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· when you pours it down it bites all the way like a real good saw, So
when you finds a sling that cuts in that manner you may be sure to have an appetite. Well, here's d—n General Andrew Jackson, and no mistake! That's good, powerful warm ; that drop will take water like a red-hot iron. Captain, a sprinkling of water, if you please. Rum first and water after, is manners. Now some people scotch a sup before the dinner meal, but I never do.”
“ What do you mean by scotch a sup ?”
" Don't you know? Why, it's good English. Scotch is to half do a thing—Shekspur invented the word. He was out one day in the woods in England, as there was when he lived—though I expect they've cut 'em down for firing since,--and he saw a rattlesnake, a good large un, and he had only a little switch in his hand of hickory or maple, but he cuts at it considerable, and pokes at it, so that present-ly off went the critter about half-and-half, that is, part alive with a gentle sprinkling of death over him. Well then, the next time Shekspur writs a play he says, “I scotched the snake; not killed him,' meaning that he only half fixed the business.”
“Very good : I see you 've read something in your time, Major.”
“ You may say that, Colonel. I read nearly as much every day as all the editors in Phillydelphy, Newark, and ’Lisbethtown write, and they are not at all slow, I calcylate, and I driv Uncle Sam's mail-cart six miles besides. T'other day I was taking a julep* at Colonel Marvelho's grocery, when in comes Major Noah the editor. • Major,' says I, •I walks over you like a dead horse every day.' .Do ?'
says then I expect I'm asleep, and thinking of nothing, for I don't know as I hard of it before. But, major,' says he, “tell me how you fix it, and I'll wear cautious in course.'
66 What did he mean by that ?"
“Why, that he would be cautious, I calcylate, while I was walking over him slick."
“Oh! keeping his cye open ?"
“ Exact. Well,' says he, “I'll be cautious in course,' and says I, "I'll tell you how I fix it, Major. When I sits down to read your Evening Star, I looks first at the letter from Washington, then I slides into the adver-tisements, reads the Bowery play-bill and criti-cisements, all the internal improvement notes, Bicknell's forgery report, price of land, and French question, also the Indine war if there is any frolicking going on that way; and when I comes to your articles, I looks at the first and last lines to make sure of the size, and over I goes without taking breath till I'm fixed farther off. And no offence either: I'd serve out any Jackson article, or Jackson himself, in the same way no ways slow. Pre-haps my father weren't in the revolution, and I don't know the constitution."
“What did Major Noah say?"
“Oh! he turns his large nose all a one side like the tower of Babel on a slope, and says to me • Major,' says he, so you read the “ Evening Star;" somehow, I don't care three cents whether you read the leaders, or not. Your opinion on politics may be as good as any one man's in this here free country, and pre-haps better than some of them opposition editors; and I admire you considerable for
*Spirits and water, with sugar and fresh mint.
going the whole ticket some way.' • Ah!' says I, • I'm none of them half-and-half fellers that picks and chuses a ticket* as if they were picking stones out of currants ; but I takes the caucus ticket of my party more or less, just as it is, red or blue.?”
“ That's a good way, Major; it saves trouble.” “ That's a fact.”
The Citizens' line driver here intimated that the horses had finished their “sup," and that he had to keep good time in arriving at the canal. We therefore regained the coach, leaving Major Jack Downing to dis. cuss politics with the farmers.
“ Major Jack is cruel smart sometimes,” said my friend, the driver, " though I expect there's a Major Jack at Jeffersonville that's 'cuter far, and makes more laughing considerable, cos he can grind his teeth together so powerful you'd think his head would come off at the jaws; he's real clever at it, he is. Now you want the whip, eh ? Jow-up! yho !”
“A good whip this, sir. Look at that knot in the middle : I call that the remembrancer. It has a piece of patent nail in it; and when the critturs forget to move, this nodges 'em. Three niggers lying in the sun, and holding on togither with all their might, must get up and go a-head if they felt this twice pretty smart. Any tight niggers in York, Colonel ?"
“ Some of all sorts, Major.”
"We had a powerful fellow here some time ago ; but his spirit was too great, and it killed him.” * How so ?
Why, he was elegant powerful at jobbing." " What do you call jobbing?"
Why, sir, the niggers in these parts take great pride in their heads. Since gouging was put down by the squires, the niggers have taken to jobbing, or butting their for'e'ds ag'in each other like rams ; and, when they does it they have their hands tied behind ’em, and keep jobbing till one on 'em drops down, when the other stands on him, (if he can,) and crows like a cock, which ends the game. But the great art is to mind what part of the for’e'd they get hit, and the one that's fell must try to bite the other's toe off when he stands on him. If you'd stop in these parts we'd get up a jobbing."
" Thank you. So one of these jobbing niggers was killed ?”
“Why, I expect it was in the newspapers : didn't you read it? Colly was the nigger's name, and he was so tarnation powerful at jobbing that at last none o' the others would hold their for’e’ds while he did, and the game was given up. So then he was considerable down-hearted, and says he, If there isn't a nigger as will stand me, I'll get a goat as will. So, one day when there was a land-auction, and a powerful number of people out, Colly wagered half a dollar to job with the goat, and to it they sets. The goat did'nt like it first, and many bet as he'd make the goat clear out; but, at last, as Colly was grinning instead of minding his aim, the goat began to be smart and rakish, and came in with a blow that won the wager, for the nigger was killed. A smart fellow, but could'nt stand a goat no ways, on account of the horns."
* An entire or "whole ticket” is a list of between thirty or forty names of candidates for different situations in the state and general governments :-all of pecuniary value.
Jobbing, then, is one of the rural sports in this state ?" “ You may call it rural if you like; but it's always done here by the field-niggers, that live in the country entire-ly."
" Is there much gouging here now ?”
“No; that's put down pretty considerable, and there's no pride taken in it as there used be. The young fellers carry knives now, and rip each other a slice or so when they're maddish, and no said: it's very seldom as they kill each other outright. An Eng. lisher got sliced tarnally here a leetle while since, cos he d...d the Yankces. When the knives was out he tuk a cheer, and says he, • Come on!' holding 'em off all the time with the legs of it; but he didn't calcylate exact, for one on 'em came behind, and ripped him over the shoulders and back considerable smart. Poor devil! he wanted a new coat after the docter had cured him. Thirty dollars for a new coat, and twenty for the doctor, made his d
the Yankees come curious warm on him. It'll teach him manners, I reckon. We Yankees an't a-going to be d...d, I guess, no ways.
That's a fact.
If we an't free and independent, then that's not the canal-boat as you must go in. Let the Englisher go back, and say what he scen here, and take a steamer with him. It'll do the other Englishers good to look at.”
The country, until we came to the Delaware river, was level and uninteresting, and the 'pike (road) so straight that we could some. times see ten or fifteen miles a-head. On the canal there was only one lock in ten or twelve miles, and but few embankments Some of the land had only recently been obtained from the primeval woods, and the stumps of trees were blackening the surface of thousands of acres which affyrd but small chance of profit to the agriculturist for many years to come. A machine has been invented on the screw principle for removing the stumps, instead of allowing them to rot in the ground, but the application is expensive, and is only resorted to in peculiar cases. Sometimes the stumps are blown up with gunpowder ; but this is only a partial remedy, the fragments being leit in the earth to rot for some years, when they are burnt off the ground. The banks of the broad Delaware, down which we proceeded in a steam-boat, were extremely beautiful ; innumerable lofty trees and the magnificent autumn foliage giving me for the first time a view of American scenery such as it was when the red man held undisputed sway, and Europe was ignorant of the existence of a continent devoted to the hunter,
On board the steamer I entered into a conversation with a na. tive, whose father had been an Englishman, and who had not for. gotten that his parent had regretted leaving the country of his birth. Yet the native, John Bull's cousin only once removed, was a com. plete American, and asked, with the usual air of one, whether Ame. rica were not the most glorious country in the world, and the people the “best educated, most ingenious, bravest, &c. and beat the Bri. tish ?** I told him I thought the Americans were decidedly de. generated from their European forefathers, were far from being well educated, and, as to their ingenuity and bravery, the world had yet to learn some proofs of the assertion : the immigration must be dis.
* This is a phrase used on every possible and alınost every improbable occasion. Morning noon, and night, do the words ring from the pulpit, the bar, the senate, and the stage :-"Beat the British !"
continued one full generation, at least, before any calculation could be made on the subject. At present the country is more English than American.
He asked me if I thought there were more British in the States than Americans ? I answered, no; but that I thought there were dc. cidedly more British, and their immediale uiescenılanuls, than natives who could trace American parents for two generations. The population of the United States after the revolution was but three or four millions ; it is now upwards of twelve, and the increase has been caused chiefly by immigrants, nine-tenths of whom have emigrated from the British Llands.
• To what cause," said he, "do you attribute this degeneracy? We have the best climate in the world; and the aborigines of the country are the finest race of people in a state of nature in the world."
" I cannot allow," I replied, “ that the climate is as good as you think; and no man who has seen with an unprejudiced eye the population of America at the close of a hot summer, can say that the climate agrees either with Europeans, or their descendants, down to the third generation. And how is it that the Europeans genc. rally stand the climate better than the natives ? A native female, thirty years of age, looks old and haggard, although the mother of but three or four children: an Englishwoman may be in America twenty years, and with six or eight children not look as old at the age of forty-five. And, although the aborigines of the country, are a fine race of men as hunters on their native prairies, we have absolute proof that their adoption of European habits, and an abandonment of their roving life, tend to the decrease of their numbers and their gradual extinction.''
" And you really think the climate of America not suited to the production of a hardy, highly-civilised, and intelligent race of men ?"
"I do; if the comparison be made between the English and the natives of the most healthy climate of America, New York, and the Eastern States.”
“Well, I expect you English are the most prejudiced people in the world."
“ The English and the Americans may find a strong family like. ness to each other in this particular. But it is getting cold and dark ; suppose we descend to the cabin.''
We had been talking on deck until we had the gang-way to our. selves, the other passengers having all retired to the stoves in the cabin, or to the bar-room, where ale-cocktail (ale with ginger and pepper in it), sangaree (spirits and sugar), and Mononga hela (whis. key-punch) were in great demand. The stoves were literally covered with the feet of those who had obtained the nearest places; and having in vain endeavoured to obtain a share of the warmth, I lighted a cigar, and returned to the deck just in time to catch the first glimpse at the Philadelphia lamps.
Here was the city of Penn! What an ambitious old Quaker he must have been! To cancel a debt owed him by a king he obtained à tract of country larger than England, and gave his name to it; became a viceroy, and founded one of the largest and finest cities of the new world, which up to the present time has been built accord. ing to the plan he laid down. On one of the banks of the Delaware, near where we were passing, the Quaker sovereign purchased with a few blankets and tinware the peaceable possession of his territory from the Indian warriors. He expected his city would be peopled with Quakers; but the calculation was a failure, the world being either not wise enough, or not eccentric enough, to furnish a city with a popu. lation mute and outwardly indifferent to the pleasures of life. Perhaps, too, as the “Friends” are not very partial to the use of the trowel, the shuttle, and the spade, and would prefer being scalped to killing an Indian, some difficulty would have occurred in building the city, keep. ing off the Indians, and maintaining the inhabitants in food and cloth. ing, if Philadelphia had attracted none but the real Simon Pures, Oba. diah Broadbrims, and Grey Susannahs.
We soon reached the place of debarkation at the bottom of a street so quiet (although it was only half-past nine o'clock) as to afford a curious contrast to the bustle and noise of the empire city.* It was with some difficulty we could all obtain hackney-coaches : the boat having arrived later than usual, many of the free and independent hackney.coachmen had vacated the stand.
“ How much is the fare ?” said I, when one came up. “ Two levies and a fip,” answered the man.
Now these were coins I had never previously heard of, and I was accordingly puzzled as to the mode of payment. In an after-ex. planation I found that a New York shilling (twelve and a half cents) is in Pennsylvania an elevenpenny bit, or levy; and a silver sixpence (six and a quarter cents) is a fivepenny bit, or fip; there being in the old currency nine shillings to the dollar in the one, and eight in the other place.
New York is so called.
THE HEATHER FOR ME!
Bonny's the blushing rose at e'en;
Bonny's the violet blue;
And broad leaves tipp'd wi’dew.
And fell’d the oak may be;
Of leather,-the heather for me!
'Tis bonny to sit in leafy bower
When song delights the ear;
Blend wi' music near;
And then, for melody,
O'er the heather I-the heather for me!