« السابقةمتابعة »
reigns, who are highly offended if they do not come in for a share of the delegate's bounty. The purchase and distribution of these papers is a sort of carmen necessarium, or indispensable lesson, and it frequently happens that a member of the Assembly who has been absent from his post the whole winter, except upon the yeas and nays, acquires credit for his industry and attention to business, in proportion to the magnitude of the bundle he distributes of this uninstructive record.
See, now he mounts some elevated stand, and harangues the gaping crowd, while a jackass, led by his groom, is braying at the top of his lungs just behind him. The jack takes in his breath, like Fay's snorer, "with the tone of an octave flute, and lets it out with the profound depth of a trombone." Wherever a candidate is seen, there is sure to be a jackass ; surely his long-eared companion does not mean to satirize the candidate ! However that may be, you perceive the orator is obliged to desist, overwhelmed, perhaps, by this thundering applause. Now the crowd opens to the right and left, to make way for some superb animal at full trot, some Highflyer or Daredevil, who is thus exhibited ad captandum vulgus, which seems the common purpose of the candidate, the jack, and his more noble competitor. But look, here approaches an object more terrible than all, if we may judge from the dispersion of the crowd, who ensconce themselves behind every convenient corner, and peep from their lurking holes, while the object of their dread moves onward, with saddle-bags on arm, a pen behind his ear, and an inkhorn at his button-hole. Lest some of my readers should be ignorant of this august personage, I must do as they do in England, where they take a shaggy dog, and dipping him in red paint, they dash him against the sign board, and write underneath, this is the Red Lion. This is the sheriff, and he is summoning his jury. “Mr. Buckskin, you, sir, dodging behind the blacksmith's shop, I summon you on the jury;" ah, luckless wight! he is caught and obliged to succumb. In vain he begs to be let off, "you must apply to the magistrates," is the surly reply. And if, reader, you could listen to what passes after
wards in the court house, you might hear something like the following colloquy:
Judge. “What is your excuse, sir ?”
follow the law now, sir ?" Juror. “No, sir, the law follows me.” Judge. “Swear him, Mr. Clerk.”
Ah, there is a battle!!! see how the crowd rushes to the spot,—“who fights ?"_"part 'em”-“stand off”“fair play”—“let no man touch"_"hurrah, Dick”“at him, Tom.” An Englishman, thinking himself in England, bawls out, “Sheriff! read the riot act!” A justice comes up and commands the peace; inter arma silent leges; he is unceremoniously knocked down, and justice is blind, as ought to be the case. Two of the rioters attempt to ride in at the tavern door, and for a while all Pandemonium seems broke loose.
To complete this picture, I must, like Asmodeus, unroof the court house, and show you a trial which I had the good fortune to witness: It was during the last war, when the vessels of Admiral Gordon were making their way up the Potomac to Alexandria, that a negro woman was arraigned for killing one of her own sex and color. She had been committed for mur. der, but the evidence went clearly to establish the deed to be manslaughter, inasmuch as it was done in sudden heat, and without malice aforethought. The attorney for the commonwealth waived the prosecution for murder, but quoted British authorities to show that she might be convicted of manslaughter, though committed for murder. The counsel for the accused arose, and in the most solemn manner, asked the court if it was a thing ever heard of, that an individual accused of one crime, and acquitted, should be arraigned immediately for another, under the same prosecution ? At intervals, boom-boom-boom, went the British cannon. “British authorities !” exclaimed the counsel, “British authorities, gentlemen!! Is there any one upon the bench so dead to the feelings of patriotism, as at such a moment to listen to British authorities, when the British cannon is shaking the very walls of your court house to their
foundation ?” This appeal was too cogent to be resisted. Up jumped one of the justices, and protested that it was not to be borne ; let the prisoner go; away with your British authorities! The counsel for the accused rubbed his hands, and winked at the attorney ; the attorney stood aghast; his astonishment was too great for utterance, and the negro was half way home before he recovered from his amazement.
I've often thought if I were asked
Whose lot I envied most -
Of man's unnumber'd host-
Wo, hoy! I'd cry,
Into my saddle seat;
What music is so sweet?
All carrying high the head,
In winkers tipp'd with red-
Wo, hoy! I'd cry,
Wo, hoy! you "Dobbin! Ball!
I'd sing my fol de rol.
Beneath each bear-skin cap;
I'd be the merriest chap
Yes, then I'd be a mountain boy,
Wo, hoy! I'd cry-
Each horse would prick his ear;
Would move in its career.
The golden sparks, you'd see them spring
Beneath my horses' tread;
Of blue, or flaunting red;
Wo, hoy! I'd cry,
With fire would seem to burn,
They'd seem the earth to spurn. They'd champ the bit, and fling the foam,
As on they dragged my load;
And whistle upon the road-
Wo, hoy! I'd cry-
I'd sooner drive those steeds
Won by victorious deeds!
And health the wearer shuns ;
May do for Goths and Huns-
THE SLEET. Awake, awake, the sun is up, awake and sally forth, We've had a rain of jewelry from out the frozen north ; The earth is robed in dazzling white, each tree is hung And diamonds, in ten thousand shapes, are hanging
from their stems. Each bush, and ev'ry humble shrub, with precious
stones is strung, And all the purest, brightest things, by handfuls round
are flung; The emerald ! and the amethyst! the topazes behold! And here and there a ruby red is sparkling in the cold. The chrysolite and jasper see, and that bright sardine
stone The holy Patmos prophet saw upon the heav'nly
throne; Here all the gold of Ophir shines, with all Golconda's
store, And who could ever number up the countless myriads
more ? The Holly, in its darkest green, with crimson fruit, Enchased in solid silver too, how rich is its display! In green and gold the shaggy Pine seems almost in a
blaze, With all the sun's reflected light, yet softened to the gaze. The Cedar, ah thou favor'd tree, in Scripture it is told They laid thee in the house of God, and covered thee
with gold; But great as was king Solomon, he nor the house he
made Was dress’d in such magnificence as thou hast here
display’d. The Beech tree stands in rich array of long and shining
threads, Its brittle boughs all bending low to earth their droop