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So he onhitched, - Jeerusalem! the middle o' last
year Wuz right nex' door compared to where she kicked
the critter tu (Though jest where he brought up wuz wut no
human never knew); His brother Asaph picked her up an' tied her to a
tree, An' then she kicked an hour 'n' a half afore she'd
let it be : Wal, Miss S. doos hev cuttins-up an' pourins-out
o' vials, But then she hez her widder's thirds, an' all on us
hez trials. My objec', though, in writin' now warn't to allude
to sech, But to another suckemstance more dellykit to
tech, I want thet you should grad'lly break my merriage
to Jerushy, An' there's a heap of argymunts thet 's emple to
indooce ye: Fust place, State's Prison, — wal, it's true it
warn't fer crime, o' course, But then it's jest the same fer her in gittin' a
disvorce; Nex' place, my State 's secedin' out hez leg'lly lef?
To merry any one I please, pervidin' it 's a she;
no fear on 't,
S. should hear on 't;
Lastly, I've gut religion South, an' Rushy she's a
pagan Thet sets by th' graven imiges o’the gret Nothun
Dagon ; (Now I hain't seen one in six munts, for, sence our
Treashry Loan, Though yaller boys is thick anough, eagles hez
kind o' flown ;) An' ef J wants a stronger pint than them thet I
hev stated, Wy, she's an aliun in'my now, an' I've been corn
fiscated, For sence we've entered on th' estate o' the late
nayshnul eagle, She hain't no kin' o' right but jes' wut I allow ez
legle : Wut doos Secedin' mean, ef 't ain't thet nat'rul
rights hez riz, 'n' Thet wut is mine 's my own, but wut's another
man 's ain't his’n ?
Besides, I could n't do no else ; Miss S. suz she to
me, “ You've sheered my bed,” [thet 's when I paid my
interduction fee To Southun rites,] “an' kep' your sheer,” [wal, I
allow it sticked So 's 't I wuz most six weeks in jail afore I gut me
picked,] “ Ner never paid no demmiges ; but thet wun't do
no harm, Pervidin' thet you'll ondertake to oversee the
(My eldes' boy he's so took up, wut with the Ring
tail Rangers An' settin' in the Jestice-Court for welcomin'
o' strangers" ;) [He sot on me ;] “an' so, ef you 'll jest ondertake
the care Upon a mod’rit sellery, we'll up an' call it square ; But ef you can't conclude,” suz she, an' give a kin'
o'grin, “ Wy, the Gran' Jurymen, I 'xpect, 'll hev to set
agin.” That's the way metters stood at fust; now wut
wuz I to du, But jes' to make the best on 't an' off coat an'
buckle tu? Ther' ain't a livin' man thet finds an income neces
sarier Than me, — bimeby I 'll tell ye how I fin'lly come
to merry her.
She hed another motive, tu : I mention of it here T'encourage lads thet 's growin' up to study 'n'
persevere, An' show 'em how much better 't pays to mind
their winter-schoolin' Than to go off on benders 'n' sech, an' waste their
time in foolin'; Ef 't warn’t for studyin' evenins, why, I never 'd
ha' ben here An orn’ment o'saciety, in my approprut spear: She wanted somebody, ye see, o'taste an' cultiva
To talk along o' preachers when they stopt to the
plantation ; For folks in Dixie th't read an' rite, onless it is by
jarks, Is skurce ez wut they wuz among th' origenle patri
archs ; To fit a feller f' wut they call the soshle higher
archy, All thet you've gut to know is jes' beyund an
evrage darky; Schoolin''s wut they can't seem to stan', they 're tu
consarned high-pressure, An' knowin' t' much might spile a boy for bein' a
Secesher. We hain't no settled preachin' here, ner ministeril
taxes ; The min’ster's only settlement 's the carpet-bag he
packs his Razor an' soap-brush intu, with his hymbook an'
his Bible, But they du preach, I swan to man, it's puf'kly
indescrib'le ! They go it like an Ericsson's ten-hoss-power coleric
ingine, An' make Ole Split-Foot winch an' squirm, for all
he's used to singein'; Hawkins's whetstone ain't a pinch o' primin' to the
innards To hearin' on 'em put free grace t' a lot o' tough
old sinhards! But I must eend this letter now : 'fore long I 'll
send a fresh un;
I've lots o' things to write about, perticklerly Se
ceshun : I'm called off now to mission-work, to let a leetle
law in To Cynthy's hide : an’so, till death,
MASON AND SLIDELL: A YANKEE IDYLL
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY
JAALAM, 6th Jan., 1862. GENTLEMEN, — I was highly gratified by the insertion of a portion of my letter in the last number of your valuable and entertaining Miscellany, though in a type which rendered its substance inaccessible even to the beautiful new spectacles presented to me by a Committee of the Parish on New Year's Day. I trust that I was able to bear your very considerable abridgment of my lucubrations with a spirit becoming a Christian. My third granddaughter, Rebekah, aged fourteen years, and whom I have trained to read slowly and with proper emphasis (a practice too much neglected in our modern systems of education), read aloud to me the excellent essay upon “Old Age," the authour of which I cannot help suspecting to be a young man who has never yet known what it was to have snow (canities morosa) upon his own roof.