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nothing but a broken heart; he has eaten me out of house and home." Bursting into tears, she sat down to weep.
The gentleman then rose in a violent passion. He could not bear to hear himself defamed in such a manner. Every word of the accusation was false. He only wished she was a man, then he would know how to seek redress.
Some how or other, however, his colour changed and his courage seemed to abate, when a man did actually step up to him, declaring himself the friend of the lady, attesting the truth of her declaration, and offered him any kind of redress he should choose to demand. "I have nothing to do with you, sir," said the gentleman; "I was bred a lawyer and not a duelist; by the one avocation I can support life, by the other I should lose it.
The magistrate told the widow, that the proper way for her to obtain redress, was to bring an action at law; but that if she chose, she could then sue for the amount of her bill. This was accordingly done, and the gentleman not being able to procure bail, was provided with lodgings in Arch-street, somewhere beyond Broad.
[From the same.
XIII. HORACE vs. VIRGIL.
"Is there a heart that never loved."
HORACE and Virgil, two boot-blacks, who, with the names of the two famous Latin bards, inherit a portion of fire, though not exactly of the poetic description, were yesterday, with their wives, brought before one of our aldermen, accused of disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood.
These two coloured gentlemen, some time since, fixed their affections on two sisters, Phillis and Flora, and in due time, each led his own fair to the altar, where the right rev. Mr. united them for life. All was love and harmony during the season of courtship, but oh! "The time arrives, the dangerous time. "When all those virtues opening now so fair, "Transplanted to the world's tempestous clime, **Must learn each passion's boisterous breath bear."
Horace, finding it harder to support two than one, soon became tired of his new burden. He however, concealed the cause of his dissatisfaction from his wife, till she one day very plainly told him that she would shiver him alive, if he did not reveal the secret of his ill-humour. He, to tantalize her, replied that it was her sister he wanted and not her, and that with her, he never could live in peace. "Why not tell me this in time," exclaimed the indignant Phillis, and forthwith started for the house of her sister and brother-in-law. This worthy couple, also, it seems, had had a little matrimonial jaring that morning, which rendered them the more ready to part, and Virgil declared his perfect willingness to swap wives with Horace. That the bargain might be ratified, they started for the house of the latter, but he, to their surprise, declared that he would have neither Phillis nor Flora; he was tired of matrimony; he would have no wife at all. This so vexed Virgil, and excited the indignation of the sisters, that they all three commenced a personal attack on Horace. He resisted, but would probably have been conquered, had it not been for Phillis, whose returning affections induced her to desert the enemy, and take the side of her husband. Seizing a boot-tree, she wielded it with such force as to bring Virgil to the ground. Soon afterwards the peace officers arrived and took them all into custody.
The magistrate ordered them to pay the costs, and go home and settle the matter among themselves, advising each of the men to rest content with his own wife.
XIV. MILLER vs. TOMPKINS.
"The land I value not, but, in a matter of right,
I'd cavil with the devil for the ninth part of a hair !" THIS was an action of trover and conversion, brought to recover the value of a certain goose, of which the plaintiff alleged that he was the owner, and which the aforesaid defendant surreptitiously, tortuously, unneighbourly, and without having the fear of 'squire Cunningham before his eyes, had taken, carried away, and to
his own use converted, out of his the said plaintiff's flock, We have not particularly examined the declaration in the case, and do not pretend to vouch for literal accuracy of phraseology. Damages claimed, seven shillings. The plaintiff identified his goose, by a good power of witnesses, and shewed particularly, that it had a slit between the outside and middle toe of her right foot. De fendant proved th same mark to be on his geese also; and then moreover, and that was enough, that he had six geese sometime ago; that he had but six geese now; that he ought to have six geese, and, slit or no slit, he would have six geese. The goose was finally produced on the spot, ushered into the presence of the court, from the mouth of a huge grey bag. It was a well mannered goose. She rolled up her sweet pewter eyes, ❝ like a duck in thunder," most respectfully, on all around, and the court looked wise, and the plaintiff's lawyer looked wicked at the defendant's lawyer, as much as to say, "what think you of that, now?" Defendant's attorney, however, was too old a warrior to be taken by surprise, or give up the field upon a mere demonstration. With the ready resource of a veteran, he challenged his opponent at once, to bring his client's gander, and the plaintiff's gander into court, and rest the whole cause, and the whole right and title to the aforesaid goose, upon the choice she should make of, from, and among the two said ganders, for her paramour; for every goose, concluded the learned counsel, has her partner and her flock.
"There swims no goose so grey, but soon or late,
The plaintiff's counsel wisely declined the challenge. It was this same libertine gander of the defendant, he continued, that had seduced the plaintiff's goose from her" true lord," the plantiff's gander, at first, unless she had been forcibly taken away, as the declaration alleged; and besides, it was well known that geese, when depraved, like the Indians, by civilization, would wander from their own proper mates, on the 14th of February, every year; and about this time it was, he said,
that the witnessess proved the plaintiff's goose to have been missing. In the pure state of nature, though, "Ere the base laws of servitude began, "When wild in woods the noble savage ran,"
this corruption of manners was not known among the feathered race-polygamy and incontinence were not even heard of; every goose had her gander, and had him for life, and the learned counsel new it. Were that the condition of the goose in question, he would have no objection to rely upon the test proposed. This thunderbolt of natural history, completely staggered the learned counsel opposite. He made a "desperate rally," however, and " came in, in time," but evidently a "sufferer." His honour the judge, equally posed, reserved, as by the statute he has the right, four days for his opinion. The judgement of the court will be noted when given. Whoever "gets the cause," we cannot but be reminded of a story told us in childhood:
"A fiddler, crossing a stream, his fiddle slipped out of its case and was lost in the water. Lamenting his less when he came upon the shore, a bystander remarked, No, you have not lost your fiddle, don't you see there's your case in hand? O, be sure, replied monsieur Crowder, I've got my case, but I've lost my fiddle." Ten dollars probably in counsel fees, five in costs, and the goose worth, by plaintiff's own demand, seven shillings!
XV. WESTERN WIT.
TO THE HONOURABLE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, THE PETITION OF THE UNDERSIGNED, RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH:
THAT your petitioner, a citizen of this state, and having its interest much at heart, finds himself, in common with others, deeply aggrieved and compelled to resort to your honourable bodies for redress.
Your petitioner is most thoroughly persuaded, that the honour of the state and the happiness of its citizens are staked on the decision that may be had in your deliberative wisdom, on the subject matter of his petition:
and therefore most humbly implores that an ear may be inclined to hear, and an arm extended to remove, the evils and nuisances of which he complains, in the speediest and most efficacious manner.
It is well known to your honourable bodies, that there are some among us who praise knowledge, and are endeavouring to exhaust the treasury, and torment the rising generation by the establishment and support of schools. God forbid that any countenance should be shown, by the law-makers of the land to the execrable purpose of teaching youth till they despise their fathers for lack of this same knowledge. Your petitioner humbly submits the following reasons to your legislative consideration, hoping that they may have their due weight in exploding the new-fangled notions of modern ages, on the subject of learning and improvement.
1. Knowledge is a source of vexation. "He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth trouble," saith the wise man. Our grandfather Adam, lived in happiness till, to acquire knowledge, he ate of the forbbiden tree, and ruined himself and his race. Doctors and lawyers are the excrescences, the fungi, of knowledge; and what is worse than the taking of pills and the unravelling of the labyrinths of the law? The acquisition of knowledge injures the constitution, weakens the body, shortens life, fills the mind with crotchets, lightens the purse, and converts your fat, good-natured, jolly man into a lean, pedantic scarecrow, that always talks by rule. What is there more troublesome and degrading in this free country, than to be subjected to the caprice and the rod of a pedagogue? To be called in from the streets and the prairies, from seeing the light, and breathing the breath of the pure heaven, to the dull monotony of a schoolroom, the eternal contemplation of some rascally spelling-book and grammar, whose authors may God confound.
2. Knowledge renders us insecure in our property and persons. My neighbour knows more than 1; therefore, he cheats and abuses me. If we were on the same blessed level of ignorance, neither could have an advantage over the other. The shameful art of reading and writing has ruined thousands, who have not themselves