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thought, I would make an exposition of my master's wicked house. But, alas ! I lost my head here, and this is the simple tale of my decapitation.
My master remarked to my mistress that the day was a cloudy one, and the skies indicated rain. She begged leave to differ - it was too cool to rain. He declared he had known it rain when it was much cooler. She averred that there could be no such thing. He said she was always in the opposition. She maintained he was 'no better than he should be.' This he conceived to be no less than slander outright, and spitefully spit in her face. She, in return, caught me up, and anon, thick and fast fell the blows upon her 't' other half.' At last my head flew off in the conflict, and being thus ruined, I was thrown far down the declivity, and consigned, as supposed, to oblivion.
It so happened, that a fine boy, who was rambling among the hills, saw me in my prostrate condition, and like the good Samaritan, took compassion upon my exposed situation. Catching me up, he bore me along in the capacity of a walking-staff. He was just at that romantic age when hope colored the future with her most gorgeous hues. Rustic and simple, the world was a mystery to him, and he lived in imagination a hundred lives. How insensible he appeared to the fact that he was linking his heart to those hills and streams, by a cord too firm for the world ever to sunder- that images were engraving themselves upon his soul which would live forever! He was dreaming of ambition : wealth, learning, power, dominion, were his gods. Poor child ! Although I am a broomstick, yet let me moralize. And I would ask, could this biography reach him, if he ever turned, in the busy pathway of life, to those pure hills that shadowed the cottage of his nativity? I would ask him, if the recollection of those spots are not living fountains to his thirsty soul? Oh! he has not forgotten their woody aisles - the summer wind that twinkled the foliage of the trees - the rainbow glories that hung there in beauty, when silent autumn came on with solemn pace. The tiny brook that fell leaping from on high, turned his wheel, while he gazed mutely by, in young astonishment. He hears again, in fancy, the deep bay of his dog reverberating afar among the rocks; the chatter of the squirrel, that provoked him from his secure eyrie on high, breaks once more upon his busy ear. Sweet, in d, are such reminiscences! They are the only pure balm for the troubled spirit. But to return.
The little urchin who took charge of me, after rambling for many hours, conveyed me home, where I was quietly placed in the corner of the room. The first objects which I observed on my arrival, were two young ladies, of very pleasing appearance. I soon learned that they were orphans, and resorted to needle-work for a livelihood. The village itself was quite a conspicuous little spot, and distinguished for the pride and gentility of its people. But a false pride tyrannized over these two ladies. They were ashamed of their employment. Standing quietly in my corner, listening to the ceaseless stitch of the needle, I have seen the whole stock and business disappear by a solitary rap at the door. They would then shake the wrinkles from
their dresses, gather a stray curl to its proper place, assume a convivial demeanor, and declare to their company that slaves only labored for a living. How ignorant they affected themselves in regard to industry! But the strangest delusion of all, was the supposition that the world was ignorant of their schemes. The world knew them all; and many is the joke that has been uttered by young bucks, in my presence, on this subject, when the ladies had for a moment left the room.
Had the power of speech been granted me, methinks I might have given them some good counsel. I would have charged them never to be ashamed of industry, let the nature of their employment be what it might. Industry is always honorable. The sluggard is a nuisance to society. And young ladies ought to consider that such conduct is only throwing a brief deception around them, which must disappear, when marriage at last overtakes them. She who has been instrumental in deceiving a lover, generally receives her punishment at the hands of a husband. And the world are not always deceived, though such may be the opinion of those who play the game. When this is the case, contempt and scorn are the natural consequence.
While I was an inmate in this family, I had an opportunity of witnessing another poor specimen of humanity. He occupied a front room, in the second story of the house, and had been for years a victim to patent medicines. He had read the manifold advertisements of these articles, until he imagined himself possessed of every disease in Christendom. Around his apartment, arranged in rows, might be seen the productions of the whole host of empirics, from Adam downward. Poor deluded soul! Pale and emaciated, he crawled around his room, suffering more from imagination than ten thousand realities could have inflicted. He murmured at every change in the weather. The damp morning incurred his bitter denunciations ; the clear sky was too bracing for his consumptive constitution; in short, no change of climate or season was acceptable to him. He daily died a hundred deaths in fearing one. He kept in attendance a quack physician, who invariably steamed him once a week, to prepare his system, as he said, for the mysterious medicine which was to follow. He condoled often with his patient in thus being so unfortunately afflicted, and declared that it was not so much his fee which he desired, as it was to be a philanthropist to mankind. The fact was, the patient had been blessed with a good stock of health; but in a weak moment, be submitted to quackery; and from that period, had been undergoing the process of slow murder. From morning until night, and from night until morning again, I have listened to his 'ugh! ugh! -ugh!' — his groans
his sighs. Still, he was made to believe that he was mending fast;' and even while the quack was declaring that he would yet see good days, and be a blessing to his friends,' he died ! In this family, I had been used for almost every purpose.
On Mondays I was engaged to stir up the clothes, as they hang boil. ing and bubbling over the fire. Three days at least in the week I was hurled at the fowls and pigs, when they encroached too near the kitchen door. Sometimes I might be seen bracing up the door of the larder sometimes tearing down the silver web of the spider -- and then hurrying through the garret, threatening death to the rats and other vermin, that dared to exhibit their eyes. At last, one of the boys ran me into a hoe, and away I went, scratching among the cucumbers, and corn, and dew-sprinkled cabbages : in truth, I employed the whole summer in the labors of horticulture. When I was not busy, I was generally to be found quietly hanging in the pear tree, and, as was supposed, in perfect security. But a different fate awaited me. One dark night, I heard a cautious footstep approaching. I found myself suddenly grasped, and detached from the limb to which I hung. I was hurried instantly away for I was kidnapped! My master was a gentleman very commonly clad, and his breath had a peculiar flavor. He had not proceeded far, before he separated me from the hoe itself, and pocketing the steel, threw me into one of the neighboring pastures, amid the dewy grass. My bed was a cool one, yet it was somewhat ameliorated by being near the fence. I had not remained long in this position,when a person approached, and commenced warily throwing down the rails upon me. After a few moments, he began calling his sheep, guiding them safely through the aperture, saying, as they passed : It is very unfortunate to have unruly flocks, that will, in spite of yourself, infringe upon your neighbor's ground!' I thought as much. But what surprised me more, was the fact, that no flock passed the other way. This was owing, possibly, to the barrenness of the pasture. On the following morning, the farmers both lamented the catastrophe, and trusted that such an occurrence might not happen again.
As I lay amid the green grass, my memory ran back over the winding pathway I had traversed, and I hope the reader with me. It was indeed a scene for reflection. The blue heavens bending above, were stamped with the golden stars - those fires that burn for ever, and yet are not quenched. As I gazed at them, the thought of their antiquity rushed upon me. It was that same blue. spangled curtain that hung on high above old Rome, when she rioted in all her luxury and magnificence. The shepherds who watched their flocks by night,' were warned to study that living page for a light to guide them to the expected Messiah : the Arab, as he travelled the boundless fields of sand, trusted to those burning orbs, for they alone were his chart and compass. Well may the stars be called the
poetry of heaven!' Beyond the grasp of poor frail man, they light him from the cradle, and down to the sepulchre. Their beams are shed upon his monument, until that too is crumbled away, and no token remains to point the spot where his ashes lie. Could a voice be heard from their blue home, doubtless it would speak of a race that passed from our continent long ere the canvass of Columbus was furled upon our shores ; a race that preceded the Indian people whose remains are yet among us, but whose history lies deep in oblivion. Our harvests wave above their graves, and the plough turns up their bones from their couch of many centuries. But I am wandering again.
The pasture-boy caught me up one morning from my bed of repose, and threw me into the street, where I was discovered, and
picked up by a teamster, who carried me to the great emporium. On my arrival, I was presented, in compassion, to a lame mendicant, who conveyed me home to his filthy dwelling, and converted me into a crutch. Oh, the misery I beheld here ! Pages could not record it. Disease, crime, poverty, were all united. How little do the opulent realize the situation of the poor in a great metropolis ! But I must close. I am too miserable, in my miserable abode, to write farther.
H. H. R.
No radiance has been mine, that lit the heart,
A WEEK IN CINCINNATI.
* REALLY, this is a foine town,' exclaimed a drawling young Trol. lope, to an old man who stood tottering upon the verge of sixty and the side-walk, and who nodded assent, as I passed up Main-street. It may be,' thought I, for it has noble streets, beautiful buildings, capacious markets, lofty churches,' etc. So extending my walk a little, I ascended one of those everlasting hills in the rear of the city, and took a bird's-eye view of its magnitude and position, which embraces several square miles of surface, and whose tout ensemble, reflected upon the glassy waters of 'La Belle Riviere,' presents one of the most gorgeous and gratifying spectacles in the western world. The next morning, bright and early, I repeated my promenade, and before noon felt myself quite familiar with the boundaries of the town. I need not describe its beauties ; for they are, or should be, as familiar as household words to those who cannot find it in their hearts to overlook such graphic delineations as those of Basil Hall, and Mad. Trollope, and, par nobile fratrum, Col. Hamilton, Maj. Ferrall, and Barrister Vigne. I therefore omit them, and recommend those who wish to have a correct idea of this eighth wonder of the western world, to visit it themselves; but by all means to go without letters :
For if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use." For example : My first letter of introduction I presented to the postmaster; for I alivays make it a point, in a large city, to gain the early acquaintance of this man of letters, that I may be sure of getting my own punctually, and of hearing the latest and best news from the fountain-head. I called at a fashionable hour, and for once only enjoyed the sight and conversation of a deaf old man of sixty a veritable Jacksonian, of the methodist persuasion - a multitudinous sect in this godly city, which, with Presbyterians, Swedenborgians, and others, have turned their little world upside down, and fulfilled to the very letter every thing which Mad. Trollope has revealed to us in her glowing descriptions of their demoralizing camp-meetings, and ultra revivals. I have sometimes attended them, and can bear witness, that in this instance, at least, the old lady has recorded the truth.
My next was such a letter as Chesterfield might have written, and was addressed to a merchant — one of the 'big bugs,' as they are called in the west. He had been president of a bank, insurance company, etc., but some how or other - and it is not uncommon in new countries a change had come over his fortunes. He had lost his property, and with it his influence. He seemed broken-hearted, and, as I thought, in no disposition to share his misfortunes with a stranger. The chief and best reason I had for presenting the letter, was the pleasure it might give him to hear of the welfare of his former and absent friend.
I now selected from my budget, and fortified myself with, an introductory note from a gentleman of distinction - one of our foreign