Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and the sons of dogs and cowards,—that he would take any five of them single-handed. “Shure, I have said all his Riverence and the Misthress bade me say," cried he in defiance; and, seizing the Governor's cane from his hand, brandished it, quarter-staff fashion, above his head. He was, indeed, got from the hall only with the greatest difficulty by the Governor, the City Marshal, who had been called in, and the Superintendent of my Sunday-School.

The universal impression, of course, was that the Rev. Frederic Ingham had lost all command of himself in some of those haunts of intoxica. tion which for fifteen years I had been laboring to destroy. Till this moment, indeed, that is the impression in Naguadavick. This number of the Atlantic will relieve from it a hundred friends of mine who have been sadly wounded by that notion now for years; but I shall not be likely ever to show my head there again.

No. My double has undone me.

We left town at seven the next morning. I came to No. 9, in the Third Range, and set. tled on the Minister's Lot. In the new towns in Maine, the first settled minister has a gift of a hundred acres of land. I am the first settled minister in No. 9. My wife and little Paulina are my parish. We raise corn enough to live on in summer. We kill bear's meat enough to carbonize it in winter. I work on steadily on my “Traces of Sandemanianism in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries, which I hope to persuade Phillips, Sampson, & Co. to publish next year. We are very happy, but the world thinks we are undone.-1f, yes, and perhaps.

RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON.'

(BORN, 1822.)

THE VARIOUS LANGUAGES OF BILLY MOON.

To surrender ere th' assault.—HUDIBRAS.

CHAPTER I.

OT all, and not a majority, of personal

combats in the far South forty years ago, at court grounds and muster fields, sprang from personal hostilities, previous or sudden. They were resorted to often as a trial of superior strength, agility, or endurance. In such encounters, one who would seek for a pistol, a knife, or even a walking-stick, was considered unmanly. Not thus, however, at least commonly, he who, when overcome and prostrate, cried “Enough."

Enough.” Such conduct was understood merely as an admission, technically termed “word,” that the defeated yielded for the present only, and with reserve of right and intention to renew the combat in other circumstances which might occur, whether on that 1 See Biographical Sketch, p. xxviii.

same or some subsequent day. The victor was expected to suspend his blows at this admission. Sometimes, when the bottom man refused to yield, and seemed to prefer being beaten into a jelly, bystanders, somewhat be fore such result, would drag off the top man. Then both combatants, though with blackened eyes and bruised faces, panting and hobbling, would repair to the grocery, take a social grog, and, with mutual compliments, have a cordial understanding to repeat the fight at some convenient time after.

This preface was due to Mr. Oglethorpe Josh Green, whose conduct upon a certain occasion might otherwise be somewhat misunderstood.

One other item—as a postscript, as it were, to the above-I should mention. In those times, many country people of the humbler and less cultivated sort, when mention was made of a person afflicted with a native incurable infirmity, bodily or mental, usually spoke of him or her as of the neuter gender, employing the pronoun it.

Mr. (Oglethorpe) Josh Green, so styled to distinguish him from his cousin of that name in Elbert, had whipped out every thing in his section, and in search of other conquests he once came some miles southward. It was musterday for the Dukesborough battalion. A few from the upper borders of the county had heard of his exploits, and one or two had seen him theretofore. A man like him, however, needed not to have friends, or even acquaintances, as, when a fight was to be made up, an entire stranger could easily obtain backers who would see to the maintenance of fair play.

When the muster was over, and O. J. G. (as he sometimes called himself, and was called by others, for short) had looked calmly upon several fights, he seemed to be disgusted.

“You people down here don't 'pear to know how to fight,” said he. “ It 'pears like you want to have somebody that do know how for to come down here and larn you."

It was a voice loud, harsh, powerful. People looked at him. Indeed, he had already attracted much attention. About thirty or thirtytwo years of age, five feet eleven, weighing one hundred and sixty, or maybe more, darkskinned, his black hair cut short, without an ounce of surplus flesh, from his head to his feet he seemed as if he had been wrought out of iron. As he walked up and down, composedly uttering challenges, there did not seem to be a

« ZurückWeiter »