« ZurückWeiter »
seem to them most fitting to the occasion and to the speaker. If it be objected that no such oration could ever have been delivered, I answer, that there are few assemblages for speech-making which do not better deserve the title of Parliamentum Indoctorum than did the sixth Parliament of Henry the Fourth, and that men still continue to have as much faith in the Oracle of Fools as ever Pantagruel had. Howell, in his letters, recounts a merry tale of a certain ambassador of Queen Elizabeth, who, having written two letters, - one to her Majesty, and the other to his wife, — directed them at cross-purposes, so that the Queen was beducked and bedeared and requested to send a change of hose, and the wife was beprincessed and otherwise unwontedly besuperlatived, till the one feared for the wits of her ambassador, and the other for those of her husband. In like manner it may be presumed that our speaker has misdirected some of his thoughts, and given to the whole theatre what he would have wished to confide only to a select auditory at the back of the curtain. For it is seldom that we can get any frank utterance from men, who address, for the most part, a Buncombe either in this world or the next. As for their audiences, it may be truly said of our people, that they enjoy one political institution in common with the ancient Athenians : I mean a certain profitless kind of ostracism, wherewith, nevertheless, they seem hitherto well enough content. For in Presidential elections, and other affairs of the sort, whereas I observe that the oysters fall to the lot of comparatively few, the shells (such as the privileges of voting as they are told to do by the ostrivori aforesaid, and of huzzaing at public meetings) are very liberally distributed among the people, as being their prescriptive and quite sufficient portion.
The occasion of the speech is supposed to be Mr. Palfrey's refusal to vote for the Whig candidate for the Speakership. - H. W.) No ? Hez he ? He haint, though? Wut? Voted
agin him? Ef the bird of our country could ketch him, she'd
skin him ;
I seem 's though I see her, with wrath in each
quill, Like a chancery lawyer, afilin' her bill, An' grindin' her talents ez sharp ez all nater, To pounce like a writ on the back o' the traitor. Forgive me, my friends, ef I seem to be het, But a crisis like this must with vigor be met; Wen an Arnold the star-spangled banner bestains, Holl Fourth o’ Julys seem to bile in my veins.
Who ever 'd ha' thought sech a pisonous rig Would be run by a chap thet wuz chose fer a Wig? “We knowed wut his princerples wuz 'fore we sent
him”? Wut wuz there in them from this vote to pervent
him? A marciful Providunce fashioned us holler O' purpose thet we might our princerples swaller; It can hold any quantity on 'em, the belly can, An' bring 'em up ready fer use like the pelican, Or more like the kangaroo, who (wich is stranger) Puts her family into her pouch wen there's danger. Aint princerple precious ? then, who's goin' to
Wen there's resk o' some chap's gittin' up to
abuse it? I can't tell the wy on't, but nothin' is so sure Ez thet princerple kind o'gits spiled by exposure ;?
1 The speaker is of a different mind from Tully, who, in his recently discovered tractate De Republica, tells us, Nec vero habere virtutem satis est, quasi artem aliquam, nisi utare, and from our Milton, who says: “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered
A man thet lets all sorts o' folks git a sight on't Ough' to hev it all took right away, every mite
Ef he can't keep it all to himself wen it 's wise to, He aint one it's fit to trust nothin' so nice to.
Besides, ther's a wonderful power in latitude
tion, An' thet everythin' 's nothin' except by position ; Ez, fer instance, thet rubber- trees fust begun
bearin' Wen p'litikle conshunces come into wearin', Thet the fears of a monkey, whose holt chanced to
fail, Drawed the vertibry out to a prehensile tail ; So, wen one's chose to Congriss, ez soon ez he's Resolves, do you say, o' the Springfield Conven
in it, A collar grows right round his neck in a minnit, An' sartin it is thet a man cannot be strict In bein' himself, wen he gits to the Deestrict, Fer a coat thet sets wal here in ole Massachusetts, Wen it gits on to Washinton, somehow askew sets. virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat." - Areop. He had taken the words out of the Roman's mouth, without knowing it, and might well exclaim with Donatus (if Saint Jerome's tutor may stand sponsor for a curse), Pereant qui ante nos nostra diserint ! -H. W
tion? Thet's percisely the pint I was goin' to mention ; Resolves air a thing we most gen’ally keep ill, They ’re a cheap kind o' dust fer the eyes o' the
people; A parcel o' delligits jest git together An' chat fer a spell o' the crops an' the weather, Then, comin' to order, they squabble awile An' let off the speeches they ’re ferful 'll spile ; Then — Resolve, – Thet we wunt hev an inch o'
slave territory; Thet Presidunt Polk's holl perceedins air very
tory; Thet the war is a damned war, an' them thet enlist
in it Should hev a cravat with a dreffile tight twist in it; Thet the war is a war fer the spreadin' o' slavery; Thet our army desarves our best thanks fer their
bravery; Thet we 're the original friends o' the nation, All the rest air a paltry an' base fabrication ; Thet we highly respect Messrs. A, B, an' C, An' ez deeply despise Messrs. E, F, an' G. In this way they go to the eend o’ the chapter, An' then they bust out in a kind of a raptur About their own vartoo, an' folks's stone-blindness To the men thet 'ould actilly do 'em a kindness, The American eagle, — the Pilgrims thet landed, Till on ole Plymouth Rock they git finally stranded. Wal, the people they listen an’ say, “Thet 's the
Ez fer Mexico, 't aint no great glory to lick it,
So they march in percessions, an' git up hooraws, An' tramp thru the mud fer the good o' the cause, An' think they ’re a kind o' fulfillin' the prophecies, Wen they 're on’y jest changin' the holders of of
Ware A sot afore, B is comf’tably seated,
Now, to keep unimpaired all these glorious feeturs
I say thet a party with gret aims like these
I'm willin' a man should go tollable strong