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ness; words, which, from being filtered and refined through newspapers and election hand-bills, have lost their original signification; and in the political dictionary are synonymous with empty pockets, itching palms, and interested ambition. "He, in addition to all this, declared that he would support none but honest men ; but unluckily as but few of these offered themselves to be supported, Dabble's services were seldom required. He pledged himself never to engage in party schemes or party politics, but to stand up solely for the broad interests of his country ; - so he stood alone; and what is the same thing, he stood still ; for, in this country, he who does not side with either party is like a body in a vacuum between two planets, and must for ever remain motionless.
Dabble was immeasurably surprised that a man so honest, so disinterested, and so sagacious withal, and one, too, who had the good of his country so much at heart, should thus remain unnoticed and unapplauded. A little worldly advice, whispered in his ear by a shrewd old politician, at once explained the whole mystery. “He who would become great,” said he, “must serve an apprenticeship to greatness; and rise by regular gradation, like the master of a vessel, who commences by being scrub and cabin-boy. He must fag in the train of great men, echo all their sentiments, become their toad-eater and parasite, laugh at all their jokes; and, above all, endeavour to make them laugh: if you only now and then make a man laugh, your fortune is made. Look but about you, youngster, and you will not see a
single little great man of the day but has his miserable herd of retainers, who yelp at his heels, come at his whistle, worry whoever he points his fingers at, and think themselves fully rewarded by sometimes snapping up a crumb that falls from the great man's table. Talk of patriotism, virtue, and incorruptibility! tut, man ! they are the very qualities that scare munificence, and keep patronage at a distance. You might as well attempt to entice crows with red rags and gunpowder. Lay all these scarecrow virtues aside, and let this be your maxim, that a candidate for political eminence is like a dried herring; he never becomes luminous until he is corrupt.”
Dabble caught with hungry avidity these congenial doctrines, and turned into his predestined channel of action with the force and rapidity of a stream which has for a while been restrained from its natural course. He became what nature had fitted him to be ;—his tone softened down from arrogant self-sufficiency to the whine of fawning solicitation. He mingled in the causes of the sovereign people ; adapted his dress to a similitude of dirty raggedness; argued most logically with those who were of his own opinion; and slandered, with all the malice of impotence, exalted characters whose orbit he despaired ever to approach :—just as that scoundrel midnight thief, the owl, hoots at the blessed light of the sun, whose glorious lustre he dares never contemplate. He likewise applied himself to discharging faithfully the honourable duties of a partisan ; he poached about for private slanders, and ribald anecdotes ; he folded hand-bills—he even wrote one or two himself, which he carried about in his pocket and read to everybody; he became a secretary at ward-meetings, set his hand to divers resolutions of patriotic import, and even once went so far as to make a speech, in which he proved that patriotism was a virtue;—the reigning bashaw a great man:--that this was a free country, and he himself an arrant and incontestable buzzard !
Dabble was now very frequent and devout in his visits to those temples of politics, popularity, and smoke, the ward porter-houses; those true dens of equality, where all ranks, ages, and talents, are brought down to the dead level of rude familiarity. 'Twas here his talents expanded, and his genius swelled up to its proper size; like the loathsome toad, which, shrinking from balmy airs, and jocund sunshine, finds his congenial home in caves and dungeons, and there nourishes his venom, and bloats his deformity. 'Twas here he revelled with the swinish multitude in their debauches on patriotism and porter; and it became an even chance whether Dabble would turn out a great man or a great drunkard. But Dabble in all this kept steadily in his eye the only deity he ever worshipped-his interest. Having by this familiarity ingratiated himself with the mob, he became wonderfully potent and industrious at elections; knew all the dens and cellars of profligacy and intemperance; brought more negroes to the polls, and knew to a greater certainty where votes could be bought for beer, than any of his contemporaries. His exertions in the cause, his persevering industry, his degrading compliance, his unresisting humility, his steadfast dependence, at length caught the attention of one of the leaders of the party ; who was pleased to observe that Dabble was a very useful fellow who would go all lengths. From that moment his fortune was made ;-he was hand and glove with orators and slang-whangers ; basked in the sunshine of great men's smiles, and had the honour, sundry times, of shaking hands with dignitaries, and drinking out of the same pot with them at a porter-house!
I will not fatigue myself with tracing this caterpillar in his slimy progress from worm to butterfly; suffice it that Dabble bowed and bowed, and fawned and sneaked, and smirked and libelled, until one would have thought perseverance itself would have settled down into despair. There was no knowing how long he might have lingered at a distance from his hopes, had he not luckily got tarred and feathered for some of his electioneering manoouvres—this was the making of him! Let not my readers staretarring and feathering here is equal to pillory and cropped ears in England; and either of these kinds of martyrdom will ensure a patriot the sympathy and suffrages of a faction. His partisans, for even he had his partisans, took his case into consideration-he had been kicked and cuffed, and disgraced, and dishonoured in the cause—he had licked the dust at the feet of the mob_he was a faithful drudge, slow to anger, of invincible patience, of incessant assiduity-a thorough-going tool, who could be curbed, and spurred, and directed at pleasure-in short he had all the important qualifications for a little great man, and he was accordingly ushered into office amid the acclamations of the party. The leading men compli. mented his usefulness, the multitude his republi. can simplicity, and the slang-whangers vouched for his patriotism. Since his elevation he has discovered indubitable signs of having been des. tined for a great man. His nose has acquired an additional elevation of several degrees, so that now he appears to have bidden adieu to this world, and to have set his thoughts altogether on things above; and he has swelled and inflated himself to such a degree, that his friends are under ap. prehensions that he will one day or other explode and blow up like a torpedo.
A WARLIKE PORTRAIT OF THE GREAT PETER-ANI
HOW GENERAL VON POFFENBURGH DISTINGUISHEI
HIMSELF AT FORT CASIMIR. HITHERTO, most venerable and courteous reader, have I shown thee the administration of the valorous Stuyvesant under the mild moonshine of peace, or rather the grim tranquillity of awfu expectation; but now the war-drum rumbles from afar, the brazen trumpet brays its thrilling note and the rude clash of hostile arms speaks fearfu prophecies of coming troubles. The gallant war