong arm. They are so much in their own element, they seem as if they were born on the sea, cradled on its billows, and, like Mother Carey's chickens, delighted in its storms and mountain waves. They walk, talk, and dress differently from landsmen. They straddle as they pace the deck, so as to brace the body and keep their trowsers up at the same time; their gait is loose, and their dress loose, and their limbs loose; indeed, they are rather too fond of slack. They climb like monkeys, and depend more on their paws than their legs. They tumble up, but never down. They count, not by fingers, it is tedious, but by hands; they put a part for the whole, and call themselves hands, for they are paid for the use of them, and not their heads.

"Though they are two-handed they are not close-fisted fellows. They despise science, but are fond of practical knowledge. When the sun is over the foreyard, they know the time of day as well as the captain, and call for their grog, and when they lay back their heads, and turn up the bottom of the mug to the sky, they call it in derision taking an observation. But though they have many characteristics in common, there is an individuality in each that distinguishes him from the rest. He stands out in bold relief--I by myself, I. He feels and appreciates his importance. He knows no plural. The word 'our' belongs to landsmen; 'my' is the sailor's phrase--my ship, my captain, my messmate, my watch on deck, 'my eyes!' 'you lubber, don't you know that's me?' I like to listen to their yarns and their jokes, and to hear them sing their simple ditties. The odd mixture of manliness and childishness--of boldness and superstitious fears; of preposterous claims for wages and thoughtless extravagance; of obedience and discontent--all goes to make the queer compound called 'Jack.' How often have I laughed over the fun of the forecastle in these small fore and aft packets of ourn! and I think I would back that place for wit against any bar-room in New York or New Orleans, and I believe they take the rag off of all creation.

"But the cook is my favourite. He is a scientific man, and so skilful in compounds, he generally goes by the name of doctor. I like the daily consultation with him about dinner: not that I am an epicure; but at sea, as the business of life is eating, it is as well to be master of one's calling. Indeed, it appears to be a law of nature, that those who have mouths should understand what to put in them. It gratifies the doctor to confer with him, and who does it not please to be considered a man of importance? He is therefore a member of the Privy Council, and a more useful member he is too than many Right Honourables I know of--who have more acres than ideas. The Board assembles after breakfast, and a new dish is a great item in the budget. It keeps people in good humour the rest of the day, and affords topics for the table. To eat to support existence is only fit for criminals. Bread and water will do that; but to support and gratify nature at the same time is a noble effort of art, and well deserves the thanks of mankind. The cook too enlivens the consultation by telling marvellous stories about strange dishes he has seen. He has eaten serpents with the Siamese, monkeys in the West Indies, crocodiles and sloths in South America, and cats, rats, and dogs with the Chinese; and of course, as nobody can contradict him, says they are delicious. Like a salmon, you must give him the line, even if it wearies you, before you bag him; but when you do bring him to land his dishes are savoury. They have a relish that is peculiar to the sea, for where there is no garden, vegetables are always most prized. The glorious onion is duly valued, for as there is no mistress to be kissed, who will dare to object to its aroma?

"Then I like a Sunday at sea in a vessel like this, and a day like this, when the men are all clean and tidy, and the bell rings for prayers, and all hands are assembled aft to listen to the captain as he reads the Church Service. It seems like a family scene. It reminds me of dear old Minister and days gone by, when he used to call us round him, and repeated to us the promise 'that when two or three were gathered together in God's name, he would grant their request.' The only difference is, sailors are more attentive and devout than landsmen. They seem more conscious that they are in the Divine presence. They have little to look upon but the heavens above and the boundless ocean around them. Both seem made on purpose for them--the sun to guide them by day, and the stars by night, the sea to bear them on its bosom, and the breeze to waft them on their course. They feel how powerless they are of themselves; how frail their bark; how dependent they are on the goodness and mercy of their Creator, and that it is He alone who can rule the tempest and control the stormy deep. Their impressions are few, but they are strong. It is the world that hardens the heart, and the ocean seems apart from it.

"They are noble fellows, sailors, and I love them; but, Cutler, how are they used, especially where they ought to be treated best, on board of men-of-war? The moment a ship arrives in port, the anchor cast and the sails furled--what dees the captain do? the popular captain too, the idol of the men; he who is so kind and so fond of them? Why, he calls them aft, and says, 'Here, my lads, here is lots of cash for you, now be off ashore and enjoy yourselves.' And they give three cheers for their noble commander--their good-hearted officer--the sailor's friend--the jolly old blue jacket,--and they bundle into the boats, and on to the beach, like school-boys. And where do they go? Well, we won't follow them, for I never was in them places where they do go, and so I can't describe them, and one thing I must say, I never yet found any place answer the picture drawn of it. But if half only of the accounts are true that I have heerd of them, they must be the devil's own seminaries of vice--that's a fact. Every mite and morsel as bad as the barrack scenes that we read of lately.

"Well, at the end of a week back come the sailors. They have had a glorious lark and enjoyed themselves beyond anything in the world, for they are pale, sick, sleepy, tired out, cleaned out, and kicked out, with black eyes, broken heads, swelled cheeks, minus a few teeth, half their clothes, and all their money.

"'What,' says the captain, 'what's the matter with you, Tom Marlin, that you limp so like a lame duck?'

"'Nothing, your honour,' says Tom, twitching his forelock, and making a scrape with his hind leg, 'nothing, your honour, but a scratch from a bagganet.'

"'What! a fight with the soldiers, eh? The cowardly rascals to use their side arms!'

"'We cleared the house of them, Sir, in no time.'

"'That's right. Now go below, my lads, and turn in and get a good sleep. I like to see my lambs enjoy themselves. It does my heart good.'

"And yet, Cutler, that man is said to be a father to his crew."

"Slick," said Cutler, "what a pity it is you wouldn't always talk that way!" Now if there is any created thing that makes me mad, it is to have a feller look admiren at me, when I utter a piece of plain common sense like that, and turn up the whites of his eyes like a duck in thunder, as much as to say, what a pity it is you weren't broughten up a preacher. It ryles me considerable, I tell you.

"Cutler," said I, "did you ever see a colt in a pasture, how he would race and chase round the field, head, ears, and tail up, and stop short, snort as if he had seen the ghost of a bridle, and off again hot foot?"

"Yes," said he, "I have, but you are not a colt, nor a boy either."

"Well, did you ever see a horse when unharnessed from a little, light waggon, and turned out to grass, do nearly the same identical thing, and kick up his heels like mad, as much as to say, I am a free nigger now?"

"Well, I have," said he.

"Stop," said I, a touchin' of him on his arm; "what in the world is that?" and I pointed over the taffrail to the weather-bow.

"Porpoises," said he.

"What are they a doin' of?"

"Sportin' of themselves."

"Exactly," sais I, "and do you place man below the beasts of the field and the fishes of the sea? What in natur' was humour given to us for but for our divarsion? What sort of a world would this be if every fellow spoke sermons and talked homilies, and what in that case would parsons do? I leave you to cypher that out, and then prove it by algebra; but I'll tell you what they wouldn't do, I'll be hanged if they'd strike for higher wages, for fear they should not get any at all."

"I knock under," said he; "you may take my hat; now go on and finish the comparison between Clippers and Steamers."

"Well," sais I, "as I was a sayin', Captain, give me a craft like this, that spreads its wings like a bird, and looks as if it was born, not made, a whole-sail breeze, and a seaman every inch of him like you on the deck, who looks you in the face, in a way as if he'd like to say, only bragging ain't genteel, Ain't she a clipper now, and ain't I the man to handle her? Now this ain't the case in a steamer. They ain't vessels, they are more like floating factories; you see the steam machines and the enormous fires, and the clouds of smoke, but you don't visit the rooms where the looms are, that's all. They plough through the sea dead and heavy, like a subsoiler with its eight-horse team; there is no life in 'em; they can't dance on the waters as if they rejoiced in their course, but divide the waves as a rock does in a river; they seem to move more in defiance of the sea than as if they were in an element of their own.

"They puff and blow like boasters braggin' that they extract from the ocean the means to make it help to subdue itself. It is a war in the elements, fire and water contendin' for victory. They are black, dingy, forbiddin' looking sea monsters. It is no wonder the superstitious Spaniard, when he first saw one, said: 'A vessel that goes against the tide, and against the wind, and without sails, goes against God,' or that the simple negro thought it was a sea-devil. They are very well for carrying freight, because they are beasts of burden, but not for carrying travellers, unless they are mere birds of passage like our Yankee tourists, who want to have it to say I was 'thar.' I hate them. The decks are dirty; your skin and clothes are dirty; and your lungs become foul; smoke pervades everythin', and now and then the condensation gives you a shower of sooty water by way of variety, that scalds your face and dyes your coat into a sort of pepper-and-salt colour.

"You miss the sailors, too. There are none on board--you miss the nice light, tight-built, lathy, wiry, active, neat, jolly crew. In their place you have nasty, dirty, horrid stokers; some hoisting hot cinders and throwing them overboard (not with the merry countenances of niggers, or the cheerful sway-away-my-boys expression of the Jack Tar, but with sour, cameronean-lookin' faces, that seem as if they were dreadfully disappointed they were not persecuted any longer--had no churches and altars to desecrate, and no bishops to anoint with the oil of hill-side maledictions as of old), while others are emerging from the fiery furnaces beneath for fresh air, and wipe a hot dirty face with a still dirtier shirt sleeve, and in return for the nauseous exudation, lay on a fresh coat of blacking; tall, gaunt wretches, who pant for breath as they snuff the fresh breeze, like porpouses, and then dive again into the lower regions. They are neither seamen nor landsmen, good whips nor decent shots, their hair is not woolly enough for niggers, and their faces are too black for white men. They ain't amphibious animals, like marines and otters. They are Salamanders. But that's a long word, and now they call them stokers for shortness.

"Then steamers carry a mob, and I detest mobs, especially such ones as they delight in--greasy Jews, hairy Germans, Mulatto-looking Italians, squalling children, that run between your legs and throw you down, or wipe the butter off their bread on your clothes; Englishmen that will grumble, and Irishmen that will fight; priests that won't talk, and preachers that will harangue; women that will be carried about, because they won't lie still and be quiet; silk men, cotten men, bonnet men, iron men, trinket men, and every sort of shopmen, who severally know nothing in the world but silk, cotten, bonnets, iron, trinkets, and so on, and can't talk of anythin' else; fellows who walk up and down the deck, four or five abreast when there are four or five of the same craft on board, and prevent any one else from promenadin' by sweepin' the whole space, while every lurch the ship gives, one of them tumbles atop of you, or treads on your toes, and then, instead of apoligisin', turns round and abuses you like a pick-pocket for stickin' your feet out and trippin' people up. Thinkin' is out of the question, and as for readin', you might as well read your fortune in the stars.

"Just as you begin, that lovely-lookin', rosy-cheeked, wicked-eyed gall, that came on board so full of health and spirits, but now looks like a faded striped ribbon, white, yeller, pink, and brown--dappled all over her face, but her nose, which has a red spot on it--lifts up a pair of lack-lustre peepers that look glazed like the round dull ground-glass lights let into the deck, suddenly wakes up squeamish, and says, 'Please, Sir, help me down; I feel so ill.' Well, you take her up in your arms, and for the first time in your life hold her head from you, for fear she will reward you in a way that ain't no matter, and she feels as soft as dough, and it seems as if your fingers left dents in her putty-like arms, and you carry her to the head of the stairs, and call out for the stewardess, and a waiter answers, 'Stewardess is tight, Sir.'

"'I am glad of it, she is just the person I want. I wish all the other passengers were tight also.'

"'Lord, Sir, that ain't it--she is mops and brooms.'

"'Mops and brooms, I suppose she is, she must have plenty use for them, I reckon, to keep all snug and tidy down there.'

"'Good gracious, Sir, don't you understand, she is half seas over.'

"'True, so we all are, the captain said so to-day at twelve o'clock, I wish we were over altogether. Send her up.'

"'No, no, Sir, she is more than half shaved.'

"'The devil! does she shave? I don't believe she is a woman at all. I see how it is, you have been putting one of the sailors into petticoats.' And the idea makes even the invalid gall laugh.

"'No, no, Sir, she is tipsy.'

"'Then why the plague couldn't you say so at once. I guess you kinder pride yourself in your slang. Help me to assist this lady down to her friends.'

"Well, when you return on deck, lo and behold, your seat is occupied, and you must go and stand by the rail till one is vacant, when another gall that ain't ill, but inconveniently well, she is so full of chat, says, 'Look, look, Sir, dear me, what is that, Sir? a porpoise. Why you don't, did you ever! well, I never see a porpoise afore in all my born days! are they good to eat, Sir?'

"'Excellent food for whales, Miss.'

"'Well I never! do they swallow them right down?'

"'I guess they do, tank, shank, and flank, at one gulp.'

"'Why how in the world do they ever get--' but she don't finish the sentence, for the silk man, cotten man, iron man, or trinket man, which ever is nearest, says, 'There is a ship on the lee-bow.' He says that because it sounds sailor-like, but it happens to be the weather-bow, and you have seen her an hour before.

"'Can you make her out?' sais he; that's another sea tarm he has picked up; he will talk like a horse-marine at last.

"'Yes,' sais you, 'she is a Quang-Tonger.'

"'A Quang-Tonger?' sais the gall, and before the old coon has disgested that hard word, she asks, 'what in natur is that?'

"'Why, Miss, Quang-Tong is a province of China, and Canton is the capital; all the vessels at Canton are called Quang-Tongers, but strangers call them Chinese Junks. Now, Miss, you have seen two new things to-day, a bottle-nosed porpoise and--'

"'Was that a bottle-nosed porpoise, Sir? why you don't say so! why, how you talk, why do they call them bottle-noses?'

"'Because, Miss, they make what is called velvet corks out of their snouts. They are reckoned the best corks in the world. And then, you have seen a Chinese Junk?'

"'A Chinese Junk,' sais the astonished trinket man. 'Well I vow! a Chinese Junk, do tell!' and one gall calls Jeremiah Dodge, and the other her father and her sister, Mary Anne Matilda Jane, to come and see the Chinese Junk, and all the passengers rush to the other side, and say, 'whare, whare,' and the two discoverers say, 'there, there;' and you walk across the deck and take one of the evacuated seats you have been longin' for; and as you pass you give a wink to the officer of the watch, who puts his tongue in his cheek as a token of approbation, and you begin to read again, as you fancy, in peace.

"But there is no peace in a steamer, it is nothin' but a large calaboose,1 chock full of prisoners. As soon as you have found your place in the book, and taken a fresh departure, the bonnet man sais, 'Please, Sir, a seat for a lady,' and you have to get up and give it to his wife's lady's-maid. His wife ain't a lady, but having a lady's-maid shows she intends to set up for one when she gets to home. To be a lady, she must lay in a lot of airs, and to brush her own hair and garter her own stockins is vulgar; if it was known in First Avenue, Spruce Street, in Bonnetville, it would ruin her as a woman of fashion for ever.


1 Calaboose is a Southern name for jail.


"Now bonnet man wouldn't ask you to get up and give your place to his wife's hired help, only he knows you are a Yankee, and we Yankees, I must say, are regularly fooled with women and preachers; just as much as that walking advertisement of a milliner is with her lady's-maid. All over America in rail carriages, stage coaches, river steamers, and public places, of all sorts, every critter that wears a white choker, and looks like a minister, has the best seat given him. He expects it, as a matter of course, and as every female is a lady, every woman has a right to ask you to quit, without notice, for her accommodation. Now it's all very well and very proper to be respectful to preachers; and to be polite and courteous to women, and more especially those that are unprotected; but there is a limit, tother side of which lies absurdity.

"Now if you had seen as much of the world as I have, and many other travelled Yankees, when bonnet man asked you to give up your seat to the maid, you would have pretended not to understand English, and not to know what he wanted, but would have answered him in French and offered him the book, and said certainly you would give it to him with pleasure, and when he said he didn't speak French, but what he desired was your place for the lady, you would have addressed her in German, and offered her the book, and when they looked at each other, and laughed at their blunder, in thus taking you for a Yankee, perhaps the man next to you would have offered his seat, and then when old bonnet man walked off to look at the Chinese Junk, you would have entered into conversation with the lady's-maid, and told her it was a rise you took out of the old fellow to get her along-side of you, and she would enjoy the joke, and you would have found her a thousand times more handsome and more conversational and agreeable than her mistress.

"But this wouldn't last long, for the sick gall would be carried up on deck agin, woman like, though ill, very restless, and chock full of curiosity to see the Chinese Junk also; so you are caught by your own bam, and have to move again once more. The bell comes in aid, and summons you to dinner. Ah, the scene in the Tower of Babel is rehearsed; what a confusion of tongues! what a clatter of knives and forks and dishes! the waiter that goes and won't come back; and he who sees, pities but can't help you; and he who is so near sighted, he can't hear; and he who is intercepted, and made prisoner on his way.

"What a profusion of viands--but how little to eat! this is cold; that under-done; this is tough; that you never eat; while all smell oily; oh, the only dish you did fancy, you can't touch, for that horrid German has put his hand into it. But it is all told in one short sentence; two hundred and fifty passengers supply two hundred and fifty reasons themselves, why I should prefer a sailing vessel with a small party to a crowded steamer. If you want to see them in perfection go where I have been it on board the California boats, and Mississippi river crafts. The French, Austrian, and Italian boats are as bad. The two great Ocean lines, American and English, are as good as anything bad can be, but the others are all abominable. They are small worlds over-crowded, and while these small worlds exist, the evil will remain; for alas, their passengers go backward and forward, they don't emigrate--they migrate; they go for the winter and return for the spring, or go in the spring and return in the fall.

"Come, Commodore, there is old Sorrow ringing his merry bell for us to go to dinner. I have an idea we shall have ample room; a good appetite, and time enough to eat and enjoy it: come, Sir, let us, like true Americans, never refuse to go where duty calls us."

After dinner, Cutler reverted to the conversation we had had before we went below, though I don't know that I should call it conversation, either; for I believe I did, as usual, most of the talking myself.

"I agree with you," said he, "in your comparative estimate of a sailing vessel and a steamer, I like the former the best myself. It is more agreeable for the reasons you have stated to a passenger, but it is still more agreeable to the officer in command of her on another account. In a sailing vessel, all your work is on deck, everything is before you, and everybody under your command. One glance of a seaman's eye is sufficient to detect if anything is amiss, and no one man is indispensable to you. In a steamer the work is all below, the machinery is out of your sight, complicated, and one part dependent on another. If it gets out of order you are brought up with a round turn, all standing, and often in a critical situation too. You can't repair damage easily; sometimes, can't repair at all.

"Whereas carrying away a sail, a spar, a topmast, or anything of that kind, impedes but don't stop you, and if it is anything very serious there are a thousand ways of making a temporary rig that will answer till you make a port. But what I like best is, when my ship is in the daldrums, I am equal to the emergency; there is no engineer to bother you by saying this can't be done, or that won't do, and to stand jawing and arguing instead of obeying and doing. Clippers of the right lines, size, and build, well found, manned, and commanded, will make nearly as good work, in ordinary times, as steamers. Perhaps it is prejudice though, for I believe we sailors are proverbial for that. But, Slick, recollect it ain't all fair weather sailing like this at sea. There are times when death stares you wildly in the face."

"Exactly," sais I, "as if he would like to know you the next time he came for you, so as not to apprehend the wrong one. He often leaves the rascal and seizes the honest man; my opinion is, he don't see very well."

"What a droll fellow you are," said he; "it appears to me as if you couldn't be serious for five minutes at a time. I can tell you, if you were on a rocky lee-shore, with the wind and waves urging you on, and you barely holding your own, perhaps losing ground every tack, you wouldn't talk quite so glibly of death. Was you ever in a real heavy gale of wind?"

"Warn't I," said I; "the fust time I returned from England it blew great guns all the voyage, one gale after another, and the last always wuss than the one before. It carried away our sails as fast as we bent them."

"That's nothing unusual," said Cutler; "there are worse things than that at sea."

"Well, I'll tell you," sais I, "what it did; and if that ain't an uncommon thing, then my name ain't Sam Slick. It blew all the hair off my dog, except a little tuft atween his ears. It did, upon my soul. I hope I may never leave--"

"Don't swear to it, Slick," said he, "that's a good fellow. It's impossible."

"Attestin' to it will make your hair stand on eend too, I suppose," said I; "but it's as true as preachin' for all that. What will you bet it didn't happen?"

"Tut, man, nonsense," said he, "I tell you the thing is impossible."

"Ah!" said I, "that's because you have been lucky, and never saw a riprorious hurricane in all your life. I'll tell you how it was. I bought a blood-hound from a man in Regent's Park, just afore I sailed, and the brute got sea-sick, and then took the mange, and between that and death starin' him in the face, his hair all came off, and in course it blew away. Is that impossible?"

"Well, well," said he, "you have the most comical way with you of any man I ever see. I am sure it ain't in your nature to speak of death in that careless manner, you only talked that way to draw me out. I know you did. It's not a subject however to treat lightly, and if you are not inclined to be serious just now, tell us a story."

"Serious," sais I, "I am disposed to be; but not sanctimonious, and you know that. But here goes for a story, which has a nice little moral in it too.

"'Once on a time, when pigs were swine, and turkeys chewed tobacco, and little birds built their nests in old men's beards.'

"Pooh!" said he, turning off huffy like, as if I was a goin' to bluff him off. "I wonder whether supper is ready?"

"Cutler," sais I, "come back, that's a good fellow, and I'll tell you the story. It's a short one, and will just fill up the space between this and tea-time. It is in illustration of what you was a sayin', that it ain't always fair weather sailing in this world. There was a jack-tar once to England who had been absent on a whaling voyage for nearly three years, and he had hardly landed when he was ordered off to sea again, before he had time to go home and see his friends. He was a lamentin' this to a shipmate of his, a serious-minded man, like you.

"Sais he, 'Bill, it breaketh my heart to have to leave agin arter this fashion. I havn't seen Polly now goin' on three years, nor the little un either.' And he actilly piped his eye.

"'It seemeth hard, Tom,' said Bill, tryin' to comfort him; 'it seemeth hard; but I'm an older man nor you be, Tom, the matter of several years;' and he gave his trowsers a twitch (you know they don't wear galluses, though a gallus holds them up sometimes), shifted his quid, gave his nor'wester a pull over his forehead, and looked solemncholly, 'and my experience, Tom, is, that this life ain't all beer and skittles.'

"Cutler, there is a great deal of philosophy in that maxim: a preacher couldn't say as much in a sermon an hour long, as there is in that little story with that little moral reflection at the eend of it.

"'This life ain't all leer and skittles.' Many a time since I heard that anecdote--and I heard it in Kew Gardens, of all places in the world--when I am disappointed sadly, I say that saw over, and console myself with it. I can't expect to go thro' the world, Cutler, as I have done: stormy days, long and dark nights, are before me. As I grow old I shan't be so full of animal spirits as I have been. In the natur of things I must have my share of aches, and pains, and disappointment, as well as others; and when they come, nothing will better help me to bear them than that little simple reflection of the sailor, which appeals so directly to the heart. Sam, this life ain't all beer and skittles, that's a fact."






As we approached the eastern coast, "Eldad," sais I, to the pilot, "is there any harbour about here where our folks can do a little bit of trade, and where I can see something of 'Fishermen at home?'"

"We must be careful now how we proceed, for if the 'Spitfire' floats at the flood, Captain Stoker will try perhaps to overhaul us."

"Don't we want to wood and water, and ain't there some repairs wanting," sais I, and I gave him a wink. "If so we can put into port; but I don't think we will attempt to fish again within the treaty limits, for it's dangerous work."

"Yes," sais he, touching his nose with the point of his finger, "all these things are needed, and when they are going on, the mate and I can attend to the business of the owners." He then looked cautiously round to see that the captain was not within hearing.

"Warn't it the 'Black Hawk' that was chased?" said he. "I think that was our name then."

"Why, to be sure it was," said I.

"Well," sais he, "this is the 'Sary Ann' of New Bedford now," and proceeding aft he turned a screw, and I could hear a board shift in the stern. "Do you mind that?" said he: "well, you can't see it where you stand just now at present; but the 'Sary Ann' shows her name there now, and we have a set of papers to correspond. I guess the Britisher can't seize her, because the 'Black Hawk' broke the treaty; can he?" And he gave a knowing jupe of his head, as much as to say, ain't that grand?

"Now our new captain is a strait-laced sort of man, you see; but the cantin' fellow of a master you had on board before, warn't above a dodge of this kind. If it comes to the scratch, you must take the command again, for Cutler won't have art nor part in this game; and we may be reformed out afore we know where we are."

"Well," sais I, "there is no occasion, I guess; put us somewhere a little out of sight, and we won't break the treaty no more. I reckon the 'Spitfire,' after all, would just as soon be in port as looking after us. It's small potatoes for a man-of-war to be hunting poor game, like us little fore and afters."

"As you like," he said, "but we are prepared, you see, for the mate and men understand the whole thing. It ain't the first time they have escaped by changing their sign-board."

"Exactly," said I, "a ship ain't like a dog that can only answer to one name; and 'Sary Ann' is as good as the 'Black Hawk,' every mite and morsel. There is a good deal of fun in altering sign-boards. I recollect wunst, when I was a boy, there was a firm to Slickville who had this sign over their shop:


'Gallop and More,



"Well, one Saturday-night brother Josiah and I got a paintbrush, and altered it in this way:


'Gallop and 8 More


Make a man.'


"Lord, what a commotion it made. Next day was Sunday; and as the folks were going to church, they stood and laughed and roared like anything. It made a terrible hulla-bulloo.

"'Sam,' said Minister to me, 'what in natur is all that ondecent noise about so near the church-door.'

"I told him. It was most too much for him, but he bit in his breath, and tried to look grave; but I see a twinkle in his eye, and the corner of his mouth twitch, the way your eyelid does sometimes when a nerve gets a dancing involuntarily.

"'A very foolish joke, Sam,' he said; 'it may get you into trouble.'

"'Why, Minister,' said I, 'I hope you don't think that--'

"'No,' said he, 'I don't think at all, I know it was you, for it's just like you. But it's a foolish joke, for, Sam:


"'Honour and worth from no condition rise--'


"'Exactly,' sais I.


"'Stitch well your part, there all the honour lies.'


"'Sam, Sam,' said he, 'you are a bad boy,' and he put on a serious face, and went in and got his gown ready for service.

"The 'Sary Ann' for the 'Black Hawk,'" sais I to myself, "well that ain't bad either; but there are more chests of tea and kegs of brandy, and such like, taken right by the custom-house door at Halifax in loads of hay and straw, than comes by water, just because it is the onlikeliest way in the world any man would do it. But it is only some of the Bay of Fundy boys that are up to that dodge. Smugglers in general haven't the courage to do that. Dear me!" sais I to myself, "when was there ever a law that couldn't be evaded; a tax that couldn't be shuffled off like an old slipper; a prohibition that a smuggler couldn't row right straight through, or a treaty that hadn't more holes in it than a dozen supplemental ones could patch up? It's a high fence that can't be scaled, and a strong one that can't be broke down. When there are accomplices in the house, it is easier to get the door unlocked than to force it. Receivers make smugglers. Where there are not informers, penalties are dead letters. The people here like to see us, for it is their interest, and we are safe as long as they are friendly. I don't want to smuggle, for I scorn such a pettifogin' business, as Josiah would call it; but I must and will see how the thing works, so as to report it to the President."

"Well, Eldad," sais I, "I leave all this to you. I want to avoid a scrape if I can, so put us in a place of safety, and be careful how you proceed."

"I understand," said he. "Now, Mr Slick, look yonder," pointing towards the shore. "What is that?"

"A large ship under full sail," said I, "but it is curious she has got the wind off shore, and just dead on end to us."

"Are you sure," said he, "it is a ship, for if we get foul of her, we shall be sunk in a moment, and every soul on board perish."

"Is it a cruiser?" sais I; "because if it is, steer boldly for her, and I will go on board of her and show my commission as an officer of our everlastin' nation. Captain," said I, "what is that stranger?"

He paused for a moment, shaded his eyes with his hand, and examined her. "A large square-rigged vessel," he said, "under a heavy press of canvas," and resumed his walk on the deck.

After a while the pilot said: "Look again, Mr Slick, can you make her out now?"

"Why," sais I, "she is only a brigantine; but ask the skipper."

He took his glass and scrutinized her closely, and as he replaced it in the binnacle said: "We are going to have southerly weather I think; she loomed very large when I first saw her, and I took her for a ship; but now she seems to be an hermaphrodite. It's of no consequence to us however what she is, and we shall soon near her."

"Beyond that vessel," said the pilot, "there is a splendid harbour, and as there has been a head wind for some time, I have no doubt there are many coasters in there, from the masters of whom you can obtain much useful information on the object of your visit, while we can drive a profitable trade among them and the folks ashore. How beautifully these harbours are situated," he continued, "for carrying on the fisheries, and Nova Scotian though I be, I must say, I do think in any other part of the world there would be large towns here."

"I think so too, Eldad," sais I, "but British legislation is at the bottom of all your misfortunes, after all, and though you are as lazy as sloths, and as idle as that fellow old Blowhard saw, who lay down on the grass all day to watch the vessels passing, and observe the motion of the crows, the English, by breaking up your monopoly of inter-colonial and West India trade and throwing it open to us, not only without an equivalent, but in the face of our prohibitory duties, are the cause of all your poverty and stagnation. They are rich and able to act like fools if they like in their own affairs, but it was a cruel thing to sacrifice you, as they have done, and deprive you of the only natural carrying trade and markets you had. The more I think of it the less I blame you. It is a wicked mockery to lock men up, and then taunt them with want of enterprise, and tell them they are idle."

"Look at that vessel again, Sir," said Eldad; "she don't make much headway, does she?"

"Well, I took the glass again and examined her minutely, and I never was so stumpt in my life.

"Pilot," said I, "is that the same vessel?"

"The identical," said he.

"I vow to man," sais I, "as I am a livin' sinner, that is neither a ship, nor a brigantine, nor a hermaphrodite, but a topsail schooner, that's a fact. What in natur' is the meanin' of all this? Perhaps the captain knows," so I called him again.

"Cutler, that vessel is transmografied again," sais I; "look at her."

"Pooh," said he, "that's not the same vessel at all. The two first we saw are behind that island. That one is nothing but a coaster. You can't take me in, Slick. You are always full of your fun, and taking a rise out of some one or another, and I shall be glad when we land, you will then have some one else to practise on."

In a short time the schooner vanished, and its place was supplied by a remarkable white cliff, which from the extraordinary optical delusion it occasions gives its name to the noble port which is now called Ship Harbour. I have since mentioned this subject to a number of mariners, and have never yet heard of a person who was not deceived in a similar manner. As we passed through the narrows, we entered a spacious and magnificent basin, so completely land-locked that a fleet of vessels of the largest size may lay there unmoved by any wind. There is no haven in America to be compared with it.

"You are now safe," said the pilot; "it is only twelve leagues from Halifax, and nobody would think of looking for you here. The fact is, the nearer you hide the safer you be."

"Exactly," sais I; "what you seek you can't find, but when you ain't looking for a thing, you are sure to stumble on it."

"If you ever want to run goods, Sir," said he, "the closer you go to the port the better. Smugglers ain't all up to this, so they seldom approach the lion's den, but go farther and fare worse. Now we may learn lessons from dumb animals. They know we reason on probabilities, and therefore always do what is improbable. "We think them to be fools, but they know that we are. The fox sees we always look for him about his hole, and therefore he carries on his trade as far from it, and as near the poultry yard, as possible. If a dog kills sheep, and them Newfoundlanders are most uncommon fond of mutton, I must say, he never attacks his neighbour's flock, for he knows he would be suspected and had up for it, but sets off at night, and makes a foray like the old Scotch on the distant borders.

"He washes himself, for marks of blood is a bad sign, and returns afore day, and wags his tail, and runs round his master, and looks up into his face as innocent as you please, as much as to say, 'Squire, here I have been watchin' of your property all this live-long night, it's dreadful lonely work, I do assure you, and oh, how glad I am to see the shine of your face this morning.'

"And the old boss pats his head, fairly took in, and says, 'That's a good dog, what a faithful honest fellow you be, you are worth your weight in gold.'

"Well, the next time he goes off on a spree in the same quarter, what does he see but a border dog strung up by the neck, who has been seized and condemned as many an innocent fellow has been before him on circumstantial evidence, and he laughs and says to himself, 'What fools humans be, they don't know half as much as we dogs do.' So he thinks it would be as well to shift his ground, where folks ain't on the watch for sheep-stealers, and he makes a dash into a flock still farther off.

"Them Newfoundlanders would puzzle the London detective police, I believe they are the most knowin' coons in all creation, don't you?"

"Well, they are," sais I, "that's a fact, and they have all the same passions and feelings we have, only they are more grateful than man is, and you can by kindness lay one of them under an obligation he will never forget as long as he lives, whereas an obligation scares a man, for he snorts and stares at you like a horse at an engine, and is e'en most sure to up heels and let you have it, like mad. The only thing about dogs is, they can't bear rivals, they like to have all attention paid to themselves exclusively. I will tell you a story I had from a British colonel.

"He was stationed in Nova Scotia, with his regiment, when I was a venden of clocks there. I met him to Windsor, at the Wilcox Inn. He was mightily taken with my old horse Clay, and offered me a most an everlastin' long price for him; he said if I would sell him, he wouldn't stand for money, for he never see such an animal in all his born days, and so on. But old Clay was above all price, his ditto was never made yet, and I don't think ever will be. I had no notion to sell him, and I told him so, but seein' he was dreadful disappointed, for a rich Englishman actually thinks money will do anything and get anything, I told him if ever I parted with him he should have him on condition he would keep him as long as he lived, and so on.

"Well, it pacified him a bit, and to turn the conversation, sais I, 'Colonel,' sais I, 'what a most an almighty everlastin' super superior Newfoundler that is,' a pointin' to his dog; 'creation,' sais I, 'if I had a regiment of such fellows, I believe I wouldn't be afraid of the devil. My,' sais I, 'what a dog! would you part with him? I'de give anything for him.'

"I said that a purpose to show him I had as good a right to keep my horse as he had his long-haired gentleman.

"'No,' sais he, with a sort of half smile at my ignorance in pokin' such a question at him (for a Britisher abroad thinks he has privileges no one else has), 'no, I don't want to part with him. I want to take him to England with me. See, he has all the marks of the true breed: look at his beautiful broad forehead, what an intellectual one it is, ain't it? then see his delicate mouse-like ears, just large enough to cover the orifice, and that's all.'

"'Orifice,' said I, for I hate fine words for common use, they are like go-to-meeting' clothes on week days, onconvenient, and look too all fired jam up. Sais I, 'what's that when it's fried. I don't know that word?'

"'Why, ear-hole,' said he.

"'Oh,' sais I, simple like, 'I take now.'

"He smiled and went on. 'Look at the black roof of his mouth,' said he, 'and do you see the dew claw, that is a great mark? Then feel that tail, that is his rudder to steer by when swimming. It's different from the tail of other dogs, the strength of that joint is surprising. But his chest, Sir, his chest, see how that is formed on purpose for diving. It is shaped internally like a seal's. And then, observe the spread of that webbed foot, and the power of them paddles. There are two kinds of them, the short and the long haired, but I think those shaggy ones are the handsomest. They are very difficult to be got now of the pure breed. I sent to the Bay of Bulls for this one. To have them in health you must make them stay out of doors in all weather, and keep them cool, and above all not feed them too high. Salt fish seems the best food for them, they are so fond of it. Singular that, ain't it? but a dog is natural, Sir, and a man ain't.

"'Now, you never saw a codfish at the table of a Newfoundland merchant in your life. He thinks it smells too much of the shop. In fact, in my opinion the dog is the only gentleman there. The only one, now that the Indian is extinct, who has breeding and blood in that land of oil, blubber, and icebergs.'

"Lord, I wish one of them had been there to have heard him, wouldn't he a harpooned him? that's all. He made a considerable of a long yarn of it, and as it was a text he had often enlarged on, I thought he never would have ended, but like other preachers, when he got heated, spit on the slate, rub it all out, and cypher it over again. Thinks I to myself, I'll play you a bit, my boy.

"'Exactly,' sais I, 'there is the same difference in dogs and horses as there is in men. Some are noble by nature, and some vulgar; each is known by his breed.'

"'True,' said he, 'very true,' and he stood up a little straighter as if it did him good to hear a republican say that, for his father was an Earl. 'A very just remark,' said he, and he eyed me all over, as if he was rather surprised at my penetration.

"'But the worst of it,' sais I, 'is that a high bred dog or horse and a high bred man are only good for one thing. A pointer will point--a blood horse run--a setter will set--a bull dog fight--and a Newfoundlander will swim; but what else are they good for? Now a duke is a duke, and the devil a thing else. All you expect of him is to act and look like one (and I could point out some that don't even do that). If he writes a book, and I believe a Scotch one, by the help of his tutor, did once, or makes a speech, you say, Come now, that is very well for a duke, and so on. Well, a marquis ain't quite so high bred, and he is a little better, and so on, downwards; when you get to an earl, why, he may be good for more things than one. I ain't quite sure a cross ain't desirable, and in that way that you couldn't improve the intelligence of both horses, noblemen, and dogs--don't you think so, Sir?' sais I.

"'It is natural for you,' said he, not liking the smack of democracy that I threw in for fun, and looking uneasy. 'So,' sais he (by way of turning the conversation), 'the sagacity of dogs is very wonderful. I will tell you an anecdote of this one that has surprised everybody to whom I have related it.

"'Last summer my duties led me to George's Island. I take it for granted you know it. It is a small island situated in the centre of the harbour of Halifax, has a powerful battery on it, and barracks for the accommodation of troops. There was a company of my regiment stationed there at the time. I took this dog and a small terrier, called Tilt, in the boat with me. The latter was a very active little fellow that the General had given me a few weeks before. He was such an amusing creature, that he soon became a universal favourite, and was suffered to come into the house (a privilege which was never granted to this gentleman, who paid no regard to the appearance of his coat, which was often wet and dirty), and who was therefore excluded.

"'The consequence was, Thunder was jealous, and would not associate with him, and if ever he took any liberty, he turned on him and punished him severely. This however he never presumed to do in my presence, as he knew I would not suffer it, and therefore, when they both accompanied me in my walks, the big dog contented himself with treating the other with perfect indifference and contempt. Upon this occasion, Thunder lay down in the boat and composed himself to sleep, while the little fellow, who was full of life and animation, and appeared as if he did not know what it was to close his eyes, sat up, looked over the gunwale, and seemed to enjoy the thing uncommonly. He watched the motions of the men, as if he understood what was required of them, and was anxious they should acquit themselves properly.'

"'He knew,' said I, 'it was what sailors call the dog watch.'

"'Very good,' said he, but looking all the time as if he thought the interruption very bad.

"'After having made my inspection, I returned to the boat, for the purpose of recrossing to the town, when I missed the terrier. Thunder was close at my heels, and when I whistled for the other, wagged his tail and looked up in my face, as if he would say, Never mind that foolish dog, I am here, and that is enough, or is there anything you want me to do?

"'After calling in vain, I went back to the barracks, and inquired of the men for Tilt, but no one appeared to have seen him or noticed his motions.

"'After perambulating the little island in vain, I happened to ask the sentry if he knew where he was.

"'Yes, Sir,' said he, 'he is buried in the beach.'

"'Buried in the beach,' said I, with great anger, 'who dared to kill him? Tell me, Sir, immediately.'

"'That large dog did it, Sir. He enticed him down to the shore by playing with him, pretending to crouch and then run after him; and then retreating and coaxing him to chase him; and when he got him near the beach, he throttled him in an instant, and then scratched a hole in the shingle and buried him, covering him up with the gravel. After that he went into the water, and with his paws washed his head and face, shook himself, and went up to the barracks. You will find the terrier, just down there, Sir.'

"'And sure enough there was the poor little fellow, quite dead, and yet warm.

"'In the mean time Thunder, who had watched our proceedings from a distance, as soon as he saw the body exhumed, felt as if there was a court-martial holding over himself, plunged into the harbour and swam across to the town, and hid himself for several days, until he thought the affair had blown over; and then approached me anxiously and cautiously, lest he should be apprehended and condemned. As I was unwilling to lose both my dogs, I was obliged to overlook it, and take him back to my confidence. A strange story, ain't it, Mr Slick.'

"'Well, it is,' sais I, 'but dogs do certainly beat all natur, that's a fact.'

"But to get back to the 'Black Hawk:' as soon as we anchored, I proposed to Cutler that we should go ashore and visit the 'natives.' While he was engaged giving his orders to the mate, I took the opportunity of inquiring of the pilot about the inhabitants. This is always a necessary precaution. If you require light-houses, buoys, and sailing directions to enter a port, you want similar guides when you land. The navigation there is difficult also, and it's a great thing to know who you are going to meet, what sort of stuff they are made of, and which way to steer, so as to avoid hidden shoals and sand-bars, for every little community is as full of them as their harbour. It don't do, you know, to talk tory in the house of a radical, to name a bishop to a puritan, to let out agin smugglin' to a man who does a little bit of business that way himself; or, as the French say, 'to talk of a rope in a house where the squatter has been hanged.' If you want to please a guest, you must have some of his favourite dishes at dinner for him; and if you want to talk agreeably to a man, you must select topics he has a relish for.

"So," sais I, "where had we better go, Pilot, when we land?"

"Do you see that are white one-story house there?" said he. "That is a place, though not an inn, where the owner, if he is at home, will receive the likes of you very hospitably. He is a capital fellow in his way, but as hot as pepper. His name is Peter McDonald, and he is considerable well to do in the world. He is a Highlander; and when young went out to Canada in the employment of the North-west Fur Company, where he spent many years, and married, broomstick fashion, I suppose, a squaw. Alter her death he removed, with his two half-caste daughters, to St John's, New Brunswick; but his girls I don't think were very well received, on account of their colour, and he came down here and settled at Ship Harbour, where some of his countrymen are located. He is as proud as Lucifer, and so are his galls. Whether it is that they have been slighted, and revenge it on all the rest of the world, I don't know; or whether it is Highland and Indian pride mixed, I ain't sartified; but they carry their heads high, and show a stiff upper lip, I tell you. I don't think you will get much talk out of them, for I never could."

"Well, it don't follow," said I, "by no manner of means, Eldad, because they wouldn't chat to you, that they wouldn't open their little mugs to me. First and foremost recollect, Mr Nickerson, you are a married man, and it's no use for a gall to talk it into you; and then, in the next place, you see you know a plaguey sight more about the shape, make, and build of a craft like this than you do about the figure-head, waist, and trim of a gall. You are a seaman, and I am a landsman; you know how to bait your hooks for fish, and I know the sort of tackle women will jump at. See if I don't set their clappers a going, like those of a saw-mill. Do they speak English?"

"Yes," said he, "and they talk Gaelic and French also; the first two they learned from their father, and the other in Canada."

"Are they pretty?"

"The eldest is beautiful," said he; "and there is something in her manner you can't help thinking she is a lady. You never saw such a beautiful figure as she is in your life."

Thinks I to myself, "that's all you know about it, old boy." But I didn't say so, for I was thinking of Sophy at the time.

We then pushed off, and steered for Peter McDonald's, Indian Peter, as the pilot said the fishermen called him. As we approached the house he came out to meet us. He was a short, strong-built, athletic man, and his step was as springy as a boy's. He had a jolly, open, manly face, but a quick, restless eye, and the general expression of his countenance indicated at once good nature and irascibility of temper.

"Coot tay, shentlemen," he said, "she is glad to see you; come, walk into her own house." He recognised and received Eldad kindly, who mentioned our names and introduced us, and he welcomed us cordially. As soon as we were seated, according to the custom of the north-west traders, he insisted upon our taking something to drink, and calling to his daughter Jessie in Gaelic, he desired her to bring whiskey and brandy. As I knew this was a request that on such an occasion could not be declined without offence, I accepted his offer with thanks, and no little praise of the virtues of whiskey; the principal recommendation of which, I said, "was that there was not a headache in a hogshead of it."

"She believes so herself," he said, "it is petter ash all de rum, prandy, shin, and other Yanke pyson in the States; ta Yankies are cheatin smugglin rascals."

The entrance of Jessie fortunately gave a turn to this complimentary remark; when she set down the tray, I rose and extended my hand to her, and said in Gaelic, "Cair mur tha thu mo gradh (how do you do, my dear), tha mi'n dochas gam biel thu slan (I hope you are quite well)."

The girl was amazed, but no less pleased. How sweet to the ear are the accents of the paternal language, or the mother tongue as we call it, for it is women who teach us to talk. It is a bond of union! Whoever speaks it, when we are in a land of strangers, is regarded as a relative. I shall never forget when I was in the bazaar at Calcutta, how my heart leaped at hearing the voice of a Connecticut man as he was addressing a native trader.

"Tell you what, stranger," said he, "I feel as mad as a meat axe, and I hope I may be darned to all darnation, if I wouldn't chaw up your ugly mummyised corpse, hair, hide, and hoof, this blessed minute, as quick as I would mother's dough-nuts, if I warn't afraid you'd pyson me with your atimy, I'll be dod drotted if I wouldn't."

Oh, how them homespun words, coarse as they were, cheered my drooping spirits, and the real Connecticut nasal twang with which they were uttered sounded like music to my ears; how it brought up home and far-off friends to my mind, and how it sent up a tear of mingled joy and sadness to my eye.

Peter was delighted. He slapped me on the back with a hearty good will, in a way nearly to deprive me of my breath, welcomed me anew, and invited us all to stay with him while the vessel remained there. Jessie replied in Gaelic, but so rapidly I could only follow her with great difficulty, for I had but a smattering of it, though I understood it better than I could speak it, having acquired it in a very singular manner, as I will tell you by and by. Offering her a chair, she took it and sat down after some hesitation, as if it was not her usual habit to associate with her father's visitors, and we were soon on very sociable terms. I asked the name of the trading post in the north-west where they had resided, and delighted her by informing her I had once been there myself on business of John Jacob Astor's New York Fur Company, and staid with the Governor, who was the friend and patron of her father's. This was sufficient to establish us at once on something like the footing of old friends. When she withdrew, Peter followed her out, probably to give some directions for our evening meal.

"Well, well," said the pilot, "if you don't beat all! I never could get a word out of that girl, and you have loosened her tongue in rale right down earnest, that's a fact."

"Eldad," sais I, "there is two sorts of pilotage, one that enables you to steer through life, and another that carries you safely along a coast, and there is this difference between them: This universal globe is all alike in a general way, and the knowledge that is sufficient for one country will do for all the rest of it, with some slight variations. Now you may be a very good pilot on this coast, but your knowledge is no use to you on the shores of England. A land pilot is a fool if he makes shipwreck wherever he is, but the best of coast pilots when he gets on a strange shore is as helpless as a child. Now a woman is a woman all over the world, whether she speaks Gaelic, French, Indian, or Chinese; there are various entrances to her heart, and if you have experience, you have got a compass which will enable you to steer through one or the other of them, into the inner harbour of it. Now, Minister used to say that Eve in Hebrew meant talk, for providence gave her the power of chattyfication on purpose to take charge of that department. Clack then you see is natural to them; talk therefore to them as they like, and they will soon like to talk to you. If a woman was to put a Bramah lock on her heart, a skilful man would find his way into it if he wanted to, I know. That contrivance is set to a particular word; find the letters that compose it, and it opens at once. The moment I heard the Gaelic, I knew I had discovered the cypher--I tried it and succeeded. Tell you what, Pilot, love and skill laugh at locks, for them that can't be opened can be picked. The mechanism of the human heart, when you thoroughly understand it, is, like all the other works of nature, very beautiful, very wonderful, but very simple. When it does not work well, the fault is not in the machinery, but in the management."






Soon after McDonald had returned and resumed his seat, a tall thin man, dressed in a coarse suit of homespun, entered the room, and addressing our host familiarly as Squire Peter, deposited in the corner a fishing-rod, and proceeded to disencumber himself of a large salmon basket apparently well filled, and also two wallets, one of which seemed to contain his clothes, and the other, from the dull heavy sound it emitted as he threw it on the floor, some tools. He was about forty years of age. His head, which was singularly well formed, was covered with a luxuriant mass of bushy black curls. His eyes were large, deep set, and intelligent, his forehead expansive and projecting, and his eyebrows heavy and shaggy. When addressing Peter he raised them up in a peculiar manner, nearly to the centre of his forehead, and when he ceased they suddenly dropped and partially concealed his eyes.

It was impossible not to be attracted by a face that had two such remarkable expressions; one of animation, amiability, and intelligence; and the other of total abstraction. He bent forward, even after he relieved himself of his load, and his attitude and gait suggested the idea of an American land-surveyor, who had been accustomed to carry heavy weights in the forest. Without condescending to notice the party, further than bestowing on us a cursory glance to ascertain whether he knew any of us, he drew up to the chimney corner, and placing the soles of his boots perpendicularly to the fire (which soon indicated by the vapour arising from them that he had been wading in water), he asked in a listless manner and without waiting for replies, some unconnected questions of the landlord: as, "Any news, Peter? how does the world use you? how are the young ladies? how is fish this season? macarel plenty? any wrecks this year, Peter, eh? any vessels sinking and dead men floating; silks, satins, ribbons, and gold watches waiting to be picked up? Glorious coast this! the harvest extends over the whole year." And then he drew his hand over his face as if to suppress emotion, and immediately relapsed into silence and stared moodily into the fire.

Peter seemed to understand that no answer was required, and therefore made none, but asked him where he had come from?

"Where did he come from?" said the stranger, who evidently applied the question to a fish in his basket, and not to himself, "originally from the lake, Peter, where it was spawned, and whither it annually returns. You ought to understand that, Mac, for you have a head on your shoulders, and that is more than half the poor wretches that float ashore here from the deep have. It's a hard life, my friend, going to sea, and hard shores sailors knock against sometimes, and still harder hearts they often find there. A stone in the end of a stocking is a sling for a giant, and soon puts an end to their sufferings; a punishment for wearing gold watches, a penalty for pride. Jolly tars eh? oh yes, very jolly! it's a jolly sight, ain't it, to see two hundred half-naked, mangled, and disfigured bodies on the beach, as I did the other day?" and he gave a shudder at the thought that seemed to shake the very chair he sat on. "It's lucky their friends don't see them, and know their sad fate. They were lost at sea! that is enough for mothers and wives to hear. The cry for help, when there is none to save, the shriek of despair, when no hope is left, the half-uttered prayer, the last groan, and the last struggle of death, are all hushed in the storm, and weeping friends know not what they lament."

After a short pause, he continued:

"That sight has most crazed me. What was it you asked? Oh, I have it! you asked where he came from? From the lake, Peter, where he was spawned, and where he returned you see, to die. You were spawned on the shores of one of the bays of the Highlands of Scotland. Wouldn't you like to return and lay your bones there, eh? From earth you came, to earth you shall return. Wouldn't you like to go back and breathe the air of childhood once more before you die? Love of home, Peter, is strong; it is an instinct of nature; but, alas! the world is a Scotchman's home--anywhere that he can make money. Don't the mountains with their misty summits appear before you sometimes in your sleep? Don't you dream of their dark shadows and sunny spots, their heathy slopes and deep deep glens? Do you see the deer grazing there, and hear the bees hum merrily as they return laden with honey, or the grouse rise startled, and whirr away to hide itself in its distant covert? Do the dead ever rise from their graves and inhabit again the little cottage that looks out on the stormy sea? Do you become a child once more, and hear your mother's voice, as she sings the little simple air that lulls you to sleep, or watch with aching eyes for the returning boat that brings your father, with the shadows of evening, to his humble home? And what is the language of your dreams? not English, French, or Indian, Peter, for they have been learned for trade or for travel, but Gaelic, for that was the language of love. Had you left home early, Mac, and forgotten its words or its sounds, had all trace of it vanished from your memory as if it had never been, still would you have heard it, and known it, and talked it in your dreams. Peter, it is the voice of nature, and that is the voice of God!"

"She'll tell her what she treams of sometimes," said McDonald, "she treams of ta mountain dew--ta clear water of life."

"I will be bound you do," said the doctor, "and I do if you don't, so, Peter, my boy, give me a glass; it will cheer my heart, for I have been too much alone lately, and have seen such horrid sights, I feel dull."

While Peter (who was a good deal affected with this reference to his native land) was proceeding to comply with his request, he relapsed into his former state of abstraction, and when the liquor was presented to him, appeared altogether to have forgotten that he had asked for it.

"Come, Toctor," said the host, touching him on the shoulder, "come, take a drop of this, it will cheer you up; you seem a peg too low to-day. It's the genuine thing, it is some the Governor, Sir Colin Campbell, gave me."

"None the better for that, Peter, none the better for that, for the rich give out of their abundance, the poor from their last cup and their last loaf; one is the gift of station, the other the gift of the heart."

"Indeed then, she is mistakened, man. It was the gift of as true-hearted a Highlander as ever lived. I went to see him lately, about a grant of land. He was engaged writing at the time, and an officher was standing by him for orders, and sais he to me, 'My good friend, could you call to-morrow? for I am very busy to-day, as you see.' Well, I answered him in Gaelic that the wind was fair, and I was anxious to go home, but if he would be at leisure next week I would return again. Oh, I wish you had seen him, Doctor, when he heard his native tongue. He threw down his pen, jumped up like a boy, and took me by the hand, and shook it with all his might. 'Oh,' said he, 'I haven't heard that for years; the sound of it does my heart good. You must come again and see me after the steamer has left for England. What can I do for you? So I told him in a few words I wanted a grant of two hundred acres of land adjoining this place. And he took a minute of my name, and of Skip Harbour, and the number of my lot, and wrote underneath an order for the grant. 'Take that to the Surveyor-General,' said he, 'and the next time you come to Halifax the grant will be ready for you.' Then he rang the bell, and when the servant came, he ordered him to fill a hamper of whiskey and take it down to my vessel.'

"Did you get the grant?" said the stranger.

"Indeed she did," said Peter, "and when she came to read it, it was for five instead of two hundred acres."

"Good!" said the other. "Come, I like that. Fill me another glass and I will drink his health."

"Well done, old boy!" said I to myself, "you know how to carry your sentimentality to market anyhow. Doctor, doctor! So you are a doctor," sais I to myself, "are you? Well, there is something else in you than dough pills, and salts, and senna, at any rate, and that is more than most of your craft have, at all events. I'll draw you out presently, for I never saw a man with that vein of melancholy in him, that didn't like fun, providin' his sadness warn't the effect of disease. So here's at you; I'll make the fun start or break a trace, I know."

Cutler and I had been talking horse when he came in; a sort of talk I rather like myself, for I consait I know a considerable some about it, and ain't above getting a wrinkle from others when I can. "Well," sais I, "Capting, we was a talking about horses when the doctor came in."

"Captain," said the doctor, turning round to Cutler, "Captain, excuse me, Sir, how did you reach the shore?"

"In the boat," said Cutler.

"Ah!" said the other with animation, "was all the crew saved?"

"We were in no danger whatever, Sir; my vessel is at anchor in the harbour."

"Ah," replied the doctor, "that's fortunate, very fortunate;" and turned again to the fire, with an air, as I thought, of disappointment, as if he had expected a tale of horror to excite him.

"'Well, Mr Slick," said the captain, "let us hear your story about the horse that had a thousand virtues and only one vice."

At the sound of my name, the stranger gave a sudden start and gazed steadily at me, his eyebrows raised in the extraordinary manner that I have described, something like the festoon of a curtain, and a smile playing on his face as if expecting a joke and ready to enter into it, and enjoy it. All this I observed out of the corner of my eye, without appearing to regard him or notice his scrutiny.

Sais I, "when I had my tea-store in Boston, I owned the fastest trotting horse in the United States; he was a sneezer, I tell you. I called him Mandarin--a very appropriate name, you see, for my business. It was very important for me to attract attention. Indeed, you must do it, you know, in our great cities, or you are run right over, and crushed by engines of more power. Whose horse is that? Mr Slick's the great tea-merchant. That's the great Mandarin, the fastest beast in all creation--refused five thousand dollars for him, and so on. Every wrapper I had for my tea had a print of him on it. It was action and reaction, you see. Well, this horse had a very serious fault that diminished his value in my eyes down to a hundred dollars, as far as use and comfort went. Nothing in the world could ever induce him to cross a bridge. He had fallen through one when he was a colt, and got so all-fired frightened he never forgot it afterwards. He would stop, rear, run back, plunge, and finally kick if you punished him too hard, and smash your waggon to pieces, but cross he never would. Nobody knew this but me, and of course I warn't such a fool as to blow upon my own beast. At last I grew tired of him and determined to sell him; but as I am a man that always adheres to the truth in my horse trades, the difficulty was, how to sell him and not lose by him. Well, I had to go to Charleston, South Carolina, on business, and I took the chance to get rid of Mr Mandarin, and advertised him for sale. I worded the notice this way:

"'A gentleman, being desirous of quitting Boston on urgent business for a time, will dispose of a first-rate horse, that he is obliged to leave behind him. None need apply but those willing to give a long price. The animal may be seen at Deacon Seth's livery stables.'

"Well, it was soon known that Mandarin was for sale, and several persons came to know the lowest figure. 'Four thousand dollars,' said I, 'and if I didn't want to leave Boston in a hurry, six would be the price.'

"At last young Mr Parker, the banker's son from Bethany, called and said he wouldn't stand for the price, seeing that a hundred dollars was no more than a cord of wood in his pocket (good gracious, how the doctor laughed at that phrase!), but would like to inquire a little about the critter, confidential like.

"'I will answer any questions you ask,' I said, candidly.

"'Is he sound?'

"'Sound as a new hackmetack trenail. Drive it all day, and you can't broom it one mite or morsel.'

"'Good in harness?'


"'Can he do his mile in two fifteen?'

"'He has done it.'

"'Now between man and man,' sais he, 'what is your reason for selling the horse, Slick? for you are not so soft as to be tempted by price out of a first chop article like that.'

"'Well, candidly,' sais I, 'for I am like a cow's tail, straight up and down in my dealing, and ambition the clean thing.'"

"Straight up and down!" said the doctor aloud to himself; 'straight up and down like a cow's tail.' Oh Jupiter! what a simile! and yet it ain't bad, for one end is sure to be in the dirt. A man may be the straight thing, that is right up and down, like a cow's tail, but hang me if he can be the clean thing anyhow he can fix it." And he stretched out his feet to their full length, put his hands in his trowsers pocket, held down his head, and clucked like a hen that is calling her chickens. I vow I could hardly help bustin' out a larfin myself, for it warn't a slow remark of hisn, and showed fun; in fact, I was sure at first he was a droll boy.

"Well, as I was a sayin', sais I to Mr Parker, 'Candidly, now, my only reason for partin' with that are horse is, that I want to go away in a hurry out of Boston clear down to Charleston, South Carolina, and as I can't take him with me, I prefer to sell him."

"'Well,' sais he, 'the beast is mine, and here is a cheque for your money.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'Parker, take care of him, for you have got a fust-rate critter. He is all sorts of a horse, and one that is all I have told you, and more too, and no mistake.'

"Every man that buys a new horse, in a general way, is in a great hurry to try him. There is sumthin' very takin' in a new thing. A new watch, a new coat, no, I reckon it's best to except a new spic and span coat (for it's too glossy, and it don't set easy, till it's worn awhile, and perhaps I might say a new saddle, for it looks as if you warn't used to ridin', except when you went to Meetin' of a Sabbaday, and kept it covered all the week, as a gall does her bonnet, to save it from the flies); but a new waggon, a new sleigh, a new house, and above all a new wife, has great attractions. Still you get tired of them all in a short while; you soon guess the hour instead of pullin' out the watch for everlastin'. The waggon loses its novelty, and so does the sleigh, and the house is surpassed next month by a larger and finer one, and as you can't carry it about to show folks, you soon find it is too expensive to invite them to come and admire it. But the wife; oh, Lord! In a general way, there ain't more difference between a grub and a butterfly, than between a sweetheart and wife. Yet the grub and the butterfly is the same thing, only, differently rigged out, and so is the sweetheart and wife. Both critters crawl about the house, and ain't very attractive to look at, and both turn out so fine and so painted when they go abroad, you don't scarcely know them agin. Both, too, when they get out of doors, seem to have no other airthly object but to show themselves. They don't go straight there and back again, as if there was an end in view, but they first flaunt to the right, and then to the left, and then everywhere in general, and yet nowhere in particular. To be seen and admired is the object of both. They are all finery, and that is so in their way they can neither sit, walk, nor stand conveniently in it. They are never happy, but when on the wing."

"Oh, Lord!" said the doctor to himself, who seemed to think aloud; "I wonder if that is a picture or a caricature?"

Thinks I, "old boy, you are sold. I said that a purpose to find you out, for I am too fond of feminine gender to make fun of them. You are a single man. If you was married, I guess you wouldn't ask that are question."

But I went on. "Now a horse is different, you never get tired of a good one. He don't fizzle out1 like the rest. You like him better and better every day. He seems a part of yourself; he is your better half, your 'halter hego' as I heard a cockney once call his fancy gall.


1 Fizzle out. To prove a failure.


"This bein' the case, as I was a sayin', as soon as a man gits a new one, he wants to try him. So Parker puts Mandarin into harness, and drives away like wink for Salem, but when he came to the bridge, the old coon stopt, put forward his ears, snorted, champed his bit, and stamped his fore feet. First Parker coaxed him, but that did no good, and then he gave him the whip, and he reared straight up on eend, and nearly fell over into his waggon. A man that was crossing over at the time took him by the head to lead him, when he suddenly wheeled half round, threw him in the mud, and dragged him in the gutter, as he backed up agin the side walk all standin'. Parker then laid on the whip, hot and heavy; he gave him a most righteous lickin'. Mandarin returned blow for blow, until he kicked the waggon all to flinders.

"Well, I must say that for his new owner, he was a plucky fellow, as well as Mandarin, and warn't agoin' to cave in that way. So he takes him back to the livery stables, and puts him into another carriage, and off he starts agin, and thinkin' that the horse had seen or smelt sumthen at that bridge to scare him, he tries another, when the same scene was acted over again, only he was throwed out, and had his clothes nearly tore off. Well, that afternoon, up comes Parker to me, choking with rage.

"'Slick,' said he, 'that is the greatest devil of a horse I ever see. He has dashed two carriages all to shivereens, and nearly tuckard the innerds out of me and another man. I don't think you have acted honestly by me.'

"'Parker,' said I, 'don't you use words that you don't know the meanin' of, and for goodness gracious sake don't come to me to teach you manners, I beseech you, for I am a rough schoolmaster, I tell you. I answered every question you asked me, candidly, fair and square, and above board.'

"'Didn't you know,' said he, 'that no living man could git that horse across a bridge, let him do his darndest?'

"'I did,' said I, 'know it to my cost, for he nearly killed me in a fight we had at the Salem Pike.'

"'How could you then tell me, Sir, your sole reason for parting with him was, that you wanted to leave Boston and go to Charleston?'

"'Because, Sir,' I replied, 'it was the literal truth. Boston, you know as well as I do, is almost an island, and go which way you will, you must cross a bridge to get out of it. I said I wanted to quit the city, and was compelled to leave my horse behind. How could I ever quit the place with that tormented beast? And warn't I compelled to leave him when Old Scratch himself couldn't make him obey orders? If I had a waited to leave town till he would cross a bridge, I should have had to have waited till doomsday.'

"He scratched his head and looked foolish. 'What a devil of a sell,' said he. 'That will be a standing joke agin me as long as I live.'

"'I don't see that,' said I, 'if you had been deceived, you might have called it a sell, but you bought him with your eyes and ears open, and a full knowledge of the truth. And, after all, where will you go to better yourself? for the most that can be said is, you have got a critter with a thousand virtues and but one vice.'

"'Oh, get out!' said he, 'and let me alone.' And he walked off, and looked as sheepish as you please."

"'Oh dear!" said the doctor; "oh dear." And he placed his hands on his ribs, and walked round the room in a bent position, like a man affected with colic, and laughed as if he was hysterical, saying, "Oh dear! Oh, Mr Slick, that's a capital story. Oh, you would make a new man of me soon, I am sure you would, if I was any time with you. I haven't laughed before that way for many a long day. Oh, it does me good. There is nothing like fun, is there? I haven't any myself, but I do like it in others. Oh, we need it. We need all the counterweights we can muster to balance the sad relations of life. God has made sunny spots in the heart; why should we exclude the light from them?"

"Stick a pin in that, Doctor," says I, "for it's worth rememberin' as a wise saw."

He then took up his wallet, and retired to his room to change his clothes, saying to himself, in an under-tone: "Stick a pin in it. What a queer phrase; and yet it's expressive, too. It's the way I preserve my insects."

The foregoing conversation had scarcely terminated, when Peter's daughters commenced their preparations for the evening meal. And I confess I was never more surprised than at the appearance of the older one, Jessie. In form and beauty she far exceeded the pilot's high encomiums. She was taller than American women generally are; but she was so admirably proportioned and well developed, you were not aware of her height, till you saw her standing near her sister. Her motions were all quiet, natural, and graceful, and there was an air about her, that nothing but the native ease of a child of the forest, or highbred elegance of fashionable life, can ever impart. She had the delicate hands and small feet peculiar to Indian women. Her hair was of the darkest and deepest jet, but not so coarse as that of the aborigines; whilst her large black eyes were oval in shape, liquid, shaded by long lashes, and over-arched by delicately-pencilled brows. Her neck was long, but full, and her shoulders would have been the envy of a London ball-room. She was a perfect model of a woman.

It is true she had had the advantage, when young, of being the companion of the children of the Governor of the Fort, and had been petted, partially educated, and patronised by his wife. But neither he nor his lady could have imparted what it is probable neither possessed, much polish of manner or refinement of mind. We hear of nature's noblemen, but that means rather manly, generous, brave fellows, than polished men. There are however splendid specimens of men, and beautiful looking women, among the aborigines. Extremes meet; and it is certain that the ease and grace of highly civilised life do not surpass those of untutored nature, that neither concedes nor claims a superiority to others. She was altogether of a different stamp from her sister, who was a common-looking person, and resembled the ordinary females to be found in savage life. Stout, strong, and rather stolid, accustomed to drudge and to obey, rather than to be petted and rule; to receive and not to give orders, and to submit from habit and choice. One seemed far above, and the other as much below, the station of their father. Jessie, though reserved, would converse if addressed; the other shunned conversation as much as possible.

Both father and daughters seemed mutually attached to each other, and their conversation was carried on with equal facility in Indian, French, Gaelic, and English, although Peter spoke the last somewhat indifferently. In the evening a young man, of the name of Fraser, with his two sisters, children of a Highland neighbour, came in to visit the McDonalds, and Peter producing his violin, we danced jigs and reels, in a manner and with a spirit not often seen but in Ireland or Scotland. The doctor, unable to withstand the general excitement, joined in the dances with as much animation as any of us, and seemed to enjoy himself amazingly.

"Ah, Mr Slick," said he, patting me on the shoulder, "this is the true philosophy of life. But how is it with your disposition for fun, into which you enter with all your heart, that you have such a store of 'wise saws.' How in the world did you ever acquire them? for your time seems to have been spent more in the active pursuits of life than in meditation. Excuse me, I neither undervalue your talent nor power of observation, but the union does not seem quite natural, it is so much out of the usual course of things."

"Well," sais I, "Doctor, you have been enough in the woods to know that a rock, accidentally falling from a bank into a brook, or a drift-log catching cross-ways of the stream, will often change its whole course, and give it a different direction; haven't you? Don't you know that the smallest and most trivial event often contains colouring matter enough in it to change the whole complexion of our life? For instance, one Saturday, not long before I left school, and when I was a considerable junk of a boy, father gave me leave to go and spend the day with Eb Snell, the son of our neighbour old Colonel Jephunny Snell. We amused ourselves catching trout in the mill-pond, and shooting king-fishers, about the hardest bird there is to kill in all creation, and between one and the other sport, you may depend we enjoyed ourselves first-rate. Towards evenin' I heard a most an awful yell, and looked round, and there was Eb shoutin' and screamin' at the tip eend of his voice, and a jumpin' up and down, as if he had been bit by a rattlesnake.

"'What in natur is the matter of you, Eb?' sais I. 'What are you a makin' such an everlastin' touss about?' But the more I asked, the more he wouldn't answer. At last, I thought I saw a splash in the water, as if somebody was making a desperate splurging there, and I pulled for it, and raced to where he was in no time, and sure enough there was his little brother, Zeb, just a sinkin' out of sight. So I makes a spring in after him in no time, caught him by the hair of his head, just as he was vamosing, and swam ashore with him. The bull-rushes and long water-grass was considerable thick there, and once or twice I thought in my soul I should have to let go my hold of the child, and leave him to save my own life, my feet got so tangled in it; but I stuck to it like a good fellow, and worked my passage out with the youngster.

"Just then, down came the women folk and all the family of the Snells, and the old woman made right at me, as cross as a bear that has cubs, she looked like a perfect fury.

"'You good-for-nothin' young scallowag,' said she, 'is that the way you take care of that poor dear little boy, to let him fall into the pond, and get half drowned?'

"And she up and boxed my ears right and left, till sparks came out of my eyes like a blacksmith's chimney, and my hat, which was all soft with water, got the crown knocked in in the scuffle, and was as flat as a pancake.

"'What's all this,' sais Colonel Jephunny, who came runnin' out of the mill. 'Eb,' sais he, 'what's all this?'

"Well, the critter was so frightened he couldn't do nothin', but jump up and down, nor say a word, but 'Sam, Sam!'

"So the old man seizes a stick, and catchin' one of my hands in his, turned to, and gave me a most an awful hidin'. He cut me into ribbons a'most.

"'I'll teach you,' he said, 'you villain, to throw a child into the water arter that fashin.' And he turned to, and at it agin, as hard as he could lay on. I believe in my soul he would have nearly killed me, if it hadn't a been for a great big nigger wench he had, called Rose. My! what a slashin' large woman, that was; half horse, half alligator, with a cross of the mammoth in her. She wore a man's hat and jacket, and her petticoat had stuff enough in it to make the mainsail of a boat. Her foot was as long and as flat as a snow shoe, and her hands looked as shapeless and as hard as two large sponges froze solid. Her neck was as thick as a bull's, and her scalp was large and woolly enough for a door-mat. She was as strong as a moose, and as ugly too; and her great-white pointed teeth was a caution to a shark.

"'Hullo,' sais she, 'here's the devil to pay, and no pitch hot. Are you a goin' to kill that boy, massa?' and she seized hold of me and took me away from him, and caught me up in her arms as easy as if I was a doll.

"'Here's a pretty hurrahs nest,' sais she, 'let me see one of you dare to lay hands on this brave pickininny. He is more of a man than the whole bilin' of you put together. My poor child,' said she, 'they have used you scandalous, ridiculous,' and she held down her nasty oily shiny face and kissed me, till she nearly smothered me. Oh, Doctor, I shall never forget that scene the longest day I ever live. She might a been Rose by name, but she warn't one by nature, I tell you. When niggers get their dander raised, and their ebenezer fairly up, they ain't otter of roses, that's a fact; whatever Mrs Stowe may say. Oh, I kicked and yelled and coughed like anything.

"'Poor dear boy,' she said, 'Rosy ain't a goin' to hurt her own brave child,' not she, and she kissed me again and again, till I thought I should have fainted. She actually took away my breath.

"'Come,' said she, and she set me down on my feet. 'Come to the house, till I put some dry clothes on you, and I'll make some lasses candy for you with my own hands!' But as soon as I touched land, I streaked off for home, as hard as I could lay legs to the ground; but the perfume of old Rose set me a sneezing so, I fairly blew up the dust in the road as I went, as if a bull had been pawin of it, and left a great wet streak behind me as if a watering-pot had passed that way. Who should I meet when I returned, but mother a standin at the door.

"'Why, Sam,' said she, 'what under the sun is the matter? What a spot of work? Where in the world have you been?'

"'In the mill pond,' said I.

"'In the mill pond,' said she, slowly; 'and ruinated that beautiful new coat I made out of your father's old one, and turned so nicely for you. You are more trouble to me than all the rest of the boys put together. Go right off to your room this blessed instant minite, and go to bed and say your prayers, and render thanks for savin' your clothes, if you did lose your life.'

"'I wish I had lost my life,' said I.

"'Wish you had lost your life?' said she. 'Why you miserable, onsarcumsised, onjustified, graceless boy. Why do you wish you had lost your life?'

"'Phew, phew,' said I, 'was you ever kissed by a nigger? because if you was, I guess you wouldn't have asked that are question,' and I sneezed so hard I actually blew down the wire cage, the door of it flew open, and the cat made a spring like wink and killed the canary bird.

"'Sam, Sam,' said she ('skat, skat, you nasty devil, you--you have got the knary, I do declare.) Sam! Sam! to think I should have lived to hear you ask your mother if she had ever been kissed by a nigger!' and she began to boohoo right out. 'I do believe in my soul you are drunk, Sam,' said she.

"'I shouldn't wonder if I was,' said I, 'for I have drunk enough to-day to serve a cow and a calf for a week.'

"'Go right off to bed; my poor dear bird,' said she. 'And when your father comes in I will send him to your cage. You shall be punished for this.'

"'I don't care,' sais I, for I was desperate and didn't mind what happened, 'who you send, providin' you don't send black Rose, the nigger wench, to me.'

"Well, in about an hour or so I heard father come to the foot of the stairs and call out 'Sam.' I didn't answer at first, but went and threw the winder open ready for a jump.

"Thinks I, 'Sam, you are in great luck to-day. 1st. You got nearly drowned, savin' that little brat Zeb Snell. 2nd. You lost a bran new hat, and spoilt your go-to-meetin' clothes. 3rd. Mrs Snell boxed your ears till your eyes shot stars, like rockets. 4th. You got an all-fired licking from old Colonel Jephunny, till he made a mulatto of you, and you was half black and half white. 5th. You got kissed and pysoned by that great big emancipated she-nigger wench. 6th. You have killed your mother's canary bird, and she has jawed you till she went into hysterics. 7th. Here's the old man a goin' to give you another walloping and all for nothin. I'll cut and run, and dot drot me if I don't, for it's tarnation all over.'

"'Sam,' sais father again, a raisin' of his voice.

"'Father,' sais I, 'I beg your pardon, I am very sorry for what I have done, and I think I have been punished enough. If you will promise to let me off this time, I will take my oath I will never save another person from drowning again, the longest day I ever live.'

"'Come down,' said he, 'when I tell you, I am goin' to reward you.'

"'Thank you,' sais I, 'I have been rewarded already more than I deserve.'

"Well, to make a long story short, we concluded a treaty of peace, and down I went, and there was Colonel Snell, who said he had drove over to beg my pardon for the wrong he had done to me, and said he, 'Sam, come to me at ten o'clock on Monday, and I will put you in a way to make your fortune, as a recompense for saving my child's life.'

"Well, I kept the appointment, tho' I was awful skared about old Rose kissin of me again; and sais he, 'Sam, I want to show you my establishment for making wooden clocks. One o' them can be manufactured for two dollars, scale of prices then. Come to me for three months, and I will teach you the trade, only you musn't carry it on in Connecticut to undermine me.' I did so, and thus accidentally I became a clockmaker.

"To sell my wares I came to Nova Scotia. By a similar accident I met the Squire in this province, and made his acquaintance. I wrote a journal of our tour, and for want of a title he put my name to it, and called it 'Sam Slick, the Clockmaker.' That book introduced me to General Jackson, and he appointed me attaché to our embassy to England, and that again led to Mr Polk making me Commissioner of the Fisheries, which, in its turn, was the means of my having the honour of your acquaintance," and I made him a scrape of my hind leg.

"Now," sais I, "all this came from the accident of my havin' saved a child's life one day. I owe my 'wise saws' to a similar accident. My old master and friend, that you have read of in my books, Mr Hopewell, was chock full of them. He used to call them wisdom boiled down to an essence, concretes, and I don't know what all. He had a book full of English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and above all, Bible ones. Well, he used to make me learn them by heart for lessons, till I was fairly sick and tired to death of 'em.

"'Minister,' sais I, one day, 'what under the sun is the use of them old, musty, fusty proverbs. A boy might as well wear his father's boots, and ride in his long stirrups, as talk in maxims, it would only set other boys a laughin' at him.'

"'Sam,' sais he, 'you don't understand them now, and you don't understand your Latin grammar, tho' you can say them both off by heart. But you will see the value of one when you come to know the world, and the other, when you come to know the language. The latter will make you a good scholar, and the former a wise man.'

"Minister was right, Doctor. As I came to read the book of life, I soon began to understand, appreciate, and apply my proverbs. Maxims are deductions ready drawn, and better expressed than I could do them, to save my soul alive. Now I have larned to make them myself. I have acquired the habit, as my brother the lawyer sais, 'of extracting the principle from cases.' Do you take? I am not the accident of an accident; for I believe the bans of marriage were always duly published in our family; but I am the accident of an incident."

"There is a great moral in that too, Mr Slick," he said. "How important is conduct, when the merest trifle may carry in its train the misery or happiness of your future life."

"Stick a pin in that also. Doctor," said I.

Here Cutler and the pilot cut short our conversation by going on board. But Peter wouldn't hear of my leaving his house, and I accordingly spent the night there, not a little amused with my new acquaintances.






After the captain and the pilot had retired, sais I, "Miss Jessie, sposin we young folks--(ah me, it is time to get a new word, I guess, for that one has been used so long, it's e'en amost worn out now)--sposin we young folks leave the doctor and your father to finish their huntin' stories, and let us go to the other room, and have a dish of chat about things in general, and sweethearts in particular."

"Oh, we live too much alone here," said she, "to know anything of such matters, but we will go if you will promise to tell us one of your funny stories. They say you have written a whole book full of them; how I should like to see it."

"Would you, Miss?" said I, "well, then, you shall have one, for I have a copy on board I believe, and I shall be only too proud if you will read it to remember me by. But my best stories ain't in my books. Somehow or another, when I want them they won't come, and at other times when I get a goin talkin, I can string them together like onions, one after the other, till the twine is out. I have a heap of them, but they are all mixed and confused like in my mind, and it seems as if I never could find the one I need. Do you work in worsted, Miss?"

"Well, a little," sais she. "It is only town-bred girls, who have nothing to attend to but their dress and to go to balls, that have leisure to amuse themselves that way; but I can work a little, though I could never do anything fit to be seen or examined."

"I shouldn't wonder," said I, and I paused, and she looked as if she didn't over half like my taking her at her word that way. "I shouldn't wonder," said I, "for I am sure your eyes would fade the colour out of the worsted."

"Why, Mr Slick," said she, drawing herself up a bit, "what nonsense you do talk, what a quiz you be."

"Fact," sais I, "Miss, I assure you, never try it again, you will be sure to spoil it. But as I was a sayin, Miss, when you see a thread of a particular colour, you know whether you have any more like it or not, so when a man tells me a story, I know whether I have one of the same kind to match it or not, and if so, I know where to lay my hand on it; but I must have a clue to my yarns."

Squire, there is something very curious about memory, I don't think there is such a thing as total forgetfulness. I used once to think there was, but I don't now. It used to seem to me that things rusted out, but now it appears as if they were only misplaced, or overlaid, or stowed away like where you can't find them; but depend on it, when once there, they remain for ever. How often you are asked, "Don't you recollect this or that?" and you answer, "No, I never heard, or saw it, or read it," as the case may be. And when the time, and place, and circumstances are told you, you say, "Stop a bit, I do now mind something about it, warn't it so and so, or this way, or that way," and finally up it comes, all fresh to your recollection. Well, until you get the clue given you, or the key note is struck, you are ready to take your oath you never heard of it afore. Memory has many cells: Some of them ain't used much, and dust and cobwebs get about them, and you can't tell where the hinge is, or can't easily discarn the secret spring; but open it once, and whatever is stowed away there is as safe and sound as ever. I have a good many capital stories poked away in them cubby-holes, that I can't just lay my hand on when I want to; but now and then, when looking for something else, I stumble upon them by accident. Tell you what, as for forgettin' a thing tee-totally, I don't believe there is sich a thing in natur. But to get back to my story.

"Miss," sais I, "I can't just at this present moment call to mind a story to please you. Some of them are about hosses, or clocks, or rises taken out of folks, or dreams, or courtships, or ghosts, or what not; but few of them will answer, for they are either too short or too long."

"Oh," says Catherine Fraser, "tell us a courtship; I dare say you will make great fun of it."

"No, no," says Jessie, "tell us a ghost story. Oh! I delight in them."

"Oh," said Janet, "tell us about a dream. I know one myself which came out as correct as provin' a sum."

"That's it, Miss Janet," said I; "do you tell me that story, please, and it's hard if I can't find one that will please you in return for it."

"Yes, do, dear," said Jessie; "tell Mr Slick that story, for it's a true one, and I should like to hear what he thinks of it, or how he can account for it."

"Well," said Janet, "you must excuse me, Mr Slick, for any mistakes I make, for I don't speak very good English, and I can hardly tell a story all through in that language.

"I have a brother that lives up one of the branches of the Buctouche River in New Brunswick. He bought a tract of land there four or five years ago, on which there was a house and barn, and about a hundred acres of cleared land. He made extensive improvements on it, and went to a great expense in clearing up the stumps, and buying stock and farming implements, and what not. One season, between plantin' and harvest, he run short of money for his common daily use, and to pay some little debts he owed, and he was very dull about it. He said he knew he could come here and borrow it from father, but he didn't like to be away from home so long, and hardly knew how the family was to get on or to pay the wages till his return, so it was agreed that I was to go the next Monday in a vessel bound for Halifax and bring him what he wanted.

"At that time, he had a field back in the woods he was cultivating. Between that and the front on the river, was a poor sand flat covered with spruce, birch, and poplar, and not worth the expense of bringing to for the plough. The road to the back field ran through this wood land. He was very low-spirited about his situation, for he said if he was to borrow the money of a merchant, he would require a mortgage on his place, and perhaps sell it before he knew where he was. Well, that night he woke up his wife, and said to her--

"'Mary,' said he, 'I have had a very curious dream just now. I dreamed that as I was going out to the back lot with the oxcart, I found a large sum of money all in dollars in the road there.'

"'Well,' says Mary, 'I wish it was true, John, but it is too good news for us. The worriment we have had about money lately has set you a dreaming. Janet sails on Monday, she will soon be back, and then it will all be right; so go to sleep again, dear.'

"Well, in the morning, when he and his wife got up, he never spoke or thought any more about the dream, but as soon as breakfast was over, he and his man yoked up the oxen, put them to the cart, and lifted the harrow into it, and started for the field. The servant drove the team, and John walked behind with his head down, a turning over in his mind whether he couldn't sell something off the farm to keep matters a-goin' till I should return, when all at once, as they were passing through the wood, he observed that there was a line of silver dollars turned up by one of the wheels of the cart, and continued for the space of sixty feet and then ceased.

"The moment he saw the money he thought of his dream, and he was so overjoyed that he was on the point of calling out to the man to stop, but he thought it was more prudent as they were alone in the woods to say nothing about it. So he walked on, and joined the driver, and kept him in talk for awhile. And then, as if he had suddenly thought of something, said, 'Jube, do you proceed to the field and go to work till I come. I shall have to go to the house for a short time.'

"Well, as soon as he got out of sight of the cart, off he ran home as hard as he could lay legs to it, only stopping to take up a handful of the coins to make sure they were real.

"'Mary, Mary,' sais he, 'the dream has come true; I have found the money--see here is some of it; there is no mistake;' and he threw a few pieces down on the hearth and rung them. 'They are genuine Spanish crowns. Do you and Janet bring the market-basket, while I go for a couple of hoes, and let us gather it all up.'

"Well, sure enough, when we came to the place he mentioned, there was the wheel-track full of dollars. He and I hoed each side of the rut, which seemed to be in a sort of yellow powder, like the dust of rotten wood, and got out all we could find. We afterwards tried under the opposite wheel, and behind and before the rut, but could find no more, and when we got home we counted it, and found we had eighty-two pounds, five shillings.

"'Well, this is a God-send, Mary, ain't it?' said brother; and she threw her arms round his neck, and cried for joy as she kissed him."

"Which way," said I, "show me, Miss, how she did it, only you may laugh instead of cry if you like."

"Not being a wife," said she, with great quietness, "I cannot show you myself, but you may imagine it, it will do just as well, or dream it, and that will do better.

"Well, John was a scrupulous man, and he was determined to restore the money, if he could find an owner for it; but he could hear of no one who had lost any, nor any tradition in that place that any one ever had done so since the first settlement of the country. All that he could discover was, that about forty years before, an old Frenchman had lived somewhere thereabouts alone, in the midst of the woods. Who he was, or what became of him, nobody knew; all he could hear was, that a party of lumbermen had, some years afterwards, found his house amidst a second growth of young wood that wholly concealed it, and that it contained his furniture, cooking utensils, and trunks, as he had left them. Some supposed he had been devoured by bears or wolves; others, that he had been lost in the woods; and some, that he had died by his own hands.

"On hearing this, John went to examine his habitation, or the remains of it, and he found that about four acres around it were covered with the second growth, as it is called, which was plainly to be distinguished from the forest, as the trees were not only not so large or so old as the neighbouring ones, but, as is always the case, were of a different description of wood altogether. On a careful inspection of the spot where he found the money, it appeared that the wheel had passed lengthways along an enormous old decayed pine, in the hollow of which he supposed the money must have been hid; and when the tree fell, the dollars had rolled along its centre fifty feet or more, and remained there until the wood was rotten, and had crumbled into dust.

"There, Sir, there is my story: it is a true one, I assure you, for I was present at the time. What do you think of it?"

"Well," sais I, "if he had never heard a rumour, nor had any reason to suppose that the money had been hid there, why it was a singular thing, and looks very much like a--"

"Like a what?" said she.

"Like a supply that one couldn't count upon a second time, that's all."

"It's a dream that was fulfilled though," she said; "and that don't often happen, does it?"1


1 The names of the persons and river are alone changed in this extraordinary story. The actors are still living, and are persons of undoubted veracity and respectability.


"Unless," sais I, "a young lady was to dream now that she was a going to be married to a certain person, and that does often come true. Do you--"

"Oh, nonsense," said she. "Come, do tell us your story now, you know you promised me you would if I related mine."

"Yes," said Miss Jessie; "come now, Mr Slick, that's a good man, do?"

Sais I, "Miss, I will give you my book instead, and that will tell you a hundred of them."

"Yes, but when will you give it to me?" she replied.

"To-morrow," said I, "as soon as I go on board. But mind, there is one condition." And I said in Gaelic: "Feumieth thu pog thoir dhomh eur a shon (you must give me a kiss for it)."

"Oh," said she, lookin' not over pleased, I consaited; but perhaps it was because the other girls laughed liked anything, as if it was a capital joke, "that's not fair, you said you would give it, and now you want to sell it. If that's the case I will pay the money for it."

"Oh, fie," sais I, "Miss Jessie."

"Well, I want to know!"

"No, indeed; what I meant was to give you that book to remember me by when I am far away from here, and I wanted you to give me a little token, O do bhilean boidheach (from your pretty lips), that I should remember the longest day I live."

"You mean that you would go away, laugh, and forget right off. No, that won't do, but if you must have a token I will look up some little keepsake to exchange for it. Oh, dear, what a horrid idea," she said, quite scorney like, "to trade for a kiss; it's the way father buys his fish, he gives salt for them, or flour, or some such barter, oh, Mr Slick, I don't think much of you. But for goodness gracious sake how did you learn Gaelic?"

"From lips, dear," said I, "and that's the reason I shall never forget it."

"No, no," said she, "but how on earth did you ever pick it up."

"I didn't pick it up, Miss," said I, "I kissed it up, and as you want a story I might as well tell you that as any other."

"It depends upon what sort of a story it is," said she, colouring.

"Oh, yes," said the Campbell girls, who didn't appear quite so skittish as she was, "do tell us, no doubt you will make a funny one out of it. Come, begin."

Squire, you are older than I be, and I suppose you will think all this sort of thing is clear sheer nonsense, but depend upon it a kiss is a great mystery. There is many a thing we know that we can't explain, still we are sure it is a fact for all that. Why should there be a sort of magic in shaking hands, which seems only a mere form, and sometimes a painful one too, for some folks wring your fingers off amost, and make you fairly dance with pain, they hurt you so. It don't give much pleasure at any time. What the magic of it is we can't tell, but so it is for all that. It seems only a custom like bowing and nothing else, still there is more in it than meets the eye. But a kiss fairly electrifies you, it warms your blood and sets your heart a beatin' like a brass drum, and makes your eyes twinkle like stars in a frosty night. It tante a thing ever to be forgot. No language can express it, no letters will give the sound. Then what in natur is equal to the flavour of it? What an aroma it has! How spiritual it is! It ain't gross, for you can't feed on it; it don't cloy, for the palate ain't required to test its taste. It is neither visible, nor tangible, nor portable, nor transferable. It is not a substance, nor a liquid, nor a vapour. It has neither colour nor form. Imagination can't conceive it. It can't be imitated or forged. It is confined to no clime or country, but is ubiquitous. It is disembodied when completed, but is instantly reproduced, and so is immortal. It is as old as the creation, and yet is as young and fresh as ever. It preëxisted, still exists, and always will exist. It pervades all natur. The breeze as it passes kisses the rose, and the pendant vine stoops down and hides with its tendrils its blushes, as it kisses the limpid stream that waits in an eddy to meet it, and raises its tiny waves, like anxious lips to receive it. Depend upon it Eve learned it in Paradise, and was taught its beauties, virtues, and varieties by an angel, there is something so transcendent in it.

How it is adapted to all circumstances! There is the kiss of welcome and of parting, the long-lingering, loving present one, the stolen or the mutual one, the kiss of love, of joy, and of sorrow, the seal of promise, and the receipt of fulfilment. Is it strange therefore that a woman is invincible whose armoury consists of kisses, smiles, sighs, and tears? Is it any wonder that poor old Adam was first tempted, and then ruined? It is very easy for preachers to get up with long faces and tell us he ought to have been more of a man. My opinion is, if he had been less of a man, it would have been better for him. But I am not agoin' to preach; so I will get back to my story; but, Squire, I shall always maintain to my dying day, that kissing is a sublime mystery.

"Well," sais I, "ladies, I was broughten up to home, on my father's farm, and my edecation, what little I had of it, I got from the Minister of Slickville, Mr Joshua Hopewell, who was a friend of my father's, and was one of the best men I believe that ever lived. He was all kindness and all gentleness, and was at the same time one of the most learned men in the United States. He took a great fancy to me, and spared no pains with my schooling, and I owe everything I have in the world to his instruction. I didn't mix much with other boys, and, from living mostly with people older than myself, acquired an old-fashioned way that I have never been able to shake off yet; all the boys called me 'Old Slick.' In course, I didn't learn much of life that way. All I knew about the world beyond our house and hisin, was from books, and from hearing him talk, and he convarsed better than any book I ever set eyes on. Well, in course I grew up unsophisticated like, and I think I may say I was as innocent a young man as ever you see."

Oh, how they all laughed at that! "You ever innocent!" said they. "Come, that's good; we like that; it's capital! Sam Slick an innocent boy! Well, that must have been before you were weaned, or talked in joining hand, at any rate. How simple we are, ain't we?" and they laughed themselves into a hooping-cough amost.

"Fact, Miss Janet," said I, "I assure you" (for she seemed the most tickled at the idea of any of them) "I was, indeed. I won't go for to pretend to say some of it didn't rub off when it became dry, when I was fishing in the world on my own hook; but, at the time I am speaking of, when I was twenty-one next grass, I was so guileless, I couldn't see no harm in anything."

"So I should think," said she; "it's so like you."

"Well, at that time there was a fever, a most horrid typhus fever, broke out in Slickville, brought there by some shipwrecked emigrants. There was a Highland family settled in the town the year afore, consisting of old Mr Duncan Chisholm, his wife, and daughter Flora. The old people were carried off by the disease, and Flora was left without friends or means, and the worst of it was, she could hardly speak a word of intelligible English. Well, Minister took great pity on her, and spoke to father about taking her into his house, as sister Sally was just married, and the old lady left without any companion; and they agreed to take her as one of them, and she was in return to help mother all she could. So, next day, she came, and took up her quarters with us. Oh my, Miss Janet, what a beautiful girl she was! She was as tall as you are, Jessie, and had the same delicate little feet and hands."

I threw that in on purpose, for women, in a general way, don't like to hear others spoken of too extravagant, particularly if you praise them for anything they hain't got; but if you praise them for anything they pride themselves on, they are satisfied, because it shows you estimate them also at the right valy, too. It took, for she pushed her foot out a little, and rocked it up and down slowly, as if she was rather proud of it.

"Her hair was a rich auburn, not red (I don't like that at all, for it is like a lucifer-match, apt to go off into a flame spontinaciously sometimes), but a golden colour, and lots of it too, just about as much as she could cleverly manage; eyes like diamonds; complexion, red and white roses; and teeth, not quite so regular as yours, Miss, but as white as them; and lips--lick!--they reminded one of a curl of rich rose-leaves, when the bud first begins to swell and spread out with a sort of peachy bloom on them, ripe, rich, and chock full of kisses."

"Oh, the poor ignorant boy!" said Janet, "you didn't know nothing, did you?"

"Well, I didn't," sais I, "I was as innocent as a child; but nobody is so ignorant as not to know a splendiferous gall when he sees her," and I made a motion of my head to her, as much, as to say, "Put that cap on, for it just fits you."

"My sakes, what a neck she had! not too long and thin, for that looks goosey; nor too short and thick, for that gives a clumsy appearance to the figure; but betwixt and between, and perfection always lies there, just midway between extremes. But her bust--oh! the like never was seen in Slickville, for the ladies there, in a gineral way, have no--"

"Well, well," said Jessie, a little snappish, for praisin' one gall to another ain't the shortest way to win their regard, "go on with your story of Gaelic."

"And her waist, Jessie, was the most beautiful thing, next to your'n, I ever see. It was as round as an apple, and anything that is round, you know, is larger than it looks, and I wondered how much it would measure. I never see such an innocent girl as she was. Brought up to home, and in the country, like me, she knew no more about the ways of the world than I did. She was a mere child, as I was; she was only nineteen years old, and neither of us knew anything of society rules. One day I asked her to let me measure her waist with my arm, and I did, and then she measured mine with her'n, and we had a great dispute which was the largest, and we tried several times before we ascertained there was only an inch difference between us. I never was so glad in my life as when she came to stay with us; she was so good-natured, and so cheerful, and so innocent, it was quite charming.

"Father took a wonderful shindy to her, for even old men can't help liking beauty. But, somehow, I don't think mother did; and it appears to me now, in looking back upon it, that she was afraid I should like her too much. I consaited she watched us out of the corner of her glasses, and had her ears open to hear what we said; but p'raps it was only my vanity, for I don't know nothin' about the working of a woman's heart even now. I am only a bachelor yet, and how in the world should I know anything more about any lady than what I knew about poor Flora? In the ways of women I am still as innocent as a child; I do believe that they could persuade me that the moon is nothin' but an eight-day clock with an illuminated face. I ain't vain, I assure you, and never brag of what I don't know, and I must say, I don't even pretend to understand them."

"Well, I never!" said Jessie.

"Nor I," said Janet.

"Did you ever, now!" said Catherine. "Oh dear, how soft you are, ain't you?"

"Always was, ladies," said I, "and am still as soft as dough. Father was very kind to her, but he was old and impatient, and a little hard of hearing, and he couldn't half the time understand her. One day she came in with a message from neighbour Dearborne, and sais she,


"'Colonel, if you please, dear,' said mother, 'he is not your father;' and the old lady seemed as if she didn't half fancy any body calling him that but her own children. Whether that is natural or not, Miss Jessie," said I, "I don't know, for how can I tell what women thinks?"

"Oh, of course not," said Janet, "you are not waywise, and so artless; you don't know, of course!"

"Exactly," sais I; "but I thought mother spoke kinder cross to her, and it confused the gall.

"Says Flora, 'Colonel Slick, Mr Dearborne says--says--' Well, she couldn't get the rest out; she couldn't find the English. 'Mr Dearborne says--'

"'Well, what the devil does he say?' said father, stampin' his foot, out of all patience with her.

"It frightened Flora, and off she went out of the room crying like anything.

"'That girl talks worse and worse,' said mother.

"'Well, I won't say that,' says father, a little mollified, 'for she can't talk at all, so there is no worse about it. I am sorry though I scared her. I wish somebody would teach her English.'

"'I will,' sais I, 'father, and she shall teach me Gaelic in return.'

"'Indeed you shan't,' sais mother; 'you have got something better to do than larning her; and as for Gaelic I can't bear it. It's a horrid outlandish language, and of no earthly use whatever under the blessed sun. It's worse than Indian.'

"'Do, Sam,' said father; 'it's an act of kindness, and she is an orphan, and besides, Gaelic may be of great use to you in life. I like Gaelic myself; we had some brave Jacobite Highland soldiers in our army in the war that did great service, but unfortunately nobody could understand them. And as for orphans, when I think how many fatherless children we made for the British--'

"'You might have been better employed,' said mother, but he didn't hear her, and went right on.

"'I have a kindly feelin' towards them. She is a beautiful girl that.'

"'If it warn't for her carrotty hair and freckled face,' said mother, looking at me, 'she wouldn't be so awful ugly after all, would she?'

"'Yes, Sam,' sais father, 'teach her English for heaven's sake; but mind, she must give you lessons in Gaelic. Languages is a great thing.'

"'It's great nonsense,' said mother, raisin' her voice.

"'It's my orders,' said father, holding up his head and standing erect. 'It's my orders, marm, and they must be obeyed;' and he walked out of the room as stiff as a ramrod, and as grand as a Turk.

"'Sam,' sais mother, when we was alone, 'let the gall be; the less she talks the more she'll work. Do you understand, my dear?'

"'That's just my idea, mother,' sais I.

"'Then you won't do no such nonsense, will you, Sammy?'

"'Oh no!' sais I, 'I'll just go through the form now and then to please father, but that's all. Who the plague wants Gaelic? If all the Highlands of Scotland were put into a heap, and then multiplied by three, they wouldn't be half as big as the White Mountains, would they, marm? They are just nothin' on the map, and high hills, like high folks, are plaguy apt to have barren heads.'

"'Sam,' said she, a pattin' of me on the cheek, 'you have twice as much sense as your father has after all. You take after me.'

"I was so simple, I didn't know what to do. So I said yes to mother and yes to father; for I knew I must honour and obey my parents, so I thought I would please both. I made up my mind I wouldn't get books to learn Gaelic or teach English, but do it by talking, and that I wouldn't mind father seein' me, but I'd keep a bright look out for the old lady."

"Oh dear! how innocent that was, warn't it?" said they.

"Well, it was," said I; "I didn't know no better then, and I don't now; and what's more, I think I would do the same agin, if it was to do over once more."

"I have no doubt you would," said Janet.

"Well, I took every opportunity when mother was not by to learn words. I would touch her hand and say, 'What is that?' And she would say, 'Làuch,' and her arm, her head, and her cheek, and she would tell me the names; and her eyes, her nose, and her chin, and so on; and then I would touch her lips, and say, 'What's them?' And she'd say. 'Bhileau?' And then I'd kiss her, and say, 'What's that?' And she'd say. 'Pog.' But she was so artless, and so was I; we didn't know that's not usual unless people are courtin; for we hadn't seen anything of the world then.

"Well, I used to go over that lesson every time I got a chance, and soon got it all by heart but that word Pog (kiss), which I never could remember. She said I was very stupid, and I must say it over and over again till I recollected it. Well, it was astonishing how quick she picked up English, and what progress I made in Gaelic; and if it hadn't been for mother, who hated the language like pyson, I do believe I should soon have mastered it so as to speak it as well as you do. But she took every opportunity she could to keep us apart, and whenever I went into the room where Flora was spinning, or ironing, she would either follow and take a chair, and sit me out, or send me away of an errand, or tell me to go and talk to father, who was all alone in the parlour, and seemed kinder dull. I never saw a person take such a dislike to the language as she did; and she didn't seem to like poor Flora either, for no other reason as I could see under the light of the livin' sun, but because she spoke it; for it was impossible not to love her--she was so beautiful, so artless, and so interesting, and so innocent. But so it was.

"Poor thing! I pitied her. The old people couldn't make out half she said, and mother wouldn't allow me, who was the only person she could talk to, to have any conversation with her if she could help it. It is a bad thing to distrust young people, it makes them artful at last; and I really believe it had that effect on me to a certain extent. The unfortunate girl often had to set up late ironing, or something or another. And if you will believe it now, mother never would let me sit up with her to keep her company and talk to her; but before she went to bed herself, always saw me off to my own room. Well, it's easy to make people go to bed, but it ain't just quite so easy to make them stay there. So when I used to hear the old lady get fairly into hers, for my room was next to father's, though we went by different stairs to them, I used to go down in my stocking feet, and keep her company; for I pitied her from my heart. And then we would sit in the corner of the fire-place and talk Gaelic half the night. And you can't think how pleasant it was. You laugh, Miss Janet, but it really was delightful; they were the happiest hours I almost ever spent."

"Oh, I don't doubt it," she said, "of course they were."

"If you think so, Miss," said I, "p'raps you would finish the lessons with me this evening, if you have nothing particular to do."

"Thank you, Sir," she said, laughing like anything. "I can speak English sufficient for my purpose, and I agree with your mother, Gaelic in this country is of no sort of use whatever; at least I am so artless and unsophisticated as to think so. But go on, Sir."

"Well, mother two or three times came as near as possible catching me, for she was awful afraid of lights and fires, she said, and couldn't sleep sound if the coals weren't covered up with ashes, the hearth swept, and the broom put into a tub of water, and she used to get up and pop into the room very sudden; and though she warn't very light of foot, we used to be too busy repeating words to keep watch as we ought."

"What an artless couple," said Janet; "well I never! how you can have the face to pretend so, I don't know! Well, you do beat all!'

"A suspicious parent," sais I, "Miss, as I said before, makes an artful child. I never knew what guile was before that. Well, one night; oh dear, it makes my heart ache to think of it, it was the last we ever spent together. Flora was starching muslins, mother had seen me off to my room, and then went to hers, when down I crept in my stockin feet as usual, puts a chair into the chimney corner, and we sat down and repeated our lessons. When we came to the word Pog (kiss), I always used to forget it; and it's very odd, for it's the most beautiful one in the language. We soon lost all caution, and it sounded so loud and sharp it started mother; and before we knew where we were, we heard her enter the parlour which was next to us. In an instant I was off and behind the entry door, and Flora was up and at work. Just then the old lady came in as softly as possible, and stood and surveyed the room all round. I could see her through the crack of the door, she actually seemed disappointed at not finding me there.

"'What noise was that I heard, Flora?' she said, speakin' as mild as if she was actilly afraid to wake the cat up.

"Flora lifted the centre of the muslin she was starching with one hand, and makin' a hollow under it in the palm of the other, she held it close up to the old woman's face, and clapped it; and it made the very identical sound of the smack she had heard, and the dear child repeated it in quick succession several times. The old lady jumped back the matter of a foot or more, she positively looked skared, as if the old gentleman would think somebody was a kissin' of her.

"Oh dear, I thought I should have teeheed right out. She seemed utterly confounded, and Flora looked, as she was, the dear critter, so artless and innocent! It dumbfoundered her completely. Still she warn't quite satisfied.

"'What's this chair doing so far in the chimbley corner?' said she.

"How glad I was there warn't two there. The fact is, we never used but one, we was quite young, and it was always big enough for us both.

"Flora talked Gaelic as fast as hail, slipt off her shoes, sat down on it, put her feet to the fire, folded her arms across her bosom, laid her head back and looked so sweet and so winnin' into mother's face, and said, 'cha n'eil Beurl' (I have no English), and then proceeded in Gaelic--

"'If you hadn't sat in that place yourself, when you was young, I guess you wouldn't be so awful scared at it, you old goose you.'

"I thought I never saw her look so lovely. Mother was not quite persuaded she was wrong after all. She looked all round agin, as if she was sure I was there, and then came towards the door where I was, so I sloped up-stairs like a shadow on the wall, and into bed in no time; but she followed up and came close to me, and holdin the candle in my face, said:

"'Sam, are you asleep?'

"Well, I didn't answer.

"'Sam,' said she, 'why don't you speak?' and she shook me.

"'Hullo,' sais I, pretendin' to wake up, 'what's the matter! have I overslept myself? is it time to get up?' and I put out my arm to rub my eyes, and lo and behold I exposed my coat sleeve.

"'No, Sam,' said she, 'you couldn't oversleep yourself, for you haven't slept at all, you ain't even ondressed.'

"'Ain't I,' said I, 'are you sure?'

"'Why look here,' said she, throwin' down the clothes and pullin' my coat over my head till she nearly strangled me.

"'Well, I shouldn't wonder if I hadn't stripped,' sais I. 'When a feller is so peskilly sleepy as I be, I suppose he is glad to turn in any way.'

"She never spoke another word, but I saw a storm was brewin, and I heard her mutter to herself, 'Creation! what a spot of work! I'll have no teaching of 'mother tongue' here.' Next morning she sent me to Boston of an errand, and when I returned, two days after, Flora was gone to live with sister Sally. I have never forgiven myself for that folly; but really it all came of our being so artless and so innocent. There was no craft in either of us. She forgot to remove the chair from the chimbley corner, poor simple-minded thing, and I forgot to keep my coat sleeve covered. Yes, yes, it all came of our being too innocent; but that's the way, ladies, I learned Gaelic."






When I took leave of the family I returned to the room where I had left Peter and the doctor, but they had both retired. And as my chamber adjoined it, I sat by the fire, lighted a cigar, and fell into one of my rambling meditations.

Here, said I to myself, is another phase of life. Peter is at once a Highlander, a Canadian, a trapper, a backwoodsman, and a coaster. His daughters are half Scotch and half Indian, and have many of the peculiarities of both races. There is even between these sisters a wide difference in intellect, appearance, and innate refinement. The doctor has apparently abandoned his profession for the study of nature, and quit the busy haunts of men for the solitude of the forest. He seems to think and act differently from any one else in the country. Here too we have had Cutler, who is a scholar and a skilful navigator, filling the berth of a master of a fishing craft. He began life with nothing but good principles and good spirits, and is now about entering on a career, which in a few years will lead to a great fortune. He is as much out of place where he is, as a salmon would be in a horse pond. And here am I, Squire, your humble servant, Sam Slick the Clockmaker, not an eccentric man, I hope, for I detest them, they are either mad, or wish to be thought so, because madness they suppose to be an evidence of genius; but a specimen of a class not uncommon in the States, though no other country in the world but Yankeedoodledum produces it.

This is a combination these colonies often exhibit, and what a fool a man must be when character is written in such large print, if he can't read it even as he travels on horseback.

Of all the party assembled here to-night, the Scotch lasses alone, who came in during the evening, are what you call everyday galls. They are strong, hearty, intelligent, and good-natured, full of fun and industry, can milk, churn, make butter and cheese, card, spin, and weave, and will make capital wives for farmers of their own station in life. As such, they are favourable representatives of their class, and to my mind, far, far above those that look down upon them, who ape, but can't copy, and have the folly, because they sail in the wake of larger craft, to suppose they can be mistaken for anything else than tenders. Putting three masts into a coaster may make her an object of ridicule, but can never give her the appearance of a ship. They know this in England, they have got to learn it yet in the Provinces.

Well, this miscellaneous collection of people affords a wide field for speculation. Jessie is a remarkable woman, I must ask the doctor about her history. I see there is a depth of feeling about her, a simplicity of character, a singular sensitiveness, and a shade of melancholy. Is it constitutional, or does it arise from her peculiar position? I wonder how she reasons, and what she thinks, and how she would talk, if she would say what she thinks. Has she ability to build up a theory of her own, or does she, like half the women in the world, only think of a thing as it occurs? Does she live in instances or in generalities, I'll draw her out and see. Every order, where there are orders, and every class (and no place is without them where women are), have a way of judging in common with their order or class. What is her station I wonder in her own opinion? What are her expectations? What are her notions of wedlock? All girls regard marriage as an enviable lot, or a necessary evil. If they tell us they don't, it's because the right man hante come. And therefore I never mind what they say on this subject. I have no doubt they mean it; but they don't know what they are a talking about.

You, Squire, may go into a ball-room, where there are two hundred women. One hundred and ninety-nine of them you will pass with as much indifference as one hundred and ninety-nine pullets; but the two hundredth irresistibly draws you to her. There are one hundred handsomer, and ninety-nine cleverer ones present; but she alone has the magnet that attracts you. Now, what is that magnet? Is it her manner that charms? is it her voice that strikes on one of those thousand and one chords of your nervous system, and makes it vibrate, as sound does hollow glass? Or do her eyes affect your gizzard, so that you have no time to chew the cud of reflection, and no opportunity for your head to judge how you can digest the notions they have put into it? Or is it animal magnetism, or what the plague is it?

You are strangely affected; nobody else in the room is, and everybody wonders at you. But so it is. It's an even chance if you don't perpetrate matrimony. Well, that's a thing that sharpens the eyesight, and will remove a cateract quicker than an oculist can, to save his soul alive. It metamorphoses an angel into a woman, and it's plaguey lucky if the process don't go on and change her into something else.

After I got so far in my meditations, I lit another cigar, and took out my watch to look at the time. "My eyes," sais I, "if it tante past one o'clock at night. Howsomever, it ain't often I get a chance to be alone, and I will finish this here weed, at any rate." Arter which I turned in. The following morning I did not rise as early as usual, for it's a great secret for a man never to be in the way, especially in a house like Peter's, where his daughters had, in course, a good deal to see to themselves. So I thought I'd turn over and take another snoose; and do you know, Squire, that is always a dreamy one, and if your mind ain't worried, or your digestion askew, it's more nor probable you will have pleasant ones.

When I went into the keeping-room, I found Jessie and her sister there, the table set, and everything prepared for me.

"Mr Slick," said the elder one, "your breakfast is ready."

"But where is your father?" said I, "and Doctor Ovey?"

"Oh, they have gone to the next harbour, Sir, to see a man who is very ill there. The doctor left a message for you, he said he wanted to see you again very much, and hoped to find you here on his return, which will be about four o'clock in the afternoon. He desired me to say, if you sailed before he got back, he hoped you would leave word what port he would find you in, as he would follow you."

"Oh," said I, "we shall not go before to-morrow, at the earliest, so he will be in very good time. But who in the world is Doctor Ovey? He is the most singular man I ever met. He is very eccentric; ain't he?"

"I don't know who he is," she replied. "Father agrees with you. He says he talks sometimes as if he was daft, but that, I believe, is only because he is so learned. He has a house a way back in the forest, where he lives occasionally; but the greater part of the year he wanders about the woods, and camps out like--"

She hesitated a moment, and then brought out the reluctant word: "an Indian. He knows the name of every plant and flower in the country, and their uses; and the nature of every root, or bark, or leaf that ever was; and then he knows all the ores, and coal mines, and everything of that kind. He is a great hand for stuffing birds and animals, and has some of every kind there is in the province. As for butterflies, beetles, and those sort of things, he will chase them like a child all day. His house is a regular--. I don't recollect the word in English; in Gaelic it is 'tigh neonachais.'"

"Museum?" said I.

"Ah, that's it," said she.

"He can't have much practice," I said, "if he goes racing and chasing over the country that way, like a run-away engine."

"He don't want it, Sir," she replied, "he is very well off. He says he is one of the richest men in the country, for he don't spend half his income, and that any man who does that is wealthy. He says he ain't a doctor. Whether he is or not, I don't know; but he makes wonderful cures. Nothing in the world makes him so angry as when anybody sends for him that can afford a doctor, for he don't take pay. Now, this morning he stormed, and raved, and stamped, and foamed at the mouth, as if he was mad; he fairly swore, a thing I never heard him do before; and he seized the hammer that he chips off stones with, and threatened the man so who come for him, that he stood with the door in his hand, while he begged him to go.

"'Oh, Sir,' said he, 'the Squire will die if you don't go.'

"'Let him die, then,' he replied, 'and be hanged. What is it to me? It serves him right. Why didn't he send for Doctor Smith, and pay him? Does he think I am a going to rob that man of his living? Be off, Sir, off with you. Tell him I can't come, and won't come, and do you go for a magistrate to make his will.'

"As soon as the man quitted the house, his fit left him.

"'Well," said he, 'Peter, I suppose we musn't let the man perish after all; but I wish he hadn't sent for me, especially just now, for I want to have a long talk with Mr Slick.'

"And he and father set off immediately through the woods."

"Suppose we beat up his quarters," said I, "Jessie. I should like to see his house and collection, amazingly."

"Oh," said she, "so should I, above all things; but I wouldn't ask him for the world. He'll do it for you, I know he will; for he says you are a man after his own heart. You study nature so; and I don't know what all, he said of you."

"Well, well," sais I, "old trapper as he is, see if I don't catch him. I know how to bait the trap; so he will walk right into it. And then, if he has anything to eat there, I'll show him how to cook it woodsman fashion. I'll teach him how to dress a salmon; roast, boil, or bake. How to make a bee-hunter's mess; a new way to do his potatoes camp fashion; and how to dispense with kitchen-ranges, cabouses, or cooking-stoves. If I could only knock over some wild-ducks at the lake here, I'd show him a simple way of preparing them, that would make his mouth water, I know. Truth is, a man that lives in the country ought to know a little of everything a'most, and he can't be comfortable if he don't. But dear me, I must be a movin."

So I made her a bow, and she made me one of her best courtseys. And I held out my hand to her, but she didn't take it, though I see a smile playin' over her face. The fact is, it is just as well she didn't, for I intended to draw her--. Well, it ain't no matter what I intended to do; and therefore it ain't no use to confess what I didn't realise.

"Truth is," said I, lingering a bit, not to look disappointed, "a farmer ought to know what to raise, how to live, and where to save. If two things are equally good, and one costs money, and the other only a little trouble, the choice ain't difficult, is it?"

"Mr Slick," sais she, "are you a farmer?"

"I was bred and born on a farm, dear," sais I, "and on one, too, where nothin' was ever wasted, and no time ever lost; where there was a place for everything, and everything was in its place. Where peace and plenty reigned; and where there was a shot in the locker for the minister, and another for the poor, and--"

"You don't mean to say that you considered them game, did you?" said she, looking archly.

"Thank you," sais I. "But now you are making game of me, Miss; that's not a bad hit of yours though; and a shot for the bank, at the eend of the year. I know all about farm things, from raisin' Indian corn down to managing a pea-hen; the most difficult thing to regulate next to a wife, I ever see."

"Do you live on a farm now?"

"Yes, when I am to home," sais I, "I have returned again to the old occupation and the old place; for, after all, what's bred in the bone, you know, is hard to get out of the flesh, and home is home, however homely. The stones, and the trees, and the brooks, and the hills look like old friends--don't you think so?"

"I should think so," she said; "but I have never returned to my home or my people, and never shall." And the tears rose in her eyes, and she got up and walked to the window, and said, with her back towards me, as if she was looking at the weather: "The doctor has a fine day for his journey; I hope he will return soon. I think you will like him."

And then she came back and took her seat, as composed as if I had never awakened those sad thoughts. Poor thing! I knew what was passing in her mind, as well as if those eloquent tears had not touched my heart. Somehow or another, it appears to me, like a stumblin' horse, I am always a-striking my foot agin some stone, or stump, or root, that any fellow might see with half an eye. She forced a smile, and said:

"Are you married, Sir?"

"Married," sais I, "to be sure I am; I married Flora."

"You must think me as innocent as she was, to believe that," she said, and laughed at the idea. "How many children have you?"

"Seven," sais I:

"Richard R., and Ira C.,
Betsey Anne, and Jessie B.,
Sary D., Eugeen--E,
And Iren--ee."

"I have heard a great deal of you, Mr Slick," she said, "but you are the queerest man I ever see. You talk so serious, and yet you are so full of fun."

"That's because I don't pretend to nothin', dear;" sais I, "I am just a nateral man. There is a time for all things, and a way to do 'em too. If I have to freeze down solid to a thing, why then, ice is the word. If there is a thaw, then fun and snow-ballin' is the ticket. I listen to a preacher, and try to be the better for his argufying, if he has any sense, and will let me; and I listen to the violin, and dance to it, if it's in tune, and played right. I like my pastime, and one day in seven is all the Lord asks. Evangelical people say he wants the other six. Let them state day and date and book and page for that, for I won't take their word for it. So I won't dance of a Sunday; but show me a pretty gall, and give me good music, and see if I don't dance any other day. I am not a droll man, dear, but I say what I think, and do what I please, as long as I know I ain't saying or doing wrong. And if that ain't poetry, it's truth, that's all."

"I wish you knew the doctor," said she; "I don't understand these things, but you are the only man I ever met that talked like him, only he hante the fun you have; but he enjoys fun beyond everything. I must say I rather like him, though he is odd, and I am sure you would, for you could comprehend many things he sais that I don't."

"It strikes me," sais I to myself, for I thought, puttin' this and that together; "her rather likin' him, and her desire to see his house, and her tryin' to flatter me that I talked like him; that perhaps, like her young Gaelic friend's brother who dreamed of the silver dollars, she might have had a dream of him."

So, sais I, "I have an idea, Jessie, that there is a subject, if he talked to you upon, you could understand."

"Oh, nonsense," said she, rising and laughing, "now do you go on board and get me your book; and I will go and see about dinner for the Doc--for my father and you."

Well, I held out my hand, and said,

"Good-morning, Miss Jessie. Recollect, when I bring you the book that you must pay the forfeit."

She dropt my hand in a minute, stood up as straight as a tragedy actress, and held her head as high as the Queen of Sheby. She gave me a look I shan't very easily forget, it was so full of scorn and pride.

"And you too, Sir," said she, "I didn't expect this of you," and then left the room.

"Hullo!" sais I, "who's half-cracked now; you or the doctor? it appears to me it's six of one and half-a-dozen of the other;" and I took my hat, and walked down to the beach and hailed a boat.

About four I returned to the house, and brought with me, as I promised, the "Clockmaker." When I entered the room, I found Jessie there, who received me with her usual ease and composure. She was trimming a work-bag, the sides of which were made of the inner bark of the birch-tree, and beautifully worked with porcupine quills and moose hair.

"Well," sais I, "that is the most delicate thing I ever saw in all my born days. Creation, how that would be prized in Boston! How on earth did you learn to do that?" sais I.

"Why," said she, with an effort that evidently cost her a struggle, "my people make and barter them at the Fort at the north-west for things of more use. Indians have no money."

It was the first time I had heard so distinct an avowal of her American origin, and as I saw it brought the colour to her face, I thought I had discovered a clue to her natural pride, or, more properly, her sense of the injustice of the world, which is too apt to look down upon this mixed race with open or ill-concealed contempt. The scurvey opens old sores, and makes them bleed afresh, and an unfeeling fellow does the same. Whatever else I may be, I am not that man, thank fortune. Indeed, I am rather a dab at dressin' bodily ones, and I won't turn my back in that line, with some simples I know of, on any doctor that ever trod in shoe-leather, with all his compounds, phials, and stipties.

In a gineral way, they know just as much about their business as a donkey does of music, and yet both of them practise all day. They don't make no improvements. They are like the birds of the air, and the beasts of the forest. Swallows build their nests year after year and generation after generation in the identical same fashion, and moose winter after winter, and century after century, always follow in each other's tracks. They consider it safer, it ain't so laborious, and the crust of the snow don't hurt their shins. If a critter is such a fool as to strike out a new path for himself, the rest of the herd pass, and leave him to worry on, and he soon hears the dogs in pursuit, and is run down and done for. Medical men act in the same manner.

Brother Eldad, the doctor, used to say to me when riggin' him on the subject:

"Sam, you are the most conceited critter I ever knew. You have picked up a few herbs and roots, that have some virtue in them, but not strength enough for us to give a place to in the pharmacopia of medicine."

"Pharmacopia?" sais I, "why, what in natur is that? What the plague does it mean? Is it bunkum?"

"You had better not talk on the subject," said he, "if you don't know the tarms."

"You might as well tell me," sais I, "that I had better not speak English if I can't talk gibberish. But," sais I, "without joking, now, when you take the husk off that, and crack the nut, what do you call the kernel?"

"Why," sais he, "it's a dispensary; a book containin' rules for compoundin' medicines."

"Well then, it's a receipt-book, and nothin' else, arter all. Why the plague can't you call it so at once, instead of usin' a word that would break the jaw of a German?"

"Sam," he replied, "the poet says with great truth,


"'A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.'"


"Dear, dear," said I, "there is another strange sail hove in sight, as I am alive. What flag does 'Pierian' sail under?"

"The magpies," said he, with the air of a man that's a goin' to hit you hard. "It is a spring called Pierus after a gentleman of that name, whose daughters, that were as conceited as you be, were changed into magpies by the Muses, for challenging them out to sing. All pratin' fellows like you, who go about runnin' down doctors, ought to be sarved in the same way."

"A critter will never be run down," said I, "who will just take the trouble to get out of the way, that's a fact. Why on airth couldn't the poet have said Magpian Spring, then all the world would understand him. No, the lines would have had more sense if they had run this way:


"'A little physic is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or drink not of the doctor's spring.'"


Well, it made him awful mad. Sais he, "You talk of treating wounds as all unskilful men do, who apply balsams and trash of that kind, that half the time turns the wound into an ulcer; and then when it is too late the doctor is sent for, and sometimes to get rid of the sore, he has to amputate the limb. Now, what does your receipt book say?"

"It sais," sais I, "that natur alone makes the cure, and all you got to do, is to stand by and aid her in her efforts."

"That's all very well," sais he, "if nature would only tell you what to do, but nature leaves you, like a Yankee quack as you are, to guess."

"Well," sais I, "I am a Yankee, and I ain't above ownin' to it, and so are you, but you seem ashamed of your broughtens up, and I must say I don't think you are any great credit to them. Natur, though you don't know it, because you are all for art, does tell you what to do, in a voice so clear you can't help hearing it, and in language so plain you can't help understandin' it. For it don't use chain-shot words like 'pharmacopia' and 'Pierian,' and so on, that is neither Greek nor Latin, nor good English, nor vulgar tongue. And more than that, it shows you what to do. And the woods, and the springs, and the soil is full of its medicines and potions. Book doctrin' is like book farmin', a beautiful thing in theory, but ruination in practice."

"Well," said he, with a toss of his head, "this is very good stump oratory, and if you ever run agin a doctor at an election, I shouldn't wonder if you won it, for most people will join you in pullin' down your superiors."

That word superiors grigged me; thinks I, "My boy, I'll just take that expression, roll it up into a ball, and shy it back at you, in a way that will make you sing out 'Pen and ink,' I know. Well," sais I, quite mild (I am always mild when I am mad, a keen razor is always smooth), "have you any other thing to say about natur?"

"Yes," sais he, "do you know what healin' by the first intention is, for that is a nateral operation? Answer me that, will you?"

"You mean the second intention, don't you?" sais I.

"No," he replied, "I mean what I say."

"Well, Eldad," sais I, "my brother, I will answer both. First about the election, and then about the process of healin', and after that we won't argue no more, for you get so hot always, I am afraid you will hurt my feelins. First," sais I, "I have no idea of runnin' agin a doctor either at an election or elsewhere, so make yourself quite easy on that score, for if I did, as he is my superior, I should be sure to get the worst of it."

"How," said he, "Sam?" lookin' quite pleased, seein' me kinder knock under that way.

"Why dod drot it," sais I, "Eldad, if I was such a born fool as to run agin a doctor, his clothes would fill mine so chock full of asafoetida and brimstone, I'd smell strong enough to pysen a poll-cat. Phew! the very idea makes me sick; don't come any nearer, or I shall faint. Oh, no, I shall give my superiors a wide berth, depend upon it. Then," sais I, "secondly, as to healin' by the first intention, I have heard of it, but never saw it practised yet. A doctor's first intention is to make money, and the second is to heal the wound. You have been kind enough to treat me to a bit of poetry, now I won't be in your debt, so I will just give you two lines in return. Arter you went to Philadelphia to study, Minister used to make me learn poetry twice a week. All his books had pencil marks in the margin agin all the tid bits, and I had to learn more or less of these at a time according to their length; among others I remember two verses that just suit you and me.


"'To tongue or pudding thou hast no pretence,
Learning thy talent is, but mine is SENSE.'"


"Sam," said he, and he coloured up, and looked choked with rage, "Sam."

"Dad," sais I, and it stopped him in a minute. It was the last syllable of his name, and when we was boys, I always called him Dad, and as he was older than me, I sometimes called him Daddy on that account. It touched him, I see it did. Sais I, "Dad, give me your daddle, fun is fun, and we may carry our fun too far," and we shook hands. "Daddy," sais I, "since I became an author, and honorary corresponding member of the Slangwhanger Society, your occupation and mine ain't much unlike, is it?"

"How?" said he.

"Why, Dad," sais I, "you cut up the dead, and I cut up the livin."

"Well," sais he, "I give less pain, at any rate, and besides, I do more good, for I make the patient leave a legacy to posterity, by furnishing instruction in his own body."

"You don't need to wait for dissection for the bequest," said I, "for many a fellow after amputation has said to you, 'a-leg-I-see.' But why is sawing off a leg an unprofitable thing? Do you give it up? Because it's always bootless."

"Well," said he, "why is an author the laziest man in the world? Do you give that up? Because he is most of his time in sheets."

"Well, that is better than being two sheets in the wind," I replied. "But why is he the greatest coward in creation in hot weather? Because he is afraid somebody will quilt him."

"Oh, oh," said he, "that is an awful bad one. Oh, oh, that is like lead, it sinks to the bottom, boots, spurs, and all. Oh, come, that will do, you may take my hat. What a droll fellow you be. You are the old sixpence, and nothin' will ever change you. I never see a feller have such spirits in my life; do you know what pain is?"

"Oh," sais I, "Dad," and I put on a very sad look, "Daddy," sais I, "my heart is most broke, though I don't say anythin' about it. There is no one I can confide in, and I can't sleep at all. I was thinkin' of consultin' you, for I know I can trust you, and I am sure your kind and affectionate heart will feel for me, and that your sound, excellent judgment will advise me what is best to be done under the peculiar circumstances."

"Sam," said he, "my good fellow, you do me no more than justice," and he took my hand very kindly, and sat down beside me. "Sam, I am very sorry for you. Confide in me; I will be as secret as the grave. Have you consulted dear old Minister?"

"Oh, no," said I, "Minister is a mere child."

"True, true, my brother," said he, "he is a good worthy man, but a mere child, as you say. Is it an affair of the heart, Sam?"

"Oh, no," sais I, "I wish it was, for I don't think I shall ever die of a broken heart for any one, it don't pay."

"Is it a pecuniary affair?"

"No, no, if it was it might be borne, an artful dodge, a good spekelation, or a regular burst would soon cure that."

"I hope it ain't an affair of law," said he, lookin' frightened to death, as if I had done something dreadful bad.

"No, I wish it was, for a misnomer, an alibi, a nonjoinder, a demurrer, a nonsuit, a freemason or a know-nothin' sign to a juror, a temperance wink, or an orange nod to a partisan judge, or some cussed quirk or quibble or another, would carry me through it. No, it ain't that."

"What is it then?"

"Why," sais I, a bustin' out a larfin, "I am most dead sometimes with the jumpin' toothache."

"Well, well," said he, "I never was sold so before, I vow; I cave in, I holler, and will stand treat."

That's the way we ended our controversy about wounds.

But he may say what he likes. I consider myself rather a dab at healing bodily ones. As to those of the heart, I haven't had the experience, for I am not a father confessor to galls, and of course ain't consulted. But it appears to me clergymen don't know much about the right way to treat them. The heart is a great word. In itself it's nothin' but a thing that swells and contracts, and keeps the blood a movin; a sort of central post-office that communicates with all the great lines and has way stations to all remote parts. Like that, there is no sleep in it day or night. Love, hope, fear, despair, disappointment, ambition, pride, supplication, craft, cant, fraud, piety, speculation, secrets, tenderness, bitterness, duty, disobedience, truth, falsehood, gratitude, humbug, and all sorts of such things, pass through it or wait till called for; they "are thar." All these are dispersed by railways, expresses, fast and slow coaches, and carriers. By a figure of speech all these things are sumtotalized, and if put on paper, the depository is called the post-office, and the place where they are conceived and hatched and matured, the heart.

Well, neither the one nor the other has any feeling. They are merely the edifices respectively designed for these operations. The thing and its contents are in one case called the heart; but the contents only of the other are called the mail. Literally therefore the heart is a muscle, or some such an affair, and nothing more; but figuratively it is a general term that includes, expresses, and stands for all these things together. We talk of it therefore as a living, animated, responsible being that thinks for itself, and acts through its agents. It is either our spiritual part, or something spiritual within us. Subordinate or independent of us--guiding or obeying us--influencing or influenced by us. We speak of it, and others treat it, as separate, for they and we say our heart. We give it, a colour and a character; it may be a black heart or a base heart; it may be a brave or a cowardly one; it may be a sound or a weak heart also, and a true or a false one; generous or ungrateful; kind or malignant, and so on.

It strikes me natur would have been a more suitable word; but poets got hold of it, and they bedevil everything they touch. Instead of speaking of a critter's heart therefore, it would to my mind have been far better to have spoke of the natur of the animal, for I go the whole hog for human natur. But I suppose nobody would understand me if I did, and would say I had no heart to say so. I'll take it therefore, as I find it--a thing having a body or substance that can be hurt, and a spirit that can be grieved.

Well, as such, I don't somehow think ministers in a general way know how to treat it. The heart, in its common acceptation, is very sensitive and must be handled gently; if grief is there, it must be soothed and consoled, and hope called in to open views of better things. If disappointment has left a sting, the right way is to show a sufferer it might have been wuss, or that if his wishes had been fulfilled, they might have led to something more disastrous. If pride has been wounded, the patient must be humoured by agreeing with him, in the first instance, that he has been shamefully used (for that admits his right to feel hurt, which is a great thing); and then he may be convinced he ought to be ashamed to acknowledge it, for he is superior to his enemy, and in reality so far above him it would only gratify him to think he was of consequence enough to be hated. If he has met with a severe pecuniary loss in business, he ought to be told it's the fortune of trade; how lucky he is he ain't ruined, he can afford and must expect losses occasionally. If he frets over it, it will hurt his mercantile credit, and after all, he will never miss it, except in a figure in the bottom of his balance-sheet, and besides, riches ain't happiness, and how little a man can get out of them at best; and a minister ought to be able to have a good story to tell him, with some point in it, for there is a great deal of sound philosophy in a good anecdote.

He might say, for instance: "Did you ever hear of John Jacob Astor?"

"No, never."

"What not of John Jacob Astor, the richest man in all the unevarsal United States of America? The man that owns all the brown and white bears, silver-gray and jet-black foxes, sables, otters, stone martins, ground squirrels, and every created critter that has a fur jacket, away up about the North Pole, and lets them wear them, for furs don't keep well, moths are death on 'em, and too many at a time glut the market; so he lets them run till he wants them, and then sends and skins them alive in spring when it ain't too cold, and waits till it grows again?"

"No, never," sais the man with the loss.

"Well, if you had been stript stark naked and turned loose that way, you might have complained. Oh! you are a lucky man, I can tell you."

"Well," sais old Minus, "how in the world does he own all them animals?"

"If he don't," sais preacher, "perhaps you can tell me who does; and if nobody else does, I think his claim won't be disputed in no court under heaven. Don't you know him? Go and see him. He will make your fortune as he has done for many others. He is the richest man you ever heard of. He owns the Astor House Hotel to New York, which is bigger than some whole towns on the Nova Scotia coast." And he could say that with great truth, for I know a town that's on the chart, that has only a court-house, a groggery, a jail, a blacksmith's shop, and the wreck of a Quebec vessel on the beach.

"Well, a man went to him lately, and sais he: 'Are you the great John Jacob?'

"'I am John Jacob,' said he, 'but I ain't great. The sun is so almighty hot here in New York, no man is large; he is roasted down like a race-horse.'

"'I don't mean that,' said the poor man, bowin' and beggin' pardon.

"'Oh,' sais he, 'you mean great-grandfather,' laughing. 'No, I hante come that yet; but Astoria Ann Oregon, my grand-daughter, says I am to be about the fore part of next June.'

"Well, the man see he was getting rigged, so he came to the pint at once. Sais he, 'Do you want a clerk?'

"'I guess I do,' said he. 'Are you a good accountant?'

"'Have been accountant-book-keeper and agent for twenty-five years,' sais stranger.

"Well, John Jacob see the critter wouldn't suit him, but he thought he would carry out the joke. Sais he, 'How would you like to take charge of my almighty everlastin' property?'

"'Delighted!' says the goney.

"'Well,' said Mr Astor, 'I am tired to death looking after it; if you will relieve me and do my work, I'll give you what I get out of it myself.'

"'Done!' said the man, takin' off his hat, and bowin' down to the ground. 'I am under a great obligation to you; depend upon it you will get a good account of it.'

"'I have no doubt of it,' said John Jacob. 'Do your part faithfully' ('Never fear me,' said the clerk) 'and honestly, and I will fulfil mine. All I get out of it myself is my board and clothing, and you shall have the same."

"Ah! my friend," the preacher might say, "how much wisdom there is in John Jacob Astor's remark. What more has the Queen of England, or the richest peer in the land, out of all their riches than their board and clothing. 'So don't repine, my friend. Cheer up! I will come and fast on canvas-back duck with you to-morrow, for it's Friday; and whatever lives on aquatic food is fishy--a duck is twice-laid fish. A few glasses of champaine at dinner, and a cool bottle or two of claret after, will set you all right again in a jiffy."

If a man's wife races off and leaves him, which ain't the highest compliment he can receive, he should visit him; but it's most prudent not to introduce the subject himself. If broken-heart talks of it, minister shouldn't make light of it, for wounded pride is mighty tender, but say it's a dreadful thing to leave so good, so kind, so indulgent, so liberal, so confidin' a man as you, if the case will bear it (in a general way it's a man's own fault); and if it won't bear it, why then there really is a guilty man, on whom he can indulge himself, to expend a few flowers of speech. And arter restin' here awhile, he should hint at the consolation that is always offered, "of the sea having better fish than ever was pulled out of it," and so on.

Well, the whole catalogue offers similar topics, and if a man will, while kindly, conscientiously, and strictly sticking to the truth, offer such consolation as a good man may, taking care to remember that manner is everything, and all these arguments are not only no good, but do harm if the misfortunate critter is rubbed agin the grain; he will then prepare the sufferer to receive the only true consolation he has to offer--the consolation of religion. At least, that's my idea.

Now, instead of that, if he gets hold of a sinner, he first offends his delicacy, and then scares him to death. He tells him to confess all the nasty particulars of the how, the where, the when, and the who with. He can't do nothing till his curiosity is satisfied, general terms won't do. He must have all the dirty details. And then he talks to him of the devil, an unpronouncible place, fire and brimstone, and endless punishment. And assures him, if ever he hopes to be happy hereafter, he must be wretched for the rest of his life; for the evangelical rule is, that a man is never forgiven up to the last minute when it can't be helped. Well, every man to his own trade. Perhaps they are right and I am wrong. But my idea is you can coax, but can't bully folks. You can win sinners, but you can't force them. The door of the heart must be opened softly, and to do that you must be the hinge and the lock.

Well, to get back to my story, and I hardly know where I left off, I think the poor gall was speakin' of Indians in a way that indicated she felt mortified at her descent, or that somehow or somehow else, there was a sore spot there. Well, having my own thoughts about the wounds of the heart and so on, as I have stated, I made up my mind I must get at the secret by degrees, and see whether my theory of treatment was right or not.

Sais I, "Miss, you say these sort of things are bartered at the north-west for others of more use. There is one thing though I must remark, they never were exchanged for anything half so beautiful."

"I am glad you like it," she said, "but look here;" and she took out of her basket a pair of mocassins, the soles of which were of moose leather, tanned and dressed like felt, and the upper part black velvet, on which various patterns were worked with beads. I think I never saw anything of the kind so exquisite, for those nick-nacks the Nova Scotia Indians make are rough in material, coarse in workmanship, and ineligant in design.

"Which do you prefer?" said she.

"Well," sais I, "I ain't hardly able to decide. The bark work is more delicate and more tasteful; but it's more European in appearance. The other is more like our own country, and I ain't sure that it isn't quite as handsome as the other. But I think I prize the mocassins most. The name, the shape, and the ornaments all tell of the prairie."

"Well, then," she said, "it shall be the mocassins, you must have them, as the exchange for the book."

"Oh," said I, taking out of my pocket the first and second "Clockmakers," I had no other of my books on board, and giving them to her, "I am afraid, Miss, that I either said or did something to offend you this morning. I assure you I did not mean to do so, and I am very sorry for it."

"No, no," she said, "it was me; but my temper has been greatly tried since I came to this country. I was very wrong, for you (and she laid a stress on that word as if I was an exception) have been very kind to me."

"Well," sais I, "Miss, sometimes there are things that try us and our feelings, that we don't choose to talk about to strangers, and sometimes people annoy us on these subjects. It wouldn't be right of me to pry into any one's secrets, but this I will say, any person that would vex you, let him be who he will, can be no man, he'd better not do it while I am here, at any rate, or he'll have to look for his jacket very quick, I know."

"Mr Slick," she said, "I know I am half Indian, and some folks want to make me feel it."

"And you took me for one o' them cattle," said I, "but if you knew what was passin' in my mind, you wouldn't a felt angry, I know."

"What was it?" said she, "for I know you won't say anything to me you oughtn't to. What was it?"

"Well," sais I, "there is, between you and me, a young lady here to the southern part of this province I have set my heart on, though whether she is agoin' to give me hern, or give me the mitten, I ain't quite sartified, but I rather kinder sorter guess the first, than kinder sorter not so." I just throwed that in that she mightn't misunderstand me. "Well, she is the most splendiferous gall I ever sot eyes on since I was created; and," sais I to myself, "now, here is one of a different style of beauty, which on 'em is, take her all in all, the handsomest?"

Half Indian or half Gaelic, or whatever she was, she was a woman, and she didn't flare up this time, I tell you, but taking up the work-bag she said:

"Give this to her, as a present from me."

Thinks I, "My pretty brunette, if I don't get the heart opened to me, and give you a better opinion of yourself, and set you all straight with mankind in general, and the doctor in particular, afore I leave Ship Harbour, I'll give over for ever undervalyin' the skill of ministers, that's a fact. That will do for trial number one; by and by I'll make trial number two."

Taking up the "Clockmaker," and looking at it, she said: "Is this book all true, Mr Slick? Did you say and do all that's set down here?"

"Well," sais I, "I wouldn't just like to swear to every word of it, but most of it is true, though some things are embellished a little, and some are fancy sketches. But they are all true to nature."

"Oh, dear," said she, "what a pity! how shall I ever be able to tell what's true and what ain't? Do you think I shall be able to understand it, who know so little, and have seen so little?"

"You'll comprehend every word of it," sais I, "I wrote it on purpose, so every person should do so. I have tried to stick to life as close as I could, and there is nothin' like natur, it goes home to the heart of us all."

"Do tell me, Mr Slick," said she, "what natur is, for I don't know."

Well, now that's a very simple question, ain't it? and anyone that reads this book when you publish it, will say, "Why, everybody knows what natur is," and any schoolboy can answer that question. But I'll take a bet of twenty dollars, not one in a hundred will define that tarm right off the reel, without stopping. It fairly stumpt me, and I ain't easily brought to a hack about common things. I could a told her what natur was circumbendibusly, and no mistake, though that takes time. But to define it briefly and quickly, as Minister used to say, if it can be done at all, which I don't think it can, all I can say is, as galls say to conundrums, "I can't, so I give it up. What is it?"

Perhaps it's my own fault, for dear old Mr Hopewell used to say, "Sam, your head ain't like any one else's. Most men's minds resembles what appears on the water when you throw a stone in it. There is a centre, and circles form round it, each one a little larger than the other, until the impelling power ceases to act. Now you set off on the outer circle, and go round and round ever so often, until you arrive to the centre where you ought to have started from at first; I never see the beat of you."

"It's natur," sais I, "Minister."

"Natur," sais he, "what the plague has natur to do with it?"

"Why," sais I, "can one man surround a flock of sheep?"

"Why, what nonsense," sais he; "of course he can't."

"Well, that's what this child can do," sais I. "I make a good sizeable ring-fence, open the bars, and put them in, for if it's too small, they turn and out agin like wink, and they will never so much as look at it a second time. Well, when I get them there, I narrow and narrow the circle, till it's all solid wool and mutton, and I have every mother's son of them. It takes time, for I am all alone, and have no one to help me; but they are thar' at last. Now, suppose I went to the centre of the field, and started off arter them, what would it end in? Why, I'de run one down, and have him, and that's the only one I could catch. But while I was a chasin' of him, all the rest would disperse like a congregation arter church, and cut off like wink, each on his own way, as if he was afraid the minister was a-goin' to run after 'em, head 'em, and fetch 'em back and pen 'em up again."

He squirmed his face a little at that part about the congregation, I consaited, but didn't say nothin', for he knew it was true.

"Now, my reason," sais I, "for goin' round and round is, I like to gather up all that's in the circle, carry it with me, and stack it in the centre."

Lord! what fun I have had pokin' that are question of Jessie's sudden to fellows since then! Sais I to Brother Eldad once--

"Dad, we often talk about natur; what is it?"

"Tut," sais he, "don't ask me; every fool knows what natur is."

"Exactly," sais I; "that's the reason I came to you."

He just up with a book, and came plaguy near lettin' me have it right agin my head smash.

"Don't do that," sais I, "Daddy; I was only joking; but what is it?"

Well, he paused a moment and looked puzzled, as a fellow does who is looking for his spectacles, and can't find them because he has shoved them up on his forehead.

"Why," sais he, spreadin' out his arm, "it's all that you see, and the law that governs it."

Well, it warn't a bad shot that, for a first trial, that's a fact. It hit the target, though it didn't strike the ring.

"Oh," said I, "then there is none of it at night, and things can't be nateral in the dark."

Well, he seed he had run off the track, so he braved it out. "I didn't say it was necessary to see them all the time," he said.

"Just so," said I, "natur is what you see and what you don't see; but then feelin' ain't nateral at all. It strikes me that if--"

"Didn't I say," said he, "the laws that govern them?"

"Well, where are them laws writ?"

"In that are receipt-book o' yourn you're so proud of," said he. "What do you call it, Mr Wiseacre?"

"Then, you admit," sais I, "any fool can't answer that question?"

"Perhaps you can," sais he.

"Oh Dad!" sais I, "you picked up that shot and throwed it back. When a feller does that it shows he is short of ammunition. But I'll tell you what my opinion is. There is no such a thing as natur."

"What!" said he.

"Why there is no such a thing as natur in reality; it is only a figure of speech. The confounded poets got hold of the idea and parsonified it as they have the word heart, and talk about the voice of natur and its sensations, and its laws and its simplicities, and all that sort of thing. The noise water makes in tumblin' over stones in a brook, a splutterin' like a toothless old woman scoldin' with a mouthful of hot tea in her lantern cheek, is called the voice of natur speaking in the stream. And when the wind blows and scatters about all the blossoms from your fruit trees, and you are a ponderin' over the mischief, a gall comes along-side of you with a book of poetry in her hand and sais:

"'Hark! do you hear the voice of natur amid the trees? Isn't it sweet?'

"Well, it's so absurd you can't help laughin' and saying, 'No;' but then I hear the voice of natur closer still, and it says, 'Ain't she a sweet critter?'

"Well, a cultivated field, which is a work of art, dressed with artificial manures, and tilled with artificial tools, perhaps by steam, is called the smiling face of nature. Here nature is strong and there exhausted, now animated and then asleep. At the poles, the features of nature are all frozen, and as stiff as a poker, and in the West Indies burnt up to a cinder. What a pack of stuff it is! It is just a pretty word like pharmacopia and Pierian spring, and so forth. I hate poets, stock, lock, and barrel; the whole seed, breed, and generation of them. If you see a she one, look at her stockings; they are all wrinkled about her ancles, and her shoes are down to heel, and her hair is as tangled as the mane of a two-year old colt. And if you see a he one, you see a mooney sort of man, either very sad, or so wild-looking you think he is half-mad; he eats and sleeps on earth, and that's all. The rest of the time he is sky-high, trying to find inspiration and sublimity, like Byron, in gin and water. I like folks that have common-sense."

Well, to get back to my story. Said Jessie to me: "Mr Slick, what is natur?"

"Well," sais I, "Miss, it's not very easy to explain it so as to make it intelligible; but I will try. This world, and all that is in it, is the work of God. When he made it, he gave it laws or properties that govern it, and so to every living or inanimate thing; and these properties or laws are called their nature. Nature therefore is sometimes used for God himself, and sometimes for the world and its contents, and the secret laws of action imposed upon them when created. There is one nature to men (for though they don't all look alike, the laws of their being are the same), and another to horses, dogs, fish, and so on. Each class has its own nature. For instance, it is natural for fish to inhabit water, birds the air, and so on. In general, it therefore means the universal law that governs everything. Do you understand it?" says I.

"Not just now," she said, "but I will when I have time to think of it. Do you say there is one nature to all men?"

"Yes, the same nature to Indian as to white men--all the same."

"Which is the best nature?"

"It is the same."

"Indian and white, are they both equal?"


"Do you think so?"

"Every mite and morsel, every bit and grain. Everybody don't think so? That's natural; every race thinks it is better than another, and every man thinks he is superior to others; and so does every woman. They think their children the best and handsomest. A bear thinks her nasty, dirty, shapeless, tailless cubs the most beautiful things in all creation."

She laughed at that, but as suddenly relapsed into a fixed gloom. "If red and white men are both equal, and have the same nature," she said, "what becomes of those who are neither red nor white, who have no country, no nation, no tribe, scorned by each, and the tents and the houses of both closed against them. Are they equal? what does nature say?"

"There is no difference," I said; "in the eye of God they are all alike."

"God may think and treat them so," she replied, rising with much emotion, "but man does not."

I thought it was as well to change the conversation, and leave her to ponder over the idea of the races which seemed so new to her. "So," sais I, "I wonder the doctor hasn't arrived; it's past four. There he is, Jessie; see, he is on the beach; he has returned by water. Come, put on your bonnet and let you and I go and meet him."

"Who, me!" she said, her face expressing both surprise and pleasure.

"To be sure," said I. "You are not afraid of me, Miss, I hope."

"I warn't sure I heard you right," she said, and away she went for her bonnet.

Poor thing! it was evident her position was a very painful one to her, and that her natural pride was deeply injured. Poor dear old Minister! if you was now alive and could read this Journal, I know what you would say as well as possible. "Sam," you would say, "this is a fulfilment of Scripture. The sins of the fathers are visited on the children, the effects of which are visible in the second and third generation."






By the time we had reached the house, Cutler joined us, and we dined off of the doctor's salmon, which was prepared in a way that I had never seen before; and as it was a touch above common, and smacked of the wigwam, I must get the receipt. The only way for a man who travels and wants to get something better than amusement out of it, is to notch down anything new, for every place has something to teach you in that line. "The silent pig is the best feeder," but it remains a pig still, and hastens its death by growing too fat. Now the talking traveller feeds his mind as well as his body, and soon finds the less he pampers his appetite the clearer his head is and the better his spirits. The great thing is to live and learn, and learn to live.

Now I hate an epicure above all created things--worse than lawyers, doctors, politicians, and selfish fellows of all kinds. In a giniral way he is a miserable critter, for nothin' is good enough for him or done right, and his appetite gives itself as many airs, and requires as much waitin' on, as a crotchetty, fanciful, peevish old lady of fashion. If a man's sensibility is all in his palate he can't in course have much in his heart. Makin' oneself miserable, fastin' in sackcloth and ashes, ain't a bit more foolish than makin' oneself wretched in the midst of plenty, because the sea, the air, and the earth won't give him the dainties he wants, and Providence won't send the cook to dress them. To spend one's life in eating, drinking, and sleeping, or like a bullock, in ruminating on food, reduces a man to the level of an ox or an ass. The stomach is the kitchen, and a very small one too, in a general way, and broiling, simmering, stewing, baking, and steaming, is a goin' on there night and day. The atmosphere is none of the pleasantest neither, and if a man chooses to withdraw into himself and live there, why I don't see what earthly good he is to society, unless he wants to wind up life by writin' a cookery-book. I hate them--that's just the tarm, and I like tarms that express what I mean.

I shall never forget when I was up to Michelimackinic. A thunderin' long word, ain't it? We call it Mackinic now for shortness. But perhaps you wouldn't understand it spelt that way, no more than I did when I was to England that Brighton means Brighthelmeston, or Sissiter, Cirencester, for the English take such liberties with words, they can't afford to let others do the same; so I give it to you both ways. Well, when I was there last, I dined with a village doctor, the greatest epicure I think I ever see in all my born days. He thought and talked of nothing else from morning till night but eatin'.

"Oh, Mr Slick," said he, rubbin' his hands, "this is the tallest country in the world to live in. What a variety of food there is here,--fish, flesh, and fowl,--wild, tame, and mongeral,--fruits, vegetables, and spongy plants!"

"What's that?" sais I. I always do that when a fellow uses strange words. "We call a man who drops in accidently on purpose to dinner a sponging fellow, which means if you give him the liquid he will soak it up dry."

"Spongy plants," sais he, "means mushrooms and the like."

"Ah!" said I, "mushrooms are nateral to a new soil like this. Upstarts we call them; they arise at night, and by next mornin' their house is up and its white roof on."

"Very good," said he, but not lookin' pleased at havin' his oratory cut short that way. "Oh, Mr Slick!" said he, "there is a poor man here who richly deserves a pension both from your government and mine. He has done more to advance the culinary art than either Ude or Soyer."

"Who on earth now were they?" said I. I knew well enough who they were, for when I was to England they used to brag greatly of Soyer at the Reform Club. For fear folks would call their association house after their politics, "the cheap and dirty" they built a very splash affair, and to set an example to the state in their own establishment of economy and reform in the public departments, hired Soyer, the best cook of the age, at a salary that would have pensioned half-a-dozen of the poor worn-out clerks in Downing Street. Vulgarity is always showy. It is a pretty word, "Reformers." The common herd of them I don't mind much, for rogues and fools always find employment for each other. But when I hear of a great reformer like some of the big bugs to England, that have been grinning through horse-collars of late years, like harlequins at fairs, for the amusement and instruction of the public, I must say I do expect to see a super-superior hypocrite.

Yes, I know who those great artists Soyer and Ude were, but I thought I'd draw him out. So I just asked who on earth they were, and he explained at great length, and mentioned the wonderful discoveries they had made in their divine art.

"Well," sais I, "why on earth don't your friend the Mackinic cook go to London or Paris, where he won't want a pension, or anything else, if he excels them great men?"

"Bless you, Sir," he replied, "he is merely a voyageur."

"Oh dear," sais I, "I dare say then he can fry ham and eggs and serve 'em up in ile, boil salt beef and pork, and twice lay cod-fish, and perhaps boil potatoes nice and watery like cattle turnips. What discoveries could such a rough-and-tumble fellow as that make?"

"Well," said the doctor, "I didn't want to put myself forward, for it ain't pleasant to speak of oneself."

"Well, I don't know that," sais I, "I ain't above it, I assure you. If you have a horse to sell, put a thunderin' long price on him, and folks will think he must be the devil and all, and if you want people to vally you right, appraise yourself at a high figure. Braggin' saves advertising'. I always do it; for as the Nova Scotia magistrate said, who sued his debtor before himself, 'What's the use of being a justice, if you can't do yourself justice.' But what was you sayin' about the voyageur?"

"Why, Sir," said he, "I made the discovery through his instrumentality. He enabled me to do it by suffering the experiments to be made on him. His name was Alexis St Martin; he was a Canadian, and about eighteen years of age, of good constitution, robust, and healthy. He had been engaged in the service of the American Fur Company as a voyageur, and was accidentally wounded by the discharge of a musket, on the 9th of June, 1822. The charge, consisting of powder and duck-shot, was received in his left side; he being at a distance of not more than one yard from the muzzle of the gun. The contents entered posteriorly, and in an oblique direction, forward and inward, literally blowing off integuments and muscles, of the size of a man's hand, fracturing and carrying away the anterior half of the sixth rib, fracturing the fifth, lacerating the lower portion of the left lobe of the lungs, the diaphragm, and perforating the stomach."

"Good gracious!" sais I, "how plain that is expressed! It is as clear as mud, that! I do like doctors, for their talking and writing is intelligible to the meanest capacity."

He looked pleased, and went ahead agin.

"After trying all the means in my power for eight or ten months to close the orifice, by exciting adhesive inflammation in the lips of the wound, without the least appearance of success, I gave it up as impracticable, in any other way than that of incising and bringing them together by sutures; an operation to which the patient would not submit. By using the aperture which providence had supplied us with to communicate with the stomach, I ascertained, by attaching a small portion of food of different kinds to a string, and inserting it through his side, the exact time each takes for digestion, such as beef or pork, or mutton or fowl, or fish or vegetables, cooked in different ways.1 We all know how long it takes to dress them, but we did not know how long a time they required for digestion. I will show you a comparative table."


1 The village doctor appears to have appropriated to himself the credit due to another. The particulars of this remarkable case are to be found in a work published in New York in 1833, entitled "Experiments and observations on the gastric juices, and the physiology of digestion," by William Beaumont, M. D., Surgeon in the United States' Army, and also in the "Albion" newspaper of the same place for January 4, 1834.


"Thank you," sais I, "but I am afraid I must be a moving. "Fact is, my stomach was movin' then, for it fairly made me sick. Yes, I'd a plaguy sight sooner see a man embroidering, which is about as contemptible an accomplishment as an idler can have, than to hear him everlastingly smack his lips, and see him open his eyes and gloat like an anaconda before he takes down a bullock, horns, hair, and hoof, tank, shank, and flank, at one bolt, as if it was an opium pill to make him sleep.

Well, all this long lockrum arose out of my saying I should like to have the receipt by which Jessie's sister had cooked the salmon for dinner; and I intend to get it too, that's a fact. As we concluded our meal, "Doctor," sais I, "we have been meditating mischief in your absence. What do you say to our makin' a party to visit the 'Bachelor beaver's dam,' and see your museum, fixins, betterments, and what not?"

"Why," said he, "I should like it above all things; but--"

"But what?" said I.

"But I am afraid, as you must stay all night, if you go, my poor wigwam won't accommodate so many with beds."

"Oh! some of us will camp out," sais I, "I am used to it, and like it a plaguy sight better than hot rooms."

"Just the thing," said he. "Oh! Mr Slick, you are a man after my own heart. The nature of all foresters is alike, red or white, English or French, Yankee or Blue-nose."

Jessie looked up at the coïncidence of that expression with what I had said yesterday.

"Blue-nose," said I, "Doctor," to familiarize the girl's mind to the idea I had started of the mixed race being on a footing of equality with the other two, "Blue-nose ought to be the best, for he is half Yankee and half English; two of the greatest people on the face of the airth!"

"True," said he, "by right he ought to be, and it's his own fault he ain't."

I thought it would be as well to drop the allusion there, so I said, "That's exactly what mother used to say when I did anything wrong: 'Sam, ain't you ashamed.' 'No, I ain't,' said I. 'Then you ought to be,' she'd reply.

"It's a fixed fact, then," said I, "that we go to-morrow to the Beaver dam?"

"Yes," said he, "I shall be delighted. Jessie, you and your sister will accompany us, won't you?"

"I should be charmed," she replied.

"I think you will be pleased with it," he continued, "it will just suit you; it's so quiet and retired. But you must let Etienne take the horse, and carry a letter to my sergeant and his commanding officer, Betty, to give them notice of our visit, or he will go through the whole campaign in Spain before he is done, and tell you how ill the commissariat-people were used, in not having notice given to them to lay in stores. I never was honoured with the presence of ladies there before, and he will tell you he is broken-hearted at the accommodation. I don't know what there is in the house; but the rod and the gun will supply us, I think, and the French boy, when he returns, will bring me word if anything is wanted from the shore."

"Jessie," said I, "can't you invite the two Highland lassies and their brother that were here last night, and let us have a reel this evening?"

"Oh! yes," she said, and going into the kitchen, the message was despatched immediately. As soon as the guests arrived, Peter produced his violin, and the doctor waking out of one of his brown studies, jumped up like a boy, and taking one of the new-comers by the hand, commenced a most joyous and rapid jig, the triumph of which seemed to consist in who should tire the other out. The girl had youth and agility on her side; but the doctor was not devoid of activity, and the great training which his constant exercise kept him in, threw the balance in his favour; so when he ceased, and declared the other victorious, it was evident that it was an act of grace, and not of necessity. After that we all joined in an eight-handed reel, and eight merrier and happier people I don't think were ever before assembled at Ship Harbour.

In the midst of it the door opened, and a tall, thin, cadaverous-looking man entered, and stood contemplating us in silence. He had a bilious-looking countenance, which the strong light of the fire and candles, when thrown upon it, rendered still more repulsive. He had a broad-brimmed hat on his head, which he did not condescend to remove, and carried in one hand a leather travelling-bag, as lean and as dark-complexioned as himself, and in the other a bundle of temperance newspapers. Peter seeing that he did not speak or advance, called out to him, with a face beaming with good humour, as he kept bobbing his head, and keeping time with his foot (for his whole body was affected by his own music).

"Come in, friend, come in, she is welcome. Come in, she is playin' herself just now, but she will talk to you presently." And then he stamped his foot to give emphasis to the turn of the tune, as if he wanted to astonish the stranger with his performance.

The latter however not only seemed perfectly insensible to its charms, but immoveable. Peter at last got up from his chair, and continued playing as he advanced towards him; but he was so excited by what was going on among the young people, that he couldn't resist dancing himself, as he proceeded down the room, and when he got to him, capered and fiddled at the same time.

"Come," said he, as he jumped about in front of him, "come and join in;" and liftin' the end of his bow suddenly, tipt off his hat for him, and said, "Come, she will dance with you herself."

The stranger deliberately laid down his travelling-bag and paper parcel, and lifting up both hands said, "Satan, avaunt." But Peter misunderstood him, and thought he said, "Sartain, I can't."

"She canna do tat," he replied, "can't she, then she'll teach you the step herself. This is the way," and his feet approached so near the solemncolly man that he retreated a step or two as if to protect his shins. Everybody in the room was convulsed with laughter, for all saw what the intruder was, and the singular mistake Peter was making. It broke up the reel. The doctor put his hands to his sides, bent forward, and made the most comical contortions of face. In this position he shuffled across the room, and actually roared out with laughter.

I shall never forget the scene; I have made a sketch of it, to illustrate this for you. There was this demure sinner, standing bolt upright in front of the door, his hat hanging on the handle, which had arrested it in its fall, and his long black hair, as if partaking of his consternation, flowing wildly over his cheeks; while Peter, utterly unconscious that no one was dancing, continued playing and capering in front of him, as if he was ravin distracted, and the doctor bent forward, pressing his sides with his hands, as if to prevent their bursting, laughed as if he was in hysterics. It was the most comical thing I ever saw. I couldn't resist it no longer, so I joined the trio.

"Come, Doctor," sais I, "a three-handed reel," and entering into the joke, he seized the stranger by one hand, and I by the other, and before our silent friend knew where he was, he was in the middle of the floor, and though he was not made to dance, he was pushed or flung into his place, and turned and faced about as if he was taking his first lesson. At last, as if by common consent, we all ceased laughing, from sheer exhaustion. The stranger still kept his position in the centre of the floor, and when silence was restored, raised his hands again in pious horror, and said, in a deep, sepulchral voice:

"Fiddling and dancing, and serving the devil. Do you ever think of your latter end?"

"Thee had better think of thine, friend," I whispered, assuming the manner of a quaker for fun, "for Peter is a rough customer, and won't stand upon ceremony."

"Amhic an aibhisteir (son of the devil)," said Peter, shaking his fist at him, "if she don't like it, she had better go. It's her own house, and she will do what she likes in it. Faat does she want?"

"I want the man called Samuel Slick," said he.

"Verily," sais I, "friend, I am that man, and wilt thee tell me who thee is that wantest me, and where thee livest?"

"Men call me," he said, "Jehu Judd, and when to home, I live in Quaco in New Brunswick."

I was glad of that, because it warn't possible the critter could know anything of me, and I wanted to draw him out.

"And what does thee want, friend?" I said.

"I come to trade with you, to sell you fifty barrels of mackerel, and to procure some nets for the fishery, and some manufactures, commonly called domestics."

"Verily," sais I, "thee hast an odd way of opening a trade, methinks, friend Judd. Shaking quakers dance piously, as thee mayest have heard, and dost thee think thy conduct seemly? What mayest thee be, friend?"

"A trader," he replied.

"Art thee not a fisher of men, friend, as well as a fisher of fish?"

"I am a Christian man," he said, "of the sect called 'come-outers,'1 and have had experience, and when I meet the brethren, sometimes I speak a word in season."


1 Come-outers. This name has been applied to a considerable number of persons in various parts of the Northern States, principally in New England, who have recently come out of the various religious denominations with which they have been connected; hence the name. They have not themselves assumed any distinctive organization. They have no creed, believing that every one should be left free to hold such opinions on religious subjects as he pleases, without being held accountable for the same to any human authority--Bartlett's Americanisms.


"Well, friend, thee has spoken thy words out of season tonight," I said.

"Peradventure I was wrong," he replied, "and if so, I repent me of it."

"Of a certainty thee was, friend. Thee sayest thy name is Jehu; now he was a hard rider, and it may be thee drivest a hard bargain, if so, go thy ways, for thee cannot 'make seed-corn off of me;' if not, tarry here till this company goeth, and then I will talk to thee touching the thing called mackarel. Wilt thee sit by the fire till the quaker ceaseth his dancing, and perhaps thee may learn what those words mean, 'and the heart danceth for joy,' or it may be thee will return to thy vessel, and trade in the morning."

"No man knoweth," he said, "what an hour may bring forth; I will bide my time."

"The night is cold at this season," said Peter, who considered that the laws of hospitality required him to offer the best he had in his house to a stranger, so he produced some spirits, as the most acceptable thing he possessed, and requested him to help himself.

"I care not if I do," he said, "for my pledge extendeth not so far as this," and he poured himself out a tumbler of brandy and water, that warn't half-and-half, but almost the whole hog. Oh, gummy, what a horn! it was strong enough almost to throw an ox over a five-bar gate. It made his eyes twinkle, I tell you, and he sat down and began to look as if he thought the galls pretty.

"Come, Peter," said I, "strike up, the stranger will wait awhile."

"Will she dance," said he, "tam her."

"No," said I, but I whispered to the doctor, "he will reel soon," at which he folded his arms across his breast and performed his gyrations as before. Meanwhile Cutler and Frazer, and two of the girls, commenced dancing jigs, and harmony was once more restored. While they were thus occupied, I talked over the arrangements for our excursion on the morrow with Jessie, and the doctor entered into a close examination of Jehu Judd, as to the new asphalt mines in his province. He informed him of the enormous petrified trunks of palm-trees that have been found while exploring the coal-fields, and warmed into eloquence as he enumerated the mineral wealth and great resources of that most beautiful colony. The doctor expressed himself delighted with the information he had received, whereupon Jehu rose and asked him in token of amity to pledge him in a glass of Peter's excellent cognac, and without waiting for a reply, filled a tumbler and swallowed it at one gulp.

My, what a pull that was. Thinks I to myself, "Friend, if that don't take the wrinkles out of the parchment case of your conscience, then I don't know nothin', that's all." Oh dear, how all America is overrun with such cattle as this; how few teach religion, or practise it right. How hard it is to find the genuine article. Some folks keep the people in ignorance, and make them believe the moon is made of green cheese; others, with as much sense, fancy the world is. One has old saints, the other invents new ones. One places miracles at a distance, t'other makes them before their eyes, while both are up to mesmerism. One says there is no marryin' in Paradise, the other says, if that's true, it's hard, and it is best to be a mormon and to have polygamy here. Then there is a third party who says, neither of you speak sense, it is better to believe nothin' than to give yourself up to be crammed. Religion, Squire, ain't natur, because it is intended to improve corrupt natur, it's no use talkin' therefore, it can't be left to itself, otherwise it degenerates into something little better than animal instinct. It must be taught, and teaching must have authority as well as learning. There can be no authority where there is no power to enforce, and there can be no learning where there is no training. If there must be normal schools to qualify schoolmasters, there must be Oxfords and Cambridges to qualify clergymen. At least that's my idea. Well, if there is a qualified man, he must be supported while he is working. But if he has to please his earthly employer, instead of obeying his heavenly Master, the better he is qualified the more dangerous he is. If he relies on his congregation, the order of things is turned upside down. He serves mammon, and not God. If he does his duty he must tell unpleasant truths, and then he gets a walkin' ticket. Who will hire a servant, pay him for his time, find a house for him to live in, and provide him in board, if he has a will of his own, and won't please his employer by doin' what he is ordered to do? I don't think you would, Squire, and I know I wouldn't.

No, a fixed, settled church, like ourn, or yours, Squire, is the best. There is safe anchorage ground in them, and you don't go draggin' your flukes with every spurt of wind, or get wrecked if there is a gale that rages round you. There is something strong to hold on to. There are good buoys, known landmarks, and fixed light-houses, so that you know how to steer, and not helter-skelter lights movin' on the shore like will-o'-the whisps, or wreckers' false fires, that just lead you to destruction. The medium between the two churches, for the clergy, would be the right thing. In yours they are too independent of the people, with us a little too dependent. But we are coming up to the notch by making moderate endowments, which will enable the minister to do what is right, and not too large to make him lazy or careless. Well then, in neither of them is a minister handed over to a faction to try. Them that make the charges ain't the judges, which is a Magna Charta for him.

Yes, I like our episcopal churches, they teach, persuade, guide, and paternally govern, but they have no dungeons, no tortures, no fire and sword. They ain't afraid of the light, for, as minister used to say, "their light shines afore men." Just see what sort of a system it must be that produces such a man as Jehu Judd. And yet Jehu finds it answer his purpose in his class to be what he is. His religion is a cloak, and that is a grand thing for a pick-pocket. It hides his hands, while they are fumblin' about your waistcoat and trousers, and then conceals the booty. You can't make tricks if your adversary sees your hands, you may as well give up the game.

But to return to the evangelical trader. Before we recommenced dancing again, I begged the two Gaelic girls, who were bouncing, buxom lasses, and as strong as Shetland ponies, to coax or drag him up for a reel. Each took a hand of his and tried to persuade him. Oh, weren't they full of smiles, and didn't they look rosy and temptin'? They were sure, they said, so good-lookin' a man as he was, must have learned to dance, or how could he have given it up?

"For a single man like you," said Catherine.

"I am not a single man," said Old Piety, "I am a widower, a lonely man in the house of Israel."

"Oh, Catherine," sais I, a givin' her a wink, "take care of theeself, or thy Musquodobit farm, with its hundred acres of intervale meadow, and seventy head of horned cattle, is gone."

He took a very amatory look at her after that hint.

"Verily she would be a duck in Quaco, friend Jehu," said I.

"Indeed would she, anywhere," he said, looking sanctified Cupids at her, as pious galls do who show you the place in your prayer-book at church.

"Ah, there is another way methinks she would be a duck," said I, "the maiden would soon turn up the whites of her eyes at dancin' like a duck in thunder, as the profane men say."

"Oh, oh," said the doctor, who stood behind me, "I shall die, he'll kill me. I can't stand this, oh, how my sides ache."

"Indeed I am afraid I shall always be a wild duck," said Catherine.

"They are safer from the fowler," said Jehu, "for they are wary and watchful."

"If you are a widower," she said, "you ought to dance."

"Why do you think so?" said he; but his tongue was becoming thick, though his eyes were getting brighter.

"Because," she said, "a widower is an odd critter."

"Odd?" he replied, "in what way odd, dear?"

"Why," said the girl, "an ox of ourn lately lost his mate, and my brother called him the odd ox, and not the single ox, and he is the most frolicksome fellow you ever see. Now, as you have lost your mate, you are an odd one, and if you are lookin' for another to put its head into the yoke, you ought to go frolickin' everywhere too!"

"Do single critters ever look for mates?" said he, slily.

"Well done," said I, "friend Jehu. The drake had the best of the duck that time. Thee weren't bred in Quaco for nothin'. Come, rouse up, wake snakes, and walk chalks, as the thoughtless children of evil say. I see thee is warmin' to the subject."

"Men do allow," said he, lookin' at me with great self-complacency, "that in speech I am peeowerful."

"Come, Mary," said I, addressin' the other sister, "do thee try thy persuasive powers, but take care of thy grandmother's legacy, the two thousand pounds thee hast in the Pictou Bank. It is easier for that to go to Quaco than the farm."

"Oh, never fear," said she.

"Providence," he continued, "has been kind to these virgins. They are surprising comely, and well endowed with understanding and money," and he smirked first at one and then at the other, as if he thought either would do--the farm or the legacy.

"Come," they both said, and as they gave a slight pull, up he sprung to his feet. The temptation was too great for him: two pairs of bright eyes, two pretty faces, and two hands in his filled with Highland blood--and that ain't cold--and two glasses of grog within, and two fortunes without, were irresistible.

So said he," If I have offended, verily I will make amends; but dancing is a dangerous thing, and a snare to the unwary. The hand and waist of a maiden in the dance lead not to serious thoughts."

"It's because thee so seldom feels them," I said. "Edged tools never wound thee when thee is used to them, and the razor that cutteth the child, passeth smoothly over the chin of a man. He who locketh up his daughters, forgetteth there is a window and a ladder, and if gaiety is shut out of the house, it is pitied and admitted when the master is absent or asleep. When it is harboured by stealth and kept concealed, it loses its beauty and innocence, and waxeth wicked. The crowd that leaveth a night-meeting is less restrained than the throng that goeth to a lighted ball-room. Both are to be avoided; one weareth a cloak that conceals too much, the other a thin vestment that reveals more than is seemly. Of the two, it is better to court observation than shun it. Dark thoughts lead to dark deeds."

"There is much reason in what you say," he said; "I never had it put to me in that light before. I have heard of the shakers, but never saw one before you, nor was aware that they danced."

"Did thee never hear," said I, "when thee was a boy,


"'Merrily dance the quaker's wife,
And merrily dance the quaker?'


and so on?"

"No, never," said he.

"Then verily, friend, I will show thee how a quaker can dance. They call us shakers, from shaking our feet so spry. Which will thee choose--the farm or the legacy?"

Mary took his hand, and led him to his place, the music struck up, and Peter gave us one of his quickest measures. Jehu now felt the combined influence of music, women, brandy, and dancing, and snapped his fingers over his head, and stamped his feet to mark the time, and hummed the tune in a voice that from its power and clearness astonished us all.

"Well done, old boy," said I, for I thought I might drop the quaker now, "well done, old boy," and I slapped him on the back, "go it while you are young, make up for lost time: now for the double shuffle. Dod drot it, you are clear grit and no mistake. You are like a critter that boggles in the collar at the first go off, and don't like the start, but when you do lay legs to it you certainly ain't no slouch, I know."

The way he cut carlicues ain't no matter. From humming he soon got to a full cry, and from that to shouting. His antics overcame us all. The doctor gave the first key-note. "Oh, oh, that man will be the death of me," and again rubbed himself round the wall, in convulsions of laughter. Peter saw nothing absurd in all this, on the contrary, he was delighted with the stranger.

"Oigh," he said, "ta preacher is a goot feller after all, she will tance with her hern ainsel;" and fiddling his way up to him again, he danced a jig with Jehu, to the infinite amusement of us all. The familiarity which Mr Judd exhibited with the steps and the dance, convinced me that he must have often indulged in it before he became a Christian. At last he sat down, not a little exhausted with the violent exertion, but the liquor made him peeowerful thick-legged, and his track warn't a bee line, I tell you. After a while a song was proposed, and Mary entreated him to favour us with one.

"Dear Miss," said he, "pretty Miss," and his mouth resembled that of a cat contemplating a pan of milk that it cannot reach, "lovely maiden, willingly would I comply, if Sall Mody (Psalmody) will do, but I have forgotten my songs."

"Try this," said I, and his strong, clear voice rose above us all, as he joined us in--


"Yes, Lucy is a pretty girl,
Such lubly hands and feet,
When her toe is in the Market-house,
Her heel is in Main Street.
"Oh take your time, Miss Lucy,
Miss Lucy, Lucy Long,
Rock de cradle, Lucy,
And listen to de song."


He complained of thirst and fatigue after this, and rising, said, "I am peeowerful dry, by jinks," and helped himself so liberally, that he had scarcely resumed his seat before he was fast asleep, and so incapable of sustaining himself in a sitting posture, that we removed him to the sofa, and loosening his cravat, placed him in a situation where he could repose comfortably. We then all stood round the evangelical "Come-outer," and sang in chorus:


"My old master, Twiddledum Don,
Went to bed with his trousers on,
One shoe off, and the other shoe on--
That's the description of Twiddledum Don."


"Oh, my old 'Come-outer,'" said I, as I took my last look at him for the night, "you have 'come-out' in your true colours at last, but this comes of 'fiddling and dancing, and serving the devil.'"






After the family had retired to rest, the doctor and I lighted our cigars, and discoursed of the events of the evening.

"Such men as Jehu Judd," he said, "do a monstrous deal of mischief in the country. By making the profession of piety a cloak for their knavery, they injure the cause of morality, and predispose men to ridicule the very appearance of that which is so justly entitled to their respect, a sober, righteous, and godly life. Men lose their abhorrence of fraud in their distrust of the efficacy of religion. It is a duty we owe to society to expose and punish such fellows."

"Well then, I will do my duty," said I, laughing, "he has fired into the wrong flock this time, I'll teach him not to do it again, or my name is not Sam Slick. I will make that goney a caution to sinners, I know. He has often deceived others so that they didn't know him, I will now alter him so he shan't know himself when he wakes up."

Proceeding to my bed-room, which, as I said before, adjoined the parlour, I brought out the box containin' my sketchin' fixins, and opening of a secret drawer, showed him a small paper of bronze-coloured powder.

"That," said I," is what the Indians at the Nor-west use to disguise a white man, when he is in their train, not to deceive their enemies, for you couldn't take in a savage for any length of time, no how you could fix it, but that his pale face might not alarm the scouts of their foes. I was stained that way for a month when I was among them, for there was war going on at the time."

Mixing a little of it with brandy I went to the sofa, where Mr Jehu Judd was laid out, and with a camel's hair brush ornamented his upper lip with two enormous and ferocious moustachios, curling well upwards, across his cheeks to his ears, and laid on the paint in a manner to resist the utmost efforts of soap and water. Each eye was adorned with an enormous circle to represent the effect of blows, and on his forehead was written in this indelible ink in large print letters, like those on the starn-board of a vessel, the words "Jehu of Quaco."

In the morning we made preparations for visiting the Bachelor Beaver. The evangelical trader awoke amid the general bustle of the house, and sought me out to talk over the sale of his mackarel.

"Fa is tat," said Peter, who first stared wildly at him, and then put himself in a posture of defence. "Is she a deserter from the garishon of Halifax?"

"I am a man of peace," said Jehu (who appeared to have forgotten the aberrations of the last evening, and had resumed his usual sanctimoniouslyfied manner). "Swear not, friend, it is an abomination, and becometh not a Christian man."

Peter was amazed, he could not trust his eyes, his ears, or his memory.

"Toctor," said he, "come here for heaven's sake, is she hern ainsel or ta tevil."

The moment the doctor saw him, his hands as usual involuntarily protected his sides, and he burst out a laughing in his face, and then describing a circle on the grass, fell down, and rolled over, saying, "Oh, oh, that man will be the death of me." The girls nearly went into hysterics, and Cutler, though evidently not approving of the practical joke, as only fit for military life, unable to contain himself, walked away. The French boy, Etienne, frightened at his horrible expression of face, retreated backwards, crossed himself most devoutly, and muttered an Ave Maria.

"Friend Judd," said I, for I was the only one who retained my gravity, "thee ought not to wear a mask, it is a bad sign."

"I wear no mask, Mr Slick," he said, "I use no disguises, and it does not become a professing man like you to jeer and scoff because I reprove the man Peter for his profaneness."

Peter stamped and raved like a madman, and had to resort to Gaelic to disburden his mind of his effervescence. He threatened to shoot him; he knew him very well, he said, for he had seen him before on the prairies. He was a Kentucky villain, a forger, a tief, a Yankee spy sent to excite the Indians against the English. He knew his false moustachios, he would swear to them in any court of justice in the world. "Deil a bit is ta loon Jehu Judd," he said, "her name is prayin' Joe, the horse-stealer."

For the truth of this charge he appealed to his daughters, who stood aghast at the fearful resemblance his moustachios had given him to that noted borderer.

"That man of Satan," said Jehu, looking very uncomfortable, as he saw Peter flourishing a short dirk, and the doctor holding him back and remonstrating with him. "That man of Satan I never saw before yesterday, when I entered his house, where there was fiddling and dancing, and serving the devil. Truly my head became dizzy at the sight, my heart sunk within me at beholding such wickedness, and I fell into a swoon, and was troubled with dreams of the evil one all night."

"Then he visited thee, friend," I said, "in thy sleep, and placed his mark upon thee--the mark of the beast, come and look at it in the glass."

When he saw himself, he started back in great terror, and gave vent to a long, low, guttural groan, like a man who is suffering intense agony. "What in the world is all this?" he said. He again approached the glass and again retreated with a look of unspeakable despair, groaning like a thousand sinners, and swelled out about the head and throat like a startled blauzer-snake. After which he put his hand to his lip and discovered there was no hair. He then took courage and advanced once more, and examined it carefully, and rubbed it, but it did not remove it.

"He has burned it into the skin," I said, "he hath made thee the image of the horse-stealer, and who knoweth whom else thou resemblest. Thee art a marked man verily. Thee said thee never used disguises."

"Never," he said, "never, Mr Slick."

"Hush," I said, "thee hast worn three disguises. First, thee wore the disguise of religion; secondly, thee were disguised in liquor; and thirdly, thee art now disguised with what fighting men call the moustachio."

"Oh, Mr Slick," said he, leaving off his cant, and really looking like a different man, "dod drot it, it is a just punishment. I knock under, I holler, I give in, have mercy on me. Can you rid me of this horrid mark, for I can't flunk out in the street in this rig."

"I can," sais I, "but I will do it on one condition only, and that is, that you give over canting that way, and coverin' tricks with long faces and things too serious to mention now, for that is doubly wicked. Cheatin' ain't pretty at no time, though I wouldn't be too hard on a man for only gettin' hold of the right eend of the rope in a bargain. I have done it myself. Or puttin' the leak into a consaited critter sometimes for fun. But to cheat, and cant to help you a doin' of it, is horrid, that's a fact. It's the very devil. Will you promise, if I take down that ornamental sign-board, that you will give up that kind o' business and set up a new shop?"

"I will," said he, "upon my soul--I'll be d--d if I don't. That ain't cant now, is it?"

"Well, now you never said a truer word," said I, "you will be d--d if you don't, that's a fact. But there is no use to run to the other extreme, neither."

"Are you a preacher?" said he, and I thought he gave me a sly look out of the corner of his eye, as much as to say, "how good we are, ain't we," as sin said when the devil was rebukin' of him. The fact is, the fellow was a thunderin' knave, but he was no fool, further than being silly enough to be a knave.

"No," sais I, "I ain't, I scorn a man dubbin' himself preacher, without the broughtens up to it, and a lawful warrant for being one. And I scorn cant, it ain't necessary to trade. If you want that proved to you, wait till I return to-morrow, and if you get to winderd of me in a bargain, I'll give you leave to put the moustachios on me, that's a fact. My maxim is to buy as low and sell as high as I can, provided the article will bear a large profit. If not, I take a moderate advance, turn the penny quick, and at it again. I will compound something that will take out your false hair, for I don't think it will be easy to shave it off. It all came of pretence. What in the world was the reason you couldn't walk quietly into the cantecoi, where people were enjoying themselves, and either join them, or if you had scruples, keep them to yourself and sit by. Nobody would have molested you. Nothing but cant led you to join temperance societies. A man ought to be able to use, not abuse liquor, but the moment you obligate yourself not to touch it, it kinder sets you a hankering after it, and if you taste it after that, it upsets you, as it did last night. It ain't easy to wean a calf that takes to suckin' the second time, that's a fact. Your pretence set folks agin you. They didn't half like the interruption for one thing, and then the way you acted made them disrespect you. So you got a most an all-fired trick played on you. And I must say it sarves you right. Now, sais I, go on board and--"

"Oh, Mr Slick," said he, "oh now, that's a good fellow, don't send me on board such a figure as this, I'd rather die fust, I'd never hear the last of it. The men would make me the laughing-stock of Quaco. Oh, I can't go on board."

"Well," sais I, "go to bed then, and put a poultice on your face, to soften the skin." That warn't necessary at all, but I said it to punish him. "And when I come back, I will give you a wash, that will make your face as white and as smooth as a baby's."

"Oh, Mr Slick," said he, "couldn't you--" but I turned away, and didn't hear him out.

By the time I had done with him, we were all ready to start for the Bachelor Beaver. Peter borrowed an extra horse and waggon, and drove his youngest daughter. Cutler drove Jessie in another, and the doctor and I walked.

"We can travel as fast as they can," he said, "for part of the road is full of stumps, and very rough, and I like the arrangement, and want to have a talk with you about all sorts of things."

After travelling about two miles, we struck off the main highway into a wood-road, in which stones, hillocks, and roots of trees so impeded the waggons, that we passed them, and took the lead.

"Are you charged?" said the Doctor, "if not, I think we may as well do so now."

"Perhaps it would be advisable," said I. "But where is your gun?"

"I generally am so well loaded," he replied, "when I go to the woods, I find it an encumbrance. In addition to my other traps, I find forty weight of pemican as much as I can carry."

"Pemican,"1 sais I, "what in natur is that?" I knew as well as he did what it was, for a man that don't understand how to make that, don't know the very abeselfa of wood-craft. But I tell you what, Squire, unless you want to be hated, don't let on you know all that a feller can tell you. The more you do know, the more folks are afeared to be able to tell you something new. It flatters their vanity, and it's a harmless piece of politeness, as well as good policy to listen; for who the plague will attend to you if you won't condescend to hear them? Conversation is a barter, in which one thing is swapped for another, and you must abide by the laws of trade. What you give costs you nothing; and what you get may be worth nothing; so, if you don't gain much, you don't lose, at all events. "So," sais I, "what in natur is pemican?"


1 See Dunn's "Oregon."


"Why," sais he, "it is formed by pounding the choice parts of venison or other meat very small, dried over a slack fire, or by the frost, and put into bags, made of the skin of the slain animal, into which a portion of melted fat is poured. The whole being then strongly pressed, and sewed up in bags, constitutes the best and most portable food known; and one which will keep a great length of time. If a dainty man, like you, wishes to improve its flavour, you may spice it."

"What a grand thing that would be for soldiers during forced marches, wouldn't it. Well, Doctor," sais I, "that's a wrinkle, ain't it? But who ever heard of a colonial minister knowing anything of colony habits?"

"If we have a chance to kill a deer," he said, "I will show you how to make it," and he looked as pleased to give me that information as if he had invented it himself. "So I use this instead of a gun," he continued, producing a long, thick-barreled pistol, of capital workmanship, and well mounted. "I prefer this, it answers every purpose: and is easy to carry. There are no wolves here, and bears never attack you, unless molested, so that the gun-barrel is not needed as a club; and if Bruin once gets a taste of this, he is in no hurry to face it again. The great thing is to know how to shoot, and where to hit. Now, it's no use to fire at the head of a bear, the proper place to aim for is the side, just back of the fore leg. Are you a good shot?"

"Well," said I, "I can't brag, for I have seen them that could beat me at that game; but, in a general way, I don't calculate to throw away my lead. It's scarce in the woods. Suppose though we have a trial. Do you see that blaze in the hemlock tree, there? try it."

Well, he up, and as quick as wink fired, and hit it directly in the centre.

"Well," sais I, "you scare me. To tell you the truth, I didn't expect to be taken up that way. And so sure as I boast of a thing, I slip out of the little eend of the horn." Well, I drew a bead fine on it, and fired.

"That mark is too small," said he (thinking I had missed it), "and hardly plain enough."

"I shouldn't wonder if I had gone a one side or the other," said I, as we walked up to it, "I intended to send your ball further in; but I guess I have only turned it round. See, I have cut a little grain of the bark off the right side of the circle."

"Good," said he, "these balls are near enough to give a critter the heart-ache, at any rate. You are a better shot than I am; and that's what I have never seen in this province. Strange, too, for you don't live in the woods as I do."

"That's the reason," said I, "I shoot for practice, you, when you require it. Use keeps your hand in, but it wouldn't do it for me; so I make up by practising whenever I can. When I go to the woods, which ain't as often now as I could wish, for they ain't to be found everywhere in our great country, I enjoy it with all my heart. I enter into it as keen as a hound, and I don't care to have the Clockmaker run rigs on. A man's life often depends on his shot, and he ought to be afraid of nothin'. Some men, too, are as dangerous as wild beasts; but if they know you can snuff a candle with a ball, hand runnin', why, they are apt to try their luck with some one else, that ain't up to snuff, that's all. It's a common feeling, that.

"The best shot I ever knew, was a tailor at Albany. He used to be very fond of brousin' in the forest sometimes, and the young fellows was apt to have a shy at Thimble. They talked of the skirts of the forest, the capes of the Hudson, laughing in their sleeve, giving a fellow a bastin, having a stitch in the side, cuffing a fellow's ears, taking a tuck-in at lunch, or calling mint-julip an inside lining, and so on; and every time any o' these words came out, they all laughed like anything.

"Well, the critter, who was really a capital fellow, used to join in the laugh himself, but still grinnin' is no proof a man enjoys it; for a hyena will laugh, if you give him a poke. So what does he do, but practise in secret every morning and evening at pistol-shooting for an hour or two, until he was a shade more than perfection itself. Well, one day he was out with a party of them same coons, and they began to run the old rig on him as usual. And he jumps up on eend, and in a joking kind o' way, said: 'Gentlemen, can any of you stitch a button-hole, with the button in it?' Well, they all roared out at that like mad.

"'No, Sirree,' sais they, 'but come, show us Thimble, will you? that's a good fellow. Tom, fetch the goose to press it when it's done. Dick, cabbage a bit of cloth for him to try it upon. Why, Tom, you are as sharp as a needle.'

"'Well,' sais he, 'I'll show you.'

"So he went to a tree, and took out of his pocket a fip-penny bit, that had a hole in the centre, and putting in it a small nail, which he had provided, he fastened it to the tree.

"'Now,' said he, taking out a pair of pistols, and lots of ammunition, from the bottom of his prog-basket, where he had hid them. 'Now,' said he, 'gentlemen, the way to stitch a buttonhole, is to put balls all round that button, in a close ring, and never disturb them; that's what we tailors call workmanlike:' and he fired away, shot after shot, till he had done it.

"'Now,' said he,' gentlemen, that button has to be fastened;' and he fired, and drove the nail that it hung on into the tree. 'And now, gentlemen,' said he, 'I have stood your shots for many a long day, turn about is fair play. The first man that cracks a joke at me, on account of my calling, must stand my shot, and 'if I don't stitch his button-hole for him, I am no tailor; that's all.'

"Well, they all cheered him when he sat down, and they drank his health; and the boss of the day said: 'Well, Street (afore that he used to call him Thimble), well, Street,' said he, 'you are a man.'

"'There you are again,' said Street, 'that is a covered joke at a tailor being only the ninth part of one. I pass it over this time, but let's have no more of it.'

"'No, Sirree, no,' said boss, 'on honour now, I didn't mean it. And I say, too, let there be no more of it.'"

"Not a bad story!" said the doctor. "A man ought to be able to take his own part in the world; but my idea is we think too much of guns. Do you know anything of archery?"

"A little," sais I, "at least folks say so; but then they really give me credit for what I don't deserve; they say I draw a thunderin' long bow sometimes."

"Oh! oh!" he said laughing, "positively, as the fellow said to the tailor, you'll give me a stitch in my side. Well, that's better than being 'sewed up,' as Jehu was last night. But, seriously, do you ever use the bow?"

"Well, I have tried the South American bow, and it's a powerful weapon that; but it takes a man to draw it, I tell you."

"Yes," said he, "it requires a strong arm; but the exercise is good for the chest. It's the one I generally use. The bow is a great weapon, and the oldest in the world. I believe I have a tolerable collection of them. The Indian bow was more or less excellent, according to the wood they had; but they never could have been worth much here, for the country produces no suitable material. The old English long-bow perhaps is a good one; but it is not so powerful as the Turkish. That has immense power. They say it will carry an arrow from four hundred and fifty to five hundred yards. Mine perhaps is not a first-rate one, nor am I what I call a skilful archer; but I can reach beyond three hundred yards--though that is an immense distance. The gun has superseded them; but though superior in many respects, the other has some qualities that are invaluable. In skirmishing, or in surprising outposts, what an advantage it is to avoid the alarm and noise occasioned by firearms. All troops engaged in this service in addition to the rifle ought to have the bow and the quiver. What an advantage it would have been in the Caffre war, and how serviceable now in the Crimea. They are light to carry and quickly discharged. When we get to my house I will prove it to you. We will set up two targets, at one hundred yards, say. You shall fire from one to the other, and then stand aside, and before you can reload I will put three arrows into yours. I should say four to a common soldier's practice; but I give even you three to one. If a man misses his first shot at me with a gun, he is victimized, for I have three chances in return before he gets his second, and if I don't pink him with one or the other--why, I deserve to be hit. For the same reason, what a glorious cavalry weapon it is, as the Parthians knew. What a splendid thing for an ambush, where you are neither seen nor heard. I don't mean to say they are better than fire-arms; but, occasionally used with them they would be irresistible. If I were a British officer in command I would astonish the enemy."

"You would astonish the Horse-Guards, too, I know," said I. "It would ruin you for ever. They'd call you old 'bows and arrows,' as they did the general that had no flints to his guns, when he attacked Buonus Ayres; they'd have you up in 'Punch;' they'd draw you as Cupid going to war; they'd nickname you a Bow-street officer. Oh! they'd soon teach you what a quiver was. They'd play the devil with you. They'd beat you at your own game; you'd be stuck full of poisoned arrows. You could as easily introduce the queue again, as the bow."

"Well, Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt were won with the bow," he said, "and, as an auxiliary weapon, it is still as effective as ever. However that is not a mere speculation. When I go out after cariboo, I always carry mine, and seldom use my gun. It don't alarm the herd; they don't know where the shaft comes from, and are as likely to look for it in the lake or in the wild grass as anywhere else. Let us try them together. But let us load with shot now. We shall come to the brook directly, and where it spreads out into still water, and the flags grow, the wild fowl frequent; for they are amazin' fond of poke-lokeins, as the Indians call those spots. We may get a brace or two perhaps to take home with us. Come, let us push ahead, and go warily."

After awhile a sudden turn of the road disclosed to us a flock of blue-winged ducks, and he whispered, "Do you fire to the right, and I will take the left." When the smoke from our simultaneous discharges cleared away, we saw the flock rise, leaving five of their number as victims of their careless watch.

"That is just what I said," he remarked, "the gun is superior in many respects; but if we had our bows here, we would have had each two more shots at them, while on the wing. As it is, we can't reload till they are out of reach. I only spoke of the how as subordinate and auxiliary; but never as a substitute. Although I am not certain that, with our present manufacturing skill, metallic bows could not now be made, equal in power, superior in lightness, and more effective than any gun when the object to be aimed at is not too minute, for in that particular the rifle will never be equalled--certainly not surpassed."

The retriever soon brought us our birds, and we proceeded leisurely on our way, and in a short time were overtaken by the waggons, when we advanced together towards the house, which we reached in about an hour more. As soon as we came in sight of it, the dogs gave notice of our approach, and a tall, straight, priggish-looking man marched, for he did not hurry himself, bareheaded towards the bars in the pole fence. He was soon afterwards followed by a little old woman at a foot amble, or sort of broken trot, such as distinguishes a Naraganset pacer. She had a hat in her hand, which she hastily put on the man's head. But, as she had to jump up to do it, she effected it with a force that made it cover his eyes, and nearly extinguish his nose. It caused the man to stop and adjust it, when he turned round to his flapper, and, by the motion of his hand, and her retrogade movement, it appeared he did not receive this delicate attention very graciously. Duty however was pressing him, and he resumed his stately step towards the bars.

She attacked him again in the rear, as a goose does an intruder, and now and then picked something from his coat, which I supposed to be a vagrant thread, or a piece of lint or straw, and then retreated a step or two to avoid closer contact. He was compelled at last to turn again on his pursuer, and expostulate with her in no gentle terms. I heard the words "mind your own business," or something of the kind, and the female voice more distinctly (women always have the best of it), "You look as if you had slept in it. You ain't fit to appear before gentlemen." Ladies she had been unaccustomed of late to see, and therefore omitted altogether. "What would Colonel Jones say if he saw you that way?"

To which the impatient man replied: "Colonel Jones be hanged. He is not my commanding officer, or you either--take that will you, old ooman." If the colonel was not there his master was, therefore pressing forward he took down the bars, and removed them a one side, when he drew himself bolt upright, near one of the posts, and placing his hand across his forehead, remained in that position, without uttering a word, till the waggons passed, and the doctor said, "Well, Jackson, how are you?" "Hearty, Sir! I hope your Honour is well? Why, Buscar, is that you, dog; how are you, my man?" and then he proceeded very expeditiously to replace the poles.

"What are you stopping for?" said the doctor to me, for the whole party was waiting for us.

"I was admirin' of them bars," said I.

"Why, they are the commonest things in the country," he replied. "Did you never see them before?" Of course I had, a thousand times, but I didn't choose to answer.

"What a most beautiful contrivance," said I, "they are. First, you can't find them, if you don't know beforehand where they are, they look so like the rest of the fence. It tante one stranger in a thousand could take them down, for if he begins at the top they get awfully tangled, and if he pulls the wrong way, the harder he hauls the tighter they get. Then he has to drag them all out of the way, so as to lead the horse through, and leave him standin' there till he puts them up agin, and as like as not, the critter gets tired of waitin', races off to the stable, and breaks the waggon all to flinders. After all these advantages, they don't cost but a shilling or so more than a gate. Oh, it's grand."

"Well, well," said the doctor, "I never thought of that afore, but you are right after all," and he laughed as good humouredly as possible. "Jackson," said he.

"Yes, your Honour."

"We must have a gate there."

"Certainly," said the servant, touching his hat. But he honoured me with a look, as much as to say, "Thank you for nothing, Sir. It's a pity you hadn't served under Colonel Jones, for he would have taught you to mind your own business double quick."

We then proceeded to the door, and the doctor welcomed the party to the "Bachelor Beaver's-dam," as he called it. In the mean time, the bustling little old woman returned, and expressed great delight at seeing us. The place was so lonesome, she said, and it was so pleasant to see ladies there, for they were the first who had ever visited the doctor, and it was so kind of them to come so far, and she hoped they would often honour the place with their presence, if they could put up with their accommodation, for she had only heard from the doctor the night before; and she was so sorry she couldn't receive them as she could wish, and a whole volume more, and an appendix longer than that, and an index to it, where the paging was so jumbled you couldn't find nothin'.

Jackson joined in, and said he regretted his commissariat was so badly supplied. That it was a poor country to forage in, and that there was nothing but the common rations and stores for the detachment stationed there. But that nothing should be wanting on his part, and so on. The housekeeper led the way to the apartments destined for the girls. Peter assisted the boy to unharness the horses, and the doctor showed Cutler and myself into the hall, where the breakfast table was set for us. Seeing Jackson marching to the well, as if he was on parade, I left the two together in conversation, and went out to talk to him. "Sergeant," sais I.

"Yes, your Honour," said he, and he put down the pail, and raised his hand to his forehead.

"I understand you have seen a great deal of service in your time."

"Yes, Sir," said he, looking well pleased, and as if his talking tacks were all ready. I had hit the right subject. "I ave gone through a deal of soldiering in my day, and been in many a ard fight, Sir."

"I see you have the marks on you," I said. "That is a bad scar on your face."

"Well, Sir," said he, "saving your presence, I wish the devil had the Frenchman that gave me that wound. I have some I am proud of having received in the service of my king and country. I have three balls in me now, which the doctors couldn't extract, and nothin' but death will bring to the light of day again, if they can be said to be seen in the grave. But that scar is the only disgraceful mark I ever received since I first joined in 1808.

"When we were laying siege to Badajoz, Sir, I was in the cavalry, and I was sent with a message to a brigade that was posted some distance from us. Well, Sir, as I was trotting along, I saw a French dragoon, well mounted, leading a splendid spare orse, belonging to some French hofficer of rank, as far as I could judge from his happearance and mountings. Instead of pursuing my course, as I ought to have done, Sir, I thought I'de make a dash at the rascal, and make prize of that are hanimal. So I drew my sword, raised myself in my saddle (for I was considered a first-rate swordsman, as most Hinglishmen hare who have been used to the single-stick), and made sure I ad him. Instead of turning, he kept steadily on, and never as much as drew his sabre, so in place of making a cut hat him, for I'de scorn to strike han hunarmed man, my play was to cut is reins, and then if he wanted a scrimmage, to give him one, and if not, to carry off that hare orse.

"Well, Sir, he came on gallantly, I must say that, and kept his eye fixed steadily on me, when just as I was going to make a cut at his reins, he suddenly seized his eavy-mounted elmet, and threw it slap at my face, and I'll be anged if it didn't stun me, and knock me right off the orse flat on the ground, and then he galloped off as ard as he could go. When I got up, I took his elmet under my harm, and proceeded on my route. I was ashamed to tell the story straight, and I made the best tale I could of the scrimmage, and showed the elmet in token that it was a pretty rough fight. But the doctor, when he dressed the wound, swore it never was made with a sword, nor a bullet, nor any instrument he knew hon, and that he didn't think it was occasioned by a fall, for it was neither insised, outsised, nor contused--but a confusion of all three. He questioned me as close as a witness.

"'But,' sais I, 'doctor, there is no telling what himplements Frenchmen ave. They don't fight like us, they don't. It was a runnin' scrimmage, or handicap fight.' Yes, Sir, if it was hanywhere helse, where it wouldn't show, it wouldn't be so bad, but there it is on the face, and there is no denyin' of it."

Here the little woman made her appearance again, with the hat in her hand, and said imploringly:

"Tom, doee put your hat on, that's a good soul. He don't take no care of himself, Sir," she said, addressing herself to me. "He has seen a deal of service in his day, and has three bullets in him now, and he is as careless of hisself as if he didn't mind whether I was left alone in the oulin' wilderness or not. Oh, Sir, if you heard the wild beastesis here at night, it's dreadful. It's worse than the wolves in the Pyreen, in Spain. And then, Sir, all I can do, I can't get him to wear is at, when he knows in is eart he had a stroke of the sun near Badajoz, which knocked him off his orse, and see how it cut his face. He was so andsome before, Sir."

"Betty," said the sergeant, "the doctor is calling you. Do go into the ouse, and don't bother the gentleman. Oh, Sir," said he, "I have had to tell a cap of lies about that are scar on my face, and that's ard, Sir, for a man who has a medal with five clasps; ain't it?"

Here the doctor came to tell me breakfast was ready.

"I was admiring, Doctor," said I, "this simple contrivance of yours for raising water from the well. It is very ingenious."

"Very," he said, "but I assure you it is no invention of mine. I have no turn that way. It is very common in the country."

I must describe this extraordinary looking affair, for though not unusual in America, I have never seen it in England, although the happy thought doubtless owes its origin to the inventive genius of its farmers.

The well had a curb, as it is called, a square wooden box open at the top, to prevent accident to the person drawing the water. A few paces from this was an upright post about twelve feet high, having a crotch at the top. A long beam lies across this, one end of which rests on the ground at a distance from the post, and the other projects into the air with its point over the well. This beam is secured in the middle of the crotch of the upright post by an iron bolt, on which it moves, as on an axle. To the aerial end is attached a few links of a chain, that hold a long pole to which the bucket is fastened, and hangs over the well. The beam and its pendent apparatus resembles a fishing-rod and its line protruding over a stream. When a person wishes to draw water, he takes hold of the pole, and as he pulls it down, the bucket descends into the well, and the heavy end of the beam rises into the air, and when the pail is filled the weight of the butt end of the beam in its descent raises the bucket.

"Now," said I, "Doctor, just observe how beautiful this thing is in operation. A woman (for they draw more nor half the water used in this country) has to put out all her strength, dragging down the pole, with her hands over her head (an attitude and exercise greatly recommended by doctors to women), in order to get the bucket down into the well. If she is in too big a hurry, the lever brings it up with a jerk that upsets it, and wets her all over, which is very refreshing in hot weather, and if a child or a dog happens to be under the heavy end of the beam, it smashes it to death, which after all ain't no great matter, for there are plenty left to them who have too many and don't care for 'em. And then if it ain't well looked after and the post gets rotten at the bottom, on a stormy day it's apt to fall and smash the roof of the house in, which is rather lucky, for most likely it wanted shingling, and it is time it was done. Well, when the bucket swings about in the wind, if a gall misses catching it, it is apt to hit her in the mouth, which is a great matter, if she has the tooth-ache, for it will extract corn-crackers a plaguey sight quicker than a dentist could to save his soul."

"Well," said he, "I never thought of that before. I have no turn for these things, I'll have it removed, it is a most dangerous thing, and I wouldn't have an accident happen to the sergeant and dear old Betty for the world."

"God bless your Honour for that," said Jackson.

"But, Doctor," said I, "joking apart, they are very picturesque, ain't they, how well they look in a sketch, eh! nice feature in the foreground."

"Oh," said he, patting me on the back, "there you have me again, Slick. Oh, indeed they are, I can't part with my old well-pole, oh, no, not for the world: Jackson, have an eye to it, see that it is all safe and strong and that no accident happens, but I don't think we need take it away. Come, Slick, come to breakfast."

Thinks I to myself, as I proceeded to the hall, "there are two classes only in this world. Those who have genius, and those who have common sense. They are like tailors, one can cut a coat and do nothin' else, for he is an artist. The other can put the parts together, for he is a workman only. Now the doctor is a man of talent and learning, an uncommon man, but he don't know common things at all. He can cut out a garment, but he can't stitch a button-hole."






The room in which we breakfasted was about eighteen feet square, having a large old-fashioned fire-place opposite to the front door, which opened directly on the lawn. The walls were fancifully ornamented with moose and deer horns, fowling-pieces, fishing-rods, landing nets and baskets, bows and arrows of every description, and Indian relics, such as stone hatchets, bowls, rude mortars, images, war clubs, wampum, and implements not unlike broad swords made of black birch, the edges of which were inlaid with the teeth of animals, or the shells of fish, ground sharp. Besides these, were skulls of great size and in good preservation, stone pipes, pouches, and so on; also some enormous teeth and bones of an antediluvian animal, found in the Bras Dor lake in Cape Breton. It was, take it altogether, the most complete collection of relics of this interesting race, the Micmacs, and of natur's products to be found in this province. Some of the larger moose horns are ingeniously managed, so as to form supports for polished slabs of hardwood for tables. The doctor informed me that this department of his museum was under the sole direction of the sergeant, who called it his armoury, and to whose experience in the arrangement of arms he was indebted for the good effect they produced. The only objection he said he had to it was, that classification had been sacrificed to appearance, and things were very much intermixed; but his collection was too small to make this a matter of any importance.

Jackson, as soon as the doctor was similarly engaged in showing them to the captain and the Miss McDonalds, for whom they seemed to have a peculiar interest, mounted guard over me.

"You see, Sir," said he, "the moose horns are the only thing of any size here, and that's because the moose is half English, you know. Everything is small in this country, and degenerates, Sir. The fox ain't near as big as an English one. Lord, Sir, the ounds would run down one o' these fellows in ten minutes. They haven't got no strength. The rabbit too is a mere nothink; he is more of a cat, and looks like one too, when he is hanged in a snare. It's so cold, nothin' comes to a right size here. The trees is mere shrubbery compared to our hoaxes. The pine is tall, but then it has no sap. It's all tar and turpentine, and that keeps the frost out of its heart. The fish that live under the ice in the winter are all iley, in a general way, like the whales, porpoises, dog-fish, and cod. The liver of the cod is all ile, and women take to drinkin' it now in cold weather to keep their blood warm. Depend upon it, Sir, in two or three generations they will shine in the sun like niggers. Porter would be better for 'em to drink than ile, and far more pleasanter too, Sir, wouldn't it? It would fill 'em out. Saving your presence, Sir, you never see a girl here with--"

"Hush! the ladies will hear you," I said.

"I ax your Honour's pardon; perhaps I am making too bold, but it's nateral for a man that has seed so much of the world as I have to talk a bit, especially as my tongue is absent on furlough more nor half the year, and then the old 'ooman's goes on duty, and never fear, Sir, her'n don't sleep at its post. She has seen too much sarvice for that. It don't indeed. It hails every one that passes the sentry-box, and makes 'em advance and give the countersign. A man that has seed so much, Sir, in course has a good deal to talk about. Now, Sir, I don't want to undervaly the orns at no rate, but Lord bless you, Sir, I have seen the orns of a wild sheep, when I was in the Medeteranion, so large, I could hardly lift them with one hand. They say young foxes sleep in them sometimes. Oh, Sir, if they would only get a few of them sheep, and let them loose here, there would be some fun in unting of them. They are covered over with air in summer, and they are so wild you can't take them no other way than by shooting of them. Then, Sir, there is the orns of--"

"But how is the moose half English?" sais I.

"Why, Sir, I heard our colour-sergeant M'Clure say so when we was in Halifax. He was a great reader and a great arguer, Sir, as most Scotchmen are. I used to say to him, 'M'Clure, it's a wonder you can fight as well as you do, for in England fellows who dispute all the time commonly take it all out in words.'

"One day, Sir, a man passed the north barrack gate, tumping (as he said, which means in English, Sir, hauling) an immense bull moose on a sled, though why he didn't say so, I don't know, unless he wanted to show he knew what M'Clure calls the botanical word for it. It was the largest hanimal I ever saw here."

"Says Mac to him, 'What do you call that creature?'

"'Moose,' said he.

"'Do you pretend to tell me,' said Mac, 'that that henormous hanimal, with orns like a deer, is a moose?'

"'I don't pretend at all,' said he; 'I think I hought to know one when I see it, for I have killed the matter of a undred of them in my day.'

"'It's a daumed lee,' said the sergeant. 'It's no such thing; I wouldn't believe it if you was to swear to it.'

"'Tell you what,' said the man, 'don't go for to tell me that again, or I'll lay you as flat as he is in no time,' and he cracked his whip and moved on.

"'What's the use,' said I, 'M'Clure, to call that man a liar? How do you know whether it is a moose or not, and he is more like to get its name right than you, who never saw one afore.'

"'Moose,' said he, 'do you take me for a fool? do you suppose he is a goin' to cram me with such stuff as that? The idea of his pretending to tell me that a creature six feet high with great spreading antlers like a deer is a moose, when in fact they are no bigger than a cock-roach, and can run into holes the size of a sixpence! Look at me--do you see anything very green about me?'

"'Why, Mac,' sais I, 'as sure as the world you mean a mouse.'

"'Well, I said a moose,' he replied.

"'Yes, I know you said a moose, but that's not the way to pronounce a mouse. It may be Scotch, but it ain't English. Do you go into that hardware shop, and ask for a moose-trap, and see how the boys will wink to each other, and laugh at you.'

"'A man,' sais he, drawing himself up, 'who has learned humanity at Glaskee, don't require to be taught how to pronounce moose.'

"'As for your humanity,' said I, 'I never see much of that. If you ever had that weakness, you got bravely over it, and the glass key must have been broke years agone in Spain.'

"'You are getting impertinent,' said he, and he walked off and left me.

"It's very strange, your Honour, but I never saw an Irishman or Scotchman yet that hadn't the vanity to think he spoke English better than we do."

"But the Yankees?" said I.

"Well, Sir, they are foreigners, you know, and only speak broken English; but they mix up a deal of words of their own with it, and then wonder you don't understand them. They keep their mouths so busy chawing, they have to talk through their noses.

"A few days after that, Sir, we walked down to the marketplace, and there was another of these hanimals for sale. But perhaps I am making too bold, Sir?"

"No, no, not at all; go on. I like to hear you."

"'Well,' said M'Clure to the countryman, 'What do you call that?'

"'A moose,' said he.

"Well, I gives him a nudge of my helbow, to remind him not to tell him it was a 'daumed lee,' as he did the other man.

"'What does moose mean, my man?'

"Would you believe it, Sir, he didn't like that word 'my man,' partikelarly coming from a soldier, for they are so hignorant here they affect to look down upon soldiers, and call 'em 'thirteen pences.'

"'Mean,' said he, 'it means that,' a-pointin' to the carcass. 'Do you want to buy it?'

"'Hem!' said Mac. 'Well now, my good fellow--'

"Oh, Sir, if you had a seen the countryman when he heard them words, it would a been as good as a play. He eyed him all over, very scornful, as if he was taking his measure and weight for throwing him over the sled by his cape and his trousers, and then he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket, and took out a large black fig of coarse tobacco, and bit a piece out of it, as if it was an apple, and fell too a chewing of it, as if to vent his wrath on it, but said nothing.

"'Well, my good fellow,' said Mac, 'when there are more than one, or they are in the plural number, what do you call them?'

"'Mice,' said the fellow.

"'Mice!' said M'Clure, 'I must look into that; it's very odd. Still, it can't be mooses either.'

"He didn't know what to make of it; he had been puzzled with mouse before, and found he was wrong, so he thought it was possible 'mice' might be the right word after all.

"'Well,' said he, 'what do you call the female moose?'

"'Why,' sais the man, 'I guess,' a-talkin' through his nose instead of his mouth--how I hate that Yankee way, don't you, Sir? 'Why,' sais he, 'I guess we call the he-moose M, and the other N, as the case may be.'

"'Who gave them that name?' said M'Clure.

"'Why, I reckon,' said the other, 'their godfathers and godmothers at their baptism, but I can't say, for I warn't there.'

"'I say, my man,' said M'Clure, 'you had better keep a civil tongue in your head.'

"'Ask me no questions, then,' said the countryman, 'and I'll tell you no lies; but if you think to run a rig on me, you have made a mistake in the child, and barked up the wrong tree, that's all. P'raps I ain't so old as you be, but I warn't born yesterday. So slope, if you please, for I want to sneeze, and if I do, it will blow your cap over the market-house, and you'll be lucky if your head don't go along with it."

"'Come away,' said I, 'Mac, that fellow has no more manners than a heathen.'

"'He's an hignorant beast,' said he, 'he is beneath notice.'

"The man eard that, and called after him, 'Hofficer, hofficer,' said he.

"That made M'Clure stop, for he was expectin' to be one every day, and the word sounded good, and Scotchmen, Sir, ain't like other people, pride is as natural as oatmeal to them. The man came up to us limpin'.

"'Hofficer,' said he, 'I ax your pardon if I offended you, I thought you was a pokin' fun at me, for I am nothing but a poor hignorant farmer, from the country, and these townspeople are always making game of us. I'll tell you all about that are moose and how I killed him. He urt my feelins, Sir, or I never would have mislested him, for Zack Wilcox is as good-natured a chap, it's generally allowed, as ever lived. Yes, he trod on my toes, I don't feel right yet, and when any fellow does that to me, why there ain't no mistake about it, his time is out and the sentence is come to pass. He begged for his life, oh, it was piteous to see him. I don't mean to say the dumb beast spoke, but his looks were so beseeching just the way if you was tied up to the halbert to be whipped, you'd look at the general.'

"'Me?' said M'Clure.

"'Yes, you or anybody else,' said the man. 'Well,' said he, 'I told him I wouldn't shoot him, I'de give him one chance for his life, but if he escaped he'd be deaf for ever afterwards. Poor feller, I didn't intend to come it quite so strong, but he couldn't stand the shock I gave him, and it killed him--frightened him to death.'

"'How?' said M'Clure.

"'Why,' sais he, 'I'll tell you,' and he looked cautiously all round, as if he didn't want any one to know the secret. 'I gave him a most an almighty hambler that fairly keeled him over.'

"'What?' said M'Clure.

"'Why,' sais he, 'I gave him,' and he bent forward towards his hear as if to whisper the word, 'I gave him a most thunderin' everlastin' loud--' and he gave a yell into his hear that was eard clean across the harbour, and at the ospital beyond the dockyard, and t'other way as far as Fresh-water Bridge. Nothin' was hever eard like it before.

"M'Clure sprang backwards the matter of four or five feet, and placed his hand on his side arms, while the countryman brayed out a horse laugh that nearly took away one's earing. The truck-men gate him a cheer, for they are all Irishmen, and they don't like soldiers commonly on account of their making them keep the peace at ome at their meetin' of monsters, and there was a general commotion in the market. We beat a retreat, and when we got out of the crowd, sais I, 'M'Clure, that comes of arguing with every one you meet. It's a bad habit.'

"'I wasn't arguing,' sais he, quite short, 'I was only asking questions, and how can you ever learn if you don't inquire?'

"Well, when he got to the barrack, he got a book wrote by a Frenchman, called Buffoon."

"A capital name," sais I, "for a Frenchman," but he didn't take, for there is no more fun in an Englishman than a dough pudding, and went on without stopping.

"Sais he, 'this author is all wrong. He calls it han 'horiginal,' but he ain't a native animal, it's half English and half Yankee. Some British cattle at a remote period have been wrecked here, strayed into the woods, and erded with the Carriboo. It has the ugly carcass and ide of the ox, and has taken the orns, short tail, and its speed from the deer. That accounts for its being larger than the native stags.' I think he was right, Sir, what is your opinion?"

The doctor and the rest of the party coming up just put an end to Jackson's dissertation on the origin of the moose. The former said,

"Come, Mr Slick, suppose we try the experiment of the bow," and Jessie, seeing us preparing for shooting, asked the doctor for smaller ones for her sister and herself. The targets were accordingly prepared, and placing myself near one of them, I discharged the gun and removed a few paces on one side, and commenced as rapidly as I could to reload, but the doctor had sent three arrows through mine before I had finished. It required almost as little time as a revolver. He repeated the trial again with the same result.

"What do you think of the bow now?" said he in triumph. "Come, Captain, do you and Mr Slick try your luck, and see what sort of shots you can make." The captain, who was an experienced hand with the gun, after a few attempts to ascertain the power and practice necessary, made capital play with the bow, and his muscular arm rendered easy to him that which required of me the utmost exertion of my strength. Jessie and her sister now stept forward, and measuring off a shorter distance, took their stations. Their shooting, in which they were quite at home, was truly wonderful. Instead of using the bow as we did, so as to bring the arrow in a line with the eye, they held it lower down, in a way to return the elbow to the right side, much in the same manner that a skilful sportsman shoots from the hip. It seemed to be no sort of exertion whatever to them, and every arrow was lodged in the inner circle. It seemed to awaken them to a new existence, and in their excitement I observed they used their mother tongue.

"Beg your pardon, Sir," said Jackson to the doctor, putting his hand to his forehead, "if our sharp-shooters in Spain ad ad bows like yours, in their scrimmages with the French light troops, they would ave done more service and made less noise about it than they did." And saluting me in the same manner, he said in an under-tone,

"If I ad ad one of them at Badajoz, Sir, I think I'd a put a pen in that trooper's mouth to write the account of the way he lost his elmet. A shower of them, Sir, among a troop of cavalry would have sent riders flying, and horses kicking, as bad as a shower of grape. There is no danger of shooting your fingers off with them, Sir, or firing away your ramrod. No, there ain't, is there, Sir?"

"Tom, do'ee put on your hat now, that's a good soul," said his attentive wife, who had followed him out a third time to remind him of his danger. "Oh, Sir," said she, again addressing me, "what signifies a armless thing like an harrow; that's nothin but a little wooden rod to the stroke of the sun, as they calls it. See what a dreadful cut it's given him."

Tom looked very impatient at this, but curbed in his vexation, and said "Thankee, Betty," though his face expressed anything but thanks. "Thankee, Betty. There, the doctor is calling you. She is as good a creature, Sir, as ever lived," he continued; "and has seen a deal of service in her day. But she bothers me to death about that stroke of the sun. Sometimes I think I'll tell her all about it; but I don't like to demean myself to her. She wouldn't think nothin' of me, Sir, if she thought I could have been floored that way; and women, when they begin to cry, throw up sometime what's disagreeable. They ain't safe. She would perhaps have heaved up in my face that that dragoon had slapped my chops for me, with his elmet. I am blowed, Sir, if I can take a glass of grog out of my canteen, but she says, 'Tom, mind that stroke of the sun.' And when I ave a big D marked agin my name in the pension book, she'll swear, to her dying day, I was killed by that are stroke."

"Why don't you put it on then," I said, "just to please her."

"Well, Sir, if I was at head-quarters, or even at han hout-post, where there was a detachment, I would put it hon; because it wouldn't seem decent to go bare-headed. But Lord bless you, Sir, what's the use of a hat in the woods, where there is no one to see you?"

Poor fellow, he didn't know what a touch of human nature there was in that expression, "what's the use of a hat in the woods, where there is no one to see you?"

The same idea, though differently expressed, occurs to so many. "Yes," said I to myself, "put on your hat for your wife's sake, and your own too; for though you may fail to get a stroke of the sun, you may get not an inflammation of the brain, for there ain't enough of it for that complaint to feed on, but rheumatism in the head; and that will cause a plaguey sight more pain than the dragoon's helmet ever did, by a long chalk."

But, to get back to my story, for the way I travel through a tale is like the way a child goes to school. He leaves the path to chase a butterfly, or to pick wild strawberries, or to run after his hat that has blown off, or to take a shy at a bird, or throw off his shoes, roll up his trousers, and wade about the edge of a pond to catch polly-wogs; but he gets to school in the eend, though somewhat of the latest, so I have got back at last, you see.

Mother used to say, "Sam, your head is always a woolgathering."

"I am glad of it," says I, "marm."

"Why, Sam," she'd say, "why, what on earth do you mean?"

"Because, marm," I'd reply, "a head that's alway a gathering will get well stored at last."

"Do get out," the dear old soul would say, "I do believe, in my heart, you are the most nimpent (impudent), idlest, good-for-nothingest boy in the world. Do get along."

But she was pleased, though, after all; for women do like to repeat little things like them, that their children say, and ask other people, who don't hear a word, or if they do, only go right off and laugh at 'em: "Ain't that proper 'cute now? Make a considerable smart man when he is out of his time, and finished his broughtens up, won't he?"

Well, arter the archery meeting was over, and the congregation disparsed, who should I find myself a walkin' down to the lake with but Jessie? How it was, I don't know, for I warn't a lookin' for her, nor she for me; but so it was. I suppose it is human natur, and that is the only way I can account for it. Where there is a flower, there is the bee; where the grass is sweet, there is the sheep; where the cherry is ripe, there is the bird; and where there is a gall, especially if she is pretty, there it is likely I am to be found also. Yes, it must be natur. Well, we walked, or rather, strolled off easy. There are different kinds of gaits, and they are curious to observe; for I consait sometimes I can read a man's character in his walk. The child trots; the boy scarcely touches the ground with his feet, and how the plague he wears his shoes out so fast I don't know. Perhaps Doctor Lardner can tell, but I'll be hanged if I can, for the little critter is so light, he don't even squash the grass. The sailor waddles like a duck, and gives his trousers a jerk to keep them from going down the masts (his legs) by the run; a sort of pull at the main-brace. The soldier steps solemn and formal, as if the dead march in Saul was a playin'. A man and his wife walk on different sides of the street; he sneaks along head down, and she struts head up, as if she never heard the old proverb, "Woe to the house where the hen crows." They leave the carriage-way between them, as if they were afraid their thoughts could be heard. When meetin' is out, a lover lags behind, as if he had nothin' above particular to do but to go home; and he is in no hurry to do that, for dinner won't be ready this hour. But, as soon as folks are dodged by a blue bonnet with pink ribbons ahead, he pulls foot like a lamplighter, and is up with the gall that wears it in no time, and she whips her arms in hisn, and they saunter off, to make the way as long as possible. She don't say, "Peeowerful sermon that, warn't it?" and he don't reply, "I heerd nothin' but the text, 'Love one another.'" Nor does he squeeze her arm with his elbow, nor she pinch his with her little blue-gloved fingers. Watch them after that, for they go so slow, they almost crawl, they have so much to say, and they want to make the best of their time; and besides, walking fast would put them out of breath.

The articled-clerk walks the streets with an air as much like a military man as he can; and it resembles it almost as much as electrotype ware does silver. He tries to look at ease, though it is a great deal of trouble; but he imitates him to a hair in some things, for he stares impudent at the galls, has a cigar in his mouth, dresses snobbishly, and talks of making a book at Ascot. The young lawyer struts along in his seven-league boots, has a white-bound book in one hand, and a parcel of papers, tied with red tape, in the other. He is in a desperate hurry, and as sure as the world, somebody is a dying, and has sent for him to make his will. The Irish priest walks like a warder who has the keys. There is an air of authority about him. He puts his cane down on the pavement hard, as much as to say, Do you hear that, you spalpeen? He has the secrets of all the parish in his keeping; but they are other folk's secrets, and not his own, and of course, so much lighter to carry, it don't prevent him looking like a jolly fellow, as he is, arter all. The high-churchman has an M. B. waistcoat on, is particular about his dress, and walks easy, like a gentleman, looks a little pale about the gills, like a student; but has the air of a man that wanted you to understand--I am about my work, and I would have you to know I am the boy to do it, and do it too without a fuss. If he meets a bishop, he takes his hat off, for he admits his authority. If a beggar accosts him, he slips some charity in his hands, and looks scared lest he should be seen.

The low-churchman hates the M. B. vestment, it was him who christened it. He is a dab at nick-names. He meant it to signify the Mark of the Beast. He likes the broad-brimmed beaver, it's more like a quaker, and less like a pope. It is primitive. He looks better fed than the other, and in better care. Preachin' he finds in a general way easier than practice. Watch his face as he goes along, slowly and solemncoly through the street. He looks so good, all the women that see him say, "Ain't he a dear man?" He is meekness itself. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He has no pride in him. If there is any, it ain't in his heart at any rate. Perhaps there is a little grain in his legs, but it never got any higher. Sometimes, I suspect they have been touched with the frost, for the air of a dining-room is colder under the table than above it, and his legs do march stiff and formal like a soldier's, but then, as he says, he is of the church militant. See what a curious expression of countenance he has when he meets his bishop. Read it, it says: "Now, my old Don, let us understand each other; you may ordain and confirm, but don't you go one inch beyond that. No synods, no regeneration in baptism, no control for me; I won't stand it. My idea is every clergyman is a bishop in his own parish, and his synod is composed of pious galls that work, and rich spinsters that give. If you do interfere, I will do my duty and rebuke those in high places. Don't rile me, for I have an ugly pen, an ugly tongue, and an ugly temper, and nothing but my sanctity enables me to keep them under." If he is accosted by a beggar, he don't, like the other, give him money to squander, but he gives him instruction. He presents him with a tract. As he passes on, the poor wretch pauses and looks after him, and mutters--"Is it a prayer? most likely, for that tract must be worth something, for it cost something to print."

Then there is the sectarian lay-brother. He has a pious walk, looks well to his ways lest he should stumble, and casting his eyes down, kills two birds with one stone. He is in deep meditation about a contract for a load of deals, and at the same time regards his steps, for the ways of the world are slippery. His digestion is not good, and he eats pickles, for the vinegar shows in his face. Like Jehu Judd, he hates "fiddling and dancing, and serving the devil," and it is lucky he has a downcast look, for here come two girls that would shock him into an ague.

Both of them have the colonial step and air, both of them too are beautiful, as Nova Scotia girls generally are. The first is young and delicate, and as blooming as a little blush-rose. She holds out with each hand a portion of her silk dress, as if she was walking a minuet, and it discloses a snow-white petticoat, and such a dear little foot and ankle--lick! Her step is short and mincing. She has a new bonnet on, just imported by the last English steamer. It has a horrid name, it is called a kiss-me-quick. It is so far back on her head, she is afraid people will think she is bare-faced, so she casts her eyes down, as much as to say, "Don't look at me, please, I am so pretty I am afraid you will stare, and if you do I shall faint, as sure as the world, and if you want to look at my bonnet, do pray go behind me, for what there is of it is all there. It's a great trial to me to walk alone, when I am so pretty." So she compresses her sweet lips with such resolution, that her dear little mouth looks so small you'd think it couldn't take in a sugar-plum. Oh, dear, here are some officers approaching, for though she looks on the pavement she can see ahead for all that. What is to be done. She half turns aside, half is enough, to turn her back would be rude, and she looks up at a print or a necklace, or something or another in a shop window, and it's a beautiful attitude, and very becoming, and if they will stare, she is so intent on the show glass, she can't see them, and won't faint, and her little heart flutters as one of them says as he passes, "Devilish pretty gall, that, Grant, who is she?" and then she resumes her walk, and minces on.

If any man was to take his Bible oath that that little delicate girl, when she gets home, and the hall-door is shut, will scream out at the tip eend of her voice, like a screetching paraquet, "Eliza Euphemia, where in creation have you stowed yourself too?" and that Eliza Euphemia would hear her away up in the third story, and in the same key answer: "I can't come down, I ain't fit to be seen, nary way, for I'm all open before, and onfastened behind, and my hair is all in paper," I wouldn't believe him; would you?

The other young lady, that follows, is a little too much of Juno, and somewhat too little of Venus. She is a tall, splendid-looking heifer, as fine a gall as you will see in any country, and she takes it for granted you don't need to inquire who she is. She ain't bold, and she ain't diffident; but she can stare as well as you can, and has as good a right too. Her look is scorny, as the snobocracy pass and do homage, by bestowing on her an admiring look. Her step is firm, but elastic; it is a decided step, but the pious lay-brother regards her not, and moves not out of his way for her. So she stops that he may see his error, and when he does look, he perceives that it would lead him into further error if he gazed long, so he moves to the other side of the path, but does it so slowly, she confronts him again. After a moment's reflection, he tries to turn her flank--a movement that is unfortunately anticipated by her, and there is a collision on the track. The concussion dislocates his hat, and the red silk Bandannah handkerchief, which acted as travelling-bag, and pocket-book, discharges its miscellaneous contents on the pavement. That's onlucky; for he was a going to shunt off on another line and get away; but he has to stop and pick up the fragmentary freight of his beaver.

Before he can do this, he is asked by Juno how he dares to stop a lady in that indecent manner in the street; and while he is pleading not guilty to the indictment, the gentlemen that stared at the simpering beauty, come to the aid of the fair prosecutrix. She knows them, and they say, "Capital, by Jove--what a rum one he is!" Rum one; why he is a member of a temperance society, walks in procession when to home, with a white apron in front, and the ends of a scarf-like sash behind, and a rosette as large as a soup-plate on his breast--a rum one; what an infamous accusation!

The poor man stands aghast at this; he humbly begs pardon, and Juno is satisfied. She takes one of the beaux by the arm, and says: "Do pray see me home--I am quite nervous;" and to prove it she laughs as loud as any of them. The joke is now being carried too far, and the young sword-knots pick up, amid roars of laughter, his handkerchief, the papers, the horn-comb, the fig of tobacco, the fractured pipe, the jack-knife, and the clean shirt-collar, that was only worn once, and toss them into his hat, which is carefully secured on his head, so low as to cover his eyes, and so tight as nearly to shave off both his ears. The lay-brother thinks, with great truth, that he would sooner take five yoke of oxen, and tail a mast for a frigate through the solid forest to the river, than snake his way through the streets of a garrison-town. After re-adjusting his hat, he resumes his pious gait, and Juno also goes her way, and exhibits her decided step.

Now, the step of Jessie and myself was unlike any of these--it was a natural and easy one; the step of people who had no reason to hurry, and, at the same time, were not in the habit of crawling. In this manner we proceeded to the lake, and sought a point of land which commanded a full view of it on both sides, and embraced nearly its whole length. Here was a clump of trees from which the underwood had been wholly cut away, so as to form a shade for the cattle depasturing in the meadow. As we entered the grove, Jessie exclaimed:

"Oh! Mr Slick, do look! Here is a canoe--can you use a paddle?"

"As well as an oar," said I, "and perhaps a little grain better; for I haven't been down all the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia rivers in 'em for nothing, let alone Lake Michigan, George, Madawaska, and Rossignol, and I don't know how many others. Step in, and let us have at them on the water."

In a minute the canoe was launched, and away we flew like lightning. Oh, there is nothing like one of those light, elegant, graceful barks; what is a wherry or a whale-boat, or a skull or a gig, to them? They draw no more water than an egg-shell; they require no strength to paddle; they go right up on the beach, and you can carry them about like a basket. With a light hand, a cool head, and a quick eye, you can make them go where a duck can. What has science, and taste, and handicraft ever made to improve on this simple contrivance of the savage? When I was for two years in John Jacob Astor Fur Company's employment, I knew the play of Jessie's tribe.

"Can you catch," said I, "Miss?"

"Can you?"

"Never fear."

And we exchanged paddles, as she sat in one end of the canoe and I in the other, by throwing them diagonally at each other as if we were passing a shuttle-cock. She almost screamed with delight, and in her enthusiasm addressed me in her native Indian language.

"Gaelic," said I, "give me Gaelic, dear, for I am very simple and very innocent."

"Oh, very," she said, and as she dropped her paddle into the water, managed to give me the benefit of a spoonful in the eyes.

After we had tried several evolutions with the canoe, and had proceeded homeward a short distance, we opened a miniature bay into which we leisurely paddled, until we arrived at its head, where a small waterfall of about forty feet in height poured its tributary stream into the lake. On the right-hand side, which was nearest to the house, was a narrow strip of verdant intervale, dotted here and there with vast shady beeches and elms. I never saw a more lovely spot. Hills rose above each other beyond the waterfall, like buttresses to support the conical one that, though not in itself a mountain (for there is not, strictly speaking, one in this province), yet loomed as large in the light mist that enveloped its lofty peak. As this high cliff rose abruptly from the lake, the light of smaller cascades was discernible through the thin shrubbery that clothed its rocky side, although their voice was drowned in the roar of that at its base.

Nothing was said by either of us for some time, for both were occupied by different thoughts. I was charmed with its extraordinary beauty, and wondered how it was possible that it should be so little known as not even to have a name. My companion, on the other hand, was engaged in sad reflections, which the similarity of the scene with her early recollections of her home in the far west suggested to her mind.

"Ain't this beautiful, Jessie?" I said, "don't this remind you of Canada, or rather your own country?"

"Oh, yes," she said, "me--me," for during the whole day there had been a sad confusion of languages and idioms, "me very happy and very sad; I want to laugh, I want to cry; I am here and there," pointing to the north-west. "Laughing, talking, sporting with my father, and Jane, and you, and am also by the side of my dear mother, far--far beyond those hills. I see your people and my people; I paddle in our canoe, shoot with our bows, speak our language; yes, I am here, and there also. The sun too is in both places. He sees us all. When I die, perhaps I shall go back, but I am not of them or of you--I am nothing," and she burst into tears and wept bitterly.

"Jessie," said I, "let us talk about something else; you have been too much excited this morning, let us enjoy what God gives us, and not be ungrateful; let your sister come also, and try the canoe once more. This is better than a hot room, ain't it?"

"Oh yes," she replied, "this is life. This is freedom."

"Suppose we dine here," I said.

"Oh yes," she replied, "I should like it above all things. Let us dine on the grass, the table the great Spirit spreads for his children;" and the transient cloud passed away, and we sped back to the lawn as if the bark that carried us was a bird that bore us on its wings.

Poor Jessie, how well I understood her emotions. Home is a word, if there is one in the language, that appeals directly to the heart. Man and wife, father and mother, brothers and sisters, master and servant, with all their ties, associations, and duties, all, all are contained in that one word. Is it any wonder, when her imagination raised them up before her, that the woman became again a child, and that she longed for the wings of the dove to fly away to the tents of her tribe in the far west? I am myself as dry, as seasoned, and as hard as the wood of which my clocks are made. I am a citizen of the world rather than of Slickville. But I too felt my heart sink within me when I reflected that mine, also, was desolate, and that I was alone in my own house, the sole surviving tenant of all that large domestic circle, whose merry voices once made its silent halls vocal with responsive echoes of happiness. We know that our fixed domicile is not here, but we feel that it is and must continue to be our home, ever dear and ever sacred, until we depart hence for another and a better world. They know but little of the agency of human feelings, who in their preaching attempt to lessen our attachment for the paternal roof, because, in common with all other earthly possessions, it is perishable in its nature, and uncertain in it's tenure. The home of life is not the less estimable because it is not the home of eternity; but the more valuable perhaps as it prepares and fits us by its joys and its sorrows, its rights and its duties, and also by what it withholds, as well as imparts, for that inheritance which awaits us hereafter. Yes, home is a great word, but its full meaning ain't understood by every one.

It ain't those who have one, or those who have none, that comprehend what it is; nor those who in the course of nature leave the old and found a new one for themselves; nor those who, when they quit, shut their eyes and squinch their faces when they think of it, as if it fetched something to their mind that warn't pleasant to recollect; nor those who suddenly rise so high in life, that their parents look too vulgar, or the old cottage too mean for them, or their former acquaintances too low. But I'll tell you who knows the meaning and feels it too; a fellow like me, who had a cheerful home, a merry and a happy home, and who when he returns from foreign lands finds it deserted and as still as the grave, and all that he loved scattered and gone, some to the tomb, and others to distant parts of the earth. The solitude chills him, the silence appals him. At night shadows follow him like ghosts of the departed, and the walls echo back the sound of his footsteps, as if demons were laughing him to scorn. The least noise is heard over the whole house. The clock ticks so loud he has to remove it, for it affects his nerves. The stealthy mouse tries to annoy him with his mimic personification of the burglar, and the wind moans among the trees as if it lamented the general desolation. If he strolls out in his grounds, the squirrel ascends the highest tree and chatters and scolds at the unusual intrusion, while the birds fly away screaming with affright, as if pursued by a vulture. They used to be tame once, when the family inhabited the house, and listen with wonder at notes sweeter and more musical than their own. They would even feed from the hand that protected them. His dog alone seeks his society, and strives to assure him by mute but expressive gestures that he at least will never desert him. As he paces his lonely quarter-deck (as he calls the gravel-walk in front of his house), the silver light of the moon, gleaming here and there between the stems of the aged trees, startles him with the delusion of unreal white-robed forms, that flit about the shady groves as if enjoying or pitying his condition, or perhaps warning him that in a few short years he too must join this host of disembodied spirits.

Time hangs heavily on his hands, he is tired of reading, it is too early for repose, so he throws himself on the sofa and muses, but even meditation calls for a truce. His heart laments its solitude, and his tongue its silence. Nature is weary and exhausted, and sleep at last comes to his aid. But, alas! he awakes in the morning only to resume his dull monotonous course, and at last he fully comprehends what it is to be alone. Women won't come to see him, for fear they might be talked about, and those that would come would soon make him a subject of scandal. He and the world, like two people travelling in opposite directions, soon increase at a rapid rate the distance between them. He loses his interest in what is going on around him, and people lose their interest in him. If his name happens to be mentioned, it may occasion a listless remark, "I wonder how he spends his time?" or, "The poor devil must be lonely there."

Yes, yes, there are many folks in the world that talk of things they don't understand, and there are precious few who appreciate the meaning of that endearing term "home." He only knows it as I have said who has lived in one, amid a large family, of which he is the solitary surviving member. The change is like going from the house to the sepulchre, with this difference only, one holds a living and the other a dead body. Yes, if you have had a home you know what it is, but if you have lost it, then and not till then do you feel its value.






When we reached the grove, I left Jessie in the canoe, and went up to the house in search of her sister. Jackson and Peter were sitting on the wood-pile; the latter was smoking his pipe, and the other held his in his hand, as he was relating some story of his exploits in Spain. When I approached, he rose up and saluted me in his usual formal manner.

"Where is the doctor," said I, "and the rest of the party?"

"Gone to see a tame moose of his, Sir," he said, "in the pasture; but they will be back directly."

"Well," sais I, lighting a cigar by Peter's pipe, and taking a seat alongside of him, "go on Jackson; don't let me interrupt you."

"I was just telling Mr McDonald, Sir," said he, "of a night I once spent on the field of battle in Spain."

"Well, go on."

"As I was a saying to him, Sir," he continued, "you could ear the wolves among the dead and the dying a owling like so many devils. I was afraid to go to sleep, as I didn't know when my turn might come; so I put my carbine across my knees, and sat up as well as I could, determined to sell my life as dearly as possible, but I was so weak from the loss of blood, that I kept dozing and starting all the time amost. Oh, what a tedious night that was, Sir, and how I longed for the dawn of day, when search should be made among us for the wounded! Just as the fog began to rise, I saw a henormous wolf, about a hundred yards or so from me, busy tearing a body to pieces; and taking a good steady haim at him, I fired, when he called out:

"'Blood and ounds! you cowardly furrin rascal, haven't you had your belly-full of fighting yet, that you must be after murthering a wounded man that way? By the powers of Moll Kelly, but you won't serve Pat Kallahan that dirty trick again anyhow.'

"As he levelled at me, I fell back, and the ball passed right over me and struck a wounded orse that was broke down behind, and a sittin' up on his fore-legs like a dog. Oh, the scream of that are hanimal, Sir, was just like a Christian's. It was hawful. I have the sound of it in my ears now halmost. It pierced through me, and you might have eard it that still morning over the whole field. He sprung up and then fell over, and kicked and struggled furious for a minute or two before he died, and every time he lashed out, you could a eard a elpless wounded wretch a groanin' bitterly, as he battered away at him. The truth is, Sir, what I took for a wolf that hazy morning, was poor Pat, who was sitting up, and trying to bandage his hankle, that was shattered by a bullet, and the way he bobbed his head up and down, as he stooped forward, looked exactly as a wolf does when he is tearing the flesh off a dead body.

"Well, the scream of that are orse, and the two shots the dragoon and I exchanged, saved my life, for I saw a man and a woman making right straight for us. It was Betty, Sir, God bless her, and Sergeant M'Clure. The owling she sot up, when she saw me, was dreadful to ear, Sir.

"'Betty,' said I, 'dear, for eaven's sake see if you can find a drop of brandy in any of these poor fellows' canteens, for I am perishing of thirst, and amost chilled to death.'

"'Oh, Tom, dear,' said she, 'I have thought of that,' and unslinging one from her shoulders put it to my lips, and I believe I would have drained it at a draft, but she snatched it away directly, and said:

"'Oh, do 'ee think of that dreadful stroke of the sun, Tom. It will set you crazy if you drink any more.'

"'The stroke of the sun be anged!' said I; 'it's not in my ead this time--it's in the other end of me.'

"'Oh dear, dear!' said Betty; 'two such marks as them, and you so handsome too! Oh dear, dear!'

"Poor old soul! it's a way she had of trying to come round me.

"'Where is it?' said M'Clure.

"'In the calf of my leg,' said I.

"Well, he was a handy man, for he had been a hospital-sargeant, on account of being able to read doctors' pot-hooks and inscriptions. So he cut my boot, and stript down my stocking and looked at it. Says he, 'I must make a turn-and-quit.'

"'Oh, Rory,' said I, 'don't turn and quit your old comrade that way.'

"'Oh, Rory, dear,' said Betty, 'don't 'ee leave Tom now--don't 'ee, that's a good soul.'

"'Pooh!' said he, 'nonsense! How your early training has been neglected, Jackson!'

"'Rory,' said I, 'if I was well you wouldn't dare to pass that slur upon me. I am as well-trained a soldier and as brave a man as ever you was.'

"'Tut, tut, man,' said he, 'I meant your learning.'

"'Well,' says I, 'I can't brag much of that, and I am not sorry for it. Many a better scholar nor you, and better-looking man too, has been anged afore now, for all his schoolin'.'

"Says he, 'I'll soon set you up, Tom. Let me see if I can find anything here that will do for a turn-and-quit.'

"Close to where I lay there, was a furrin officer who had his head nearly amputated with a sabre cut. Well, he took a beautiful gold repeater out of his fob, and a great roll of dubloons out of one pocket, and a little case of diamond rings out of the other.

"'The thieving Italian rascal?' said he, 'he has robbed a jeweller's shop before he left the town,' and he gave the body a kick and passed on. Well, close to him was an English officer.

"'Ah,' said he, 'here is something useful,' and he undid his sash, and then feeling in his breast pocket, he hauled out a tin tobacco-case, and opening of it, says he:

"'Tom, here's a real god-send for you. This and the sash I will give you as a keepsake. They are mine by the fortune of war, but I will bestow them on you.'"

"Oigh! oigh!" said Peter, "she was no shentleman."

"He warn't then, Sir," said Tom, not understanding him, "for he was only a sargeant like me at that time, but he is now, for he is an officer."

"No, no," said Peter, "the king can make an offisher, but she can't make a shentleman. She took the oyster hern ainsel, and gave you the shell."

"Well," continued Jackson, "he took the sash, and tied it round my leg, and then took a bayonet off a corpse, and with that twisted it round and round so tight it urt more nor the wound, and then he secured the bayonet so that it wouldn't slip. There was a furrin trooper's orse not far off that had lost his rider, and had got his rein hunder his foreleg, so Betty caught him and brought him to where I was a sitting. By the haid of another pull at the canteen, which put new life into me, and by their hassistance, I was got on the saddle, and he and Betty steadied me on the hanimal, and led me off. I no sooner got on the orse than Betty fell to a crying and a scolding again like anything.

"'What hails you now,' says I, 'Betty? You are like your own town of Plymouth--it's showery weather with you all the year round amost. What's the matter now?'

"'Oh, Tom, Tom,' said she, 'you will break my eart yet--I know you will.'

"'Why what have I done?' says I. 'I couldn't help getting that little scratch on the leg.'

"'Oh, it tante that,' she said; 'it's that orrid stroke of the sun. There's your poor ead huncovered again. Where is your elmet?'

"'Oh, bother,' sais I, 'ow do I know? Somewhere on the ground, I suppose.'

"Well, back she ran as ard as she could, but M'Clure wouldn't wait a moment for her and went on, and as she couldn't find mine, she undid the furriner's and brought that, and to pacify her I had to put it on and wear it. It was a good day for M'Clure, and I was glad of it, for he was a great scholar and the best friend I ever had. He sold the orse for twenty pounds afterwards."

"She don't want to say nothin' disrespectable," said Peter, "against her friend, but she was no shentleman for all tat."

"He is now," said Tom again, with an air of triumph. "He is an hofficer, and dines at the mess. I don't suppose he'd be seen with me now, for it's agen the rules of the service, but he is the best friend I have in the world."

"She don't know nothin' about ta mess herself," said Peter, "but she supposes she eats meat and drinks wine every tay, which was more tan she did as a poy. But she'd rather live on oatmeal and drink whiskey, and be a poor shentlemen, than be an officher like M'Clure, and tine with the Queen, Cot bless her."

"And the old pipe, then, was all you got for your share, was it?" says I.

"No, Sir," said Tom, "it warn't. One day, when I was nearly well, Betty came to me--

"'Oh, Tom,' said she, 'I have such good news for you.'

"'What is it?' sais I, 'are we going to have another general engagement?'

"'Oh, dear, I hope not,' she said. 'You have had enough of fighting for one while, and you are always so misfortunate.'

"'Well, what is it?' sais I.

"'Will you promise me not to tell?'

"'Yes,' said I, 'I will.'

"'That's just what you said the first time I kissed you. Do get out,' she replied, 'and you promise not to lisp a word of it to Rory M'Clure? or he'll claim it, as he did that orse, and, Tom, I caught that orse, and he was mine. It was a orrid, nasty, dirty, mean trick that.'

"'Betty,' said I, 'I won't ear a word hagin him: he is the best friend I ever had, but I won't tell him, if you wish it.'

"'Well,' said Betty, and she bust out crying for joy, for she can cry at nothing, amost. 'Look, Tom, here's twenty Napoleons, I found them quilted in that officer's elmet.' So after all, I got out of that scrape pretty well, didn't I, Sir?"

"Indeed she did," said Peter, "but if she had seen as much of wolves as Peter McDonald has she wouldn't have been much frightened by them. This is the way to scare a whole pack of them;" and stooping down and opening a sack, he took out the bagpipes, and struck up a favourite Highland air. If it was calculated to alarm the animals of the forest, it at all events served now to recall the party, who soon made their appearance from the moose-yard. "Tat," said Peter, "will make 'em scamper like the tevil. It has saved her life several times."

"So I should think," said I. (For of all the awful instruments that ever was heard that is the worst. Pigs in a bag ain't the smallest part of a circumstance to it, for the way it squeals is a caution to cats.) When the devil was a carpenter, he cut his foot so bad with an adze, he threw it down, and gave up the trade in disgust. And now that Highlanders have given up the trade of barbarism, and become the noblest fellows in Europe, they should follow the devil's example, and throw away the bagpipes for ever.

"I have never seen M'Clure," said Jackson, addressing me, "but once since he disputed with the countryman about the plural of moose in the country-market. I met him in the street one day, and says I,

"'How are you, Rory? Suppose we take a bit of a walk.'

"Well, he held up his ead stiff and straight, and didn't speak for a minute or two; at last he said:

"'How do you do, Sargeant Jackson?'

"'Why, Rory,' sais I, 'what hails you to hact that way? What's the matter with you now, to treat an old comrade in that manner?'

"He stared ard at me in the face hagain, without giving any explanation. At last he said, 'Sargeant Jackson,' and then he stopped again. 'If anybody speers at you where Ensign Roderich M'Clure is to be found, say on the second flat of the officers' quarters at the North Barracks,' and he walked on and left me. He had got his commission."

"She had a Highland name," said Peter, "and tat is all, but she was only a lowland Glaskow peast. Ta teivil tack a' such friends a tat."

"Doctor," said I, "Jessie and I have discovered the canoe, and had a glorious row of it. I see you have a new skiff there; suppose we all finish the morning on the lake. We have been up to the waterfall, and if it is agreeable to you, Jessie proposes to dine at the intervale instead of the house."

"Just the thing," said the doctor, "but you understand these matters better than I do, so just give what instructions you think proper."

Jackson and Betty were accordingly directed to pack up what was needful, and hold themselves in readiness to be embarked on our return from the excursion on the water. Jessie, her sister, and myself took the canoe; the doctor and Cutler the boat, and Peter was placed at the stern to awaken the sleeping echoes of the lake with his pipes. The doctor seeing me provided with a short gun, ran hastily back to the house for his bow and arrows, and thus equipped and grouped, we proceeded up the lake, the canoe taking the lead. Peter struck up a tune on his pipes. The great expanse of water, and the large open area where they were played, as well as the novelty of the scene, almost made me think that it was not such bad music after all as I had considered it.

After we had proceeded a short distance, Jessie proposed a race between the canoe and the boat. I tried to dissuade her from it, on account of the fatigue she had already undergone, and the excitement she had manifested at the waterfall, but she declared herself perfectly well, and able for the contest. The odds were against the girls; for the captain and the doctor were both experienced hands, and powerful, athletic man, and their boat was a flat-bottomed skiff, and drew but little water. Added to which, the young women had been long out of practice, and their hands and muscles were unprepared by exercise. I yielded at last, on condition that the race should terminate at a large rock that rose out of the lake at about a mile from us. I named this distance, not merely because I wished to limit the extent of their exertion, but because I knew that if they had the lead that far, they would be unable to sustain it beyond that, and that they would be beaten by the main strength of the rowers. We accordingly slackened our speed till the boat came up alongside of us. The challenge was given and accepted, and the terminus pointed out, and when the signal was made, away we went with great speed.

For more than two-thirds of the distance we were bow and bow, sometimes one and sometimes the other being ahead, but on no occasion did the distance exceed a yard or so. When we had but the remaining third to accomplish, I cautioned the girls that the rowers would now probably put out all their strength, and take them by surprise, and therefore advised them to be on their guard. They said a few words to each other in their native language, laughed, and at once prepared for the crisis, by readjusting their seats and foothold, and then the eldest said, with a look of animation, that made her surpassingly beautiful, "Now," and away we went like iled lightning, leaving the boat behind at a rate that was perfectly incredible.

They had evidently been playing with them at first, and doing no more than to ascertain their speed and power of propulsion, and had all along intended to reserve themselves for this triumph at the last. As soon as we reached the winning point, I rose up to give the cheer of victory, but just at that moment, they suddenly backed water with their paddles, and in turning towards the boat, the toe of my boot caught in one of the light ribs of the canoe, which had been loosened by the heat of the sun, and I instantly saw that a fall was unavoidable. To put a hand on the side of the little bark would inevitably overset it, and precipitate the girls into the lake. I had but one resource left therefore, and that was to arch over the gunwale, and lift my feet clear of it, while I dove into the water. It was the work of an instant, and in another I had again reached the canoe. Begging Jessie to move forward, so as to counterbalance my weight, I rose over the stern (if a craft can be said to have one, where both ends are alike, and it can be propelled either way), and then took the seat that had been occupied by her.

"Now, Jane," said I, "I must return to the house, and get a dry suit of the doctor's clothes; let us see what we can do."

The doctor told me Betty knew more about his wardrobe than he did himself, and would furnish me with what I required; and in the mean time, that they would lay upon their oars till we returned.

"Are you ready, Miss," said I, "I want you to do your prettiest now, and put your best foot out, because I wish them to see that I am not the awkward critter in a canoe they think I am."

The fact is, Squire, that neither the doctor nor Cutler knew, that to avoid falling under the circumstances I was placed in, and to escape without capsizing the canoe, was a feat that no man, but one familiar with the management of those fragile barks, and a good swimmer, too, can perform. Peter was aware of it, and appreciated it; but the other two seemed disposed to cut their jokes upon me; and them that do that, generally find, in the long run, I am upsides with them, that's a fact. A cat and a Yankee always come on their feet, pitch them up in the air as high and as often as you please.

"Now for it," said I, and away we went at a 2.30 pace, as we say of our trotting horses. Cutler and the doctor cheered us as we went; and Peter, as the latter told me afterwards, said: "A man who can dwell like an otter, on both land and sea, has two lives." I indorse that saw, he made it himself; it's genuine, and it was like a trapper's maxim. Warn't it?

As soon as I landed I cut off for the house, and in no time rigged up in a dry suit of our host's, and joined the party, afore they knew where they were. I put on a face as like the doctor's as two clocks of mine are to each other. I didn't do it to make fun of him, but out of him. Oh, they roared again, and the doctor joined in it as heartily as any of them, though he didn't understand the joke. But Peter didn't seem to like it. He had lived so much among the Indians, and was so accustomed to their way of biling things down to an essence, that he spoke in proverbs, or wise saws. Says he to me, with a shake of his head, "a mocking bird has no voice of its own." It warn't a bad sayin', was it? I wish I had noted more of them, for though I like 'em, I am so yarney, I can't make them as pithey as he did. I can't talk short-hand, and I must say I like condensation. Now, brevity is the only use to individuals there is in telegraphs. There is very little good news in the world for any of us; and bad news comes fast enough. I hate them myself. The only good there is in 'em, is to make people write short; for if you have to pay for every word you use, you won't be extravagant in 'em, there is no mistake.

Telegraphs ruin intellect; they reduce a wise man to the level of a fool; and fifty years hence there won't be a sensible trader left. For national purposes they are very well, and government ought to have kept them to themselves, for those objects; but they play the devil with merchants. There is no room for the exercise of judgment. It's a dead certainty now. Flour is eight dollars in England; well, every one knows that, and the price varies, and every one knows that also, by telegraph. Before that, a judgmatical trader took his cigar in his mouth, sat down, and calculated. Crops short, Russian war, blockade, and so on. Capital will run up prices, till news of new harvest are known; and then they will come down by the run. He deliberates, reasons, and decides. Now, the last Liverpool paper gives the price current. It advises all, and governs all. Any blockhead can be a merchant now. Formerly, they poked sapey-headed goneys into Parliament, to play dummey; or into the army and navy, the church, and the colonial office. But they kept clever fellows for law, special commissioners, the stage, the "Times," the "Chronicle," and such like able papers, and commerce; and men of middlin' talents were resarved for doctors, solicitors, Gretna Green, and so on.

But the misfortinate prince-merchants now will have to go to the bottom of the list with tradesmen and retailers. They can't have an opinion of their own, the telegraph will give it. The latest quotations, as they call them, come to them, they know that iron is firm, and timber giving way, that lead is dull and heavy, and coal gone to blases, while the stocks are rising and vessels sinking, all the rest they won't trouble their heads about. The man who trades with Cuba, won't care about Sinope, and it's too much trouble to look for it on the map. While the Black Sea man won't care about Toronto, or whether it is in Nova Scotia or Vermont, in Canada or California. There won't soon be a merchant that understands geography.

But what is wuss, half the time the news is false, and if it hadn't been for that, old Hemp and Iron would have made a fortune. And if it is true, it's worse still, for he would have acted on his own judgment if he hadn't heard it, and circumstances would have altered as they always are doing every day, and he would have made a rael hit. Oh, I hate them. And besides this, they have spoiled them by swearing the operators. An oath gives them fellows such an itch to blart, that though they don't inform, they let the cat out of the bag, and that is as bad. Tell you what, I wouldn't like to confess by telegraph. If I am courting a gall and she sais all right, why then my fun is spoiled, for when a thing is settled, all excitement is gone, and if I am refused, the longer I am in ignorance the better. It is wiser to wait, as the Frenchman did at Clare, who sat up three nights to see how the letters passed over the wires. Well, if I am married, I have to report progress, and logbooks are always made up before or afterwards. It's apt to injure my veracity. In short, you know what I mean, and I needn't follow it out, for a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

But the Lord have mercy on merchants, any fool will get along as well as the best of them now. Dear me, I recollect a man they poked fun at once at Salem. They induced him by way of a rise, to ship a cargo of blankets and warming-pans to the West Indies. Well, he did so, and made a good speck, for the pans were bought for dippers, and the blankets for strainers. Yes, telegraphs will reduce merchants to the level of that fellow Isaac Oxter.

But I must look for the trail again, or I shall forget my story.

I think I left off where I got back in the canoe, and joined the party in the boat. Well, we then proceeded like the off and near ox, pulling from rather than to each other, but still keeping neck and neck as it were. In this manner we proceeded to the head of the lake, and then as we returned steered for a small wooded island in the centre, where I proposed to land and rest awhile, for this beautiful sheet of water was of considerable extent. As we approached it, Peter again struck up his pipes, and shortly afterwards a noble male moose, as much terrified by the noise as McDonald said Canada wolves were, broke cover, and swam for the main land. The moose frequently select such places to secure their young from the bears, who are their greatest enemies, and find an easy prey in their helpless calves. It is not improbable that the female still remained, and that this act of gallantry in the buck was intended to withdraw attention from her, and thus save her from pursuit. I had no bullets with me, and my gun was only loaded with duck-shot. To discharge that at him, would have been a wanton act of cruelty, as at most it could only inflict upon him painful wounds. In this emergency, Jessie pointed to a stout half-inch rope that was coiled up in the bottom of the canoe, and I immediately exchanged places with her, and commenced making a lasso, while she plied the paddle.

We gained rapidly upon him, and I was preparing to throw the fatal noose over his horns, when to my astonishment he raised his neck and a portion of his fore-legs out of the water, as if he was landing. We were then a considerable distance from the shore, but it appeared, as I afterwards learned from the doctor, that a long low neck of land made out there into the lake, that was only submerged in the spring and autumn, but in summer was covered with wild grass, upon which deer fed with avidity, as an agreeable change from browsing. The instinct of the animal induced him to make for this shallow, from which he could bound away at full speed (trot) into the cover.

All hope of the chase was now over, and I was about abandoning it in despair, when an arrow whizzed by us, and in an instant he sprang to his feet, and exposed his huge form to view. He was a remarkable fine specimen of his kind, for they are the largest as well as the ugliest of the deer tribe. For an instant he paused, shook himself violently, and holding down his head, put up his fore-leg to break off that, which evidently maddened him with pain. He then stood up erect, with his head high in the air, and laid his horns back on his neck, and, giving a snort of terror, prepared to save his life by flight.

It is astonishing how much animation and attitude has to do with beauty. I had never seen one look well before, but as his form was relieved against the sky, he looked as he is, the giant king of the forest. He was just in the act of shifting his feet in the yielding surface of the boggy meadow, preparatory to a start, when he was again transfixed by an arrow, in a more vulnerable and vital part. He sprung, or rather reared forward, and came down on his knees, and then several times repeated the attempt to commence his flight by the same desperate effort. At last he fell to rise no more, and soon rolled over, and after some splashing with his head to avoid the impending death by drowning, quietly submitted to his fate. Nothing now was visible of him but the tips of his horns, and a small strip of the hide that covered his ribs. A shout from the boat proclaimed the victory.

"Ah, Mr Slick," said the doctor, "what could you have done with only a charge of duck-shot in your gun, eh? The arrow, you see, served for shot and bullet. I could have killed him with the first shaft, but his head was turned, and covered the vital spot. So I had to aim a little too far forward, but still it carried a death-warrant with it, for he couldn't have run over a mile without falling from exhaustion, arising from the loss of blood. It is a charming day for the bow, for there is no wind, and I could hit a dollar at a hundred and twenty yards. There is another on that island, but she probably has a calf, perhaps two, and it would be a wicked waste of the food that God provides for us, to destroy her. But we must get this gentleman into the boat, and it will bring us down so deep in the water, we must keep near the shore, as it may be necessary occasionally to wade."

Peter, without ceremony, began to make preparations for such an emergency. He had been accustomed all his life, until he left the Nor-west Company's employment, to the kilt, and he neither felt nor looked at home in the trousers. Like most of his countrymen, he thought there was more beauty in a hairy leg, and in a manly shammy-leather looking skin, than in any covering. While his bald knee, the ugliest, weakest, most complicated and important joint in the frame, he no doubt regarded with as much veneration as the pious do the shaven crown of a monk. He therefore very complacently and coolly began to disencumber himself of this detestable article of the tailor's skill. I thought it best therefore to push off in time, to spare his daughters this spectacle, merely telling the doctor we would wait for him where we had embarked.

We proceeded very leisurely, only once in a while dipping the paddle gently into the water, so as to keep up the motion of the canoe. The girls amused themselves by imitating the call and answer of the loon, the blue-jay, the kingfisher, and the owl. With a piece of bark, rolled up in the form of a short-ear trumpet, they mimicked the hideous voice of the moose, and the not less disagreeable lowing of the cariboo. The martin started in surprise at his affrighted neighbour on the water, and the fox no doubt crept from his hole to listen to the voice that called him to plunder, at this dangerous hour. All these sounds are signals among the Indians, and are carried to a perfection that deceives the ear of nature itself. I had read of their great power in this species of ventriloquism, but never had heard it practised before, with the exception of the imitation of the deer tribe, which is well-known to white "still-hunters."

They are, in their own country, not very communicative to strangers; and above all, never disclose practices so peculiarly reserved for their own service or defence. I was amazed at their skill in this branch of Indian accomplishment.

But the notes of the dear little chick-a-dee-dee charmed me the most. The stillness of this wild, sequestered place was most agreeably diversified by all these fictitious birds and beasts, that seemed inviting, each his own kind, to come and look at this lovely scene. From the wonderful control they appeared to have over their voices, I knew that one or both of them must sing. I therefore asked them if they knew the Canadian-boat song; and they answered, with great delight, that they did. And suiting the action to the word, which, by the by, adds marvellously to its effect, they sung it charmingly. I couldn't resist their entreaties to join in it, although I would infinitely have preferred listening to taking a part. When we concluded it, Jessie said it was much prettier in her native tongue, and sung a verse in her own language. She said the governor of the fort, who spoke Indian as well as English, had arranged the words for it, and when she was a child in his family, she learned it. "Listen," said she, "what is that?"

It was Jackson playing on the key-bugle. Oh, how gloriously it sounded, as its notes fell on the ear, mellowed and softened by the distance. When Englishmen talk of the hunters' horn in the morning, they don't know what they are a saying of. It's well enough I do suppose in the field, as it wakes the drowsy sportsman, and reminds him that there is a hard day's ride before him. But the lake and the forest is nature's amphitheatre, and it is at home there. It won't speak as it can do at all times and in all places; but it gives its whole soul out in the woods; and the echoes love it, and the mountains wave their plumes of pines to it, as if they wanted to be wooed by its clear, sweet, powerful notes.1 All nature listens to it, and keeps silence, while it lifts its voice on high. The breeze wafts its music on its wings, as if proud of its trust; and the lake lies still, and pants like a thing of life, as if its heart beat to its tones. The birds are all hushed, as if afraid to disturb it; and the deer pause, and listen, and gaze on the skies, as if the music came from heaven. Money only can move some men, and a white heat alone dissolve stones. But he who has ever heard the bugle, and is not inspired by it, has no divinity within him. The body is there, but the soul is wanting.


1 This inflated passage, and some other similar ones, are extremely characteristic of Americans in the same station of life as Slick. From the use of superlative expressions in their conversation, they naturally adopt an exaggerative style in writing, and the minor poets and provincial orators of the Republic are distinguished for this hyperbolical tone. In Great Britain they would be admired by the Irish; on the Continent, by the Gascons. If Mr Slick were not affected by this weakness himself, he would be among the first to detect and ridicule it in others.


"Go on, Jackson, I will forgive your twaddle about sargeant M'Clure, the stroke of the sun, the trooper's helmet, and the night among the wolves. I will listen to your old soldier's stories all night, only go on and play for me. Give me that simple air again. Let me drink it in with my ears, till my heart is full. No grace notes, no tricks of the band-master's, no flourishes; let it be simple and natural. Let it suit us, and the place we are in, for it is the voice of our common parent, nature." Ah, he didn't hear me, and he ceased.

"Jessie, dear, ain't that beautiful?" said I.

"Oh," she said (and she clasped her hands hard), "it is like the sound of a spirit speaking from above."

"Imitate it," said I.

She knew the air, it was a Scotch one; and their music is the most touching, because the most simple, I know.

Squire, you will think I am getting spooney, but I ain't. You know how fond I am of nature, and always was; but I suppose you will think if I ain't talking Turkey, that I am getting crankey, when I tell you an idea that came into my mind just then. She imitated it in the most perfect manner possible. Her clear, sweet, mellow, but powerful notes, never charmed me so before. I thought it sounded like a maiden, answering her lover. One was a masculine, the other a female voice. The only difference was in the force, but softness was common to both. Can I ever forget the enchantment of that day?

"Dear Jessie," said I, "you and your friend are just formed for each other. How happy you could make him."

"Who?" said she, and there was no affectation in the question. She knew not the import of that word. "What do you mean?"

"Hush," said I, "I will tell you by and by. Old Tom is playing again."

It was "Auld lang syne." How touching it was! It brought tears to Jessie's eyes. She had learned it, when a child, far, far away; and it recalled her tribe, her childhood, her country, and her mother. I could see these thoughts throw their shadows over her face, as light clouds chase each other before the sun, and throw their veil, as they course along the sky, over the glowing landscape. It made me feel sad, too; for how many of them with whom my early years were spent have passed away. Of all the fruit borne by the tree of life, how small a portion drops from it when fully ripe, and in the due course of nature. The worm, and premature decay, are continually thinning them; and the tempest and the blight destroy the greater part of those that are left. Poor dear worthy old Minister, you too are gone, but not forgotten. How could I have had these thoughts? How could I have enjoyed these scenes? and how described them? but for you! Innocent, pure, and simple-minded man, how fond you were of nature, the handy-work of God, as you used to call it. How full you were of poetry, beauty, and sublimity! And what do I not owe to you? I am not ashamed of having been a Clockmaker, I am proud of it.1 But I should indeed have been ashamed, with your instruction, always to have remained one. Yes, yes!


"Why should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?"


Why? indeed.


1 This is the passage to which Mr Slick referred in the conversation I had with him, related in Chapter I., entitled, "A Surprise."


"Tam it," said Peter, for we were so absorbed in listening to the music, we did not hear the approach of the boat, "ta ting is very coot, but it don't stir up te blood, and make you feel like a man, as ta pipes do! Did she ever hear barris an tailler? Fan she has done with her brass cow-horn, she will give it to you. It can wake the tead, that air. When she was a piper poy to the fort, Captain Fraisher was killed by the fall of a tree, knocked as stiff as a gunparrel, and as silent too. We laid her out on the counter in one of the stores, and pefore we put her into the coffin the governor said: 'Peter,' said he, 'she was always fond of barris an tailler, play it before we nail her up, come, seid suas (strike up).'

"Well, she gets the pipes and plays it hern ainsel, and the governor forgot his tears; and seized McPhee by the hand, and they danced; they couldn't help it when that air was played, and what do you think? It prought Captain Fraisher to life. First she opened her eyes, and ten her mouth again wunst more. She did, upon my shoul.

"Says she, 'Peter, play it faster, will you? More faster yet, you blackguard.' And she tropt the pipes and ran away, and it was the first and last time Peter McDonald ever turned his pack on a friend. The doctor said it was a trance, but he was a sassanach and knew nothing about music; but it was the pipes prought the tead to. This is the air," and he played it with such vigour he nearly grew black in the face.

"I believe it," sais I; "it has brought me to also, it has made me a new man, and brought me back to life again. Let us land the moose."

"Ted," said Peter, "she is worth two ted men yet. There is only two teaths. Ted as te tevil, and ted drunk, and she ain't neither; and if she were poth she would wake her up with tat tune, barris an tailler, as she tid Captain Fraisher, tat she will."

"Now," said I, "let us land the moose."






Peter's horrid pipes knocked all the romance out of me. It took all the talk of dear old Minister (whose conversation was often like poetry without rhyme), till I was of age, to instil it into me. If it hadn't been for him I should have been a mere practical man, exactly like our Connecticut folks, who have as much sentiment in them in a general way as an onion has of otter of roses. It's lucky when it don't predominate though, for when it does, it spoils the relish for the real business of life.

Mother, when I was a boy, used to coax me up so everlastingly with loaf-cake, I declare I got such a sweet tooth, I could hardly eat plain bread made of flour and corn meal, although it was the wholesomest of the two. When I used to tell Minister this sometimes, as he was flying off the handle, like when we travelled through New York State to Niagara, at the scenery of the Hudson; or Lake George, or that everlastin' water-fall, he'd say--

"Sam, you are as correct as a problem in Euclid, but as cold and dry. Business and romance are like oil and water that I use for a night-lamp, with a little cork dipsey. They oughtn't to be mixed, but each to be separate, or they spoil each other. The tumbler should be nearly full of water, then pour a little oil on the top, and put in your tiny wick and floater, and ignite it. The water goes to the bottom--that's business you see, solid and heavy. The oil and its burner lies on the top--and that's romance. It's a living flame, not enough to illuminate the room, but to cheer you through the night, and if you want more, it will light stronger ones for you. People have a wrong idea of romance, Sam. Properly understood, it's a right keen, lively appreciation of the works of nature, and its beauty, wonders, and sublimity. From thence we learn to fear, to serve, and to adore Him that made them and us. Now, Sam, you understand all the wheels, and pullies, and balances of your wooden clocks; but you don't think anything more of them, than it's a grand speculation for you, because they cost you a mere nothing, seeing they are made out of that which is as cheap as dirt here, and because you make a great profit out of them among the benighted colonists, who know little themselves, and are governed by English officials who know still less. Well, that's nateral, for it is a business view of things.1 Now sposen you lived in the Far West woods, away from great cities, and never saw a watch or a wooden clock before, and fust sot your eyes on one of them that was as true as the sun, wouldn't you break out into enthusiasm about it, and then extol to the skies the skill and knowledge of the Yankee man that invented and made it? To be sure you would. Wouldn't it carry you off into contemplatin' of the planet whose daily course and speed it measures so exact? Wouldn't you go on from that point, and ask yourself what must be the wisdom and power of Him who made innumerable worlds, and caused them to form part of a great, grand, magnificent, and harmonious system, and fly off the handle, as you call it, in admiration and awe? To be sure you would. And if anybody said you was full of romance who heard you, wouldn't you have pitied his ignorance, and said there are other enjoyments we are capable of besides corporeal ones? Wouldn't you be a wiser and a better man? Don't you go now for to run down romance, Sam; if you do, I shall think you don't know there is a divinity within you," and so he would preach on for an hour, till I thought it was time for him to say Amen and give the dismissal benediction.


1 It is manifest Mr Hopewell must have had Paley's illustration in his mind.


Well, that's the way I came by it, I was inoculated for it, but I was always a hard subject to inoculate. Vaccination was tried on me over and over again by the doctor before I took it, but at last it came and got into the system. So it was with him and his romance, it was only the continual dropping that wore the stone at last, for I didn't listen as I had ought to have done. If he had a showed me where I could have made a dollar, he would have found me wide awake, I know, for I set out in life with a determination to go ahead, and I have; and now I am well to do, but still I wish I had a minded more what he did say, for, poor old soul, he is dead now. An opportunity lost, is like missing a passage, another chance may never offer to make the voyage worth while. The first wind may carry you to the end. A good start often wins the race. To miss your chance of a shot, is to lose the bird.

How true these "saws" of his are; but I don't recollect half of them, I am ashamed to say. Yes, it took me a long time to get romance in my sails, and Peter shook it out of them by one shiver in the wind. So we went to work. The moose was left on the shore, for the doctor said he had another destination for him than the water-fall. Betty, Jackson, and Peter, were embarked with their baskets and utensils in the boats, and directed to prepare our dinner.

As soon as they were fairly off, we strolled leisurely back to the house, which I had hardly time to examine before. It was an irregular building made of hewn logs, and appeared to have been enlarged, from time to time, as more accommodation had been required. There was neither uniformity nor design in it, and it might rather be called a small cluster of little tenements than a house. Two of these structures alone seemed to correspond in appearance and size. They protruded in front, from each end of the main building, forming with it three sides of a square. One of these was appropriated to the purposes of a museum, and the other used as a workshop. The former contained an exceedingly interesting collection.

"This room," he said, "I cannot intrust to Jackson, who would soon throw everything into confusion by grouping instead of classifying things. This country is full of most valuable minerals, and the people know as much about them as a pudding does of the plums contained in it. Observe this shelf, Sir, there are specimens of seven different kinds of copper on it; and on this one, fragments of four kinds of lead. In the argentiferous galena is a very considerable proportion of silver. Here is a piece of a mineral called molybdena of singular beauty, I found it at Gaberous Bay, in Cape Breton. The iron ores you see are of great variety. The coal-fields of this colony are immense in extent, and incalculable in value. All this case is filled with their several varieties. These precious stones are from the Bay of Fundy. Among them are amethyst, and other varieties of crystal, of quartz, henlandite, stibite, analcine, chabasie, albite, nesotype, silicious sinter, and so on. Pray do me the favour to accept this amethyst. I have several others of equal size and beauty, and it is of no use to me."

He also presented Cutler with a splendid piece of nesotype or needle stone, which he begged him to keep as a memento of the "Bachelor Beaver's-dam."

"Three things, Mr Slick," he continued, "are necessary to the development of the mineral wealth of this province--skill, capital, and population; and depend upon it the day is not far distant, when this magnificent colony will support the largest population, for its area, in America."

I am not a mineralogist myself, Squire, and much of what he said was heathen Greek to me, but some general things I could understand, and remember such as that there are (to say nothing of smaller ones) four immense independent coal-fields in the eastern section of Nova Scotia; namely, at Picton, Pomquet, Cumberland, and Londonderry; the first of which covers an area of one hundred square miles: and that there are also at Cape Breton two other enormous fields of the same mineral, one covering one hundred and twenty square miles, and presenting at Lingan a vein eleven feet thick. Such facts I could comprehend, and I was sorry when I heard the bugle announcing that the boat had returned for us.

"Jessie," said the doctor, "here is a little case containing a curiously fashioned and exquisitely worked ring, and a large gold cross and chain, that I found while searching among the ruins of the nunnery at Louisburg. I have no doubt they belonged to the superior of the convent. These baubles answered her purpose by withdrawing the eyes of the profane from her care-worn and cold features; they will serve mine also, by showing how little you require the aid of art to adorn a person nature has made so lovely."

"Hallo!" sais I to myself, "well done, Doctor, if that don't beat cock-fighting, then there ain't no snakes in Varginny, I vow. Oh! you ain't so soft as you look to be after all; you may be a child of nature, but that has its own secrets, and if you hain't found out its mysteries, it's a pity."

"They have neither suffered," he continued, "from the corrosion of time nor the asceticism of a devotee, who vainly thought she was serving God by voluntarily withdrawing from a world into which he himself had sent her, and by foregoing duties which he had expressly ordained she should fulfil. Don't start at the sight of the cross; it is the emblem of Christianity, and not of a sect, who claim it exclusively, as if He who suffered on it died for them only. This one has hitherto been used in the negation of all human affections, may it shed a blessing on the exercise of yours."

I could hardly believe my ears; I didn't expect this of him. I knew he was romantic, and all that; but I did not think there was such a depth and strength of feeling in him.

"I wish," I said, "Jehu Judd could a heard you, Doctor, he would have seen the difference between the clear grit of the genuine thing and a counterfeit, that might have made him open his eyes and wink."

"Oh! Slick," said he, "come now, that's a good fellow, don't make me laugh, or I shall upset these glass cases;" and before Jessie could either accept or decline this act of gallantry, he managed to lead the way to the lake. The girls and I embarked in the canoe, and the rest of the party in the boat, but before I stepped into the bark, I hid the pipes of Peter behind the body of the moose, very much to the amusement of Jessie and the doctor, who both seemed to agree with me in giving a preference to the bugle.

I never saw so lovely a spot in this country as the one we had chosen for our repast, but it was not my intention to land until the preparations for our meal were all fully completed; so as soon as Jane leaped ashore, I took her place and asked Jessie to take another look at the lake with me. Desiring Jackson to recall us with his bugle when required, we coasted up the west side of the lake for about half a mile, to a place where I had observed two enormous birches bend over the water, into which they were ultimately doomed to fall, as the current had washed away the land where they stood, so as to leave them only a temporary resting-place. Into this arched and quiet retreat we impelled our canoe, and paused for awhile to enjoy its cool and refreshing shade.

"Jessie," said I, "this time to-morrow I shall be on the sea again."

"So soon?" she replied.

"Yes, dear; business calls us away, and life is not all like a day on the lake."

"No, no," she said, "not to me; it is the only really happy one I have spent since I left my country. You have all been so kind to me; you, the captain, and the doctor, all of you, you have made no difference, you have treated me as if I was one of you, as if I was born a lady."

"Hasn't the doctor always been kind to you?" I said.

"Oh, yes," she replied, "always very kind, but there is nobody here like him."

"He loves you very much."

"Yes," she said, in the most unembarrassed and natural manner possible, "he told me so himself."

"And can't you return his love?"

"I do love him as I do my father, brother, or sister."

"Couldn't you add the word husband?"

"Never, never," she said, "Mr Slick. He thinks he loves me now, but he may not think so always. He don't see the red blood now, he don't think of my Indian mother; when he comes nearer perhaps he will see plainer. No, no, half-cast and outcast, I belong to no race. Shall I go back to my tribe and give up my father and his people? they will not receive me, and I must fall asleep with my mother. Shall I stay here and cling to him and his race, that race that scorns the half-savage? never! never! when he dies I shall die too. I shall have no home then but the home of the spirits of the dead."

"Don't talk that way, Jessie," I said, "you make yourself wretched, because you don't see things as they are. It's your own fault if you are not happy. You say you have enjoyed this day."

"Oh, yes," she said, "no day like this; it never came before, it don't return again. It dies to-night, but will never be forgotten."

"Why not live where you are? Why not have your home here by this lake, and this mountain? His tastes are like yours, and yours like his; you can live two lives here,--the forest of the red man around you--the roof of the white one above you. To unite both is true enjoyment; there is no eye to stare here, no pride to exclude, no tongue to offend. You need not seek the society of others, let them solicit yours, and the doctor will make them respect it."

It was a subject on which her mind appeared to have been made up. She seemed like a woman that has lost a child, who hears your advice, and feels there is some truth in it, but the consolation reaches not her heart.

"It can't be," she said, with a melancholy smile, as if she was resigning something that was dear to her, "God or nature forbids it. If there is one God for both Indian and white man, he forbids it. If there are two great spirits, one for each, as my mother told me, then both forbid it. The great spirit of the pale faces," she continued, "is a wicked one, and the white man is wicked. Wherever he goes, he brings death and destruction. The woods recede before him--the wild fowl leave the shores--the fish desert their streams--the red man disappears. He calls his deer and his beaver, and his game (for they are all his, and were given to him for food and for clothing), and travels far, far away, and leaves the graves and the bones of his people behind him. But the white man pursues him, day and night, with his gun, and his axe, and fire-water; and what he spares with the rifle, rum, despair, and starvation destroy. See," she said, and she plucked a withered red cone from a shumack that wept over the water, "see that is dyed with the blood of the red man."

"That is prejudice," I said.

"No, it is the truth," she replied. "I know it. My people have removed twice, if not three times, and the next move will be to the sea or the grave."

"It is the effect of civilization, and arts, and the power of sciences and learning, over untutored nature," I said.

"If learning makes men wicked, it is a bad thing," she observed; "for the devil instructs men how to destroy. But rum ain't learning, it is poison; nor is sin civilization, nor are diseases blessings, nor madness reason."

"That don't alter things," I said, "if it is all true that you say, and there is too much reality in it, I fear; but the pale faces are not all bad, nor the red all good. It don't apply to your case."

"No," she said, "nature forbids the two races to mingle. That that is wild, continues wild; and the tame remains tame. The dog watches his sleeping master; and the wolf devours him. The wild-duck scorns confinement; and the partridge dies if compelled to dwell with domestic fowls. Look at those birds," she said, as she threw a chip among a flock of geese that were floating down the lake, "if the beautiful Indian wild bird consorts with one of them, the progeny die out. They are mongrels, they have not the grace, the shape, or the courage of either. Their doom is fixed. They soon disappear from the face of the earth and the waters. They are despised by both breeds;" and she shook her head, as if she scorned and loathed herself, and burst into a passionate flood of tears.

"Jessie," said I, and I paused a moment, for I wanted to give her a homoeopathic dose of common sense--and those little wee doses work like charms, that's a fact. "Jessie," says I, and I smiled, for I wanted her to shake off those voluntary trammels. "Jessie, the doctor ain't quite quite tame, and you ain't quite wild. You are both six of one, and half-a-dozen of the other, and just about as like as two peas."

Well it's astonishing what that little sentence did. An ounce of essence is worth a gallon of fluid. A wise saw is more valuable than a whole book, and a plain truth is better than an argument. She had no answer for that. She had been reasoning, without knowing it, as if in fact she had been in reality an Indian. She had imbibed in childhood the feelings of her mother, who had taken the first step and repented it--of one who had deserted, but had not been adopted--who became an exile and remained an alien--who had bartered her birthright for degradation and death. It is natural that regret for the past and despair for the future should have been the burden of the mournful ditties of such a woman; that she who had mated without love, and lived without affection, the slave, the drudge, but not the wife or companion of her master, should die with imprecations on her lips for a race who were the natural foes of her people, and who had reduced her to be an object of scorn and contempt to both. It is no wonder therefore poor Jessie had a repugnance to the union, when she remembered her mother, and the sad lesson her unhappy life and fearful death contained. It was a feeling difficult to overcome.

"Jessie," sais I, "nature, instead of forbiddin' it, approves of it; for like takes to like. I don't say it to please you, but you are as good as he is, or any white man in the world. Your forefathers on your mother's side are a brave, manly, intelligent race; they are free men, and have never been subdued or enslaved by any one: and if they have degenerated at all, it is because they have contracted, as you say, vices from the white man. You have reason to be proud of being descended from a race of warriors. On the other hand, your father is a Highlander, and they too have always been free, because they were brave; they are the noblest fellows in Europe. As for the English, there are none now, except in Wales, and they are called Taffies--which means lunatics, for they are awful proud, and their mountains are so high, every fellow says his ancestors were descended from the man in the moon. But the present race are a mixture of Taffies, French, Danes, Saxons, Scotch, and the Lord knows who all, and to my mind are all the better of it."

"But the colour," said she.

"As to colour!" said I, "nations differ in every shade, from black up to chalk white. The Portuguese, Italians, and Turks are darker than the Indian if anything; Spaniards and Greeks about the same."

"And do they intermarry?"

"I guess they do," said I; "the difference of language only stops them,--for it's hard to make love when you can't understand each other,--but colour never."

"Is that now really true?" she said; "for I am ignorant of the world."

"True as preachin'," said I, "and as plain as poverty."

She paused awhile, and said slowly:

"Well, I suppose if all the world says and does differently, I must be wrong, for I am unacquainted with everything but my own feelings; and my mother taught me this, and bade me never to trust a white man. I am glad I was wrong, for if I feel I am right, I am sure I shall be happy."

"Well," sais I, "I am sure you will be so, and this is just the place, above all others in the world, that will suit you, and make you so. Now," sais I, "Jessie, I will tell you a story;" and I told her the whole tale of Pocahontas; how she saved Captain Smith's life in the early settlement of Virginia, and afterwards married Mr Rolfe, and visited the court of England, where all the nobles sought her society. And then I gave her all the particulars of her life, illness, and death, and informed her that her son, who stood in the same relationship to the whites as she did, became a wealthy planter in Virginia, and that one of his descendants, lately deceased, was one of the most eloquent as well as one of the most distinguished men in the United States. It interested her uncommonly, and I have no doubt greatly contributed to confirm her in the decision she had come to. I will not trouble you, Squire, with the story, for it is so romantic, I believe everybody has heard of it. I promised to give her a book containing all the details.

The bugle now sounded our recall, and in a few minutes we were seated on the grass, and enjoying our meal with an appetite that exercise, excitement, and forest air never fail to give. Songs, trout-fishing, and stories agreeably occupied the afternoon; and when the sun began to cast long shadows from the mountain, we reëmbarked with our traps, and landed at the cove near the clump of trees where we started in the morning. While preparations were making for tea in the house, I lit my cigar to take a stroll with Cutler, and talk over our arrangements for an early start in the morrow, and proceeding immediately to sea. In the mean time, I briefly stated to the doctor that he would now find no further obstacle to his wishes, and counselled him to lose no time, while the impression was favourable, to bring his long-pending negotiation to a conclusion.

"Slick," said he, laughing, "your government ought to have prevailed upon you to remain in the diplomatic service. You are such a capital negotiator."

"Well," said I, "I believe I would have succeeded in that line; but do you know how?"

"By a plentiful use of soft sawder," said he.

"No, Doctor, I knew you would say that; and it ain't to be despised neither, I can tell you. No, it's because you go coolly to work, for you are negotiatin' for another. If you don't succeed, it's the fault of the mission, of course, and defeat won't break your heart; if you do carry your point, why, in the natur of things, it is all your own skill. I have done famously for you; but I made a bungling piece of business for myself, I assure you. What my brother, the lawyer, used to say is very true: 'A man who pleads his own cause has a fool for his client.' You can't praise yourself unless it's a bit of brag, and that I can do as well as any one, I do suppose; but you can't lay the whitewash on handily no more than you can brush the back of your own coat when it is on. Cutler and I will take a stroll, and do you invite Jessie out, to see the moon on the lake."

In about an hour, Peter, who had found his pipes to his infinite delight, intimated supper was ready; and the dispersed groups returned, and sat down to a meal which, in addition to the tea and coffee and its usual accompaniments at country-houses, had some substantial viands for those, like myself, who had done more talking than eating at dinner. In a short time, the girls retired for the night, and we arranged for a peep of day return.

"Mr Slick," said the doctor, "I have ordered the boy to take the moose down to the village as my share of the sea-stores. Will you give me leave to go a part of the cruise with you?"

"With great pleasure," said I; "it's just what I was going to ask the favour of you to do. It's the very identical thing."

"Come, Peter," said he, "I will show you where to turn in;" and returning, in a few minutes, with Jackson, desired him to attend the captain.

When we were alone, he said:

"Come this way, Mr Slick. Put your hat on--I want you to take a turn with me."

And leading me down to the verge of the woods, where I saw a light, we entered a large bark wigwam, where he said he often slept during the hot weather.

It was not made in the usual conical form, but resembled a square tent, which among Indians generally indicates there is a large family, and that they propose to occupy the same spot for some time. In fact, it was half wigwam, half summer-house, resembling the former in appearance, construction, and material; but was floored on account of the damp ground, and contained a small table, two chairs, and a couple of rustic seats large enough to sleep upon, which, on the present occasion, had hunters' beds on them. The tent, or more properly camp, as it is generally called here, was so contrived as to admit of the door being shifted according to the wind. On the present occasion, the opening was towards the lake, on which the moon was casting its silver light.

Here we sat till a late hour, discoursing, over our cigars, on a variety of subjects, the first and last of which topic was Jessie, who had, it appeared, at last accepted the Bachelor Beaver. Altogether, it was a charming visit; and left a most agreeable recollection of the enjoyment that is to be found in "a day and a night in the woods."






Early the following morning, just as the first dawn of day was streaking the eastern sky, Jackson's bugle sounded the reveillé, and we were all soon on foot and in motion. The moose was lifted into the cart, and the boy despatched with it to the harbour, so as to have it in readiness for putting on board as soon as we should arrive, and a cup of coffee was prepared for us by Betty, as she said, to keep the cold out of our stomach while travelling. The doctor had some few arrangements to make for his voyage, and Cutler and I set out in advance, on foot. It was agreed that Ovey, Peter, and his daughters, should follow, as soon as possible, in the waggons, and breakfast with us on board of the Black Hawk.

"Mr Jackson," said I, as I saw him standing at the door.

"Yes, Sir," and he was at my side in a minute, and honoured me with one of his most gracious smiles, and respectful military salutes.

There is great magic in that word "Mr," when used to men of low degree, and in "Squire" for those just a notch higher. Servitude, at best, is but a hard lot. To surrender your will to another, to come and go at his bidding, and to answer a bell as a dog does a whistle, ain't just the lot one would choose, if a better one offered. A master may forget this, a servant never does. The great art, as well as one of the great Christian duties, therefore, is not to make him feel it. Bidding is one thing, and commanding is another. If you put him on good terms with himself, he is on good terms with you, and affection is a stronger tie than duty. The vanity of mankind is such, that you always have the ingratitude of helps dinned into your ears, from one year's end to another, and yet these folk never heard of the ingratitude of employers, and wouldn't believe there was such a thing in the world, if you were to tell them. Ungrateful, eh! Why, didn't I pay him his wages? wasn't he well boarded? and didn't I now and then let him go to a frolic? Yes, he wouldn't have worked without pay. He couldn't have lived if he hadn't been fed, and he wouldn't have stayed if you hadn't given him recreation now and then. It's a poor heart that don't rejoice sometimes. So much thanks he owes you. Do you pray that it may always rain at night or on Sundays? Do you think the Lord is the Lord of masters only? But he has been faithful as well as diligent, and careful as well as laborious, he has saved you more than his wages came to--are there no thanks for this? Pooh! you remind me of my poor old mother. Father used to say she was the most unreasonable woman in the world--for when she hired a gall she expected perfection, for two dollars and a half a month.

Mr Jackson! didn't that make him feel good all over? Why shouldn't he be called Mr, as well as that selfish conceited M'Clure, Captain? Yes, there is a great charm in that are word, "Mr." It was a wrinkle I picked up by accident, very early in life. We had to our farm to Slickville, an Irish servant, called Paddy Monaghan--as hard-working a critter as ever I see, but none of the boys could get him to do a blessed thing for them. He'd do his plowin' or reapin', or whatever it was, but the deuce a bit would he leave it to oblige Sally or the boys, or any one else, but father; he had to mind him, in course, or put his three great coats on, the way he came, one atop of the other, to cover the holes of the inner ones, and walk. But, as for me, he'd do anythin' I wanted. He'd drop his spade, and help me catch a horse, or he'd do my chores for me, and let me go and attend my mink and musquash traps, or he'd throw down his hoe and go and fetch the cows from pasture, that I might slick up for a party--in short, he'd do anything in the world for me.

"Well, they all wondered how under the sun Paddy had taken such a shindy to me, when nobody else could get him to budge an inch for them. At last, one day, mother asked me how on airth it was--for nothin' strange goes on long, but a woman likes to get at the bottom of it.

"Well," sais I, "mother, if you won't whisper a syllable to anybody about it, I'll tell you."

"Who, me," sais she, "Sammy?" She always called me Sammy when she wanted to come over me. "Me tell? A person who can keep her own secrets can keep yours, Sammy. There are some things I never told your father."

"Such as what?" sais I.

"A-hem," said she. "A-hem--such as he oughtn't to know, dear. Why, Sam, I am as secret as the grave! How is it, dear?"

"Well," sais I, "I will tell you. This is the way: I drop Pat and Paddy altogether, and I call him Mr Monaghan, and never say a word about the priest."

"Why, Sammy," said she, "where in the world did you pick up all your cuteness? I do declare you are as sharp as a needle. Well, I never. How you do take after me! boys are mothers' sons. It's only galls who take after their father."

It's cheap coin, is civility, and kindness is a nice bank to fund it in, Squire: for it comes back with compound interest. He used to call Josiah, Jo, and brother Eldad, Dad, and then yoke 'em both together, as "spalpeens," or "rapscallions," and he'd vex them by calling mother, when he spoke to them of her, the "ould woman," and Sally, "that young cratur, Sal." But he'd show the difference when he mentioned me; it was always "the young master," and when I was with him, it was "your Honour." Lord, I shall never forget wunst, when I was a practisin' of ball-shooting at a target, Pat brought out one of my muskits, and sais he: "Would your Honour just let me take a crack at it. You only make a little round hole in it, about the size of a fly's eye; but, by the piper that played before Moses, I'll knock it all to smithereens."

"Yes," sais I, "Mr Monaghan; fire and welcome."

Well, up he comes to the toe-line, and puts himself into attitude, scientific like. First he throws his left leg out, and then braces back the right one well behind him, and then he shuts his left eye to, and makes an awful wry face, as if he was determined to keep every bit of light out of it, and then he brought his gun up to the shoulder with a duce of a flourish, and took a long, steady aim. All at once he lowered the piece.

"I think I'll do it better knalin', your Honour," said he, "the way I did when I fired at Lord Blarney's land-agent, from behind the hedge, for lettin' a farm to a Belfast heretic. Oh! didn't I riddle him, your Honour." He paused a moment, his tongue had run away with him. "His coat, I main," said he. "I cut the skirts off as nait as a tailor could. It scared him entirely, so, when he see the feathers flyin' that way, he took to flight, and I never sot eyes on him no more. I shouldn't wonder if he is runnin' yet."

So he put down one knee on the ground, and adjusting himself said, "I won't leave so much as a hair of that target, to tell where it stood." He took a fresh aim, and fired, and away he went, heels over head, the matter of three or four times, and the gun flew away behind him, ever so far.

"Oh!" sais he, "I am kilt entirely. I am a dead man, Master Sam. By the holy poker, but my arm is broke."

"I am afraid my gun is broke," said I, and off I set in search of it.

"Stop, yer Honour," said he, "for the love of Heaven, stop, or she'll be the death of you."

"What?" sais I.

"There are five more shots in her yet, Sir. I put in six cartridges, so as to make sure of that paper kite, and only one of them is gone off yet. Oh! my shoulder is out, Master Sam. Don't say a word of it, Sir, to the ould cratur, and--"

"To who?" said I.

"To her ladyship, the mistress," said he, "and I'll sarve you by day and by night."

Poor Pat! you were a good-hearted creature naturally, as most of your countrymen are, if repealers, patriots, and demagogues of all sorts and sizes, would only let you alone. Yes, there is a great charm in that word "Mr."

So, sais I, "Mr Jackson!"

"Yes, Sir," said he.

"Let me look at your bugle."

"Here it is, your Honour."

"What a curious lookin' thing it is," sais I, "and what's all them little button-like things on it with long shanks?"

"Keys, Sir," said he.

"Exactly," sais I, "they unlock the music, I suppose, don't they, and let it out? Let me see if I could blow it."

"Try the pipes, Mr Slick," said Peter. "Tat is nothin' but a prass cow-horn as compared to the pagpipes."

"No, thank you," sais I, "it's only a Highlander can make music out of that."

"She never said a wiser word tan tat," he replied, much gratified.

"Now," sais I, "let me blow this, does it take much wind?"

"No," said Jackson, "not much, try it, Sir."

"Well, I put it to my lips, and played a well-known air on it. "It's not hard to play, after all, is it, Jackson?"

"No, Sir," said he, looking delighted, "nothing is ard to a man as knows how, as you do."

"Tom," sais Betty, "don't that do'ee good? Oh, Sir, I ain't eard that since I left the hold country, it's what the guards has used to be played in the mail-coaches has was. Oh, Sir, when they comed to the town, it used to sound pretty; many's the time I have run to the window to listen to it. Oh, the coaches was a pretty sight, Sir. But them times is all gone," and she wiped a tear from her eye with the corner of her apron, a tear that the recollection of early days had called up from the fountain of her heart.

Oh, what a volume does one stray thought of the past contain within itself. It is like a rocket thrown up in the night. It suddenly expands into a brilliant light, and sheds a thousand sparkling meteors, that scatter in all directions, as if inviting attention each to its own train. Yes, that one thought is the centre of many, and awakens them all to painful sensibility. Perhaps it is more like a vivid flash of lightning, it discloses with intense brightness the whole landscape, and exhibits, in their minutest form and outline, the very leaves and flowers that lie hid in the darkness of night.

"Jessie," said I, "will you imitate it?"

I stopt to gaze on her for a moment--she stood in the doorway--a perfect model for a sculptor. But oh, what chisel could do justice to that face--it was a study for a painter. Her whole soul was filled with those clear beautiful notes, that vibrated through the frame, and attuned every nerve, till it was in harmony with it. She was so wrapt in admiration, she didn't notice what I observed, for I try in a general way that nothing shall escape me; but as they were behind us all, I just caught a glimpse of the doctor (as I turned my head suddenly) withdrawing his arm from her waist. She didn't know it, of course, she was so absorbed in the music. It ain't likely she felt him, and if she had, it ain't probable she would have objected to it. It was natural he should like to press the heart she had given him; wasn't it now his? and wasn't it reasonable he should like to know how it beat? He was a doctor, and doctors like to feel pulses, it comes sorter habitual to them, they can't help it. They touch your wrist without knowing it, and if it is a woman's, why their hand, like brother Josiah's cases that went on all fours, crawls up on its fingers, till it gets to where the best pulse of all is. Ah, Doctor, there is Highland blood in that heart, and it will beat warmly towards you, I know. I wonder what Peter would have said, if he had seen what I did. But then he didn't know nothin' about pulses.

"Jessie," said I, "imitate that for me, dear. It is the last exercise of that extraordinary power I shall ever hear."

"Play it again," she said, "that I may catch the air."

"Is it possible," said I to myself, "you didn't hear it after all? It is the first time your little heart was ever pressed before, perhaps it beat so loud you couldn't distinguish the bugle notes. Was it the new emotion or the new music that absorbed you so? Oh, Jessie, don't ask me again what natur is."

Well, I played it again for her, and instantly she gave the repetition with a clearness, sweetness, and accuracy, that was perfectly amazing. Cutler and I then took leave for the present, and proceeded on our way to the shore.

"Ah, Sir!" said Jackson, who accompanied us to the bars, "it's a long while ago since I eard that hair. Warn't them mail-coaches pretty things, Sir? Hon the hold King's birthday, Sir, when they all turned out with new arness and coaches fresh painted, and coachman and guard in new toggery, and four as beautiful bits of blood to each on 'em as was to be found in England, warn't it a sight to behold, Sir? The world could show nothin' like it, Sir. And to think they are past and gone, it makes one's eart hache. They tells me the coachman now, Sir, has a dirty black face, and rides on a fender before a large grate, and flourishes a red ot poker instead of a whip. The guard, Sir, they tells me, is no--"

"Good bye, Mr Jackson;" and I shook hands with him.

"Isn't that too bad, Sir, now?" he said. "Why, here is Betty again, Sir, with that d--d hat, and a lecture about the stroke. Good bye, your Honour," said he.

When we came to the bridge where the road curved into the woods, I turned and took a last look at the place where I had spent such an agreeable day.

I don't envy you it, Doctor, but I wish I had such a lovely place at Slickville as that. What do you think, Sophy, eh? I have an idea you and I could be very happy there, don't you?

"Oh! Mr Slick," said Jehu Judd, who was the first person I saw at the door of Peter's house, "what an everlastin' long day was yesterday! I did nothing but renew the poultice, look in the glass, and turn into bed again. It's off now, ain't it?"

"Yes," sais I, "and we are off, too, in no time."

"But the trade," said he; "let's talk that over."

"Haven't time," sais I; "it must be short meter, as you say when you are to home to Quaco, practising Sall Mody (as you call it). Mackarel is five dollars a barrel, sains thirty--say yes or no, that's the word."

"How can you have the conscience?" said he.

"I never talk of conscience in trade," sais I; "only of prices. Bargain or no bargain, that's the ticket."

"I can't," he said.

"Well, then, there is an end of it," says I. "Good bye, friend Judd."

Sais he: "You have a mighty short way with you, my friend."

"A short way is better than a long face," said I.

"Well," said he, "I can't do without the sains (nets) no how I can fix it, so I suppose I must give the price. But I hope I may be skinned alive if you ain't too keen."

"Whoever takes a fancy to skin you, whether dead or alive, will have a tough job of it, I reckon," sais I, "it's as tight as the bark of a tree."

"For two pins," said he, "I'd tan your hide for you now."

"Ah," said I, "you are usin' your sain before you pay for it. That's not fair."

"Why?" said he.

"Because," sais I, "you are insaine to talk that way."

"Well, well," said he, "you do beat the devil."

"You can't say that," sais I, "for I hain't laid a hand on you. Come," sais I, "wake snakes, and push off with the Captain, and get the fish on board. Cutler, tell the mate, mackarel is five dollars the barrel, and nets thirty each. We shall join you presently, and so, friend Judd, you had better put the licks in and make haste, or there will be 'more fiddling and dancing and serving the devil this morning.'"

He turned round, and gave me a look of intense hatred, and shook his fist at me. I took off my hat and made him a low bow, and said "That's right, save your breath to cool your broth, or to groan with when you get home, and have a refreshing time with the Come-outers.


'My father was a preacher,
A mighty holy man;
My mother was a Methodist,
But I'm a Tunyan.'"


He became as pale as a mad nigger at this. He was quite speechless with rage, and turning from me, said nothing, and proceeded with the captain to the boat. It was some time before the party returned from the lake, but the two waggons were far apart, and Jessie and the doctor came last--was it that the road was bad, and he was a poor driver? perhaps so. A man who loves the woods don't know or care much about roads. It don't follow because a feller is a good shot, he is a good whip; or was it they had so much to say, the short distance didn't afford time? Well, I ain't experienced in these matters, though perhaps you are, Squire. Still, though Cupid is represented with bows and arrows (and how many I have painted on my clocks, for they always sold the best), I don't think he was ever sketched in an old one-hoss waggon. A canoe would have suited you both better, you would have been more at home there. If I was a gall I would always be courted in one, for you can't romp there, or you would be capsized. It's the safest place I know of. It's very well to be over head and ears in love, but my eyes, to be over head and ears in the water, is no place for lovemaking, unless it is for young whales, and even they spout and blow like all wrath when they come up, as if you might have too much of a good thing, don't they?

They both looked happy--Jessie was unsophisticated, and her countenance, when it turned on me, seemed to say, "Mr Slick, I have taken your advice, and I am delighted I did." And the doctor looked happy, but his face seemed to say, "Come now, Slick, no nonsense, please, let me alone, that's a good fellow."

Peter perceived something he didn't understand. He had seen a great deal he didn't comprehend since he left the Highlands, and heard a great many things he didn't know the meaning of. It was enough for him if he could guess it.

"Toctor," said he, "how many kind o' partridges are there in this country?"

"Two," said the simple-minded naturalist, "spruce and birch."

"Which is the prettiest?"

"The birch."

"And the smartest?"

"The birch."

"Poth love to live in the woods, don't they?"


"Well there is a difference in colour. Ta spruce is red flesh, and ta birch white, did you ever know them mix?"

"Often," said the doctor, who began to understand this allegorical talk of the North-West trader, and feel uncomfortable, and therefore didn't like to say no. "Well, then, the spruce must stay with the pirch, or the pirch live with the spruce," continued Peter. "The peech wood between the two are dangerous to both, for it's only fit for cuckoos."

Peter looked chuffy and sulky. There was no minister at the remote post he had belonged to in the nor-west. The governor there read a sermon of a Sunday sometimes, but he oftener wrote letters. The marriages, when contracted, were generally limited to the period of service of the employés, and sometimes a wife was bought, or at others, entrapped like a beaver. It was a civil or uncivil contract, as the case might be. Wooing was a thing he didn't understand; for what right had a woman to an opinion of her own? Jessie felt for her father, the doctor, and herself, and retired crying. The doctor said:

"Peter, you know me, I am an honest man; give me your confidence, and then I will ask the Chief for the hand of his daughter."

"Tat is like herself," said Peter. "And she never doubted her; and there is her hand, which is her word. Tam the coffee! let us have a glass of whiskey."

And he poured out three, and we severally drank to each other's health, and peace was once more restored.

Thinks I to myself, now is the time to settle this affair; for the doctor, Peter, and Jessie are all like children; it's right to show 'em how to act.

"Doctor," sais I, "just see if the cart with the moose has arrived; we must be a moving soon, for the wind is fair."

As soon as he went on this errand, "Peter," sais I, "the doctor wants to marry your daughter, and she, I think, is not unwilling, though, between you and me, you know better than she does what is good for her. Now the doctor don't know as much of the world as you do. He has never seen Scotland, nor the north-west, nor travelled as you have, and observed so much."

"She never said a truer word in her life," said Peter. "She has seen the Shetlands and the Rocky Mountains--the two finest places in the world, and crossed the sea and the Red River; pesides Canada and Nova Scotia, and seen French, and pairs, and Indians, and wolves, and plue noses, and puffaloes, and Yankees, and prairie dogs, and Highland chiefs, and Indian chiefs, and other great shentlemen, pesides peavers with their tails on. She has seen the pest part of the world, Mr Slick." And he lighted his pipe in his enthusiasm, when enumerating what he had seen, and looked as if he felt good all over.

"Well," sais I, "the doctor, like an honourable man, has asked Squire Peter McDonald for his daughter; now, when he comes in, call Jessie and place her hand in his, and say you consent, and let the spruce and birch partridge go and live near the lake together."

"Tat she will," said he, "for ta toctor is a shentleman pred and porn, though she hasn't the honour to be a Highlander."

As soon as the Bachelor Beaver returned, Peter went on this paternal mission, for which I prepared my friend; and the betrothal was duly performed, when he said in Gaelic:

"Dhia Beammich sibh le choile mo chlam! God bless you both, my children!"

As soon as the ceremony was over, "Now," sais I, "we must be a movin'. Come, Peter, let us go on board. Where are the pipes? Strike up your merriest tune."

And he preceded us, playing, "Nach dambsadh am minster," in his best manner--if anything can be said to be good, where bad is the best. When we arrived at the beach, Cutler and my old friend, the black steward, were ready to receive us. It would have been a bad omen to have had Sorrow meet the betrothed pair so soon, but that was only a jocular name given to a very merry negro.

"Well, Sorrow," sais I, as we pushed off in the boat, "how are you?"

"Very bad, Massa," he said, "I ab been used most rediculous shamful since you left. Time was berry dull on board since you been withdrawn from de light ob your countenance, and de crew sent on shore, and got a consignment ob rum, for benefit ob underwriters, and all consarned as dey said, and dey sung hymns, as dey call nigga songs, like Lucy Neal and Lucy Long, and den dey said we must hab ablution sarmon; so dey fust corned me, Massa."

"In the beef or pork-barrel, Sorrow?" said I.

"Oh, Lord bless you, Massa, in needer; you knows de meaning ob dat are word--I is sure you does--dey made me most tosicated, Massa, and dey said, 'Sorrow, come preach ablution sarmon.' Oh, Massa, I was berry sorry, it made me feel all ober like ague; but how could I insist so many; what was I to do, dey fust made me der slave, and den said, 'Now tell us bout mancipation.' Well, dey gub me glass ob rum, and I swallowed it--berry bad rum--well, dat wouldn't do. Well, den dey gub me anoder glass, and dat wouldn't do; dis here child hab trong head, Massa, werry trong, but he hoped de rum was all out, it was so bad; den dey rejectioned anoder in my face, and I paused and crastimated; sais I, 'Masters, is you done?' for dis child was afeard, Massa, if he drank all de bottle empty, dey would tro dat in his face too, so sais I:

"'Masters, I preaches under protest, against owners and ship for bandonment; but if I must put to sea, and dis niggar don't know how to steer by lunar compass, here goes.' Sais I, 'My dear bredren,' and dey all called out:

"'You farnal niggar you! do you call us bredren, when you is as black as de debbil's hind leg?'

"'I beg your most massiful pardon,' sais I, 'but as you is ablutionists, and when you preach, calls us regraded niggars your coloured bredren, I tought I might venture to foller in de same suit, if I had a card ob same colour.'

"'Well done, Uncle Tom,' sais they. 'Well done, Zip Coon,' and dey made me swallow anoder glass ob naked truth. Dis here child has a trong head, Massa, dat are a fac. He stand so much sun, he ain't easy combustioned in his entails.

"'Go on,' sais they.

"Well, my bredren," sais I, "I will dilate to you the valy of a niggar, as put in one scale and white man in de oder. Now, bredren, you know a sparrer can't fall to de ground no how he can fix it, but de Lord knows it--in course ob argument you do. Well, you knows twelve sparrers sell in de market for one penny. In course ob respondence you do. How much more den does de Lord care for a niggar like me, who is worth six hundred dollars and fifty cents, at de least? So, gentlemen, I is done, and now please, my bredren, I will pass round de hat wid your recurrence.'

"Well, dey was pretty high, and dey behaved like gentlemen, I must submit dat; dey gub me four dollars, dey did--dey is great friends to niggar, and great mancipationists, all ob dem; and I would hab got two dollars more, I do raily conclude, if I hadn't a called 'em my bredren. Dat was a slip ob de lockjaw."

"I must inquire into this," said Cutler, "it's the most indecent thing I ever beard of. It is downright profanity; it is shocking."

"Very," said I, "but the sermon warn't a bad one; I never heerd a niggar reason before; I knew they could talk, and so can Lord Tandemberry; but as for reasoning, I never heerd either one or the other attempt it before. There is an approach to logic in that."

"There is a very good hit at the hypocrisy of abolitionists in it," said the doctor; "that appeal about my bredren is capital, and the passing round of the hat is quite evangelical."

"Oigh," said Peter, "she have crossed the great sea and the great prairies, and she haven't heerd many sarmons, for Sunday don't come but once a month there, but dat is the pest she ever heerd, it is so short."

"Slick," said Cutler, "I am astonished at you. Give way there, my men; ease the bow oar."

"Exactly," sais I, "Cutler--give way there, my man; ease the bow oar--that's my maxim too--how the devil can you learn if you don't hear?" sais I.

"How can you learn good," said he, "if you listen to evil?"

"Let's split the difference," said I, laughing, "as I say in swapping; let's split the difference. If you don't study mankind how can you know the world at all? But if you want to preach--"

"Come, behave yourself," said he, laughing; "lower down the man ropes there."

"To help up the women," said I.

"Slick," said he, "it's no use talking; you are incorrigible."

The breakfast was like other breakfasts of the same kind; and, as the wind was fair, we could not venture to offer any amusements to our guests. So in due time we parted, the doctor alone, of the whole party, remaining on board. Cutler made the first move by ascending the companion-ladder, and I shook hands with Peter as a hint for him to follow. Jessie, her sister, Ovey, and I, remained a few minutes longer in the cabin. The former was much agitated.

"Good bye," said she, "Mr Slick! Next to him," pointing to the Bachelor Beaver, "you have been the kindest and best friend I ever had. You have made me feel what it is to be happy;" and woman-like, to prove her happiness, burst out a crying, and threw her arms round my neck and kissed me. "Oh! Mr Slick! do we part for ever?"

"For ever!" sais I, trying to cheer her up; "for ever is a most thundering long word. No, not for ever, nor for long either. I expect you and the doctor will come and visit us to Slickville this fall;" and I laid an emphasis on that word "us," because it referred to what I had told her of Sophy.

"Oh!" said she, "how kind that is!"

"Well," sais I, "now I will do a kinder thing. Jane and I will go on deck, and leave you and the doctor to bid each other good-bye." As I reached the door, I turned and said: "Jessie, teach him Gaelic the way Flora taught me--do bhileau boidheach (with your pretty lips)."

As the boat drew alongside, Peter bid me again a most affectionate, if not a most complimentary farewell.

"She has never seen many Yankees herself," said Peter, "but prayin' Joe, the horse-stealer--tarn him--and a few New England pedlars, who asked three hundred per shent for their coots, but Mr Slick is a shentleman, every inch of him, and the pest of them she ever saw, and she will pe glad to see her again whenever she comes this way."

When they were all seated in the boat, Peter played a doleful ditty, which I have no doubt expressed the grief of his heart. But I am sorry to say it was not much appreciated on board of the "Black Hawk." By the time they reached the shore, the anchor was up, the sails trimmed, and we were fairly out of Ship Harbour.






The wind, what there was of it, was off shore; it was a light north-wester, but after we made an offing of about ten miles, it failed us, being evidently nothing but a land breeze, and we were soon becalmed. After tossing about for an hour or two, a light cat's-paw gave notice that a fresh one was springing up, but it was from the east, and directly ahead.

"We shall make poor work of this," said the pilot, "and I am afraid it will bring up a fog with it, which is a dangerous thing on this coast, I would advise therefore returning to Ship Harbour," but the captain said, "Business must be attended to, and as there was nothing more of the kind to be done there, we must only have patience and beat up for Port Liscomb, which is a great resort for fishermen." I proposed we should take the wind as we found it, and run for Chesencook, a French settlement, a short distance to the westward of us, and effect our object there, which I thought very probable, as no American vessels put in there if they can avoid it. This proposition met the approval of all parties, so we put the "Black Hawk" before the wind, and by sunset were safely and securely anchored. The sails were scarcely furled before the fog set in, or rather rose up, for it seemed not so much to come from the sea as to ascend from it, as steam rises from heated water.

It seemed the work of magic, its appearance was so sudden. A moment before there was a glorious sunset, now we had impenetrable darkness. We were enveloped as it were in a cloud, the more dense perhaps because its progress was arrested by the spruce hills, back of the village, and it had receded upon itself. The little French settlement (for the inhabitants were all descended from the ancient Acadians) was no longer discernible, and heavy drops of water fell from the rigging on the deck. The men put on their "sow-wester" hats and yellow oiled cotton jackets. Their hair looked grey, as if there had been sleet falling. There was a great change in the temperature--the weather appeared to have suddenly retrograded to April, not that it was so cold, but that it was raw and uncomfortable. We shut the companion-door to keep it from descending there, and paced the deck and discoursed upon this disagreeable vapour bath, its cause, its effects on the constitution, and so on.

"It does not penetrate far into the country," said the doctor, "and is by no means unhealthy--as it is of a different character altogether from the land fog. As an illustration however of its density, and of the short distance it rises from the water, I will tell you a circumstance to which I was an eyewitness. I was on the citadel hill at Halifax once, and saw the points of the masts of a mail-steamer above the fog, as she was proceeding up the harbour, and I waited there to ascertain if she could possibly escape George's Island, which lay directly in her track, but which it was manifest her pilot could not discern from the deck. In a few moments she was stationary. All this I could plainly perceive, although the hull of the vessel was invisible. Some idea may be formed of the obscurity occasioned by the fog, from the absurd stories that were waggishly put abroad at the time of the accident. It was gravely asserted that the first notice the sentinel had of her approach, was a poke in the side from her jibboom, which knocked him over into the moat and broke two of his ribs, and it was also maintained with equal truth that when she came to the wharf it was found she had brought away a small brass gun on her bowsprit, into which she had thrust it like the long trunk of an elephant."

"Well," sais I, "let Halifax alone for hoaxes. There are some droll coves in that place, that's a fact. Many a laugh have I had there, I tell you. But, Doctor," sais I, "just listen to the noises on shore here at Chesencook. It's a curious thing to hear the shout of the anxious mother to her vagrant boy to return, before night makes it too dark to find his way home, ain't it? and to listen to the noisy gambols of invisible children, the man in the cloud bawling to his ox, as if the fog had affected their hearing instead of their sight, the sharp ring of the axe at the wood pile, and the barking of the dogs as they defy or salute each other. One I fancy is a grumbling bark, as much as to say, 'No sleep for us, old boy, to-night, some of these coasters will be making love to our sheep as they did last week, if we don't keep a bright look out. If you hear a fellow speak English, pitch right into the heretic, and bite like a snapping turtle. I always do so in the dark, for they can't swear to you when they don't see you. If they don't give me my soup soon (how like a French dog that, ain't it?) I'll have a cod-fish for my supper to-night, off of old Jodry's flakes at the other end of the harbour, for our masters bark so loud they never bite, so let them accuse little Paul Longille of theft.' I wonder if dogs do talk, Doctor?" said I.

"There is no doubt of it," he replied. "I believe both animals and birds have some means of communicating to each other all that is necessary for them--I don't go further."

"Well, that's reasonable," sais I; "I go that figure, too, but not a cent higher. Now there is a nigger," sais I; and I would have given him a wink if I could, and made a jupe of my head towards Cutler, to show him I was a goin' to get the captain's dander up for fun; but what's the use of a wink in a fog? In the first place, it ain't easy to make one; your lids are so everlastin' heavy; and who the plague can see you if you do? and if he did notice it, he would only think you were tryin' to protect your peepers, that's all. Well, a wink is no better nor a nod to a blind horse; so I gave him a nudge instead. "Now, there is the nigger, Doctor," sais I, "do you think he has a soul?1 It's a question I always wanted to ask Brother Eldad, for I never see him a dissectin' of a darky. If I had, I should have known; for nature has a place for everything, and everything in it's place."


1 This very singular and inconsequential rhodomontade of Mr Slick is one of those startling pieces of levity that a stranger often hears from a person of his class in his travels on this side of the water. The odd mixture of strong religious feeling and repulsive looseness of conversation on serious subjects, which may here and there be found in his Diary, naturally results from a free association with persons of all or no creeds. It is the most objectionable trait in his character--to reject it altogether would be to vary the portrait he has given us of himself--to admit it, lowers the estimate we might otherwise be disposed to form of him; but, as he has often observed, what is the use of a sketch if it be not faithful?


"Mr Slick," said Cutler.--he never called me Mr before, and it showed he was mad.--"do you doubt it?"

"No," sais I, "I don't; my only doubt is whether they have three?"

"What in the world do you mean?" said he.

"Well," sais I, "two souls we know they have--their great fat splaw feet show that, and as hard as jackasses' they are too; out the third is my difficulty; if they have a spiritual soul, where is it? We ain't jest satisfied about its locality in ourselves. Is it in the heart, or the brain, or where does it hang out? We know geese have souls, and we know where to find them."

"Oh, oh!" said Cutler.

"Cut off the legs and wings and breast of the goose," sais I, "and split him down lengthways, and right agin the back-bone is small cells, and there is the goose's soul, it's black meat, pretty much nigger colour. Oh, it's grand! It's the most delicate part of the bird. It's what I always ask for myself, when folks say, 'Mr Slick, what part shall I help you to--a slice of the breast, a wing, a side-bone, or the deacon's nose, or what?' Everybody laughs at that last word, especially if there is a deacon at table, for it sounds unctious, as he calls it, and he can excuse a joke on it. So he laughs himself, in token of approbation of the tid-bits being reserved for him. 'Give me the soul,' sais I; and this I will say, a most delicious thing it is, too. Now, don't groan, Cutler--keep that for the tooth-ache, or a campmeetin'; it's a waste of breath; for as we don't exactly know where our own souls reside, what harm is there to pursue such an interesting investigation as to our black brethren. My private opinion is, if a nigger has one, it is located in his heel."

"Oh, Mr Slick!" said he, "oh!" and he held up both hands.

"Well," sais I, "Cutler, just listen to reason now, just hear me; you have been all round the world, but never in it; now, I have been a great deal in it, but don't care for goin' round it. It don't pay. Did you ever see a nigger who had the gout? for they feed on the best, and drink of the best, when they are household servants down south, and often have the gout. If you have, did you ever hear one say, 'Get off my toes?' No, never, nor any other created critter. They always say, 'Get off my heel.' They are all like Lucy Long, 'when her foot was in the market-house, her heel was in Main-street.' It is the pride and boast of a darky. His head is as thick as a ram's, but his heel is very sensitive. Now, does the soul reside there? Did you ever study a dead nigger's heel, as we do a horse's frog. All the feeling of a horse is there. Wound that, and he never recovers; he is foundered--his heart is broke. Now, if a nigger has a soul, and it ain't in his gizzard, and can't in natur be in his skull, why, it stands to reason it must be in his heel."

"Oh, Mr Slick," said Cutler, "I never thought I should have heard this from you. It's downright profanity."

"It's no such thing," sais I, "it's merely a philosophical investigation. Mr Cutler," sais I, "let us understand each other. I have been brought up by a minister as well as you, and I believe your father, the clergyman at Barnstaple, was as good a man as ever lived; but Barnstaple is a small place. My dear old master, Mr Hopewell, was an old man who had seen a great deal in his time, and knew a great deal, for he had 'gone through the mill.'"

"What is that?" said he.

"Why," sais I, "when he was a boy, he was intended, like Washington, for a land-surveyor, and studied that branch of business, and was to go to the woods to lay out lots. Well, a day or two arter he was diplomatised as a surveyor, he went to bathe in a mill-pond, and the mill was a goin' like all statiee, and sucked him into the flume, and he went through into the race below, and came out t'other side with both his legs broke. It was a dreadful accident, and gave him serious reflections, for as he lay in bed, he thought he might just as easily have broke his neck. Well, in our country about Slickville, any man arter that who was wise and had experience of life, was said to have 'gone through the mill.' Do you take?"

But he didn't answer.

"Well, your father and my good old friend brought us both up religiously, and I hope taught us what was right. But, Mr Cutler--"

"Don't call me Mr," said he.

"Well, Cutler, then, I have been 'through the mill,' in that sense. I have acquired a knowledge of the world; if I havn't, the kicks I have taken must have fallen on barren ground. I know the chalk line in life won't do always to travel by. If you go straight a-head, a bottomless quag or a precipice will bring you up all standing as sure as fate. Well, they don't stop me, for I give them the go-by, and make a level line without a tunnel, or tubular bridge, or any other scientific folly; I get to the end my own way--and it ain't a slow one neither. Let me be, and put this in your pipe. I have set many a man straight before now, but I never put one on the wrong road since I was raised. I dare say you have heard I cheated in clocks--I never did. I have sold a fellow one for five pounds that cost me one; skill did that. Let him send to London, and get one of Barraud's, as father did, for twenty-five pounds sterling. Will it keep better time? I guess not. Is that a case of sell? Well, my knowledge of horse-flesh ain't to be sneezed at. I buy one for fifty dollars and sell him for two hundred; that's skill again--it ain't a cheat. A merchant, thinking a Russian war inevitable, buys flour at four dollars a barrel, and sells it in a month at sixteen. Is that a fraud? There is roguery in all trades but our own. Let me alone therefore. There is wisdom sometimes in a fool's answer; the learned are simple, the ignorant wise; hear them both; above all, hear them out; and if they don't talk with a looseness, draw them out. If Newman had talked as well as studied, he never would have quitted his church. He didn't convince himself he was wrong; he bothered himself, so he didn't at last know right from wrong. If other folks had talked freely, they would have met him on the road, and told him, 'You have lost your way, old boy; there is a river a-head of you, and a very civil ferryman there; he will take you over free gratis for nothing; but the deuce a bit will he bring you back, there is an embargo that side of the water.' Now let me alone; I don't talk nonsense for nothing, and when you tack this way and that way, and beat the 'Black Hawk' up agen the wind, I won't tell you you don't steer right on end on a bee line, and go as straight as a loon's leg. Do you take?"

"I understand you," he said, "but still I don't see the use of saying what you don't mean. Perhaps it's my ignorance or prejudice, or whatever you choose to call it; but I dare say you know what you are about."

"Cutler," sais I, "I warn't born yesterday. The truth is, so much nonsense is talked about niggers, I feel riled when I think of it. It actilly makes me feel spotty on the back.1 When I was to London last, I was asked to attend a meetin' for foundin' a college for our coloured brethren. Uncle Tom had set some folks half crazy, and others half mad, and what he couldn't do Aunt Harriet did. 'Well,' sais I to myself, 'is this bunkum, or what in natur is it? If I go, I shall be set down as a spooney abolitionist; if I don't go, I shall be set down as an overseer or nigger driver, and not a clockmaker. I can't please nobody any way, and, what is wus, I don't believe I shall please Mr Slick, no how I can fix it. Howsoever, I will go and see which way the mule kicks.'


1 This extraordinary effect of anger and fear on animals was observed centuries before America was discovered. Statius, a writer who fully equals Mr Slick both in his affectation and bombast, thus alludes to it:--

"Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure tigris,
Horruit in maculas."

"As when the tigress hears the hunter's din,
Dark angry spots distain her glossy skin."


"Well, Lord Blotherumskite jumps up, and makes a speech; and what do you think he set about proving? Why, that darkies had immortal souls--as if any created critter ever doubted it! and he pitched into us Yankees and the poor colonists like a thousand of bricks. The fact is, the way he painted us both out, one would think he doubted whether we had any souls. The pious galls turned up the whites of their eyes like ducks in thunder, as if they expected drakes to fall from the skies, and the low church folks called out, 'Hear, hear,' as if he had discovered the passage at the North Pole, which I do think might be made of some use if it warn't blocked up with ice for everlastingly. And he talked of that great big he-nigger, Uncle Tom Lavender, who was as large as a bull buffalo. He said he only wished he was in the House of Peers, for he would have astonished their lordships. Well, so far he was correct, for if he had been in their hot room, I think Master Lavender would have astonished their weak nerves so, not many would have waited to be counted. There would soon have been a dispersion, but there never would have been a division."

"Well, what did you do?" said Cutler.

"Kept my word," sais I, "as I always do. I seconded the motion, but I gave them a dose of common sense, as a foundation to build upon. I told them niggers must be prepared for liberty, and when they were sufficiently instructed to receive and appreciate the blessing, they must have elementary knowledge, furst in religion, and then in the useful arts, before a college should be attempted, and so on, and then took up my hat and walked out. Well, they almost hissed me, and the sour virgins who bottled up all their humanity to pour out on the niggers, actilly pointed at me, and called me a Yankee Pussyite. I had some capital stories to excite 'em with, but I didn't think they were worth the powder and shot. It takes a great many strange people, Cutler," sais I, "to make a world. I used to like to put the leak into folks wunst, but I have given it up in disgust now."

"Why?" sais he.

"Because," sais I, "if you put a leak into a cask that hain't got much in it, the grounds and settlin's won't pay for the trouble. Our people talk a great deal of nonsense about emancipation, but they know it's all bunkum, and it serves to palmeteer on, and makes a pretty party catch-word. But in England, it appears to me, they always like what they don't understand, as niggers do Latin and Greek quotations in sermons. But here is Sorrow. I suppose tea is ready, as the old ladies say. Come, old boy," sais I to Cutler, "shake hands; we have the same object in view, but sometimes we travel by different trains, that's all. Come, let us go below. Ah, Sorrow," sais I, "something smells good here; is it a moose steak? Take off that dish-cover."

"Ah, Massa," said he, as he removed it, "dat are is lubbly, dat are a fac."

When I looked at it, I said very gravely--

"Take it away, Sorrow, I can't eat it; you have put the salt and pepper on it before you broiled it, and drawn out all the juice. It's as dry as leather. Take it away."

"Does you tink it would be a little more better if it was a little more doner, Sar? People of 'finement, like you and me, sometime differ in tastes. But, Massa, as to de salt, now how you talks! does you railly tink dis here niggar hab no more sense den one ob dees stupid white fishermen has? No, Massa; dis child knows his work, and is de boy to do it, too. When de steak is een amost done, he score him lengthway--dis way," passing a finger of his right hand over the palm of the left, "and fill up de crack wid salt an pepper, den gub him one turn more, and dat resolve it all beautiful. Oh no, Massa, moose meat is naterally werry dry, like Yankee preacher when he got no baccy. So I makes graby for him. Oh, here is some lubbly graby! Try dis, Massa. My old missus in Varginy was werry ticular about her graby. She usen to say, 'Sorrow, it tante fine clothes makes de gentleman, but a delicate taste for soups, and grabys, and currys. Barbacues, roast pigs, salt meat, and such coarse tings, is only fit for Congress men.' I kirsait my graby, Massa, is done to de turn ob a hair, for dis child is a rambitious niggar. Fust, Massa, I puts in a lump ob butter bout size ob peace ob chalk, and a glass ob water, and den prinkle in flour to make it look like milk, den put him on fire, and when he hiss, stir him wid spoon to make him hush; den I adds inion, dat is fust biled to take off de trong taste, eetle made mustard, and a pinch ob most elegant super-superor yellow snuff."

"Snuff, you rascal!" said I, "how dare you? Take it away--throw it overboard! Oh, Lord! to think of eating snuff! Was there ever anything half so horrid since the world began? Sorrow, I thought you had better broughtens up."

"Well, now, Massa," said he, "does you tink dis niggar hab no soul?" and he went to the locker, and brought out a small square pint bottle, and said, "Smell dat, Massa; dat are oliriferous, dat are a fac."

"Why, that's curry-powder," I said; "why don't you call things by their right name?"

"Massa," said he, with a knowing wink, "dere it more snuff den is made of baccy, dat are an undoubtable fac. De scent ob dat is so good, I can smell it ashore amost. Den, Massa, when graby is all ready, and distrained beautiful, dis child warms him up by de fire and stirs him; but," and he put his finger on his nose, and looked me full in the face, and paused, "but, Massa, it must be stir all de one way, or it iles up, and de debbil hisself won't put him right no more."

"Sorrow," sais I, "you don't know nothin' about your business. Suppose it did get iled up, any fool could set it right in a minute."

"Yes, yes, Massa," he said, "I know. I ab done it myself often--drink it all up, and make it ober again, until all right wunst more; sometimes I drink him up de matter ob two or tree times before he get quite right."

"No," sais I, "take it off the fire, add two spoonsful of cold water, heat it again, and stir it the right way, and it is as straight as a boot-jack."

"Well, Massa," said he, and showed an unusual quantity of white in his eyes, "well, Massa, you is actilly right. My ole missus taught me dat secret herself, and I did actilly tink no libbin' soul but me and she in de whole univarsal United States did know dat are, for I take my oat on my last will and testament, I nebber tole nobody. But, Massa," said he, "I ab twenty different ways--ay, fifty different ways, to make graby; but, at sea, one must do de best he can with nottin' to do with, and when nottin' is simmered a week in nottin' by de fire, it ain't nottin' of a job to sarve him up. Massa, if you will scuze me, I will tell you what dis here niggar tinks on de subject ob his perfession. Some grand folks, like missus, and de Queen ob England and de Emperor ob Roosia, may be fust chop cooks, and I won't deny de fac; and no tanks to 'em, for dere saucepans is all silber and gold; but I have 'skivered dey don't know nuffin' about de right way to eat tings after dey has gone done 'em. Me and Miss Phillesy Anne, de two confdential sarvants, allers had de dinner sent into our room when missus done gone feedin'. Missus was werry kind to us, and we nebber stinted her in nuffin'. I allers gib her one bottle wine and 'no-he-no' (noyeau) more den was possible for her and her company to want, and in course good conduct is allers rewarded, cause we had what was left. Well, me and Miss Phillis used to dress up hansum for dinner to set good sample to niggars, and two ob de coloured waiters tended on us.

"So one day, said Miss Phillis to me: 'What shall I ab de honor to help yaw to, Mr Sorrow?'

"'Aunt Phillis,' sais I, 'skuse me one minit, I ab made a grand 'skivery.'

"'What is dat, uncle,' sais she, 'you is so clebber! I clare you is wort your weight in gold. What in natur would our dear missus do widout you and me? for it was me 'skivered how to cure de pip in chickens, and make de eggs all hatch out, roosters or hens; and how to souse young turkeys like young children in cold water to prevent staggers, but what is your wention, Mr Sorrow?'

"'Why,' sais I, 'aunty, skuse me one half second. What does you see out ob dat winder, Sambo? you imperent rascal.'

"'Nuffin', Sar.'

"'Well, you black niggar, if you stare bout dat way, you will see yourself flogged next time. If you ab no manners, I must teach you for de credit ob de plantation; hold a plate to Miss Phillis right away. Why, aunty,' sais I, 'dis is de 'skivery; a house must have solid foundation, but a dinner a soft one--on count ob disgestion; so I begins wid custard and jelly (dey tastes werry well together, and are light on de stomac), den I takes a glass ob whisky to keep 'em from turnin' sour; dat is de first step. Sambo, pour me out some. Second one is presarves, ices, fruits--strawberry and cream, or mustache churnings (pistachio cream) and if dey is skilful stowed, den de cargo don't shift under de hatches--arter dat comes punkin pie, pineapple tarts, and raspberry Charlotte.'

"'Mr Sorrow,' sais aunty, 'I is actilly ashamed ob you to name a dish arter a yaller gall dat way, and call it Charlotte; it's ondecent, specially afore dese niggars.'

"'Law sakes,' sais I, 'Miss Phillis, does you tink I ab no sense; I hate a yaller gall as I do pyson.'

"'So does I,' said she, 'dey is neither chalk nor cheese; dey is a disgrace to de plantation dey is on; but raspberry Charlotte is a name I nebber heard tell ob for a dish."

"'Why, how you talks,' sais I. 'Well, den is de time for fish, such as stewed rocks.'

"'Now you is a funnin',' sais aunty, 'isn't you? how on airth do you stew rocks? yah! yah! yah!'

"'Easy as kiss my hand to you,' sais I, 'and if dere be no fish (and dat white Yankee oberseer is so cussed lazy bout catchin' of dem, I must struct missus to discharge him). Den dere is two nice little genteel dishes, 'birds in de grobe,' and 'plover on de shore,' and den top off wid soup; and I ain't particular about dat, so long as I ab de best; and dat, Miss Phillis, makes a grand soft bed, you see, for stantials like beef or mutton, or ham, or venson, to lay down easy on.'

"'Well, you is a wonderful man, Mr Sorrow,' sais Miss Phillis, 'I do really tink dat stands to reason and experience. When I married my fiff husband--no, it warn't my fiff, it was my sixth--I had lubly baby tree month old, and my old man killed it maken speriments. He would give it soup and minced veal to make it trong. Sais I, 'Mr Caesar, dat ain't natur; fust you know it must ab milk, den pap, and so on in order.' Sais he, 'I allus feeds master's young bull-dogs on raw meat.' Well, Caesar died dat same identical night child did (and she gub me a wink); 'sunthen disagreed wid him also that he eat.' ('Oh Massa,' he continued, 'bears dat ab cubs and women dat ab childern is dangerous.) 'Mr Sorrow,' said she, 'dat is a great 'skivery of yourn; you'd best tell missus.'

"'I is most afeard she is too much a slave to fashion,' sais I.

"'Uncle,' said she, 'you mustn't say dat ob dear Miss Lunn, or I must decline de onor to dine wid you. It ain't spectful. Mr Sorrow, my missus ain't de slave ob fashion--she sets it, by golly!' and she stood up quite dignant.

"'Sambo, clar out ob dis dinin' room quick stick,' sais I to de waiter; 'you is so fond ob lookin' out on de field, you shall go work dere, you lazy hound; walk out ob de room dis minit; when I has finished my dinner, I will make you jine de labor gang. Miss Phillis, do resume your seat agin, you is right as you allus is; shall I ab de honour to take glass ob wine wid you?'

"Now, Massa, try dat 'skivery; you will be able to eat tree times as much as you do now. Arter dat invention, I used to enjoy my sleep grand. I went into de hottest place in de sun, laid up my face to him, and sleep like a cedar stump, but den I allus put my veil on."

"To keep the flies off?" said I.

"Lordy gracious! no, master, dey nebber trouble me; dey is afraid in de dark, and when dey see me, dey tink it is night, and cut off."

"What is the use of it, then?"

"To save my complexion, Massa; I is afraid it will fade white. Yah, yah, yah!"

While we were engaged in eating our steak, he put some glasses on the table and handed me a black bottle, about two-thirds full, and said, "Massa, dis here fog ab got down my troat, and up into my head, and most kill me, I can't tell wedder dat is wine or rum, I is almost clean gwine distracted. Will Massa please to tell me?"

I knew what he was at, so sais I, "If you can't smell it, taste it." Well, he poured a glass so full, nobody but a nigger could have reached his mouth with it without spilling. When he had swallowed it he looked still more puzzled.

"Peers to me," he said, "dat is wine, he is so mild, and den it peers to me it's rum, for when it gets down to de stomach he feel so good. But dis child ab lost his taste, his smell, and his finement, altogedder."

He then poured out another bumper, and as soon as he had tossed it off, said, "Dat is de clear grit; dat is oleriferous--wake de dead amost, it is de genuine piticular old Jamaicky, and no mistake. I must put dat bottle back and give you todder one, dat must be wine for sartain, for it is chock full, but rum vaporates bery fast when de cork is drawn. Missus used to say, 'Sorrow, meat, when kept, comes bery high, but rum gets bery low.'"

"Happy fellow and lucky fellow too, for what white man in your situation would be treated so kindly and familiarly as you are? The fact is, Doctor, the negroes of America, as a class, whether slaves or free men, experience more real consideration, and are more comfortable, than the peasants of almost any country in Europe. Their notions of the origin of white men are very droll, when the things are removed I will make him give you his idea on the subject.

"Sorrow," said I, "what colour was Adam and Eve?"

"Oh, Massa," said he, "don't go for to ask dis child what you knows yourself better nor what he does. I will tell you some oder time, I is bery poorly just now, dis uncountable fog ab got into my bones. Dis is shocking bad country for niggars; oh, dere is nuffin' like de lubbly sout; it's a nateral home for blackies.


'In Souf Carolina de niggars grow
If de white man will only plant his toe,
Den dey water de ground wid baccy smoke,
And out ob de soil dere heads will poke.
Ring de hoop, blow de horn,
I nebber see de like since I was born,
Way down in de counte-ree,
Four or five mile from de ole Peedee.'


"Oh, Massa, dis coast is only fit for seals, porpoises, and dog-fish, but not for gentleman, nor niggars, nor ladies. Oh, I berry bad," and he pressed both hands on his stomach as if he was in great pain.

"Perhaps another glass of old Jamaica would set you right," I said.

"Massa, what a most a grand doctor you would ab made," he said. "Yah, yah, yah--you know de wery identical medicine for de wery identical disease, don't you? dat is just what natur was callin' for eber so bad."

"Natur," sais I, "what's that, spell it."

"R-u-m," said he, "dat is human natur, and whiskey is soft sawder, it tickle de troat so nice and go down so slick. Dem is de names my old missus used to gib 'em. Oh, how she would a lubb'd you, if you had spunked up to her and tied up to our plantation; she didn't fection Yankees much, for dem and dead niggars is too cold to sleep with, and cunnuchs (Canadians) she hated like pison, cause they 'ticed off niggars; but she'd a took to you naterally, you is such a good cook. I always tink, Massa, when folks take to eatin' same breakfast, same lunch, same dinner, same tea, same supper, drinkin' same soup, lubbin' same graby, and fectioning same preserves and pickles, and cakes and pies, and wine, and cordials, and ice-creams, den dey plaguy soon begin to rambition one anodder, and when dey do dat, dey is sure to say, 'Sorrow, does you know how to make weddin' cake, and frost him, and set him off partikelar jam, wid wices of all kinds, little koopids, and cocks and hens, and bales of cotton, figs of baccy, and ears of corn, and all sorts of pretty things done in clarfied sugar. It do seem nateral to me, for when our young niggars go sparkin' and spendin' evenings, dey most commonly marries. It stand to reason. But, Massa, I is bery bad indeed wid dis dreadful pain in my infernal parts--I is indeed. Oh," said he, smackin' his lips, and drainin' his glass, "dat is def to a white man, but life to a niggar; dat is sublime. What a pity it is though dey make de glasses so almighty tunderin' small; de man dat inwented dem couldn't a had no remaginable nose at all, dat are a fac."

"But the colour of Adam?" said I.

"Oh, Massa," he said, "you knows bery well he was a black gentleman, and Missus Eve a most splendid Swanga black lady. Oh yes, Massa, dey were made black to enjoy de grand warm sun. Well, Cain was a wicked man, cause he killed his brudder. So de Lord say to him one day, 'Cain, where is your brudder?' 'I don't know, Massa,' said he, 'I didn't see him nowhere.' Well, de next time he asked him de sef-same question, and he answered quite sarcy, 'How in de world does I know,' sais he, 'I ain't my brudder's keeper.' Well, afore he know'd where he was, de Lord said to him, in a voice of tunder, 'You murdered him, you villain!' And Cain, he was so scared, he turned white dat very instant. He nebber could stand heat, nor enjoy summer no more again, nor none ob his childer arter him, but Abel's children remain black to dis day. Fac, Massa, fac, I does assure you. When you like supper, Massa?"

"At ten o'clock," sais I.

"Well, den, I will go and get sunthen nice for you. Oh! my ole missus was a lubbly cook; I don't believe in my heart de Queen ob England could hold a candle to her! she knowed twenty-two and a half ways to cook Indian corn, and ten or twelve ob 'em she inwented herself dat was de stonishment ob ebbery one."

"Half a way," I said, "what do you mean by that?"

"Why, Massa, de common slommachy way people ab ob boiling it on de cob; dat she said was only half a way. Oh, Lordy gracious, one way she wented, de corn was as white as snow, as light as puff, and so delicate it disgested itself in de mout."

"You can go," said Cutler.

"Tankee, Massa," said Sorrow, with a mingled air of submission and fun, as much as to say, "I guess I don't want leave for that, anyhow, but I thank you all the same as if I did," and making a scrape of his hind-leg, he retired.

"Slick," said Cutler, "it isn't right to allow that nigger to swallow so much rum! How can one wonder at their degradation, when a man like you permits them to drink in that manner?"

"Exactly," sais I, "you think and talk like all abolitionists, as my old friend Colonel Crockett used to say, the Yankees always do. He said, 'When they sent them to pick their cherries, they made them whistle all the time, so that they couldn't eat any.' I understand blacks better than you do. Lock up your liquor and they will steal it, for their moral perceptions are weak. Trust them, and teach them to use, and not abuse it. Do that, and they will be grateful, and prove themselves trustworthy. That fellow's drinking is more for the fun of the thing than the love of liquor. Negroes are not drunkards. They are droll boys; but, Cutler, long before thrashing machines were invented, there was a command, 'not to muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Put that in your pipe, my boy, the next time you prepare your Kinnikennic for smoking, will you?"

"'Kinnikennic,'" said the doctor, "what under the sun is that?"

"A composition," sais I, "of dry leaves of certain aromatic plants and barks of various kinds of trees, an excellent substitute for tobacco, but when mixed with it, something super-superior. If we can get into the woods, I will show you how to prepare it; but, Doctor," sais I, "I build no theories on the subject of the Africans; I leave their construction to other and wiser men than myself. Here is a sample of the raw material, can it be manufactured into civilization of a high order? Q stands for query, don't it? Well, all I shall do is to put a Q to it, and let politicians answer it; but I can't help thinking there is some truth in the old saw, 'Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.'"






After Sorrow had retired, we lighted our cigars, and turned to for a chat, if chat it can be called one, where I did most of the talking myself.

"Doctor," said I, "I wish I had had more time to have examined your collection of minerals. I had no idea Nova Scotia could boast of such an infinite variety of them. You could have taught me more in conversation in five minutes than I could have learned by books in a month. You are a mineralogist, and I am sorry to say I ain't, though every boarding-school miss now-a-days in our country consaits she is. They are up to trap at any rate, if nothing else, you may depend," and I gave him a wink.

"Now don't, Slick," said he, "now don't set me off, that's a good fellow."

"'Mr Slick,' said a young lady of about twelve years of age to me wunst, 'do you know what gray wackey is? for I do.'

"'Don't I,' sais I; 'I know it to my cost. Lord! how my old master used to lay it on!'

"'Lay it on!' she said, 'I thought it reposed on a primitive bed.'

"'No it don't,' said I. 'And if anybody knows what gray wackey is, I ought; but I don't find it so easy to repose after it as you may. Gray means the gray birch rod, dear, and wackey means layin' it on. We always called it gray whackey in school, when a feller was catching particular Moses.'

"'Why, how ignorant you are!' said she. 'Do you know what them mining tarms, clinch, parting, and black bat means?'

"'Why, in course I do!' sais I; 'clinch is marrying, parting is getting divorced, and black bat is where a fellow beats his wife black and blue."

"'Pooh!' said she, 'you don't know nothing.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'what do you know?'

"'Why,' said she, 'I know Spanish and mathematics, ichthiology and conchology, astronomy and dancing, mineralogy and animal magnetism, and German and chemistry, and French and botany. Yes, and the use of the globes too. Can you tell me what attraction and repulsion is?'

"'To be sure I can,' said I, and I drew her on my knee and kissed her. 'That's attraction, dear.' And when she kicked and screamed as cross as two cats, 'that, my pretty one,' I said, 'is repulsion. Now I know a great many things you don't. Can you hem a pocket-handkerchief?'


"'Nor make a pudding?'


"'Nor make Kentucky batter?'


"'Well, do you know any useful thing in life?'

"'Yes, I do; I can sing, and play on the piano, and write valentines,' sais she, 'so get out.' And she walked away, quite dignified, muttering to herself, 'Make a pudding, eh! well, I want to know!'

"Thinks I to myself, my pretty little may-flower, in this everlastin' progressive nation of ourn, where the wheel of fortune never stops turning day or night, and them that's at the top one minute are down in the dirt the next, you may say, "'I want to know' before you die, and be very glad to change your tune, and say, 'Thank heaven I do know!'"

"Is that a joke of yours," said the doctor, "about the young girl's geology, or is it really a fact?"

"Fact, I assure you," said I. "And to prove it I'll tell you a story about a Female College that will show you what pains we take to spoil our young ladies to home. Miss Liddy Adams, who was proprietor and 'dentess (presidentess) of a Female College to Onionville, was a relation of mother's, and I knew her when she was quite a young shoat of a thing to Slickville. I shall never forget a flight into Egypt I caused once in her establishment. When I returned from the embassy, I stopped a day in Onionville, near her university--for that was the name she gave hern; and thinks I, I will just call and look in on Lid for old acquaintance' sake, and see how she is figuring it out in life. Well, I raps away with the knocker as loud as possible, as much as to say, Make haste, for there is somebody here, when a tall spare gall with a vinegar face opened the door just wide enough to show her profile, and hide her back gear, and stood to hear what I had to say. I never see so spare a gall since I was raised. Pharaoh's lean kine warn't the smallest part of a circumstance to her. She was so thin, she actilly seemed as if she would have to lean agin the wall to support herself when she scolded, and I had to look twice at her before I could see her at all, for I warn't sure she warn't her own shadow."

"Good gracious!" said the doctor, "what a description! but go on."

"'Is the mistress to home?' said I.

"'I have no mistress,' said she.

"'I didn't say you had,' sais I, 'for I knew you hadn't afore you spoke.'

"'How did you know that?' said she.

"'Because,' sais I, 'seein' so handsome a lady as you, I thought you was one of the professors; and then I thought you must be the mistress herself, and was a thinking how likely she had grow'd since I seed her last. Are you one of the class-teachers?'

"It bothered her; she didn't know whether it was impudence or admiration; but when a woman arbitrates on a case she is interested in, she always gives an award in her own favour.

"'Walk in, Sir,' said she, 'and I will see,' and she backed and backed before me, not out of deference to me, but to the onfastened hooks of her gown, and threw a door open. On the opposite side was a large room filled with galls, peeping and looking over each other's shoulders at me, for it was intermission.

"'Are these your pupils?' sais I; and before she could speak, I went right past into the midst of 'em. Oh, what a scuddin' and screamin' there was among them! A rocket explodin' there couldn't a done more mischief. They tumbled over chairs, upsot tables, and went head and heels over each other like anything, shouting out, 'A man! a man!'

"'Where--where?' sais I, a chasin' of them, 'show him to me, and I'll soon clear him out. What is he a doing of?'

"It was the greatest fun you ever see. Out they flew through the door at the other eend of the room, some up and some down-stairs, singing out, 'A man! a man!' till I thought they would have hallooed their daylights out. Away I flew after them, calling out, 'Where is he? show him to me, and I'll soon pitch into him!' when who should I see but Miss Liddy in the entry, as stiff and as starch as a stand-up shirt collar of a frosty day. She looked like a large pale icicle, standing up on its broad end, and cold enough to give you the ague to look at her.

"'Mr Slick,' said she, 'may I ask what is the meaning of all this unseemly behaviour in the presence of young ladies of the first families in the State?'

"Says I, 'Miss Adam,' for as she used the word Mr as a handle to me, I thought I'de take a pull at the Miss,' some robber or housebreaker has got in, I rather think, and scared the young feminine gender students, for they seemed to be running after somebody, and I thought I would assist them.'

"'May I ask, Sir,' a drawin' of herself up to her full height, as straight and as prim as a Lombardy poplar, or rather, a bull-rush, for that's all one size. 'May I ask, Sir, what is the object of your visit here--at a place where no gentlemen are received but the parents or guardians of some of the children.'

"I was as mad as a hatter; I felt a little bit vain of the embassy to London, and my Paris dress, particularly my boots and gloves, and all that, and I will admit, there is no use talkin', I rather kinder sorter thought she would be proud of the connection. I am a good-natured man in a general way when I am pleased, but it ain't safe to ryle me, I tell you. When I am spotty on the back, I am dangerous. I bit in my breath, and tried to look cool, for I was determined to take revenge out of her.

"'Allow me to say, Sir,' said she, a perkin' up her mouth like the end of a silk purse, 'that I think your intrusion is as unwelcome as it is unpardonable. May I ask the favour of you to withdraw? if not, I must introduce you to the watchman.'

"'I came,' sais I, 'Miss Adam, having heard of your distinguished college in the saloons of Paris and London, to make a proposal to you; but, like a bull--'

"'Oh dear!' said she, 'to think I should have lived to hear such a horrid word, in this abode of learning!'

"'But,' I went on without stopping, 'like a bull in a chiny-shop, I see I have got into the wrong pew; so nothin' remains for me but to beg pardon, keep my proposal for where it will be civilly received, at least, and back out.'

"She was as puzzled as the maid. But women ain't throwed off their guard easily. If they are in a dark place, they can feel their way out, if they can't see it. So says she, dubious like:

"'About a child, I suppose?'

"'It is customary in Europe,' sais I, 'I believe, to talk about the marriage first, isn't it? but I have been so much abroad, I am not certified as to usages here.'

"Oh, warn't she brought to a hack! She had a great mind to order me out, but then that word 'proposal' was one she had only seen in a dictionary--she had never heard it; and it is such a pretty one, and sounded so nice to the ear; and then that word 'marriage' was used also, so it carried the day.

"'This is not a place, Mr Slick, for foundlings, I'de have you to know,' she said, with an air of disgust, 'but children whose parents are of the first class of society. If,' and she paused and looked at me scrutinisin', 'if your proposals are of that nature, walk in here, Sir, if you please, where our conversation will not be over-heard. Pray be seated. May I ask, what is the nature of the proposition with which you design to honour me?' and she gave me a smile that would pass for one of graciousness and sweet temper, or of encouragement. It hadn't a decided character, and was a non-committal one. She was doin' quite the lady, but I consaited her ear was itching to hear what I had to say, for she put a finger up, with a beautiful diamond ring on it, and brushed a fly off with it; but, after all, perhaps it was only to show her lily-white hand, which merely wanted a run at grass on the after-feed to fatten it up, and make it look quite beautiful.

"'Certainly,' sais I, 'you may ask any question of the kind you like.'

"It took her aback, for she requested leave to ask, and I granted it; but she meant it different.

"Thinks I, 'My pretty grammarian, there is a little grain of difference between, 'May I ask,' and, 'I must ask.' Try it again.'

"She didn't speak for a minute; so to relieve her, sais I:

"'When I look round here, and see how charmingly you are located, and what your occupation is, I hardly think you would feel disposed to leave it; so perhaps I may as well forbear the proposal, as it isn't pleasant to be refused.'

"'It depends,' she said, 'upon what the nature of those proposals are, Mr Slick, and who makes them,' and this time she did give a look of great complacency and kindness. 'Do put down your hat, Sir. I have read your Clockmaker,' she continued; 'I really feel quite proud of the relationship; but I hope you will excuse me for asking, Why did you put your own name to it, and call it 'Sam Slick the Clockmaker,' now that you are a distinguished diplomatist, and a member of our embassy at the court of Victoria the First? It's not an elegant appellation that, of Clockmaker,' sais she, 'is it?' (She had found her tongue now.) 'Sam Slick the Clockmaker, a factorist of wooden clocks especially, sounds trady, and will impede the rise of a colossal reputation, which has already one foot in the St Lawrence, and the other in the Mississippi.'

"'And sneezes in the Chesapeake,' sais I.

"'Oh,' said she, in the blandest manner, 'how like you, Mr Slick! you don't spare a joke even on yourself. You see fun in everything.'

"'Better,' sais I, 'than seeing harm in everything, as them galls--'

"'Young ladies,' said she.

"'Well, young ladies, who saw harm in me because I was a man. What harm is there in their seeing a man? You ain't frightened at one, are you, Liddy?'

"She evaded that with a smile, as much as to say, 'Well, I ain't much skeered, that's a fact.'

"'Mr Slick, it is a subject not worth while pursuing,' she replied. 'You know the sensitiveness, nervous delicacy, and scrupulous innocence of the fair sex in this country, and I may speak plainly to you as a man of the world. You must perceive how destructive of all modesty in their juvenile minds, when impressions are so easily made, it would be to familiarise their youthful eyes to the larger limbs of gentlemen enveloped in pantaloons. To speak plainly, I am sure I needn't tell you it ain't decent.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'it wouldn't be decent if they wern't enveloped in them.'

"She looked down to blush, but it didn't come natural, so she looked up and smiled (as much as to say, do get out you impudent critter. I know its bunkum as well as you do, but don't bother me. I have a part to play.) Then she rose and looked at her watch, and said the lecture hour for botany has come.

"'Well,' sais I, a taking up my hat, 'that's a charming study, the loves of the plants, for young ladies, ain't it? they begin with natur, you see, and--(well, she couldn't help laughing). 'But I see you are engaged.'

"'Me,' said she, 'I assure you, Sir, I know people used to say so, afore General Peleg Smith went to Texas.'

"'What that scallawag,' said I. 'Why, that fellow ought to be kicked out of all refined society. How could you associate with a man who had no more decency than to expect folks to call him by name!'

"'How?' said she.

"'Why,' sais I, 'what delicate-minded woman could ever bring herself to say Pe-leg. If he had called himself Hujacious Smith, or Larger-limb Smith, or something of that kind, it would have done, but Peleg is downright ondecent. I had to leave Boston wunst a whole winter, for making a mistake of that kind. I met Miss Sperm one day from Nantucket, and says I, 'Did you see me yesterday, with those two elegant galls from Albany?'

"'No,' said she, 'I didn't.'

"'Strange, too,' said I, 'for I was most sure I caught a glimpse of you, on the other side of the street, and I wanted to introduce you to them, but warn't quite sartain it was you. My,' sais I, 'didn't you see a very unfashionable dressed man' (and I looked down at my Paris boots, as if I was doing modest), 'with two angeliferous females? Why, I had a leg on each arm.'

"She fairly screamed out at that expression, rushed into a milliner's shop, and cried like a gardner's watering-pot. The names she called me ain't no matter. They were the two Miss Legges of Albany, and cut a tall swarth, I tell you, for they say they are descended from a govenor of Nova Scotia, when good men, according to their tell, could be found for govenors, and that their relations in England are some pumpkins, too. I was as innocent as a child, Letty.'

"'Well,' said she, 'you are the most difficult man to understand I ever see--there is no telling whether you are in fun or in earnest. But as I was a saying, there was some such talk afore General Smith went to Texas; but that story was raised by the Pawtaxet College folks, to injure this institution. They did all they could to tear my reputation to chitlins. Me engaged, I should like to see the man that--'

"'Well, you seemed plaguey scared at one just now,' sais I. 'I am sure it was a strange way to show you would like to see a man.'

"'I didn't say that,' she replied, 'but you take one up so quick.'

"'It's a way I have,' said I, 'and always had, since you and I was to singing-school together, and larnt sharps, flats, and naturals. It was a crotchet of mine,' and I just whipped my arm round her waist, took her up and kissed her afore she knowed where she was. Oh Lordy! Out came her comb, and down fell her hair to her waist, like a mill-dam broke loose; and two false curls and a braid fell on the floor, and her frill took to dancin' round, and got wrong side afore, and one of her shoes slipt off, and she really looked as if she had been in an indgian-scrimmage and was ready for scalpin'.

"'Then you ain't engaged, Liddy,' sais I; 'how glad I am to hear that, it makes my heart jump, and cherries is ripe now, and I will help you up into the tree, as I used to did when you and I was boy and gall together. It does seem so nateral, Liddy, to have a game of romps with you again; it makes me feel as young as a two-year-old. How beautiful you do look, too! My, what a pity you is shut up here, with these young galls all day, talking by the yard about the corrallas, calyxes, and staminas of flowers, while you


"'Are doom'd to blush unseen,
And waste your sweetness on the desert air.'


"'Oh,' said she, 'Sam, I must cut and run, and 'blush unseen,' that's a fact, or I'm ruinated,' and she up curls, comb, braid, and shoe, and off like a shot into a bed-room that adjoined the parlour, and bolted the door, and double-locked it, as if she was afraid an attachment was to be levied on her and her chattels, by the sheriff, and I was a bum-bailiff.

"Thinks I, old gall, I'll pay you off for treating me the way you did just now, as sure as the world. 'May I ask, Mr Slick, what is the object of this visit?' A pretty way to receive a cousin that you haven't seen so long, ain't it? and though I say it that shouldn't say it, that cousin, too, Sam Slick, the attaché to our embassy to the Court of Victoria, Buckingham Palace. You couldn't a treated me wuss if I had been one of the liveried, powdered, bedizened, be-bloated footmen from 't'other big house there of Aunt Harriette's.' I'll make you come down from your stilts, and walk naterel, I know, see if I don't.

"Presently she returned, all set to rights, and a little righter, too, for she had put a touch of rouge on to make the blush stick better, and her hair was slicked up snugger than before, and looked as if it had growed like anything. She had also slipped a handsome habit-shirt on, and she looked, take her altogether, as if, though she warn't engaged, she ought to have been afore the last five hot summers came, and the general thaw had commenced in the spring, and she had got thin, and out of condition. She put her hand on her heart, and said, 'I am so skared, Sam, I feel all over of a twitteration. The way you act is horrid.'

"'So do I,' sais I, 'Liddy, it's so long since you and I used to--'

"'You ain't altered a bit, Sam,' said she, for the starch was coming out, 'from what you was, only you are more forrider. Our young men, when they go abroad, come back and talk so free and easy, and take such liberties, and say it's the fashion in Paris, it's quite scandalous. Now, if you dare to do the like again, I'll never speak to you the longest day I ever live, I'll go right off and leave, see if I don't.'

"'Oh, I see, I have offended you,' sais I, 'you are not in a humour to consent now, so I will call again some other time.'

"'This lecture on botany must now be postponed,' she said, 'for the hour is out some time ago. If you will be seated, I will set the young students at embroidery instead, and return for a short time, for it does seem so nateral to see you, Sam, you saucy boy,' and she pinched my ear, 'it reminds one, don't it, of bygones?' and she hung her head a one side, and looked sentimental.

"'Of by-gone larks,' said I.

"'Hush, Sam,' she said, 'don't talk so loud, that's a dear soul. Oh, if anybody had come in just then, and caught us.'

("Us," thinks I to myself, "I thought you had no objection to it, and only struggled enough for modesty-like; and I did think you would have said, caught you.")

"'I would have been ruinated for ever and ever, and amen, and the college broke up, and my position in the literary, scientific, and intellectual world scorched, withered, and blasted for ever. Ain't my cheek all burning, Sam? it feels as if it was all a-fire;' and she put it near enough for me to see, and feel tempted beyond my strength. 'Don't it look horrid inflamed, dear?' And she danced out of the room, as if she was skipping a rope.

"Well, well," sais I, when she took herself off. "What a world this is! This is evangelical learning; girls are taught in one room to faint or scream if they see a man, as if he was an incarnation of sin; and yet they are all educated and trained to think the sole object of life is to win, not convert, but win one of these sinners. In the next room propriety, dignity, and decorum, romp with a man in a way to make even his sallow face blush. Teach a child there is harm in everything, however innocent, and so soon as it discovers the cheat, it won't see no sin in anything. That's the reason deacons' sons seldom turn out well, and preachers' daughters are married through a window. Innocence is the sweetest thing in the world, and there is more of it than folks generally imagine. If you want some to transplant, don't seek it in the enclosures of cant, for it has only counterfeit ones, but go to the gardens of truth and of sense. Coërced innocence is like an imprisoned lark, open the door and it's off for ever. The bird that roams through the sky and the groves unrestrained knows how to dodge the hawk and protect itself, but the caged one, the moment it leaves its bars and bolts behind, is pounced upon by the fowler or the vulture.

"Puritans, whether in or out of the church (for there is a whole squad of 'em in it, like rats in a house who eat up its bread and undermine its walls), make more sinners than they save by a long chalk. They ain't content with real sin, the pattern ain't sufficient for a cloak, so they sew on several breadths of artificial offences, and that makes one big enough to wrap round them, and cover their own deformity. It enlarges the margin, and the book, and gives more texts.

"Their eyes are like the great magnifier at the Polytechnic, that shows you many-headed, many-armed, many-footed, and many-tailed awful monsters in a drop of water, which were never intended for us to see, or Providence would have made our eyes like Lord Rosse's telescope (which discloses the secrets of the moon), and given us springs that had none of these canables in 'em. Water is our drink, and it was made for us to take when we were dry, and be thankful. After I first saw one of these drops, like an old cheese chock full of livin' things, I couldn't drink nothing but pure gin or brandy for a week. I was scared to death. I consaited when I went to bed I could audibly feel these critters fightin' like Turks and minin' my inerds, and I got narvous lest my stomach like a citadel might be blowed up and the works destroyed. It was frightful.

"At last I sot up and said, Sam, where is all your common sense gone? You used to have a considerable sized phial of it, I hope you ain't lost the cork and let it all run out. So I put myself in the witness-stand, and asked myself a few questions.

"'Water was made to drink, warn't it?'

"'That's a fact.'

"'You can't see them critters in it with your naked eye?'

"'I can't see them at all, neither naked or dressed.'

"'Then it warn't intended you should?'

"'Seems as if it wasn't,' sais I.

"'Then drink, and don't be skeered.'

"'I'll be darned if I don't, for who knows them wee-monstrosities don't help digestion, or feed on human pyson. They warn't put into Adam's ale for nothin', that's a fact.'

"It seems as if they warn't,' sais I. 'So now I'll go to sleep.'

"Well, puritans' eyes are like them magnifiers; they see the devil in everything but themselves, where he is plaguy apt to be found by them that want him; for he feels at home in their company. One time they vow he is a dancin' master, and moves his feet so quick folks can't see they are cloven, another time a music master, and teaches children to open their mouths and not their nostrils in singing. Now he is a tailor or milliner, and makes fashionable garments; and then a manager of a theatre, which is the most awful place in the world; it is a reflex of life, and the reflection is always worse than the original, as a man's shadow is more dangerous than he is. But worst of all, they solemnly affirm, for they don't swear, he comes sometimes in lawn sleeves, and looks like a bishop, which is popery, or in the garb of high churchmen, who are all Jesuits. Is it any wonder these cantin' fellows pervert the understanding, sap the principles, corrupt the heart, and destroy the happiness of so many? Poor dear old Minister used to say, 'Sam, you must instruct your conscience; for an ignorant or superstitious conscience is a snare to the unwary. If you think a thing is wrong that is not, and do it, then you sin, because you are doing what you believe in your heart to be wicked. It is the intention that constitutes the crime.' Those sour crouts therefore, by creating artificial and imitation sin in such abundance, make real sin of no sort of consequence, and the world is so chock full of it, a fellow gets careless at last and won't get out of its way, it's so much trouble to pick his steps.

"Well, I was off in a brown study so deep about artificial sins, I didn't hear Liddy come in, she shut the door so softly and trod on tiptoes so light on the carpet. The first thing I knew was I felt her hands on my head, as she stood behind me, a dividin' of my hair with her fingers.

"'Why, Sam,' said she, 'as I'm a livin' sinner if you ain't got some white hairs in your head, and there is a little bald patch here right on the crown. How strange it is! It only seems like yesterday you was a curly-headed boy.'

"'Yes,' sais I, and I hove a sigh so loud it made the window jar; 'but I have seen a great deal of trouble since then. I lost two wives in Europe.'

"'Now do tell,' said she. 'Why you don't!--oh, jimminy criminy! two wives! How was it, poor Sam?' and she kissed the bald spot on my pate, and took a rockin'-chair and sat opposite to me, and began rockin' backwards and forwards like a fellow sawin' wood. 'How was it, Sam, dear?'

"'Why,' sais I, 'first and foremost, Liddy, I married a fashionable lady to London. Well, bein' out night arter night at balls and operas, and what not, she got kinder used up and beat out, and unbeknownst to me used to take opium. Well, one night she took too much, and in the morning she was as dead as a herring.'

"'Did she make a pretty corpse?' said Lid, lookin' very sanctimonious. 'Did she lay out handsum? They say prussic acid makes lovely corpses; it keeps the eyes from fallin' in. Next to dyin' happy, the greatest thing is to die pretty. Ugly corpses frighten sinners, but elegant ones win them.'

"'The most lovely subject you ever beheld,' said I. 'She looked as if she was only asleep; she didn't stiffen at all, but was as limber as ever you see. Her hair fell over her neck and shoulders in beautiful curls just like yourn; and she had on her fingers the splendid diamond rings I gave her; she was too fatigued to take 'em off when she retired the night afore. I felt proud of her even in death, I do assure you. She was handsome enough to eat. I went to ambassador's to consult him about the funeral, whether it should be a state affair, with all the whole diplomatic corps of the court to attend it, or a private one. But he advised a private one; he said it best comported with our dignified simplicity as republicans, and, although cost was no object, still it was satisfactory to know it was far less expense. When I came back she was gone.'

"'Gone!' said Liddy, 'gone where?'

"'Gone to the devil, dear, I suppose.'

"'Oh my!' said she. 'Well, I never in all my born days! Oh, Sam, is that the way to talk of the dead!'

"'In the dusk of the evening,' sais I, 'a carriage, they said, drove to the door, and a coffin was carried up-stairs; but the undertaker said it wouldn't fit, and it was taken back again for a larger one. Just afore I went to bed, I went to the room to have another look at her, and she was gone, and there was a letter on the table for me; it contained a few words only.--'Dear Sam, my first husband is come to life, and so have I. Goodbye, love."

"'Well, what did you do?'

"'Gave it out,' said I, 'she died of the cholera, and had to be buried quick and private, and no one never knew to the contrary.'

"'Didn't it almost break your heart, Sammy?'

"'No,' sais I. 'In her hurry, she took my dressing-case instead of her own, in which was all her own jewels, besides those I gave her, and all our ready money. So I tried to resign myself to my loss, for it might have been worse, you know,' and I looked as good as pie.

"'Well, if that don't beat all, I declare!' said she.

"'Liddy,' sais I, with a mock solemcoly air, 'every bane has its antidote, and every misfortin its peculiar consolation.'

"'Oh, Sam, that showed the want of a high moral intellectual education, didn't it?' said she. 'And yet you had the courage to marry again?'

"'Well, I married,' sais I, 'next year in France a lady who had refused one of Louis Philip's sons. Oh, what a splendid gall she was, Liddy! she was the star of Paris. Poor thing! I lost her in six weeks.'

"'Six weeks! Oh, Solomon!' said she, 'in six weeks.'

"'Yes,' sais I, 'in six short weeks.'

"'How was it, Sam? do tell me all about it; it's quite romantic. I vow, it's like the Arabian Nights' Entertainment. You are so unlucky, I swow I should be skeered--'

"'At what?' sais I.

"'Why, at--'

"She was caught there; she was a goin' to say, 'at marryin' you,' but as she was a leadin' of me on, that wouldn't do. Doctor, you may catch a gall sometimes, but if she has a mind to, she can escape if she chooses, for they are as slippery as eels. So she pretended to hesitate on, till I asked her again.

"'Why,' sais she, a looking down, 'at sleeping alone tonight, after hearing of these dreadful catastrophes.'

"'Oh,' sais I, 'is that all?'

"'But how did you lose her?' said she.

"'Why, she raced off,' said I, 'with the Turkish ambassador, and if I had a got hold of him, I'de a lammed him wuss than the devil beatin' tan-bark, I know. I'de a had his melt, if there was a bowie-knife out of Kentucky.'

"'Did you go after her?'

"'Yes; but she cotched it afore I cotched her.'

"'How was that, Sam?'

"'Why, she wanted to sarve him the same way, with an officer of the Russian Guards, and Mahomet caught her, sewed her up in a sack, and throwed her neck and crop into the Bosphorus, to fatten eels for the Greek ladies to keep Lent with.'

"'Why, how could you be so unfortunate?' said she.

"'That's a question I have often axed myself, Liddy,' sais I; 'but I have come to this conclusion: London and Paris ain't no place for galls to be trained in.'

"'So I have always said, and always will maintain to my dying day,' she said, rising with great animation and pride. 'What do they teach there but music, dancing, and drawing? The deuce a thing else; but here is Spanish, French, German, Italian, botany, geology, mineralogy, icthiology, conchology, theology--'

"'Do you teach angeolology and doxyology?' sais I.

"'Yes, angeolology and doxyology,' she said, not knowing what she was a talking about.

"'And occult sciences?' sais I.

"'Yes, all the sciences. London and Paris, eh! Ask a lady from either place if she knows the electric battery from the magnetic--'

"'Or a needle from a pole,' sais I.

"'Yes,' sais she, without listening, 'or any such question, and see if she can answer it."

"She resumed her seat.

"'Forgive my enthusiasm,' she said, 'Sam, you know I always had a great deal of that.'

"'I know,' said I, 'you had the smallest foot and ankle of anybody in our country. My! what fine-spun glass heels you had! Where in the world have you stowed them to?' pretendin' to look down for them.

"'Kept them to kick you with,' she said, 'if you are sassy.'

"Thinks I to myself, what next? as the woman said to the man who kissed her in the tunnel, you are coming out, Liddy.

"'Kick,' said I, 'oh, you wouldn't try that, I am sure, let me do what I would.'

"'Why not?' said she.

"'Why,' sais I, 'if you did you would have to kick so high, you would expose one of the larger limbs.'

"'Mr Slick,' said she, 'I trust you will not so far forget what is due to a lady, as to talk of showing her larger limbs, it's not decent.'

"'Well, I know it ain't decent,' said I, 'but you said you would do it, and I just remonstrated a little, that's all.'

"'You was saying about London and Paris,' said she, 'being no place for educating young ladies in.'

"'Yes,' sais I, 'that painful story of my two poor dear wives (which is 'all in my eye,' as plain as it was then), illustrates my theory of education in those two capitals. In London, females, who are a great deal in society in the season, like a man who drinks, can't stop, they are at it all the time, and like him, sometimes forget the way home again. In Paris, galls are kept so much at home before marriage, when they once get out, they don't want to enter the cage again. They are the two extremes. If ever I marry, I'll tell you how I will lay down the law. Pleasure shall be the recreation and not the business of life with her. Home the rule--parties the exception. Duty first, amusement second. Her head-quarters shall always be in her own house, but the outposts will never be neglected.'

"'Nothin' like an American woman for an American man, is there?' said she, and she drew nearer, lookin' up in my face to read the answer, and didn't rock so hard.

"'It depends upon how they are brought up,' said I, looking wise. 'But, Liddy,' sais I, 'without joking, what an amazin' small foot that is of yours. It always was, and wunst when it slipt through a branch of the cherry-tree, do you recollect my saying, Well I vow that calf was suckled by two cows? now don't you, Liddy?'

"'No, Sir,' said she, 'I don't, though children may say many things that when they grow up they are ashamed to repeat; but I recollect now, wunst when you and I went through the long grass to the cherry-tree, your mother said, 'Liddy, beware you are not bit by a garter-snake, and I never knew her meanin' till now;' and she rose up and said, 'Mr Slick, I must bid you good morning.'

"'Liddy,' sais I, 'don't be so pesky starch, I'll be dod fetched if I meant any harm, but you beat me all holler. I only spoke of the calf, and you went a streak higher and talked of the garter.'

"'Sam,' said she, 'you was always the most impedent, forredest, and pertest boy that ever was, and travellin' hain't improved you one mite or morsel.'

"'I am sorry I have offended you, Liddy,' sais I, 'but really now, how do you manage to teach all them things with hard names, for we never even heard of them at Slickville? Have you any masters?'

"'Masters,' said she, 'the first one that entered this college would ruin it for ever. What, a man in this college! where the juvenile pupils belong to the first families--I guess not. I hire a young lady to teach rudiments.'

"'So I should think,' sais I, 'from the specimen I saw at your door, she was rude enough in all conscience.'

"'Pooh,' said she, 'well, I have a Swiss lady that teaches French, German, Spanish, and Italian, and an English one that instructs in music and drawing, and I teach history, geography, botany, and the sciences, and so on.'

"'How on earth did you learn them all?' said I, 'for it puzzles me.'

"'Between you and me, Sam,' said she, 'for you know my broughtens up, and it's no use to pretend--primary books does it all, there is question and answer. I read the question, and they learn the answer. It's the easiest thing in the world to teach now-a-days.'

"'But suppose you get beyond the rudiments?'

"'Oh, they never remain long enough to do that. They are brought out before then. They go to Saratoga first in summer, and then to Washington in winter, and are married right off after that. The domestic, seclusive, and exclusive system, is found most conducive to a high state of refinement and delicacy. I am doing well, Sam,' said she, drawing nearer, and looking confidential in my face. 'I own all this college, and all the lands about, and have laid up forty thousand dollars besides;' and she nodded her head at me, and looked earnest, as much as to say, 'That is a fact, ain't it grand?'

"'The devil you have,' said I, as if I had taken the bait. 'I had a proposal to make.'

"'Oh,' said she, and she coloured up all over, and got up and said, 'Sam, won't you have a glass of wine, dear?' She intended it to give me courage to speak out, and she went to a closet, and brought out a tray with a decanter, and two or three glasses on it, and some frosted plum-cake. 'Try that cake, dear,' she said, 'I made it myself, and your dear old mother taught me how to do it;' and then she laid back her head, and larfed like anything. 'Sam,' said she, 'what a memory you have; I had forgot all about the cherry-tree, I don't recollect a word of it.'

"'And the calf?' said I.

"'Get along,' said she, 'do get out;' and she took up some crumbs of the cake, and made 'em into a ball as big as a cherry, and fired it at me, and struck me in the eye with it, and nearly put it out. She jumped up in a minit: 'Did she hurt her own poor cossy's eye?' she said, 'and put it een amost out,' and she kissed it. 'It didn't hurt his little peeper much, did it?'

"Hullo, sais I to myself, she's coming it too peeowerful strong altogether. The sooner I dig out the better for my wholesomes. However, let her went, she is wrathy. 'I came to propose to you--'

"'Dear me,' said she, 'I feel dreadful, I warn't prepared for this; it's very onexpected. What is it, Sam? I am all over of a twiteration.'

"'I know you will refuse me,' sais I, 'when I look round and see how comfortable and how happy you are, even if you ain't engaged.'

"'Sam, I told you I weren't engaged,' she said: 'that story of General Smith is all a fabrication, therefore don't mention that again.'

"'I feel,' said I, 'it's no use. I know what you will say, you can't quit.'

"'You have a strange way,' said she, rather tart, 'for you ask questions, and then answer them yourself. What do you mean?'

"'Well,' sais I, 'I'll tell you, Liddy.'

"'Do, dear,' said she, and she put her hand over her eyes, as if to stop her from hearing distinctly. 'I came to propose to you--'

"'Oh, Sam,' said she, 'to think of that!'

"'To take a seat in my buggy,' sais I, 'and come and spend a month with sister Sally and me, at the old location.'

"Poor thing, I pitied her; she had one knee over the other, and, as I said, one hand over her eyes, and there she sot, and the way the upper foot went bobbin' up and down was like the palsy, only a little quicker. She never said another word, nor sighed, nor groaned, nor anything, only her head hung lower. Well, I felt streaked, Doctor, I tell you. I felt like a man who had stabbed another, and knew he ought to be hanged for it; and I looked at her as such a critter would, if he had to look on, and see his enemy bleed to death. I knew I had done wrong--I had acted spider-like to her--got her into the web--tied her hand and foot, and tantalized her. I am given to brag, I know, Doctor, when I am in the saddle, and up in the stirrups, and leavin' all others behind; but when a beast is choaked and down in the dirt, no man ever heard me brag I had rode the critter to death.

"No, I did wrong, she was a woman, and I was a man, and if she did act a part, why, I ought to have known the game she had to play, and made allowances for it. I dropt the trump card under the table that time, and though I got the odd trick, she had the honours. It warn't manly in me, that's a fact; but confound her, why the plague did she call me 'Mr,' and act formal, and give me the bag to hold, when she knew me of old, and minded the cherry-tree, and all that? Still she was a woman, and a defenceless one too, and I did'nt do the pretty. But if she was a woman, doctor, she had more clear grit than most men have. After a while she took her hand off her eyes and rubbed them, and she opened her mouth and yawned so, you could see down to her garters amost.

"'Dear me!' said she, trying to smile; but, oh me! how she looked! Her eyes had no more expression than a China-aster, and her face was so deadly pale, it made the rouge she had put on look like the hectic of a dying consumption. Her ugly was out in full bloom, I tell you. 'Dear cousin Sam,' said she, 'I am so fatigued with my labours as presidentess of this institution, that I can hardly keep my peepers open. I think, if I recollect--for I am ashamed to say I was a noddin'--that you proposed (that word lit her eyes up) that I should go with you to visit dear Sally. Oh, Sam!' said she (how she bit in her temper that hitch, didn't she?) 'you see, and you saw it at first, I can't leave on so short a notice; but if my sweet Sally would come and visit me, how delighted I should be! Sam, I must join my class now. How happy it has made me to see you again after so many years! Kiss me, dear; good bye--God bless you!' and she yawned again till she nearly dislocated her jaw. 'Go on and write books, Sam, for no man is better skilled in human natur and spares it less than yourself.' What a reproachful look she gave me then! 'Good bye, dear!'

"Well, when I closed the door, and was opening of the outer one, I heard a crash. I paused a moment, for I knew what it was. She had fainted and fell into a conniption fit.

"'Sam,' sais I to myself, 'shall I go back?'

"'No,' sais I, 'if you return there will be a scene; and if you don't, if she can't account naterally for it, the devil can't, that's all.'

"Doctor, I felt guilty, I tell you. I had taken a great many rises out of folks in my time, but that's the only one I repent of. Tell you what, Doctor, folks may talk about their southern gentlemen, their New York prince-merchants, and so on, but the clear grit, bottom and game, is New England (Yankee-doodle-dum). Male or female, young or old, I'll back 'em agin all creation."

Squire, show this chapter to Lord Tandembery, if you know him; and if you don't, Uncle Tom Lavender will give you a letter of introduction to him; and then ask him if ever he has suffered half so much as Sam Slick has in the cause of edication.






We tried the deck again, but the fog was too disagreeable to remain there, for the water fell from the ropes in such large drops, and the planks were so wet and slippery, we soon adjourned again to the cabin.

"I have to thank you, Doctor," said I, "for a most charming day at the Beaver-Dam. That was indeed a day in the woods, and I believe every one there knew how to enjoy it. How different it is from people in a town here, who go out to the country for a pic-nic! A citizen thinks the pleasure of gipseying, as they call it in England, consists solely in the abundance and variety of the viands, the quality and quantity of the wines, and as near an approach to a city dinner as it is possible to have, where there are neither tables, chairs, sideboards, nor removes. He selects his place for the encampment in the first opening adjoining the clearing, as it commands a noble view of the harbour, and there is grass enough to recline upon. The woods are gloomy, the footing is slippery, and there is nothing to be seen in a forest but trees, windfalls which are difficult to climb, and boggy ground that wets your feet, and makes you feel uncomfortable. The limbs are eternally knocking your hat off, and the spruce gum ruins your clothes, while ladies, like sheep, are for ever leaving fragments of their dress on every bush. He chooses the skirts of the forest therefore, the background is a glorious wood, and the foreground is diversified by the shipping. The o-heave-o of the sailors, as it rises and falls in the distance, is music to his ears, and suggestive of agreeable reflections, or profitable conversation peculiarly appropriate to the place and the occasion. The price of fish in the West Indies, or of deals in Liverpool, or the probable rise of flour in the market, amuse the vacant mind of himself and his partner, not his wife, for she is only his sleeping partner, but the wide-awake partner of the firm, one of those who are embraced in the comprehensive term the 'Co.' He is the depository of his secrets, the other of his complaints.

"His wife is equally happy, she enjoys it uncommonly, for she knows it will spite those horrid Mudges. She is determined not to invite them, for they make too much noise, it gives her the headache, and their flirting is too bad. Mrs White called them garrison hacks. And besides (for women always put the real reason last--they live in a postscript) they don't deserve it, for they left her girls out when they had the lobster-spearing party by torch-light, with the officers of the flag-ship, though that was no loss, for by all accounts it was a very romping party, knocking off the men's hats, and then exchanging their bonnets for them. And how any mother could allow her daughter to be held round the waist by the flag-lieutenant, while she leaned over the boat to spear the fish, is a mystery to her. The polka is bad enough, but, to her mind, that is not decent, and then she has something to whisper about it, that she says is too bad (this is a secret though, and she must whisper it, for walls have ears, and who knows but trees have, and besides, the good things are never repeated, but the too bad always is), and Mrs Black lifts up both her hands, and the whites of both eyes in perfect horror.

"'Now did you ever! Oh, is that true? Why, you don't!'

"'Lucy Green saw him with her own eyes,' and she opens her own as big as saucers.

"'And what did Miss Mudge say?'

"'Well, upon my word,' said she, 'I wonder what you will do next,' and laughed so they nearly fell overboard.

"'Oh, what carryings on, ain't it, dear? But I wonder where Sarah Matilda is? I don't see her and Captain De la Cour. I am afraid she will get lost in the woods, and that would make people talk as they did about Miss Mudge and Doctor Vincent, who couldn't find their way out once till nine o'clock at night.'

"'They'll soon get back, dear,' sais the other, 'let them be; it looks like watching them, and you know,' laying an emphasis on you, 'you and I were young once ourselves, and so they will come back when they want to, for though the woods have no straight paths in them, they have short cuts enough for them that's in a hurry. Cupid has no watch, dear; his fob is for a purse,' and she smiles wicked on the mother of the heiress.

"Well, then, who can say this is not a pleasant day to both parties? The old gentlemen have their nice snug business chat, and the old ladies have their nice snug gossip chat, and the third estate (as the head of the firm calls it, who was lately elected member for Grumble Town, and begins to talk parliamentary), the third estate, the young folks, the people of progression, who are not behind but rather ahead of the age they live in, don't they enjoy themselves? It is very hard if youth, beauty, health, good spirits, and a desire to please (because if people havn't that they had better stay to home), can't or won't make people happy. I don't mean for to go for to say that will insure it, because nothin' is certain, and I have known many a gall that resembled a bottle of beautiful wine. You will find one sometimes as enticin' to appearance as ever was, but hold it up and there is grounds there for all that, settled, but still there, and enough too to spile all, so you can't put it to your lips any how you can fix it. What a pity it is sweet things turn sour, ain't it?

"But in a general way these things will make folks happy. There are some sword-knots there, and they do look very like woodsmen, that's a fact. If you never saw a forrester, you would swear to them as perfect. A wide-awake hat, with a little short pipe stuck in it, a pair of whiskers that will be grand when they are a few years older--a coarse check or red flannel shirt, a loose neck-handkerchief, tied with a sailor's knot--a cut-away jacket, with lots of pockets--a belt, but little or no waistcoat--homespun trowsers and thick buskins--a rough glove and a delicate white hand, the real, easy, and natural gait of the woodman (only it's apt to be a little, just a little too stiff, on account of the ramrod they have to keep in their throats while on parade), when combined, actilly beat natur, for they are too nateral. Oh, these amateur woodsmen enact their part so well, you think you almost see the identical thing itself. And then they have had the advantage of Woolwich or Sandhurst, or Chobham, and are dabs at a bivouac, grand hands with an axe--cut a hop-pole down in half a day amost, and in the other half stick it into the ground. I don't make no doubt in three or four days they could build a wigwam to sleep in, and one night out of four under cover is a great deal for an amateur hunter, though it ain't the smallest part of a circumstance to the Crimea. As, it is, if a stick ain't too big for a fire, say not larger than your finger, they can break it over their knee, sooner than you could cut it with a hatchet for your life, and see how soon it's in a blaze. Take them altogether, they are a killing party of coons them, never miss a moose if they shoot out of an Indian's gun, and use a silver bullet.

"Well, then, the young ladies are equipped so nicely--they have uglies to their bonnets, the only thing ugly about them, for at a distance they look like huge green spectacles. They are very useful in the forest, for there is a great glare of the sun generally under trees; or else they have green bonnets, that look like eagle's skins; thin dresses, strong ones are too heavy, and they don't display the beauty of nature enough, they are so high, and the whole object of the party is to admire that. Their walking shoes are light and thin, they don't fatigue you like coarse ones, and India-rubbers are hideous, they make your feet look as if they had the gout; and they have such pretty, dear little aprons, how rural it looks altogether--they act a day in the woods to admiration. Three of the officers have nicknames, a very nice thing to induce good fellowship, especially as it has no tendency whatever to promote quarrels. There is Lauder, of the Rifles, he is so short, they call him Pistol; he has a year to grow yet, and may become a great gun some of these days. Russel takes a joke good-humouredly, and therefore is so fortunate as to get more than his share of them, accordingly he goes by the name of Target, as every one takes a shot at him. Duke is so bad a shot, he has twice nearly pinked the marksman, so he is called Trigger. He always lays the blame of his want of skill on that unfortunate appendage of the gun, as it is either too hard or too quick on the finger. Then there is young Bulger, and as everybody pronounces it as if it had two 'g's' in it, he corrects them and says, 'g' soft, my dear fellow, if you please; so he goes by the name of 'G' soft. Oh, the conversation of the third estate is so pretty, I could listen to it for ever.

"'Aunt,' sais Miss Diantha, 'do you know what gyp--gypsy--gypsymum--gypsymuming is? Did you ever hear how I stutter to-day? I can't get a word out hardly. Ain't it provoking?'

"Well, stammering is provoking; but a pretty little accidental impediment of speech like that, accompanied with a little graceful bob of the head, is very taking, ain't it?

"'Gypsuming,' sais the wise matron, 'is the plaster of Paris trade, dear. They carry it on at Windsor, your father says.'

"Pistol gives Target a wink, for they are honouring the party by their company, though the mother of one keeps a lodging-house at Bath, and the father of the other makes real genuine East India curry in London. They look down on the whole of the townspeople. It is natural; pot always calls kettle an ugly name.

"'No, Ma,' sais Di--all the girls address her as Di; ain't it a pretty abbreviation for a die-away young lady? But she is not a die-away lass; she is more of a Di Vernon. 'No, Ma,' sais Di, 'gipsey--ing, what a hard word it is! Mr Russel says it's what they call these parties in England. It is so like the gipsy life.'

"'There is one point,' sais Pistol, 'in which they differ.'

"'What's that?' sais Di.

"'Do you give it up?'


"'There the gipsy girls steal poultry; and here they steal hearts,' and he puts his left hand by mistake on his breast, not knowing that the pulsation there indicates that his lungs, and not his gizzard is affected, and that he is broken-winded, and not broken-hearted.

"'Very good,' every one sais; but still every one hasn't heard it, so it has to be repeated; and what is worse, as the habits of the gipsies are not known to all, the point has to be explained.

"Target sais, 'He will send it to the paper, and put Trigger's name to it,' and Pistol says, 'That is capital, for if he calls you out, he can't hit you,' and there is a joyous laugh. Oh dear, but a day in the woods is a pleasant thing. For my own part, I must say I quite agree with the hosier, who, when he first went to New Orleens, and saw such a swad of people there, said, he 'didn't onderstand how on earth it was that folks liked to live in a heap that way, altogether, where there was no corn to plant, and no bears to kill.'

"'My, oh my!' sais Miss Letitia, or Letkissyou, as Pistol used to call her. People ought to be careful what names they give their children, so as folks can't fasten nicknames on 'em. Before others the girls called her Letty, and that's well enough; but sometimes they would call her Let, which is the devil. If a man can't give a pretty fortune to his child, he can give it a pretty name at any rate.

"There was a very large family of Cards wunst to Slickville. They were mostly in the stage-coach and livery-stable line, and careless, reckless sort of people. So one day, Squire Zenas Card had a christenin' at his house.

"'Sais the Minister, 'what shall I call the child?'

"'Pontius Pilate,' said he.

"'I can't,' said the Minister, 'and I won't. No soul ever heerd of such a name for a Christian since baptism came in fashion.'

"'I am sorry for that,' said the Squire, 'for it's a mighty pretty name. I heard it once in church, and I thought if ever I had a son I'de call him after him; but if I can't have that--and it's a dreadful pity--call him Trump;' and he was christenened Trump Card.

"'Oh my!' sais Miss Letitia, lispin', 'Captain De la Cour has smashed my bonnet, see, he is setting upon it. Did you ever?'

"'Never,' said Di, 'he has converted your cottage bonnet into a country seat, I do declare!'

"Everybody exclaimed, 'That is excellent,' and Russel said, 'Capital, by Jove.'

"'That kind of thing,' said De la Cour, 'is more honoured in the breach than the observance;' and winked to Target.

"Miss Di is an inveterate punster, so she returns to the charge.

"'Letty, what fish is that, the name of which would express all you said about your bonnet?--do you give it up? A bon-net-o!' (Boneto).

"'Well, I can't fathom that,' sais De la Cour.

"'I don't wonder at that,' sais the invincible Di; 'it is beyond your depth, for it is an out-of-soundings fish.'

"Poor De la Cour, you had better let her alone, she is too many guns for you. Scratch your head, for your curls and your name are all that you have to be proud of. Let her alone, she is wicked, and she is meditating a name for you and Pistol that will stick to you as long as you live, she has it on the tip of her tongue--'The babes in the wood.'

"Now for the baskets--now for the spread. The old gentlemen break up their Lloyds' meeting--the old ladies break up their scandal club--the young ladies and their beaux are busy in arrangements, and though the cork-screws are nowhere to be found, Pistol has his in one of the many pockets of his woodsman's coat, he never goes without it (like one of his mother's waiters), which he calls his young man's best companion; and which another, who was a year in an attorney's office, while waiting for his commission, calls the crown circuit assistant; and a third, who has just arrived in a steamer, designates as the screw propeller. It was a sensible provision, and Miss Di said, 'a corkscrew and a pocket-pistol were better suited to him than a rifle,' and every one said it was a capital joke that--for everybody likes a shot that don't hit themselves.

"'How tough the goose is!' sais G soft. 'I can't carve it.'

"'Ah!' sais Di, 'when Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war.'

"Eating and talking lasts a good while, but they don't last for ever. The ladies leave the gentlemen to commence their smoking and finish their drinking, and presently there is a loud laugh; it's more than a laugh, it's a roar; and the ladies turn round and wonder.

"Letty sais, 'When the wine is in, the wit is out.'

"'True," sais Di, 'the wine is there, but when you left them the wit went out.'

"'Rather severe,' said Letty.

"'Not at all,' sais Di, 'for I was with you.'

"It is the last shot of poor Di. She won't take the trouble to talk well for ladies, and those horrid Mudges have a party on purpose to take away all the pleasant men. She never passed so stupid a day. She hates pic-nics, and will never go to one again. De la Cour is a fool, and is as full of airs as a night-hawk is of feathers. Pistol is a bore; Target is both poor and stingy; Trigger thinks more of himself than anybody else; and as for G soft, he is a goose. She will never speak to Pippen again for not coming. They are a poor set of devils in the garrison; she is glad they are to have a new regiment.

"Letty hasn't enjoyed herself either, she has been devoured by black flies and musquitoes, and has got her feet wet, and is so tired she can't go to the ball. The sleeping partner of the head of the firm is out of sorts, too. Her crony-gossip gave her a sly poke early in the day, to show her she recollected when she was young (not that she is so old now either, for she knows the grave gentleman who visits at her house is said to like the mother better than the daughter), but before she was married, and friends who have such wonderful memories are not very pleasant companions, though it don't do to have them for enemies. But then, poor thing, and she consoles herself with the idea the poor thing has daughters herself, and they are as ugly as sin, and not half so agreeable. But it isn't that altogether. Sarah Matilda should not have gone wandering out of hearing with the captain, and she must give her a piece of her mind about it, for there is a good deal of truth in the old saying, 'If the girls won't run after the men, the men will run after them;' so she calls out loudly, 'Sarah Matilda, my love, come here, dear,' and Sarah Matilda knows when the honey is produced, physic is to be taken, but she knows she is under observation, and so she flies to her dear mamma, with the feet and face of an angel, and they gradually withdraw.

"'Dear ma, how tired you look.'

"'I am not tired, dear.'

"'Well, you don't look well; is anything the matter with you?'

"'I didn't say I wasn't well, and it's very rude to remark on one's looks that way.'

"'Something seems to have put you out of sorts, ma, I will run and call pa. Dear me, I feel frightened. Shall I ask Mrs Bawdon for her salts?'

"'You know very well what's the matter; it's Captain De la Cour.'

"'Well, now, how strange,' said Sarah Matilda. 'I told him he had better go and walk with you; I wanted him to do it; I told him you liked attention. Yes, I knew you would be angry, but it isn't my fault. It ain't, indeed.'

"'Well, I am astonished,' replies the horrified mother. 'I never in all my life. So you told him I liked attention. I, your mother, your father's wife, with my position in societee; and pray what answer did he make to this strange conduct?'

"'He said, No wonder, you were the handsomest woman in town, and so agreeable; the only one fit to talk to.'

"'And you have the face to admit you listened to such stuff?'

"'I could listen all day to it, ma, for I knew it was true. I never saw you look so lovely, the new bishop has improved your appearance amazingly.'

"'Who?' said the mother, with an hysterical scream; 'what do you mean?'

"'The new bustler, ma.'

"'Oh,' said she, quite relieved, 'oh, do you think so?'

"'But what did you want of me, ma?'

"'To fasten my gown, dear, there is a hook come undone.'

"'Coming,' she said, in a loud voice.

"There was nobody calling, but somebody ought to have called; so she fastens the hook, and flies back as fast as she came.

"Sarah Matilda, you were not born yesterday; first you put your mother on the defensive, and then you stroked her down with the grain, and made her feel good all over, while you escaped from a scolding you know you deserved. A jealous mother makes an artful daughter. But, Sarah Matilda, one word in your ear. Art ain't cleverness, and cunning ain't understanding. Semblance only answers once; the second time the door ain't opened to it.

"Henrietta is all adrift, too; she is an old maid, and Di nicknamed her 'the old hen.' She has been shamefully neglected today. The young men have been flirting about with those forward young girls--children--mere children, and have not had the civility to exchange a word with her. The old ladies have been whispering gossip all day, and the old gentlemen busy talking about freights, the Fall-catch of mackarel, and ship-building. Nor could their talk have been solely confined to these subjects, for once when she approached them, she heard the head of the firm say:

"'The 'lovely lass' must be thrown down and scraped, for she is so foul, and her knees are all gone.'

"And so she turned away in disgust. Catch her at a pic-nic again! No, never! It appears the world is changed; girls in her day were never allowed to romp that way, and men used to have some manners. Things have come to a pretty pass!

"'Alida, is that you, dear? You look dull.'

"'Oh, Henrietta! I have torn my beautiful thread-lace mantilla all to rags; it's ruined for ever. And do you know--oh, I don't know how I shall ever dare to face ma again! I have lost her beautiful little enamelled watch. Some of these horrid branches have pulled it off the chain.' And Alida cries and is consoled by Henrietta, who is a good-natured creature after all. She tells her for her comfort that nobody should ever think of wearing a delicate and expensive lace mantilla in the woods; she could not expect anything else than to have it destroyed; and as for exposing a beautiful gold watch outside of her dress, nobody in her senses would have thought of such a thing. Of course she was greatly comforted: kind words and a kind manner will console any one.

"It is time now to re-assemble, and the party are gathered once more; and the ladies have found their smiles again, and Alida has found her watch; and there are to be some toasts and some songs before parting. All is jollity once more, and the head of the firm and his vigilant partner and the officers have all a drop in their eye, and Henrietta is addressed by the junior partner, who is a bachelor of about her own age, and who assures her he never saw her look better; and she looks delighted, and is delighted, and thinks a pic-nic not so bad a thing after all.

"But there is a retributive justice in this world. Even pic-nic parties have their moral, and folly itself affords an example from which a wise saw may be extracted. Captain de Courlay addresses her, and after all, he has the manners and appearance of a gentleman, though it is whispered he is fond of practical jokes, pulls 'colt ensigns' out of bed, makes them go through their sword exercise standing shirtless in their tubs, and so on. There is one redeeming thing in the story, if it be true, he never was known to do it to a young nobleman; he is too well bred for that. He talks to her of society as it was before good-breeding was reformed out of the colonies. She is delighted; but, oh! was it stupidity, or was it insolence, or was it cruelty? he asked her if she recollected the Duke of Kent. To be sure it is only fifty-two years since he was here; but to have recollected him! How old did he suppose she was? She bears it well and meekly. It is not the first time she has been painfully reminded she was not young. She says her grandmother often spoke of him as a good officer and a handsome man; and she laughs, though her heart aches the while, as if it was a good joke to ask her. He backs out as soon as he can. He meant well, though he had expressed himself awkwardly; but to back out shows you are in the wrong stall, a place you have no business in, and being out, he thinks it as well to jog on to another place.

"Ah, Henrietta! you were unkind to Alida about her lace mantilla and her gold watch, and it has come home to you. You ain't made of glass, and nothing else will hold vinegar long without being corroded itself.

"Well, the toasts are drunk, and the men are not far from being drunk too, and feats of agility are proposed, and they jump up and catch a springing bow, and turn a somerset on it, or over it, and they are cheered and applauded when De Courlay pauses in mid-air for a moment, as if uncertain what to do. Has the bough given way, or was that the sound of cloth rent in twain? Something has gone wrong, for he is greeted with uproarious cheers by the men, and he drops on his feet, and retires from the company as from the presence of royalty, by backing out and bowing as he goes, repeatedly stumbling, and once or twice falling in his retrograde motion.

"Ladies never lose their tact--they ask no questions because they see something is amiss, and though it is hard to subdue curiosity, propriety sometimes restrains it. They join in the general laugh however, for it can be nothing serious where his friends make merry with it. When he retires from view, his health is drank with three times three. Di, who seemed to take pleasure in annoying the spinster, said she had a great mind not to join in that toast, for he was a loose fellow, otherwise he would have rent his heart and not his garments. It is a pity a clever girl like her will let her tongue run that way, for it leads them to say things they ought not. Wit in a woman is a dangerous thing, like a doctor's lancet, it is apt to be employed about matters that offend our delicacy, or hurt our feelings."

"'What the devil is that?' said the head, of the firm, looking up, as a few drops of rain fell. 'Why, here is a thunder-shower coming on us as sure as the world. Come, let us pack up and be off.'

"And the servants are urged to be expeditious, and the sword-knots tumble the glasses into the baskets, and the cold hams atop of them, and break the decanters, to make them stow better, and the head of the firm swears, and the sleeping partner says she will faint, she could never abide thunder; and Di tells her if she does not want to abide all night, she had better move, and a vivid flash of lightning gives notice to quit, and tears and screams attest the notice is received, and the retreat is commenced; but alas, the carriages are a mile and a half off, and the tempest rages, and the rain falls in torrents, and the thunder stuns them, and the lightning blinds them.

"'What's the use of hurrying?' says Di, 'we are now wet through, and our clothes are spoiled, and I think we might take it leisurely. Pistol, take my arm, I am not afraid of you now.'


"'Your powder is wet, and you can't go off. You are quite harmless. Target, you had better run.'


"'You will be sure to be hit if you don't--won't he, Trigger?'

"But Pistol, and Target, and Trigger are alike silent. G soft has lost his softness, and lets fall some hard terms. Every one holds down his head, why, I can't understand, because being soaked, that attitude can't dry them.

"'Uncle,' says Di, to the head of the firm, 'you appear to enjoy it, you are buttoning up your coat as if you wanted to keep the rain in.'

"'I wish you would keep your tongue in,' he said, gruffly.

"'I came for a party of pleasure,' said the unconquerable girl, 'and I think there is great fun in this. Hen, I feel sorry for you, you can't stand the wet as those darling ducks can. Aunt will shake herself directly, and be as dry as an India rubber model.'

"Aunt is angry, but can't answer--every clap of thunder makes her scream. Sarah Matilda has lost her shoe, and the water has closed over it, and she can't find it. 'Pistol, where is your corkscrew? draw it out.'

"'It's all your fault,' sais the sleeping partner to the head of the firm, 'I told you to bring the umbrellas.'

"'It's all yours,' retorts the afflicted husband, 'I told you these things were all nonsense, and more trouble than they were worth.'

"'It's all Hen's fault,' said Di, 'for we came on purpose to bring her out; she has never been at a pic-nic before, and it's holidays now. Oh! the brook has risen, and the planks are gone, we shall have to wade; Hen, ask those men to go before, I don't like them to see above my ancles.'

"'Catch me at a pic-nic again,' said the terrified spinster.

"'You had better get home from this first, before you talk of another,' sais Di.

"'Oh, Di, Di,' said Henrietta, 'how can you act so?'

"'You may say Di, Di, if you please, dear,' said the tormentor; 'but I never say die--and never will while there is life in me. Letty, will you go to the ball to-night? we shall catch cold if we don't; for we have two miles more of the rain to endure in the open carriages before we reach the steamer, and we shall be chilled when we cease walking.'

"But Letty can do nothing but cry, as if she wasn't wet enough already.

"'Good gracious!' sais the head of the house, 'the horses have overturned the carriage, broke the pole, and run away.'

"'What's the upset price of it, I wonder?' sais Di, 'the horses will make 'their election sure;' they are at the 'head of the pole, they are returned and they have left no trace behind.' I wish they had taken the rain with them also.'

"'It's a pity you wouldn't rein your tongue in also,' said the fractious uncle.

"'Well, I will, Nunky, if you will restrain your choler. De Courcy, the horses are off at a 'smashing pace;' G soft, it's all dickey with us now, ain't it? But that milk-sop, Russel, is making a noise in his boots, as if he was 'churning butter.' Well, I never enjoyed anything so much as this in my life; I do wish the Mudges had been here, it is the only thing wanting to make this pic-nic perfect. What do you say, Target?'

"But Target don't answer, he only mutters between his teeth something that sounds like, 'what a devil that girl is!' Nobody minds teasing now; their tempers are subdued, and they are dull, weary, and silent--dissatisfied with themselves, with each other, and the day of pleasure.

"How could it be otherwise? It is a thing they didn't understand, and had no taste for. They took a deal of trouble to get away from the main road as far as possible; they never penetrated farther into the forest than to obtain a shade, and there eat an uncomfortable cold dinner, sitting on the ground, had an ill-assorted party, provided no amusements, were thoroughly bored, and drenched to the skin--and this some people call a day in the bush.

"There is an old proverb, that has a hidden meaning in it, that is applicable to this sort of thing--'As a man calleth in the woods, so it shall be answered to him.'"






We made another attempt at walking on the deck--the moon was trying to struggle through the fog, which was now of a bright copper colour.

"Doctor," said I, "have you ever seen a yellow fog before?"

"Yes," he said, "I have seen a white, black, red, and yellow fog," and went off into a disquisition about optics, mediums, reflections, refractions, and all sorts of scientific terms.

Well, I don't like hard words; when you crack them, which is plaguy tough work, you have to pick the kernel out with a cambric needle, and unless it's soaked in wine, like the heart of a hickory nut is, it don't taste nice, and don't pay you for the trouble. So to change the subject, "Doctor," sais I, "how long is this everlasting mullatto lookin' fog a goin' to last, for it ain't white, and it ain't black, but kind of betwixt and between."

Sais he, and he stopped and listened a moment, "It will be gone by twelve o'clock to-night."

"What makes you think so?" said I.

"Do you hear that?" said he.

"Yes," sais I, "I do; it's children a playin' and a chatterin' in French. Now it's nateral they should talk French, seein' their parents do. They call it their mother-tongue, for old wives are like old hosses, they are all tongue, and when their teeth is gone, that unruly member grows thicker and bigger, for it has a larger bed to stretch out in,--not that it ever sleeps much, but it has a larger sphere of action,--do you take? I don't know whether you have had this feeling of surprise, Doctor, but I have, hearing those little imps talk French, when, to save my soul, I can't jabber it that way myself. In course of nature they must talk that lingo, for they are quilted in French--kissed in French--fed in French--and put to bed in French,--and told to pray to the Virgin in French, for that's the language she loves best. She knows a great many languages, but she can't speak English since Henry the Eighth's time, when she said to him, 'You be fiddled,' which meant, the Scotch should come with their fiddles and rule England.

"Still somehow I feel strange when these little critters address me in it, or when women use it to me (tho' I don't mind that so much, for there are certain freemason signs the fair sex understand all over the world), but the men puzzle me like Old Scratch, and I often say to myself, What a pity it is the critters can't speak English. I never pity myself for not being able to jabber French, but I blush for their ignorance. However, all this is neither here nor there. Now, Doctor, how can you tell this fog is booked for the twelve o'clock train? Is there a Bradshaw for weather?"

"Yes," said he, "there is, do you hear that?"

"I don't hear nothing," sais I, "but two Frenchmen ashore a jawing like mad. One darsen't, and t'other is afraid to fight, so they are taking it out in gab--they ain't worth listening to. How do they tell you the weather?"

"Oh," said he, "it ain't them. Do you hear the falls at my lake? the west wind brings that to us. When I am there and the rote is on the beach, it tells me it is the voice of the south wind giving notice of rain. All nature warns me. The swallow, the pig, the goose, the fire on the hearth, the soot in the flue, the smoke of the chimney, the rising and setting sun, the white frost, the stars--all, all tell me."

"Yes," sais I, "when I am to home I know all them signs."

"The spider too is my guide, and the ant also. But the little pimpernel, the poor man's weather-glass, and the convolvulus are truer than any barometer, and a glass of water never lies."

"Ah, Doctor," said I, "you and I read and study the same book. I don't mean to assert we are, as Sorrow says, nateral children, but we are both children of nature, and honour our parents. I agree with you about the fog, but I wanted to see if you could answer signals with me. I am so glad you have come on board. You want amusement, I want instruction. I will swap stories with you for bits of your wisdom, and as you won't take boot, I shall be a great gainer."

After a good deal of such conversation, we went below, and in due season turned in, in a place where true comfort consists in oblivion. The morning, as the doctor predicted, was clear, the fog was gone, and the little French village lay before us in all the beauty of ugliness. The houses were small, unpainted, and uninviting. Fish-flakes were spread on the beach, and the women were busy in turning the cod upon them. Boats were leaving the shore for the fishing-ground. Each of these was manned by two or three or four hands, who made as much noise as if they were getting a vessel under weigh, and were severally giving orders to each other with a rapidity of utterance that no people but Frenchmen are capable of.

"Every nation," said the doctor, "has its peculiarity, but the French Acadians excel all others in their adherence to their own ways; and in this particular, the Chesencookers surpass even their own countrymen. The men all dress alike, and the women all dress alike, as you will presently see, and always have done so within the memory of man. A round, short jacket which scarcely covers the waistcoat, trowsers that seldom reach below the ankle-joint, and yarn stockings, all four being blue, and manufactured at home, and apparently dyed in the same tub, with moccasins for the feet, and a round fur or cloth cap to cover the head, constitute the uniform and unvaried dress of the men. The attire of the women is equally simple. The short gown which reaches to the hip, and the petticoat which serves for a skirt, both made of coarse domestic cloth, having perpendicular blue and white stripes, constitute the difference of dress that marks the distinction of the sexes, if we except a handkerchief thrown over the head, and tied under the chin, for the blue stockings and the moccasins are common to both, males and females.

"There has been no innovation for a century in these particulars, unless it be that a hat has found its way into Chesencook, not that such a stove-pipe looking thing as that has any beauty in it; but the boys of Halifax are not to be despised, if a hat is, and even an ourang-outang, if he ventured to walk about the streets, would have to submit to wear one. But the case is different with women, especially modest, discreet, unobtrusive ones, like those of the 'long-shore French.' They are stared at because they dress like those in the world before the Flood, but it's an even chance if the antediluvian damsels were half so handsome; and what pretty girl can find it in her heart to be very angry at attracting attention? Yes, their simple manners, their innocence, and their sex are their protection. But no cap, bonnet, or ribbon, velvet, muslin, or lace, was ever seen at Chesencook. Whether this neglect of finery (the love of which is so natural to their countrywomen in Europe) arises from a deep-rooted veneration for the ways of their predecessors, or from the sage counsel of their spiritual instructors, who desire to keep them from the contamination of the heretical world around them, or from the conviction that


'The adorning thee with so much art
Is but a barbarous skill,
'Tis like the barbing of a dart,
Too apt before to kill,'


I know not. Such however is the fact nevertheless, and you ought to record it, as an instance in which they have shown their superiority to this universal weakness. Still, both men and women are decently and comfortably clad. There is no such thing as a ragged Acadian, and I never yet saw one begging his bread. Some people are distinguished for their industry, others for their idleness; some for their ingenuity, and others for their patience; but the great characteristic of an Acadian is talk, and his talk is, from its novelty, amusing and instructive, even in its nonsense.

"These people live close to the banks where cod are found, and but little time is required in proceeding to the scene of their labour, therefore there is no necessity for being in a hurry, and there is lots of time for palaver. Every boat has an oracle in it, who speaks with an air of authority. He is a great talker, and a great smoker, and he chats so skilfully, that he enjoys his pipe at the same time, and manages it so as not to interrupt his jabbering. He can smoke, talk, and row at once. He don't smoke fast, for that puts his pipe out by consuming his tobacco; nor row fast, for it fatigues him."

"Exactly," sais I, "but the tongue, I suppose, having, like a clock, a locomotive power of its own, goes like one of my wooden ones for twenty-four hours without ceasing, and like one of them also when it's e'en amost worn-out and up in years, goes at the rate of one hundred minutes to the hour, strikes without counting the number, and gives good measure, banging away often twenty tunes at one o'clock."

Every boat now steered for the "Black Hawk," and the oracle stopped talking French to practise English. "How you do, Sare? how you do your wife?" said Lewis Le Blanc, addressing me.

"I have no wife."

"No wife, ton pee? Who turn your fish for you, den?"

"Whereat they all laugh, and all talk French again. And oracle says, 'He takes his own eggs to market, den.' He don't laugh at that, for wits never laugh at their own jokes; but the rest snicker till they actilly scream.

"What wind are we going to have, Lewis?"

Oracle stands up, carefully surveys the sky, and notices all the signs, and then looks wise, and answers in a way that there can be no mistake. "Now you see, Sare, if de wind blow off de shore, den it will be west wind; if it blow from de sea, den it will be east wind; and if it blow down coast," pointing to each quarter with his hand like a weather-cock, "den it will sartain be sout; and up de coast, den you will be sartain it will come from de nort. I never knew dat sign fail." And he takes his pipe from his mouth, knocks some ashes out of it, and spits in the water, as much as to say, Now I am ready to swear to that. And well he may, for it amounts to this, that the wind will blow from any quarter it comes from. The other three all regard him with as much respect as if he was clerk of the weather.

"Interesting people these, Doctor," said I, "ain't they? It's the world before the Flood. I wonder if they know how to trade? Barter was the primitive traffick. Corn was given for oil, and fish for honey, and sheep and goats for oxen and horses, and so on. There is a good deal of trickery in barter, too, for necessity has no laws. The value of money we know, and a thing is worth what it will fetch in cash; but swapping is a different matter. It's a horse of a different colour."

"You will find," said the doctor, "the men (I except the other sex always) are as acute as you are at a bargain. You are more like to be bitten than to bite if you try that game with them."

"Bet you a dollar," sais I, "I sell that old coon as easy as a clock. What, a Chesencooker a match for a Yankee! Come, I like that; that is good. Here goes for a trial, at any rate.

"Mounsheer," sais I, "have you any wood to sell?"

We didn't need no wood, but it don't do to begin to ask for what you want, or you can't do nothin'.

"Yes," said he.

"What's the price," said I, "cash down on the nail?" for I knew the critter would see "the point" of coming down with the blunt.

"It's ten dollars and a half," said he, "a cord at Halifax, and it don't cost me nothin' to carry it there, for I have my own shallop--but I will sell it for ten dollars to oblige you." That was just seven dollars more than it was worth.

"Well," sais I, "that's not high, only cash is scarce. If you will take mackarel in pay, at six dollars a barrel (which was two dollars more than its value), p'raps we might trade. Could you sell me twenty cord?"

"Yes, may be twenty-five."

"And the mackarel?" said I.

"Oh," said he, "mackarel is only worth three dollars and a half at Halifax. I can't sell mine even at that. I have sixty barrels, number one, for sale."

"If you will promise me to let me have all the wood I want, more or less," sais I, "even if it is ever so little; or as much as thirty cords, at ten dollars a cord, real rock maple, and yellow birch, then I will take all your mackarel at three and a half dollars, money down."

"Say four," said he.

"No," sais I, "you say you can't git but three and a half at Halifax, and I won't beat you down, nor advance one cent myself. But mind, if I oblige you by buying all your mackarel, you must oblige me by letting me have all the wood I want."

"Done," said he; so we warped into the wharf, took the fish on board, and I paid him the money, and cleared fifteen pounds by the operation.

"Now," says I, "where is the wood?"

"All this is mine," said he, pointing to a pile, containing about fifty cords.

"Can I have it all," said I, "if I want it?"

He took off his cap and scratched his head; scratching helps a man to think amazingly. He thought he had better ask a little more than ten dollars, as I appeared to be so ready to buy at any price. So he said,

"Yes, you may have it all at ten and a half dollars."

"I thought you said I might have what I wanted at ten."

"Well, I have changed my mind," said he, "it is too low."

"And so have I," sais I, "I won't trade with a man that acts that way," and I went on board, and the men cast off and began to warp the vessel again up to her anchor.

Lewis took off his cap and began scratching his head again, he had over-reached himself. Expecting an immense profit on his wood, he had sold his fish very low; he saw I was in earnest, and jumped on board.

"Capitaine, you will have him at ten, so much as you want of him."

"Well, measure me off half a cord."

"What!" said he, opening both eyes to their full extent.

"Measure me off half a cord."

"Didn't you say you wanted twenty or thirty cord?"

"No," sais I, "I said I must have that much if I wanted it, but I don't want it, it is only worth three dollars, and you have had the modesty to ask ten, and then ten and a half, but I will take half a cord to please you, so measure it off."

He stormed, and raved, and swore, and threw his cap down on the deck and jumped on it, and stretched out his arm as if he was going to fight, and stretched out his wizzened face, as if it made halloing easier, and foamed at the mouth like a hoss that has eat lobelia in his hay.

"Be gar," he said, "I shall sue you before the common scoundrels (council) at Halifax, I shall take it before the sperm (supreme) court, and try it out."

"How much ile will you get," sais I, "by tryin' me out, do you think?

"Never mind," said I, in a loud voice, and looking over him at the mate, and pretending to answer him. "Never mind if he won't go on shore, he is welcome to stay, and we will land him on the Isle of Sable, and catch a wild hoss for him to swim home on."

The hint was electrical; he picked up his cap and ran aft, and with one desperate leap reached the wharf in safety, when he turned and danced as before with rage, and his last audible words were, "Be gar, I shall go to the sperm court and try it out."

"In the world before the Flood, you see, Doctor," said I, "they knew how to cheat as well as the present race do; the only improvement this fellow has made on the antediluvian race is, he can take himself in, as well as others."

"I have often thought," said the doctor, "that in our dealings in life, and particularly in trading, a difficult question must often arise whether a thing, notwithstanding the world sanctions it, is lawful and right. Now what is your idea of smuggling?"

"I never smuggled," said I: "I have sometimes imported goods and didn't pay the duties; not that I wanted to smuggle, but because I hadn't time to go to the office. It's a good deal of trouble to go to a custom-house. When you get there you are sure to be delayed, and half the time to git sarce. It costs a good deal; no one thanks you, and nobody defrays cab-hire, and makes up for lost time, temper, and patience to you--it don't pay in a general way; sometimes it will; for instance, when I left the embassy, I made thirty thousand pounds of your money by one operation. Lead was scarce in our market, and very high, and the duty was one-third of the prime cost, as a protection to the native article. So what does I do, but go to old Galena, one of the greatest dealers in the lead trade in Great Britain, and ascertained the wholesale price.

"Sais I, 'I want five hundred thousand dollars worth of lead.'

"'That is an immense order,' said he, 'Mr Slick. There is no market in the world that can absorb so much at once.'

"'The loss will be mine,' said I. 'What deductions will you make if I take it all from your house?'

"Well, he came down handsome, and did the thing genteel.

"'Now,' sais I, 'will you let one of your people go to my cab, and bring a mould I have there.'

"Well, it was done.

"'There,' said I, 'is a large bust of Washington. Every citizen of the United States ought to have one, if he has a dust of patriotism in him. I must have the lead cast into rough busts like that.'

"'Hollow,' said he, 'of course.'

"'No, no,' sais I, 'by no manner of means, the heavier and solider the better.'

"'But,' said Galena, 'Mr Slick, excuse me, though it is against my own interest, I cannot but suggest you might find a cheaper material, and one more suitable to your very laudable object.'

"'Not at all,' said I, 'lead is the very identical thing. If a man don't like the statue and its price, and it's like as not he wont, he will like the lead. There is no duty on statuary, but there is more than thirty per cent. on lead. The duty alone is a fortune of not less than thirty thousand pounds, after all expenses are paid.'

"'Well now,' said he, throwing back his head and laughing, 'that is the most ingenious device to evade duties I ever heard of.'

"I immediately gave orders to my agents at Liverpool to send so many tons to Washington and every port and place on the seaboard of the United States except New York, but not too many to any one town; and then I took passage in a steamer, and ordered all my agents to close the consignment immediately, and let the lead hero change hands. It was generally allowed to be the handsomest operation ever performed in our country. Connecticut offered to send me to Congress for it, the folks felt so proud of me.

"But I don't call that smugglin'. It is a skilful reading of a revenue law. My idea of smugglin' is, there is the duty, and there is the penalty; pay one and escape the other if you like, if not, run your chance of the penalty. If the state wants revenue, let it collect its dues. If I want my debts got in, I attend to drummin' them up together myself; let government do the same. There isn't a bit of harm in smugglin'. I don't like a law restraining liberty. Let them that impose shackles look to the bolts; that's my idea."

"That argument won't hold water, Slick," said the doctor.


"Because it is as full of holes as a cullender.'


"The obligation between a government and a people is reciprocal. To protect on the one hand, and to support on the other. Taxes are imposed, first, for the maintenance of the government, and secondly, for such other objects as are deemed necessary or expedient. The moment goods are imported, which are subject to such exactions, the amount of the tax is a debt due to the state, the evasion or denial of which is a fraud. The penalty is not an alternative at your option; it is a punishment, and that always presupposes an offence. There is no difference between defrauding the state or an individual. Corporeality, or incorporeality, has nothing to do with the matter."

"Well," sais I, "Domine Doctor, that doctrine of implicit obedience to the government won't hold water neither, otherwise, if you had lived in Cromwell's time, you would have to have assisted in cutting the king's head off, or fight in an unjust war, or a thousand other wicked but legal things. I believe every tub must stand on its own bottom; general rules won't do. Take each separate, and judge of it by itself."

"Exactly," sais the doctor; "try that in law and see how it would work. No two cases would be decided alike; you'd be adrift at once, and a drifting ship soon touches bottom. No, that won't hold water. Stick to general principles, and if a thing is an exception to the rule, put it in Schedule A or B, and you know where to look for it. General rules are fixed principles. But you are only talking for talk sake; I know you are. Do you think now that merchant did right to aid you in evading the duty on your leaden Washingtons?"

"What the plague had he to do with our revenue laws? They don't bind him," sais I.

"No," said the doctor, "but there is a higher law than the statutes of the States or of England either, and that is the moral law. In aiding you, he made the greatest sale of lead ever effected at once in England; the profit on that was his share of the smuggling. But you are only drawing me out to see what I am made of. You are an awful man for a bam. There goes old Lewis in his fishing boat," sais he. "Look at him shaking his fist at you. Do you hear him jabbering away about trying it out in the 'sperm court?'"

"I'll make him draw his fist in, I know," sais I. So I seized my rifle, and stepped behind the mast, so that he could not see me; and as a large grey gull was passing over his boat high up in the air, I fired, and down it fell on the old coon's head so heavily and so suddenly, he thought he was shot; and he and the others set up a yell of fright and terror that made everybody on board of the little fleet of coasters that were anchored round us, combine in three of the heartiest, merriest, and loudest cheers I ever heard.

"Try that out in the sperm court, you old bull-frog," sais I. "I guess there is more ile to be found in that fishy gentleman than in me. Well," sais I, "Doctor, to get back to what we was a talking of. It's a tight squeeze sometimes to scrouge between a lie and a truth in business, ain't it? The passage is so narrow, if you don't take care it will rip your trowser buttons off in spite of you. Fortunately I am thin, and can do it like an eel, squirmey fashion; but a stout, awkward fellow is most sure to be catched.

"I shall never forget a rise I once took out of a set of jockeys at Albany. I had an everlastin' fast Naraganset pacer once to Slickville, one that I purchased in Mandarin's place. I was considerable proud of him, I do assure you, for he took the rag off the bush in great style. Well, our stable-help, Pat Monaghan (him I used to call Mr Monaghan), would stuff him with fresh clover without me knowing it, and as sure as rates, I broke his wind in driving him too fast. It gave him the heaves, that is, it made his flanks heave like a blacksmith's bellows. We call it 'heaves,' Britishers call it 'broken wind.' Well, there is no cure for it, though some folks tell you a hornet's nest cut up fine and put in their meal will do it, and others say sift the oats clean and give them juniper berries in it, and that will do it, or ground ginger, or tar, or what not; but these are all quackeries. You can't cure it, for it's a ruption of an air vessel, and you can't get at it to sew it up. But you can fix it up by diet and care, and proper usage, so that you can deceive even an old hand, providin' you don't let him ride or drive the beast too fast.

"Well, I doctored and worked with him so, the most that could be perceived was a slight cold, nothin' to mind, much less frighten you. And when I got him up to the notch, I advertised him for sale, as belonging to a person going down east, who only parted with him because he thought him too heavey for a man who never travelled less than a mile in two minutes and twenty seconds. Well, he was sold at auction, and knocked down to Rip Van Dam, the Attorney-General, for five hundred dollars; and the owner put a saddle and bridle on him, and took a bet of two hundred dollars with me, he could do a mile in two minutes, fifty seconds. He didn't know me from Adam parsonally, at the time, but he had heard of me, and bought the horse because it was said Sam Slick owned him.

"Well, he started off, and lost his bet; for when he got near the winnin'-post the horse choked, fell, and pitched the rider off half-way to Troy, and nearly died himself. The umpire handed me the money, and I dug out for the steam-boat intendin' to pull foot for home. Just as I reached the wharf, I heard my name called out, but I didn't let on I noticed it, and walked a-head. Presently, Van Dam seized me by the shoulder, quite out of breath, puffin' and blowin' like a porpoise.

"'Mr Slick?' said he.

"'Yes,' sais I, 'what's left of me; but good gracious,' sais I, 'you have got the 'heaves.' I hope it ain't catchin'.'

"'No I haven't,' said he, 'but your cussed hoss has, and nearly broke my neck. You are like all the Connecticut men I ever see, a nasty, mean, long-necked, long-legged, narrow-chested, slab-sided, narrow-souled, lantern-jawed, Yankee cheat.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'that's a considerable of a long name to write on the back of a letter, ain't it? It ain't good to use such a swad of words, it's no wonder you have the heaves; but I'll cure you; I warn't brought up to wranglin'; I hain't time to fight you, and besides,' said I, 'you are broken-winded; but I'll chuck you over the wharf into the river to cool you, boots and all, by gravy.'

"'Didn't you advertise,' said he, 'that the only reason you had to part with that horse was, that he was too heavy for a man who never travelled slower than a mile in two minutes and twenty seconds?'

"'Never!' sais I, 'I never said such a word. What will you bet I did?'

"'Fifty dollars,' said he.

"'Done,' said I. 'And, Vanderbelt--(he was just going on board the steamer at the time)--Vanderbelt,' sais I, 'hold these stakes. Friend,' sais I, 'I won't say you lie, but you talk uncommonly like the way I do when I lie. Now prove it.'

"And he pulled out one of my printed advertisements, and said, 'Read that.'

"Well, I read it. 'It ain't there,' said I.

"'Ain't it?' said he. 'I leave it to Vanderbelt.'

"'Mr Slick,' said he, 'you have lost--it is here.'

"'Will you bet fifty dollars,' said I, 'though you have seen it, that it's there?'

"'Yes,' said he, 'I will.'

"'Done,' said I. 'Now how do you spell heavy?'

"'H-e-a-v-y,' said he.

"'Exactly,' sais I; 'so do I. But this is spelt heav-ey. I did it on purpose. I scorn to take a man in about a horse, so I published his defect to all the world. I said he was too heavey for harness, and so he is. He ain't worth fifty dollars--I wouldn't take him as a gift--he ain't worth von dam?'

"'Well, I did see that,' said he, 'but I thought it was an error of the press, or that the owner couldn't spell.'

"'Oh!' sais I, 'don't take me for one of your Dutch boors, I beg of you. I can spell, but you can't read, that's all. You remind me,' sais I, 'of a feller in Slickville when the six-cent letter stamps came in fashion. He licked the stamp so hard, he took all the gum off, and it wouldn't stay on, no how he could fix it, so what does he do but put a pin through it, and writes on the letter, "Paid, if the darned thing will only stick." Now, if you go and lick the stamp etarnally that way, folks will put a pin through it, and the story will stick to you for ever and ever. But come on board, and let's liquor, and I will stand treat.'

"I felt sorry for the poor critter, and I told him how to feed the horse, and advised him to take him to Saratoga, advertise him, and sell him the same way; and he did, and got rid of him. The rise raised his character as a lawyer amazing. He was elected governor next year; a sell like that is the making of a lawyer.

"Now I don't call the lead Washingtons nor the heavey horse either on 'em a case of cheat; but I do think a man ought to know how to read a law and how to read an advertisement, don't you? But come, let us go ashore, and see how the galls look, for you have raised my curiosity."

We accordingly had the boat lowered; and taking Sorrow with us to see if he could do anything in the catering line, the doctor, Cutler, and myself landed on the beach, and walked round the settlement.

The shore was covered with fish flakes, which sent up an aroma not the most agreeable in the world except to those who lived there, and they, I do suppose, snuff up the breeze as if it was loaded with wealth and smelt of the Gold Coast. But this was nothing (although I don't think I can ever eat dum fish again as long as I live) to the effluvia arising from decomposed heaps of sea-wood, which had been gathered for manure, and was in the act of removal to the fields. No words can describe this, and I leave it to your imagination, Squire, to form an idea of a new perfume in nastiness that has never yet been appreciated but by an Irishman.

I heard a Paddy once, at Halifax, describe the wreck of a carriage which had been dashed to pieces. He said there was not "a smell of it left." Poor fellow, he must have landed at Chesencook, and removed one of those oloriferous heaps, as Sorrow called them, and borrowed the metaphor from it, that there was not "a smell of it left." On the beach between the "flakes" and the water, were smaller heaps of the garbage of the cod-fish and mackarel, on which the grey and white gulls fought, screamed, and gorged themselves, while on the bar were the remains of several enormous black fish, half the size of whales, which had been driven on shore, and hauled up out of the reach of the waves by strong ox teams. The heads and livers of these huge monsters had been "tried out in the Sperm court" for ile, and the putrid remains of the carcass were disputed for by pigs and crows. The discordant noises of these hungry birds and beasts were perfectly deafening.

On the right-hand side of the harbour, boys and girls waded out on the flats to dig clams, and were assailed on all sides by the screams of wild fowl who resented the invasion of their territory, and were replied to in tones no less shrill and unintelligible. On the left was the wreck of a large ship, which had perished on the coast, and left its ribs and skeleton to bleach on the shore, as if it had failed in the vain attempt to reach the forest from which it had sprung, and to repose in death in its native valley. From one of its masts, a long, loose, solitary shroud was pendant, having at its end a large double block attached to it, on which a boy was seated, and swung backward and forward. He was a little saucy urchin, of about twelve years of age, dressed in striped homespun, and had on his head a red yarn clackmutch, that resembled a cap of liberty. He seemed quite happy, and sung a verse of a French song with an air of conscious pride and defiance as his mother, stick in hand, stood before him, and at the top of her voice now threatened him with the rod, his father, and the priest--and then treacherously coaxed him with a promise to take him to Halifax, where he should see the great chapel, hear the big bell, and look at the bishop. A group of little girls stared in amazement at his courage, but trembled when they heard his mother predict a broken neck--purgatory--and the devil as his portion. The dog was as excited as the boy--he didn't bark, but he whimpered as he gazed upon him, as if he would like to jump up and be with him, or to assure him he would catch him if he fell, if he had but the power to do so.

What a picture it was--the huge wreck of that that once "walked the waters as a thing of life"--the merry boy--the anxious mother--the trembling sisters--the affectionate dog; what bits of church-yard scenes were here combined--children playing on the tombs--the young and the old--the merry and the aching heart--the living among the dead. Far beyond this were tall figures wading in the water, and seeking their food in the shallows; cranes, who felt the impunity that the superstition of the simple habitans had extended to them, and sought their daily meal in peace.

Above the beach and parallel with it, ran a main road, on the upper side of which were the houses, and on a swelling mound behind them rose the spire of the chapel visible far off in the Atlantic, a sacred signal-post for the guidance of the poor coaster. As soon as you reach this street or road and look around you, you feel at once you are in a foreign country and a land of strangers. The people, their dress, and their language, the houses, their form and appearance, the implements of husbandry, their shape and construction--all that you hear and see is unlike anything else. It is neither above, beyond, or behind the age. It is the world before the Flood. I have sketched it for you, and I think without bragging I may say I can take things off to the life. Once I drawed a mutton chop so nateral, my dog broke his teeth in tearing the panel to pieces to get at it; and at another time I painted a shingle so like stone, when I threw it into the water, it sunk right kerlash to the bottom.

"Oh, Mr Slick," said the doctor, "let me get away from here. I can't bear the sight of the sea-coast, and above all, of this offensive place. Let us get into the woods where we can enjoy ourselves. You have never witnessed what I have lately, and I trust in God you never will. I have seen within this month two hundred dead bodies on a beach in every possible shape of disfiguration and decomposition--mangled, mutilated, and dismembered corpses; male and female, old and young, the prey of fishes, birds, beasts, and, what is worse, of human beings. The wrecker had been there--whether he was of your country or mine I know not, but I fervently hope he belonged to neither. Oh, I have never slept sound since. The screams of the birds terrify me, and yet what do they do but follow the instincts of their nature? They batten on the dead, and if they do feed on the living, God has given them animated beings for their sustenance, as, he has the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and the beasts of the field to us, but they feed not on each other. Man, man alone is a cannibal. What an awful word that is!"

"Exactly," sais I, "for he is then below the canine species--'dog won't eat dog.'1 The wrecker lives not on those who die, but on those whom he slays. The pirate has courage at least to boast of, he risks his life to rob the ship, but the other attacks the helpless and unarmed, and spares neither age nor sex in his thirst for plunder. I don't mean to say we are worse on this side of the Atlantic than the other, God forbid. I believe we are better, for the American people are a kind, a feeling, and a humane race. But avarice hardens the heart, and distress, when it comes in a mass, overpowers pity for the individual, while inability to aid a multitude induces a carelessness to assist any. A whole community will rush to the rescue of a drowning man, not because his purse can enrich them all (that is too dark a view of human nature), but because he is the sole object of interest. When there are hundreds struggling for life, few of whom can be saved, and when some wretches are solely bent on booty, the rest, regardless of duty, rush in for their share also, and the ship and her cargo attract all. When the wreck is plundered, the transition to rifling the dying and the dead is not difficult, and cupidity, when once sharpened by success, brooks no resistance, for the remonstrance of conscience is easily silenced where supplication is not even heard. Avarice benumbs the feelings, and when the heart is hardened, man becomes a mere beast of prey. Oh this scene afflicts me--let us move on. These poor people have never yet been suspected of such atrocities, and surely they were not perpetrated in the world before the Flood."


1 This homely adage is far more expressive than the Latin one:--

Cognates maculis, similis fera."--Juv.






"I believe, Doctor," sais I, "we have seen all that is worth notice here, let us go into one of their houses and ascertain if there is anything for Sorrow's larder; but, Doctor," sais I, "let us first find out if they speak English, for if they do we must be careful what we say before them. Very few of the old people I guess know anything but French, but the younger ones who frequent the Halifax market know more than they pretend to if they are like some other habitans I saw at New Orleans. They are as cunning as foxes."

Proceeding to one of the largest cottages, we immediately gained admission. The door, unlike those of Nova Scotian houses, opened outwards, the fastening being a simple wooden latch. The room into which we entered was a large, dark, dingy, dirty apartment. In the centre of it was a tub containing some goslins, resembling yellow balls of corn-meal, rather than birds. Two females were all that were at home, one a little wrinkled woman, whose age it would puzzle a physiognomist to pronounce on, the other a girl about twenty-five years old. They sat on opposite sides of the fire-place, and both were clothed alike, in blue striped homespun, as previously described.

"Look at their moccasins," said the doctor. "They know much more about deer-skins than half the English settlers do. Do you observe, they are made of carriboo, and not moose hide. The former contracts with wet and the other distends and gets out of shape. Simple as that little thing is, few people have ever noticed it."

The girl, had she been differently trained and dressed, would have been handsome, but spare diet, exposure to the sun and wind, and field-labour, had bronzed her face, so that it was difficult to say what her real complexion was. Her hair was jet black and very luxuriant, but the handkerchief which served for bonnet and head-dress by day, and for a cap by night, hid all but the ample folds in front. Her teeth were as white as ivory, and contrasted strangely with the gipsy colour of her cheeks. Her eyes were black, soft, and liquid, and the lashes remarkably long, but the expression of her face, which was naturally good, indicated, though not very accurately, the absence of either thought or curiosity.

After a while objects became more distinct in the room, as we gradually became accustomed to the dim light of the small windows. The walls were hung round with large hanks of yarn, principally blue and white. An open cupboard displayed some plain coarse cups and saucers, and the furniture consisted of two rough tables, a large bunk,1 one or two sea-chests, and a few chairs of simple workmanship. A large old-fashioned spinning-wheel and a barrel-churn stood in one corner, and in the other a shoemaker's bench, while carpenter's tools were suspended on nails in such places as were not occupied by yarn. There was no ceiling or plastering visible anywhere, the floor of the attic alone separated that portion of the house from the lower room, and the joice on which it was laid were thus exposed to view, and supported on wooden cleets, leather, oars, rudders, together with some half-dressed pieces of ash, snow-shoes, and such other things as necessity might require. The wood-work, wherever visible, was begrimed with smoke, and the floor, though doubtless sometimes swept, appeared as if it had the hydrophobia hidden in its cracks, so carefully were soap and water kept from it. Hams and bacon were nowhere visible. It is probable, if they had any, they were kept elsewhere, but still more probable that they had found their way to market, and been transmuted into money, for these people are remarkably frugal and abstemious, and there can be no doubt, the doctor says, that there is not a house in the settlement in which there is not a supply of ready money, though the appearance of the buildings and their inmates would by no means justify a stranger in supposing so. They are neither poor nor destitute, but far better off than those who live more comfortably and inhabit better houses.


1 Bunk is a word in common use, and means a box that makes a seat by day and serves for a bedstead by night.


The only article of food that I saw was a barrel of eggs, most probably accumulated for the Halifax market, and a few small fish on rods, undergoing the process of smoking in the chimney corner.

The old woman was knitting and enjoying her pipe, and the girl was dressing wool, and handling a pair of cards with a rapidity and ease that would have surprised a Lancashire weaver. The moment she rose to sweep up the hearth I saw she was an heiress. When an Acadian girl has but her outer and under garment on, it is a clear sign, if she marries, there will be a heavy demand on the fleeces of her husband's sheep; but if she wears four or more thick woollen petticoats, it is equally certain her portion of worldly goods is not very small.

"Doctor," sais I, "it tante every darnin' needle would reach her through them petticoats, is it?"

"Oh!" said he, "Mr Slick--oh!" and he rose as usual, stooped forward, pressed his hands on his ribs, and ran round the room, if not at the imminent risk of his life, certainly to the great danger of the spinning wheel and the goslings. Both the females regarded him with great surprise, and not without some alarm.

"He has the stomach-ache," sais I, in French, "he is subject to it."

"Oh! oh!" said he, when he heard that, "oh, Mr Slick, you will be the death of me."

"Have you got any peppermint?" sais I.

"No," said she, talking in her own patois; and she scraped a spoonful of soot from the chimney, and putting it into a cup, was about pouring hot water on it for an emetic, when he could stand it no longer, but rushing out of the door, put to flight a flock of geese that were awaiting their usual meal, and stumbling over a pig, fell at full length on the ground, nearly crushing the dog, who went off yelling as if another such blow would be the death of him, and hid himself under the barn. The idea of the soot-emetic relieved the old lady, though it nearly fixed the doctor's flint for him. She extolled its virtues to the skies; she saved her daughter's life, she said, with it once, who had been to Halifax, and was taken by an officer into a pastrycook's shop and treated. He told her if she would eat as much as she could at once, he would pay for it all.

Well, she did her best. She eat one loaf of plumcake, three trays of jellies, a whole counter of little tarts, figs, raisins, and oranges, and all sorts of things without number. Oh! it was a grand chance, she said, and the way she eat was a caution to a cormorant; but at last she gave out she couldn't do no more. The foolish officer, the old lady observed, if he had let her fetch all them things home, you know we could have helped her to eat them, and if we couldn't have eat 'em all in one day, surely we could in one week; but he didn't think of that I suppose. But her daughter liked to have died; too much of a good thing is good for nothing. Well, the soot-emetic cured her, and then she told me all its effects; and it's very surprising, it didn't sound bad in French, but it don't do to write it in English at all; it's the same thing, but it tells better in French. It must be a very nice language that for a doctor, when it makes emetics sound so pretty; you might hear of 'em while you was at dinner and not disturb you.

You may depend it made the old lady wake snakes and walk chalks talking of physic. She told me if a man was dying or a child was born in all that settlement, she was always sent for, and related to me some capital stories; but somehow no English or Yankee woman could tell them to a man, and a man can't tell them in English. How is this, Squire, do you know? Ah! here is the doctor, I will ask him by and by.

Women, I believe, are born with certain natural tastes. Sally was death on lace, and old Aunt Thankful goes the whole figure for furs; either on 'em could tell real thread or genuine sable clear across the church. Mother was born with a tidy devil, and had an eye for cobwebs and blue-bottle flies. She waged eternal war on 'em; while Phoebe Hopewell beat all natur for bigotry and virtue as she called them (bijouterie and virtu). But most Yankee women when they grow old, specially if they are spinsters, are grand at compoundin' medicines and presarves. They begin by nursin' babies and end by nursin' broughten up folks. Old Mother Boudrot, now, was great on herbs, most of which were as simple and as harmless as herself. Some of them was new to me, though I think I know better ones than she has; but what made her onfallible was she had faith. She took a key out of her pocket, big enough for a jail-door, and unlocking a huge sailor's chest, selected a box made by the Indians of birch bark, worked with porcupine quills, which enclosed another a size smaller, and that a littler one that would just fit into it, and so on till she came to one about the size of an old-fashioned coffee-cup. They are called a nest of boxes. The inner one contained a little horn thing that looked like a pill-box, and that had a charm in it.

It was a portion of the nail of St Francis's big toe, which never failed to work a cure on them who believed in it. She said she bought it from a French prisoner, who had deserted from Melville Island, at Halifax, during the last war. She gave him a suit of clothes, two shirts, six pair of stockings, and eight dollars for it. The box was only a bit of bone, and not worthy of the sacred relic, but she couldn't afford to get a gold one for it.

"Poor St Croix," she said, "I shall never see him again. He had great larning; he could both read and write. When he sold me that holy thing, he said:

"'Madam, I am afraid something dreadful will happen to me before long for selling that relic. When danger and trouble come, where will be my charm then?'

"Well, sure enough, two nights after (it was a very dark night) the dogs barked dreadful, and in the morning Peter La Roue, when he got up, saw his father's head on the gate-post, grinnin' at him, and his daughter Annie's handkerchief tied over his crown and down under his chin. And St Croix was gone, and Annie was in a trance, and the priest's desk was gone, with two hundred pounds of money in it; and old Jodrie's ram had a saddle and bridle on, and was tied to a gate of the widow of Justine Robisheau, that was drowned in a well at Halifax; and Simon Como's boat put off to sea of itself, and was no more heard of. Oh, it was a terrible night, and poor St Croix, people felt very sorry for him, and for Annie La Roue, who slept two whole days and nights before she woke up. She had all her father's money in her room that night; but they searched day after day and never found it."

Well, I didn't undeceive her. What's the use? Master St Croix was an old privateers-man. He had drugged La Roue's daughter to rob her of her money; had stolen two hundred pounds from the priest, and Como's boat, and sold the old lady a piece of his toe-nail for eight or ten pounds' worth in all. I never shake the faith of an ignorant person. Suppose they do believe too much, it is safer than believing too little. You may make them give up their creed, but they ain't always quite so willing to take your's. It is easier to make an infidel than a convert. So I just let folks be, and suffer them to skin their own eels.

After that she took to paying me compliments on my French, and I complimented her on her good looks, and she confessed she was very handsome when she was young, and all the men were in love with her, and so on. Well, when I was about startin', I inquired what she had to sell in the eatin' line.

"Eggs and fish," she said, "were all she had in the house."

On examining the barrel containing the former, I found a white-lookin', tasteless powder among them.

"What's that?" said I.

Well, she told me what it was (pulverised gypsum), and said, "It would keep them sweet and fresh for three months at least, and she didn't know but more."

So I put my hand away down into the barrel and pulled out two, and that layer she said was three months old. I held them to the light, and they were as clear as if laid yesterday.

"Boil them," sais I, and she did so; and I must say it was a wrinkle I didn't expect to pick up at such a place as that, for nothing could be fresher.

"Here is a dollar," said I, "for that receipt, for it's worth knowing, I can tell you."

"Now," thinks I, as I took my seat again, "I will try and see if this French gall can talk English." I asked her, but she shook her head.

So to prove her, sais I, "Doctor, ain't she a beauty, that? See what lovely eyes she has, and magnificent hair! Oh, if she was well got up, and fashionably dressed, wouldn't she be a sneezer? What beautiful little hands and feet she has! I wonder if she would marry me, seein' I am an orthodox man."

Well, she never moved a muscle; she kept her eyes fixed on her work, and there wasn't the leastest mite of a smile on her face. I kinder sorter thought her head was rather more stationary, if anything, as if she was listening, and her eyes more fixed, as if she was all attention; but she had dropped a stitch in her knitting, and was taking of it up, so perhaps I might be mistaken. Thinks I, I will try you on t'other tack.

"Doctor, how would you like to kiss her, eh? Ripe-looking lips them, ain't they? Well, I wouldn't kiss her for the world," said I; "I would just as soon think of kissing a ham that is covered with creosote. There is so much ile and smoke on 'em, I should have the taste in my mouth for a week. Phew! I think I taste it now!"

She coloured a little at that, and pretty soon got up and went out of the room; and presently I heard her washing her hands and face like anything,

Thinks I, "You sly fox! you know English well enough to kiss in it anyhow, if you can't talk in it easy. I thought I'de find you out; for a gall that won't laugh when you tickle her, can't help screamin' a little when you pinch her; that's a fact." She returned in a few minutes quite a different lookin' person, and resumed her usual employment, but still persisted that she did not know English. In the midst of our conversation, the master of the house, Jerome Boudrot, came in. Like most of the natives of Chesencook, he was short in stature, but very active, and like all the rest a great talker.

"Ah, gentlemen," he said, "you follow de sea, eh?"

"No," sais I, "the sea often follows us, especially when the wind is fair."

"True, true," he said; "I forget dat. It followed me one time. Oh, I was wunst lost at sea; and it's an awful feelin'. I was out of sight of land one whole day, all night, and eetle piece of next day. Oh, I was proper frightened. It was all sea and sky, and big wave, and no land, and none of us knew our way back." And he opened his eyes as if the very recollection of his danger alarmed him. "At last big ship came by, and hailed her, and ask:

"'My name is Jerry Boudrot; where am I?'

"'Aboard of your own vessel,' said they; and they laughed like anything, and left us.

"Well, towards night we were overtaken by Yankee vessel, and I say, 'My name is Jerry Boudrot; where am I?'

"'Thar,' said the sarcy Yankee captain, 'and if you get this far, you will be here;' and they laughed at me, and I swore at them, and called 'em all manner of names.

"Well, then I was proper frightened, and I gave myself up for lost, and I was so sorry I hadn't put my deed of my land on recor, and that I never got pay for half a cord of wood I sold a woman, who nevare return agin, last time I was to Halifax; and Esadore Terrio owe me two shillings and sixpence, and I got no note of hand for it, and I lend my ox-cart for one day to Martell Baban, and he will keep it for a week, and wear it out, and my wife marry again as sure as de world. Oh, I was very scare and propare sorry, you may depend, when presently great big English ship come by, and I hail her.

"'My name is Jerry Boudrot,' sais I, 'when did you see land last?'

"'Thirty days ago,' said the captain.

"'Where am I?' sais I.

"'In 44° 40' north,' said he, 'and 63° 40' west,' as near as I could hear him.

"'And what country is dat are?' said I. 'My name is Jerry Boudrot.'

"'Where are you bound?' said he.

"'Home,'1 said I.


1 All colonists call England "home."


"'Well,' said he, 'at this season of the year you shall make de run in twenty-five day. A pleasant passage to you!' and away he went.

"Oh, I was plague scared; for it is a dreadful thing to be lost at sea.

"'Twenty-five days,' said I, 'afore we get home! Oh, mon Dieu! oh dear! we shall all starve to death; and what is worse, die first. What provision have we, boys?'

"'Well,' sais they, 'we counted, and we have two figs of tobacco, and six loaf baker's bread (for the priest), two feet of wood, three matches, and five gallons of water, and one pipe among us all.' Three matches and five gallons of water! Oh, I was so sorry to lose my life, and what was wus, I had my best clothes on bord.

"'Oh, boys, we are out of sight of land now,' sais I, 'and what is wus, may be we go so far we get out sight of de sun too, where is dark like down cellar. Oh, it's a shocking ting to be lost at sea. Oh, people lose deir way dere so bad, sometimes dey nevare return no more. People that's lost in de wood dey come back if dey live, but them that's lost at sea nevare. Oh, I was damn scared. Oh, mon Dieu! what is 44° 40' north and 63° 40' west? Is dat de conetry were people who are lost at sea go to? Boys, is there any rum on board?' and they said there was a bottle for the old lady's rheumatis. 'Well, hand it up,' sais I, 'and if ever you get back tell her it was lost at sea, and has gone to 44° 40' north and 63° 40' west. Oh, dear, dis all comes from going out of sight of land.'

"Oh, I was vary dry you may depend; I was so scared at being lost at sea that way, my lips stuck together like the sole and upper-leather of a shoe. And when I took down the bottle to draw breath, the boys took it away, as it was all we had. Oh, it set my mouth afire, it was made to warm outside and not inside. Dere was brimstone, and camphor, and eetle red pepper, and turpentene in it. Vary hot, vary nasty, and vary trong, and it made me sea-sick, and I gave up my dinner, for I could not hole him no longer, he jump so in de stomach, and what was wus, I had so little for anoder meal. Fust I lose my way, den I lose my sense, den I lose my dinner, and what is wus I lose myself to sea. Oh, I repent vary mush of my sin in going out of sight of land. Well, I lights my pipe and walks up and down, and presently the sun comes out quite bright.

"'Well, dat sun,' sais I, 'boys, sets every night behind my barn in the big swamp, somewhere about the Hemlock Grove. Well, dat is 63° 40' west I suppose. And it rises a few miles to the eastward of that barn, sometimes out of a fog bank, and sometimes out o' the water; well that is 44° 40' north, which is all but east I suppose. Now, if we steer west we will see our barn, but steering east is being lost at sea, for in time you would be behind de sun.'

"Well, we didn't sleep much dat night, you may depend, but we prayed a great deal, and we talked a great deal, and I was so cussed scared I did not know what to do. Well, morning came and still no land, and I began to get diablement feared again. Every two or tree minutes I run up de riggin' and look out, but couldn't see notin'. At last I went down to my trunk, for I had bottle there for my rheumatics too, only no nasty stuff in it, that the boys didn't know of, and I took very long draught, I was so scared; and then I went on deck and up de riggin' again.

"'Boys,' sais I, 'there's the barn. That's 63° 40' west. I tole you so.' Well, when I came down I went on my knees, and I vowed as long as I lived I would hug as tight and close as ever I could."

"Your wife?" sais I.

"Pooh, no," said he, turning round contemptuously towards her; "hug her, eh! why, she has got the rheumatiz, and her tongue is in mourning for her teeth. No, hug the shore, man, hug it so close as posseeble, and nevare lose sight of land for fear of being lost at sea."

The old woman perceiving that Jerry had been making some joke at her expense, asked the girl the meaning of it, when she rose, and seizing his cap and boxing his ears with it, right and left, asked what he meant by wearing it before gentlemen, and then poured out a torrent of abuse on him, with such volubility I was unable to follow it.

Jerry sneaked off, and set in the corner near his daughter, afraid to speak, and the old woman took her chair again, unable to do so. There was a truce and a calm, so to change the conversation, sais I:

"Sorrow, take the rifle and go and see if there is a Jesuit-priest about here, and if there is shoot him, and take him on board and cook him."

"Oh, Massa Sam," said he, and he opened his eyes and goggled like an owl awfully frightened. "Goody gracious me, now you is joking, isn't you? I is sure you is. You wouldn't now, Massa, you wouldn't make dis child do murder, would you? Oh, Massa!! kill de poor priest who nebber did no harm in all his born days, and him hab no wife and child to follow him to--"

"The pot," sais I, "oh, yes, if they ask me arter him I will say he is gone to pot."

"Oh, Massa, now you is funnin, ain't you?" and he tried to force a laugh. "How in de world under de canopy ob hebbin must de priest be cooked?"

"Cut his head and feet off," sais I, "break his thighs short, close up to the stumps, bend 'em up his side, ram him into the pot and stew him with ham and vegetables. Lick! a Jesuit-priest is delicious done that way."

The girl dropped her cards on her knees and looked at me with intense anxiety. She seemed quite handsome, I do actilly believe if she was put into a tub and washed, laid out on the grass a few nights with her face up to bleach it, her great yarn petticoats hauled off and proper ones put on, and her head and feet dressed right, she'd beat the Blue-nose galls for beauty out and out; but that is neither here nor there, those that want white faces must wash them, and those that want white floors must scrub them, it's enough for me that they are white, without my making them so. Well, she looked all eyes and ears. Jerry's under-jaw dropped, Cutler was flabbergasted, and the doctor looked as if he thought, "Well, what are you at now?" while the old woman appeared anxious enough to give her whole barrel of eggs to know what was going on.

"Oh, Massa," said Sorrow, "dis here child can't have no hand in it. De priest will pyson you, to a dead sartainty. If he was baked he mout do. In Africa dey is hannibals and eat dere prisoners, but den dey bake or roast 'em, but stew him, Massa! by golly he will pyson you, as sure as 'postles. My dear ole missus died from only eaten hogs wid dere heads on."

"Hogs!" said I.

"Yes, Massa, in course, hogs wid dere heads on. Oh, she was a most a beautiful cook, but she was fizzled out by bad cookery at de last."

"You black villain," said I, "do you mean to say your mistress ever eat whole hogs?"

"Yes, Massa, in course I do, but it was abbin' dere heads on fixed her flint for her."

"What an awful liar you are, Sorrow!"

"'Pon my sacred word and honour, Massa," he said, "I stake my testament oat on it; does you tink dis here child now would swear to a lie? true as preachin', Sar."

"Go on," said I, "I like to see a fellow go the whole animal while he is about it. How many did it take to kill her?"

"Well, Massa, she told me herself, on her def bed, she didn't eat no more nor ten or a dozen hogs, but she didn't blame dem, it was havin' dere heads on did all the mischief. I was away when dey was cooked, or it wouldn't a happened. I was down to Charleston Bank to draw six hundred dollars for her, and when I came back she sent for me. 'Sorrow,' sais she, 'Plutarch has poisoned me.'

"'Oh, de black villain', sais I, 'Missus, I will tye him to a tree and burn him.'

"'No, no,' she said, 'I will return good for ebil. Send for Rev. Mr Hominy, and Mr Succatash, de Yankee oberseer, and tell my poor granny Chloe her ole missus is dyin', and to come back, hot foot, and bring Plutarch, for my disgestion is all gone.' Well, when Plutarch came she said, 'Plue, my child, you have killed your missus by cooking de hogs wid dere heads on, but I won't punish you, I is intendin' to extinguish you by kindness among de plantation niggers. I will heap coals of fire on your head.'

"'Dat's right, Missus,' sais I, 'burn the villain up, but burn him with green wood so as to make slow fire, dat's de ticket, Missus, it sarves him right.'

"Oh, if you eber heard yellin', Massa, you'd a heard it den. Plue he trowed himself down on de ground, and he rolled and he kicked and he screamed like mad.

"'Don't make a noise, Plutarch,' said she, 'I can't stand it. I isn't a goin' to put you to def. You shall lib. I will gib you a wife.'

"'Oh, tankee, Missus,' said he, 'oh, I will pray for you night and day, when I ain't at work or asleep, for eber and eber. Amen.'

"'You shall ab Cloe for a wife.'

"Cloe, Massa, was seventy-five, if she was one blessed second old. She was crippled with rheumatis, and walked on crutches, and hadn't a tooth in her head. She was just doubled up like a tall nigger in a short bed.

"'Oh, Lord, Missus,' said Plutarch, 'hab mercy on dis sinner, O dear Missus, O lubly Missus, oh hab mercy on dis child.'

"'Tankee, Missus,' said Cloe. 'God bless you, Missus, I is quite appy now. I is a leetle too young for dat spark, for I is cuttin' a new set o' teeth now, and ab suffered from teethin' most amazin', but I will make him a lubin' wife. Don't be shy, Mr Plue,' said she, and she up wid one ob her crutches and gub him a poke in de ribs dat made him grunt like a pig. 'Come, tand up,' said she, 'till de parson tie de knot round your neck.'

"'Oh! Lord, Missus,' said he, 'ab massy!' But de parson married 'em, and said, 'Slute your bride!' but he didn't move.

"'He is so bashful,' said Cloe, takin' him round de neck and kissin' ob him. 'Oh, Missus!' she said, 'I is so proud ob my bridegroom--he do look so genteel wid ole massa's frill shirt on, don't he?'

"When dey went out o' de room into de entry, Cloe fotched him a crack ober his pate with her crutch that sounded like a cocoa-nut, it was so hollow.

"'Take dat,' said she, 'for not slutin' ob your bride, you good-for-nottin' onmanerly scallawag you.'

"Poor dear missus! she died dat identical night."

"Come here, Sorrow," said I; "come and look me in the face."

The moment he advanced, Jerry slipt across the room, and tried to hide behind the tongues near his wife. He was terrified to death. "Do you mean to say," said I, "she died of going the whole hog? Was it a hog--tell me the truth?"

"Well, Massa," said he, "I don't know to a zact sartainty, for I was not dere when she was tooked ill,--I was at de bank at de time,--but I will take my davy it was hogs or dogs. I wont just zackly sartify which, because she was 'mazin' fond of both; but I will swear it was one or toder, and dat dey was cooked wid dere heads on--dat I will stificate to till I die!"

"Hogs or dogs," said I, "whole, with their heads on--do you mean that?"

"Yes, Massa, dis here child do, of a sartainty."

"Hogs like the pig, and dogs like the Newfoundlander at the door?"

"Oh, no, Massa, in course it don't stand to argument ob reason it was. Oh, no, it was quadogs and quahogs--clams, you know. We calls 'em down South, for shortness, hogs and dogs. Oh, Massa, in course you knows dat--I is sure you does--you is only intendin' on puppose to make game of dis here nigger, isn't you?"

"You villain," said I, "you took a rise out of me that time, at any rate. It ain't often any feller does that, so I think you deserve a glass of the old Jamaiky for it when we go on board. Now go and shoot a Jesuit-priest if you see one."

The gall explained the order to her mother.

"Shoot the priest?" said she, in French.

"Shoot the priest," said Jerry; "shoot me!" And he popped down behind his wife, as if he had no objection to her receiving the ball first.

She ran to her chest, and got out the little horn box with the nail of St Francis, and looked determined to die at her post. Sorrow deposited the gun in the corner, hung down his head, and said:

"Dis here child, Massa Slick, can't do no murder."

"Then I must do it myself," said I, rising and proceeding to get my rifle.

"Slick," said the doctor, "what the devil do you mean?"

"Why," says I, a settin' down again, "I'll tell you. Jesuit-priests were first seen in Spain and Portugal, where they are very fond of them. I have often eaten them there."

"First seen in Spain and Portugal!" he replied. "You are out there--but go on."

"There is a man," said I, "in Yorkshire, who says his ancestor brought the first over from America, when he accompanied Cabot in his voyages, and he has one as a crest. But that is all bunkum. Cabot never saw one."

"What in the world do you call a Jesuit-priest?"

"Why a turkey to be sure," said I; "that's what they call them at Madrid and Lisbon, after the Jesuits who first introduced them into Europe."

"My goody gracious!" said Sorrow, "if that ain't fun alive it's a pity, that's all."

"We'll," said Jerry, "I was lost at sea that time; I was out of sight of land. It puzzled me like 44° north, and 63° 40' west."

"Hogs, dogs, and Jesuit-priests!" said the doctor, and off he set again, with his hands on his sides, rushing round the room in convulsions of laughter.

"The priest," said I to the old woman, "has given him a pain in his stomach," when she ran to the dresser again, and got the cup of soot for him which had not yet been emptied.

"Oh dear!" said he, "I can't stand that; oh, Slick, you will be the death of me yet," and he bolted out of the house.

Having purchased a bushel of clams from the old lady, and bid her and her daughter good-bye, we vamosed the ranche.1 At the door I saw a noble gobbler.


1 One of the numerous corruptions of Spanish words introduced into the States since the Mexican war, and signifies to quit the house or shanty. Rancho designates a hut, covered with branches, where herdsmen temporarily reside.


"What will you take for that Jesuit-priest," said I, "Jerry?"

"Seven and sixpence," said he.

"Done," said I, and his head was perforated with a ball in an instant.

The dog unused to such a sound from his master's house, and recollecting the damage he received from the fall of the doctor, set off with the most piteous howls that ever were heard, and fled for safety--the pigs squealed as if they had each been wounded--and the geese joined in the general uproar--while old Madam Boudrot and her daughter rushed screaming to the door to ascertain what these dreadful men were about, who talked of shooting priests, and eating hogs and dogs entire with their heads on. It was some time before order was restored, and when Jerry went into the house to light his pipe and deposit his money, I called Cutler's attention to the action and style of a horse in the pasture whom my gun had alarmed.

"That animal," said I, "must have dropped from the clouds. If he is young and sound, and he moves as if he were both, he is worth six hundred dollars. I must have him; can you give him a passage till we meet one of our large coal ships coming from Pictou?"

"Certainly," said he.

"Jerry," sais I, when he returned, "what in the world do you keep such a fly-away devil as that for? why don't you sell him and buy cattle? Can't you sell him at Halifax?"

"Oh", said he, "I can't go there now no more, Mr Slick. The boys call after me and say: Jerry, when did you see land last? My name is Jerry Boudrot, where am I? Jerry, I thought you was lost at sea! Jerry, has your colt got any slippares on yet (shoes)? Jerry, what does 44--40 mean? Oh! I can't stand it!"

"Why don't you send him by a neighbour?"

"Oh! none o' my neighbours can ride him. We can't break him. We are fishermen, not horsemen."

"Where did he come from?"

"The priest brought a mare from Canada with him, and this is her colt. He gave it to me when I returned from being lost at sea, he was so glad to see me. I wish you would buy him, Mr Slick; you will have him cheap; I can't do noting with him, and no fence shall stop him."

"What the plague," sais I, "do you suppose I want of a horse on board of a ship? do you want me to be lost at sea too? and besides, if I did try to oblige you," said I, "and offered you five pounds for that devil nobody can ride, and no fence stop, you'd ask seven pound ten right off. Now, that turkey was not worth a dollar here, and you asked at once seven and sixpence. Nobody can trade with you, you are so everlasting sharp. If you was lost at sea, you know your way by land, at all events."

"Well," sais he, "say seven pounds ten, and you will have him."

"Oh! of course," said I, "there is capital pasture on board of a vessel, ain't there? Where am I to get hay till I send him home?"

"I will give you tree hundredweight into the bargain."

"Well," sais I, "let's look at him; can you catch him?"

He went into the house, and bringing out a pan of oats, and calling him, the horse followed him into the stable, where he was secured. I soon ascertained he was perfectly sound, and that he was an uncommonly fine animal. I sent Sorrow on board for my saddle and bridle, whip and spurs, and desired that the vessel might be warped into the wharf. When the negro returned, I repeated the terms of the bargain to Jerry, which being assented to, the animal was brought out into the centre of the field, and while his owner was talking to him, I vaulted into the saddle. At first he seemed very much alarmed, snorting, and blowing violently; he then bounded forward and lashed out with his hind feet most furiously, which was succeeded by alternate rearing, kicking, and backing. I don't think I ever see a critter splurge so badly; at last he ran the whole length of the field, occasionally throwing up his heels very high in the air, and returned unwillingly, stopping every few minutes and plunging outrageously. On the second trial he again ran, and for the first time I gave him both whip and spur, and made him take the fence, and in returning I pushed him in the same manner, making him take the leap as before. Though awkward and ignorant of the meaning of the rein, the animal knew he was in the hands of a power superior to his own, and submitted far more easily than I expected.

When we arrived at the wharf, I removed the saddle, and placing a strong rope round his neck, had it attached to the windlass, not to drag him on board, but to make him feel if he refused to advance that he was powerless to resist, an indispensable precaution in breaking horses. Once and once only he attempted escape; he reared and threw himself, but finding the strain irresistible, he yielded and went on board quietly. Jerry was as delighted to get rid of him as I was to purchase him, and though I knew that seven pounds ten was as much as he could ever realize out of him, I felt I ought to pay him for the hay, and also that I could well afford to give him a little conciliation present; so I gave him two barrels of flour in addition, to enable him to make his peace with his wife, whom he had so grossly insulted by asserting that his vow to heaven was to hug the shore hereafter, and had no reference to her. If I ain't mistaken, Jerry Boudrot, for so I have named the animal after him, will astonish the folks to Slickville; for of all the horses on this continent, to my mind, the real genuine Canadian is the best by all odds.

"Ah! my friend," said Jerry, addressing the horse, "you shall soon be out of sight of land, like your master; but unlike him, I hope you shall never be lost at sea."






From Halifax to Cumberland, Squire, the eastern coast of Nova Scotia presents more harbours fit for the entrance of men-of-war than the whole Atlantic coast of our country from Maine to Mexico. No part of the world I am acquainted with is so well supplied and so little frequented. They are "thar," as we say, but where are the large ships? growing in the forest I guess. And the large towns? all got to be built I reckon. And the mines? why wanting to be worked. And the fisheries? Well, I'll tell you, if you will promise not to let on about it. We are going to have them by treaty, as we now have them by trespass. Fact is, we treat with the British and the Indians in the same way. Bully them if we can, and when that won't do, get the most valuable things they have in exchange for trash, like glass beads and wooden clocks. Still, Squire, there is a vast improvement here, though I won't say there ain't room for more; but there is such a change come over the people, as is quite astonishing. The Blue-nose of 1834 is no longer the Blue-nose of 1854. He is more active, more industrious, and more enterprising. Intelligent the critter always was, but unfortunately he was lazy. He was asleep then, now he is wide awake, and up and doing. He never had no occasion to be ashamed to show himself, for he is a good-looking feller, but he needn't now be no longer skeered to answer to his name, when the muster is come and his'n is called out in the roll, and say, "Here am I, Sirree." A new generation has sprung up, some of the drones are still about the hive, but there is a young vigorous race coming on who will keep pace with the age.

It's a great thing to have a good glass to look in now and then and see yourself. They have had the mirror held up to them.

Lord, I shall never forget when I was up to Rawdon here once, a countryman came to the inn where I was, to pay me for a clock I had put off on him, and as I was a passin' through the entry I saw the critter standin' before the glass, awfully horrified.

"My good gracious," said he, a talking to himself, "my good gracious, is this you, John Smiler? I havn't seen you before now going on twenty years. Oh, how shockingly you are altered, I shouldn't a known you, I declare."

Now, I have held the mirror to these fellows to see themselves in, and it has scared them so they have shaved slick up, and made themselves look decent. I won't say I made all the changes myself, for Providence scourged them into activity, by sending the weavel into their wheat-fields, the rot into their potatoes, and the drought into their hay crops. It made them scratch round, I tell you, so as to earn their grub, and the exertion did them good. Well, the blisters I have put on their vanity stung 'em so, they jumped high enough to see the right road, and the way they travel ahead now is a caution to snails.

Now, if it was you who had done your country this sarvice, you would have spoke as mealy-mouthed of it as if butter wouldn't melt in it. "I flatter myself," you would have said, "I had some little small share in it." "I have lent my feeble aid." "I have contributed my poor mite," and so on, and looked as meek and felt as proud as a Pharisee. Now, that's not my way. I hold up the mirror, whether when folks see themselves in it they see me there or not. The value of a glass is its truth. And where colonists have suffered is from false reports, ignorance, and misrepresentation. There is not a word said of them that can be depended on. Missionary returns of all kinds are coloured and doctored to suit English subscribing palates, and it's a pity they should stand at the head of the list. British travellers distort things the same way. They land at Halifax, where they see the first contrast between Europe and America, and that contrast ain't favourable, for the town is dingy lookin' and wants paint, and the land round it is poor and stony. But that is enough, so they set down and abuse the whole country, stock and fluke, and write as wise about it as if they had seen it all instead of overlooking one mile from the deck of a steamer. The military enjoy it beyond anything, and are far more comfortable than in soldiering in England; but it don't do to say so, for it counts for foreign service, and like the witnesses at the court-marshall at Windsor, every feller sais, Non mi ricordo. Governors who now-a-days have nothing to do, have plenty of leisure to write, and their sufferings are such, their pens are inadequate to the task. They are very much to be pitied.

Well, colonists on the other hand seldom get their noses out of it. But if provincials do now and then come up on the other side of the big pond, like deep sea-fish rising to the surface, they spout and blow like porpoises, and try to look as large as whales, and people only laugh at them. Navy officers extol the harbour and the market, and the kindness and hospitality of the Haligonians, but that is all they know, and as far as that goes they speak the truth. It wants an impartial friend like me to hold up the mirror, both for their sakes and the Downing Street officials too. Is it any wonder then that the English don't know what they are talking about? Did you ever hear of the devil's advocate? a nickname I gave to one of the understrappers of the Colonial office, an ear mark that will stick to the feller for ever! Well, when they go to make a saint at Rome, and canonize some one who has been dead so long he is in danger of being forgot, the cardinals hold a sort of court-martial on him, and a man is appointed to rake and scrape all he can agin him, and they listen very patiently to all he has to say, so as not to do things in a hurry. He is called "the devil's advocate," but he never gained a cause yet. The same form used to be gone through at Downing Street, by an underling, but he always gained his point. The nickname of the "devil's advocate" that I gave him did his business for him, he is no longer there now.

The British cabinet wants the mirror held up to them, to show them how they look to others. Now, when an order is transmitted by a minister of the crown, as was done last war, to send all Yankee prisoners to the fortress of Louisburg for safe keeping, when that fortress more than sixty years before had been effectually razed from the face of the earth by engineer officers sent from England for the purpose, why it is natural a colonist should laugh, and say Capital! only it is a little too good; and when another minister says, he can't find good men to be governors, in order to defend appointments that his own party say are too bad, what language is strong enough to express his indignation? Had he said openly and manly, We are so situated, and so bound by parliamentary obligations, we not only have to pass over the whole body of provincials themselves, who have the most interest and are best informed in colonial matters, but we have to appoint some people like those to whom you object, who are forced upon us by hollerin' their daylights out for us at elections, when we would gladly select others, who are wholly unexceptionable, and their name is legion; why, he would have pitied his condition, and admired his manliness. If this sweeping charge be true, what an encomium it is upon the Dalhousies, the Gosfords, the Durhams, Sydenhams, Metcalfs, and Elgins, that they were chosen because suitable men could not be found if not supported by party. All that can be said for a minister who talks such stuff, is that a man who knows so little of London as to be unable to find the shortest way home, may easily lose himself in the wilds of Canada.

Now we licked the British when we had only three millions of people including niggers, who are about as much use in a war as crows that feed on the slain, but don't help to kill 'em. We have "run up" an empire, as we say of a "wooden house," or as the gall who was asked where she was raised, said "She warn't raised, she growed up." We have shot up into manhood afore our beards grew, and have made a nation that ain't afeard of all creation. Where will you find a nation like ours? Answer me that question, but don't reply as an Irishman does by repeating it,--"Is it where I will find one, your Honour?"

Minister used to talk of some old chap, that killed a dragon and planted his teeth, and armed men sprung up. As soon as we whipped the British we sowed their teeth, and full-grown coons growed right out of the earth. Lord bless you, we have fellows like Crocket, that would sneeze a man-of-war right out of the water.

We have a right to brag, in fact it ain't braggin', its talking history, and cramming statistics down a fellow's throat, and if he wants tables to set down to, and study them, there's the old chairs of the governors of the thirteen united universal worlds of the old States, besides the rough ones of the new States to sit on, and canvas-back ducks, blue-point oysters, and, as Sorrow says, "hogs and dogs," for soup and pies, for refreshment from labour, as Freemasons say. Brag is a good dog, and Holdfast is a better one, but what do you say to a cross of the two?--and that's just what we are. An English statesman actually thinks nobody knows anything but himself. And his conduct puts folks both on the defensive and offensive. He eyes even an American all over as much as to say, Where the plague did you originate, what field of cotton or tobacco was you took from? and if a Canadian goes to Downing Street, the secretary starts as much as to say, I hope you han't got one o' them rotten eggs in your hand you pelted Elgin with. Upon my soul, it wern't my fault, his indemnifyin' rebels, we never encourage traitors except in Spain, Sicily, Hungary, and places we have nothin' to do with. He brags of purity as much as a dirty piece of paper does, that it was originally clean.

"We appreciate your loyalty most fully, I assure you," he says. "When the militia put down the rebellion, without efficient aid from the military, parliament would have passed a vote of thanks to you for your devotion to our cause, but really we were so busy just then we forgot it. Put that egg in your pocket, that's a good fellow, but don't set down on it, or it might stain the chair, and folks might think you was frightened at seeing so big a man as me;" and then he would turn round to the window and laugh.

Whoever brags over me gets the worst of it, that's a fact. Lord, I shall never forget a rise I once took out of one of these magnetized officials, who know all about the colonies, tho' he never saw one. I don't want any man to call me coward, and say I won't take it parsonal. There was a complaint made by some of our folks against the people of the Lower provinces seizing our coasters under pretence they were intrudin' on the fisheries. Our embassador was laid up at the time with rheumatism, which he called gout, because it sounded diplomatic. So says he, "Slick, take this letter and deliver it to the minister, and give him some verbal explanations."

Well, down I goes, was announced and ushered in, and when he saw me, he looked me all over as a tailor does a man before he takes his measure. It made me hoppin' mad I tell you, for in a general way I don't allow any man to turn up his nose at me without having a shot at it. So when I sat down I spit into the fire, in a way to put it out amost, and he drew back and made a face, a leettle, just a leettle uglier than his natural one was.

"Bad habit," sais I, "that'of spittin', ain't it?" lookin' up at him as innocent as you please, and makin' a face exactly like his.

"Very," said he, and he gave a shudder.

Sais I, "I don't know whether you are aware of it or not, but most bad habits are catching."

"I should hope not," said he, and he drew a little further off.

"Fact," sais I; "now if you look long and often at a man that winks, it sets you a winkin'. If you see a fellow with a twitch in his face, you feel your cheek doin' the same, and stammerin' is catching too. Now I caught that habit at court, since I came to Europe. I dined wunst with the King of Prussia, when I was with our embassador on a visit at Berlin, and the King beats all natur in spittin', and the noise he makes aforehand is like clearin' a grate out with a poker, it's horrid. Well, that's not the worst of it, he uses that ugly German word for it, that vulgarians translate 'spitting.' Now some of our western people are compelled to chew a little tobacco, but like a broker tasting cheese, when testing wine, it is only done to be able to judge of the quality of the article, but even them unsophisticated, free, and enlightened citizens have an innate refinement about them. They never use that nasty word 'spitting,' but call it 'expressing the ambia.' Well, whenever his Majesty crosses my mind, I do the same out of clear sheer disgust. Some o' them sort of uppercrust people, I call them big bugs, think they can do as they like, and use the privilege of indulging those evil habits. When folks like the king do it, I call them 'High, low, jack, and the game.'"

Well, the stare he gave me would have made you die a larfin'. I never saw a man in my life look so skeywonaky. He knew it was true that the king had that custom, and it dumb-foundered him. He looked at me as much as to say, "Well, that is capital; the idea of a Yankee, who spits like a garden-engine, swearing it's a bad habit he larned in Europe, and a trick he got from dining with a king, is the richest thing I ever heard in my life. I must tell that to Palmerston."

But I didn't let him off so easy. In the course of talk, sais he:

"Mr Slick, is it true that in South Carolina, if a free nigger, on board of one of our vessels, lands there, he is put into jail until the ship sails?" and he looked good, as much as to say, "Thank heaven I ain't like that republican."

"It is," said I. "We consider a free nigger and a free Englishman on a parr; we imprison a free black, lest he should corrupt our slaves. The Duke of Tuscany imprisons a free Englishman, if he has a Bible in his possession, lest he should corrupt his slaves. It's upon the principle, that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

He didn't pursue the subject.

That's what I call brag for brag. We never allow any created critter, male or female, to go a-head of us in anything. I heard a lady say to embassador's wife once, in answer to her question, "how she was?"

"Oh, I am in such rude health, I have grown quite indecently stout."

Embassadress never heard them slang words before (for even high life has its slang), but she wouldn't be beat.

"Oh," said she, "all that will yield to exercise. Before I was married I was the rudest and most indecent gall in all Connecticut."

Well, an Irishman, with his elbow through his coat, and his shirt, if he has one, playing diggy-diggy-doubt from his trowsers, flourishes his shillalah over his head, and brags of the "Imirald Isle," and the most splindid pisantry in the world; a Scotchman boasts, that next to the devil and the royal owner of Etna, he is the richest proprietor of sulphur that ever was heard of; while a Frenchman, whose vanity exceeds both, has the modesty to call the English a nation of shopkeepers, the Yankees, canaille, and all the rest of the world beasts. Even John Chinaman swaggers about with his three tails, and calls foreigners "Barbarians." If we go a-head and speak out, do you do so, too. You have a right to do so. Hold the mirror to them, and your countrymen, too. It won't lie, that's a fact. They require it, I assure you. The way the just expectations of provincials have been disappointed, the loyal portion depressed, the turbulent petted, and the manner the feelings of all disregarded, the contempt that has accompanied concessions, the neglect that has followed devotion and self-sacrifice, and the extraordinary manner the just claims of the meritorious postponed to parliamentary support, has worked a change in the feelings of the people that the Downing Street officials cannot understand, or surely they would pursue a different course. They want to have the mirror held up to them.

I know they feel sore here about the picture my mirror gives them, and it's natural they should, especially comin' from a Yankee; and they call me a great bragger. But that's nothin' new; doctors do the same when a feller cures a poor wretch they have squeezed like a sponge, ruinated, and given up as past hope. They sing out Quack. But I don't care; I have a right to brag nationally and individually, and I'd be no good if I didn't take my own part. Now, though I say it that shouldn't say it, for I ain't afraid to speak out, the sketches I send you are from life; I paint things as you will find them and know them to be. I'll take a bet of a hundred dollars, ten people out of twelve in this country will recognise Jerry Boudrot's house who have never entered it, but who have seen others exactly like it, and will say, "I know who is meant by Jerry and his daughter and wife; I have often been there; it is at Clare or Arichat or Pumnico, or some such place or another."

Is that braggin'? Not a bit; it's only the naked fact. To my mind there is no vally in a sketch if it ain't true to nature. We needn't go searching about for strange people or strange things; life is full of them. There is queerer things happening every day than an author can imagine for the life of him. It takes a great many odd people to make a world, that's a fact. Now, if I describe a house that has an old hat in one window, and a pair of trousers in another, I don't stop to turn glazier, take 'em out and put whole glass in, nor make a garden where there is none, and put a large tree in the foreground for effect; but I take it as I find it, and I take people in the dress I find 'em in, and if I set 'em a talkin' I take their very words down. Nothing gives you a right idea of a country and its people like that.

There is always some interest in natur, where truly depicted. Minister used to say that some author (I think he said it was old Dictionary Johnson) remarked, that the life of any man, if wrote truly, would be interesting. I think so too; for every man has a story of his own, adventures of his own, and some things have happened to him that never happened to anybody else. People here abuse me for all this, they say, after all my boastin' I don't do 'em justice. But after you and I are dead and gone, and things have been changed, as it is to be hoped they will some day or another for the better, unless they are like their Acadian French neighbours, and intend to remain just as they are for two hundred and fifty years, then these sketches will be curious; and, as they are as true to life as a Dutch picture, it will be interestin' to see what sort of folks were here in 1854, how they lived, and how they employed themselves, and so on.

Now it's more than a hundred years ago since Smollett wrote, but his men and women were taken from real life, his sailors from the navy, his attorneys from the jails and criminal courts, and his fops and fine ladies from the herd of such cattle that he daily met with. Well, they are read now; I have 'em to home, and laugh till I cry over them. Why? Because natur is the same always. Although we didn't live a hundred years ago, we can see how the folks of that age did; and, although society is altered, and there are no Admiral Benbows, nor Hawser Trunnions, and folks don't travel in vans with canvas covers, or wear swords, and frequent taverns, and all that as they used to did to England; still it's a pictur of the times, and instructin' as well as amusin'. I have learned more how folks dressed, talked, and lived, and thought, and what sort of critters they were, and what the state of society, high and low, was then, from his books and Fielding's than any I know of. They are true to life, and as long as natur remains the same, which it always will, they will be read. That's my idea at least.

Some squeamish people turn up the whites of their peepers at both those authors and say they are coarse. How can they be otherwise? society was coarse. There are more veils worn now, but the devil still lurks in the eye under the veil. Things ain't talked of so openly, or done so openly, in modern as in old times. There is more concealment; and concealment is called delicacy. But where concealment is, the passions are excited by the difficulties imposed by society. Barriers are erected too high to scale, but every barrier has its wicket, its latch key, and its private door. Natur is natur still, and there is as much of that that is condemned in his books now, as there was then. There is a horrid sight of hypocrisy now, more than there was one hundred years ago; vice was audacious then, and scared folks. It ain't so bold at present as it used to did to be; but if it is forbid to enter the drawing-room, the back staircase is still free. Where there is a will there is a way, and always will be. I hate pretence, and, above all, mock modesty; it's a bad sign.

I knew a clergyman to home a monstrous pious man, and so delicate-minded, he altered a great many words and passages in the Church Service, he said he couldn't find it in his heart to read them out in meetin', and yet that fellow, to my sartain knowledge, was the greatest scamp in private life I ever knew. Gracious knows, I don't approbate coarseness, it shocks me, but narvous sensibility makes me sick. I like to call things by their right names, and I call a leg a leg, and not a larger limb; a shirt a shirt, though it is next the skin, and not a linen vestment; and a stocking a stocking, though it does reach up the leg, and not a silk hose; and a garter a garter, though it is above the calf, and not an elastic band or a hose suspender. A really modest woman was never squeamish. Fastidiousness is the envelope of indelicacy. To see harm in ordinary words betrays a knowledge, and not an ignorance of evil.

But that is neither here nor there, as I was sayin', when you are dead and gone these Journals of mine which you have edited, when mellowed by time, will let the hereafter-to-be Blue-noses, see what the has-been Nova Scotians here from '34 to '54 were. Now if something of the same kind had been done when Halifax was first settled a hundred years ago, what strange coons the old folks would seem to us. That state of society has passed away, as well as the actors. For instance, when the militia was embodied to do duty so late as the Duke of Kent's time, Ensign Lane's name was called on parade. "Not here," said Lieutenant Grover, "he is mending Sargent Street's breeches."

Many a queer thing occurred then that would make a queer book, I assure you. There is much that is characteristic both to be seen and heard in every harbour in this province, the right way is to jot all down. Every place has its standing topic. At Windsor it is the gypsum trade, the St John's steamer, the Halifax coach, and a new house that is building. In King's County it is export of potatoes, bullocks, and horses. At Annapolis, cord, wood, oars, staves, shingles, and agricultural produce of all kinds. At Digby, smoked herrings, fish weirs, and St John markets. At Yarmouth, foreign freights, berthing, rails, cat-heads, lower cheeks, wooden bolsters, and the crown, palm, and shank of anchors. At Shelburne, it is divided between fish, lumber, and the price of vessels. At Liverpool, ship-building, deals, and timber, knees, transums, and futtucks, pintles, keelsons, and moose lines. At Lunenburg, Jeddore, and Chesencook, the state of the market at the capital. At the other harbours further to the eastward, the coal trade and the fisheries engross most of the conversation. You hear continually of the fall run and the spring catch of mackerel that set in but don't stop to bait. The remarkable discovery of the French coasters, that was made fifty years ago, and still is as new and as fresh as ever, that when fish are plenty there is no salt, and when salt is abundant there are no fish, continually startles you with its novelty and importance. While you are both amused and instructed by learning the meaning of coal cakes, Albion tops, and what a Chesencooker delights in, "slack;" you also find out that a hundred tons of coal at Sydney means when it reaches Halifax one hundred and fifteen, and that West India, Mediterranean, and Brazilian fish are actually made on these shores. These local topics are greatly diversified by politics, which, like crowfoot and white-weed, abound everywhere.

Halifax has all sorts of talk. Now if you was writin' and not me, you would have to call it, to please the people, that flourishing great capital of the greatest colony of Great Britain, the town with the harbour, as you say of a feller who has a large handle to his face, the man with the nose, that place that is destined to be the London of America, which is a fact if it ever fulfils its destiny. The little scrubby dwarf spruces on the coast are destined not to be lofty pines, because that can't be in the natur of things, although some folks talk as if they expected it; but they are destined to be enormous trees, and although they havn't grown an inch the last fifty years, who can tell but they may exceed the expectations that has been formed of them? Yes, you would have to give it a shove, it wants it bad enough, and lay it on thick too, so as it will stick for one season.

It reminds me of a Yankee I met at New York wunst, he was disposin' of a new hydraulic cement he had invented. Now cements, either to resist fire or water, or to mend the most delicate china, or to stop a crack in a stove, is a thing I rather pride myself on. I make my own cement always, it is so much better than any I can buy.

Sais I, "What are your ingredients?"

"Yes," sais he, "tell you my secrets, let the cat out of the bag for you to catch by the tail. No, no," sais he, "excuse me, if you please."

It ryled me that, so I just steps up to him, as savage as a meat-axe, intendin' to throw him down-stairs, when the feller turned as pale as a rabbit's belly, I vow I could hardly help laughin', so I didn't touch him at all.

"But," sais I, "you and the cat in the bag may run to Old Nick and see which will get to him first, and say tag--I don't want the secret, for I don't believe you know it yourself. If I was to see a bit of the cement, and break it up myself, I'd tell you in a moment whether it was good for anything."

"Well," sais he, "I'll tell you;" and he gave me all the particulars.

Sais I, "It's no good, two important ingredients are wantin', and you haven't tempered it right, and it won't stick."

Sais he, "I guess it will stick till I leave the city, and that will answer me and my eends."

"No," sais I, "it won't, it will ruin you for ever, and injure the reputation of Connecticut among the nations of the airth. Come to me when I return to Slickville, and I will show you the proper thing in use, tested by experience, in tanks, in brick and stone walls, and in a small furnace. Give me two thousand dollars for the receipt, take out a patent, and your fortune is made."

"Well," sais he, "I will if it's all you say, for there is a great demand for the article, if it's only the true Jeremiah."

"Don't mind what I say," said I, "ask it what it says, there it is, go look at it."

Well, you would have to give these Haligonians a coat of white-wash that would stick till you leave the town. But that's your affair, and not mine. I hold the mirror truly, and don't flatter. Now, Halifax is a sizable place, and covers a good deal of ground, it is most as large as a piece of chalk, which will give a stranger a very good notion of it. It is the seat of government, and there are some very important officers there, judging by their titles. There are a receiver-general, an accountant-general, an attorney-general, a solicitor-general, a commissary-general, an assistant commissary-general, the general in command, the quartermaster-general, the adjutant-general, the vicar-general, surrogate-general, and postmaster-general. His Excellency the governor, and his Excellency the admiral. The master of the Rolls, their lordships the judges, the lord bishop, and the archbishop, archdeacon, secretary for the Home department, and a host of great men, with the handle of honourable to their names. Mayors, colonels, and captains, whether of the regulars or the militia, they don't count more than fore-cabin passengers. It ain't considered genteel for them to come abaft the paddle-wheel. Indeed, the quarter-deck wouldn't accommodate so many. Now, there is the same marvel about this small town that there was about the scholar's head--


"And still the wonder grew,
How one small head could carry all he knew."


Well, it is a wonder so many great men can be warm-clothed, bedded-down, and well stalled there, ain't it? But they are, and very comfortably, too. This is the upper crust; now the under crust consists of lawyers, doctors, merchants, army and navy folks, small officials, articled clerks, and so on. Well, in course such a town, I beg pardon, it is a city (which is more than Liverpool in England is), and has two cathedral churches, with so many grades, trades, blades, and pretty maids in it, the talk must be various. The military talk is professional, with tender reminiscences of home, and some little boasting, that they are suffering in their country's cause by being so long on foreign service at Halifax. The young swordknots that have just joined are brim full of ardour, and swear by Jove (the young heathens) it is too bad to be shut up in this vile hole (youngsters, take my advice, and don't let the town's-people hear that, or they will lynch you), instead of going to Constantinople.

"I say, Lennox, wouldn't that be jolly work?"

"Great work," says Lennox, "rum coves those Turks must be in the field, eh? The colonel is up to a thing or two; if he was knocked on the head, there would be such promotion, no one would lament him, but his dear wife and five lovely daughters, and they would be really distressed to lose him."

He don't check the youthful ardour, on the contrary, chimes in, and is in hopes he can make interest at the Horse-guards for the regiment to go yet, and then he gives a wink to the doctor, who was in the corps when he was a boy, as much as to say, "Old fellow, you and I have seen enough of the pleasures of campaigning in our day, eh! Doctor, that is good wine; but it's getting confounded dear lately; I don't mind it myself, but it makes the expense of the mess fall heavy upon the youngsters." The jolly subs look across the table and wink, for they know that's all bunkum.

"Doctor," sais a new hand, "do you know if Cargill has sold his orses. His leada is a cleverwish saut of thing, but the wheela is a riglar bute. That's a goodish orse the Admewall wides; I wonder if he is going to take him ome with him."

"Haven't heard--can't say. Jones, what's that thing that wont burn, do you know? Confound the thing, I have got it on the tip of my tongue too."

"Asphalt," sais Jones.

"No! that's not it; that's what wide-awakes are made of."

"Perhaps so," sais Gage, "ass'felt is very appropriate for a fool's cap."

At which there is a great roar.

"No; but really what is it?"

"Is it arbutus?" sais Simpkins, "I think they make it at Killarney--"

"No, no; oh! I have it, asbestos; well, that's what I believe the cigars here are made of--they won't go."

"There are a good many things here that are no go," sais Gage, "like Perry's bills on Coutts; but, Smith, where did you get that flash waistcoat I saw last night?"

"Oh! that was worked by a poor despairing girl at Bath, during a fit of the scarlet fever."

"It was a memento mori then, I suppose," replies the other.

But all the talk is not quite so frivolous. Opposite to that large stone edifice, is an old cannon standing on end at the corner of the street, to keep carriages from trespassing on the pavement, and the non-military assemble round it; they are civic great guns. They are discussing the great event of the season--the vote of want of confidence of last night, the resignation of the provincial ministry this morning, and the startling fact that the head upholsterer has been sent for to furnish a new cabinet, that won't warp with the heat and fly apart. It is very important news; it has been telegraphed to Washington, and was considered so alarming, the President was waked up to be informed of it. He rubbed his eyes and said:

"Well, I acknowledge the coin, you may take my hat. I hope I may be cow-hided if I knew they had a ministry. I thought they only had a governor, and a regiment for a constitution. Will it affect the stocks? How it will scare the Emperor of Rooshia, won't it?" and he roared so loud he nearly choked. That just shows (everybody regards the speaker with silence, for he is an oracle), says Omniscient Pitt.

That just shows how little the Yankees know and how little the English care about us. "If we want to be indepindent and respictable," sais an Hibernian magnate, "we must repale the Union." But what is this? here is a fellow tied hand and foot on a truck, which is conveying him to the police court, swearing and screaming horribly. What is the meaning of all that?

A little cynical old man, commonly called the major, looks knowing, puts on a quizzical expression, and touching his nose with the tip of his finger, says, "One of the new magistrates qualifying as he goes down to be sworn into office."

It makes the politicians smile, restores their equanimity, and they make room for another committee of safety. A little lower down the street, a mail-coach is starting for Windsor, and ten or fifteen men are assembled doing their utmost, and twenty or thirty boys helping them, to look at the passengers, but are unexpectedly relieved from their arduous duty by a military band at the head of a marching regiment.

Give me the bar though. I don't mean the bar-room, though there are some capital songs sung, and good stories told, and first-rate rises taken out of green ones, in that bar-room at the big hotel, but I mean the lawyers. They are the merriest and best fellows everywhere. They fight like prize-boxers in public and before all the world, and shake hands when they set to and after it's over. Preachers, on the contrary, write anonymous letters in newspapers, or let fly pamphlets at each other, and call ugly names. While doctors go from house to house insinuating, undermining, shrugging shoulders, turning up noses, and looking as amazed as when they was fust born into the world, at each other's prescriptions. Well, politicians are dirty birds too, they get up all sorts of lies against each other, and if any one lays an egg, t'other swears it was stole out of his nest. But lawyers are above all these tricks. As soon as court is ended, off they go arm-in-arm, as if they had both been fighting on one side. "I say, Blowem, that was a capital hit of yours, making old Gurdy swear he was king of the mountains."

"Not half as good as yours, Monk, telling the witness he couldn't be a partner, for the plaintiff had put in all the 'stock in hand,' and he had only put in his 'stock in feet.'"

They are full of stories, too, tragic as well as comic, picked up in the circuits.

"Jones, do you know Mc Farlane of Barney's River, a Presbyterian clergyman? He told me he was once in a remote district there where no minister had ever been, and visiting the house of a settler of Scotch descent, he began to examine the children.

"'Well, my man,' said he, patting on the shoulder a stout junk of a boy of about sixteen years of age, 'can you tell me what is the chief end of man?'

"'Yes, Sir,' said he. 'To pile and burn brush.'1


1 In clearing woodland, after the trees are chopped down and cut into convenient sizes for handling, they are piled into heaps and burned.


"'No it ain't,' said his sister.

"'Oh, but it is though,' replied the boy, 'for father told me so himself.'

"'No, no,' said the minister, 'it's not that; but perhaps, my dear,' addressing the girl, 'you can tell me what it is?'

"'Oh, yes, Sir,' said she, 'I can tell you, and so could John, but he never will think before he speaks.'

"'Well, what is it, dear?'

"'Why, the chief end of man, Sir, is his head and shoulders.'

"'Oh,' said a little lassie that was listening to the conversation, 'if you know all these things, Sir, can you tell me if Noah had any butterflies in the ark? I wonder how in the world he ever got hold of them! Many and many a beauty have I chased all day, and I never could catch one yet.'"

"I can tell you a better one than that," says Larry Hilliard. "Do you recollect old Hardwood, our under-sheriff? He has a very beautiful daughter, and she was married last week at St Paul's Church, to a lieutenant in the navy. There was such an immense crowd present (for they were considered the handsomest couple ever married there), that she got so confused she could hardly get through the responses. When the archdeacon said, 'Will you have this man to be your wedded husband?'

"'Yes,' she said, and made a slight pause; and then became bewildered, and got into her catechism. 'Yes,' she said, 'by God's grace I will, and I humbly thank my Heavenly Father for having brought me to this state of salvation.'

"It was lucky she spoke low, and that the people didn't distinctly hear her, but it nearly choaked the parson."

"Talking of church anecdotes," says Lawyer Martin, "reminds me of old Parson Byles, of St John's, New Brunswick. Before the American rebellion he was rector at Boston, and he had a curate who always preached against the Roman Catholics. It tickled the Puritans, but didn't injure the Papists, for there were none there at that time. For three successive Sundays he expounded the text, 'And Peter's wife's mother lay ill of a fever.'

"From which he inferred priests ought to marry. Shortly after that the bell was tolling one day, and somebody asked Dr Byles who was dead.

"Says he, and he looked solemcoly, shut one eye and winked with the other, as if he was trying to shut that also--'I rather think it is Peter's wife's mother, for she has been ill of a fever for three weeks.'"

There are charms in these little "home scenes," these little detached sketches, which are wholly lost in a large landscape.

There is one very redeeming property about the people. Although they differ widely in politics, I infer that they live in the greatest possible harmony together, from the fact that they speak of each other like members of the same family. The word Mr is laid aside as too cold and formal, and the whole Christian name as too ceremonious. Their most distinguished men speak of each other, and the public follow their example, as Joe A, or Jim B, or Bill C, or Tom D, or Fitz this, or Dick that. It sounds odd to strangers no doubt, but the inference that may be drawn from it is one of great amiability.

Still, in holding up the mirror, hold it up fairly, and take in all the groups, and not merely those that excite ridicule. Halifax has more real substantial wealth about it than any place of its size in America; wealth not amassed by reckless speculation, but by judicious enterprise, persevering industry, and consistent economy. In like manner there is better society in it than in any similar American or colonial town. A man must know the people to appreciate them. He must not merely judge by those whom he is accustomed to meet at the social board, for they are not always the best specimens anywhere, but by those also who prefer retirement, and a narrower circle, and rather avoid general society, as not suited to their tastes. The character of its mercantile men stands very high, and those that are engaged in professional pursuits are distinguished for their ability and integrity. In short, as a colonist, Squire, you may at least be satisfied to hear from a stranger like me, that they contrast so favourably with those who are sent officially among them from England, that they need not be ashamed to see themselves grouped with the best of them in the same mirror.

Yes, yes, Squire, every place has its queer people, queer talk, and queer grouping. I draw what is before me, and I can't go wrong. Now, if the sketcher introduces his own person into his foregrounds, and I guess I figure in all mine as large as life (for like a respectable man I never forget myself), he must take care he has a good likeness of his skuldiferous head, as well as a flattering one. Now, you may call it crackin' and braggin', and all that sort of a thing, if you please, but I must say, I allot that I look, sit, walk, stand, eat, drink, smoke, think, and talk, aye, and brag too, like a Yankee clockmaker, don't you? Yes, there is a decided and manifest improvement in the appearance of this province. When I say the province, I don't refer to Halifax alone, though there are folks there that think it stands for and represents the whole colony. I mean what I say in using that expression, which extends to the country at large--and I am glad to see this change, for I like it. And there is a still more decided and manifest improvement in the people, and I am glad of that too, for I like them also. Now, I'll tell you one great reason of this alteration. Blue-nose has seen himself as other folks see him, he has had "the mirror held up to him."






I had hardly entered these remarks in my Journal, and ascended the companion-ladder, when the doctor joined me in my quarter-deck walk, and said, "Mr Slick, what is your opinion of the state of these North American colonies?"

What a curious thing these coincidences are, Squire, ain't they? How often when you are speaking of a man, he unexpectedly makes his appearance, don't he? or if you are thinking of a subject, the person who is with you starts the same topic, or if you are a going to say a thing, he takes, as we say, the very words out of your mouth. It is something more than accident that, but what is it? Is it animal magnetism, or what is it? Well, I leave you to answer that question, for I can't.

"Their growth beats all. The way they are going ahead is a caution to them that live in Sleepy Hollow, a quiet little place the English call Downing Street. It astonishes them as a young turkey does a hen that has hatched it, thinking it was a chicken of her own. She don't know what in the world to make of the great long-legged, long-bodied critter, that is six times as large as herself, that has cheeks as red as if it drank brandy, an imperial as large as a Russian dragoon, eats all the food of the poultry-yard, takes a shocking sight of nursing when it is young, and gets as sarcy as the devil when it grows up."

"Yes," said he, "I am aware of its growth; but what do you suppose is the destiny of British North America?"

"Oh," sais I, "I could tell you if I was Colonial minister, because I should then have the power to guide that destiny. I know full well what ought to be done, and the importance of doing it soon, but I am not in the position to give them the right direction. No English statesmen have the information, the time, or the inclination to meddle with the subject. To get rid of the bother of them, they have given up all control and said to them, 'There is responsible government for you, now tortle off hum, and manage your own affairs.' Yes, yes, so far so good--they can manage their own domestic matters, but who is to manage their foreign affairs, as I said wunst to a member of parliament. They have outgrown colonial dependance; their minority is ended; their clerkship is out; they are of age now: they never did well in your house; they were put out to nurse at a distance; they had their schooling; they learnt figures early; they can add and multiply faster than you can to save your soul; and now they are uneasy. They have your name, for they are your children, but they are younger sons. The estate and all the honours go to the eldest, who resides at home. They know but little about their parents, further than that their bills have been liberally paid, but they have no personal acquaintance with you. You are tired of maintaining them, and they have too much pride and too much energy to continue to be a burden to you. They can and they will do for themselves.

"Have you ever thought of setting them up in business on their own account, or of taking them into partnership with yourself? In the course of nature they must form some connection soon. Shall they seek it with you or the States, or intermarry among themselves, and begin the world on their own hook? These are important questions, and they must be answered soon. Have you acquired their confidence and affection? What has been your manner to them? Do you treat them like your other younger children that remain at home? Them you put into your army and navy, place a sword in their hands and say, Distinguish yourselves, and the highest rewards are open to you; or you send them to the church or the bar, and say, A mitre or a coronet shall be the prize to contend for. If you prefer diplomacy, you shall be attaché to your elder brother. I will place the ladder before you; ascend it. If you like politics, I will place you in parliament, and if you have not talents sufficient for the House of Commons, you shall go out as governor of one of our colonies. Those appointments belong of right to them, but they can't help themselves at present. Get one while you can.

"Have you done this, or anything like it, for your children abroad? If you have, perhaps you will be kind enough to furnish me with some names, that I may mention them when I hear you accused of neglect. You are very hospitable and very considerate to strangers. The representative of any little insignificant German state, of the size of a Canadian township, has a place assigned him on state occasions. Do you ever show the same attention to the delegate of a colony, of infinitely more extent and value than Ireland? There can't be a doubt you have, though I have never heard of it. Such little trifles are matters of course, but still, as great interests are at stake, perhaps it would be as well to notice such things occasionally in the Gazette, for distant and humble relations are always touchy.

"Ah, Doctor," said I, "things can't and won't remain long as they are. England has three things among which to choose for her North American colonies:--First: Incorporation with herself, and representation in Parliament. Secondly: Independence. Thirdly: Annexation with the States. Instead of deliberating and selecting what will be most conducive to the interest of herself and her dependencies, she is allowing things to take their chance. Now, this is all very well in matters over which we have no control, because Providence directs things better than we can; but if one of these three alternatives is infinitely better than the other, and it is in our power to adopt it, it is the height of folly not to do so. I know it is said, for I have often heard it myself, Why, we can but lose the colonies at last. Pardon me, you can do more than that, for you can lose their affections also. If the partnership is to be dissolved, it had better be done by mutual consent, and it would be for the interest of both that you should part friends. You didn't shake hands with, but fists at, us when we separated. We had a stand-up fight, and you got licked, and wounds were given that the best part of a century hasn't healed, and wounds that will leave tender spots for ever; so don't talk nonsense.

"Now, Doctor, mark my words. I say again, things won't remain long as they are. I am glad I have you to talk to instead of the Squire, for he always says, I am chockfull of crotchets, and brimfull of brag. Now, it is easy, we all know, to prophesy a thing after it has happened, but if I foretell a thing and it comes out true, if I haven't a right to brag of my skill, I have a right to boast that I guessed right at all events. Now, when I set on foot a scheme for carrying the Atlantic mail in steamers, and calculated all the distances and chances, and showed them Bristol folks (for I went to that place on purpose) that it was shorter by thirty-six miles to come to Halifax, and then go to New York, than to go to New York direct, they just laughed at me, and so did the English Government. They said it couldn't be shorter in the nature of things. There was a captain in the navy to London too, who said, 'Mr Slick, you are wrong, and I think I ought to know something about it,' giving a toss of his head. 'Well,' sais I, with another toss of mine, 'I think you ought too, and I am sorry you don't, that's all.'

"Then the Squire said:--'Why, how you talk, Mr Slick! Recollect, if you please, that Doctor Lardner says that steam won't do to cross the Atlantic, and he is a great gun."

"'Well,' sais I, 'I don't care a fig for what Lardner says, or any other locomotive lecturer under the light of the living sun. If a steamer can go agin a stream, and a plaguy strong one too, two thousand five hundred miles up the Mississippi, why in natur can't it be fixed so as to go across the Atlantic?'

"Well, some time after that, my second Clockmaker came out in London, and, sais I, I'll stand or fall by my opinion, right or wrong, and I just put it body and breeches all down in figures in that book. Well, that set inquiries on foot, folks began to calculate--a tender was made and accepted, and now steam across the Atlantic is a fixed fact, and an old story. Our folks warn't over pleased about it, they consaited I should have told them first, so they might have taken the lead in it, as they like to go ahead of the British in all things, and I wish to goodness I had, for thanks are better nor jeers at any time.

"Well, I was right there, you see. So on this subject I have told Squire, and them who ought to know something of the colonies they rule, over and over again, and warned government that something was wanting to place these provinces on a proper permanent footing; that I knew the temper of colony folks better than they did, and you will find in my Journals the subject often mentioned. But no, a debate on a beer bill, or a metropolitan bridge, or a constabulary act, is so pressing, there is no time. Well, sure enough that's all come true. First, the Canadian league started up, it was a feverish symptom, and it subsided by good treatment, without letting blood. Last winter it was debated in the Legislature here, and the best and ablest speeches made on it ever heard in British America, and infinitely superior to the great majority of those uttered in the House of Commons.1 Do you suppose for a moment that proud-spirited, independent, able men like those members, will long endure the control of a Colonial minister, who, they feel, is as much below them in talent, as by accident he may be above them in rank? No, Sir, the day is past. The form of provincial government is changed, and with it provincial dependence also. When we become men, we must put away childish thing's.


1 All these speeches are well worth reading, especially those of Mr Howe, Mr Johnston, and Mr M. Wilkins. That of the former gentleman is incomparably superior to any one delivered during the last session of the Imperial Parliament.


"There is a sense of soreness that is uncomfortably felt by a colonist now when he surveys our condition, and that of Englishmen, and compares his own with it. He can hardly tell you what he wants, he has yet no definite plan: but he desires something that will place him on a perfect equality with either. When I was in Europe lately, I spent a day at Richmond, with one of them I had known out in America. He was a Tory, too, and a pretty staunch one, I tell you.

"Thinks I to myself, 'I'll put you through your paces a little, my young sucking Washington, for fear you will get out of practice when you get back.'

"So, sais I, 'how do you get on now? I suppose responsible government has put an end to all complaints, hain't it?'

"Sais he, 'Mr Slick,' and I saw he felt sore, for he looked like it, and talked like it; 'Mr Slick,' said he, 'kinder niblin' at the question, I have no remonstrance to make. There is something very repulsive in a complaint. I can't bear the sound of it myself. It should never be pronounced but in the ear of a doctor, or a police magistrate. Your man with a grievance is everywhere voted a bore. If he goes to the Colonial Office with one, that stout gentleman at the door, the porter, who has the keys of that realm of knowledge and bliss, and knows as much and has as many airs as his master, soon receives an order not to admit him.

"'Worn out with fatigue and disappointment, the unfortunate suitor finds at last his original grievance merged in the greater one, that he can obtain no hearing and no redress, and he returns to his own province, like Franklin, or the Australian delegate, with thoughts of deep revenge, and visions of a glorious revolution that shall set his countrymen free from foreign dominion. He goes a humble suppliant, he returns an implacable rebel. The restless Pole, who would rather play the part of a freebooting officer than an honest farmer, and who prefers even begging to labour, wanders over Europe and America, uttering execrations against all monarchs in general, and his own in particular, and, when you shake your head at his oft-told tale of fictitious patriotism, as he replaces his stereotyped memorial in his pocket, exhibits the handle of a stiletto, with a savage smile of unmistakeable scoundrelism.'

"'Poles loom large,' sais I, 'in the fogs of London, but they dwindle into poor sticks with us.'

"He was in no temper however to laugh. It was evident he felt deeply, but he was unwilling to exhibit the tender spot. 'The world, Sir,' he said, 'is full of grievances. Papineau's parliament mustered ninety-two of them at one time, and a Falmouth packet-ship actually foundered with its shifting cargo. What a pity it is that their worthlessness and lightness alone caused them to float! The English, who reverse every wholesome maxim, in this instance pursued their usual course. The sage advice, parcere subjectis, et debilare superbos, was disregarded. The loyalists suffered, the arrogant and turbulent triumphed. Every house, Sir, in the kingdom is infested with grievances. Fathers grieve over the extravagances of their sons, the giddiness of their daughters, and the ceaseless murmurs of their wives, while they in their turn unite in complaining of parental parsimony and meanness. Social intercourse I have long since given up, for I am tired of tedious narratives of the delinquencies of servants and the degeneracy of the times. I prefer large parties, where, although you know the smile hides the peevish temper, the aching heart, the jealous fear, and the wounded pride; yet it is such a great satisfaction to know there is a truce to complaints, that I prefer its many falsehoods to unceasing wailings over the sad realities of life.'

"This was no answer, but something to bluff me off. I saw he was unwilling to speak out, and that it was a mere effort to button up and evade the subject. So to draw him out, I said,

"'Well, there is one thing you can boast. Canada is the most valuable and beautiful appendage of the British Crown.'

"'England may boast of it as such,' he said, 'but I have no right to do so. I prefer being one of the pariahs of the empire, a mere colonist, having neither grade nor caste, without a country of my own, and without nationality. I am a humble man, and when I am asked where I come from, readily answer, the Chaudiere River. Where is that? Out of the world? Extra flammantia limina mundi. What is the name of your country? It is not a country, it is only a place. It is better to have no flag than a borrowed one. If I had one I should have to defend it. If it were wrested from me I should be disgraced, while my victorious enemy would be thanked by the Imperial Legislature, and rewarded by his sovereign. If I were triumphant, the affair would be deemed too small to merit a notice in the Gazette. He who called out the militia, and quelled amid a shower of balls the late rebellion, was knighted. He who assented amid a shower of eggs to a bill to indemnify the rebels, was created an earl. Now to pelt a governor-general with eggs is an overt act of treason, for it is an attempt to throw off the yoke. If therefore he was advanced in the peerage for remunerating traitors for their losses, he ought now to assent to another act for reimbursing the expenses of the exhausted stores of the poultry yards, and be made a marquis, unless the British see a difference between a rebel mob and an indignant crowd, between those whose life has been spent in hatching mischief, and those who desired to scare the foul birds from their nests.

"'If that man had been a colonist, the dispatch marked 'private' would have said, 'It sarved you right,' whereas it announced to him, 'You are one of us,' and to mark our approbation of your conduct, you may add one of these savoury missiles to your coat of arms, that others may be egged on to do their duty. Indeed, we couldn't well have a flag of our own. The Americans have a very appropriate and elegant one, containing stripes emblematical of their slaves, and stars to represent their free states, while a Connecticut goose typifies the good cheer of thanksgiving day. It is true we have the honour of fighting under that of England; but there is, as we have seen, this hard condition annexed to it, we must consent to be taxed, to reimburse the losses of those whom by our gallantry we subdue. If we take Sebastopol, we must pay for the damage we have done. We are not entitled to a separate flag, and I am afraid if we had one we should be subject to ridicule. A pure white ground would prefigure our snow drifts; a gull with outspread wings, our credulous qualities; and a few discoloured eggs, portray our celebrated missiles. But what sort of a flag would that be? No, Sir, these provinces should be united, and they would from their territorial extent, their commercial enterprise, their mineral wealth, their wonderful agricultural productions, and, above all, their intelligent, industrious, and still loyal population, in time form a nation second to none on earth, until then I prefer to be a citizen of the world.

"'I once asked an Indian where he lived, I meant of course where his camp was, but the question was too broad, and puzzled him. Stretching out his arm and describing a circle with his heel, he said, 'I live in all these woods!' Like him, I live in all this world. Those who, like the English and Americans, have appropriated so large a portion of it to themselves, may severally boast, if they think proper, of their respective governments and territories. My boast, Sir, is a peculiar one, that I have nothing to boast of.'

"'If such are your views,' I said, 'I must say, I do not understand that absurd act of firing your parliament house. It is, I assure you, reprobated everywhere. Our folks say your party commenced as old Hunkers1 and ended as Barnburners.'


1 "We have been requested to give a definition of this term, 'Old Hunkers.' Party nicknames are not often logically justified; and we can only say that that section of the late dominant party in this State (the democratic) which claims to be the more radical, progressive, reformatory, &c., bestowed the appellation of 'Old Hunker' on the other section, to indicate that it was distinguished by opposite qualities from those claimed for itself. We believe the title was also intended to indicate that those on whom it was conferred had an appetite for a large 'hunk' of the spoils, though we never could discover that they were peculiar in that. On the other hand, the opposite school was termed 'Barnburners,' in allusion to the story of an old Dutchman, who relieved himself of rats by burning his barns, which they infested--just like exterminating all banks and corporations to root out the abuses connected therewith. The fitness or unfitness of these family terms of endearment is none of our business."--NEW YORK TRIBUNE.


"That remark threw him off his guard; he rose up greatly agitated; his eyes flashed fire, and he extended out his arm as if he intended by gesticulation to give full force to what he was about to say. He stood in this attitude for a moment without uttering a word, when by a sudden effort he mastered himself, and took up his hat to walk out on the terrace and recover his composure.

"As he reached the door, he turned, and said:

"'The assenting to that infamous indemnity act, Mr Slick, and the still more disreputable manner in which it received the gubernational sanction, has produced an impression in Canada that no loyal man--' but he again checked himself, and left the sentence unfinished.

"I was sorry I had pushed him so hard, but the way he tried to evade the subject at first, the bitterness of his tone, and the excitement into which the allusion threw him, convinced me that the English neither know who their real friends in Canada are, nor how to retain their affections.

"When he returned, I said to him, 'I was only jesting about your having no grievances in Canada, and I regret having agitated you. I agree with you however that it is of no use to remonstrate with the English public. They won't listen to you. If you want to be heard, attract their attention, in the first instance, by talking of their own immediate concerns, and while they are regarding you with intense interest and anxiety, by a sleight of hand shift the dissolving view, and substitute a sketch of your own. For instance, says you, 'How is it the army in the Crimea had no tents in the autumn, and no huts in the winter--the hospitals no fittings, and the doctors no nurses or medicines? How is it disease and neglect have killed more men than the enemy? Why is England the laughing-stock of Russia, and the butt of French and Yankee ridicule? and how does it happen this country is filled with grief and humiliation from one end of it to the other? I will tell you. These affairs were managed by a branch of the Colonial Office. The minister for that department said to the army, as he did to the distant provinces, 'Manage your own affairs, and don't bother us.' Then pause and say, slowly and emphatically, 'You now have a taste of what we have endured in the colonies. The same incompetency has ruled over both.'"

"'Good heavens,' said he, 'Mr Slick. I wish you was one of us.'

"'Thank you for the compliment.' sais I. 'I feel flattered, I assure you; but, excuse me. I have no such ambition. I am content to be a humble Yankee clockmaker. A Colonial Office, in which there is not a single man that ever saw a colony, is not exactly the government to suit me. The moment I found my master knew less than I did, I quit his school and set up for myself.'

'Yes, my friend, the English want to have the mirror held up to them; but that is your business and not mine. It would be out of place for me. I am a Yankee, and politics are not my line; I have no turn for them, and I don't think I have the requisite knowledge of the subject for discussing it; but you have both, and I wonder you don't.

"Now, Doctor, you may judge from that conversation, and the deep feeling it exhibits, that men's thoughts are wandering in new channels. The great thing for a statesman is to direct them to the right one. I have said there were three courses to be considered; first, incorporation with England; secondly, independence; thirdly, annexation. The subject is too large for a quarter-deck walk, so I will only say a few words more. Let's begin with annexation first. The thinking, reflecting people among us don't want these provinces. We guess we are big enough already, and nothing but our great rivers, canals, railroads, and telegraphs (which, like skewers in a round of beef, fasten the unwieldy mass together) could possibly keep us united. Without them we should fall to pieces in no time. It's as much as they can keep all tight and snug now; but them skewers nor no others can tie a greater bulk than we have. Well, I don't think colonists want to be swamped in our vast republic either. So there ain't no great danger from that, unless the devil gits into us both, which, if a favourable chance offered, he is not onlikely to do. So let that pass. Secondly, as to incorporation. That is a grand idea, but it is almost too grand for John Bull's head, and a little grain too large for his pride. There are difficulties, and serious ones, in the way. It would require participation in the legislature, which would involve knocking off some of the Irish brigade to make room for your members; and there would be a hurrush at that, as O'Connell used to say, that would bang Banaghar. It would also involve an invasion of the upper house, for colonists won't take half a loaf now, I tell you; which would make some o' those gouty old lords fly round and scream like Mother Cary's chickens in a gale of wind; and then there would be the story of the national debt, and a participation in imperial taxes to adjust, and so on; but none of these difficulties are insuperable.

"A statesman with a clever head, a sound judgment, and a good heart, could adjust a scheme that would satisfy all; at least it would satisfy colonists by its justice, and reconcile the peers and the people of England by its expediency, for the day Great Britain parts with these colonies, depend upon it, she descends in the scale of nations most rapidly. India she may lose any day, for it is a government of opinion only. Australia will emancipate itself ere long, but these provinces she may and ought to retain.

"Thirdly, independence. This is better for her than annexation by a long chalk, and better for the colonies too, if I was allowed to spend my opinion on it; but if that is decided upon, something must be done soon. The way ought to be prepared for it by an immediate federative and legislative union of them all. It is of no use to consult their governors, they don't and they can't know anything of the country but its roads, lakes, rivers, and towns; but of the people they know nothing whatever. You might as well ask the steeple of a wooden church whether the sill that rests on the stone foundation is sound. They are too big according to their own absurd notions, too small in the eyes of colonists, and too far removed and unbending to know anything about it. What can a man learn in five years except the painful fact, that he knew nothing when he came, and knows as little when he leaves? He can form a better estimate of himself than when he landed, and returns a humbler, but not a wiser man; but that's all his schoolin' ends in. No, Sirree, it's only men like you and me who know the ins and outs of the people here."

"Don't say me," said the doctor, "for goodness' sake, for I know nothing about the inhabitants of these woods and waters, but the birds, the fish, and the beasts."

"Don't you include politicians," said I, "of all shades and colours, under the last genus? because I do, they are regular beasts of prey."

Well, he laughed; he said he didn't know nothing about them.

"Well," sais I, "I ain't so modest, I can tell you, for I do know. I am a clockmaker, and understand machinery. I know all about the wheels, pulleys, pendulum, balances, and so on, the length of the chain, and what is best of all, the way to wind 'em up, set 'em a going, and make 'em keep time. Now, Doctor, I'll tell you what neither the English nor the Yankees, nor the colonists themselves, know anything of, and that is about the extent and importance of these North American provinces under British rule. Take your pencil now, and write down a few facts I will give you, and when you are alone meditating, just chew on 'em.

"First--there are four millions of square miles of territory in them, whereas all Europe has but three millions some odd hundred thousands, and our almighty, everlastin' United States still less than that again. Canada alone is equal in size to Great Britain, France, and Prussia. The maritime provinces themselves cover a space as large as Holland, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland, all put together. The imports for 1853 were between ten and eleven millions, and the exports (ships sold included) between nine and ten millions. At the commencement of the American Revolution, when we first dared the English to fight us, we had but two and a half, these provinces now contain nearly three, and in half a century will reach the enormous amount of eighteen millions of inhabitants. The increase of population in the States is thirty-three per cent., in Canada sixty-eight. The united revenue is nearly a million and a half, and their shipping amounts to four hundred and fifty thousand tons.

"Now, take these facts and see what an empire is here, surely the best in climate, soil, mineral, and other productions in the world, and peopled by such a race as no other country under heaven can produce. No, Sir, here are the bundle of sticks, all they want is to be well united. How absurd it seems to us Yankees that England is both so ignorant and so blind to her own interests, as not to give her attention to this interesting portion of the empire, that in natural and commercial wealth is of infinitely more importance than half a dozen Wallachias and Moldavias, and in loyalty, intelligence, and enterprise, as far superior to turbulent Ireland as it is possible for one country to surpass another. However, Doctor, it's no affair of mine. I hate politics, and I hate talking figures. Sposin' we try a cigar, and some white satin."






"Doctor," sais I, as we ascended the deck the following morning, "I can't tell you how I have enjoyed these incidental runs on shore I have had during my cruise in the 'Black Hawk.' I am amazin' fond of the country, and bein' an early riser, I manage to lose none of its charms. I like to see the early streak in the east, and look on the glorious sky when the sun rises. I like everything about the country, and the people that live in it. The town is artificial, the country is natural. Whoever sees the peep of the morning in the city but a drowsy watchman, who waits for it to go to his bed? a nurse, that is counting the heavy hours, and longs to put out the unsnuffed candles, and take a cup of strong tea to keep her peepers open; or some houseless wretch, that is woke up from his nap on a door-step, by a punch in the ribs from the staff of a policeman, who begrudges the misfortunate critter a luxury he is deprived of himself, and asks him what he is a doin' of there, as if he didn't know he had nothin' to do nowhere, and tells him to mizzle off home, as if he took pleasure in reminding him he had none. Duty petrifies these critters' hearts harder than the grand marble porch stone that served for a couch, or the doorstep that was used for a pillow. Even the dogs turn in then, for they don't think it's necessary to mount guard any longer. Blinds and curtains are all down, and every livin' critter is asleep, breathing the nasty, hot, confined, unwholesome air of their bed-rooms, instead of inhaling the cool dewy breeze of heaven.

"Is it any wonder that the galls are thin, and pale, and delicate, and are so languid, they look as if they were givin' themselves airs, when all they want is air? or that the men complain of dyspepsy, and look hollow and unhealthy, having neither cheeks, stomach, nor thighs, and have to take bitters to get an appetite for their food, and pickles and red pepper to digest it? The sun is up, and has performed the first stage of his journey before the maid turns out, opens the front door, and takes a look up and down street, to see who is a stirrin'. Early risin' must be cheerfulsome, for she is very chipper, and throws some orange-peel at the shopman of their next neighbour, as a hint if he was to chase her, he would catch her behind the hall-door, as he did yesterday, after which she would show him into the supper-room, where the liquors and cakes are still standing as they were left last night.

"Yes, she is right to hide, for it is decent, if it ain't modest, seein' the way she has jumped into her clothes, and the danger there is of jumping out of them again. How can it be otherwise, when she has to get up so horrid early? It's all the fault of the vile milkman, who will come for fear his milk will get sour; and that beast, the iceman, who won't wait, for fear his ice will melt; and that stupid nigger who will brush the shoes then, he has so many to clean elsewhere.

"As she stands there, a woman ascends the step, and produces a basket from under her cloak, into which she looks carefully, examines its contents (some lace frills, tippets, and collars of her mistress, which she wore a few nights ago at a ball), and returns with something heavy in it, for the arm is extended in carrying it, and the stranger disappears. She still lingers, she is expecting some one. It is the postman, he gives her three or four letters, one of which is for herself. She reads it approvingly, and then carefully puts it into her bosom, but that won't retain it no how she can fix it, so she shifts it to her pocket. It is manifest Posty carries a verbal answer, for she talks very earnestly to him, and shakes hands with him at parting most cordially.

"It must be her turn for a ball to-night I reckon, for a carriage drives very rapidly to within three or four hundred yards of the house, and then crawls to the door so as not to disturb the family. A very fashionably-dressed maid is there (her mistress must be very kind to lend her such expensive head-gear, splendid jewelry, and costly and elegant toggery), and her beau is there with such a handsome moustache and becoming beard, and an exquisitely-worked chain that winds six or seven times round him, and hangs loose over his waistcoat, like a coil of golden cord. At a given signal, from the boss of the hack, who stands door in hand, the young lady gathers her clothes well up her drumsticks, and would you believe, two steps or springs only, like those of a kangaroo, take her into the house? It's a streak of light, and nothing more. It's lucky she is thin, for fat tames every critter that is foolish enough to wear it, and spoils agility.

"The beau takes it more leisurely. There are two epochs in a critter's life of intense happiness, first when he doffs the petticoats, pantellets, the hermaphrodite rig of a child, and mounts the jacket and trowsers of a boy; and the other is when that gives way to a 'long tail blue,' and a beard. He is then a man.

"The beau has reached this enviable age, and as he is full of admiration of himself, is generous enough to allow time to others to feast their eyes on him. So he takes it leisurely, his character, like that charming girl's, won't suffer if it is known they return with the cats in the morning; on the contrary, women, as they always do, the little fools, will think more of him. They make no allowance for one of their own sex, but they are very indulgent, indeed they are both blind and deaf, to the errors of the other. The fact is, if I didn't know it was only vindicating the honour of their sex, I vow I should think it was all envy of the gall who was so lucky, as to be unlucky; but I know better than that. If the owner of the house should be foolish enough to be up so early, or entirely take leave of his senses, and ask him why he was mousing about there, he flatters himself he is just the child to kick him. Indeed he feels inclined to flap his wings and crow. He is very proud. Celestina is in love with him, and tells him (but he knew that before) he is very handsome. He is a man, he has a beard as black as the ace of spades, is full dressed, and the world is before him. He thrashed a watchman last night, and now he has a drop in his eye, would fight the devil. He has succeeded in deceiving that gall, he has no more idea of marrying her than I have. It shows his power. He would give a dollar to crow, but suffers himself to be gently pushed out of the hall, and the door fastened behind him, amid such endearing expressions, that they would turn a fellow's head, even after his hair had grown gray. He then lights a cigar, gets up with the driver, and looks round with an air of triumph, as much as to say--'What would you give to be admired and as successful as I am?' and when he turns the next corner, he does actilly crow.

"Yes, yes, when the cat's away, the mice will play. Things ain't in a mess, and that house a hurrah's nest, is it? Time wears on, and the alternate gall must be a movin' now, for the other who was at the ball has gone to bed, and intends to have her by-daily head-ache if inquired for. To-night it will be her turn to dance, and to-morrow to sleep, so she cuts round considerable smart. Poor thing, the time is not far off when you will go to bed and not sleep, but it's only the child that burns its fingers that dreads the fire. In the mean time, set things to rights.

"The curtains are looped up, and the shutters folded back into the wall, and the rooms are sprinkled with tea-leaves, which are lightly swept up, and the dust left behind, where it ought to be, on the carpet,--that's all the use there is of a carpet, except you have got corns. And then the Venetians are let down to darken the rooms, and the windows are kept closed to keep out the flies, the dust, and the heat, and the flowers brought in and placed in the stands. And there is a beautiful temperature in the parlour, for it is the same air that was there a fortnight before. It is so hot, when the young ladies come down to breakfast, they can't eat, so they take nothing but a plate of buck-wheat cakes, and another of hot buttered rolls, a dozen of oysters, a pot of preserves, a cup of honey, and a few ears of Indian corn. They can't abide meat, it's too solid and heavy. It's so horrid warm it's impossible they can have an appetite, and even that little trifle makes them feel dyspeptic. They'll starve soon; what can be the matter? A glass of cool ginger pop, with ice, would be refreshing, and soda water is still better, it is too early for wine, and at any rate it's heating, besides being unscriptural.

"Well, the men look at their watches, and say they are in a hurry, and must be off for their counting-houses like wink, so they bolt. What a wonder it is the English common people call the stomach a bread-basket, for it has no meanin' there. They should have called it a meat-tray, for they are the boys for beef and mutton. But with us it's the identical thing. They clear the table in no time, it's a grand thing, for it saves the servants trouble. And a steak, and a dish of chops, added to what the ladies had, is grand. The best way to make a pie is to make it in the stomach. But flour fixins piping hot is the best, and as their disgestion ain't good, it is better to try a little of everything on table to see which best agrees with them. So down goes the Johnny cakes, Indian flappers, Lucy Neals, Hoe cakes--with toast, fine cookies, rice batter, Indian batter, Kentucky batter, flannel cakes, and clam fritters. Super-superior fine flour is the wholesomest thing in the world, and you can't have too much of it. It's grand for pastry, and that is as light and as flakey as snow when well made. How can it make paste inside of you and be wholesome? If you would believe some Yankee doctors you'd think it would make the stomach a regular glue pot. They pretend to tell you pap made of it will kill a baby as dead as a herring. But doctors must have some hidden thing to lay the blame of their ignorance on. Once when they didn't know what was the matter of a child, they said it was water in the brain, and now when it dies--oh, they say, the poor thing was killed by that pastry flour. But they be hanged. How can the best of anything that is good be bad? The only thing is to be sure a thing is best, and then go a-head with it.

"Well, when the men get to their offices, they are half roasted alive, and have to take ices to cool them, and then for fear the cold will heat them, they have to take brandy cock-tail to counteract it. So they keep up a sort of artificial fever and ague all day. The ice gives the one, and brandy the other, like shuttlecock and battledore. If they had walked down as they had ought to have done, in the cool of the morning, they would have avoided all this.

"How different it is now in the country, ain't it? What a glorious thing the sun-rise is! How beautiful the dew-spangled bushes, and the pearly drops they shed, are! How sweet and cool is the morning air, and how refreshing and bracing the light breeze is to the nerves that have been relaxed in warm repose! The new-ploughed earth, the snowy-headed clover, the wild flowers, the blooming trees, and the balsamic spruce, all exhale their fragrance to invite you forth. While the birds offer up their morning hymn, as if to proclaim that all things praise the Lord. The lowing herd remind you that they have kept their appointed time; and the freshening breezes, as they swell in the forest and awaken the sleeping leaves, seem to whisper, 'We too come with healing on our wings;' and the babbling brook, that it also has its mission to minister to your wants. Oh, morning in the country is a glorious thing, and it is impossible when one rises and walks forth and surveys the scene not to exclaim, 'God is good.'

"Oh, that early hour has health, vigour, and cheerfulness in it. How natural it seems to me, how familiar I am with everything it indicates! The dew tells me there will be no showers, the white frost warns me of its approach; and if that does not arrive in time, the sun instructs me to notice and remember, that if it rises bright and clear and soon disappears in a cloud, I must prepare for heavy rain. The birds and the animals all, all say, 'We too are cared for, and we have our foreknowledge, which we disclose by our conduct to you." The brooks too have meaning in their voices, and the southern sentinel proclaims aloud, 'Prepare.' And the western, 'All is well.'"

Oh, how well I know the face of nature! What pleasure I take as I commence my journey at this hour, to witness the rising of the mist in the autumn from the low grounds, and its pausing on the hill-tops, as if regretting the scene it was about to leave! And how I admire the little insect webs, that are spangled over the field at that time; and the partridge warming itself in the first gleam of sunshine it can discover on the road! The alder, as I descend into the glen, gives me notice that the first frost has visited him, as it always does, before others, to warn him that it has arrived to claim every leaf of the forest as its own. Oh, the country is the place for peace, health, beauty, and innocence. I love it, I was born in it. I lived the greater part of my life there, and I look forward to die in it.

"How different from town life is that of the country! There are duties to be performed in-door and out-door, and the inmates assemble round their breakfast-table, refreshed by sleep and invigorated by the cool air, partake of their simple, plain, and substantial meal, with the relish of health, cheerfulness, and appetite. The open window admits the fresh breeze, in happy ignorance of dust, noise, or fashionable darkness. The verandah defies rain or noon-day sun, and employment affords no room for complaint that the day is hot, the weather oppressive, the nerves weak, or the digestion enfeebled. There can be no happiness where there is an alternation of listlessness and excitement. They are the two extremes between which it resides, and that locality to my mind is the country. Care, disease, sorrow, and disappointment are common to both. They are the lot of humanity; but the children of mammon, and of God, bear them differently.

"I didn't intend to turn preacher, Doctor, but I do positively believe, if I hadn't a been a clockmaker, dear old Minister would have made me one. I don't allot, though, I would have taken in Slickville, for I actilly think I couldn't help waltzing with the galls, which would have put our folks into fits, or kept old Clay, clergymen like, to leave sinners behind me. I can't make out these puritan fellows, or evangelical boys, at all. To my mind, religion is a cheerful thing, intended to make us happy, not miserable; and that our faces, like that of nature, should be smiling, and that like birds we should sing and carol, and like lilies, we should be well arrayed, and not that our countenances should make folks believe we were chosen vessels, containing, not the milk of human kindness, but horrid sour vinegar and acid mothery grounds. Why, the very swamp behind our house is full of a plant called 'a gall's side-saddle.'1


1 This is the common name for the Sarracenia.


"Plague take them old Independents; I can't and never could understand them. I believe, if Bishop Laud had allowed them to sing through their noses, pray without gowns, and build chapels without steeples, they would have died out like Quakers, by being let alone. They wanted to make the state believe they were of consequence. If the state had treated them as if they were of no importance, they would have felt that too very soon. Opposition made them obstinate. They won't stick at nothing to carry their own ends.

"They made a law once in Connecticut that no man should ride or drive on a Sunday except to a conventicle. Well, an old Dutch governor of New York, when that was called New Amsterdam and belonged to Holland, once rode into the colony on horseback on a Sabbath day, pretty hard job it was too, for he was a very stout man, and a poor horseman. There were no wheel carriages in those days, and he had been used to home to travel in canal boats, and smoke at his ease; but he had to make the journey, and he did it, and he arrived just as the puritans were coming out of meeting, and going home, slowly, stately, and solemnly, to their cold dinner cooked the day before (for they didn't think it no harm to make servants work double tides on Saturday), their rule being to do anything of a week day, but nothing on the Sabbath.

"Well, it was an awful scandal this, and a dreadful violation of the blue laws of the young nation. Connecticut and New Amsterdam (New York) were nothing then but colonies; but the puritans owed no obedience to princes, and set up for themselves. The elders and ministry and learned men met on Monday to consider of this dreadful profanity of the Dutch governor. On the one hand it was argued, if he entered their state (for so they called it then) he was amenable to their laws, and ought to be cited, condemned, and put into the stocks, as an example to evil-doers. On the other hand, they got hold of a Dutch book on the Law of Nations, to cite agin him; but it was written in Latin, and although it contained all about it, they couldn't find the place, for their minister said there was no index to it. Well, it was said, if we are independent, so is he, and whoever heard of a king or a prince being put in the stocks? It bothered them, so they sent their Yankee governor to him to bully and threaten him, and see how he would take it, as we now do, at the present day, to Spain about Cuba, and England about your fisheries.

"Well, the governor made a long speech to him, read him a chapter in the Bible, and then expounded it, and told him they must put him in the stocks. All this time the Dutchman went on smoking, and blowing out great long puffs of tobacco. At last he paused, and said:

"'You be tamned. Stockum me--stockum teivel.' And he laid down his pipe, and with one hand took hold of their governor by the fore-top, and with the other drew a line across his forehead and said, 'Den I declare war, and Gooten Himmel! I shall scalp you all.'

"After delivering himself of that long speech, he poured out two glasses of Schiedam, drunk one himself, and offered the Yankee governor the other, who objected to the word Schiedam, as it terminated in a profane oath, with which, he said, the Dutch language was greatly defiled; but seeing it was also called Geneva, he would swallow it. Well, his high mightiness didn't understand him, but he opened his eyes like an owl and stared, and said, 'Dat is tam coot,' and the conference broke up.

"Well, it was the first visit of the Dutch governor, and they hoped it would be the last, so they passed it over. But his business was important, and it occupied him the whole week to settle it, and he took his leave on Saturday evening, and was to set out for home on Sunday again. Well, this was considered as adding insult to injury. What was to be done? Now it's very easy and very proper for us to sit down and condemn the Duke of Tuscany, who encourages pilgrims to go to shrines where marble statues weep blood, and cataliptic galls let flies walk over their eyes without winking, and yet imprisons an English lady for giving away the 'Pilgrim's Progress.' It's very wrong, no doubt, but it ain't very new after all. Ignorant and bigoted people always have persecuted, and always will to the end of the chapter. But what was to be done with his high mightiness, the Dutch governor? Well, they decided that it was not lawful to put him into the stocks; but that it was lawful to deprive him of the means of sinning. So one of the elders swapped horses with him, and when he started on the Sabbath, the critter was so lame after he went a mile, he had to return and wait till Monday.

"No, I don't understand these puritan folks; and I suppose if I had been a preacher they wouldn't have understood me. But I must get back to where I left off. I was a talkin' about the difference of life in town and in the country, and how in the world I got away, off from the subject, to the Dutch governor and them puritans, I don't know. When I say I love the country, I mean it in its fullest extent, not merely old settlements and rural districts, but the great unbroken forest. This is a taste, I believe, a man must have in early life. I don't think it can be acquired in middle age, any more than playin' marbles can, though old Elgin tried that game and made money at it. A man must know how to take care of himself, forage for himself, shelter himself, and cook for himself. It's no place for an epicure, because he can't carry his cook, and his spices, and sauces, and all that, with him. Still a man ought to know a goose from a gridiron; and if he wants to enjoy the sports of the flood and the forest, he should be able to help himself; and what he does he ought to do well. Fingers were made afore knives and forks; flat stones before bake-pans; crotched sticks before jacks; bark before tin; and chips before plates; and it's worth knowing how to use them or form them.

"It takes two or three years to build and finish a good house. A wigwam is knocked up in an hour; and as you have to be your own architect, carpenter, mason, and labourer, it's just as well to be handy as not. A critter that can't do that, hante the gumption of a bear who makes a den, a fox who makes a hole, or a bird that makes a nest, let alone a beaver, who is a dab at house building. No man can enjoy the woods that ain't up to these things. If he ain't, he had better stay to his hotel, where there is one servant to clean his shoes, another to brush his coat, a third to make his bed, a fourth to shave him, a fifth to cook for him, a sixth to wait on him, a seventh to wash for him, and half a dozen more for him to scold and bless all day. That's a place where he can go to bed, and get no sleep--go to dinner, and have no appetite--go to the window, and get no fresh air, but snuff up the perfume of drains, bar-rooms, and cooking ranges--suffer from heat, because he can't wear his coat, or from politeness, because he can't take it off--or go to the beach, where the sea breeze won't come, it's so far up the country, where the white sand will dazzle, and where there is no shade, because trees won't grow--or stand and throw stones into the water, and then jump in arter 'em in despair, and forget the way out. He'd better do anything than go to the woods.

"But if he can help himself like a man, oh, it's a glorious place. The ways of the forest are easy to learn, its nature is simple, and the cooking plain, while the fare is abundant. Fish for the catching, deer for the shooting, cool springs for the drinking, wood for the cutting, appetite for eating, and sleep that waits no wooing. It comes with the first star, and tarries till it fades into morning. For the time you are monarch of all you survey. No claimant forbids you; no bailiff haunts you; no thieves molest you; no fops annoy you. If the tempest rages without, you are secure in your lowly tent. Though it humbles in its fury the lofty pine, and uproots the stubborn oak, it passes harmlessly over you, and you feel for once you are a free and independent man. You realize a term which is a fiction in our constitution. Nor pride nor envy, hatred nor malice, rivalry nor strife is there. You are at peace with all the world, and the world is at peace with you. You own not its authority. You can worship God after your own fashion, and dread not the name of bigot, idolater, heretic, or schismatic. The forest is his temple--he is ever present, and the still small voice of your short and simple prayer seems more audible amid the silence that reigns around you. You feel that you are in the presence of your Creator, before whom you humble yourself, and not of man, before whom you clothe yourself with pride. Your very solitude seems to impress you with the belief that, though hidden from the world, you are more distinctly visible, and more individually an object of Divine protection, than any worthless atom like yourself ever could be in the midst of a multitude--a mere unit of millions. Yes, you are free to come, to go, to stay; your home is co-extensive with the wild woods. Perhaps it is better for a solitary retreat than a permanent home; still it forms a part of what I call the country.

"At Country Harbour we had a sample of the simple, plain, natural, unpretending way in which neighbours meet of an evening in the rural districts. But look at that house in the town, where we saw the family assembled at breakfast this morning, and see what is going on there to-night. It is the last party of the season. The family leave the city in a week for the country. What a delightful change from the heated air of a town-house, to the quiet retreat of an hotel at a watering-place, where there are only six hundred people collected. It is positively the very last party, and would have been given weeks ago, but everybody was engaged for so long a time a-head, there was no getting the fashionable folks to come. It is a charming ball. The old ladies are fully dressed, only they are so squeezed against the walls, their diamonds and pearls are hid. And the young ladies are so lightly dressed, they look lovely. And the old gentlemen seem so happy as they walk round the room, and smile on all the acquaintances of their early days; and tell every one they look so well, and their daughters are so handsome. It ain't possible they are bored, and they try not even to look so. And the room is so well lighted, and so well filled, perhaps a little too much so to leave space for the dancers; but yet not more so than is fashionable. And then the young gentlemen talk so enchantingly about Paris, and London, and Rome, and so disparagingly of home, it is quite refreshing to hear them. And they have been in such high society abroad, they ought to be well bred, for they know John Manners, and all the Manners family, and well informed in politics; for they know John Russell, who never says I'll be hanged if I do this or that, but I will be beheaded if I do; in allusion to one of his great ancestors who was as innocent of trying to subvert the constitution as he is. And they have often seen 'Albert, Albert, Prince of Wales, and all the royal family,' as they say in England for shortness. They have travelled with their eyes open, ears open, mouths open, and pockets open. They have heard, seen, tasted, and bought everything worth having. They are capital judges of wine, and that reminds them there is lots of the best in the next room; but they soon discover they can't have it in perfection in America. It has been nourished for the voyage, it has been fed with brandy. It is heady, for when they return to their fair friends, their hands are not quite steady, they are apt to spill things over the ladies dresses (but they are so good-natured, they only laugh; for they never wear a dress but wunst). And their eyes sparkle like jewels, and they look at their partners as if they would eat 'em up. And I guess they tell them so, for they start sometimes, and say:

"'Oh, well now, that's too bad! Why how you talk! Well, travellin' hasn't improved you?'

"But it must be a charming thing to be eat up, for they look delighted at the very idea of it; and their mammas seem pleased that they are so much to the taste of these travelled gentlemen.

"Well then, dancing is voted a bore by the handsomest couple in the room, and they sit apart, and the uninitiated think they are making love. And they talk so confidentially, and look so amused; they seem delighted with each other. But they are only criticising.

"'Who is pink skirt?'

"'Blue-nose Mary.'

"'What in the world do they call her Blue-nose for?'

"'It is a nickname for the Nova Scotians. Her father is one; he made his fortune by a diving-bell.'

"'Did he? Well, it's quite right then it should go with a belle.'

"'How very good! May I repeat that? You do say such clever things! And who is that pale girl that reminds you of brown holland, bleached white? She looks quite scriptural; she has a proud look and a high stomach.'

"'That's Rachael Scott, one of my very best friends. She is as good a girl as ever lived. My! I wish I was as rich as she is. I have only three hundred thousand dollars, but she will have four at her father's death if he don't bust and fail. But, dear me! how severe you are! I am quite afraid of you. I wonder what you will say of me when my back is turned!'

"'Shall I tell you?'

"'Yes, if it isn't too savage.'

"The hint about the money is not lost, for he is looking for a fortune, it saves the trouble of making one; and he whispers something in her ear that pleases her uncommonly, for she sais,

"'Ah now, the severest thing you can do is to flatter me that way.'

"They don't discourse of the company anymore; they have too much to say to each other of themselves now.

"'My! what a smash! what in the world is that?'

"'Nothing but a large mirror. It is lucky it is broken, for if the host saw himself in it, he might see the face of a fool.'

"'How uproariously those young men talk, and how loud the music is, and how confounded hot the room is! I must go home. But I must wait a moment till that noisy, tipsy boy is dragged down-stairs, and shoved into a hack.'

"And this is upstart life, is it? Yes, but there are changing scenes in life. Look at these rooms next morning. The chandelier is broken; the centre table upset, the curtains are ruined, the carpets are covered with ice-creams, jellies, blancmanges, and broken glass. And the elegant album, souvenirs, and autograph books, are all in the midst of this nasty mess.1 The couches are greasy, the silk ottoman shows it has been sat in since it met with an accident which was only a trifle, and there has been the devil to pay everywhere. A doctor is seen going into the house, and soon after a coffin is seen coming out. An unbidden guest, a disgusting levelling democrat came to that ball, how or when no one knew; but there he is and there he will remain for the rest of the summer. He has victimized one poor girl already, and is now strangling another. The yellow fever is there. Nature has sent her avenging angel. There is no safety but in flight.


1 Whoever thinks this description over-drawn, is referred to a remarkably clever work which lately appeared in New York, entitled "The Potiphar Papers." Mr Slick has evidently spared this class of society.


"Good gracious! if people will ape their superiors, why won't they imitate their elegance as well as their extravagance, and learn that it is the refinement alone, of the higher orders which in all countries distinguishes them from the rest of mankind? The decencies of life, when polished, become its brightest ornaments. Gold is a means, and not an end. It can do a great deal, still it can't do everything; and among others I guess it can't make a gentleman, or else California would be chock full of 'em. No, give me the country, and the folks that live in it, I say."






After having given vent to the foregoing lockrum, I took Jehosophat Bean's illustrated "Biography of the Eleven Hundred and Seven Illustrious American Heroes," and turned in to read a spell; but arter a while I lost sight of the heroes and their exploits, and I got into a wide spekilation on all sorts of subjects, and among the rest my mind wandered off to Jordan river, the Collingwood girls in particular, and Jessie and the doctor, and the Beaver-dam, and its inmates in general. I shall set down my musings as if I was thinking aloud.

I wonder, sais I to myself, whether Sophy and I shall be happy together, sposin' always, that she is willing to put her head into the yoke, for that's by no means sartain yet. I'll know better when I can study her more at leisure. Still matrimony is always a risk, where you don't know what sort of breaking a critter has had when young. Women in a general way don't look like the same critters when they are spliced, that they do before; matrimony, like sugar and water, has a nateral affinity for and tendency to acidity. The clear, beautiful, bright sunshine of the wedding morning is too apt to cloud over at twelve o'clock, and the afternoon to be cold, raw, and uncomfortable, or else the heat generates storms that fairly make the house shake, and the happy pair tremble again. Everybody knows the real, solid grounds which can alone make married life perfect. I should only prose if I was to state them, but I have an idea as cheerfulness is a great ingredient, a good climate has a vast deal to do with it, for who can be chirp in a bad one? Wedlock was first instituted in Paradise. Well, there must have been a charming climate there. It could not have been too hot, for Eve never used a parasol, or even a "kiss-me-quick," and Adam never complained, though he wore no clothes, that the sun blistered his skin. It couldn't have been wet, or they would have coughed all the time, like consumptive sheep, and it would have spoiled their garden, let alone giving them the chilblains and the snuffles. They didn't require umbrellas, uglies, fans, or India-rubber shoes. There was no such a thing as a stroke of the sun or a snow-drift there. The temperature must have been perfect, and connubial bliss, I allot, was rael jam up. The only thing that seemed wanting there, was for some one to drop in to tea now and then for Eve to have a good chat with, while Adam was a studyin' astronomy, or tryin' to invent a kettle that would stand fire; for women do like talking, that's a fact, and there are many little things they have to say to each other that no man has any right to hear, and if he did, he couldn't understand.

It's like a dodge Sally and I had to blind mother. Sally was for everlastingly leaving the keys about, and every time there was an inquiry about them, or a hunt for them, the old lady would read her a proper lecture. So at last she altered the name, and said, "Sam, wo is shlizel?" instead of Where is the key, and she tried all she could to find it out, but she couldn't for the life of her.

Yes, what can be expected of such a climate as Nova Scotia or England? Though the first can ripen Indian corn and the other can't, and that is a great test, I can tell you. It is hard to tell which of them is wuss, for both are bad enough, gracious knows, and yet the fools that live in them brag that their own beats all natur. If it is the former, well then thunder don't clear the weather as it does to the South, and the sun don't come out bright again at wunst and all natur look clear and tranquil and refreshed; and the flowers and roses don't hang their heads down coily for the breeze to brush the drops from their newly-painted leaves, and then hold up and look more lovely than ever; nor does the voice of song and merriment arise from every tree; nor fragrance and perfume fill the air, till you are tempted to say, Now did you ever see anything so charming as this? nor do you stroll out arm-in-arm (that is, sposin' you ain't in a nasty dirty horrid town), and feel pleased with the dear married gall and yourself, and all you see and hear, while you drink in pleasure with every sense--oh, it don't do that. Thunder unsettles everything for most a week, there seems no end to the gloom during these three or four days. You shiver if you don't make a fire, and if you do you are fairly roasted alive. It's all grumblin' and growlin' within, and all mud, slush, and slop outside. You are bored to death everywhere. And if it's English climate it is wuss still, because in Nova Scotia there is an end to all this at last, for the west wind blows towards the end of the week soft and cool and bracing, and sweeps away the clouds, and lays the dust and dries all up, and makes everything smile again. But if it is English it's unsettled and uncertain all the time. You can't depend on it for an hour. Now it rains, then it clears, after that the sun shines; but it rains too, both together, like hystericks, laughing and crying at the same time. The trees are loaded with water, and hold it like a sponge; touch a bough of one with your hat, and you are drowned in a shower-bath. There is no hope, for there is no end visible, and when there does seem a little glimpse of light, so as to make you think it is a going to relent, it wraps itself up in a foggy, drizzly mist, and sulks like anything.

In this country they have a warm summer, a magnificent autumn, a clear, cold, healthy winter, but no sort of spring at all. In England they have no summer and no winter.1 Now, in my opinion, that makes the difference in temper between the two races. The clear sky and bracing air here, when they do come, give the folks good spirits; but the extremes of heat and cold limit the time, and decrease the inclination for exercise. Still the people are good-natured, merry fellows. In England, the perpetual gloom of the sky affects the disposition of the men. America knows no such temper as exists in Britain. People here can't even form an idea of it. Folks often cut off their children there in their wills for half nothing, won't be reconciled to them on any terms, if they once displease them, and both they and their sons die game, and when death sends cards of invitation for the last assemblage of a family, they write declensions. There can't be much real love where there is no tenderness. A gloomy sky, stately houses, and a cold, formal people, make Cupid, like a bird of passage, spread his wings, and take flight to a more congenial climate.


1 I wonder what Mr Slick would say now, in 1855?


Castles have show-apartments, and the vulgar gaze with stupid wonder, and envy the owners. But there are rooms in them all, not exhibited. In them the imprisoned bird may occasionally be seen, as in the olden time, to flutter against the casement and pine in the gloom of its noble cage. There are chambers too in which grief, anger, jealousy, wounded pride, and disappointed ambition, pour out their sighs, their groans, and imprecations, unseen and unheard. The halls resound with mirth and revelry, and the eye grows dim with its glittering splendour; but amid all this ostentatious brilliancy, poor human nature refuses to be comforted with diamonds and pearls, or to acknowledge that happiness consists in gilded galleries, gay equipages, or fashionable parties. They are cold and artificial. The heart longs to discard this joyless pageantry, to surround itself with human affections, and only asks to love and be loved.

Still England is not wholly composed of castles and cottages, and there are very many happy homes in it, and thousands upon thousands of happy people in them, in spite of the melancholy climate, the destitution of the poor, and the luxury of the rich. God is good. He is not only merciful, but a just judge. He equalizes the condition of all. The industrious poor man is content, for he relies on Providence and his own exertions for his daily bread. He earns his food, and his labour gives him a zest for it. Ambition craves, and is never satisfied, one is poor amid his prodigal wealth, the other rich in his frugal poverty. No man is rich whose expenditure exceeds his means; and no one is poor whose incomings exceeds his outgoings. Barring such things as climate, over which we have no control, happiness, in my idea, consists in the mind, and not in the purse. These are plain common truths, and everybody will tell you there is nothing new in them, just as if there was anything new under the sun but my wooden clocks, and yet they only say so because they can't deny them, for who acts as if he ever heard of them before. Now, if they do know them, why the plague don't they regulate their timepieces by them? If they did, matrimony wouldn't make such an everlastin' transmogrification of folks as it does, would it?

The way cupidists scratch their head and open their eyes and stare after they are married, reminds me of Felix Culpepper. He was a judge at Saint Lewis, on the Mississippi, and the lawyers used to talk gibberish to him, yougerry, eyegerry, iggery, ogerry, and tell him it was Littleton's Norman French and Law Latin. It fairly onfakilised him. Wedlock works just such changes on folks sometimes. It makes me laugh, and then it fairly scares me.

Sophy, dear, how will you and I get on, eh? The Lord only knows, but you are an uncommon sensible gall, and people tell me till I begin to believe it myself, that I have some common sense, so we must try to learn the chart of life, so as to avoid those sunk rocks so many people make shipwreck on. I have often asked myself the reason of all this onsartainty. Let us jist see how folks talk and think, and decide on this subject. First and foremost they have got a great many cant terms, and you can judge a good deal from them. There is the honeymoon, now, was there ever such a silly word as that? Minister said the Dutch at New Amsterdam, as they used to call New York, brought out the word to America, for all the friends of the new married couple, in Holland, did nothing for a whole month but smoke, drink metheglin (a tipple made of honey and gin), and they called that bender the honeymoon; since then the word has remained, though metheglin is forgot for something better.

Well, when a couple is married now, they give up a whole month to each other, what an everlastin' sacrifice, ain't it, out of a man's short life? The reason is, they say, the metheglin gets sour after that, and ain't palatable no more, and what is left of it is used for picklin' cucumbers, peppers, and nastertions, and what not. Now, as Brother Eldad, the doctor, says, let us dissect this phrase, and find out what one whole moon means, and then we shall understand what this wonderful thing is. The new moon now, as a body might say, ain't nothing. It's just two small lines of a semicircle, like half a wheel, with a little strip of white in it, about as big as a cart tire, and it sets a little after sundown; and as it gives no light, you must either use a candle or go to bed in the dark: now that's the first week, and it's no great shakes to brag on, is it? Well, then there is the first quarter, and calling that the first which ought to be second, unless the moon has only three quarters, which sounds odd, shows that the new moon counts for nothin'. Well, the first quarter is something like the thing, though not the real genuine article either. It's better than the other, but its light don't quite satisfy us neither. Well, then comes the full moon, and that is all there is, as one may say. Now, neither the moon nor nothin' else can be more than full, and when you have got all, there is nothing more to expect. But a man must be a blockhead, indeed, to expect the moon to remain one minute after it is full, as every night clips a little bit off, till there is a considerable junk gone by the time the week is out, and what is worse, every night there is more and more darkness afore it rises. It comes reluctant, and when it does arrive it hante long to stay, for the last quarter takes its turn at the lantern. That only rises a little afore the sun, as if it was ashamed to be caught napping at that hour--that quarter therefore is nearly as dark as ink. So you see the new and last quarter go for nothing; that everybody will admit. The first ain't much better, but the last half of that quarter and the first of the full, make a very decent respectable week.

Well, then, what's all this when it's fried? Why, it amounts to this, that if there is any resemblance between a lunar and a lunatic month, that the honeymoon lasts only one good week.

Don't be skeared, Sophy, when you read this, because we must look things in the face and call them by their right name.

Well, then, let us call it the honey-week. Now if it takes a whole month to make one honey-week, it must cut to waste terribly, mustn't it? But then you know a man can't wive and thrive the same year. Now wastin' so much of that precious month is terrible, ain't it? But oh me, bad as it is, it ain't the worst of it. There is no insurance office for happiness, there is no policy to be had to cover losses--you must bear them all yourself. Now suppose, just suppose for one moment, and positively such things have happened before now, they have indeed; I have known them occur more than once or twice myself among my own friends, fact, I assure you. Suppose now that week is cold, cloudy, or uncomfortable, where is the honeymoon then? Recollect there is only one of them, there ain't two. You can't say it rained cats and dogs this week, let us try the next; you can't do that, it's over and gone for ever. Well, if you begin life with disappointment, it is apt to end in despair.

Now, Sophy, dear, as I said before, don't get skittish at seeing this, and start and race off and vow you won't ever let the halter be put on you, for I kinder sorter guess that, with your sweet temper, good sense, and lovin' heart, and with the light-hand I have for a rein, our honeymoon will last through life. We will give up that silly word, that foolish boys and girls use without knowing its meanin', and we will count by years and not by months, and we won't expect, what neither marriage nor any other earthly thing can give, perfect happiness. It tante in the nature of things, and don't stand to reason, that earth is Heaven, Slickville paradise, or you and me angels; we ain't no such a thing. If you was, most likely the first eastwardly wind (and though it is a painful thing to confess it, I must candidly admit there is an eastwardly wind sometimes to my place to home), why you would just up wings and off to the sky like wink, and say you didn't like the land of the puritans, it was just like themselves, cold, hard, uncongenial, and repulsive; and what should I do? Why most likely remain behind, for there is no marrying or giving in marriage up there.

No, no, dear, if you are an angel, and positively you are amazingly like one, why the first time I catch you asleep I will clip your wings and keep you here with me, until we are both ready to start together. We won't hope for too much, nor fret for trifles, will we? These two things are the greatest maxims in life I know of. When I was a boy I used to call them commandments, but I got such a lecture for that, and felt so sorry for it afterwards, I never did again, nor will as long as I live. Oh, dear, I shall never forget the lesson poor dear old Minister taught me on that occasion.

There was a thanksgiving ball wunst to Slickville, and I wanted to go, but I had no clothes suitable for such an occasion as that, and father said it would cost more than it was worth to rig me out for it, so I had to stop at home. Sais Mr Hopewell to me,

"Sam," said he, "don't fret about it, you will find it 'all the same a year hence.' As that holds good in most things, don't it show us the folly now of those trifles we set our hearts on, when in one short year they will be disregarded or forgotten?"

"Never fear," said I, "I am not a going to break the twelfth commandment."

"Twelfth commandment," said he, repeatin' the words slowly, laying down his book, taking off his spectacles, and lookin' hard at me, almost onfakilised. "Twelfth commandment, did I hear right, Sam," said he, "did you say that?"

Well, I saw there was a squall rising to windward, but boy like, instead of shortening sail, and taking down royals and topgallant masts, and making all snug, I just braved it out, and prepared to meet the blast with every inch of canvas set. "Yes, Sir," said I, "the twelfth."

"Dear me," said he, "poor boy, that is my fault. I really thought you knew there were only ten, and had them by heart years ago. They were among the first things I taught you. How on earth could you have forgotten them so soon? Repeat them to me."

Well, I went through them all, down to "anything that is his," to ampersand without making a single stop.

"Sam," said he, "don't do it again, that's a good soul, for it frightens me. I thought I must have neglected you."

"Well," sais I, "there are two more, Sir."

"Two more," he said, "why what under the sun do you mean? what are they?"

"Why," sais I, "the eleventh is, 'Expect nothin', and you shall not be disappointed,' and the twelfth is, 'Fret not thy gizzard.'"

"And pray, Sir," said he, lookin' thunder-squalls at me, "where did you learn them?"

"From Major Zeb Vidito," said I.

"Major Zeb Vidito," he replied, "is the greatest reprobate in the army. He is the wretch who boasts that he fears neither God, man, nor devil. Go, my son, gather up your books, and go home. You can return to your father. My poor house has no room in it for Major Zeb Vidito, or his pupil, Sam Slick, or any such profane wicked people, and may the Lord have mercy on you."

Well, to make a long story short, it brought me to my bearings that. I had to heave to, lower a boat, send a white flag to him, beg pardon, and so on, and we knocked up a treaty of peace, and made friends again.

"I won't say no more about it, Sam," said he, "but mind my words, and apply your experience to it afterwards in life, and see if I ain't right. Crime has but two travelling companions. It commences its journey with the scoffer, and ends it with the blasphemer: not that talking irreverently ain't very improper in itself, but it destroys the sense of right and wrong, and prepares the way for sin."

Now, I won't call these commandments, for the old man was right, it's no way to talk, I'll call them maxims. Now, we won't expect too much, nor fret over trifles, will we, Sophy? It takes a great deal to make happiness, for everything must be in tune like a piano; but it takes very little to spoil it. Fancy a bride now having a tooth-ache, or a swelled face during the honeymoon--in courtship she won't show, but in marriage she can't help it,--or a felon on her finger (it is to be hoped she hain't given her hand to one); or fancy now; just fancy, a hooping-cough caught in the cold church, that causes her to make a noise like drowning, a great gurgling in-draught, and a great out-blowing, like a young sporting porpoise, and instead of being all alone with her own dear husband, to have to admit the horrid doctor, and take draughts that make her breath as hot as steam, and submit to have nauseous garlic and brandy rubbed on her breast, spine, palms of her hands, and soles of her feet, that makes the bridegroom, every time he comes near her to ask her how she is, sneeze, as if he was catching it himself. He don't say to himself in an under-tone damn it, how unlucky this is. Of course not; he is too happy to swear, if he ain't too good, as he ought to be; and she don't say, eigh--augh, like a donkey, for they have the hooping-cough all the year round; "dear love, eigh--augh, how wretched this is, ain't it? eigh--augh," of course not; how can she be wretched? Ain't it her honeymoon? and ain't she as happy as a bride can be, though she does eigh--augh her slippers up amost. But it won't last long, she feels sure it won't, she is better now, the doctor says it will be soon over; yes, but the honeymoon will be over too, and it don't come like Christmas, once a-year. When it expires, like a dying swan, it sings its own funeral hymn.

Well, then fancy, just fancy, when she gets well, and looks as chipper as a canary-bird, though not quite so yaller from the effects of the cold, that the bridegroom has his turn, and is taken down with the acute rheumatism, and can't move, tack nor sheet, and has camphor, turpentine, and hot embrocations of all sorts and kinds applied to him, till his room has the identical perfume of a druggist's shop, while he screams if he ain't moved, and yells if he is, and his temper peeps out. It don't break out of course, for he is a happy man; but it just peeps out as a masculine he-angel's would if he was tortured.

The fact is, lookin' at life, with its false notions, false hopes, and false promises, my wonder is, not that married folks don't get on better, but that they get on as well as they do. If they regard matrimony as a lottery, is it any wonder more blanks than prizes turn up on the wheel? Now, my idea of mating a man is, that it is the same as matching a horse; the mate ought to have the same spirit, the same action, the same temper, and the same training. Each should do his part, or else one soon becomes strained, sprained, and spavined, or broken-winded, and that one is about the best in a general way that suffers the most.

Don't be shocked at the comparison; but to my mind a splendiferous woman and a first chop horse is the noblest works of creation. They take the rag off the bush quite; a woman "that will come" and a horse that "will go" ought to make any man happy. Give me a gall that all I have to say to is, "Quick, pick up chips and call your father to dinner," and a horse that enables you to say, "I am thar." That's all I ask. Now just look at the different sorts of love-making in this world. First, there is boy and gall love; they are practising the gamut, and a great bore it is to hear and see them; but poor little things, their whole heart and soul is in it, as they were the year before on a doll or a top. They don't know a heart from a gizzard, and if you ask them what a soul is, they will say it is the dear sweet soul they love. It begins when they enter the dancing-school, and ends when they go out into the world; but after all, I believe it is the only real romance in life.

Then there is young maturity love, and what is that half the time based on? vanity, vanity, and the deuce a thing else. The young lady is handsome, no, that's not the word, she is beautiful, and is a belle, and all the young fellows are in her train. To win the prize is an object of ambition. The gentleman rides well, hunts and shoots well, and does everything well, and moreover he is a fancy man, and all the girls admire him. It is a great thing to conquer the hero, ain't it? and distance all her companions; and it is a proud thing for him to win the prize from higher, richer, and more distinguished men than himself. It is the triumph of the two sexes. They are allowed to be the handsomest couple ever married in that church. What an elegant man, what a lovely woman, what a splendid bride! they seem made for each other! how happy they both are, eyes can't show--words can't express it; they are the admiration of all.

If it is in England, they have two courses of pleasure before them--to retire to a country-house or to travel. The latter is a great bore, it exposes people, it is very annoying to be stared at. Solitude is the thing. They are all the world to each other, what do they desire beyond it--what more can they ask? They are quite happy. How long does it last? for they have no resources beyond excitement. Why, it lasts till the first juicy day comes, and that comes soon in England, and the bridegroom don't get up and look out of the window, on the cloudy sky, the falling rain, and the inundated meadows, and think to himself, "Well, this is too much bush, ain't it? I wonder what de Courcy and de Lacy and de Devilcourt are about to-day?" and then turn round with a yawn that nearly dislocates his jaw. Not a bit of it. He is the most happy man in England, and his wife is an angel, and he don't throw himself down on a sofa and wish they were back in town. It ain't natural he should; and she don't say, "Charles, you look dull, dear," nor he reply, "Well, to tell you the truth, it is devilish dull here, that's a fact," nor she say, "Why, you are very complimentary," nor he rejoin, "No, I don't mean it as a compliment, but to state it as a fact, what that Yankee, what is his name? Sam Slick, or Jim Crow, or Uncle Tom, or somebody or another calls an established fact!" Her eyes don't fill with tears at that, nor does she retire to her room and pout and have a good cry; why should she? she is so happy, and when the honied honeymoon is over, they will return to town, and all will be sunshine once more.

But there is one little thing both of them forget, which they find out when they do return. They have rather just a little overlooked or undervalued means, and they can't keep such an establishment as they desire, or equal to their former friends. They are both no longer single. He is not asked so often where he used to be, nor courted and flattered as he lately was; and she is a married woman now, and the beaus no longer cluster around her. Each one thinks the other the cause of this dreadful change. It was the imprudent and unfortunate match did it. Affection was sacrificed to pride, and that deity can't and won't help them, but takes pleasure in tormenting them. First comes coldness, and then estrangement; after that words ensue, that don't sound like the voice of true love, and they fish on their own hook, seek their own remedy, take their own road, and one or the other, perhaps both, find that road leads to the devil.

Then, there is the "ring-fence match," which happens everywhere. Two estates, or plantations, or farms adjoin, and there is an only son in one, and an only daughter in the other; and the world, and fathers, and mothers, think what a suitable match it would be, and what a grand thing a ring-fence is, and they cook it up in the most fashionable style, and the parties most concerned take no interest in it, and, having nothing particular to object to, marry. Well, strange to say, half the time it don't turn out bad, for as they don't expect much, they can't be much disappointed. They get after a while to love each other from habit; and finding qualities they didn't look for, end by getting amazin' fond of each other.

Next is a cash match. Well, that's a cheat. It begins in dissimulation, and ends in detection and punishment. I don't pity the parties; it serves them right. They meet without pleasure, and part without pain. The first time I went to Nova Scotia to vend clocks, I fell in with a German officer, who married a woman with a large fortune; she had as much as three hundred pounds. He could never speak of it without getting up, walking round the room, rubbing his hands, and smacking his lips. The greatest man he ever saw, his own prince, had only five hundred a-year, and his daughters had to select and buy the chickens, wipe the glasses, starch their own muslins, and see the fine soap made. One half of them were Protestants, and the other half Catholics, so as to bait the hooks for royal fish of either creed. They were poor and proud, but he hadn't a morsel of pride in him, for he had condescended to marry the daughter of a staff surgeon; and she warn't poor, for she had three hundred pounds. He couldn't think of nothin' but his fortune. He spent the most of his time in building castles, not in Germany, but in the air, for they cost nothing. He used to delight to go marooning1 for a day or two in Maitland settlement, where old soldiers are located, and measured every man he met by the gauge of his purse. "Dat poor teevil," he would say, "is wort twenty pounds, well, I am good for tree hundred, in gold and silver, and provinch notes, and de mortgage on Burkit Crowse's farm for twenty-five pounds ten shillings and eleven pence halfpenny--fifteen times as much as he is, pesides ten pounds interest." If he rode a horse, he calculated now many he could purchase; and he found they would make an everlastin' cahoot.2 If he sailed in a boat, he counted the flotilla he could buy; and at last he used to think, "Vell now, if my vrow would go to de depot (graveyard) vat is near to de church, Goten Himmel, mid my fortune I could marry any pody I liked, who had shtock of cattle, shtock of clothes, and shtock in de Bank, pesides farms and foresht lands, and dyke lands, and meadow lands, and vind-mill and vater-mill; but dere is no chanse she shall die, for I was dirty (thirty) when I married her, and she was dirty-too (thirty-two). Tree hundred pounds! Vell, it's a great shum; but vat shall I do mid it? If I leave him mid a lawyer, he say, Mr Von Sheik, you gub it to me. If I put him into de pank, den de ting shall break, and my forten go smash, squash--vot dey call von shilling in de pound. If I lock him up, den soldier steal and desert away, and conetry people shall hide him, and I will not find him no more. I shall mortgage it on a farm. I feel vary goot, vary pig, and vary rich. If I would not lose my bay and commission, I would kick de colonel, kiss his vife, and put my cane thro' his vinder. I don't care von damn for nopoty no more."


1 Marooning differs from pic-nicing in this--the former continues several days, the other lasts but one.

2 Cahoot is one of the new coinage, and in Mexico, means a band or cavalcade.


Well, his wife soon after that took a day and died; and he followed her to the grave. It was the first time he ever gave her precedence, for he was a disciplinarian; he knew the difference of "rank and file," and liked to give the word of command, "Rear rank, take open order--march!" Well, I condoled with him about his loss. Sais he: "Mr Shlick, I did'nt lose much by her: the soldier carry her per order, de pand play for noting, and de crape on de arm came from her ponnet."

"But the loss of your wife?" said I.

Well, that excited him, and he began to talk Hessian. "Jubes renovare dolorem," said he.

"I don't understand High Dutch," sais I, "when it's spoke so almighty fast."

"It's a ted language," said he.

I was a goin' to tell him I didn't know the dead had any language, but I bit in my breath.

"Mr Shlick," said he, "de vife is gone" (and clapping his waistcoat pocket with his hand, and grinning like a chissy cat), he added, "but de monish remain."

Yes, such fellows as Von Sheik don't call this ecclesiastical and civil contract, wedlock. They use a word that expresses their meaning better--matri-money. Well, even money ain't all gold, for there are two hundred and forty nasty, dirty, mulatto-looking copper pennies in a sovereign; and they have the affectation to call the filthy incrustation, if they happen to be ancient coin, verd-antique. Well, fine words are like fine dresses; one often covers ideas that ain't nice, and the other sometimes conceals garments that are a little the worse for wear. Ambition is just as poor a motive. It can only be gratified at the expense of a journey over a rough road, and he is a fool who travels it by a borrowed light, and generally finds he takes a rise out of himself.

Then there is a class like Von Sheik, "who feel so pig and so hugeaciously grandiferous," they look on a wife's fortune with contempt. The independent man scorns connection, station, and money. He has got all three, and more of each than is sufficient for a dozen men. He regards with utter indifference the opinion of the world, and its false notions of life. He can afford to please himself; he does not stoop if he marries beneath his own rank; for he is able to elevate any wife to his. He is a great admirer of beauty, which is confined to no circle and no region. The world is before him, and he will select a woman to gratify himself and not another. He has the right and ability to do so, and he fulfils his intention. Now an independent man is an immoveable one until he is proved, and a soldier is brave until the day of trial comes. He however is independent and brave enough to set the opinion of the world at defiance, and he marries. Until then society is passive, but when defied and disobeyed, it is active, bitter, and relentless.

The conflict is only commenced--marrying is merely firing the first gun. The battle has yet to be fought. If he can do without the world, the world can do without him, but, if he enters it again bride in hand, he must fight his way inch by inch, and step by step. She is slighted and he is stung to the quick. She is ridiculed and he is mortified to death. He is able to meet open resistance, but he is for ever in dread of an ambuscade. He sees a sneer in every smile, he fears an insult in every whisper. The unmeaning jest must have a hidden point for him. Politeness seems cold, even good-nature looks like the insolence of condescension. If his wife is addressed, it is manifestly to draw her out. If her society is not sought, it is equally plain there is a conspiracy to place her in Coventry. To defend her properly, and to put her on her guard, it is necessary he should know her weak points himself.

But, alas, in this painful investigation, his ears are wounded by false accents, his eyes by false motions and vulgar attitudes, he finds ignorance where ignorance is absurd, and knowledge where knowledge is shame, and what is worse, this distressing criticism has been forced upon him, and he has arrived at the conclusion that beauty without intelligence is the most valueless attribute of a woman. Alas, the world is an argus-eyed, many-headed, sleepless, heartless monster. The independent man, if he would retain his independence, must retire with his wife to his own home, and it would be a pity if in thinking of his defeat he was to ask himself, Was my pretty doll worth this terrible struggle after all? wouldn't it? Well, I pity that man, for at most he has only done a foolish thing, and he has not passed through life without being a public benefactor. He has held a reversed lamp. While he has walked in the dark himself, he has shed light on the path of others.

Ah, Sophy, when you read this, and I know you will, you'll say, What a dreadful picture you have drawn! it ain't like you--you are too good-natured, I can't believe you ever wrote so spiteful an article as this, and, woman like, make more complimentary remarks than I deserve. Well, it ain't like me, that's a fact, but it is like the world for all that. Well, then you will puzzle your little head whether after all there is any happiness in married life, won't you?

Well, I will answer that question. I believe there may be and are many, very many happy marriages; but then people must be as near as possible in the same station of life, their tempers compatible, their religious views the same, their notions of the world similar, and their union based on mutual affection, entire mutual confidence, and what is of the utmost consequence, the greatest possible mutual respect. Can you feel this towards me, Sophy, can you, dear? Then be quick--"pick up chips and call your father to dinner."






Eating is the chief occupation at sea. It's the great topic as well as the great business of the day, especially in small sailing vessels like the "Black Hawk;" although anything is good enough for me when I can't get nothin' better, which is the true philosophy of life. If there is a good dish and a bad one set before me, I am something of a rat, I always choose the best.

There are few animals, as there are few men, that we can't learn something from. Now a rat, although I hate him like pyson, is a travelling gentleman, and accommodates himself to circumstances. He likes to visit people that are well off, and has a free and easy way about him, and don't require an introduction. He does not wait to be pressed to eat, but helps himself, and does justice to his host and his viands. When hungry, he will walk into the larder and take a lunch or a supper without requiring any waiting on. He is abstemious, or rather temperate in his drinking. Molasses and syrup he prefers to strong liquors, and he is a connoisseur in all things pertaining to the dessert. He is fond of ripe fruit, and dry or liquid preserves, the latter of which he eats with cream, for which purpose he forms a passage to the dairy. He prides himself on his knowledge of cheese, and will tell you in the twinkling of an eye which is the best in point of flavour or richness. Still he is not proud--he visits the poor when there is no gentlemen in the neighbourhood, and can accommodate himself to coarse fare and poor cookery. To see him in one of these hovels, you would think he never knew anything better, for he has a capital appetite, and can content himself with mere bread and water. He is a wise traveller, too. He is up to the ways of the world, and is aware of the disposition there is everywhere to entrap strangers. He knows now to take care of himself. If he is ever deceived, it is by treachery. He is seized sometimes at the hospitable board, and assassinated, or perhaps cruelly poisoned. But what skill can ensure safety, where confidence is so shamefully abused? He is a capital sailor, even bilge-water don't make him squeamish, and he is so good a judge of the sea-worthiness of a ship, that he leaves her at the first port if he finds she is leaky or weak. Few architects, on the other hand, have such a knowledge of the stability of a house as he has. He examines its foundations thoroughly, and if he perceives any, the slightest chance of its falling, he retreats in season, and leaves it to its fate. In short, he is a model traveller, and much may be learned from him.

But, then, who is perfect? He has some serious faults, from which we may also take instructive lessons, so as to avoid them. He runs all over a house, sits up late at night, and makes a devil of a noise. He is a nasty, cross-grained critter, and treacherous even to those who feed him best. He is very dirty in his habits, and spoils as much food as he eats. If a door ain't left open for him, he cuts right through it, and if by accident he is locked in, he won't wait to be let out, but hacks a passage ship through the floor. Not content with being entertained himself, he brings a whole retinue with him, and actilly eats a feller out of house and home, and gets as sassy as a free nigger. He gets into the servant-gall's bed-room sometimes at night, and nearly scares her to death under pretence he wants her candle; and sometimes jumps right on to the bed, and says she is handsome enough to eat, gives her a nip on the nose, sneezes on her with great contempt, and tells her she takes snuff. The fact is, he is hated everywhere he travels for his ugly behaviour as much as an Englishman, and that is a great deal more than sin is by half the world.

Now, being fond of natur, I try to take lessons from all created critters. I copy the rat's travelling knowledge and good points as near as possible, and strive to avoid the bad. I confine myself to the company apartments, and them that's allotted to me! Havin' no family, I take nobody with me a-visitin', keep good hours, and give as little trouble as possible; and as for goin' to the servant-gall's room, under pretence of wanting a candle, I'd scorn such an action. Now, as there is lots of good things in this vessel, rat like, I intend to have a good dinner.

"Sorrow, what have you got for us to-day?"

"There is the moose-meat, Massa."

"Let that hang over the stern, we shall get tired of it."

"Den, Massa, dar is de Jesuit-priest; by golly, Massa, dat is a funny name. Yah, yah, yah! dis here niggar was took in dat time. Dat ar a fac."

"Well, the turkey had better hang over too."

"Sposin' I git you fish dinner to-day, Massa?"

"What have you got?"

"Some tobacco-pipes, Massa, and some miller's thumbs." The rascal expected to take a rise out of me, but I was too wide awake for him. Cutler and the doctor, strange to say, fell into the trap, and required an explanation, which delighted Sorrow amazingly. Cutler, though an old fisherman on the coast, didn't know these fish at all. And the doctor had some difficulty in recognising them, under names he had never heard of before.

"Let us have them."

"Well, there is a fresh salmon, Massa?"

"Let us have steaks off of it. Do them as I told you, and take care the paper don't catch fire, and don't let the coals smoke 'em. Serve some lobster sauce with them, but use no butter, it spoils salmon. Let us have some hoss-radish with it."

"Hoss-radish! yah, yah, yah! Why, Massa, whar under the sun does you suppose now I could git hoss-radish, on board ob dis 'Black Hawk?' De sea broke into my garden de oder night, and kill ebery created ting in it. Lord a massy, Massa, you know dis is notin' but a fishin'-craft, salt pork and taters one day, and salt beef and taters next day, den twice laid for third day, and den begin agin. Why, dere neber has been no cooking on board of dis here fore-and-after till you yourself comed on board. Dey don't know nuffin'. Dey is as stupid and ignorant as coots."

Here his eye rested on the captain, when with the greatest coolness he gave me a wink, and went on without stopping.

"Scept massa captain," said he, "and he do know what is good, dat ar a fact, but he don't like to be ticular, so he takes same fare as men, and dey isn't jealous. 'Sorrow,' sais he, 'make no stinction for me. I is used to better tings, but I'll put up wid same fare as men.'"

"Sorrow," said the captain, "how can you tell such a barefaced falsehood. What an impudent liar you are, to talk so before my face. I never said anything of the kind to you."

"Why, Massa, now," said Sorrow, "dis here child is wide awake, that are a fac, and no mistake, and it's onpossible he is a dreamin'. What is it you did say den, when you ordered dinner?"

"I gave my orders and said nothing more."

"Exactly, Massa, I knowed I was right; dat is de identical ting I said. You was used to better tings; you made no stinctions, and ordered all the same for boaf of you. Hoss-radish, Massa Slick," said he, "I wish I had some, or could get some ashore for you, but hoss-radish ain't French, and dese folks nebber hear tell ob him."

"Make some."

"Oh, Massa, now you is makin' fun ob dis poor niggar."

"I am not. Take a turnip, scrape it the same as the radish, into fine shaving, mix it with fresh mustard, and a little pepper and vinegar, and you can't tell it from t'other."

"By golly, Massa, but dat are a wrinkle. Oh, how missus would a lubbed you. It was loud all down sout dere was a great deal ob 'finement in her. Nobody was good nuff for her dere; dey had no taste for cookin'. She was mighty high 'mong de ladies, in de instep, but not a mossel of pride to de niggars. Oh, you would a walked right into de cockles ob her heart. If you had tredded up to her, she would a married you, and gub you her tree plantations, and eight hundred niggar, and ebery ting, and order dinner for you herself. Oh, wouldn't she been done, gone stracted, when you showed her how she had shot her grandmother?1 wouldn't she? I'll be dad fetched if she wouldn't."


1 Shooting one's granny, or grandmother, means fancying you have discovered what was well known before.


"Have you any other fish?" I said.

"Oh yes, Massa; some grand fresh clams."

"Do you know how to cook them?"

"Massa," said he, putting his hands under his white apron, and, sailor-like, giving a hitch up to his trousers, preparatory to stretching himself straight; "Massa, dis here niggar is a rambitious niggar, and he kersaits he can take de shine out ob any niggar that ever played de juice harp in cookin' clams. Missus structed me husself. Massa, I shall nebber forget dat time, de longest day I live. She sent for me, she did, and I went in, and she was lyin' on de sofa, lookin' pale as de inside of parsimmon seed, for de wedder was brilin' hot.

"'Sorrow,' said she.

"'Yes, Missus,' said I.

"'Put the pillar under my head. Dat is right,' said she; 'tank you, Sorrow.'

"Oh, Massa, how different she was from abulitinists to Boston. She always said Tankee, for ebery ting. Now ablutinists say, 'Hand me dat piller, you darned rascal, and den make yourself skase, you is as black as de debbil's hind leg.' And den she say--

"'Trow dat scarf over my ankles, to keep de bominable flies off. Tankee, Sorrow; you is far more handier dan Aunt Dolly is. Dat are niggar is so rumbustious, she jerks my close so, sometimes I tink in my soul she will pull 'em off.' Den she shut her eye, and she gabe a cold shiver all ober.

"'Sorrow,' sais she, 'I am goin' to take a long, bery long journey, to de far off counteree.'

"'Oh dear me! Missus,' says I; 'Oh Lord; Missus, you ain't a goin' to die, is you?' and I fell down on my knees, and kissed her hand, and said, 'Oh, Missus; don't die, please Missus. What will become oh dis niggar if you do? If de Lord in his goodness take you away, let me go wid you, Missus;' and I was so sorry I boohooed right out, and groaned and wipy eye like courtin' amost.

"'Why, Uncle Sorrow,' said she, 'I isn't a goin' to die; what makes you tink dat? Stand up: I do railly believe you do lub your missus. Go to dat closet, and pour yourself out a glass of whiskey;' and I goes to de closet--just dis way--and dere stood de bottle and a glass, as dis here one do, and I helpt myself dis fashen.

"'What made you tink I was a goin' for to die?' said she, 'do I look so ill?'

"'No, Missus; but dat is de way de Boston preacher dat staid here last week spoke to me,--de long-legged, sour face, Yankee villain. He is uglier and yallerer dan Aunt Phillissy Anne's crooked-necked squashes. I don't want to see no more ob such fellers pysonin' de minds ob de niggars here.'

"Says he, 'My man.'

"'I isn't a man,' sais I, 'I is only a niggar.'

"'Poor, ignorant wretch,' said he.

"'Massa,' sais I, 'you has waked up de wrong passenger dis present time. I isn't poor, I ab plenty to eat, and plenty to drink, and two great trong wenches to help me cook, and plenty of fine frill shirt, longin' to my old massa, and bran new hat, and when I wants money I asks missus, and she gives it to me, and I ab white oberseer to shoot game for me. When I wants wild ducks or wenson, all I got to do is to say to dat Yankee oberseer, 'Missus and I want some deer or some canvasback, I spect you had better go look for some, Massa Buccra.' No, no, Massa, I ain't so ignorant as to let any man come over me to make seed-corn out of me. If you want to see wretches, go to James Town, and see de poor white critters dat ab to do all dere own work deyselves, cause dey is so poor, dey ab no niggars to do it for 'em.'

"Sais he, 'Hab you ebber tort ob dat long journey dat is afore you? to dat far off counteree where you will be mancipated and free, where de weary hab no rest, and de wicked hab no labor?'

"'Down to Boston I spose, Massa,' sais I, 'mong dem pententionists and ablutionists, Massa; ablution is a mean, nasty, dirty ting, and don't suit niggars what hab good missus like me, and I won't take dat journey, and I hate dat cold counteree, and I want nottin' to do wid mansipationists.'

"'It ain't dat, said he, 'it's up above.'

"'What,' sais I, 'up dere in de mountains? What onder de sun should I go dere for to be froze to defth, or to be voured by wild beasts? Massa, I won't go nowhere widout dear missus goes.'

"'I mean Heaben,' he said, 'where all are free and all equal; where joy is, and sorrow enters not.'

"'What,' sais I, 'Joy in Heaben? I don't believe one word of it. Joy was de greatest tief on all dese tree plantations of missus; he stole more chicken, and corn, and backey, dan his great bull neck was worth, and when he ran off, missus wouldn't let no one look for him. Joy in Heaben, eh; and Sorrow nebber go dere! Well, I clare now! Yah, yah, yah, Massa, you is foolin' dis here niggar now, I know you is when you say Joy is dead, and gone to Heaben, and dis child is shot out for ebber. Massa,' sais I, 'me and missus don't low ablution talk here, on no account whatsomever, de only larnin' we lows of is whippin' fellows who tice niggars to rections, and de slaves of dis plantation will larn you as sure as you is bawn, for dey lub missus dearly. You had better kummence de long journey usself. Sallust, bring out dis gentleman hoss; and Plutarch, go fetch de saddle-bag down.'

"I led his hoss by where de dogs was, and, sais I, 'Massa, I can't help larfin' no how I can fix it, at dat ar story you told me about dat young rascal Joy. Dat story do smell rader tall, dat are a fac; yah, yah, yah,' and I fell down and rolled ober and ober on de grass, and it's lucky I did, for as I dodged he fetched a back-handed blow at me wid his huntin' whip, that would a cut my head off if it had tooked me round my neck.

"My missus larfed right out like any ting, tho' it was so hot, and when missus larf I always know she is good-natured.

"'Sorrow,' said missus, 'I am afraid you is more rogue dan fool.'

"'Missus,' sais I, 'I nebber stole the vally of a pin's head off ob dis plantation, I scorn to do such a nasty, dirty, mean action, and you so kind as to gib me more nor I want, and you knows dat, Missus; you knows it, oderwise you wouldn't send me to de bank, instead ob white oberseer, Mr Succatash, for six, seben, or eight hundred dollars at a time. But, dere is too much stealin' going on here, and you and I, Missus, must be more ticklar. You is too dulgent altogether.'

"'I didn't mean that, Sorrow,' she said, 'I don't mean stealin'.

"'Well, Missus, I's glad to hear dat, if you will let me ab permission den, I will drink you good helf.'

"'Why didn't you do it half an hour ago?' she said.

"'Missus,' sais I, 'I was so busy talkin', and so scared about your helf, and dere was no hurry,' and I stept near to her side, where she could see me, and I turned de bottle up, and advanced dis way, for it hadn't no more dan what old Cloe's thimble would hold, jist like dis bottle.

"'Why,' said she (and she smiled, and I knowed she was good-natured), 'dere is nottin' dere, see if dere isn't some in de oder bottle,' and I went back and set it down, and took it up to her, and poured it out dis way."

"Slick," said Cutler, "I am astonished at you, you are encouraging that black rascal in drinking, and allowing him to make a beast of himself," and he went on deck to attend to his duty, saying as he shut the door, "That fellow will prate all day if you allow him." Sorrow followed him with a very peculiar expression of eye as he retired.

"Massa Captain," said he, "as sure as de world, is an ablutionist, dat is just de way dey talk. Dey call us coloured breddren when they tice us off from home, and den dey call us black rascals and beasts. I wish I was to home agin, Yankees treat dere coloured breddren like dogs, dat is a fact; but he is excellent man, Massa Captain, bery good man, and though I don't believe it's a possible ting Joy is in heaben, I is certain de captain, when de Lord be good nuff to take him, will go dere."

"The captain is right," said I, "Sorrow, put down that bottle; you have had more than enough already--put it down;" but he had no idea of obeying, and held on to it.

"If you don't put that down, Sorrow," I said, "I will break it over your head."

"Oh! Massa," said he, "dat would be a sin to waste dis oloriferous rum dat way; just let me drink it first, and den I will stand, and you may break de bottle on my head; it can't hurt niggar's head, only cut a little wool."

"Come, no more of this nonsense," I said, "put it down;" and seeing me in earnest, he did so.

"Now," sais I, "tell us how you are going to cook the clams."

"Oh! Massa," said he, "do let me finish de story about de way I larned it.

"'Sorrow,' said missus, 'I am going to take a long journey all de way to Boston, and de wedder is so cold, and what is wus, de people is so cold, it makes me shudder,' and she shivered like cold ague fit, and I was afraid she would unjoint de sofa.

"'Don't lay too close to them, Missus,' sais I.

"'What,' said she, and she raised herself up off ob de pillar, and she larfed, and rolled ober and ober, and tosticated about almost in a conniption fit, 'you old goose,' said she, 'you onaccountable fool,' and den she larfed and rolled ober agin, I tought she would a tumbled off on de floor, 'do go way; you is too foolish to talk to, but turn my pillar again. Sorrow,' said she, 'is I showin' of my ankles,' said she, 'rollin' about so like mad?'

"'Little bit,' sais I, 'Missus.'

"'Den put dat scarf ober my feet agin. What on earth does you mean, Sorrow, bout not sleepin' too close to de Yankees?'

"'Missus,' sais I, 'does you recollect de day when Zeno was drownded off de raft? Well, dat day Plutarch was lowed to visit next plantation, and dey bring him home mazin' drunk--stupid as owl, his mout open and he couldn't speak, and his eye open and he couldn't see. Well, as you don't low niggar to be flogged, Aunt Phillissy Ann and I lay our heads together, and we tought we'd punish him; so we ondressed him, and put him into same bed wid poor Zeno, and when he woke up in de mornin' he was most frighten to def, and had de cold chills on him, and his eye stared out ob his head, and his teeth chattered like monkeys. He was so frighten, we had to burn lights for a week--he tought after dat he saw Zeno in bed wid him all de time. It's werry dangerous, Missus, to sleep near cold people like Yankees and dead niggars.'

"'Sorrow, you is a knave I believe,' she said.

"'Knave, knave, Missus,' I sais, 'I don't know dat word.'

"'Sorrow,' said she, 'I is a goin' to take you wid me.'

"'Tank you, Missus,' said I, 'oh! bless your heart, Missus.'"

"Sorrow," said I, sternly, "do you ever intend to tell us how you are going to cook them clams, or do you mean to chat all day?"

"Jist in one minute, Massa, I is jist comin' to it," said he.

"'Now,' sais missus, 'Sorrow, it's werry genteel to travel wid one's own cook; but it is werry ongenteel when de cook can't do nuffin' super-superior; for bad cooks is plenty eberywhere widout travellin' wid 'em. It brings disgrace.'

"'Exactly, Missus,' sais I, 'when you and me was up to de president's plantation, his cook was makin' plum pudden, he was. Now how in natur does you rimagine he did it? why, Missus, he actilly made it wid flour, de stupid tick-headed fool, instead ob de crumbs ob a six cent stale loaf, he did; and he nebber 'pared de gredients de day afore, as he had aughten to do. It was nuffin' but stick jaw--jist fit to feed turkeys and little niggeroons wid. Did you ebber hear de likes ob dat in all your bawn days, Missus; but den, Marm, de general was a berry poor cook hisself you know, and it stand to argument ob reason, where massa or missus don't know nuffin', de sarvant can't neither. Dat is what all de gentlemen and ladies says dat wisit here, Marm: 'What a lubly beautiful woman Miss Lunn is,' dey say, 'dere is so much 'finement in her, and her table is de best in all Meriky.'

"'What a fool you is, Uncle Sorrow,' she say, and den she larf again; and when missus larf den I know she was pleased. 'Well,' sais she, 'now mind you keep all your secrets to yourself when travellin', and keep your eyes open wide, and see eberyting and say nuffin'.'

"'Missus,' sais I, 'I will be wide awake; you may pend on me--eyes as big as two dog-wood blossoms, and ears open like mackarel.'

"'What you got for dinner to-day?' she say--jist as you say, Massa. Well, I tell her all ober, as I tells you, numeratin' all I had. Den she picked out what she wanted, and mong dem I recklect was clams.'"

"Now tell us how you cooked the clams," I said; "what's the use of standing chattering all day there like a monkey?"

"Dat, Massa, now is jist what I is goin' to do dis blessid minit. 'Missus,' sais I, 'talkin' of clams, minds me of chickens.'

"'What on airth do you mean,' sais she, 'you blockhead; it might as well mind you of tunder.'

"'Well, Missus,' sais I, 'now sometimes one ting does mind me of anoder ting dat way; I nebber sees you, Missus, but what you mind me ob de beautiful white lily, and dat agin ob de white rose dat hab de lubly color on his cheek.'

"'Do go away, and don't talk nonsense,' she said, larfing; and when she larfed den I know she was pleased.

"'So clams mind me of chickens.'

"'And whiskey,' she said.

"'Well, it do, Missus; dat are a fac;' and I helped myself agin dis way."

"Sorrow," said I, "this is too bad; go forward now and cut this foolery short. You will be too drunk to cook the dinner if you go on that way."

"Massa," said he, "dis child nebber was drunk in his life; but he is frose most to deaf wid de wretched fogs (dat give people here 'blue noses'), an de field ice, and raw winds: I is as cold as if I slept wid a dead niggar or a Yankee. Yah, yah, yah.

"'Well, Missus,' sais I, 'dem clams do mind me ob chickens. Now, Missus, will you skuse me if I git you the receipt Miss Phillis and I ab cyphered out, how to presarve chickens?'

"'Yes,' she said, 'I will. Let me hear it. Dat is sumthen new.'

"'Well, Missus, you know how you and I is robbed by our niggars like so many minks. Now, Missus, sposin' you and I pass a law dat all fat poultry is to be brought to me to buy, and den we keep our fat poultry locked up; and if dey steal de lean fowls, and we buy 'em, we saves de fattenin' of 'em, and gibs no more arter all dan de vally of food and tendin', which is all dey gits now, for dere fowls is always de best fed in course; and when we ab more nor we wants for you and me, den I take 'em to market and sell 'em; and if dey will steal 'em arter dat, Missus, we must try ticklin'; dere is nuffin' like it. It makes de down fly like a feather-bed. It makes niggars wery sarcy to see white tief punished tree times as much as dey is; dat are a fac, Missus. A poor white man can't work, and in course he steal. Well, his time bein' no airthly use, dey gib him six month pensiontary; and niggar, who can airn a dollar or may be 100 cents a day, only one month. I spise a poor white man as I do a skunk. Dey is a cuss to de country; and it's berry hard for you and me to pay rates to support 'em: our rates last year was bominable. Let us pass dis law, Missus, and fowl stealin' is done--de ting is dead.'

"'Well, you may try it for six months,' she say, 'only no whippin'. We must find some oder punishment,' she said.

"'I ab it,' sais I, 'Missus! Oh Lord a massy, Missus! oh dear missus! I got an inwention as bright as bran new pewter button. I'll shave de head of a tief close and smooth. Dat will keep his head warm in de sun, and cool at night; do him good. He can't go courtin' den, when he ab 'no wool whar de wool ought to grow,' and spile his 'frolicken, and all de niggaroons make game ob him. It do more good praps to tickle fancy ob niggars dan to tickle dere hide. I make him go to church reglar den to show hisself and his bald pate. Yah, yah, yah!'"

"Come, Sorrow," I said, "I am tired of all this foolery; either tell me how you propose to cook the clams, or substitute something else in their place."

"Well, Massa," he said, "I will; but railly now when I gits talkin' bout my dear ole missus, pears to me as if my tongue would run for ebber. Dis is de last voyage I ebber make in a fishin' craft. I is used to de first society, and always moved round wid ladies and gentlemen what had 'finement in 'em. Well, Massa, now I comes to de clams. First of all, you must dig de clams. Now dere is great art in diggin' clams.

"Where you see little hole like worm hole dere is de clam. He breathe up tru dat, and suck in his drink like sherry-cobbler through a straw. Whar dere is no little air holes, dere is no clam, dat are a fac. Now, Massa, can you tell who is de most knowin' clam-digger in de worl? De gull is, Massa; and he eat his clam raw, as some folks who don't know nuffin' bout cookin' eat oysters. He take up de clam ebber so far in de air, and let him fall right on de rock, which break shell for him, and down he goes and pounces on him like a duck on a June bug. Sometimes clam catch him by de toe though, and hold on like grim death to a dead niggar, and away goes bird screamin' and yellin', and clam sticking to him like burr to a hosses tail. Oh, geehillikin, what fun it is. And all de oder gulls larf at him like any ting; dat comes o' seezin' him by de mout instead ob de scruff ob de neck.

"Well, when you git clam nuff, den you must wash 'em, and dat is more trouble dan dey is worth; for dey is werry gritty naturally, like buckwheat dat is trashed in de field--takes two or tree waters, and salt is better dan fresh, cause you see fresh water make him sick. Well, now, Massa, de question is, what will you ab; clam soup, clam sweetbread, clam pie, clam fritter, or bake clam?"

"Which do you tink best, Sorrow?" sais I.

"Well, Massa, dey is all good in dere way; missus used to fection baked clams mighty well, but we can't do dem so tip-top at sea; clam sweetbread, she said, was better den what is made ob oyster; and as to clam soup, dat pends on de cook. Now, Massa, when missus and me went to wisit de president's plantation, I see his cook, Mr Sallust, didn't know nuffin' bout parin' de soup. What you tink he did, Massa? stead ob poundin' de clams in a mortar fust, he jist cut 'em in quarters and puts 'em in dat way. I nebber see such ignorance since I was raised. He made de soup ob water, and actilly put some salt in it; when it was sarved up--it was rediculous disgraceful--he left dem pieces in de tureen, and dey was like leather. Missus said to me:

"'Sorrow,' sais she, 'I shall starve here; dem military men know nuffin' but bout hosses, dogs, and wine; but dey ain't delicate no way in dere tastes, and yet to hear 'em talk you'd be most afeered to offer 'em anyting, you'd tink dey was de debbel and all.'"

"Did she use those words, Sorrow?"

"Well, not zactly," he said, scratching his head, "dey was dicksionary words and werry fine, for she had great 'finement bout her; but dat was de meanin' ob 'em.

"'Now, Sorrow,' she said, 'tell me de trut, wasn't dat soup now made of water?'

"'Yes, Missus, it was,' said I, 'I seed it wid my own eyes.'

"'I taut so,' she said, 'why dat cook ain't fit to tend a bear trap, and bait it wid sheep's innerds.'"

"Did she use those words?"

"Why laws a massy, Massa! I can't swear to de identical words; how can I? but as I was a sayin', dere was 'finement in 'em, werry long, werry crooked, and werry pretty, but dat was all de sense ob 'em.

"'Now, Sorrow,' said she, 'he ought to ab used milk; all fish soups ought to be made o' milk, and den tickened wid flour.'

"'Why in course, Missus,' sais I, 'dat is de way you and me always likes it.'

"'It has made me quite ill,' said she.

"'So it ab nearly killed me, Missus,' sais I, puttin' my hand on my stomach, 'I ab such a pain down here, I tink sometimes I shall die.'

"'Well, you look ill, Uncle Sorrow,' she said, and she went to her dressin'-case, and took a little small bottle (covered ober wid printed words), 'Take some o' dis,' said she, and she poured me out bout dis much (filling his glass again), 'take dat, it will do you good.'

"'Is it berry bad to swaller,' sais I, 'Missus? I is most afeard it will spile the 'finement of my taste.'

"'Try it,' sais she, and I shut to my eyes, and made awful long face, and swallowed it jist dis way.

"'By golly,' sais I, 'Missus, but dat is grand. What is dat?'

"'Clove, water,' said she.

"'Oh, Missus,' sais I, 'dat is plaguy trong water, dat are a fac, and bery nice flavoured. I wish in my heart we had a nice spring ob it to home. Wouldn't it be grand, for dis is a bery thirsty niggar, dat are a fac. Clam pie, Massa, is first chop, my missus ambitioned it some punkins.'

"Well, how do you make it?"

"Dere is seberal ways, Massa. Sometime we used one way and sometime anoder. I do believe missus could do it fifty ways."

"Fifty ways!" said I, "now Sorrow, how can you lie that way? I shall begin to think at last you never had a mistress at all."

"Fifty ways! Well, Massa, goodness gracious me! You isn't goin' to tie me down to swear to figures now, any more nor identical words, is you? I ab no manner o' doubt she could fifty ways, but she only used eight or ten ways which she said was de best. First dere is de clam bake."

"Well, I know that," sais I, "go on to the clam pie."

"What is it?" said the doctor, "for I should like to know how they are prepared."

"This," said I, "is the most approved mode. A cavity is dug in the earth, about eighteen inches deep, which is lined with round stones. On this a fire is made; and when the stones are sufficiently heated, a bushel or more of clams (according to the number of persons who are to partake of the feast) is thrown upon them. On this is put a layer of rock-weed, gathered from the beach, and over this a second layer of sea-weed. This prevents the escape of the steam, and preserves the sweetness of the fish. Clams baked in this manner are preferred to those cooked in the usual way in the kitchen. On one occasion, that of a grand political mass-meeting in favour of General Harrison on the 4th of July, 1840, nearly 10,000 persons assembled in Rhode Island, for whom a clambake and chowder was prepared. This was probably the greatest feast of the kind that ever took place in New England."

"Zactly," said Sorrow, "den dere is anoder way."

"I won't hear it," said I, "stiver now, make the pie any way you like."

"Massa," said he, "eber since poor missus died from eaten hogs wid dere heads on, I feel kinder faint when I sees clams, I hab neber swallowed one since, and neber will. De parfume gits into my stomach, as it did when de General's cook used water instead of milk, in his soup. I don't spose you ab any clove-water, but if you will let me take jist a tumblerfull ob dis, I tink it would make me survive a little," and without waiting for leave he helped himself to a bumper. "Now, Massa," he said, "I show you what cookin' is, I know," and making a scrape of his leg, he left the cabin.

"Doctor," said I, "I am glad you have seen this specimen of a southern negro. He is a fair sample of a servant in the houses of our great planters. Cheerful, grateful, and contented, they are better off and happier than any portion of the same race I have met with in any part of the world. They have a quick perception of humour, a sort of instinctive knowledge of character, and great cunning, but their reasoning powers are very limited. Their appetites are gross, and their constitutional indolence such that they prefer enduring any suffering and privation to regular habits of industry.

"Slavery in the abstract is a thing that nobody approves of, or attempts to justify. We all consider it an evil--but unhappily it was entailed upon us by our forefathers, and has now grown to be one of such magnitude that it is difficult to know now to deal with it--and this difficulty is much increased by the irritation which has grown out of the unskilful and unjustifiable conduct of abolitionists. The grossest exaggerations have been circulated as to the conduct and treatment of our slaves, by persons who either did not know what they were talking about, or who have wilfully perverted facts. The devil we have painted black, and the negro received the same colour from the hand of his Maker. It only remained to represent the planter as of a deeper dye than either. This picture however wanted effect, and latterly lights and shades have been judiciously introduced, by mingling with these groups eastern abolitionists, white overseers, and English noblemen, and ladies of rank. It made a clever caricature--had a great run--has been superseded by other follies and extravagancies, and is now nearly forgotten. The social evil still remains, and ever will, while ignorant zeal, blind bigotry, hypocrisy, and politics, demand to have the exclusive treatment of it. The planter has rights as well as the slave, and the claims of both must be well weighed and considered before any dispassionate judgment can be formed.

"In the mean time invective and misrepresentation, by irritating the public, disqualify it for the deliberate exercise of its functions. If the slaves have to mourn over the want of freedom, the planters may lament the want of truth in their opponents; and it must be admitted that they have submitted to the atrocious calumnies that have been so liberally heaped upon them of late years, with a contempt that is the best refutation of falsehood, or a meekness and forbearance that contrast very favourably with the violence and fury of their adversaries."

My object however, Squire, is not to write a lecture on emancipation, but to give you a receipt for cooking "a dish of clams."






"Sorrow," said the doctor, "seems to me to consider women, from the way he flatters his mistress, as if she was not unlike the grupers at Bermuda. There is a natural fish-pond there near Flats Village, in which there is a great lot of these critters, which are about the size of the cod. They will rise to the surface, and approach the bank for you to tickle their sides, which seems to afford them particular delight."

"It is what you would call, I suppose, practical soft sawdering."

"But it is an operation of which the rest are exceedingly jealous, and while you are thus amusing one of them, you must take care others do not feel offended, and make a dash at your fingers. With true feminine jealousy too they change colour when excited, for envy seems to pervade all animate nature."

"It's called the Devil's Hole where they are, ain't it?" sais I.

"Yes," said he, "it is, and it is situated not far from Moore's favourite tree, under whose shade he used to recline while writing his poetry, at a time when his deputy was equally idle, and instead of keeping his accounts, kept his money. Bermuda is a fatal place to poets. Moore lost his purse there, and Waller his favourite ring; the latter has been recently found, the former was never recovered. In one thing these two celebrated authors greatly resembled each other, they both fawned and flattered on the great."

"Yes," said Cutler, "and both have met their reward. Everybody regrets that anything was known of either, but his poetry--"

"Well," sais I, "I am glad I am not an Englishman, or as true as the world, a chap like Lord John Russell would ruin me for ever. I am not a poet, and can't write poetry, but I am a Clockmaker, and write common sense. Now a biographer like that man, that knows as little of one as he does of the other, would ruin me for everlastingly. It ain't pleasant to have such a burr as that stick on to your tail, especially if you have no comb to get it off, is it? A politician is like a bee; he travels a zig-zag course every way, turnin' first to the right and then to the left, now makin' a dive at the wild honeysuckle, and then at the sweet briar; now at the buck-wheat blossom, and then at the rose; he is here and there and everywhere; you don't know where the plague to find him; he courts all and is constant to none. But when his point is gained and he has wooed and deceived all, attained his object, and his bag is filled, he then shows plain enough what he was after all the time. He returns as straight as a chalk line, or as we say, as the crow flies to his home, and neither looks to the right or to the left, or knows or cares for any of them who contributed to his success. His object is to enrich himself and make a family name. A politician therefore is the last man in the world to write a biography. Having a kind of sneakin' regard for a winding, wavy way himself, he sees more beauty in the in and out line of a Varginny fence, than the stiff straight formal post and rail one of New England. As long as a partizan critter is a thorn in the flesh of the adverse party, he don't care whether he is Jew or Gentile. He overlooks little peccadilloes, as he calls the worst stories, and thinks everybody else will be just as indulgent as himself. He uses romanists, dissenters, republicans, and evangelicals at his own great log-rolling1 frollicks, and rolls for them in return.


1 Log-rolling.--In the lumber regions of Maine, it is customary for men of different logging camps to appoint days for helping each other in rolling the logs to the river after they are felled and trimmed, this rolling being about the hardest work incident to the business. Thus the men of three or four different camps will unite, say on Monday, to roll for camp No. 1, on Tuesday, for camp No. 2, on Wednesday, for camp No. 3, and so on through the whole number of camps within convenient distance of each other. The term has been adopted in legislation to signify a little system of mutual co-operation. For instance, a member from St Lawrence has a pet bill for a plank-road which he wants pushed through. He accordingly makes a bargain with a member from Onondaga, who is coaxing along a charter for a bank, by which St Lawrence agrees to vote for Onondaga's bank if Onondaga will vote St Lawrence's plank-road. This is legislative log-rolling, and there is abundance of it carried on at Albany every winter. Generally speaking, the subject of the log-rolling is some merely local project, interesting only to the people of a certain district; but sometimes there is party log-rolling, where the Whigs, for instance, will come to an understanding with the Democrats that the former shall not oppose a certain democratic measure merely on party grounds, provided the Democrats will be equally tender to some Whig measure in return.--J. INMAN.


"Who the plague hain't done something, said something, or thought something he is sorry for, and prays may be forgot and forgiven; big brag as I am, I know I can't say I haven't over and over again offended. Well, if it's the part of a friend to go and rake all these things up, and expose 'em to the public, and if it's agreeable to my wife, sposin' I had one, to have 'em published because the stained paper will sell, all I can sais is, I wish he had shown his regard for me by running away with my wife and letting me alone. It's astonishing how many friends Moore's disloyalty made him. A seditious song or a treasonable speech finds more favour with some people in the old country than building a church, that's a fact. Howsomever, I think I am safe from him, for first, I am a Yankee, secondly, I ain't married, thirdly, I am a Clockmaker, and fourthly, my biography is written by myself in my book, fifthly, I write no letters I can help, and never answer one except on business."

"This is a hint father gave me: 'Sam,' said he, 'never talk to a woman, for others may hear you; only whisper to her, and never write to her, or your own letters may rise up in judgment against you some day or another. Many a man afore now has had reason to wish he had never seen a pen in his life;' so I ain't afeard therefore that he can write himself up or me down, and make me look skuywoniky, no how he can fix it. If he does, we will declare war again England, and blow the little darned thing out of the map of Europe; for it ain't much bigger than the little island Cronstadt is built on after all, is it? It's just a little dot and nothin' more, dad fetch my buttons if it is.

"But to go back to the grupers and the devil's hole; I have been there myself and seen it, Doctor," sais I, "but there is other fish besides these in it; there is the parrot-fish, and they are like the feminine gender too; if the grupers are fond of being tickled, parrots are fond of hearing their own voices. Then there is the angel-fish, they have fins like wings of a pale blue colour; but they must be fallen angels to be in such a place as that hole too, musn't they? and yet they are handsome even now. Gracious! what must they have been before the fall! and how many humans has beauty caused to fall, Doctor, hasn't it? and how many there are that the sound of that old song, 'My face is my fortune, Sir, she said,' would make their hearts swell till they would almost burst.

"Well, then there is another fish there, and those Mudians sartainly must have a good deal of fun in them, to make such a capital and comical assortment of queer ones for that pond. There is the lawyer-fish--can anything under the sun be more appropriate than the devil's hole for a lawyer? What a nice place for him to hang out his shingle in, ain't it? it's no wonder his old friend the landlord finds him an office in it--rent free, is it? What mischief he must brood there; bringing actions of slander against the foolish parrot-fish that will let their tongues run, ticklin' the grupers, and while they are smirking and smiling, devour their food, and prosecute the fallen angels for violating the Maine law and disturbing the peace. The devil's hole, like Westminster Hall, is a dangerous place for a fellow of substance to get into, I can tell you; the way they fleece him is a caution to sinners.

"My dog fell into that fish-pond, and they nearly fixed his flint before I got him out, I tell you; his coat was almost stripped off when I rescued him."

"Why, Mr Slick," said the doctor, "what in the world took you to Bermuda?"

"Why," sais I, "I had heard a great deal about it. It is a beautiful spot and very healthy. It is all that has ever been said or sung of it, and more too, and that's sayin' a great deal, for most celebrated places disappoint you; you expect too much, and few crack parts of the world come up to the idea you form of them beforehand. Well, I went down there to see if there was anything to be done in the way of business, but it was too small a field for me, although I made a spec that paid me very well too. There is a passage through the reefs there, and it's not every pilot knows it, but there was a manuscript chart of it made by a captain of a tradin' vessel. When he died his widow offered it to the government, but they hummed and hawed about the price, and was for gitting it for half nothing, as they always do. So what does I do, but just steps in and buys it, for in war time it is of the greatest importance to know this passage, and I sold it to our navy-board, and I think if ever we are at loggerheads with the British, we shall astonish the weak nerves of the folks at the summer islands some fine day.

"I had a charming visit. There are some magnificent caves there, and in that climate they are grand places, I do assure you. I never saw anything so beautiful. The ceiling is covered with splendiferous spary-like icicles, or chandelier drops. What do you call that word, Doctor?"


"Exactly, that's it, glorious stalactites reaching to the bottom and forming fluted pillars. In one of those caves where the water runs, the admiral floored over the bottom and gave a ball in it, and it was the most Arabian Night's entertainment kind of thing that I ever saw. It looked like a diamond hall, and didn't it show off the Mudian galls to advantage, lick! I guess it did, for they are the handsomest Creoles in all creation. There is more substance in 'em than in the tropical ladies. I don't mean worldly (though that ain't to be sneered at, neither, by them that ain't got none themselves). When the people used to build small clippers there for the West Indian trade, cedar was very valuable, and a gall's fortune was reckoned, not by pounds, but by so many cedars. Now it is banana trees. But dear me, somehow or another we have drifted away down to Bermuda, we must stretch back again to the Nova Scotian coast east of Chesencook, or, like Jerry Boudrot, we shall be out of sight of land, and lost at sea."

On going up on the deck, my attention was naturally attracted to my new purchase, the Canadian horse.

"To my mind," said the doctor, "Jerry's knee action does not merit the extravagant praise you bestowed upon it. It is not high enough to please me."

"There you are wrong," sais I, "that's the mistake most people make. It is not the height of the action, but the nature of it, that is to be regarded. A high-stepping horse pleases the eye more than the judgment. He seems to go faster than he does. There is not only power wasted in it, but it injures the foot. My idea is this; you may compare a man to a man, and a woman to a woman, for the two, including young and old, make the world. You see more of them and know more about 'em than horses, for you have your own structure to examine and compare them by, and can talk to them, and if they are of the feminine gender, hear their own account of themselves. They can speak, for they were not behind the door when tongues were given out, I can tell you. The range of your experience is larger, for you are always with them, but how few hosses does a man own in his life. How few he examines, and how little he knows about other folk's beasts. They don't live with you, you only see them when you mount, drive, or visit the stable. They have separate houses of their own, and pretty buildings they are too in general, containin' about as much space for sleepin' as a berth on board a ship, and about as much ventilation too, and the poor critters get about as little exercise as passengers, and are just about worth as much as they are when they land for a day's hard tramp. Poor critters, they have to be on their taps most all the time.1 The Arab and the Canadian have the best horses, not only because they have the best breed, but because one has no stalls, and t'other has no stable treatment.


1 On their feet.


"Now in judging of a horse's action, I compare him not with other horses, but with animals of a different species. Did you ever know a fox stumble, or a cat make a false step? I guess not; but haven't you seen a bear when chased and tired go head over heels? A dog in a general way is a sure-footed critter, but he trips now and then, and if he was as big as a horse, would throw his rider sometimes. Now then I look to these animals, and I find there are two actions to be combined, the knee and the foot action. The fox and the cat bend the knee easy and supply, but don't arch 'em, and though they go near the ground, they don't trip. I take that then as a sort of standard. I like my beast, especially if he is for the saddle, to be said to trot like a fox. Now, if he lifts too high, you see, he describes half a circle, and don't go ahead as he ought, and then he pounds his frog into a sort of mortar at every step, for the horny shell of a foot is just like one. Well then, if he sends his fore leg away out in front, and his hind leg away out behind like a hen scratchin' gravel, he moves more like an ox than anything else, and hainte sufficient power to fetch them home quick enough for fast movement. Then the foot action is a great point, I looked at this critter's tracks on the pasture and asked myself, Does he cut turf, or squash it flat? If he cuts it as a gardener does weeds with his spade, then good bye, Mr Jerry, you won't suit me, it's very well to dance on your toes, but it don't convene to travel on 'em, or you're apt to make somersets.

"Now, a neck is a valuable thing. We have two legs, two eyes, two hands, two ears, two nostrils, and so on, but we have only one neck, which makes it so easy to hang a fellow, or to break it by a chuck from your saddle; and besides, we can't mend it, as we do a leg or an arm. When it's broken it's done for; and what use is it if it's insured? The money don't go to you, but to your heirs, and half the time they wouldn't cry, except for decency sake, if you did break it. Indeed, I knew a great man once, who got his neck broke, and all his friends said, for his own reputation, it was a pity he hadn't broke it ten years sooner. The Lord save me from such friends, I say. Fact is, a broken neck is only a nine days' wonder after all, and is soon forgotten.

"Now, the fox has the right knee action, and the leg is 'thar.' In the real knee movement, there is a peculiar spring, that must be seen to be known and valued, words don't give you the idea of it. It's like the wire end of a pair of galluses--oh, it's charming. It's down and off in a jiffy, like a gall's finger on a piano when she is doin' chromatic runs. Fact is, if I am walking out, and see a critter with it, I have to stop and stare; and, Doctor, I will tell you a queer thing. Halt and look at a splendid movin' hoss, and the rider is pleased; he thinks half the admiration is for him, as rider and owner, and t'other half for his trotter. The gony's delighted, chirups his beast, gives him a sly touch up with the off heel, and shows him off to advantage. But stop and look at a woman, and she is as mad as a hatter. She don't care how much you look at her, as long as you don't stand still or turn your head round. She wouldn't mind slackin' her pace if you only attended to that.

"Now the fox has that special springy movement I speak of, and he puts his foot down flat, he bends the grass rather to him, than from him, if anything, but most commonly crumples it flat; but you never see it inclinin' in the line of the course he is runnin'--never. Fact is, they never get a hoist, and that is a very curious word, it has a very different meanin' at sea from what it has on land. In one case it means to haul up, in the other to fall down. The term 'look out' is just the same.

"A canal boat was once passing through a narrow lock on the Erie line, and the captain hailed the passengers and said, 'Look out.' Well, a Frenchman thinking something strange was to be seen, popt his head out, and it was cut off in a minute. 'Oh, mon Dieu!' said his comrade, 'dat is a very striking lesson in English. On land, look out means, open de window and see what you will see. On board canal boat it means, haul your head in, and don't look at nothin'.'

"Well, the worst hoist that I ever had was from a very high-actioned mare, the down foot slipped, and t'other was too high to be back in time for her to recover, and over both of us went kerlash in the mud. I was skeered more about her than myself, lest she should git the skin of her knee cut, for to a knowing one's eye that's an awful blemish. It's a long story to tell how such a blemish warn't the hoss's fault, for I'd rather praise than apologize for a critter any time. And there is one thing few-people knows. Let the cut come which way it will, the animal is never so safe afterwards. Nature's bandage, the skin, is severed, and that leg is the weakest.

"Well, as I was a sayin', Doctor, there is the knee action and the foot action, and then there is a third thing. The leg must be just thar."

"Where?" said the doctor.

"Thar," said I, "there is only one place for that, and that is 'thar,' well forward at the shoulder-point, and not where it most commonly is, too much under the body--for if it's too far back he stumbles, or too forward he can't 'pick chips quick stick.' Doctor, I am a borin' of you, but the fact is, when I get a goin' 'talkin' hoss,' I never know where to stop. How much better tempered they are than half the women in the world, ain't they? and I don't mean to undervally the dear critters neither by no manner of means, and how much more sense they have than half the men either, after all their cracking and bragging! How grateful they are for kindness, how attached to you they get. How willin' they are to race like dry dust in a thunder squall, till they die for you! I do love them, that is a fact, and when I see a feller a ill-usin' of one of 'em, it makes me feel as cross as two crooked gate-posts, I tell you.

"Indeed, a man that don't love a hoss is no man at all. I don't think he can be religious. A hoss makes a man humane and tender-hearted, teaches him to feel for others, to share his food, and be unselfish; to anticipate wants and supply them; to be gentle and patient. Then the hoss improves him otherwise. He makes him rise early, attend to meal hours, and to be cleanly. He softens and improves the heart. Who is there that ever went into a stable of a morning, and his critter whinnered to him and played his ears back and forward, and turned his head affectionately to him, and lifted his fore-feet short and moved his tail, and tried all he could to express his delight, and say, 'Morning to you, master,' or when he went up to the manger and patted his neck, and the lovin' critter rubbed his head agin him in return, that didn't think within himself, well, after all, the hoss is a noble critter? I do love him. Is it nothin' to make a man love at all? How many fellers get more kicks than coppers in their life--have no home, nobody to love them and nobody to love, in whose breast all the affections are pent up, until they get unwholesome and want ventilation. Is it nothin' to such an unfortunate critter to be made a stable help? Why, it elevates him in the scale of humanity. He discovers at last he has a head to think and a heart to feel. He is a new man. Hosses warn't given to us, Doctor, to ride steeple-chases, or run races, or brutify a man, but to add new powers and lend new speed to him. He was destined for nobler uses.

"Is it any wonder that a man that has owned old Clay likes to talk hoss? I guess not. If I was a gall I wouldn't have nothin' to say to a man that didn't love a hoss and know all about him. I wouldn't touch him with a pair of tongs. I'd scorn him as I would a nigger. Sportsmen breed pheasants to kill, and amature huntsmen shoot dear for the pleasure of the slaughter. The angler hooks salmon for the cruel delight he has in witnessing the strength of their dying struggles. The black-leg gentleman runs his hoss agin time, and wins the race, and kills his noble steed, and sometimes loses both money and hoss, I wish to gracious he always did; but the rail hossman, Doctor, is a rail man, every inch of him, stock, lock, and barrel."

"Massa," said Sorrow, who stood listenin' to me as I was warmin' on the subject. "Massa, dis hoss will be no manner of remaginable use under de blessed light ob de sun."

"Why, Sorrow?"

"Cause, Massa, he don't understand one word of English, and de French he knows no libbin' soul can understand but a Cheesencooker, yah, yah, yah! Dey called him a 'shovel,' and his tail a 'queue.' "

"What a goose you are, Sorrow," sais I.

"Fac, Massa," he said, "fac I do ressure you, and dey called de little piggy doctor fell over, 'a coach.' Dod drat my hide if they didn't yah, yah, yah!"

"The English ought to import, Doctor," sais I, "some of these into their country, for as to ridin' and drivin' there is nothin' like them. But catch Britishers admitting there is anything good in Canada, but the office of Governor-General, the military commands, and other pieces of patronage, which they keep to themselves, and then say they have nothing left. Ah me! times is altered, as Elgin knows. The pillory and the peerage have changed places. Once, a man who did wrong was first elevated, and then pelted. A peer is now assailed with eggs, and then exalted."

"Palmam qui meruit ferat," said the doctor.

"Is that the Latin for how many hands high the horse is?" sais I. "Well, on an average, say fifteen, perhaps oftener less than more. It's the old Norman horse of two centuries ago, a compound of the Flemish stock and the Barb, introduced into the Low Countries by the Spaniards. Havin' been transported to Canada at that early period, it has remained unchanged, and now may be called a distinct breed, differing widely in many respects from those found at the present day in the locations from which they originally came. But look at the amazin' strength of his hip, look at the lines, and anatomical formation (as you would say) of his frame, which fit him for both a saddle and a gig hoss. Look at his chest, not too wide to make him paddle in his gait, nor too narrow to limit his wind. Observe all the points of strength. Do you see the bone below the knee and the freedom of the cord there. Do you mark the eye and head of the Barb. Twig the shoulder, the identical medium for a hoss of all work, and the enormous power to shove him ahead. This fellow is a picture, and I am glad they have not mutilated or broken him. He is just the hoss I have been looking for, for our folks go in to the handle for fast trotters, and drive so much and ride so little, it ain't easy to get the right saddle beast in our State. The Cape Breton pony is of the same breed, though poor feed, exposure to the weather, and rough usage has caused him to dwindle in size; but they are the toughest, hardiest, strongest, and most serviceable of their inches, I know anywhere."

I always feel scared when I git on the subject of hosses for fear I should ear-wig people, so I stopt short; "And," sais I, "Doctor, I think I have done pretty well with the talking tacks, spose you give me some of your experience in the trapping line, you must have had some strange adventures in your time."

"Well, I have," said he, "but I have listened with pleasure to you, for although I am not experienced in horses, performing most of my journeys on foot, I see you know what you are talking about, for I am familiar with the anatomy of the horse. My road is the trackless forest, and I am more at home there than in a city. Like you I am fond of nature, but unlike you I know little of human nature, and I would rather listen to your experience than undergo the labour of acquiring it. Man is an artificial animal, but all the inhabitants of the forest are natural. The study of their habits, propensities, and instincts is very interesting, and in this country the only one that is formidable is the bear, for he is not only strong and courageous, but he has the power to climb trees, which no other animal will attempt in pursuit of man in Nova Scotia. The bear therefore is an ugly customer, particularly the female when she has her cubs about her, and a man requires to have his wits about him when she turns the table on him and hunts him. But you know these things as well as I do, and to tell you the truth there is little or nothing that is new to be said on the subject; one bear hunt is like another. The interest of these things is not so much in their incidents or accidents, as in the mode of telling them."

"That's a fact," sais I, "Doctor. But what do you suppose was the object Providence had in view in filling the world with beasts of prey? The east has its lions, tigers, and boa-constrictors; the south its panthers and catamounts; the north its bears and wolves; and the west its crocodiles and rattle-snakes. We read that dominion was given over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beast of the forest, and yet no man in a state of nature scarcely is a match for any one of these creatures; they don't minister to his wants, and he can't tame them to his uses."

"I have often asked myself, Slick," said he, "the same question, for nothing is made in vain, but it is a query not easy to answer. My own opinion is, they were designed to enforce civilisation. Without these terrors attending a sojourn in the wilderness, man would have wandered off as they do, and lived alone; he would have made no home, dwelt with no wife, and nurtured no children. His descendants would have done the same. When he encountered another male, he would have given him battle, perhaps killed and eat him. His very language would have perished, if ever he had any, and he would have been no better than an ourang-outang. The option was not given him. He was so constructed and so situated, he could not live alone. Individual strength was insufficient for independent existence. To preserve life he had to herd with his kind. Thus tribes were first formed, and to preserve one tribe from the violence of another, they again united and formed nations. This combination laid the foundation of civilisation, and as that extended, these beasts of prey retired to the confines of the country, enforcing while they still remain the observance of that law of nature which assigned to them this outpost duty.

"Where there is nothing revealed to us on the subject, all is left to conjecture. Whatever the cause was, we know it was a wise and a necessary one; and this appears to me to be the most plausible reason I can assign. Perhaps we may also trace a further purpose in their creation, in compelling by the terror they inspire the inferior animals to submit themselves to man, who is alone able to protect them against their formidable enemies, or to congregate, so that he may easily find them when he requires food; and may we not further infer that man also may by a similar sense of weakness be led to invoke in like manner the aid of Him who made all things and governs all things? Whatever is, is right," and then he quoted two Latin lines.

I hate to have a feller do that, it's like throwin' an apple into the water before a boy. He either has to lose it and go off disappointed, wonderin' what its flavour is, or else wade out for it, and like as not get out of his depth afore he knows where he is. So I generally make him first translate it, and then write it down for me. He ain't likely after that to do it a second time. Here are the words:


"Siquid novisti rectius istis
Candidas imperti, si non his utere mecum."






"Here is a place under the lee bow," said the pilot, "in which there are sure to be some coasters, among whom the mate may find a market for his wares, and make a good exchange for his mackarel."

So we accordingly entered and cast anchor among a fleet of fore-and-afters in one of those magnificent ports with which the eastern coast is so liberally supplied.

"There is some good salmon-fishing in the stream that falls into the harbour," said the doctor, "suppose we try our rods;" and while Cutler and his people were occupied in traffic, we rowed up the river beyond the little settlement, which had nothing attractive in it, and landed at the last habitation we could see. Some thirty or forty acres had been cleared of the wood, the fields were well fenced, and a small stock of horned cattle, principally young ones, and a few sheep, were grazing in the pasture. A substantial rough log hut and barn were the only buildings. With the exception of two little children playing about the door, there were none of the family to be seen.

On entering the house, we found a young woman, who appeared to be its sole occupant. She was about twenty-five years of age; tall, well formed, strong, and apparently in the enjoyment of good health and spirits. She had a fine open countenance, an artless and prepossessing manner, and was plainly but comfortably clad in the ordinary homespun of the country, and not only looked neat herself, but everything around her was beautifully clean. It was manifest she had been brought up in one of the older townships of the province, for there was an ease and air about her somewhat superior to the log hut in which we found her. The furniture was simple and of rude manufacture, but sufficient for the wants of a small family, though here and there was an article of a different kind and old-fashioned shape, that looked as if it had once graced a substantial farm-house, probably a present from the inmates of the old homestead.

We soon found from her that she and her husband were as she said new beginners, who, like most persons in the wilderness, had had many difficulties to contend with, which from accidental causes had during the past year been greatly increased. The weavil had destroyed their grain crop and the rot their potatoes, their main dependence, and they had felt the pressure of hard times. She had good hopes however she said for the present season, for they had sowed the golden straw wheat, which they heard was exempt from the ravages of insects, and their potatoes had been planted early on burnt land without barn manure, and she was confident they would thereby be rescued from the disease. Her husband, she informed us, in order to earn some money to make up for their losses, had entered on board of an American fishing vessel, and she was in daily expectation of his arrival, to remain at home until the captain should call for him again, after he had landed his cargo at Portland. All this was told in a simple and unaffected manner, but there was a total absence of complaint or despondency, which often accompany the recital of such severe trials.

Having sent Sorrow back in the boat with an injunction to watch our signal of recall, we proceeded further up the river, and commenced fishing. In a short time we killed two beautiful salmon, but the black flies and musquitoes were so intolerably troublesome, we were compelled to return to the log hut. I asked permission of our cheerful, tidy young hostess to broil a piece of the salmon by her fire, more for the purpose of leaving the fish with her than anything else, when she immediately offered to perform that friendly office for us herself.

"I believe," she said, "I have a drawing of tea left," and taking from the shelf a small mahogany caddy, emptied it of its contents. It was all she had. The flour-barrel was also examined and enough was gathered, as she said by great good luck, to make a few cakes. Her old man, she remarked, for so she termed her young husband, would be back in a day or two and bring a fresh supply. To relieve her of our presence, while she was busied in those preparations, we strolled to the bank of the river, where the breeze in the open ground swept away our tormentors, the venomous and ravenous flies, and by the time our meal was ready, returned almost loaded with trout. I do not know that I ever enjoyed anything more than this unexpected meal. The cloth was snowy white, the butter delicious, and the eggs fresh laid. In addition to this, and what rendered it so acceptable, it was a free offering of the heart.

In the course of conversation I learned from her, that the first year they had been settled there they had been burnt out, and lost nearly all they had, but she didn't mind that she said, for, thank God, she had saved her children, and she believed they had originally put up their building in the wrong place. The neighbours had been very kind to them, helped them to erect a new and larger house, near the beautiful spring we saw in the green; and besides, she and her husband were both young, and she really believed they were better off than they were before the accident.

Poor thing, she didn't need words of comfort, her reliance on Providence and their own exertions was so great, she seemed to have no doubt as to their ultimate success. Still, though she did not require encouragement, confirmation of her hopes, I knew, would be grateful to her, and I told her to tell her husband on no account to think of parting with or removing from the place, for I observed there was an extensive intervale of capital quality, an excellent mill privilege on the stream where I caught the salmon, and as he had the advantage of water carriage, that the wood on the place, which was of a quality to suit the Halifax market, would soon place him in independent circumstances.

"He will be glad to hear you think so, Sir," she replied, "for he has often said the very same thing himself; but the folks at the settlement laugh at him when he talks that way, and say he is too sanguine. But I am sure he ain't, for it is very much like my poor father's place in Colchester, only it has the privilege of a harbour which he had not, and that is a great thing."

The signal for Sorrow having been hung out for some time, we rose to take leave, and wishing to find an excuse for leaving some money behind me, and recollecting having seen some cows in the field, I asked her if she could sell me some of her excellent butter for the use of the cabin. She said she could not do so, for the cows all had calves, and she made but little; but she had five or six small prints, if I would accept them, and she could fill me a bottle or two with cream.

I felt much hurt--I didn't know what to do. She had given me her last ounce of tea, baked her last cake, and presented me with all the butter she had in the house. "Could or would you have done that?" said I to myself, "come, Sam, speak the truth now." Well, Squire, I only brag when I have a right to boast, though you do say I am always brim full of it, and I won't go for to deceive you or myself either, I know I couldn't, that's a fact. I have mixed too much with the world, my feelings have got blunted, and my heart ain't no longer as soft as it used to did to be. I can give, and give liberally, because I am able, but I give what I don't want and what I don't miss; but to give as this poor woman did all she had of these two indispensable articles, tea and flour, is a thing, there is no two ways about it, I could not.

I must say I was in a fix; if I was to offer to pay her, I knew I should only wound her feelings. She derived pleasure from her hospitality, why should I deprive her of that gratification? If she delighted to give, why should I not in a like feeling be pleased to accept, when a grateful reception was all that was desired--must I be outdone in all things? must she teach me how to give freely and accept gracefully?

She shall have her way this hitch, and so will I have mine bime by, or the deuce is in the die. I didn't surely come to Liscombe Harbour to be taught those things.

"Tell your husband," sais I, "I think very highly of his location, and if hard times continue to pinch him, or he needs a helping hand, I am both able and willing to assist him, and will have great pleasure in doing so for her sake who has so kindly entertained us in his absence. Here is my card and address, if he wants a friend let him come to me, and if he can't do that, write to me, and he will find I am on hand. Any man in Boston will tell him where Sam Slick lives."

"Who?" said she.

"Sam Slick," sais I.

"My goodness," said she, "are you the Mr Slick who used to sell--" She paused and coloured slightly, thinking perhaps, as many people do, I would be ashamed to be reminded of pedling.

"Wooden clocks," sais I, helping her to the word. "Yes," sais I, "I am Sam Slick the Clockmaker, at least what is left of me."

"Goodness gracious, Sir," said she, advancing and shaking hands cordially with me, "how glad I am to see you! You don't recollect me of course, I have grown so since we met, and I don't recollect your features, for it is so long ago, but I mind seeing you at my father's old house, Deacon Flint's, as well as if it was yesterday. We bought a clock from you; you asked mother's leave to let you put it up, and leave it in the room till you called for it. You said you trusted to 'soft sawder' to get it into the house, and to 'human natur' that it should never come out of it. How often our folks have laughed over that story. Dear, dear, only to think we should have ever met again," and going to a trunk she took out of a bark-box a silver sixpence with a hole in it, by which it was suspended on a black ribbon.

"See, Sir, do you recollect that, you gave that to me for a keepsake? you said it was 'luck-money.'"

"Well," sais I, "if that don't pass, don't it? Oh, dear, how glad I am to see you, and yet how sad it makes me too! I am delighted at meetin' you so onexpected, and yet it makes me feel so old it scares me. It only seems as if it was the other day when I was at your father's house, and since then yon have growd up from a little girl into a tall handsome woman, got married, been settled, and are the mother of two children. Dear me, it's one o' the slaps old Father Time gives me in the face sometimes, as much as to hint, 'I say, Slick, you are gettin' too old now to talk so much nonsense as you do.' Well," sais I, "my words have come true about that silver sixpence."

"Come here, my little man," sais I to her pretty curly-headed little boy; "come here to me," and I resumed my seat. "Now," sais I, "my old friend, I will show you how that prophecy is fulfilled to this child. That clock I sold to Deacon Flint only cost me five dollars, and five dollars more would pay duty, freight, and carriage, and all expenses, which left five pounds clear profit, but that warn't the least share of the gain. It introduced my wares all round and through the country, and it would have paid me well if I had given him a dozen clocks for his patronage. I always thought I would return him that profit if I could see him, and as I can't do that I will give it to this little boy," so I took out my pocket-book and gave her twenty dollars for him.

"Come," sais I, "my friend, that relieves my conscience now of a debt of gratitude, for that is what I always intended to do if I got a chance."

Well, she took it, said it was very kind, and would be a great help to them; but that she didn't see what occasion there was to return the money, for it was nothing but the fair profit of a trade, and the clock was a most excellent one, kept capital time, and was still standing in the old house.

Thinks I to myself, "You have taught me two things, my pretty friend; first, how to give, and second, how to receive."

Well, we bid her good-bye, and after we had proceeded a short distance I returned.

Sais I, "Mrs Steele, there is one thing I wish you would do for me; is there any cranberries in this neighbourhood?"

"Plenty, Sir," she said; "at the head of this river there is an immense bog, chock full of them."

"Well," sais I, "there is nothin' in natur I am so fond of as them; I would give anything in the world for a few bushel. Tell your husband to employ some people to pick me this fall a barrel of them, and send them to me by one of our vessels, directed to me to Slickville, and when I go on board I will send you a barrel of flour to pay for it.

"Dear me, Sir," said she, "that's a great deal more than their value; why they ain't worth more than two dollars. We will pick them for you with great pleasure. We don't want pay."

"Ain't they worth that?" said I, "so much the better. Well, then, he can send me another barrel the next year. Why, they are as cheap as bull beef at a cent a pound. Good bye; tell him to be sure to come and see me the first time he goes to the States. Adieu."

"What do you think of that, Doctor?" said I, as we proceeded to the boat; "ain't that a nice woman? how cheerful and uncomplaining she is; how full of hope and confidence in the future. Her heart is in the right place, ain't it? My old mother had that same sort of contentment about her, only, perhaps, her resignation was stronger than her hope. When anything ever went wrong about our place to home to Slickville, she'd always say, 'Well, Sam, it might have been worse;' or, 'Sam, the darkest hour is always just afore day,' and so on. But Minister used to amuse me beyond anything, poor old soul. Once the congregation met and raised his wages from three to four hundred dollars a-year. Well, it nearly set him crazy; it bothered him so he could hardly sleep. So after church was over the next Sunday, he sais, 'My dear brethren, I hear you have raised my salary to four hundred dollars. I am greatly obliged to you for your kindness, but I can't think of taking it on no account. First, you can't afford it no how you can fix it, and I know it; secondly, I ain't worth it, and you know it; and thirdly, I am nearly tired to death collecting my present income; if I have to dun the same way for that, it will kill me. I can't stand it; I shall die. No, no; pay me what you allow me more punctually, and it is all I ask, or will ever receive.'

"But this poor woman is a fair sample of her class in this country; I do believe the only true friendship and hospitality is to be found among them. They ain't rich enough for ostentation, and are too equal in condition and circumstances for the action of jealousy or rivalry; I believe they are the happiest people in the world, but I know they are the kindest. Their feelings are not chilled by poverty or corrupted by plenty; their occupations preclude the hope of wealth and forbid the fear of distress. Dependent on each other for mutual assistance, in those things that are beyond individual exertion, they interchange friendly offices, which commencing in necessity, grow into habit, and soon become the 'labour of love.' They are poor, but not destitute, a region in my opinion in which the heart is more fully developed than in any other. Those who are situated like Steele and his wife, and commence a settlement in the woods, with the previous training they have received in the rural districts, begin at the right end; but they are the only people who are fit to be pioneers in the forest. How many there are who begin at the wrong end; perhaps there is no one subject on which men form such false notions as the mode of settling in the country, whether they are citizens of a colonial town, or strangers, from Great Britain.

"Look at that officer at Halifax: he is the best dressed man in the garrison; he is well got up always; he looks the gentleman every inch of him; how well his horses are groomed; how perfect his turn-out looks; how well appointed it is, as he calls it. He and his servant and his cattle are a little bit of fashion imported from the park, and astonish the natives. Look at his wife, ain't she a beautiful creature? they are proud of, and were just made for each other. This is not merely all external appearance either: they are accomplished people; they sing, they play, they sketch, they paint, they speak several languages, they are well read, they have many resources. Soldiering is dull, and, in time of peace, only a police service. It has disagreeable duties; it involves repeated removals, and the alternation of bad climates--from Hudson's Bay to Calcutta's Black Hole. The juniors of the regimental officers are mere boys, the seniors great empty cartouch-boxes, and the women have cabals,--there is a sameness even in its variety; but worse than all, it has no home--in short, the whole thing is a bore. It is better to sell out and settle in the province; land is cheap; their means are ample, and more than sufficient for the requirements of the colony; country society is stupid; there are no people fit to visit. It is best to be out of the reach of their morning calls and their gossip. A few miles back in the woods there is a splendid stream with a beautiful cascade on it; there is a magnificent lake communicating with several others that form a chain of many miles in extent. That swelling knoll that slopes so gently to the water would be such a pretty site for a cottage-orné, and the back-ground of hanging wood has an indescribable beauty in it, especially in the autumn, when the trees are one complete mass of variegated hues. He warms on the theme as he dilates on it, and sings as he turns to his pretty wife:


'I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curled
Above the green elms that a cottage was near;
And I said, if there's peace to be found in the world,
The heart that is humble might hope for it here.'


"How sweet to plan, how pleasant to execute. How exciting to see it grow under one's own eye, the work of one's own hand, the creation of one's own taste. It is decided on; Dechamps retires, the papers go in, the hero goes out--what a relief! no inspection of soldiers' dirty kits--no parade by day--no guards nor rounds by night--no fatigue parties of men who never fatigue themselves--no stupid court-martial--no horrid punishments--no reviews to please a colonel who never is pleased, or a general who will swear--no marching through streets, to be stared at by housemaids from upper windows, and by dirty boys in the side paths--no procession to follow brass instruments, like the train of a circus--no bearded band-master with his gold cane to lead on his musicians, and no bearded white goat to march at the head of the regiment. All, all are gone.

"He is out of livery, he has played at soldiering long enough, he is tired of the game, he sells out, the man of business is called in, his lawyer, as he terms him, as if every gentleman kept a lawyer as he does a footman. He is in a hurry to have the purchase completed with as little delay as possible. But delays will occur, he is no longer a centurion and a man of authority, who has nothing to do but to say to this one, Come, and he cometh; and another, Go, and he goeth; Do this, and it is done. He can't put a lawyer under arrest, he is a man of arrests himself. He never heard of an attachment for contempt, and if he had, he couldn't understand it; for, when the devil was an attorney, he invented the term, as the softest and kindest name for the hardest and most unkind process there is. Attachment for contempt, what a mockery of Christian forgiveness!

"A conveyancer is a slow coach, he must proceed cautiously, he has a long journey to take, he has to travel back to a grant from the crown, through all the 'mesne' conveyances. He don't want a mean conveyance, he will pay liberally if it is only done quickly; and is informed 'mesne' in law signifies intermediate. It is hard to say what the language of law does mean. Then there are searches to be made in the record offices, and the--damn the searches, for he is in a hurry and loses his patience--search at the bankers, and all will be found right. Then there are releases and assignments and discharges. He can stand it no longer, he releases his lawyer, discharges him, and assigns another, who hints, insinuates, he don't charge; but gives him to understand his predecessor was idle. He will lose no time, indeed he has no time to lose, he is so busy with other clients' affairs, and is as slow as the first man was.

"But at last it is done; the titles are completed. He is presented with a huge pile of foolscap paper, very neatly folded, beautifully engrossed and endorsed in black letters, and nicely tied up with red tape, which, with sundry plans, surveys, and grants, are secured in a large despatch box, on which are inscribed in gold letters the 'Epaigwit estate.' It is a pretty Indian word that, it means the 'home on the wave.' It is the original name of that gem of the western ocean which the vulgar inhabitants have christened Prince Edward's Island.

"But what can you expect of a people whose governor calls the gentry 'the upper crust of society,' and who in their turn see an affinity between a Scotch and a Roman fiddle, and denounce him as a Nero? But then who looks, as he says, for taste in a colony? it is only us Englishmen who have any. Yes, he calls this place 'Epaigwit.' It has a distingué appearance on his letters. It has now a name, the next thing is 'a local habitation.' Well, we won't stop to describe it, but it has an elegant drawing-room, if there was only company to collect in it, a spacious dining-room, and though only two plates are on the table there is room for twenty, and a charming study, only awaiting his leisure to enjoy it, and so on.

"It is done and the design carried out, though not completed; prudence forbids a further expenditure just now. It has cost five times as much as was contemplated, and is not worth a tenth part of the outlay, still it is very beautiful. Strangers go to see it, and every one pronounces it the prettiest thing in the Lower provinces. There have been some little drawbacks, but they are to be expected in a colony, and among the Goths and Vandals who live there. The contractors have repudiated their agreement on account of the extensive alterations made in the design and the nature of the work, and he has found there is law in the country if not justice. The servants find it too lonely, they have no taste for the beauties of nature, and remain without work, or quit without notice. If he refuses to pay he is sued, if he pays he is cheated. The house leaks, for the materials are green; the chimneys smoke, for the drafts are in the wrong place. The children are tormented by black flies and musquitoes, and their eyes are so swelled they can't see. The bears make love to his sheep, and the minks and foxes devour his poultry. The Indians who come to beg are supposed to come to murder, and the negroes who come to sell wild berries are suspected of coming to steal. He has no neighbours, he did not desire any, and if a heavy weight has to be lifted, it is a little, but not much, inconvenience to send to the town for assistance; and the people go cheerfully, for they have only five miles to come, and five to return, and they are not detained more than five minutes, for he never asks them into his house. The butcher won't come so far to carry his meat, nor the baker his bread, nor the postman to deliver his letters.

"The church is too far off, and there is no school. But the clergyman is not fit to be heard, he is such a drone in the pulpit; and it is a sweet employment to train one's own children, who thus avoid contamination by not associating with vulgar companions.

"These are trifling vexations, and what is there in this life that has not some little drawback? But there is something very charming in perfect independence, in living for each other, and in residing in one of the most delightful spots in America, surrounded by the most exquisite scenery that was ever beheld. There is one thing however that is annoying. The country people will not use or adopt that pretty word Epaigwit, 'the home of the wave,' which rivals in beauty of conception an eastern expression. The place was originally granted to a fellow of the name of Umber, who was called after the celebrated navigator Cook. These two words when united soon became corrupted, and the magnificent sheet of water was designated 'the Cucumber Lake,' while its splendid cataract, known in ancient days by the Indians as the 'Pan-ook,' or 'the River's Leap,' is perversely called by way of variation 'the Cowcumber Falls;' can anything be conceived more vulgar or more vexatious, unless it be their awkward attempt at pronunciation, which converts Epaigwit into 'a pig's wit,' and Pan-ook into 'Pond-hook?'

"But then, what can you expect of such boors, and who cares, or what does it matter? for after all, if you come to that, the 'Cumberland Lakes' is not very euphonious, as he calls it, whatever that means. He is right in saying it is a beautiful place, and, as he often observes, what an immense sum of money it would be worth if it were only in England! but the day is not far distant, now that the Atlantic is bridged by steamers, when 'bag-men' will give place to tourists, and 'Epaigwit' will be the 'Killarney' of America. He is quite right, that day will come, and so will the millennium, but it is a good way off yet; and dear old Minister used to say there was no dependable authority that it ever would come at all.

"Now and then a brother officer visits him. Elliott is there now, not the last of the Elliotts, for there is no end of them, and though only a hundred of them have been heard of in the world, there are a thousand well known to the Treasury. But he is the last chum from his regiment he will ever see. As they sit after dinner he hands the olives to his friend, and suddenly checks himself, saying, I forgot, you never touch the 'after-feed.' Then he throws up both eyes and hands, and affects to look aghast at the mistake. 'Really,' he says, 'I shall soon become us much of a boor as the people of this country. I hear nothing now but mowing, browsing, and 'after-feed,' until at last I find myself using the latter word for 'dessert.' He says it prettily and acts it well, and although his wife has often listened to the same joke, she looks as if it would bear repetition, and her face expresses great pleasure. Poor Dechamps, if your place is worth nothing, she at least is a treasure above all price.

"Presently Elliott sais, 'By-the-by, Dechamps, have you heard we are ordered to Corfu, and embark immediately?'

"Dear me, what magic there is in a word. Sometimes it discloses in painful distinctness the past, at others it reveals a prophetic page of the future; who would ever suppose there was anything in that little insignificant word to occasion a thought, unless it was whether it is pronounced Corfoo or Corfew, and it's so little consequence which, I always give it the go by and say Ionian Isles.

"But it startled Dechamps. He had hoped before he left the army to have been ordered there, and from thence to have visited the classic coasts of Greece. Alas, that vision has gone, and there is a slight sigh of regret, for possession seldom equals expectation, and always cloys. He can never more see his regiment, they have parted for ever. Time and distance have softened some of the rougher features of military life. He thinks of the joyous days of youth, the varied scenes of life, his profession exposed to his view, and the friends he has left behind him. The service he thinks not so intolerable after all, and though regimental society is certainly not what he should choose, especially as a married man, yet, except in a rollicking corps, it may at least negatively be said to be 'not bad.'

"From this review of the past he turns to the prospect before him. But he discerns something that he does not like to contemplate, a slight shadow passes over his face, and he asks Elliott to pass the wine. His wife, with the quickness of perception so natural to a woman, sees at once what is passing in his mind; for similar, but deeper, far deeper thoughts, like unbidden guests, have occupied hers many an anxious hour. Poor thing, she at once perceives her duty and resolves to fulfil it. She will be more cheerful. She at least will never murmur. After all, Doctor, it's no great exaggeration to call a woman that has a good head and kind heart, and the right shape, build, and bearings, an angel, is it? But let us mark their progress, for we shall be better able to judge then.

"Let us visit Epaigwit again in a few years. Who is that man near the gate that looks unlike a servant, unlike a farmer, unlike a gentleman, unlike a sportsman, and yet has a touch of all four characters about him? He has a shocking bad hat on but what's the use of a good hat in the woods, as poor Jackson said, where there is no one to see it. He has not been shaved since last sheep-shearing, and has a short black pipe in his mouth, and the tobacco smells like nigger-head or pig-tail. He wears a coarse check shirt without a collar, a black silk neck-cloth frayed at the edge, that looks like a rope of old ribbons. His coat appears as if it had once been new, but had been on its travels, until at last it had got pawned to a Jew at Rag-alley. His waistcoat was formerly buff, but now resembles yellow flannel, and the buttons, though complete in number are of different sorts. The trowsers are homespun, much worn, and his boots coarse enough to swap with a fisherman for mackarel. His air and look betokens pride rendered sour by poverty.

"But there is something worse than all this, something one never sees without disgust or pain, because it is the sure precursor of a diseased body, a shattered intellect, and voluntary degradation. There is a bright red colour that extends over the whole face, and reaches behind the ears. The whiskers are prematurely tipt with white, as if the heated skin refused to nourish them any longer. The lips are slightly swelled, and the inflamed skin indicates inward fever, while the eyes are bloodshot, the under lids distended, and incline to shrink from contact with the heated orbs they were destined to protect. He is a dram-drinker; and the poison that he imbibes with New England rum is as fatal, and nearly as rapid in its destruction, as strikline.

"Who is he; can you guess? do you give it up? He is that handsome officer, the Laird of Epaigwit as the Scotch would say, the general as we should call him, for we are liberal of titles, and the man that lives at Cowcumber Falls, as they say here. Poor fellow, he has made the same discovery Sergeant Jackson did, that there is no use of good things in the woods where there is no one to see them. He is about to order you off his premises, but it occurs to him that would be absurd, for he has nothing now worth seeing. He scrutinises you however to ascertain if he has ever seen you before. He fears recognition, for he dreads both your pity and your ridicule; so he strolls leisurely back to the house with a certain bull-dog air of defiance.

"Let us follow him thither; but before we enter, observe there is some glass out of the window, and its place supplied by shingles. The stanhope is in the coach-house, but the by-road was so full of stumps and cradle-hills, it was impossible to drive in it, and the moths have eaten the lining out. The carriage has been broken so often it is not worth repairing, and the double harness has been cut up to patch the tacklin' of the horse-team. The shrubbery has been browsed away by the cattle, and the rank grass has choked all the rose bushes and pretty little flowers. What is the use of these things in the woods? That remark was on a level with the old dragoon's intellect; but I am surprised that this intelligent officer; this man of the world, this martinet, didn't also discover, that he who neglects himself soon becomes so careless as to neglect his other duties, and that to lose sight of them is to create and invite certain ruin. But let us look at the interior.

"There are some pictures on the walls, and there are yellow stains where others hung. Where are they? for I think I heard a man say he bought them on account of their handsome frames, from that crack-brained officer at Cucumber Lake; and he shut his eye, and looked knowing and whispered, 'Something wrong there, had to sell out of the army; some queer story about another wife still living; don't know particulars.' Poor Dechamps, you are guiltless of that charge at any rate, to my certain knowledge; but how often does slander bequeath to folly that which of right belongs to crime! The nick-knacks, the antique china, the Apostles' spoons, the queer little old-fashioned silver ornaments, the French clock, the illustrated works, and all that sort of thing,--all, all are gone. The housemaids broke some, the children destroyed others, and the rest were sent to auction, merely to secure their preservation. The paper is stained in some places, in others has peeled off; but where under the sun have all the accomplishments gone to?

"The piano got out of tune, and there was nobody to put it in order: it was no use; the strings were taken out, and the case was converted into a cupboard. The machinery of the harp became rusty, and the cords were wanted for something else. But what is the use of these things in the woods where there is nobody to see them? But here is Mrs Dechamps. Is it possible! My goody gracious as I am a living sinner! Well I never in all my born days! what a dreadful wreck! you know how handsome she was. Well, I won't describe her now, I pity her too much. You know I said they were counterparts, just made for each other, and so they were; but they are of different sexes, made of different stuff, and trouble has had a different effect on them. He has neglected himself, and she is negligent of her dress too, but not in the same way. She is still neat, but utterly regardless of what her attire is; but let it be what it may, and let her put on what she will, still she looks like a lady. But her health is gone, and her spirits too; and in their place a little, delicate hectic spot has settled in her cheek, beautiful to look at, but painful to think of. This faint blush is kindly sent to conceal consumption, and the faint smile is assumed to hide the broken heart. If it didn't sound unfeelin', I should say she was booked for an early train; but I think so if I don't say so. The hour is fixed, the departure certain; she is glad to leave Epaigwit.

"Somehow though I must say I am a little disappointed in her. She was a soldier's wife; I thought she was made of better stuff, and if she had died would have at least died game. Suppose they have been unfortunate in pitching their tent 'on the home of the wave,' and got aground, and their effects have been thrown overboard; what is that, after all? Thousands hare done the same; there is still hope for them. They are more than a match for these casualties; how is it she has given up so soon? Well, don't allude to it, but there is a sad tragical story connected with that lake. Do you recollect that beautiful curly-headed child, her eldest daughter, that she used to walk with at Halifax? Well, she grew up into a magnificent girl; she was full of health and spirits, and as fleet and as wild as a hare. She lived in the woods and on the lake. She didn't shoot, and she didn't fish, but she accompanied those who did. The beautiful but dangerous bark canoe was her delight; she never was happy but when she was in it. Tom Hodges, the orphan boy they had brought with them from the regiment, who alone of all their servants had remained faithful in their voluntary exile, was the only one permitted to accompany her; for he was so careful, so expert, and so good a swimmer. Alas! one night the canoe returned not. What a long, eager, anxious night was that! but towards noon the next day the upturned bark drifted by the shore, and then it was but too evident that that sad event which the anxious mother had so often dreaded and predicted had come to pass. They had met a watery grave. Often and often were the whole chain of lakes explored, but their bodies were never found. Entangled in the long grass and sunken driftwood that covered the bottom of these basins, it was not likely they would ever rise to the surface.

"It was impossible to contemplate that fearful lake without a shudder. They must leave the place soon and for ever. Oh, had Emily's life been spared, she could have endured any and everything for her sake. Poor thing! how little she knew what she was a talking about, as she broke the seal of a letter in a well-known hand. Her life was spared; it never was endangered. She had eloped with Tom Hodges--she had reached Boston--she was very happy--Tom was all kindness to her. She hoped they would forgive her and write to her, for they were going to California, where they proposed to be married as soon as they arrived. Who ever appealed to a mother for forgiveness in vain? Everything appeared in a new light. The child had been neglected; she ought not to have been suffered to spend so much of her time with that boy; both her parents had strangely forgotten that they had grown up, and--it was no use to say more. Her father had locked her out of his heart, and thrown away the key for ever. He wished she had been drowned, for in that case she would have died innocent; and he poured out such a torrent of imprecations, that the poor mother was terrified lest, as the Persians say, these curses, like fowls, might return home to roost, or like prayers, might be heard, and procure more than was asked.

"You may grieve over the conduct of a child, and lament its untimely death, and trust in God for his mercy; but no human being can reverse the order of things, and first mourn the decease of a child, and then grieve for its disgraceful life; for there is a grave again to be dug, and who knoweth whether the end shall be peace? We can endure much, but there is a load that crusheth. Poor thing! you were right, and your husband wrong. Woman-like, your judgment was correct, your impulses good, and your heart in the right place. The child was not to be blamed, but its parents. You could, if you thought proper, give up society and live for each other; you had proved it, and knew how hollow and false it was; but your children could not resign what they never had, nor ignore feelings which God had implanted within them. Nature has laws which must and will be obeyed. The swallow selects its mate, builds its nest, and occupies itself in nurturing its young. The heart must have something to love, and if it is restricted in its choice, it will bestow its affections not on what it would approve and select, but upon what it may chance to find; you are not singular in your domestic affliction; it is the natural consequence of your isolation, and I have known it happen over and over again.

"Now, Doctor, let us return, after the lapse of a few years, as I did, to Epaigwit. I shall never forget the impression it made upon me. It was about this season of the year I went there to fish, intending to spend the night in a camp, so as to be ready for the morning sport: 'Why, where am I?' sais I to myself, when I reached the place. 'Why, surely this ain't Cucumber Lake! where is that beautiful hanging wood, the temptation in the wilderness that ruined poor Dechamps? gone, not cleared, but destroyed; not subdued to cultivation, but reduced to desolation.' Tall gaunt black trees stretch out their withered arms on either side, as if balancing themselves against a fall, while huge trunks lie scattered over the ground, where they fell in their fierce conflict with the devouring fire that overthrew them. The ground is thickly covered with ashes, and large white glistening granite rocks, which had formerly been concealed by moss, the creeping evergreen, and the smiling, blushing may-flower, now rear their cold snowy heads that contrast so strangely with the funereal pall that envelopes all around them. No living thing is seen there, nor bird, nor animal, nor insect, nor verdant plant; even the hardy fire-weed has not yet ventured to intrude on this scene of desolation, and the woodpecker, afraid of the atmosphere which charcoal has deprived of vitality, shrinks back in terror when he approaches it. Poor Dechamps, had you remained to witness this awful conflagration, you would have observed in those impenetrable boulders of granite a type of the hard, cold, unfeeling world around you, and in that withered and blackened forest, a fitting emblem of your blighted and blasted prospects.

"But if the trees had disappeared from that side of the lake, they had been reproduced on the other. The fields, the lawn, and the garden were over-run with a second growth of wood that had nearly concealed the house from view. It was with some difficulty I forced my way through the chaparel (thicket), which was rendered almost impenetrable by thorns, Virginia creepers, honeysuckles, and sweet-briars, that had spread in the wildest profusion. The windows, doors, mantle-pieces, bannisters, and every portable thing had been removed from the house by the blacks, who had squatted in the neighbourhood; even the chimneys had been taken down for the bricks. The swallows were the sole tenants; the barn had fallen a prey to decay and storms, and the roof lay comparatively uninjured at some distance on the ground. A pair of glistening eyes, peeping through a broken board at the end, showed me that the foxes had appropriated it to their own use. The horse-stable, coach-house, and other buildings were in a similar state of dilapidation.

"I returned to the camp, and learned that Mrs Dechamps was reposing in peace in the village church-yard, the children had been sent to England to their relatives, and the captain was residing in California with his daughter and Tom Hodges, who were the richest people in St Francisco."

"What a sad picture!" said the doctor.

"Well, it's true though," said I, "ain't it?"

"I never was at Cucumber Lake," said he, smiling, "but I have known several similar failures. The truth is, Mr Slick, though I needn't tell you, for you know better than I do, our friend Steele began at the right and Dechamps at the wrong end. The poor native ought always to go to the woods, the emigrant or gentleman never; the one is a rough and ready man; he is at home with an axe, and is conversant as well with the privations and requirements as with the expedients and shifts of forest life; his condition is ameliorated every year, and in his latter days he can afford to rest from his labours; whereas, if he buys what is called a half-improved farm, and is unable to pay for it at the time of the purchase, the mortgage is almost sure to ruin him at last. Now a man of means who retires to the country is wholly unfit for a pioneer, and should never attempt to become one; he should purchase a farm ready made to his hands, and then he has nothing to do but to cultivate and adorn it. It takes two generations, at least, to make such a place as he requires. The native, again is one of a class, and the most necessary one too in the country; the people sympathise with him, aid and encourage him. The emigrant-gentleman belongs to no class, and wins no affection; he is kindly received and judiciously advised by people of his own standing in life, but he affects to consider their counsel obtrusive and their society a bore; he is therefore suffered to proceed his own way, which they all well know, as it has been so often travelled before, leads to ruin. They pity, but they can't assist him. Yes, yes, your sketch of 'Epaigwit' is so close to nature, I shouldn't wonder if many a man who reads it should think he sees the history of his own place under the name of 'the Cucumber Lake.'"






In compiling this Journal, Squire, my object has been less to give you the details of my cruise, than to furnish you with my remarks on men and things in general. Climate, locality, and occupation form or vary character, but man is the same sort of critter everywhere. To know him thoroughly, he must be studied in his various aspects. When I learned drawing, I had an India-rubber figure, with springs in it, and I used to put it into all sorts of attitudes. Sometimes it had its arms up, and sometimes down, now a-kimbo, and then in a boxing posture. I stuck out its legs or made it stand bolt upright, and put its head every way I could think of, and so on. It taught me to draw, and showed me the effect of light and shade. So in sketching human character, feelings, prejudices, and motives of action, I have considered man at one time as a politician, a preacher, or a trader, and at another as a countryman or a citizen, as ignorant or wise, and so on. In this way I soon learned to take his gauge as you do a cask of spirits, and prove his strength or weakness by the bead I could raise on him.

If I know anything of these matters, and you seem to consait I do, why I won't act "Peter Funk"1 to myself, but this I will say, "Human natur is my weakness." Now I think it best to send you only such portions of my Journal as will interest you, for a mere diary of a cruise is a mere nothing. So I skip over my sojourn at Canzeau, and a trip the doctor and I took to Prince Edward's Island, as containing nothing but a sort of ship's log, and will proceed to tell you about our sayings and doings at that celebrated place Louisburg, in Cape Breton, which was twice besieged and taken, first by our colony-forefathers from Boston, and then by General Wolfe, the Quebec hero, and of which nothing now remains but its name, which you will find in history, and its harbour, which you will find in the map. The French thought building a fortress was colonization, and the English that blowing it up was the right way to settle the country. The world is wiser now.


1 At petty auctions in the States, a person is employed to bid up articles, in order to raise their price. Such a person is called a Peter Funk, probably from that name having frequently been given when things were bought in. In short, it is now used as a "puffer."--BARTLETT.


As we approached the place the Doctor said, "You see, Mr Slick, the entrance to Louisburg is pointed out to voyagers coming from the eastward, by the ruins of an old French lighthouse, and the lantern of a new one, on the rocky wall of the north shore, a few minutes after approaching which the mariner shoots from a fretful sea into the smooth and capacious port. The ancient ruins display even yet the most attractive object to the eye. The outline of these neglected mounds, you observe, is boldly marked against the sky, and induces a visit to the spot where the fortress once stood. Louisburg is everywhere covered with a mantle of turf, and without the assistance of a native it is not easy to discover even the foundations of the public buildings. Two or three casemates still remain, appearing like the mouths of huge ovens, surmounted by a great mass of earth and stone. These caverns, originally the safeguards of powder and other combustible munitions of war, now serve to shelter the flocks of sheep that graze upon the grass that conceals them. The floors are rendered nearly impassable by the ordure of these animals, but the vaulted ceilings are adorned by dependent stalactites, like icicles in shape, but not in purity of colour, being of a material somewhat similar to oyster shells. The mass of stone1 and brick that composed the buildings, and which is now swept so completely from its site, has been distributed along the shores of America, as far as Halifax and Boston, having been successively carried away for the erections in those places and the intermediate coast, which contains many a chimney bearing the memorials of Louisburg. The remains of the different batteries on the island and round the harbour are still shown by the inhabitants, as well as of the wharves, stockade, and sunken ships of war. On gaining the walls above the town, they are found to consist of a range of earthen fortifications with projecting angles, and extending as already mentioned from the harbour to the sea, interrupted at intervals by large pits, said to have been produced by the efforts of the captors to blow up the walls. From these heights, the glacis slopes away to the edge of the bog outside, forming a beautiful level walk, though now only enjoyed by the sheep, being, like the walls, carpeted by short turf. At the termination of this line of fortification on the sea-shore, is a huge and uncouth black rock, which appears to have been formerly quarried for building stone, large quantities ready hewn being still scattered round it, and gathered in masses as if prepared for that use.


1 See Haliburton's "History of Nova Scotia."


"The prospect from the brow of the dilapidated ramparts is one of the most impressive that the place affords. Looking to the south-west over the former city, the eye wanders upon the interminable ocean, its blue rolling waves occupying three-fourths of the scene, and beyond them, on the verge of the horizon, a dense bank of fog sweeps along with the prevailing S.W. wind, precluding all hopes of discerning any vista beyond that curtain. Turning landwards towards the south-west, over the spacious bog that lies at the foot of the walls, the sight is met by a range of low wood in the direction of Gabarus, and can penetrate no further. The harbour is the only prospect to the northward, and immediately in its rear the land rises so as to prevent anymore distant view, and even the harbour appears dwindled to a miniature of itself, being seen in the same picture with the mighty ocean that nearly surrounds the beholder. The character of the whole scene is melancholy, presenting the memorials of former life and population, contrasted with its present apparent isolation from the natives of the earth. The impression is not weakened by the sight of the few miserable huts scattered along the shores of the port, and the little fishing vessels, scarcely perceptible in the mountain-swell of the ocean; they serve but to recall painfully the images of elegant edifices that once graced the foreground, and of proud flags that waved upon the face of that heaving deep.

"It is not easy to give a reason for the continued desolation of Louisburg. A harbour opening directly upon the sea, whence egress is unobstructed and expeditious, and return equally convenient at all seasons; excellent fishing grounds at the very entrance; space on shore for all the operations of curing the fish; every advantage for trade and the fisheries is offered in vain. The place would appear to be shunned by tacit consent. The shallops come from Arichet and St Peter's Bay to fish at its very mouth, but no one sets up his establishment there. The merchants resort to every station in its vicinity, to Main-a-Dieu, the Bras d'Or, St Anne, Inganish, nay, even Cape North, places holding out no advantage to compare with those of Louisburg, yet no one ventures there. The fatality that hangs over places of fallen celebrity seems to press heavily on this once valued spot."

"Massa Doctor," said Sorrow, when he heard this description, "peers to me, dem English did gib de French goss widout sweetenin', most particular jess dat are a nateral fac. By golly, but dey was strange folks boff on 'em. Ki dey must been gwine stracted, sure as you born, when dey was decomposed (angry) wid each other, to come all de way out here to fight. Lordy gracious, peers to me crossin' de sea might a cooled them, sposin' dar hair was rumpled."

"You are right, Sorrow," said I; "and, Doctor, niggers and women often come to a right conclusion, though they cannot give the right reasons for it, don't they?"

"Oh, oh, Mr Slick," said he, "pray don't class ladies and niggers together. Oh, I thought you had more gallantry about you than that."

"Exactly," sais I, "there is where the shoe pinches. You are a so far and no further emancipationist. You will break up the social system of the south, deprive the planter of his slave, and set the nigger free; but you will not admit him to your family circle, associate with him, or permit him to intermarry with your daughter. Ah, Doctor, you can emancipate him, but you can't emancipate yourself. You are willing to give him the liberty of a dog; he may sleep in your stable, exercise himself in the coachyard, and may stand or run behind your carriage, but he must not enter the house, for he is offensive, nor eat at your table, for the way he devours his food is wolfish; you unchain him, and that is all. But before the collar was unfastened he was well and regularly fed, now he has to forage for it; and if he can't pay for his grub, he can and will steal it. Abolition has done great things for him. He was once a life-labourer on a plantation in the south, he is now a prisoner for life in a penitentiary in the north, or an idle vagrant, and a shameless, houseless beggar. The fruit of cant is indeed bitter. The Yankees emancipated their niggers because it didn't pay to keep slaves. They now want the southern planters to liberate theirs for conscience sake. But here we are on the beach; let us land."

After taking a survey of the scene from the sight of the old town, we sat down on one of the eastern mounds, and the doctor continued his account of the place. "It took the French twenty-fire years to erect Louisburg," he said, "and though not completed according to the original design, it cost not less than thirty millions of livres. It was environed, two miles and a half in circumference, with a stone wall from thirty to thirty-six feet high, and a ditch eighty feet wide. There was, as you will see, six bastions and eight batteries, with embrasures for 148 cannon. On the island at the entrance of the harbour, which we just passed, was a battery of thirty twenty-eight pounders, and at the bottom of the port another mounting thirty-eight heavy guns. In 1745, a plan for taking it was conceived by a colonial-lawyer, a Governor of Massachusetts, and executed by a body of New England volunteers, led on by a country trader. History can hardly furnish such another instance of courage and conduct in an undisciplined body, laying siege to a regular constructed fortress like this. Commodore Warren, when first applied to for assistance, declined to afford it, as well because he had no orders as that he thought the enterprise a rash one. He was however at last instructed from home to co-operate with the Yankee troops, and arrived in season to witness the progress of the siege, and receive the whole of the honour which was so exclusively due to the Provincials. This act of insolence and injustice on the part of the British was never forgotten by your countrymen, but the memory of favours is short-lived, and a similar distribution of rewards has lately surprised and annoyed the Canadians. The colonist who raised the militia and saved Canada, as you have justly remarked elsewhere, was knighted, while he who did no more than his duty as an officer in the army, was compensated for two or three little affairs in which the soldiers were engaged by a coronet and a pension."

"Exactly," sais I, "what's sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander; but it seems English geese are all swans."

"Well, in 1758, it was again taken by the English, who attacked it with an immense and overpowering armament, consisting of 151 sail, and 14,000 men. Profiting by the experience of the Provincials, they soon reduced the place, which it is astonishing could have made any resistance at all against such an overwhelming force. Still, this attack was mostly an English one; and though it dwindles into utter insignificance when compared with the previous capture by the colonists, occasioned a great outbreak of national pride. The French colours were carried in pompous parade, escorted by detachments of horse and foot-guards, with kettle-drums and trumpets, from the palace of Kensington to St Paul's Cathedral, where they were deposited as trophies, under a discharge of cannon, and other noisy expressions of triumph and exultation. Indeed, the public rejoicings for the conquest of Louisburg were diffused through every part of the British dominions; and addresses of congratulation were presented to the king by a great number of flourishing towns and corporations."

"Twenty-five years afterwards the colonists, who were denied the credit of their gallant enterprise, made good their claim to it by conquering those who boasted that they were the conquerors themselves."

"I am glad to hear you say so, Doctor," said I, "for I concur in it all. The English are liberal, but half the time they ain't just. Spendin' money in colonies is one thing, but givin' them fair play is another. The army complains that all commendation and promotion is reserved for the staff. Provincials complain of similar injustice, but there is this wide difference, the one has the 'Times' for its advocate, the other is unheard or unheeded. An honest statesman will not refuse to do justice--a willy poilitician will concede with grace what he knows he must soon yield to compulsion. The old Tory was a man after all, every inch of him."

"Now," sais the doctor, "that remark reminds me of what I have long intended to ask you if I got a chance. How is it, Mr Slick, that you, who are a republican, whenever you speak of England are so conservative? It always seemed to me as if it warn't quite natural. If I didn't know you, I should say your books were written by a colonist who had used your name for a medium for giving his own ideas."

"Well," sais I, "Doctor, I am glad you asked me, for I have thought myself it wasn't unlikely some folks would fall into that mistake. I'll tell you how this comes, though I wouldn't take the trouble to enlighten others, for it kinder amuses me to see a fellow find a mare's nest with a tee-hee's egg in it. First, I believe that a republic is the only form of government suited to us, or practicable in North America. A limited monarchy could not exist in the States, for royalty and aristocracy never had an original root there. A military or despotic one could be introduced, because a standing army can do anything, but it couldn't last long. Liberty is too deeply seated, and too highly prized, to be suppressed for any length of time.

"Now, I like a republic, but I hate a democracy. The wit of man never could have devised anything more beautiful, better balanced, and more skilfully checked, than our constitution is, or rather was; but every change we make is for the worse. I am therefore a conservative at home. On the other hand, the English constitution is equally well suited to the British. It is admirably adapted to the genius, traditions, tastes, and feelings of the people. They are not fitted for a republic. They tried it once, and it failed; and if they were to try it again it would not succeed. Every change they make is also for the worse. In talking therefore as I do, I only act and talk consistently, when I say I am a conservative abroad also.

"Conservatism, both in the States and in Great Britain, when rightly understood, has a fixed principle of action, which is to conserve the constitution of the country, and not subvert it. Now, liberalism everywhere is distinguished by having no principle. In England it longs for office, and sacrifices everything to it. It does nothing but pander. It says religion is a matter of taste, leave it to itself and it will take care of itself; now that maxim was forced on us by necessity, for at the Revolution we scarcely had an Episcopal church, it was so small as hardly to deserve the name. But in England it is an unconstitutional, irrational, and monstrous maxim. Still it suits the views of Romanists (although they hold no such doctrine themselves), for it is likely to hand over the church revenues in Ireland to them. It also suits Dissenters, for it will relieve them of church rates; and it meets the wishes of the republican party, because they know no church and no bishop will soon lead to no monarch. Again, it says, enlarge the franchise, so as to give an increase of voters; that doctrine suits all those sections also, for it weakens both monarchy and aristocracy. Then again, it advocates free-trade, for that weakens the landed interest, and knocks from under nobility one of its best pillars. To lower the influence of the church pleases all political Come-outers, some for one, and some for another reason. Their views are not identical, but it is for their interest to unite. One advocates it because it destroys Protestantism as a principle of the constitution, another because the materials of this fortress, like those of Louisburg, may be useful for erecting others, and among them conventicles.

"Then there is no truth in liberalism. When Irish emancipation was discussed, it was said, Pass that and you will hear no more grievances, it will tend to consolidate the church and pacify the people. It was no sooner granted, than ten bishopricks were suppressed, and monster meetings paraded through and terrified the land. One cardinal came in place of ten Protestant prelates, and so on. So liberalism said Pass the Reform Bill, and all England will be satisfied; well, though it has not worked well for the kingdom, it has done wonders for the radical party, and now another and more extensive one is promised. The British Lion has been fed with living raw meat, and now roars for more victims. It ain't easy to onseat liberals, I tell you, for they know how to pander. If you promise power to those who have none, you must have the masses with you. I could point you out some fellows that are sure to win the dead1 heads, the dough2 boys, the numerous body that is on the fence,3 and political come-outers.4 There is at this time a postponed Reform Bill. The proposer actually cried when it was deferred to another session. It nearly broke his heart. He couldn't bear that the public should have it to say, 'They had seen the elephant.'"


1 Dead heads may perhaps be best explained by substituting the words "the unproductive class of operatives," such as spend their time in ale-houses; demagogues, the men who, with free tickets, travel in steam-boats, frequent theatres, tavern-keepers, &c.

2 Pliable politicians, men who are accessible to personal influences or considerations.

3 A man is said to be on a fence who is ready to join the strongest party because he who sits on a fence is in a position to jump down, with equal facility, on either side of it.

4 "Political come-outers" are the loose fish of all parties. Dissenters from their own side.--See Bartlett's definitions.


"Seeing the elephant," said the doctor, "was he so large a man as that?"

"Lord bless you," sais I, "no, he is a man that thinks he pulls the wires, like one of Punch's small figures, but the wires pull him and set him in motion. It is a cant term we have, and signifies 'going out for wool and coming back shorn.' Yes, he actually shed tears, like a cook peelin' onions. He reminded me of a poor fellow at Slickville, who had a family of twelve small children. His wife took a day, and died one fine morning, leaving another youngster to complete the baker's dozen, and next week that dear little innocent died too. He took on dreadfully about it. He boo-hooed right out, which is more than the politicioner did over his chloroformed bill.

"'Why,' sais I, 'Jeddediah, you ought to be more of a man than to take on that way. With no means to support your family of poor helpless little children, with no wife to look after them, and no airthly way to pay a woman to dry-nurse and starve the unfortunate baby, it's a mercy it did die, and was taken out of this wicked world.'

"'I know it and feel it, Mr Sam,' said he, lookin' up in a way that nobody but him could look, 'but--'

"'But what?' sais I.

"'Why,' says he, 'but it don't do to say so, you know.'

"Jist then some of the neighbours came in, when he burst out wuss than before, and groaned like a thousand sinners at a camp-meetin'.

"Most likely the radical father of the strangled Reform Bill comforted himself with the same reflection, only he thought it wouldn't do to say so. Crocodiles can cry when they are hungry, but when they do it's time to vamose the poke-loken,1 that's a fact. Yes, yes, they understand these things to England as well as we do, you may depend. They warn't born yesterday. But I won't follow it out. Liberalism is playing the devil both with us and the British. Change is going on with railroad haste in America, but in England, though it travels not so fast, it never stops, and like a steam-packet that has no freight, it daily increases its rate of speed as it advances towards the end of the voyage. Now you have my explanation, Doctor, why I am a conservative on principle, both at home and abroad."


1 Poke-loken, a marshy place, or stagnant pool, connected with a river.


"Well," said the doctor," that is true enough as far as England is concerned, but still I don't quite understand how it is, as a republican, you are so much of a conservative at home, for your reasons appear to me to be more applicable to Britain than to the United States."

"Why," sais I, "my good friend, liberalism is the same thing in both countries, though its work and tactics may be different. It is destructive but not creative. It tampers with the checks and balances of our constitution. It flatters the people by removing the restraints they so wisely placed on themselves to curb their own impetuosity. It has shaken the stability of the judiciary by making the experiment of electing the judges. It has abolished equity, in name, but infused it so strongly in the administration of the law, that the distinctive boundaries are destroyed, and the will of the court is now substituted for both. In proportion as the independence of these high officers is diminished, their integrity may be doubted. Elected, and subsequently sustained by a faction, they become its tools, and decide upon party and not legal grounds. In like manner, wherever the franchise was limited, the limit is attempted to be removed. We are, in fact, fast merging into a mere pure democracy,1 for the first blow on the point of the wedge that secures the franchise, weakens it so that it is sure to come out at last. Our liberals know this as well your British Gerrymanderers do."


1 De Tocqueville, who has written incomparably the best work that has ever appeared on the United States, makes the following judicious remarks on this subject: "Where a nation modifies the elective qualification, it may easily be foreseen, that sooner or later that qualification will be abolished. There is no more invariable rule in the history of society. The further electoral rights are extended, the more is felt the need of extending them; for after each concession, the strength of the democracy increases, and its demands increase with its strength. The ambition of those who are below the appointed rate is irritated, in exact proportion of the number of those who are above it. The exception at last becomes the rule, concession follows concession, and no step can be made, short of universal suffrage."


"Genymanderers,"1 he said, "who in the world are they? I never heard of them before."


1 This term came into use in the year 1811, in Massachusetts, where, for several years previous, the federal and democratic parties stood nearly equal. In that year, the democratic party, having a majority in the Legislature, determined so to district the State anew, that those sections which gave a large number of federal votes might be brought into one district. The result was, that the democratic party carried everything before them at the following election, and filled every office in the State, although it appeared by the votes returned, that nearly two-thirds of the votes were Federalists. Elridge Gerry, a distinguished politician at that period, was the inventor of that plan, which was called Gerrymandering, after him.--Glossary of Americanisms.


"Why," sais I, "skilful politicians, who so arrange the electoral districts of a State, that in an election one party may obtain an advantage over its opponent, even though the latter may possess a majority of the votes in the State; the truth is, it would be a long story to go through, but we are corrupted by our liberals with our own money, that's a fact. Would you believe it now, that so long ago as six years, and that is a great while in our history seein' we are growing at such a rate, there were sixty thousand offices in the gift of the general government, and patronage to the extent of more than forty million of dollars, besides official pickings and parquisites, which are nearly as much more in the aggregate? Since then it has grown with our growth. Or would you believe that a larger sum is assessed in the city of New York, than would cover the expenses of the general government at Washington? Constructive mileage may be considered as the principle of the party, and literally runs through everything."

"What strange terms you have, Mr Slick," said he; "do pray tell me what that is."

"Snooping and stool-pidgeoning," sais I.

"Constructive mileage, snooping and stool-pidgeoning!" said he, and he put his hands on his ribs, and running round in a circle, laughed until he nearly fell on the ground fairly tuckered out, "what do you mean?"

"Constructive mileage," says I, "is the same allowance for journeys supposed to be performed as for those that are actually made, to and from the seat of government. When a new president comes into office, Congress adjourns of course on the third of March, and his inauguration is made on the fourth; the senate is immediately convened to act on his nominations, and though not a man of them leaves Washington, each is supposed to go home and return again in the course of the ten or twelve hours that intervene between the adjournment and their reassembling. For this ideal journey the senators are allowed their mileages, as if the journey was actually made. In the case of those who come from a distance, the sum often amounts, individually, to one thousand or fifteen hundred dollars."

"Why, Mr Slick," said he, "that ain't honest."

"Honest," said I, "who the plague ever said it was? but what can you expect from red republicans? Well, snooping means taking things on the sly after a good rumage; and stool-pidgeoning means plundering under cover of law; for instance, if a judge takes a bribe, or a fellow is seized by a constable, and the stolen property found on him is given up, the merciful officer seizes the goods and lets him run, and that is all that ever is heard of it--that is stool-pidgeoning. But now," sais I, "sposin' we take a survey of the place here, for in a general way I don't affection politics, and as for party leaders, whether English reformers or American democrats, critters that are dyed in the wool, I hate the whole caboodle of them. Now, having donated you with my reasons for being a conservative, sposin' you have a row yourself. What do you consider best worth seeing here, if you can be said to see a place when it don't exist? for the English did sartainly deacon the calf1 here, that's a fact. They made them smell cotton, and gave them partikilar Moses, and no mistake."


1 To deacon a calf, is to knock a thing on the head as soon as born or finished.


"Of the doings of the dead," he said, "all that is around us has a melancholy interest; but of the living there is a most extraordinary old fellow that dwells in that white house on the opposite side of the harbour. He can tell us all the particulars of the two sieges, and show us the site of most of the public buildings; he is filled with anecdotes of all the principal actors in the sad tragedies that have been enacted here; but he labours under a most singular monomania. Having told these stories so often he now believes that he was present at the first capture of the fortress, under Colonel Pepperal and the New England militia in 1745, and at the second in 1754, when it was taken by Generals Amherst and Wolfe. I suppose he may be ninety years of age; the first event must have happened therefore nineteen and the other six years before he was born; in everything else his accuracy of dates and details is perfectly astonishing."

"Massa," said Sorrow, "I don't believe he is nuffin' but a reeblushionary suspensioner (a revolutionary pensioner), but it peers to me dem folks do libb for ebber. My poor old missus used to call 'em King George's hard bargains, yah, yah, yah. But who comma dere, Massa?" said he, pointing to a boat that was rapidly approaching the spot where we stood.

The steersman, who appeared to be the skipper of a vessel, inquired for Cutler, and gave him a letter, who said as soon as he had read it, "Slick, our cruise has come to a sudden termination. Blowhard has purchased and fitted out his whaler, and only awaits my return to take charge of her and proceed to the Pacific. With his usual generosity, he has entered my name as the owner of one half of the ship, her tackle and outfit. I must go on board the 'Black Hawk' immediately, and prepare for departing this evening."

It was agreed that he should land the doctor at Ship Harbour, who was anxious to see Jessie, which made him as happy as a clam at high-water, and put me ashore at Jordan, where I was no less in a hurry to see a fair friend whose name is of no consequence now, for I hope to induce her to change it for one that is far shorter, easier to write and remember, and, though I say it that shouldn't say it, one that I consait she needn't be ashamed of neither.

On our way back, sais the doctor to me:

"Mr Slick, will you allow me to ask you another question?"

"A hundred," sais I, "if you like."

"Well," sais he, "I have inquired of you what you think of state affairs; will you tell me what you think about the Church? I see you belong to what we call the Establishment, and what you denominate the American Episcopal Church, which is very nearly the same thing. What is your opinion, now, of the Evangelical and Puseyite parties? Which is right and which is wrong?"

"Well," sais I, "coming to me about theology is like going to a goat's house for wool. It is out of my line. My views on all subjects are practical, and not theoretical. But first and foremost, I must tell you, I hate all nick-names. In general, they are all a critter knows of his own side, or the other either. As you have asked me my opinion, though, I will give it. I think both parties are wrong, because both go to extremes, and therefore are to be equally avoided. Our Articles, as dear old Minister used to say, are very wisely so worded as to admit of some considerable latitude of opinion; but that very latitude naturally excludes anything ultra. The Puritanical section, and the Newmanites (for Pusey, so far, is stedfast), are not, in fact, real churchmen, and ought to leave us. One are Dissenters and the other Romanists. The ground they severally stand on is slippery. A false step takes one to the conventicle and the other to the chapel. If I was an Evangelical, as an honest man, I would quit the Establishment as Baptist Noel did, and so I would if I were a Newmanite. It's only rats that consume the food and undermine the foundations of the house that shelters them. A traitor within the camp is more to be dreaded than an open enemy without. Of the two, the extreme low-churchmen are the most dangerous, for they furnish the greatest number of recruits of schism, and, strange to say, for popery too. Search the list of those who have gone over to Rome, from Ahab Meldrum to Wilberforce, and you will find the majority were originally Puritans or infidels--men who were restless, and ambitious of notoriety, who had learning and talent, but wanted common sense. They set out to astonish the world, and ended by astonishing themselves. They went forth in pursuit of a name, and lost the only one they were known by. Who can recognise Newman in Father Ignatius, who, while searching for truth, embraced error? or Baptist Noel in the strolling preacher, who uses a horse-pond instead of a font, baptizes adults instead of infants, and, unlike his Master, 'will not suffer little children to come unto him?' Ah, Doctor, there are texts neither of these men know the meaning of, 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.' One of them has yet to learn that pictures, vestments, music, processions, candlesticks, and confessionals are not religion, and the other that it does not consist in oratory, excitement, camp-meetings, rant, or novelties. There are many, very many, unobtrusive, noiseless, laborious, practical duties which clergymen have to perform; what a pity it is they won't occupy themselves in discharging them, instead of entangling themselves in controversies on subjects not necessary to salvation! But, alas! the Evangelical divine, instead of combating the devil, occupies himself in fighting his bishop, and the Newmanite, instead of striving to save sinners, prefers to 'curse and quit' his church. Don't ask me therefore which is right; I tell you, they are both wrong."

"Exactly," sais he.


"In medio tutissimus ibis."


"Doctor," sais I, "there are five languages spoke on the Nova Scotia coast already: English, Yankee, Gaelic, French, and Indian; for goodness gracious sake don't fly off the handle that way now and add Latin to them! But, my friend, as I have said, you have waked up the wrong passenger, if you think I am an ecclesiastical Bradshaw. I know my own track. It is a broad gauge, and a straight line, and I never travel by another, for fear of being put on a wrong one. Do you take? But here is the boat alongside;" and I shook him by the hand, and obtained his promise at parting that he and Jessie would visit me at Slickville in the autumn.

And now, Squire, I must write finis to the cruise of the "Black Hawk," and close my remarks on "Nature and Human Nature," or, "Men and Things," for I have brought it to a termination, though it is a hard thing to do, I assure you, for I seem as if I couldn't say Farewell. It is a word that don't come handy, no how I can fix it. It's like Sam's hat-band which goes nineteen times round, and won't tie at last. I don't like to bid good-bye to my Journal, and I don't like to bid good-bye to you, for one is like a child and the other a brother. The first I shall see again, when Hurst has a launch in the spring, but shall you and I ever meet again, Squire? that is the question, for it is dark to me. If it ever does come to pass, there must be a considerable slip of time first. Well, what can't be cured must be endured. So here goes. Here is the last fatal word, I shut my eyes when I write it, for I can't bear to see it. Here it is--








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