or, SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND.
By Thomas Chandler Haliburton
(Greek Text)—GREEK PROVERB.
Tell you what, report my speeches if you like, but if you put my talk in, I'll give you the mitten, as sure as you are born.—SLICKVILLE TRANSLATION
London, July 3rd, 1843.
MY DEAR HOPKINSON,
I have spent so many agreeable hours at Edgeworth heretofore, that my first visit on leaving London, will be to your hospitable mansion. In the meantime, I beg leave to introduce to you my "Attache," who will precede me several days. His politics are similar to your own; I wish I could say as much in favour of his humour. His eccentricities will stand in need of your indulgence; but if you can overlook these, I am not without hopes that his originality, quaint sayings, and queer views of things in England, will afford you some amusement. At all events, I feel assured you will receive him kindly; if not for his own merits, at least for the sake of
To EDMUND HOPKINSON ESQ. Edgeworth, Gloucestershire.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
CHAPTER I. UNCORKING A BOTTLE CHAPTER II. A JUICY DAY IN THE COUNTRY CHAPTER III. TYING A NIGHT-CAP CHAPTER IV. HOME AND THE SEA CHAPTER V. T'OTHER EEND OF THE GUN CHAPTER VI. SMALL POTATOES AND FEW IN A HILL CHAPTER VII. A GENTLEMAN AT LARGE CHAPTER VIII. SEEING LIVERPOOL CHAPTER IX. CHANGING A NAME CHAPTER X. THE NELSON MONUMENT CHAPTER XI. COTTAGES CHAPTER XII. STEALING THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE CHAPTER XIII. NATUR' CHAPTER XIV. THE SOCDOLAGER CHAPTER XV. DINING OUT
CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
CHAPTER I. THE NOSE OF A SPY CHAPTER II. THE PATRON; OR, THE COW'S TAIL CHAPTER III. ASCOT RACES CHAPTER IV. THE GANDER PULLING CHAPTER V. THE BLACK STOLE CHAPTER VI. THE PRINCE DE JOINVILLE'S HORSE CHAPTER VII. LIFE IN THE COUNTRY CHAPTER VIII. BUNKUM CHAPTER IX. THROWING THE LAVENDER CHAPTER X. AIMING HIGH CHAPTER XI. A SWOI-REE CHAPTER XII. TATTERSALL'S CHAPTER XIII. LOOKING BACK CHAPTER XIV. CROSSING THE BORDER CHAPTER XV. THE IRISH PREFACE
THE ATTACHE; OR SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND.
CHAPTER I. UNCORKING A BOTTLE.
We left New York in the afternoon of — day of May, 184-, and embarked on board of the good Packet ship "Tyler" for England. Our party consisted of the Reverend Mr. Hopewell, Samuel Slick, Esq., myself, and Jube Japan, a black servant of the Attache.
I love brevity—I am a man of few words, and, therefore, constitutionally economical of them; but brevity is apt to degenerate into obscurity. Writing a book, however, and book-making, are two very different things: "spinning a yarn" is mechanical, and book-making savours of trade, and is the employment of a manufacturer. The author by profession, weaves his web by the piece, and as there is much competition in this branch of trade, extends it over the greatest possible surface, so as to make the most of his raw material. Hence every work of fancy is made to reach to three volumes, otherwise it will not pay, and a manufacture that does not requite the cost of production, invariably and inevitably terminates in bankruptcy. A thought, therefore, like a pound of cotton, must be well spun out to be valuable. It is very contemptuous to say of a man, that he has but one idea, but it is the highest meed of praise that can be bestowed on a book. A man, who writes thus, can write for ever.
Now, it is not only not my intention to write for ever, or as Mr. Slick would say "for everlastinly;" but to make my bow and retire very soon from the press altogether. I might assign many reasons for this modest course, all of them plausible, and some of them indeed quite dignified. I like dignity: any man who has lived the greater part of his life in a colony is so accustomed to it, that he becomes quite enamoured of it, and wrapping himself up in it as a cloak, stalks abroad the "observed of all observers." I could undervalue this species of writing if I thought proper, affect a contempt for idiomatic humour, or hint at the employment being inconsistent with the grave discharge of important official duties, which are so distressingly onerous, as not to leave me a moment for recreation; but these airs, though dignified, will unfortunately not avail me. I shall put my dignity into my pocket, therefore, and disclose the real cause of this diffidence.
In the year one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, I embarked at Halifax on board the Buffalo store-ship for England. She was a noble teak built ship of twelve or thirteen hundred tons burden, had excellent accommodation, and carried over to merry old England, a very merry party of passengers, quorum parva pars fui, a youngster just emerged from college.
On the banks of Newfoundland we were becalmed, and the passengers amused themselves by throwing overboard a bottle, and shooting at it with ball. The guns used for this occasion, were the King's muskets, taken from the arm-chest on the quarter-deck. The shooting was execrable. It was hard to say which were worse marksmen, the officers of the ship, or the passengers. Not a bottle was hit: many reasons were offered for this failure, but the two principal ones were, that the muskets were bad, and that it required great skill to overcome the difficulty occasioned by both, the vessel and the bottle being in motion at the same time, and that motion dissimilar.
I lost my patience. I had never practised shooting with ball; I had frightened a few snipe, and wounded a few partridges, but that was the extent of my experience. I knew, however, that I could not by any possibility shoot worse than every body else had done, and might by accident shoot better.
"Give me a gun, Captain," said I, "and I will shew you how to uncork that bottle."
I took the musket, but its weight was beyond my strength of arm. I was afraid that I could not hold it out steadily, even for a moment, it was so very heavy—I threw it up with a desperate effort and fired. The neck of the bottle flew up in the air a full yard, and then disappeared. I was amazed myself at my success. Every body was surprised, but as every body attributed it to long practice, they were not so much astonished as I was, who knew it was wholly owing to chance. It was a lucky hit, and I made the most of it; success made me arrogant, and boy-like, I became a boaster.
"Ah," said I coolly, "you must be born with a rifle in your hand, Captain, to shoot well. Every body shoots well in America. I do not call myself a good shot. I have not had the requisite experience; but there are those who can take out the eye of a squirrel at a hundred yards."
"Can you see the eye of a squirrel at that distance?" said the Captain, with a knowing wink of his own little ferret eye.
That question, which raised a general laugh at my expense, was a puzzler. The absurdity of the story, which I had heard a thousand times, never struck me so forcibly. But I was not to be pat down so easily.
"See it!" said I, "why not? Try it and you will find your sight improve with your shooting. Now, I can't boast of being a good marksman myself; my studies" (and here I looked big, for I doubted if he could even read, much less construe a chapter in the Greek Testament) "did not leave me much time. A squirrel is too small an object for all but an experienced man, but a "large" mark like a quart bottle can easily be hit at a hundred yards—that is nothing."
"I will take you a bet," said he, "of a doubloon, you do not do it again?"
"Thank you," I replied with great indifference: "I never bet, and besides, that gun has so injured my shoulder, that I could not, if I would."
By that accidental shot, I obtained a great name as a marksman, and by prudence I retained it all the voyage. This is precisely my case now, gentle reader. I made an accidental hit with the Clockmaker: when he ceases to speak, I shall cease to write. The little reputation I then acquired, I do not intend to jeopardize by trying too many experiments. I know that it was chance—many people think it was skill. If they choose to think so, they have a right to their opinion, and that opinion is fame. I value this reputation too highly not to take care of it.
As I do not intend then to write often, I shall not wire-draw my subjects, for the mere purpose of filling my pages. Still a book should be perfect within itself, and intelligible without reference to other books. Authors are vain people, and vanity as well as dignity is indigenous to a colony. Like a pastry-cook's apprentice, I see so much of both their sweet things around me daily, that I have no appetite for either of them.
I might perhaps be pardoned, if I took it for granted, that the dramatis personae of this work were sufficiently known, not to require a particular introduction. Dickens assumed the fact that his book on America would travel wherever the English language was spoken, and, therefore, called it "Notes for General Circulation." Even Colonists say, that this was too bad, and if they say so, it must be so. I shall, therefore, briefly state, who and what the persons are that composed our travelling party, as if they were wholly unknown to fame, and then leave them to speak for themselves.
The Reverend Mr. Hopewell is a very aged clergyman of the Church of England, and was educated at Cambridge College, in Massachusetts. Previously to the revolution, he was appointed rector of a small parish in Connecticut. When the colonies obtained their independence, he remained with his little flock in his native land, and continued to minister to their spiritual wants until within a few years, when his parishioners becoming Unitarians, gave him his dismissal. Affable in his manners and simple in his habits, with a mind well stored with human lore, and a heart full of kindness for his fellow-creatures, he was at once an agreeable and an instructive companion. Born and educated in the United States, when they were British dependencies, and possessed of a thorough knowledge of the causes which led to the rebellion, and the means used to hasten the crisis, he was at home on all colonial topics; while his great experience of both monarchical and democratical governments, derived from a long residence in both, made him a most valuable authority on politics generally.
Mr. Samuel Slick is a native of the same parish, and received his education from Mr. Hopewell. I first became acquainted with him while travelling in Nova Scotia. He was then a manufacturer and vendor of wooden clocks. My first impression of him was by no means favourable. He forced himself most unceremoniously into my company and conversation. I was disposed to shake him off, but could not. Talk he would, and as his talk was of that kind, which did not require much reply on my part, he took my silence for acquiescence, and talked on. I soon found that he was a character; and, as he knew every part of the lower colonies, and every body in them, I employed him as my guide.
I have made at different times three several tours with him, the results of which I have given in three several series of a work, entitled the "Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Mr. Samuel Slick." Our last tour terminated at New York, where, in consequence of the celebrity he obtained from these "Sayings and Doings" he received the appointment of Attache to the American Legation at the Court of St. James's. The object of this work is to continue the record of his observations and proceedings in England.
The third person of the party, gentle reader, is your humble servant, Thomas Poker, Esquire, a native of Nova Scotia, and a retired member of the Provincial bar. My name will seldom appear in these pages, as I am uniformly addressed by both my companions as "Squire," nor shall I have to perform the disagreeable task of "reporting my own speeches," for naturally taciturn, I delight in listening rather than talking, and modestly prefer the duties of an amanuensis, to the responsibilities of original composition.
The last personage is Jube Japan, a black servant of the Attache.
Such are the persons who composed the little party that embarked at New York, on board the Packet ship "Tyler," and sailed on the — of May, 184-, for England.
The motto prefixed to this work
sufficiently explains its character. Classes and not individuals have been selected for observation. National traits are fair subjects for satire or for praise, but personal peculiarities claim the privilege of exemption in right of that hospitality, through whose medium they have been alone exhibited. Public topics are public property; every body has a right to use them without leave and without apology. It is only when we quit the limits of this "common" and enter upon "private grounds," that we are guilty of "a trespass." This distinction is alike obvious to good sense and right feeling. I have endeavoured to keep it constantly in view; and if at any time I shall be supposed to have erred (I say "supposed," for I am unconscious of having done so) I must claim the indulgence always granted to involuntary offences.
Now the patience of my reader may fairly be considered a "private right." I shall, therefore, respect its boundaries and proceed at once with my narrative, having been already quite long enough about "uncorking a bottle."
CHAPTER II. A JUICY DAY IN THE COUNTRY.
All our preparations for the voyage having been completed, we spent the last day at our disposal, in visiting Brooklyn. The weather was uncommonly fine, the sky being perfectly clear and unclouded; and though the sun shone out brilliantly, the heat was tempered by a cool, bracing, westwardly wind. Its influence was perceptible on the spirits of every body on board the ferry-boat that transported us across the harbour.
"Squire," said Mr. Slick, aint this as pretty a day as you'll see atween this and Nova Scotia?—You can't beat American weather, when it chooses, in no part of the world I've ever been in yet. This day is a tip-topper, and it's the last we'll see of the kind till we get back agin, I know. Take a fool's advice, for once, and stick to it, as long as there is any of it left, for you'll see the difference when you get to England. There never was so rainy a place in the univarse, as that, I don't think, unless it's Ireland, and the only difference atween them two is that it rains every day amost in England, and in Ireland it rains every day and every night too. It's awful, and you must keep out of a country-house in such weather, or you'll go for it; it will kill you, that's sartain. I shall never forget a juicy day I once spent in one of them dismal old places. I'll tell you how I came to be there.
"The last time I was to England, I was a dinin' with our consul to Liverpool, and a very gentleman-like old man he was too; he was appointed by Washington, and had been there ever since our glorious revolution. Folks gave him a great name, they said he was a credit to us. Well, I met at his table one day an old country squire, that lived somewhere down in Shropshire, close on to Wales, and says he to me, arter cloth was off and cigars on, 'Mr. Slick,' says he, 'I'll be very glad to see you to Norman Manor,' (that was the place where he staid, when he was to home). 'If you will return with me I shall be glad to shew you the country in my neighbourhood, which is said to be considerable pretty.'
"'Well,' says I, 'as I have nothin' above particular to see to, I don't care if I do go.'
"So off we started; and this I will say, he was as kind as he cleverly knew how to be, and that is sayin' a great deal for a man that didn't know nothin' out of sight of his own clearin' hardly.
"Now, when we got there, the house was chock full of company, and considerin' it warn't an overly large one, and that Britishers won't stay in a house, unless every feller gets a separate bed, it's a wonder to me, how he stowed away as many as he did. Says he, 'Excuse your quarters, Mr. Slick, but I find more company nor I expected here. In a day or two, some on 'em will be off, and then you shall be better provided.'
"With that I was showed up a great staircase, and out o' that by a door-way into a narrer entry and from that into an old T like looking building, that stuck out behind the house. It warn't the common company sleepin' room, I expect, but kinder make shifts, tho' they was good enough too for the matter o' that; at all events I don't want no better.
"Well, I had hardly got well housed a'most, afore it came on to rain, as if it was in rael right down airnest. It warn't just a roarin', racin', sneezin' rain like a thunder shower, but it kept a steady travellin' gait, up hill and down dale, and no breathin' time nor batin' spell. It didn't look as if it would stop till it was done, that's a fact. But still as it was too late to go out agin that arternoon, I didn't think much about it then. I hadn't no notion what was in store for me next day, no more nor a child; if I had, I'd a double deal sooner hanged myself, than gone brousing in such place as that, in sticky weather.
"A wet day is considerable tiresome, any where or any way you can fix it; but it's wus at an English country house than any where else, cause you are among strangers, formal, cold, gallus polite, and as thick in the head-piece as a puncheon. You hante nothin' to do yourself and they never have nothin' to do; they don't know nothin' about America, and don't want to. Your talk don't interest them, and they can't talk to interest nobody but themselves; all you've got to do, is to pull out your watch and see how time goes; how much of the day is left, and then go to the winder and see how the sky looks, and whether there is any chance of holdin' up or no. Well, that time I went to bed a little airlier than common, for I felt considerable sleepy, and considerable strange too; so as soon as I cleverly could, I off and turned in.
"Well I am an airly riser myself. I always was from a boy, so I waked up jist about the time when day ought to break, and was a thinkin' to get up; but the shutters was too, and it was as dark as ink in the room, and I heer'd it rainin' away for dear life. 'So,' sais I to myself, 'what the dogs is the use of gittin' up so airly? I can't get out and get a smoke, and I can't do nothin' here; so here goes for a second nap.' Well I was soon off agin in a most a beautiful of a snore, when all at once I heard thump-thump agin the shutter—and the most horrid noise I ever heerd since I was raised; it was sunthin' quite onairthly.
"'Hallo!' says I to myself, 'what in natur is all this hubbub about? Can this here confounded old house be harnted? Is them spirits that's jabbering gibberish there, or is I wide awake or no?' So I sets right up on my hind legs in bed, rubs my eyes, opens my ears and listens agin, when whop went every shutter agin, with a dead heavy sound, like somethin' or another thrown agin 'em, or fallin' agin 'em, and then comes the unknown tongues in discord chorus like. Sais I, 'I know now, it's them cussed navigators. They've besot the house, and are a givin' lip to frighten folks. It's regular banditti.'
"So I jist hops out of bed, and feels for my trunk, and outs with my talkin' irons, that was all ready loaded, pokes my way to the winder—shoves the sash up and outs with the shutter, ready to let slip among 'em. And what do you think it was?—Hundreds and hundreds of them nasty, dirty, filthy, ugly, black devils of rooks, located in the trees at the back eend of the house. Old Nick couldn't have slept near 'em; caw caw, caw, all mixt up together in one jumble of a sound, like "jawe."
"You black, evil-lookin', foul-mouthed villains,' sais I, 'I'd like no better sport than jist to sit here, all this blessed day with these pistols, and drop you one arter another, I know.' But they was pets, was them rooks, and of course like all pets, everlastin' nuisances to every body else.
"Well, when a man's in a feeze, there's no more sleep that hitch; so I dresses and sits up; but what was I to do? It was jist half past four, and as it was a rainin' like every thing, I know'd breakfast wouldn't be ready till eleven o'clock, for nobody wouldn't get up if they could help it—they wouldn't be such fools; so there was jail for six hours and a half.
"Well, I walked up and down the room, as easy as I could, not to waken folks; but three steps and a round turn makes you kinder dizzy, so I sits down again to chaw the cud of vexation.
"'Ain't this a handsum fix?' sais I, 'but it sarves you right, what busniss had you here at all? you always was a fool, and always will be to the eend of the chapter.—'What in natur are you a scoldin' for?' sais I: 'that won't mend the matter; how's time? They must soon be a stirrin' now, I guess.' Well, as I am a livin' sinner, it was only five o'clock; 'oh dear,' sais I, 'time is like women and pigs the more you want it to go, the more it won't. What on airth shall I do?—guess, I'll strap my rasor.'
"Well, I strapped and strapped away, until it would cut a single hair pulled strait up on eend out o' your head, without bendin' it—take it off slick. 'Now,' sais I, 'I'll mend my trowsers I tore, a goin' to see the ruin on the road yesterday; so I takes out Sister Sall's little needle-case, and sows away till I got them to look considerable jam agin; 'and then,' sais I, 'here's a gallus button off, I'll jist fix that,' and when that was done, there was a hole to my yarn sock, so I turned too and darned that.
"'Now,' sais I, 'how goes it? I'm considerable sharp set. It must be gettin' tolerable late now.' It wanted a quarter to six. 'My! sakes,' sais I, 'five hours and a quarter yet afore feedin' time; well if that don't pass. What shall I do next?' 'I'll tell you what to do,' sais I, 'smoke, that will take the edge of your appetite off, and if they don't like it, they may lump it; what business have they to keep them horrid screetchin' infarnal, sleepless rooks to disturb people that way?' Well, I takes a lucifer, and lights a cigar, and I puts my head up the chimbly to let the smoke off, and it felt good, I promise you. I don't know as I ever enjoyed one half so much afore. It had a rael first chop flavour had that cigar.
"'When that was done,' sais I, 'What do you say to another?' 'Well, I don't know,' sais I, 'I should like it, that's a fact; but holdin' of my head crooked up chimbly that way, has a' most broke my neck; I've got the cramp in it like.'
"So I sot, and shook my head first a one side and then the other, and then turned it on its hinges as far as it would go, till it felt about right, and then I lights another, and puts my head in the flue again.
"Well, smokin' makes, a feller feel kinder good-natured, and I began to think it warn't quite so bad arter all, when whop went my cigar right out of my mouth into my bosom, atween the shirt and the skin, and burnt me like a gally nipper. Both my eyes was fill'd at the same time, and I got a crack on the pate from some critter or another that clawed and scratched my head like any thing, and then seemed to empty a bushel of sut on me, and I looked like a chimbly sweep, and felt like old Scratch himself. My smoke had brought down a chimbly swaller, or a martin, or some such varmint, for it up and off agin' afore I could catch it, to wring its infarnal neck off, that's a fact.
"Well, here was somethin' to do, and no mistake: here was to clean and groom up agin' till all was in its right shape; and a pretty job it was, I tell you. I thought I never should get the sut out of my hair, and then never get it out of my brush again, and my eyes smarted so, they did nothing but water, and wink, and make faces. But I did; I worked on and worked on, till all was sot right once more.
"'Now,' sais I, 'how's time?' 'half past seven,' sais I, 'and three hours and a half more yet to breakfast. Well,' sais I, 'I can't stand this—and what's more I won't: I begin to get my Ebenezer up, and feel wolfish. I'll ring up the handsum chamber-maid, and just fall to, and chaw her right up—I'm savagerous.'* 'That's cowardly,' sais I, 'call the footman, pick a quarrel with him and kick him down stairs, speak but one word to him, and let that be strong enough to skin the coon arter it has killed him, the noise will wake up folks I know, and then we shall have sunthin' to eat.'
[* Footnote: The word "savagerous" is not of "Yankee" but of "Western origin."—Its use in this place is best explained by the following extract from the Third Series of the Clockmaker. "In order that the sketch which I am now about to give may be fully understood, it may be necessary to request the reader to recollect that Mr. Slick is a Yankee, a designation the origin of which is now not very obvious, but it has been assumed by, and conceded by common consent to, the inhabitants of New England. It is a name, though sometimes satirically used, of which they have great reason to be proud, as it is descriptive of a most cultivated, intelligent, enterprising, frugal, and industrious population, who may well challenge a comparison with the inhabitants of any other country in the world; but it has only a local application.
"The United States cover an immense extent of territory, and the inhabitants of different parts of the Union differ as widely in character, feelings, and even in appearance, as the people of different countries usually do. These sections differ also in dialect and in humour, as much as in other things, and to as great, if not a greater extent, than the natives of different parts of Great Britain vary from each other. It is customary in Europe to call all Americans, Yankees; but it is as much a misnomer as it would be to call all Europeans Frenchmen. Throughout these works it will be observed, that Mr. Slick's pronunciation is that of the Yankee, or an inhabitant of the rural districts of New England. His conversation is generally purely so; but in some instances he uses, as his countrymen frequently do from choice, phrases which, though Americanisms, are not of Eastern origin. Wholly to exclude these would be to violate the usages of American life; to introduce them oftener would be to confound two dissimilar dialects, and to make an equal departure from the truth. Every section has its own characteristic dialect, a very small portion of which it has imparted to its neighbours. The dry, quaint humour of New England is occasionally found in the west, and the rich gasconade and exaggerative language of the west migrates not unfrequently to the east. This idiomatic exchange is perceptibly on the increase. It arises from the travelling propensities of the Americans, and the constant intercourse mutually maintained by the inhabitants of the different States. A droll or an original expression is thus imported and adopted, and, though not indigenous, soon becomes engrafted on the general stock of the language of the country."—3rd Series, p. 142.]
"I was ready to bile right over, when as luck would have it, the rain stopt all of a sudden, the sun broke out o' prison, and I thought I never seed any thing look so green and so beautiful as the country did. 'Come,' sais I, 'now for a walk down the avenue, and a comfortable smoke, and if the man at the gate is up and stirrin', I will just pop in and breakfast with him and his wife. There is some natur there, but here it's all cussed rooks and chimbly swallers, and heavy men and fat women, and lazy helps, and Sunday every day in the week.' So I fills my cigar-case and outs into the passage.
"But here was a fix! One of the doors opened into the great staircase, and which was it? 'Ay,' sais I, 'which is it, do you know?' 'Upon my soul, I don't know,' sais I; 'but try, it's no use to be caged up here like a painter, and out I will, that's a fact.'
"So I stops and studies, 'that's it,' sais I, and I opens a door: it was a bedroom—it was the likely chambermaid's.
"'Softly, Sir,' sais she, a puttin' of her finger on her lip, 'don't make no noise; Missus will hear you.'
"'Yes,' sais I, 'I won't make no noise;' and I outs and shuts the door too arter me gently.
"'What next?' sais I; 'why you fool, you,' sais I, 'why didn't you ax the sarvant maid, which door it was?' 'Why I was so conflastrigated,' sais I, 'I didn't think of it. Try that door,' well I opened another, it belonged to one o' the horrid hansum stranger galls that dined at table yesterday. When she seed me, she gave a scream, popt her head onder the clothes, like a terrapin, and vanished—well I vanished too.
"'Ain't this too bad?' sais I; 'I wish I could open a man's door, I'd lick him out of spite; I hope I may be shot if I don't, and I doubled up my fist, for I didn't like it a spec, and opened another door—it was the housekeeper's. 'Come,' sais I, 'I won't be balked no more.' She sot up and fixed her cap. A woman never forgets the becomins.
"'Anything I can do for you, Sir?' sais she, and she raelly did look pretty; all good natur'd people, it appears to me, do look so.
"'Will you be so good as to tell me, which door leads to the staircase, Marm?' sais I.
"'Oh, is that all?' sais she, (I suppose, she thort I wanted her to get up and get breakfast for me,) 'it's the first on the right, and she fixed her cap agin' and laid down, and I took the first on the right and off like a blowed out candle. There was the staircase. I walked down, took my hat, onbolted the outer door, and what a beautiful day was there. I lit my cigar, I breathed freely, and I strolled down the avenue.
"The bushes glistened, and the grass glistened, and the air was sweet, and the birds sung, and there was natur' once more. I walked to the lodge; they had breakfasted had the old folks, so I chatted away with them for a considerable of a spell about matters and things in general, and then turned towards the house agin'. 'Hallo!' sais I, 'what's this? warn't that a drop of rain?' I looks up, it was another shower by Gosh. I pulls foot for dear life: it was tall walking you may depend, but the shower wins, (comprehensive as my legs be), and down it comes, as hard as all possest. 'Take it easy, Sam,' sais I, 'your flint is fixed; you are wet thro'—runnin' won't dry you,' and I settled down to a careless walk, quite desperate.
"'Nothin' in natur', unless it is an Ingin, is so treacherous as the climate here. It jist clears up on purpose I do believe, to tempt you out without your umbreller, and jist as sure as you trust it and leave it to home, it clouds right up, and sarves you out for it—it does indeed. What a sight of new clothes I've spilte here, for the rain has a sort of dye in it. It stains so, it alters the colour of the cloth, for the smoke is filled with gas and all sorts of chemicals. Well, back I goes to my room agin' to the rooks, chimbly swallers, and all, leavin' a great endurin' streak of wet arter me all the way, like a cracked pitcher that leaks; onriggs, and puts on dry clothes from head to foot.
"By this time breakfast is ready; but the English don't do nothin' like other folks; I don't know whether it's affectation, or bein' wrong in the head—a little of both I guess. Now where do you suppose the solid part of breakfast is, Squire? Why, it's on the side-board—I hope I may be shot if it ain't—well, the tea and coffee are on the table, to make it as onconvenient as possible.
"Says I, to the lady of the house, as I got up to help myself, for I was hungry enough to make beef ache I know. 'Aunty,' sais I, 'you'll excuse me, but why don't you put the eatables on the table, or else put the tea on the side-board? They're like man and wife, they don't ought to be separated, them two.'
"She looked at me, oh what a look of pity it was", as much as to say, 'Where have you been all your born days, not to know better nor that?—but I guess you don't know better in the States—how could you know any thing there?' But she only said it was the custom here, for she was a very purlite old woman, was Aunty.
"Well sense is sense, let it grow where it will, and I guess we raise about the best kind, which is common sense, and I warn't to be put down with short metre, arter that fashion. So I tried the old man; sais I, 'Uncle,' sais I, 'if you will divorce the eatables from the drinkables that way, why not let the servants come and tend. It's monstrous onconvenient and ridikilous to be a jumpin' up for everlastinly that way; you can't sit still one blessed minit.'
"'We think it pleasant,' said he, 'sometimes to dispense with their attendance.'
"'Exactly,' sais I, 'then dispense with sarvants at dinner, for when the wine is in, the wit is out.' (I said that to compliment him, for the critter had no wit in at no time,) 'and they hear all the talk. But at breakfast every one is only half awake, (especially when you rise so airly as you do in this country,' sais I, but the old critter couldn't see a joke, even if he felt it, and he didn't know I was a funnin'.) 'Folks are considerably sharp set at breakfast,' sais I, 'and not very talkative. That's the right time to have sarvants to tend on you.'
"'What an idea!' said he, and he puckered up his pictur, and the way he stared was a caution to an owl.
"Well, we sot and sot till I was tired, so thinks I, 'what's next?' for it's rainin' agin as hard as ever.' So I took a turn in the study to sarch for a book, but there was nothin' there, but a Guide to the Sessions, Burn's Justice, and a book of London club rules, and two or three novels. He said he got books from the sarkilatin' library.
"'Lunch is ready.'
"'What, eatin' agin? My goody!' thinks I, 'if you are so fond of it, why the plague don't you begin airly? If you'd a had it at five o'clock this morning, I'd a done justice to it; now I couldn't touch it if I was to die.'
"There it was, though. Help yourself, and no thanks, for there is no sarvants agin. The rule here is, no talk no sarvants—and when it's all talk, it's all sarvants.
"Thinks I to myself, 'now, what shall I do till dinner-time, for it rains so there is no stirrin' out?—Waiter, where is eldest son?—he and I will have a game of billiards, I guess.'
"'He is laying down, sir.'
"'Shows his sense,' sais I, 'I see, he is not the fool I took him to be. If I could sleep in the day, I'de turn in too. Where is second son?'
"'Left this mornin' in the close carriage, sir.'
"'Oh cuss him, it was him then was it?'
"'That woke them confounded rooks up, out o' their fust nap, and kick't up such a bobbery. Where is the Parson?'
"'Which one, Sir?'
"'The one that's so fond of fishing.'
"'Ain't up yet, Sir.'
"'Well, the old boy, that wore breeches.'
"Out on a sick visit to one of the cottages, Sir.'
"When he comes in, send him to me, I'm shockin' sick.'
"With that I goes to look arter the two pretty galls in the drawin' room; and there was the ladies a chatterin' away like any thing. The moment I came in it was as dumb as a quaker's meetin'. They all hauled up at once, like a stage-coach to an inn-door, from a hand-gallop to a stock still stand. I seed men warn't wanted there, it warn't the custom so airly, so I polled out o' that creek, starn first. They don't like men in the mornin', in England, do the ladies; they think 'em in the way.
"'What on airth, shall I do?' says I, 'it's nothin' but rain, rain, rain—here in this awful dismal country. Nobody smokes, nobody talks, nobody plays cards, nobody fires at a mark, and nobody trades; only let me get thro' this juicy day, and I am done: let me get out of this scrape, and if I am caught agin, I'll give you leave to tell me of it, in meetin'. It tante pretty, I do suppose to be a jawin' with the butler, but I'll make an excuse for a talk, for talk comes kinder nateral to me, like suction to a snipe.'
"'Galls don't like to be tree'd here of a mornin' do they?'
"'It's usual for the ladies,' sais I, 'to be together in the airly part of the forenoon here, ain't it, afore the gentlemen jine them?'
"'It puts me in mind,' sais I, 'of the old seals down to Sable Island—you know where Sable Isle is, don't you?'
"'Yes, Sir, it's in the cathedral down here.'
"'No, no, not that, it's an island on the coast of Nova Scotia. You know where that is sartainly.'
"'I never heard of it, Sir.'
"'Well, Lord love you! you know what an old seal is?'
"'Oh, yes, sir, I'll get you my master's in a moment.'
And off he sot full chisel.
"Cus him! he is as stupid as a rook, that crittur, it's no use to tell him a story, and now I think of it, I will go and smoke them black imps of darkness,—the rooks.'
"So I goes up stairs, as slowly as I cleverly could, jist liftin' one foot arter another as if it had a fifty-six tied to it, on pupus to spend time; lit a cigar, opened the window nearest the rooks, and smoked, but oh the rain killed all the smoke in a minite; it didn't even make one on 'em sneeze. 'Dull musick this, Sam,' sais I, 'ain't it? Tell you what: I'll put on my ile-skin, take an umbreller and go and talk to the stable helps, for I feel as lonely as a catamount, and as dull as a bachelor beaver. So I trampousses off to the stable, and says I to the head man, 'A smart little hoss that,' sais I, 'you are a cleaning of: he looks like a first chop article that.'
"'Y mae',' sais he.
"'Hullo,' sais I, 'what in natur' is this? Is it him that can't speak English, or me that can't onderstand? for one on us is a fool, that's sartain. I'll try him agin.
"So I sais to him, 'He looks,' sais I, 'as if he'd trot a considerable good stick, that horse,' sais I, 'I guess he is a goer.'
"Y' mae, ye un trotter da,' sais he.
"'Creation!' sais I, 'if this don't beat gineral trainin'. I have heerd in my time, broken French, broken Scotch, broken Irish, broken Yankee, broken Nigger, and broken Indgin; but I have hearn two pure genewine languages to-day, and no mistake, rael rook, and rael Britton, and I don't exactly know which I like wus. It's no use to stand talkin' to this critter. Good-bye,' sais I.
"Now what do you think he said? Why, you would suppose he'd say good-bye too, wouldn't you? Well, he didn't, nor nothin' like it, but he jist ups, and sais, 'Forwelloaugh,' he did, upon my soul. I never felt so stumpt afore in all my life. Sais I, 'Friend, here is half a dollar for you; it arn't often I'm brought to a dead stare, and when I am, I am willin' to pay for it.'
"There's two languages, Squire, that's univarsal: the language of love, and the language of money; the galls onderstand the one, and the men onderstand the other, all the wide world over, from Canton to Niagara. I no sooner showed him the half dollar, than it walked into his pocket, a plaguy sight quicker than it will walk out, I guess.
"Sais I, 'Friend, you've taken the consait out of me properly. Captain Hall said there warn't a man, woman, or child, in the whole of the thirteen united univarsal worlds of our great Republic, that could speak pure English, and I was a goin' to kick him for it; but he is right, arter all. There ain't one livin' soul on us can; I don't believe they ever as much as heerd it, for I never did, till this blessed day, and there are few things I haven't either see'd, or heern tell of. Yes, we can't speak English, do you take?' 'Dim comrag,' sais he, which in Yankee, means, "that's no English," and he stood, looked puzzled, and scratched his head, rael hansum, 'Dim comrag,' sais he.
"Well, it made me larf spiteful. I felt kinder wicked, and as I had a hat on, and I couldn't scratch my head, I stood jist like him, clown fashion, with my eyes wanderin' and my mouth wide open, and put my hand behind me, and scratched there; and I stared, and looked puzzled too, and made the same identical vacant face he did, and repeated arter him slowly, with another scratch, mocking him like, 'Dim comrag.'
"Such a pair o' fools you never saw, Squire, since the last time you shaved afore a lookin' glass; and the stable boys larfed, and he larfed, and I larfed, and it was the only larf I had all that juicy day.
"Well, I turns agin to the door; but it's the old story over again—rain, rain, rain; spatter, spatter, spatter,—'I can't stop here with these true Brittons,' sais I, 'guess I'll go and see the old Squire: he is in his study.'
"So I goes there: 'Squire,' sais I, 'let me offer you a rael genewine Havana cigar; I can recommend it to you.' He thanks me, he don't smoke, but plague take him, he don't say, 'If you are fond of smokin', pray smoke yourself.' And he is writing I won't interrupt him.
"'Waiter, order me a post-chaise, to be here in the mornin', when the rooks wake.'
"Come, I'll try the women folk in the drawin'-room, agin'. Ladies don't mind the rain here; they are used to it. It's like the musk plant, arter you put it to your nose once, you can't smell it a second time. Oh what beautiful galls they be! What a shame it is to bar a feller out such a day as this. One on 'em blushes like a red cabbage, when she speaks to me, that's the one, I reckon, I disturbed this mornin'. Cuss the rooks! I'll pyson them, and that won't make no noise.
"She shows me the consarvitery. 'Take care, Sir, your coat has caught this geranium,' and she onhitches it. 'Stop, Sir, you'll break this jilly flower,' and she lifts off the coat tail agin; in fact, it's so crowded, you can't squeeze along, scarcely, without a doin' of mischief somewhere or another.
"Next time, she goes first, and then it's my turn, 'Stop, Miss,' sais I, 'your frock has this rose tree over,' and I loosens it; once more, 'Miss, this rose has got tangled,' and I ontangles it from her furbeloes.
"I wonder what makes my hand shake so, and my heart it bumps so, it has bust a button off. If I stay in this consarvitery, I shan't consarve myself long, that's a fact, for this gall has put her whole team on, and is a runnin' me off the road. 'Hullo! what's that? Bell for dressin' for dinner.' Thank Heavens! I shall escape from myself, and from this beautiful critter, too, for I'm gettin' spoony, and shall talk silly presently.
"I don't like to be left alone with a gall, it's plaguy apt to set me a soft sawderin' and a courtin'. There's a sort of nateral attraction like in this world. Two ships in a calm, are sure to get up alongside of each other, if there is no wind, and they have nothin' to do, but look at each other; natur' does it. "Well, even, the tongs and the shovel, won't stand alone long; they're sure to get on the same side of the fire, and be sociable; one on 'em has a loadstone and draws 'tother, that's sartain. If that's the case with hard-hearted things, like oak and iron, what is it with tender hearted things like humans? Shut me up in a 'sarvatory with a hansum gall of a rainy day, and see if I don't think she is the sweetest flower in it. Yes, I am glad it is the dinner-bell, for I ain't ready to marry yet, and when I am, I guess I must get a gall where I got my hoss, in Old Connecticut, and that state takes the shine off of all creation for geese, galls and onions, that's a fact.
"Well dinner won't wait, so I ups agin once more near the rooks, to brush up a bit; but there it is agin the same old tune, the whole blessed day, rain, rain, rain. It's rained all day and don't talk of stoppin' nother. How I hate the sound, and how streaked I feel. I don't mind its huskin' my voice, for there is no one to talk to, but cuss it, it has softened my bones.
"Dinner is ready; the rain has damped every body's spirits, and squenched 'em out; even champaign won't raise 'em agin; feedin' is heavy, talk is heavy, time is heavy, tea is heavy, and there ain't musick; the only thing that's light is a bed room candle—heavens and airth how glad I am this 'juicy day' is over!"
CHAPTER III. TYING A NIGHT-CAP.
In the preceding sketch I have given Mr. Slick's account of the English climate, and his opinion of the dulness of a country house, as nearly as possible in his own words. It struck me at the time that they were exaggerated views; but if the weather were unpropitious, and the company not well selected, I can easily conceive, that the impression on his mind would be as strong and as unfavourable, as he has described it to have been.
The climate of England is healthy, and, as it admits of much out-door exercise, and is not subject to any very sudden variation, or violent extremes of heat and cold, it may be said to be good, though not agreeable; but its great humidity is very sensibly felt by Americans and other foreigners accustomed to a dry atmosphere and clear sky. That Mr. Slick should find a rainy day in the country dull, is not to be wondered at; it is probable it would be so any where, to a man who had so few resources, within himself, as the Attache. Much of course depends on the inmates; and the company at the Shropshire house, to which he alludes, do not appear to have been the best calculated to make the state of the weather a matter of indifference to him.
I cannot say, but that I have at times suffered a depression of spirits from the frequent, and sometimes long continued rains of this country; but I do not know that, as an ardent admirer of scenery, I would desire less humidity, if it diminished, as I fear it would, the extraordinary verdure and great beauty of the English landscape. With respect to my own visits at country houses, I have generally been fortunate in the weather, and always in the company; but I can easily conceive, that a man situated as Mr. Slick appears to have been with respect to both, would find the combination intolerably dull. But to return to my narrative.
Early on the following day we accompanied our luggage to the wharf, where a small steamer lay to convey us to the usual anchorage ground of the packets, in the bay. We were attended by a large concourse of people. The piety, learning, unaffected simplicity, and kind disposition of my excellent friend, Mr. Hopewell, were well known and fully appreciated by the people of New York, who were anxious to testify their respect for his virtues, and their sympathy for his unmerited persecution, by a personal escort and a cordial farewell.
"Are all those people going with us, Sam?" said he; "how pleasant it will be to have so many old friends on board, won't it?"
"No, Sir," said the Attache, "they are only a goin' to see you on board—it is a mark of respect to you. They will go down to the "Tyler," to take their last farewell of you."
"Well, that's kind now, ain't it?" he replied. "I suppose they thought I would feel kinder dull and melancholy like, on leaving my native land this way; and I must say I don't feel jist altogether right neither. Ever so many things rise right up in my mind, not one arter another, but all together like, so that I can't take 'em one by one and reason 'em down, but they jist overpower me by numbers. You understand me, Sam, don't you?"
"Poor old critter!" said Mr. Slick to me in an under-tone, "it's no wonder he is sad, is it? I must try to cheer him up, if I can. Understand you, minister!" said he, "to be sure I do. I have been that way often and often. That was the case when I was to Lowel factories, with the galls a taking of them off in the paintin' line. The dear little critters kept up such an everlastin' almighty clatter, clatter, clatter; jabber, jabber, jabber, all talkin' and chatterin' at once, you couldn't hear no blessed one of them; and they jist fairly stunned a feller. For nothin' in natur', unless it be perpetual motion, can equal a woman's tongue. It's most a pity we hadn't some of the angeliferous little dears with us too, for they do make the time pass quick, that's a fact. I want some on 'em to tie a night-cap for me to-night; I don't commonly wear one, but I somehow kinder guess, I intend to have one this time, and no mistake."
"A night-cap, Sam!" said he; "why what on airth do you mean?"
"Why, I'll tell you, minister," said he, "you recollect sister Sall, don't you."
"Indeed, I do," said he, "and an excellent girl she is, a dutiful daughter, and a kind and affectionate sister. Yes, she is a good girl is Sally, a very good girl indeed; but what of her?"
"Well, she was a most a beautiful critter, to brew a glass of whiskey toddy, as I ever see'd in all my travels was sister Sall, and I used to call that tipple, when I took it late, a night-cap; apple jack and white nose ain't the smallest part of a circumstance to it. On such an occasion as this, minister, when a body is leavin' the greatest nation atween the poles, to go among benighted, ignorant, insolent foreigners, you wouldn't object to a night-cap, now would you?"
"Well, I don't know as I would, Sam," said he; "parting from friends whether temporally or for ever, is a sad thing, and the former is typical of the latter. No, I do not know as I would. We may use these things, but not abuse them. Be temperate, be moderate, but it is a sorry heart that knows no pleasure. Take your night-cap, Sam, and then commend yourself to His safe keeping, who rules the wind and the waves to Him who—"
"Well then, minister, what a dreadful awful looking thing a night-cap is without a tassel, ain't it? Oh! you must put a tassel on it, and that is another glass. Well then, what is the use of a night-cap, if it has a tassel on it, but has no string, it will slip off your head the very first turn you take; and that is another glass you know. But one string won't tie a cap; one hand can't shake hands along with itself: you must have two strings to it, and that brings one glass more. Well then, what is the use of two strings if they ain't fastened? If you want to keep the cap on, it must be tied, that's sartain, and that is another go; and then, minister, what an everlastin' miserable stingy, ongenteel critter a feller must be, that won't drink to the health of the Female Brewer. Well, that's another glass to sweethearts and wives, and then turn in for sleep, and that's what I intend to do to-night. I guess I'll tie the night-cap this hitch, if I never do agin, and that's a fact."
"Oh Sam, Sam," said Mr. Hopewell, "for a man that is wide awake and duly sober, I never saw one yet that talked such nonsense as you do. You said, you understood me, but you don't, one mite or morsel; but men are made differently, some people's narves operate on the brain sensitively and give them exquisite pain or excessive pleasure; other folks seem as if they had no narves at all. You understand my words, but you don't enter into my feelings. Distressing images rise up in my mind in such rapid succession, I can't master them, but they master me. They come slower to you, and the moment you see their shadows before you, you turn round to the light, and throw these dark figures behind you. I can't do that; I could when I was younger, but I can't now. Reason is comparing two ideas, and drawing an inference. Insanity is, when you have such a rapid succession of ideas, that you can't compare them. How great then must be the pain when you are almost pressed into insanity and yet retain your reason? What is a broken heart? Is it death? I think it must be very like it, if it is not a figure of speech, for I feel that my heart is broken, and yet I am as sensitive to pain as ever. Nature cannot stand this suffering long. You say these good people have come to take their last farewell of me; most likely, Sam, it is a last farewell. I am an old man now, I am well stricken in years; shall I ever live to see my native land again? I know not, the Lord's will be done! If I had a wish, I should desire to return to be laid with my kindred, to repose in death with those that were the companions of my earthly pilgrimage; but if it be ordered otherwise. I am ready to say with truth and meekness, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.'"
When this excellent old man said that, Mr. Slick did not enter into his feelings—he did not do him justice. His attachment to and veneration for his aged pastor and friend were quite filial, and such as to do honour to his head and heart. Those persons who have made character a study, will all agree, that the cold exterior of the New England man arises from other causes than a coldness of feeling; much of the rhodomontade of the attache, addressed to Mr. Hopewell, was uttered for the kind purpose of withdrawing his attention from those griefs which preyed so heavily upon his spirits.
"Minister," said Mr. Slick, "come, cheer up, it makes me kinder dismal to hear you talk so. When Captain McKenzie hanged up them three free and enlightened citizens of ours on board of the—Somers—he gave 'em three cheers. We are worth half a dozen dead men yet, so cheer up. Talk to these friends of ourn, they might think you considerable starch if you don't talk, and talk is cheap, it don't cost nothin' but breath, a scrape of your hind leg, and a jupe of the head, that's a fact."
Having thus engaged him in conversation with his friends, we proceeded on board the steamer, which, in a short time, was alongside of the great "Liner." The day was now spent, and Mr. Hopewell having taken leave of his escort, retired to his cabin, very much overpowered by his feelings.
Mr. Slick insisted on his companions taking a parting glass with him, and I was much amused with the advice given him by some of his young friends and admirers. He was cautioned to sustain the high character of the nation abroad; to take care that he returned as he went—a true American; to insist upon the possession of the Oregon Territory; to demand and enforce his right position in society; to negotiate the national loan; and above all never to accede to the right of search of slave-vessels; all which having been duly promised, they took an affectionate leave of each other, and we remained on board, intending to depart in the course of the following morning.
As soon as they had gone, Mr. Slick ordered materials for brewing, namely: whisky, hot water, sugar and lemon; and having duly prepared in regular succession the cap, the tassel, and the two strings, filled his tumbler again, and said,
"Come now, Squire, before we turn in, let us tie the night-cap."
CHAPTER IV. HOME AND THE SEA.
At eleven o'clock the next day the Tyler having shaken out her pinions, and spread them to the breeze, commenced at a rapid rate her long and solitary voyage across the Atlantic. Object after object rose in rapid succession into distinct view, was approached and passed, until leaving the calm and sheltered waters of the bay, we emerged into the ocean, and involuntarily turned to look back upon the land we had left. Long after the lesser hills and low country had disappeared, a few ambitious peaks of the highlands still met the eye, appearing as if they had advanced to the very edge of the water, to prolong the view of us till the last moment.
This coast is a portion of my native continent, for though not a subject of the Republic, I am still an American in its larger sense, having been born in a British province in this hemisphere. I therefore sympathised with the feelings of my two companions, whose straining eyes were still fixed on those dim and distant specks in the horizon.
"There," said Mr. Slick, rising from his seat, "I believe we have seen the last of home till next time; and this I will say, it is the most glorious country onder the sun; travel where you will, you won't ditto it no where. It is the toploftiest place in all creation, ain't it, minister?"
There was no response to all this bombast. It was evident he had not been heard; and turning to Mr. Hopewell, I observed his eyes were fixed intently on the distance, and his mind pre-occupied by painful reflexions, for tears were coursing after each other down his furrowed but placid cheek.
"Squire," said Mr. Slick to me, "this won't do. We must not allow him to dwell too long on the thoughts of leaving home, or he'll droop like any thing, and p'raps, hang his head and fade right away. He is aged and feeble, and every thing depends on keeping up his spirits. An old plant must be shaded, well watered, and tended, or you can't transplant it no how, you can fix it, that's a fact. He won't give ear to me now, for he knows I can't talk serious, if I was to try; but he will listen to you. Try to cheer him up, and I will go down below and give you a chance."
As soon as I addressed him, he started and said, "Oh! is it you, Squire? come and sit down by me, my friend. I can talk to you, and I assure you I take great pleasure in doing so I cannot always talk to Sam: he is excited now; he is anticipating great pleasure from his visit to England, and is quite boisterous in the exuberance of his spirits. I own I am depressed at times; it is natural I should be, but I shall endeavour not to be the cause of sadness in others. I not only like cheerfulness myself, but I like to promote it; it is a sign of an innocent mind, and a heart in peace with God and in charity with man. All nature is cheerful, its voice is harmonious, and its countenance smiling; the very garb in which it is clothed is gay; why then should man be an exception to every thing around him? Sour sectarians, who address our fears, rather than our affections, may say what they please, Sir, but mirth is not inconsistent with religion, but rather an evidence that our religion is right. If I appear dull, therefore, do not suppose it is because I think it necessary to be so, but because certain reflections are natural to me as a clergyman, as a man far advanced in years, and as a pilgrim who leaves his home at a period of life, when the probabilities are, he may not be spared to revisit it.
"I am like yourself, a colonist by birth. At the revolution I took no part in the struggle; my profession and my habits both exempted me. Whether the separation was justifiable or not, either on civil or religious principles, it is not now necessary to discuss. It took place, however, and the colonies became a nation, and after due consideration, I concluded to dwell among mine own people. There I have continued, with the exception of one or two short journeys for the benefit of my health, to the present period. Parting with those whom I have known so long and loved so well, is doubtless a trial to one whose heart is still warm, while his nerves are weak, and whose affections are greater than his firmness. But I weary you with this egotism?"
"Not at all," I replied, "I am both instructed and delighted by your conversation. Pray proceed, Sir."
"Well it is kind, very kind of you," said he, "to say so. I will explain these sensations to you, and then endeavour never to allude to them again. America is my birth-place and my home. Home has two significations, a restricted one and an enlarged one; in its restricted sense, it is the place of our abode, it includes our social circle, our parents, children, and friends, and contains the living and the dead; the past and the present generations of our race. By a very natural process, the scene of our affections soon becomes identified with them, and a portion of our regard is transferred from animate to inanimate objects. The streams on which we sported, the mountains on which we clambered, the fields in which we wandered, the school where we were instructed, the church where we worshipped, the very bell whose pensive melancholy music recalled our wandering steps in youth, awaken in after-years many a tender thought, many a pleasing recollection, and appeal to the heart with the force and eloquence of love. The country again contains all these things, the sphere is widened, new objects are included, and this extension of the circle is love of country. It is thus that the nation is said in an enlarged sense, to be our home also.
"This love of country is both natural and laudable: so natural, that to exclude a man from his country, is the greatest punishment that country can inflict upon him; and so laudable, that when it becomes a principle of action, it forms the hero and the patriot. How impressive, how beautiful, how dignified was the answer of the Shunamite woman to Elisha, who in his gratitude to her for her hospitality and kindness, made her a tender of his interest at court. 'Wouldst thou,' said he, 'be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?'—What an offer was that, to gratify her ambition or flatter her pride!—'I dwell,' said she, 'among mine own people.' What a characteristic answer! all history furnishes no parallel to it.
"I too dwell 'among my own people:' my affections are there, and there also is the sphere of my duties; and if I am depressed by the thoughts of parting from 'my people,' I will do you the justice to believe, that you would rather bear with its effects, than witness the absence of such natural affection.
"But this is not the sole cause: independently of some afflictions of a clerical nature in my late parish, to which it is not necessary to allude, the contemplation of this vast and fathomless ocean, both from its novelty and its grandeur, overwhelms me. At home I am fond of tracing the Creator in his works. From the erratic comet in the firmament, to the flower that blossoms in the field; in all animate, and inanimate matter; in all that is animal, vegetable or mineral, I see His infinite wisdom, almighty power, and everlasting glory.
"But that Home is inland; I have not beheld the sea now for many years. I never saw it without emotion; I now view it with awe. What an emblem of eternity!—Its dominion is alone reserved to Him, who made it. Changing yet changeless—ever varying, yet always the same. How weak and powerless is man! how short his span of life, when he is viewed in connexion with the sea! He has left no trace upon it—it will not receive the impress of his hands; it obeys no laws, but those imposed upon it by Him, who called it into existence; generation after generation has looked upon it as we now do—and where are they? Like yonder waves that press upon each other in regular succession, they have passed away for ever; and their nation, their language, their temples and their tombs have perished with them. But there is the Undying one. When man was formed, the voice of the ocean was heard, as it now is, speaking of its mysteries, and proclaiming His glory, who alone lifteth its waves or stilleth the rage thereof.
"And yet, my dear friend, for so you must allow me to call you, awful as these considerations are, which it suggests, who are they that go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters? The sordid trader, and the armed and mercenary sailor: gold or blood is their object, and the fear of God is not always in them. Yet the sea shall give up its dead, as well as the grave; and all shall—
"But it is not my intention to preach to you. To intrude serious topics upon our friends at all times, has a tendency to make both ourselves and our topics distasteful. I mention these things to you, not that they are not obvious to you and every other right-minded man, or that I think I can clothe them in more attractive language, or utter them with more effect than others; but merely to account for my absence of mind and evident air of abstraction. I know my days are numbered, and in the nature of things, that those that are left, cannot be many.
"Pardon me, therefore, I pray you, my friend; make allowances for an old man, unaccustomed to leave home, and uncertain whether he shall ever be permitted to return to it. I feel deeply and sensibly your kindness in soliciting my company on this tour, and will endeavour so to regulate my feelings as not to make you regret your invitation. I shall not again recur to these topics, or trouble you with any further reflections 'on Home and the Sea.'"
CHAPTER V. T'OTHER EEND OF THE GUN.
"Squire," said Mr. Hopewell, one morning when we were alone on the quarter-deck, "sit down by me, if you please. I wish to have a little private conversation with you. I am a good deal concerned about Sam. I never liked this appointment he has received: neither his education, his habits, nor his manners have qualified him for it. He is fitted for a trader and for nothing else. He looks upon politics as he does upon his traffic in clocks, rather as profitable to himself than beneficial to others. Self is predominant with him. He overrates the importance of his office, as he will find when he arrives in London; but what is still worse, he overrates the importance of the opinions of others regarding the States.
"He has been reading that foolish book of Cooper's 'Gleanings in Europe,' and intends to shew fight, he says. He called my attention, yesterday, to this absurd passage, which he maintains is the most manly and sensible thing that Cooper ever wrote: 'This indifference to the feelings of others, is a dark spot on the national manners of England. The only way to put it down, is to become belligerent yourself, by introducing Pauperism, Radicalism, Ireland, the Indies, or some other sore point. Like all who make butts of others, they do not manifest the proper forbearance when the tables are turned. Of this, I have had abundance of proof in my own experience. Sometimes their remarks are absolutely rude, and personally offensive, as a disregard of one's national character, is a disrespect to his principles; but as personal quarrels on such grounds are to be avoided, I have uniformly retorted in kind, if there was the smallest opening for such retaliation."
"Now, every gentleman in the States repudiates such sentiments as these. My object in mentioning the subject to you, is to request the favour of you, to persuade Sam not to be too sensitive on these topics; not to take offence, where it is not intended; and, above all, rather to vindicate his nationality by his conduct, than to justify those aspersions, by his intemperate behaviour. But here he comes; I shall withdraw and leave you together."
Fortunately, Mr. Slick commenced talking upon a topic, which naturally led to that to which Mr. Hopewell had wished me to direct his attention.
"Well, Squire," said he, "I am glad too, you are a goin' to England along with me: we will take a rise out of John Bull, won't we?—We've hit Blue-nose and Brother Jonathan both pretty considerable tarnation hard, and John has split his sides with larfter. Let's tickle him now, by feeling his own short ribs, and see how he will like it; we'll soon see whose hide is the thickest, hisn or ourn, won't we? Let's see whether he will say chee, chee, chee, when he gets to the t'other eend of the gun."
"What is the meaning of that saying?" I asked. "I never heard it before."
"Why," said he, "when I was a considerable of a grown up saplin of a boy to Slickville, I used to be a gunnin' for everlastinly amost in our hickory woods, a shootin' of squirrels with a rifle, and I got amazin' expart at it. I could take the head off of them chatterin' little imps, when I got a fair shot at 'em with a ball, at any reasonable distance, a'most in nine cases out of ten.
"Well, one day I was out as usual, and our Irish help Paddy Burke was along with me, and every time he see'd me a drawin' of the bead fine on 'em, he used to say, 'Well, you've an excellent gun entirely, Master Sam. Oh by Jakers! the squirrel has no chance with that gun, it's an excellent one entirely.'
"At last I got tired a hearin' of him a jawin' so for ever and a day about the excellent gun entirely; so, sais I, 'You fool you, do you think it's the gun that does it entirely as you say; ain't there a little dust of skill in it? Do you think you could fetch one down?'
"'Oh, it's a capital gun entirely,' said he.
"'Well,' said I, 'if it 'tis, try it now, and see what sort of a fist you'll make of it.'
"So Paddy takes the rifle, lookin' as knowin' all the time as if he had ever seed one afore. Well, there was a great red squirrel, on the tip-top of a limb, chatterin' away like any thing, chee, chee, chee, proper frightened; he know'd it warn't me, that was a parsecutin' of him, and he expected he'd be hurt. They know'd me, did the little critters, when they seed me, and they know'd I never had hurt one on 'em, my balls never givin' 'em a chance to feel what was the matter of them; but Pat they didn't know, and they see'd he warn't the man to handle 'old Bull-Dog.' I used to call my rifle Bull-Dog, cause she always bit afore she barked.
"Pat threw one foot out astarn, like a skullin' oar, and then bent forrards like a hoop, and fetched the rifle slowly up to the line, and shot to the right eye. Chee, chee, chee, went the squirrel. He see'd it was wrong. 'By the powers!' sais Pat, 'this is a left-handed boot,' and he brought the gun to the other shoulder, and then shot to his left eye. 'Fegs!' sais Pat, 'this gun was made for a squint eye, for I can't get a right strait sight of the critter, either side.' So I fixt it for him and told him which eye to sight by. 'An excellent gun entirely,' sais Pat, 'but it tante made like the rifles we have.'
"Ain't they strange critters, them Irish, Squire? That feller never handled a rifle afore in all his born days; but unless it was to a priest, he wouldn't confess that much for the world. They are as bad as the English that way; they always pretend they know every thing.
"'Come, Pat,' sais I, 'blaze away now.' Back goes the hind leg agin, up bends the back, and Bull-Dog rises slowly to his shoulder; and then he stared, and stared, until his arm shook like palsy. Chee, chee, chee, went the squirrel agin, louder than ever, as much as to say, 'Why the plague don't you fire? I'm not a goin' to stand here all day, for you this way,' and then throwin' his tail over his back, he jumped on to the next branch.
"'By the piper that played before Moses!' sais Pat, 'I'll stop your chee, chee, cheein' for you, you chatterin' spalpeen of a devil, you'. So he ups with the rifle agin, takes a fair aim at him, shuts both eyes, turns his head round, and fires; and "Bull-Dog," findin' he didn't know how to hold her tight to the shoulder, got mad, and kicked him head over heels, on the broad of his back. Pat got up, a makin' awful wry faces, and began to limp, to show how lame his shoulder was, and to rub his arm, to see if he had one left, and the squirrel ran about the tree hoppin' mad, hollerin' out as loud as it could scream, chee, chee, chee.
"'Oh bad luck to you,' sais Pat, 'if you had a been at t'other eend of the gun,' and he rubbed his shoulder agin, and cried like a baby, 'you wouldn't have said chee, chee, chee, that way, I know.'
"Now when your gun, Squire, was a knockin' over Blue-nose, and makin' a proper fool of him, and a knockin' over Jonathan, and a spilin' of his bran-new clothes, the English sung out chee, chee, chee, till all was blue agin. You had an excellent gun entirely then: let's see if they will sing out chee, chee, chee, now, when we take a shot at them. Do you take?" and he laid his thumb on his nose, as if perfectly satisfied with the application of his story. "Do you take, Squire? you have an excellent gun entirely, as Pat says. It's what I call puttin' the leake into 'em properly. If you had a written this book fust, the English would have said your gun was no good; it wouldn't have been like the rifles they had seen. Lord, I could tell you stories about the English, that would make even them cryin' devils the Mississippi crocodiles laugh, if they was to hear 'em."
"Pardon me, Mr. Slick," I said, "this is not the temper with which you should visit England."
"What is the temper," he replied with much warmth, "that they visit us in? Cuss 'em! Look at Dickens; was there ever a man made so much of, except La Fayette? And who was Dickens? Not a Frenchman that is a friend to us, not a native that has a claim on us; not a colonist, who, though English by name is still an American by birth, six of one and half a dozen of t'other, and therefore a kind of half-breed brother. No! he was a cussed Britisher; and what is wus, a British author; and yet, because he was a man of genius, because genius has the 'tarnal globe for its theme, and the world for its home, and mankind for its readers, and bean't a citizen of this state or that state, but a native of the univarse, why we welcomed him, and feasted him, and leveed him, and escorted him, and cheered him, and honoured him, did he honour us? What did he say of us when he returned? Read his book.
"No, don't read his book, for it tante worth readin'. Has he said one word of all that reception in his book? that book that will be read, translated, and read agin all over Europe—has he said one word of that reception? Answer me that, will you? Darned the word, his memory was bad; he lost it over the tafrail when he was sea-sick. But his notebook was safe under lock and key, and the pigs in New York, and the chap the rats eat in jail, and the rough man from Kentucky, and the entire raft of galls emprisoned in one night, and the spittin' boxes and all that stuff, warn't trusted to memory, it was noted down, and printed.
"But it tante no matter. Let any man give me any sarce in England, about my country, or not give me the right po-sition in society, as Attache to our Legation, and, as Cooper says, I'll become belligerent, too, I will, I snore. I can snuff a candle with a pistol as fast as you can light it; hang up an orange, and I'll first peel it with ball and then quarter it. Heavens! I'll let daylight dawn through some o' their jackets, I know.
"Jube, you infarnal black scoundrel, you odoriferous nigger you, what's that you've got there?"
"An apple, massa."
"Take off your cap and put that apple on your head, then stand sideways by that port-hole, and hold steady, or you might stand a smart chance to have your wool carded, that's all."
Then taking a pistol out of the side-pocket of his mackintosh, he deliberately walked over to the other side of the deck, and examined his priming.
"Good heavens, Mr. Slick!" said I in great alarm, "what are you about?"
"I am goin'," he said with the greatest coolness, but at the same time with equal sternness, "to bore a hole through that apple, Sir."
"For shame! Sir," I said. "How can you think of such a thing? Suppose you were to miss your shot, and kill that unfortunate boy?"
"I won't suppose no such thing, Sir. I can't miss it. I couldn't miss it if I was to try. Hold your head steady, Jube—and if I did, it's no great matter. The onsarcumcised Amalikite ain't worth over three hundred dollars at the furthest, that's a fact; and the way he'd pyson a shark ain't no matter. Are you ready, Jube?"
"You shall do no such thing, Sir," I said, seizing his arm with both my hands. "If you attempt to shoot at that apple, I shall hold no further intercourse with you. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Sir."
"Ky! massa," said Jube, "let him fire, Sar; he no hurt Jube; he no foozle de hair. I isn't one mossel afeerd. He often do it, jist to keep him hand in, Sar. Massa most a grand shot, Sar. He take off de ear oh de squirrel so slick, he neber miss it, till he go scratchin' his head. Let him appel hab it, massa."
"Oh, yes," said Mr. Slick, "he is a Christian is Jube, he is as good as a white Britisher: same flesh, only a leetle, jist a leetle darker; same blood, only not quite so old, ain't quite so much tarter on the bottle as a lord's has; oh him and a Britisher is all one brother—oh by all means—
Him fader's hope—him mudder's joy, Him darlin little nigger boy.
You'd better cry over him, hadn't you. Buss him, call him brother, hug him, give him the "Abolition" kiss, write an article on slavery, like Dickens; marry him to a white gall to England, get him a saint's darter with a good fortin, and well soon see whether her father was a talkin' cant or no, about niggers. Cuss 'em, let any o' these Britishers give me slack, and I'll give 'em cranberry for their goose, I know. I'd jump right down their throat with spurs on, and gallop their sarce out."
"Mr. Slick I've done; I shall say no more; we part, and part for ever. I had no idea whatever, that a man, whose whole conduct has evinced a kind heart, and cheerful disposition, could have entertained such a revengeful spirit, or given utterance to such unchristian and uncharitable language, as you have used to-day. We part"—
"No, we don't," said he; "don't kick afore you are spurred. I guess I have feelins as well as other folks have, that's a fact; one can't help being ryled to hear foreigners talk this way; and these critters are enough to make a man spotty on the back. I won't deny I've got some grit, but I ain't ugly. Pat me on the back and I soon cool down, drop in a soft word and I won't bile over; but don't talk big, don't threaten, or I curl directly."
"Mr. Slick," said I, "neither my countrymen, the Nova Scotians, nor your friends, the Americans, took any thing amiss, in our previous remarks, because, though satirical, they were good natured. There was nothing malicious in them. They were not made for the mere purpose of shewing them up, but were incidental to the topic we were discussing, and their whole tenor shewed that while "we were alive to the ludicrous, we fully appreciated, and properly valued their many excellent and sterling qualities. My countrymen, for whose good I published them, had the most reason to complain, for I took the liberty to apply ridicule to them with no sparing hand. They understood the motive, and joined in the laugh, which was raised at their expense. Let us treat the English in the same style; let us keep our temper. John Bull is a good-natured fellow, and has no objection to a joke, provided it is not made the vehicle of conveying an insult. Don't adopt Cooper's maxims; nobody approves of them, on either side of the water; don't be too thin-skinned. If the English have been amused by the sketches their tourists have drawn of, the Yankees, perhaps the Americans may laugh over our sketches of the English. Let us make both of them smile, if we can, and endeavour to offend neither. If Dickens omitted to mention the festivals that were given in honour of his arrival in the States, he was doubtless actuated by a desire to avoid the appearance of personal vanity. A man cannot well make himself the hero of his own book."
"Well, well," said he, "I believe the black ox did tread on my toe that time. I don't know but what you're right. Soft words are good enough in their way, but still they butter no parsnips, as the sayin' is. John may be a good-natured critter, tho' I never see'd any of it yet; and he may be fond of a joke, and p'raps is, seein' that he haw-haws considerable loud at his own. Let's try him at all events. We'll soon see how he likes other folks' jokes; I have my scruple about him, I must say. I am dubersome whether he will say 'chee, chee, chee' when he gets 'T'other eend of the gun.'"
CHAPTER VI. SMALL POTATOES AND FEW IN A HILL.
"Pray Sir," said one of my fellow passengers, "can you tell me why the Nova Scotians are called 'Blue-noses?'"
"It is the name of a potatoe," said I, "which they produce in great perfection, and boast to be the best in the world. The Americans have, in consequence, given them the nick-name of "Blue-noses.'"
"And now," said Mr. Slick," as you have told the entire stranger, who a Blue-nose is, I'll jist up and tell him what he is.
"One day, Stranger, I was a joggin' along into Windsor on Old Clay, on a sort of butter and eggs' gait (for a fast walk on a journey tires a horse considerable), and who should I see a settin' straddle legs "on the fence, but Squire Gabriel Soogit, with his coat off, a holdin' of a hoe in one hand, and his hat in t'other, and a blowin' like a porpus proper tired.
"'Why, Squire Gabe,' sais I, 'what is the matter of you? you look as if you couldn't help yourself; who is dead and what is to pay now, eh?'
"'Fairly beat out,' said he, 'I am shockin' tired. I've been hard at work all the mornin'; a body has to stir about considerable smart in this country, to make a livin', I tell you.'
"I looked over the fence, and I seed he had hoed jist ten hills of potatoes, and that's all. Fact I assure you.
"Sais he, 'Mr. Slick, tell you what, of all the work I ever did in my life I like hoein' potatoes the best, and I'd rather die than do that, it makes my back ache so."
"'Good airth" and seas,' sais I to myself, 'what a parfect pictur of a lazy man that is! How far is it to Windsor?'
"'Three miles,' sais he. I took out my pocket-book purtendin' to write down the distance, but I booked his sayin' in my way-bill.
"Yes, that is a Blue-nose; is it any wonder, Stranger, he is small potatoes and few in a hill?"
CHAPTER VII. A GENTLEMAN AT LARGE.
It is not my intention to record any of the ordinary incidents of a sea voyage: the subject is too hackneyed and too trite; and besides, when the topic is seasickness, it is infectious and the description nauseates. Hominem pagina nostra sapit. The proper study of mankind is man; human nature is what I delight in contemplating; I love to trace out and delineate the springs of human action.
Mr. Slick and Mr. Hopewell are both studies. The former is a perfect master of certain chords; He has practised upon them, not for philosophical, but for mercenary purposes. He knows the depth, and strength, and tone of vanity, curiosity, pride, envy, avarice, superstition, nationality, and local and general prejudice. He has learned the effect of these, not because they contribute to make him wiser, but because they make him richer; not to enable him to regulate his conduct in life, but to promote and secure the increase of his trade.
Mr. Hopewell, on the contrary, has studied the human heart as a philanthropist, as a man whose business it was to minister to it, to cultivate and improve it. His views are more sound and more comprehensive than those of the other's, and his objects are more noble. They are both extraordinary men.
They differed, however, materially in their opinion of England and its institutions. Mr. Slick evidently viewed them with prejudice. Whether this arose from the supercilious manner of English tourists in America, or from the ridicule they have thrown upon Republican society, in the books of travels they have published, after their return to Europe, I could not discover; but it soon became manifest to me, that Great Britain did not stand so high in his estimation, as the colonies did.
Mr. Hopewell, on the contrary, from early associations, cherished a feeling of regard and respect for England; and when his opinion was asked, he always gave it with great frankness and impartiality. When there was any thing he could not approve of, it appeared to be a subject of regret to him; whereas, the other seized upon it at once as a matter of great exultation. The first sight we had of land naturally called out their respective opinions.
As we were pacing the deck speculating upon the probable termination of our voyage, Cape Clear was descried by the look-out on the mast-head.
"Hallo! what's that? why if it ain't land ahead, as I'm alive!" said Mr. Slick. "Well, come this is pleasant too, we have made amost an everlastin' short voyage of it, hante we; and I must say I like land quite as well as sea, in a giniral way, arter all; but, Squire, here is the first Britisher. That critter that's a clawin' up the side of the vessel like a cat, is the pilot: now do for goodness gracious sake, jist look at him, and hear him."
"Keep her up a point."
"Do you hear that, Squire? that's English, or what we used to call to singing school short metre. The critter don't say a word, even as much as 'by your leave'; but jist goes and takes his post, and don't ask the name of the vessel, or pass the time o' day with the Captin. That ain't in the bill, it tante paid for that; if it was, he'd off cap, touch the deck three times with his forehead, and 'Slam' like a Turk to his Honour the Skipper.
"There's plenty of civility here to England if you pay for it: you can buy as much in five minits, as will make you sick for a week; but if you don't pay for it, you not only won't get it, but you get sarce instead of it, that is if you are fool enough to stand and have it rubbed in. They are as cold as Presbyterian charity, and mean enough to put the sun in eclipse, are the English. They hante set up the brazen image here to worship, but they've got a gold one, and that they do adore and no mistake; it's all pay, pay, pay; parquisite, parquisite, parquisite; extortion, extortion, extortion. There is a whole pack of yelpin' devils to your heels here, for everlastinly a cringin', fawnin' and coaxin', or snarlin', grumblin' or bullyin' you out of your money. There's the boatman, and tide-waiter, and porter, and custom-er, and truck man as soon as you land; and the sarvant-man, and chamber-gall, and boots, and porter again to the inn. And then on the road, there is trunk-lifter, and coachman, and guard, and beggar-man, and a critter that opens the coach door, that they calls a waterman, cause he is infarnal dirty, and never sees water. They are jist like a snarl o' snakes, their name is legion and there ain't no eend to 'em.
"The only thing you get for nothin' here is rain and smoke, the rumatiz, and scorny airs. If you could buy an Englishman at what he was worth, and sell him at his own valiation, he would realise as much as a nigger, and would be worth tradin' in, that's a fact; but as it is he ain't worth nothin', there is no market for such critters, no one would buy him at no price. A Scotchman is wus, for he is prouder and meaner. Pat ain't no better nother; he ain't proud, cause he has a hole in his breeches and another in his elbow, and he thinks pride won't patch 'em, and he ain't mean cause he hante got nothin' to be mean with. Whether it takes nine tailors to make a man, I can't jist exactly say, but this I will say, and take my davy of it too, that it would take three such goneys as these to make a pattern for one of our rael genuwine free and enlightened citizens, and then I wouldn't swap without large boot, I tell you. Guess I'll go, and pack up my fixing and have 'em ready to land."
He now went below, leaving Mr. Hopewell and myself on the deck. All this tirade of Mr. Slick was uttered in the hearing of the pilot, and intended rather for his conciliation, than my instruction. The pilot was immoveable; he let the cause against his country go "by default," and left us to our process of "inquiry;" but when Mr. Slick was in the act of descending to the cabin, he turned and gave him a look of admeasurement, very similar to that which a grazier gives an ox; a look which estimates the weight and value of the animal, and I am bound to admit, that the result of that "sizing or laying" as it is technically called, was by no means favourable to the Attache".
Mr. Hopewell had evidently not attended to it; his eye was fixed on the bold and precipitous shore of Wales, and the lofty summits of the everlasting hills, that in the distance, aspired to a companionship with the clouds. I took my seat at a little distance from him and surveyed the scene with mingled feelings of curiosity and admiration, until a thick volume of sulphureous smoke from the copper furnaces of Anglesey intercepted our view.
"Squire," said he, "it is impossible for us to contemplate this country, that now lies before us, without strong emotion. It is our fatherland. I recollect when I was a colonist, as you are, we were in the habit of applying to it, in common with Englishmen, that endearing appellation "Home," and I believe you still continue to do so in the provinces. Our nursery tales, taught our infant lips to lisp in English, and the ballads, that first exercised our memories, stored the mind with the traditions of our forefathers; their literature was our literature, their religion our religion, their history our history. The battle of Hastings, the murder of Becket, the signature of Runymede, the execution at Whitehall; the divines, the poets, the orators, the heroes, the martyrs, each and all were familiar to us.
"In approaching this country now, after a lapse of many, many years, and approaching it too for the last time, for mine eyes shall see it no more, I cannot describe to you the feelings that agitate my heart. I go to visit the tombs of my ancestors; I go to my home, and my home knoweth me no more. Great and good, and brave and free are the English; and may God grant that they may ever continue so!"
"I cordially join in that prayer, Sir," said I; "you have a country of your own. The old colonies having ripened into maturity, formed a distinct and separate family, in the great community of mankind. You are now a nation of yourselves, and your attachment to England, is of course subordinate to that of your own country; you view it as the place that was in days of yore the home of your forefathers; we regard it as the paternal estate, continuing to call it 'Home' as you have just now observed. We owe it a debt of gratitude that not only cannot be repaid, but is too great for expression. Their armies protect us within, and their fleets defend us, and our commerce without. Their government is not only paternal and indulgent, but is wholly gratuitous. We neither pay these forces, nor feed them, nor clothe them. We not only raise no taxes, but are not expected to do so. The blessings of true religion are diffused among us, by the pious liberality of England, and a collegiate establishment at Windsor, supported by British friends, has for years supplied the Church, the Bar and the Legislature with scholars and gentlemen. Where the national funds have failed, private contribution has volunteered its aid, and means are never wanting for any useful or beneficial object.