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   Chapter 1 A SURPRISE.

Nature and Human Nature By Thomas Chandler Haliburton Characters: 33047

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:04


Thinks I to myself, as I overheard a person inquire of the servant at the door, in an unmistakeable voice and tone, "Is the Squire to hum?" that can be no one else than my old friend Sam Slick the Clockmaker. But it could admit of no doubt when he proceeded, "If he is, tell him I am here."

"Who shall I say, Sir?"

The stranger paused a moment, and then said, "It's such an everlastin' long name, I don't think you can carry it all to wunst, and I don't want it broke in two. Tell him it's a gentleman that calculates to hold a protracted meeten here to-night. Come, don't stand starin' there on the track, you might get run over. Don't you hear the engine coming? Shunt off now."

"Ah, my old friend," said I, advancing, and shaking him by the hand, "how are you?"

"As hearty as a buck," he replied, "though I can't jist jump quite so high now."

"I knew you," I said, "the moment I heard your voice, and if I had not recognised that, I should have known your talk."

"That's because I am a Yankee, Sir," he said, "no two of us look alike, or talk alike; but being free and enlightened citizens, we jist talk as we please."

"Ah, my good friend, you always please when you talk, and that is more than can be said of most men."

"And so will you," he replied, "if you use soft sawder that way. Oh, dear me! it seems but the other day that you laughed so at my theory of soft sawder and human natur', don't it? They were pleasant days, warn't they? I often think of them, and think of them with pleasure too. As I was passing Halifax harbour, on my way hum in the 'Black Hawk,' the wind fortunately came ahead, and thinks I to myself, I will put in there, and pull foot1 for Windsor and see the Squire, give him my Journal, and spend an hour or two with him once more. So here I am, at least what is left of me, and dreadful glad I am to see you too; but as it is about your dinner hour I will go and titivate up a bit, and then we will have a dish of chat for desert, and cigars, to remind us of by-gones, as we stroll through your shady walks here."

1 The Americans are not entitled to the credit or ridicule, whichever people may be disposed to bestow upon them, for the extraordinary phrases with which their conversation is occasionally embellished. Some of them have good classical authority. That of "pull-foot" may be traced to Euripides, [Greek text].

My old friend had worn well; he was still a wiry athletic man, and his step as elastic and springy as ever. The constant exercise he had been in the habit of taking had preserved his health and condition, and these in their turn had enabled him to maintain his cheerfulness and humour. The lines in his face were somewhat deeper, and a few straggling grey hairs were the only traces of the hand of time. His manner was much improved by his intercourse with the great world; but his phraseology, in which he appeared to take both pride and pleasure, was much the same as when I first knew him. So little indeed was he changed, that I could scarcely believe so many years had elapsed since we made our first tour together.

It was the most unexpected and agreeable visit. He enlivened the conversation at dinner with anecdotes that were often too much for the gravity of my servant, who once or twice left the room to avoid explosive outbreaks of laughter. Among others, he told me the following whimsical story.

"When the 'Black Hawk' was at Causeau, we happened to have a queer original sort of man, a Nova Scotia doctor, on board, who joined our party at Ship Harbour, for the purpose of taking a cruise with us. Not having anything above particular to do, we left the vessel and took passage in a coaster for Prince Edward's Island, as my commission required me to spend a day or two there, and inquire about the fisheries. Well, although I don't trade now, I spekelate sometimes when I see a right smart chance, and especially if there is fun in the transaction. So, sais I, 'Doctor, I will play possum1 with these folks, and take a rise out of them, that will astonish their weak narves, I know, while I put several hundred dollars in my pocket at the same time.' So I advertised that I would give four pounds ten shillings for the largest Hackmetack knee in the island, four pounds for the second, three pounds ten shillings for the third, and three pounds for the fourth biggest one. I suppose, Squire, you know what a ship's knee is, don't you? It is a crooked piece of timber, exactly the shape of a man's leg when kneeling. It forms two sides of a square, and makes a grand fastening for the side and deck beams of a vessel.

1 The opossum, when chased by dogs, will often pretend to be dead, and thus deceives his pursuers.

"'What in the world do you want of only four of those knees?' said the Doctor.

"'Nothing,' said I, 'but to raise a laugh on these critters, and make them pay real handsome for the joke.'

"Well, every bushwhacker and forest ranger in the island thought he knew where to find four enormous ones, and that he would go and get them, and say nothing to nobody, and all that morning fixed for the delivery they kept coming into the shipping place with them. People couldn't think what under the light of the living sun was going on, for it seemed as if every team in the province was at work, and all the countrymen were running mad on junipers. Perhaps no livin' soul ever see such a beautiful collection of ship-timber afore, and I am sure never will again in a crow's age. The way these 'old oysters' (a nick-name I gave the islanders, on account of their everlastin' beds of this shell-fish) opened their mugs and gaped was a caution to dying calves.

"At the time appointed, there were eight hundred sticks on the ground, the very best in the colony. Well, I went very gravely round and selected the four largest, and paid for them cash down on the nail, according to contract. The goneys seed their fix, but didn't know how they got into it. They didn't think hard of me, for I advertised for four sticks only, and I gave a very high price for them; but they did think a little mean of themselves, that's a fact, for each man had but four pieces, and they were too ridiculous large for the thunderin' small vessels built on the island. They scratched their heads in a way that was harrowing, even in a stubble field.

"'My gracious,' sais I, 'hackmetacks, it seems to me, is as thick in this country as blackberries in the Fall, after the robins have left to go to sleep for the winter. Who on earth would have thought there was so many here? Oh, children of Israel! What a lot there is, ain't there? Why, the father of this island couldn't hold them all.'

"'Father of this island,' sais they, 'who is he?'

"'Why,' sais I, 'ain't this Prince Edward's?'

"'Why, yes,' sais they, looking still more puzzled.

"'Well,' sais I, 'in the middle of Halifax harbour is King George's Island, and that must be the father of this.'

"Well if they could see any wit in that speech, it is more than I could, to save my soul alive; but it is the easiest thing in the world to set a crowd off a tee-heeing. They can't help it, for it is electrical. Go to the circus now, and you will hear a stupid joke of the clown; well, you are determined you won't laugh, but somehow you can't help it no how you can fix it, although you are mad with yourself for doing so, and you just roar out and are as big a fool as all the rest.

"Well it made them laugh, and that was enough for me.

"Sais I, 'the wust of it is, gentlemen, they are all so shocking large, and there is no small ones among them; they can't be divided into lots, still, as you seem to be disappointed, I will make you an offer for them, cash down, all hard gold.' So I gave them a bid at a very low figure, say half nothing, 'and,' sais I, 'I advise you not to take it, they are worth much more, if a man only knows what to do with them. Some of your traders, I make no manner of doubt, will give you twice as much if you will only take your pay in goods, at four times their value, and perhaps they mightent like your selling them to a stranger, for they are all responsible government-men, and act accordin' 'to the well understood wishes of the people.' I shall sail in two hours, and you can let me know; but mind, I can only buy all or none, for I shall have to hire a vessel to carry them. After all,' sais I, 'perhaps we had better not trade, for,' taking out a handful of sovereigns from my pocket, and jingling them, 'there is no two ways about it; these little fellows are easier to carry by a long chalk than them great lummokin' hackmetacks. Good bye, gentlemen.'

"Well, one of the critters, who was as awkward as a wrong boot, soon calls out, 'woh,' to me, so I turns and sais 'well, "old hoss," what do you want?' At which they laughed louder than before.

"Sais he, 'we have concluded to take your offer.'

"'Well,' sais I, 'there is no back out in me, here is your money, the knees is mine.' So I shipped them, and had the satisfaction to oblige them, and put two hundred and fifty pounds in my pocket. There are three things, Squire, I like in a spekelation:--First. A fair shake; Second. A fair profit; and Third, a fair share of fun."

In the course of the afternoon, he said, "Squire, I have brought you my Journal, for I thought when I was a startin' off, as there were some things I should like to point out to my old friend, it would be as well to deliver it myself and mention them, for what in natur' is the good of letter writing? In business there is nothing like a good face to face talk. Now, Squire, I am really what I assume to be--I am, in fact, Sam Slick the Clockmaker, and nobody else. It is of no consequence however to the world whether this is really my name or an assumed one. If it is the first, it is a matter of some importance to take care of it and defend it; if it is a fictitious one, it is equally so to preserve my incognito. I may not choose to give my card, and may not desire to be known. A satirist, like an Irishman, finds it convenient sometimes to shoot from behind a shelter. Like him, too, he may occasionally miss his shot, and firing with intent to do bodily harm is almost as badly punished as if death had ensued. And besides, an anonymous book has a mystery about it. Moreover, what more right has a man to say to you, 'Stand and deliver your name,' than to say, 'Stand and fork out your purse'--I can't see the difference for the life of me. Hesitation betrays guilt. If a person inquires if you are to home, the servant is directed to say No, if you don't want to be seen, and choose to be among the missing. Well, if a feller asks if I am the Mr Slick, I have just as good a right to say, 'Ask about and find out.'

"People sometimes, I actilly believe, take you for me. If they do, all I have to say is they are fools not to know better, for we neither act alike, talk alike, nor look alike, though perhaps we may think alike on some subjects. You was bred and born here in Nova Scotia, and not in Connecticut, and if they ask you where I was raised, tell them I warn't raised at all, but was found one fine morning pinned across a clothes line, after a heavy washing to hum. It is easy to distinguish an editor from the author, if a reader has half an eye, and if he hain't got that, it's no use to offer him spectacles, that's a fact. Now, by trade I am a clockmaker, and by birth I have the honour to be a Yankee. I use the word honour, Squire, a purpose, because I know what I am talking about, which I am sorry to say is not quite so common a thing in the world as people suppose. The English call all us Americans, Yankees, because they don't know what they are talking about, and are not aware that it is only the inhabitants of New England who can boast of that appellation.1

1 Brother Jonathan is the general term for all. It originated thus. When General Washington, after being appointed commander of the army of the Revolutionary War, came to Massachusetts to organize it, and make preparations for the defence of the country, he found a great want of ammunition and other means necessary to meet the powerful foe he had to contend with, and great difficulty to obtain them. If attacked in such condition, the cause at once might be hopeless. On one occasion at that anxious period, a consultation of the officers and others was had, when it seemed no way could be devised to make such preparations as was necessary. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, the elder, was then Governor of the State of Connecticut, on whose judgment and aid the General placed the greatest reliance, and remarked, "We must consult 'Brother Jonathan' on the subject. The General did so, and the Governor was successful in supplying many of the wants of the army. When difficulties arose, and the army was spread over the country, it became a by-word, "We must consult Brother Jonathan." The term Yankee is still applied to a portion, but "Brother Jonathan" has now become a designation of the whole country, as John Bull is for England.--BARTLETT'S AMERICANISMS.

"The southerners, who are both as proud and as sarcy as the British, call us Eastern folk Yankees as a term of reproach, because having no slaves, we are obliged to be our own niggers and do our own work, which is'nt considered very genteel, and as we are intelligent, enterprising, and skilful, and therefore too often creditors of our more luxurious countrymen, they do not like us the better for that, and not being Puritans themselves, are apt to style us scornfully, those 'd--d Yankees.'

"Now all this comes of their not knowing what they are talking about. Even the New Englanders themselves, cute as they be, often use the word foolishly; for, Squire, would you believe it, none of them, though they answer to and acknowledge the appellation of Yankee with pride, can tell you its origin. I repeat, therefore, I have the honour to be a Yankee. I don't mean to say that word is 'all same,' as the Indians say, as perfection; far from it, for we have some peculiarities common to us all. Cracking and boasting is one of these. Now braggin' comes as natural to me as scratchin' to a Scotchman. I am as fond of rubbing myself agin the statue of George the Third, as he is of se-sawing his shoulders on the mile-stones of the Duke of Argyle. Each in their way were great benefactors, the one by teaching the Yankees to respect themselves, and the other by putting his countrymen in an upright posture of happiness. So I can join hands with the North Briton, and bless them both.

"With this national and nateral infirmity therefore, is it to be wondered at if, as my 'Sayings and Doings' have become more popular than you or I ever expected, that I should crack and boast of them? I think not. If I have a claim, my role is to go ahead with it. Now don't leave out my braggin', Squire, because you are afraid people will think it is you speaking, and not me, or because you think it is bad taste as you call it. I know what I am at, and don't go it--blind. My Journal contains much for my own countrymen as well as the English, for we expect every American abroad to sustain the reputation in himself of our great nation.

"Now our Minister to Victoria's Court, when he made his brag speech to the great agricultural dinner at Gloucester last year, didn't intend that for the British, but for us. So in Congress no man in either house can speak or read an oration more than an hour long, but he can send the whole lockrum, includin' what he didn't say, to the papers. One has to brag before foreign assemblies, the other before a Congress, but both have an eye to the feelings of the Americans at large, and their own constituents in particular. Now that is a trick others know as well as we do. The Irish member from Kilmany, and him from Kilmore, when he brags there never was a murder in either, don't expect the English to believe it, for he is availed they know better, but the brag pleases the patriots to home, on account of its impudence.

"So the little man, Lord Bunkum, when he opens Oxford to Jew and Gentile, and offers to make Rothschild Chancellor instead of Lord Derby, and tells them old dons, the heads of colleges, as polite as a stage-driver, that he does it out of pure regard to them, and only to improve the University, don't expect them to believe it; for he gives them a sly wink when he says so, as much as to say, how are you off for Hebrew, my old sep

tuagenarians? Droll boy is Rothey, for though he comes from the land of Ham, he don't eat pork. But it pleases the sarcumsised Jew, and the unsarcumsised tag-rag and bobtail that are to be admitted, and who verily do believe (for their bump of conceit is largely developed) that they can improve the Colleges by granting educational excursion tickets.

"So Paddy O'Shonnosey the member for Blarney, when he votes for smashing in the porter's lodges of that Protestant institution, and talks of Toleration and Equal Rights, and calls the Duke of Tuscany a broth of a boy, and a light to illumine heretical darkness, don't talk this nonsense to please the outs or ins, for he don't care a snap of his finger for either of them, nor because he thinks it right, for it's plain he don't, seeing that he would fight till he'd run away before Maynooth should be sarved arter that fashion; but he does it, because he knows it will please him, or them, that sent him there.

"There are two kinds of boastin', Squire, active and passive. The former belongs exclusively to my countrymen, and the latter to the British. A Yankee openly asserts and loudly proclaims his superiority. John Bull feels and looks it. He don't give utterance to this conviction. He takes it for granted all the world knows and admits it, and he is so thoroughly persuaded of it himself, that, to use his own favourite phrase, he don't care a fig if folks don't admit it. His vanity, therefore, has a sublimity in it. He thinks, as the Italians say, 'that when nature formed him, she broke the mould.' There never was, never can, and never will be, another like him. His boastin', therefore, is passive. He shows it and acts it; but he don't proclaim it. He condescends and is gracious, patronizes and talks down to you. Let my boastin' alone therefore, Squire, if you please. You know what it means, what bottom it has, and whether the plaster sticks on the right spot or not.

"So there is the first division of my subject. Now for the second. But don't go off at half-cock, narvous like. I am not like the black preacher that had forty-eleven divisions. I have only a few more remarks to make. Well, I have observed that in editin' my last Journal, you struck out some scores I made under certain passages and maxims, because you thought they were not needed, or looked vain. I know it looks consaited as well as you do, but I know their use also. I have my own views of things. Let them also be as I have made them. They warn't put there for nothin'. I have a case in pint that runs on all fours with it, as brother Josiah the lawyer used to say, and if there was anythin' wantin' to prove that lawyers were not strait up and down in their dealings, that expression would show it.

"I was to court wunst to Slickville, when he was addressin' of the jury. The main points of his argument he went over and over again, till I got so tired I took up my hat and walked out. Sais I to him, arter court was prorogued and members gone home,

"'Sy,' sais I, 'why on airth did you repeat them arguments so often? It was everlastin' yarny.'

"'Sam,' sais he, and he gave his head a jupe, and pressed his lips close, like a lemon-squeezer, the way lawyers always do when they want to look wise, 'when I can't drive a nail with one blow, I hammer away till I do git it in. Some folks' heads is as hard as hackmetacks--you have to bore a hole in it first to put the nail in, to keep it from bendin', and then it is as touch as a bargain if you can send it home and clinch it.'

"Now maxims and saws are the sumtotalisation of a thing. Folks won't always add up the columns to see if they are footed right, but show 'em the amount and result, and that they are able to remember and carry away with them. No--no, put them Italics in, as I have always done. They show there is truth at the bottom. I like it, for it's what I call sense on the short-cards--do you take? Recollect always, you are not Sam Slick, and I am not you. The greatest compliment a Britisher would think he could pay you, would be to say, 'I should have taken you for an Englishman.' Now the greatest compliment he can pay me is to take me for a Connecticut Clockmaker, who hoed his way up to the Embassy to London, and preserved so much of his nationality, after being so long among foreigners. Let the Italics be--you ain't answerable for them, nor my boastin' neither. When you write a book of your own, leave out both if you like, but as you only edit my Journal, if you leave them out, just go one step further, and leave out Sam Slick also.

"There is another thing, Squire, upon which I must make a remark, if you will bear with me. In my last work you made me speak purer English than you found in my Journal, and altered my phraseology, or rather my dialect. Now, my dear Nippent--"

"Nippent!" said I, "what is that?"

"The most endearing word in the Indian language for friend," he said, "only it's more comprehensive, including ally, foster-brother, life-preserver, shaft-horse, and everything that has a human tie in it."

"Ah, Slick," I said, "how skilled you are in soft sawder! You laid that trap for me on purpose, so that I might ask the question, to enable you to throw the lavender to me."

"Dod drot that word soft sawder," said he, "I wish I had never invented it. I can't say a civil thing to anybody now, but he looks arch, as if he had found a mare's nest, and says, 'Ah, Slick! none of your soft sawder now.' But, my dear nippent, by that means you destroy my individuality. I cease to be the genuine itinerant Yankee Clockmaker, and merge into a very bad imitation. You know I am a natural character, and always was, and act and talk naturally, and as far as I can judge, the little alteration my sojourn in London with the American embassy has made in my pronunciation and provincialism, is by no means an improvement to my Journal. The moment you take away my native dialect, I become the representative of another class, and cease to be your old friend 'Sam Slick, the Clockmaker.' Bear with me this once, Squire, and don't tear your shirt, I beseech you, for in all probability it will be the last time it will be in your power to subject me to the ordeal of criticism, and I should like, I confess, to remain true to myself and to Nature to the last.

"On the other hand, Squire, you will find passages in this Journal that have neither Yankee words nor Yankee brag in them. Now pray don't go as you did in the last, and alter them by insarten here and there what you call 'Americanisms,' so as to make it more in character and uniform; that is going to t'other extreme, for I can write as pure English, if I can't speak it, as anybody can.1 My education warn't a college one, like my brothers, Eldad's and Josiah's, the doctor and lawyer; but it was not neglected for all that. Dear old Minister was a scholar, every inch of him, and took great pains with me in my themes, letters, and composition. 'Sam,' he used to say, 'there are four things needed to write well: first, master the language grammatically; second, master your subject; third, write naturally; fourth, let your heart as well as your hand guide the pen.' It ain't out of keeping therefore for me to express myself decently in composition if I choose. It warn't out of character, with Franklin, and he was a poor printer boy, nor Washington, and he was only a land-surveyor, and they growed to be 'some punkins' too.

1 The reader will perceive from a perusal of this Journal, that Mr Slick, who is always so ready to detect absurdity in others, has in this instance exhibited a species of vanity by no means uncommon in this world. He prides himself more on composition, to which he has but small pretensions, than on those things for which the public is willing enough to give him full credit. Had he however received a classical education, it may well be doubted whether he would have been as useful or successful a man as President of Yale College, as he has been as an itinerant practical Clockmaker.

"An American clockmaker ain't like a European one. He may not be as good a workman as t'other one, but he can do somethin' else besides makin' wheels and pulleys. One always looks forward to rise in the world, the other to attain excellence in his line. I am, as I have expressed it in some part of this Journal, not ashamed of having been a tradesman--I glory in it; but I should indeed have been ashamed if, with the instruction I received from dear old Minister, I had always remained one. No, don't alter my Journal. I am just what I am, and nothing more or less. You can't measure me by English standards; you must take an American one, and that will give you my length, breadth, height, and weight to a hair. If silly people take you for me, and put my braggin' on your shoulders, why jist say, 'You might be mistakened for a worse fellow than he is, that's all.' Yes, yes, let my talk remain 'down-east talk,'1 and my writin' remain clear of cant terms when you find it so.

1 It must not be inferred from this expression that Mr Slick's talk is all "pure down-east dialect." The intermixture of Americans is now so great, in consequence of their steamers and railroads, that there is but little pure provincialism left. They have borrowed from each other in different sections most liberally, and not only has the vocabulary of the south and west contributed its phraseology to New England, but there is recently an affectation in consequence of the Mexican war, to naturalise Spanish words, some of which Mr Slick, who delights in this sort of thing, has introduced into this Journal.--ED.

"I like Yankee words--I learned them when young. Father and mother used them, and so did all the old folks to Slickville. There is both fun, sense, and expression in 'em too, and that is more than there is in Taffy's, Pat's, or Sawney's brogue either. The one enriches and enlarges the vocabulary, the other is nothing but broken English, and so confoundedly broken too, you can't put the pieces together sometimes. Again, my writing, when I freeze down solid to it, is just as much in character as the other. Recollect this--Every woman in our country who has a son knows that he may, and thinks that he will, become President of the United States, and that thought and that chance make that boy superior to any of his class in Europe.

"And now, Squire," said he, "I believe there has been enough said about myself and my Journal. Sposen we drink success to the 'human nature,' or 'men and things,' or whatever other name you select for this Journal, and then we will talk of something else."

"I will drink that toast," I said, "with all my heart, and now let me ask you how you have succeeded in your mission about the fisheries?"

"First rate," he replied; "we have them now, and no mistake!"

"By the treaty?" I inquired.

"No," he said, "I have discovered the dodge, and we shall avail of it at once. By a recent local law foreigners can hold real estate in this province now. And by a recent Act of Parliament our vessels can obtain British registers. Between these two privileges, a man don't deserve to be called an American who can't carry on the fisheries in spite of all the cruisers, revenue officers, and prohibitary laws under the sun. It is a peaceable and quiet way of getting possession, and far better than fighting for them, while it comports more with the dignity of our great and enlightened nation."

"What do you think," I said, "of the Elgin treaty as a bargain?"

After some hesitation, he looked up and smiled.

"We can't complain," said he. "As usual we have got hold of the right eend of the rope, and got a vast deal more than we expected. The truth is, the English are so fond of trade, and so afraid of war, if we will only give them cotton, and flour at a fair price, and take their manufactures in return, we can bully them into anythin' almost. It is a positive fact, there were fifty deserters from the British army taken off of the wreck of the 'San Francisco,' and carried to England. John Bull pretended to wink at it, hired a steamer, and sent them all out again to us. Lord! how our folks roared when they heard it; and as for the President, he laughed like a hyena over a dead nigger. Law sakes alive man! Make a question between our nation and England about fifty desarters, and if the ministers of the day only dared to talk of fighting, the members of all the manufactoren towns in England, the cottonocracy of Great Britain, would desert too!

"It's nateral, as an American, I should be satisfied with the treaty; but I'll tell you what I am sorry for. I am grieved we asked, or your Governor-General granted, a right to us to land on these shores and make our fish. Lord Elgin ought to have known that every foot of the sea-coast of Nova Scotia has been granted, and is now private property.

"To concede a privilege to land, with a proviso to respect the rights of the owner, is nonsense. This comes of not sending a man to negociate who is chosen by the people, not for his rank, but for his ability and knowledge. The fact is, I take blame to myself about it, for I was pumped who would do best and be most acceptable to us Americans. I was afeared they would send a Billingsgate contractor, who is a plaguy sight more posted up about fisheries than any member of parliament, or a clever colonist (not a party man), and they know more than both the others put together; and I dreaded if they sent either, there would be a quid pro quo, as Josiah says, to be given, afore we got the fisheries, if we ever got them, at all. 'So,' sais I, out of a bit of fun, for I can't help taken a rise out of folks no how I can fix it, 'send us a lord. We are mighty fond of noblemen to Washington, and toady them first-rate. It will please such a man as Pierce to show him so much respect as to send a peer to him. He will get whatever he asks.'

"Well, they fell into the trap beautiful. They sent us one, and we rowed him up to the very head waters of Salt River in no time.1 But I am sorry we asked the privilege to land and cure fish. I didn't think any created critter would have granted that. Yes, I foresee trouble arising out of this. Suppose 'Cayenne Pepper,' as we call the captain that commanded the 'Cayenne' at Grey Town, was to come to a port in Nova Scotia, and pepper it for insultin' our flag by apprehenden trespassers (though how a constable is to arrest a crew of twenty men unless, Irishman like, he surrounds them, is a mystery to me). What would be done in that case? Neither you nor I can tell, Squire. But depend upon it, there is a tempestical time comin', and it is as well to be on the safe side of the fence when there is a chance of kicking going on.

1 To row up Salt River is a common phrase, used generally to denote political defeat. The distance to which a party is rowed up Salt River depends entirely upon the magnitude of the majority against him. If the defeat is overwhelming, the unsuccessful party is said "to be rowed up to the very head waters of Salt River." The phrase has its origin in the fact that there is a small stream of that name in Kentucky, the passage of which is made difficult and laborious, as well by its tortuous course as by numerous shallows and bars. The real application of the phrase is to the unhappy wight who propels the boat, but politically, in slang usage, it means the man rowed up, the passenger--I. INMAN.

"The bombardment of Grey Town was the greatest and bravest exploit of modern times. We silenced their guns at the first broadside, and shut them up so sudden that envious folks like the British now swear they had none, while we lost only one man in the engagement, but he was drunk and fell overboard. What is the cannonade of Sebastopool to that? Why it sinks into insignificance."

He had hardly ceased speaking, when the wheels of a carriage were heard rapidly approaching the door. Taking out his watch, and observing the hour, he said: "Squire, it is now eleven o'clock. I must be a movin'. Good bye! I am off to Halifax. I am goin' to make a night flight of it. The wind is fair, and I must sail by daylight to-morrow morning. Farewell!"

He then shook hands most cordially with me, and said: "Squire, unless you feel inclined at some future day to make the tour of the States with me, or somethin' turns up I am not availed of, I am afraid you have seen the last Journal of your old friend 'Sam Slick.'"

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