Page images
PDF
EPUB

62

CÆSAR'S EXPLOIT CONTINUED.

head, and the darn in the coat, where he was hit the day

we had the last brush with the enemy'." 8 “ And then all this noise is occasioned by your doubting

whether that poor gentleman is your prisoner or not: is it, 9 sirrah ? Who do you think it can be else ?

“I do not know who else it can be," returned the fellow, 10 sullenly'; " but he is grown thicker and shorter, if it is he';

and see for yourself, sir: he shakes all cver like a man in an

ague,"

11 This was but too true. 12 Cæsar was an alarmed auditor

of this short conversation, and from congratulating himself upon the dexterous escape of his young master, his thoughts were very naturally beginning to dwell upon the probable

consequences to his own person. The pause that succeeded 13 to the last remark of the sentinel, in no degree contributed

to the restoration of his faculties. Lieutenant Mason was 14 busied in examining with his own eyes the suspected person

of the black, and Cæsar was aware of the fact, by stealing a

look through a passage under one of his arms. Captain 15 Lawton would have discovered the fraud immediately; but

Mason was by no means so quick-sighted as his commander.

He therefore turned rather contemptuously to the soldier, 16 and speaking in an undertone, observed, “That fellow has

frightened the boy: I'll step in and cheer him with a little rational conversation.”

“I have heard of fear making a man white," said the 17 soldier, drawing back, and staring as if his eyes would start

from their sockets, “but it has changed the royal captain to a black.” DEFINITIONS, &c.—Define corporal, sentinel, subaltern, stairway, outcry, apartment, suspicious, lieutenant, kabitual, respect, puzzled, queer, intently, powdered head, (it was the custom formerly to powder the hair,) darn, hit, last brush, (slight engagement,) sullenly, thicker, shakes, ague, auditor, congratulating, dexterous, contributed, restoration, fraud, quicksighted, contemptuously, undertone, rational.

SECT. LXXV.—CÆSAR'S EXPLOIT CONTINUED. The truth was, that Cæsar, unable to hear what Mason uttered in a low voice, and having every fear aroused in him 18 by what had already passed, incautiously removed the wig a

little from one of his ears, in order to hear better, without in CÆSAR'S EXPLOIT CONTINUED.

63

the least remembering that its color might prove fatal to his 19 disguise. The sentinel had kept his eyes fastened on his

prisoner, and noticed the action. The attention of Mason was instantly drawn to the same object; and, forgetting all delicacy for a brother officer in distress, or, in short, forget

ting every thing but the censure that might alight on his 20 corps, the lieutenant sprang forward and seized the terrified

African by the throat; for no sooner had Cæsar heard his color named, than he knew his discovery was certain ; and at the first sound of Mason's heavy boot on the floor, he rose from his seat, and retreated precipitately to a corner of

the room.

“Who are you ?” cried Mason, wickedly dashing the 21 head of the old man against the angle of the wall at each

interrogatory : "who are you; and where is the English22 man? Speak! man: speak! speak! answer me immedi

ately, or I will hang you on the gallows of the spy." 23 But Cæsar continued firm. Neither the threats nor the

blows could extract any.reply, until the lieutenant, by a very 24 natural transition in the attack, sent his heavy boot forward

in a direction that brought it in exact contact with a very

sensitive part of any man: his shin. The most obdurate 25 heart could not have exacted further patience, and Cæsar 26 instantly gave in. The first words he spoke were27 “Hew! Massa ! you tink I got no feelin!” 28 “See! see !". shouted the lieutenant, “it is the negro

him29 self. Scoundrel! where is your master; and who was the

priest ?” While speaking, he made a movement as if about 30 to renew the attack; but Cæsar cried aloud for mercy: promising to tell all that he knew.

“Who was the priest ?" repeated the dragoon, drawing 31 back his formidable leg, and holding it in threatening sus

pense. 32 “Harvey, Harvey !" cried Cæsar, dancing from one leg to the other, as he thought each member in its turn assailed.

“Harvey who? Harvey who ?" cried the impatient lieu33 tenant, as he executed a full measure of vengeance by letting

his leg fly. 34 “ Birch !” shrieked Cæsar, falling on his knees : the tears

rolling in large drops over his shining face. 35 “Harvey Birch !" echoed the trooper, hurling the man

64

CAPT. BOBADIL'S METHOD OF DEFEATING AN ARMY

from him, and rushing from the room. “ To arms! to arms! 36 fifty guineas for the life of the pedler spy: give no quarter to either : mount: mount! to arms! to horse !"

During the uproar, occasioned by the assembling of the 37 dragoons, who all rushed tumultuously to their horses,

Cæsar rose from the floor, where he had been thrown by

Mason, and began to examine into his injuries. Happily for 38 himself, though somewhat bruised, he had sustained no ma

terial damage. DEFINITIONS, &c.—Define incantiously, wig, fatal, disguise, fastened, delicacy, censure, alight, precipitately, dashing against, interrogatory, you thunder-cloud, (you, as black as a thunder-cloud,) jackdaw, (so called because he had his master's clothes on: you recollect the fable of the jackdaw that dressed himself in the feathers of other birds ?) gallows, spy, extract, transition, contact, sensitive, shin, obdurate, negro, renew, attack, priest, formidable, dragoon, assailed, vengeance, hurling, rushing.

SECT. LXXVI.-CAPTAIN BOBADIL'S METHOD OF DEFEATING

AN ARMY.

1 I WILL tell you, sir, by way of privacy and under seal, I

am a gentleman, and live here obscure and to myself; but were I known to his majesty, and the lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this poor head and life, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one-half, nay, three

fourths of his yearly charge in holding war, and against 2 what enemy soever.

And how would I do it, think you ? 3 Why, thus, sir: I would select nineteen more than myself,

throughout the land: gentlemen they should be, of good 4 spirit, and of a strong and able constitution. I would choose 5 them by an instinct I have. These nineteen, I would teach

the special rules of fence; as your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccata, your Imbroccata, your Passada, your Mon

tonto, till they could all play very near, or altogether, as 6 well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thou7 sand strong. We twenty would come into the field, the

tenth of March, or thereabouts, and we would challenge twenty of the enemy: they could not in their honor refuse

Well, we would kill them : challenge twenty more; kill them: twenty more; kill them: twenty more; kill 9 them too. And thus would we kill every man his ten a

8 us.

THE PARTS OF SPEECH.

65

10 day. Ten a day,—that's ten score: ten score,—that's two

hundred: two hundred a day: five days, a thousand : forty

thousand, -forty times five: five times forty,—two hundred 11 days,-kill them by computation. And this, sir, I will ven

ture my poor gentleman-like carcass to perform, (provided there be no treason practised upon us,) by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly, by the sword. DEFINITIONS, &c.—By way of privacy-in confidence; that is, supposing you will tell nobody. Under seal—as if having a written pledge not to tell, signed with your name not only, but sealed with your seal. Define obscure. What is meant by his majesty, and the lords ? Define undertake, benefit, state. Is New York or New Jersey called a state, because it is the estate of the people who live in it, or not? Yearly charge-yearly cost or expense charged. Holding war-holding up, carrying on war. Define select, instinct, special, challenge, computation, venture, perform, treason, discreet, manhood. Is play in Sent. 5th used as boys use it when they say play (with marbles, play [with] ball ? or play with a sword; i. e. skilfully handle the sword ? Does in their honor, in Sent. 7th, mean any thing more than honorably? Is Captain Bobadil serious when he calls his body a carcass ? What is a carcass ? Punto, Reverso, &c., are names given to different movements of the art of fencing, about which I know nothing.

a or an

SECT. LXXVII. THE PARTS OF SPEECH. 1 THERE are ten parts of speech ; or different kinds of words

which we use in speaking: the noun, article, adjective, pro

noun, verb, participle, adverb, conjunction, preposition, and 2 interjection. A noun is the name of a person, place, or 3 thing. An article is used to point out a noun:

pointing out any one of a class, and the pointing out some 4 particular one. An adjective expresses the kind or quality 5 of a noun. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. 6 A verb is a word which expresses in what state or postnre

the noun is. A participle is a word, derived from a verb, 7 which not only partakes of the nature of a verb, but of other 8 parts of speech: of a noun, adjective, or preposition. An

adverb is used to qualify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. 9 A conjunction connects words and sentences. 10 A preposition 11 points out the relation of one word to another. An interjec12 tion expresses some emotion of the mind. Thus, in the sen

tence, “ John is a good boy: he is the best scholar in his class; for he is attentive to his lessons, and repeats them correctly; but alas! he is in very bad health ;" John, boy,

66

FREAK OF A HYPOCHONDRIAC.

scholar, class, lessons, health, being names, are called nouns ; a and the, because they point out the nouns, boy, scholar, and class, are articles ; good, best, attentive, bad, because they express the kind or quality of the nouns, boy, scholar, John, health, are adjectives; he, his, and them, being used instead of nouns, are pronouns ; és, signifying a state of being, and repeats, the state of one who repeats, are verbs ; correctly, qualifying repeats, and very, qualifying bad, are adverbs ; and, joining the verbs repeats and is and also for and but, connecting clauses of the sentence, are conjunctions; to and in, pointing out the relation between John and his lessons and health, are prepositions ; and alas! expressing the emotion of pity for John's bad health, is an interjection. DEFINITIONS, &c.—Ten parts of speech-ten kinds of words used in speech or speaking. The pupil is expected to understand and define thom all. Define additionally the following words: posture, derived, qualify, connects, emotion, pointing out, health.

SECT. LXXVIII. -FREAK OF A HYPOCHONDRIAC.

SOME hypochondriacs have fancied themselves miserably 1 afflicted in one way, and some in another: some have insisted

that they were tea-pots, and some that they were town

clocks: one that he was extremely ill, and another that he 2 was actually dying. But perhaps none of this class ever

matched in extravagance a patient of the late Dr. Stevenson

of Baltimore. 3 This hypochondriac, after ringing the change of every mad

conceit that ever tormented a crazy brain, would have it at 4 last that he was dead : actually dead. Dr. Stevenson, having

been sent for one morning in great haste by the wife of his patient, hastened to his bedside; where he found him stretched at full length, with his hands across his breast, his toes in contact, his eyes and mouth closely shut, and his

looks.ghastly. 5 “Well, sir, how do you do? how do you do this morning ?"

asked Dr. Stevenson, in a jocular way, approaching his bed. 6 "How do I do!" replied the man, faintly. 7 " A pretty 8 question to ask a dead man!”—“ Dead !” exclaimed the 9 doctor. “Yes, sir : dead: quite dead : I died last night

about twelve o'clock."

« PreviousContinue »