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THE ATTACHE: OR, SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND. By the Author of "The Clock-maker.' In one volume.
Philadelphia: LEA AND BLANCHARD. New-York: BURGESS, STRINGER AND COMPANY.
It has been supposed, we may infer, by a good many scribblers, that it was only necessary, in order successfully to imitate the style of Sam Slick, or the veritable Jack DownING, to indulge liberally in uncouth and incorrect orthography, and the frequent use of a number of cant terms and phrases ; but the popularity of the true style has sufficiently proved, that it is the originality of thought, the peculiarity of ideas, which have given to the 'sayings and doings' of the clock-maker so marked a popularity. Judge HALIBURTON is an uncompromising Tory, who never disguises his predilections, nor declines an opportunity to enlist the powerful aid of Mr. Slick, in extending the promulgation of his political views; yet being al fore-warned, the republican reader necessarily finds himself fore-armed, to meet a manly and unflinching opponent; while all classes of readers cannot fail to be entertained, amused and instructed by the quaint views, the odd illustrations, the piquant anecdotes, and the rude but most faithful sketches of character and scene which are the marked characteristics of the volume before us, as well as of each of its predecessors, “after its kind.' We shall illustrate the justice of this praise by a few characteristic extracts. In the chapter on boarding-schools, we find the following passages. Mr. Slick is speaking of the consequences of sending young girls away to female seminaries before they have been educated in the school of the affections:
“They do n't love their parents, 'cause they haint got that care, and that fondlin', and protection, and that habit that breeds love Love won't grow in cold ground, I can tell you. It must be sheltered from the frost, and protected froin the storm, and watered with tears, and warmed with the heat of the heart, and the soil be kept free from weeds; and it must have support to lean on, and be tended with care day and night, or it pincs, grows yaller, lades away, and dies. It's a tender plant, is love, or else I don't know human natur, that's all. Well, the parents do 'nt love them nother. Mothers can get wcaned as well as babies. The same causes a'most makes folks love their children, that makes their children love them. Who ever liked another man's tower-garden as well as his own? Did you ever see one that did, for I never did? He haint tended it, he haint watched its growth, he haint seen the flowers bud, unfold, and bloom. They haint growed up under his eye and hand, he haint attached to them, and do n't care who plucks'em. : . : Oh! its an opnatural thing to tear a poor little gal away from home, and from all she knows and loves, and shove her into a house of strangers, and race off and leave her. Oh! what a sight of little chords it inust stretch, so that they are never no good afterward, or else snap 'em right short off. How it must harden the heart and tread down all the young sproutin' feelin's, so that they can never grow up and ripen.'
Mr. Slick attributes the origin of these abuses, on the part of parents, to the omnipotence of fashion; upon which he makes the observations which ensue:
'LORD, what a world this is! We have to think in harness, as well as draw in harness. We talk of this government being free, and that government being free, but fashion makes slaves of us all. If we do n't obey we aint civilised. You must think with the world, or go out of the world. Now, in the high life I've been movin' in lately, we must swear by SHAKSPEARE whether we have a taste for plays or not; swaller it in a lump, like a bolus, obscene parts and all, or we have no soul. We must "If it's a Rubens, or any o' them old boys, praise it, for its agin the law to doubt them; but if its a new man, and the company aint most special judges, criticise. * A leetle out of keepin', sais you;
go into fits if Milton is spoke of, though we can't read it if we was to die for it, or we have no tastes; such is high life, and high life goverus low life. Every Eoglishman and every American that goes to the Continent must adnire Paris, its tawdry theatres, its nasty filthy parks, its rude people, its cheaten' tradesmen; its horrid formal parties, its affected politicians, its bombastical braggin' officers and all. If they do n't they are vulgar wretches that do n't know nothin', and can't tell a fricaseed cat from a stewed frog. Let 'em travel on and they darsn't say what they think of them horrid, stupid, oncomfortable gamblin' Garman waterin'-places nother. Oh, no! fashion says you can't. It's just so with these cussed boardin'-schools ; you must swear by 'em, or folks will open their eyes and say, . Where was you raird, young man? Does your mother know you are out ?' Oh, dear! how many gals they have ruined, how many folks they have fooled, and how many families they have capsised, so they never was righted again!'
What could be more forcibly set forth than the indifference of the English government to the merits of one of her greatest national poets during his life-time, than Mr. Slick's remarks concerning the pompous funeral of Thomas CAMPBELL; a man suffered to live in poverty and fade away like a shadow, crowned at last with an unsubstantial abbey-show burial, while the most trifling ephemeral is covered with horors and wealth:
'I GUESS when CAMPBELL writ “The Mariners of England,' that will live till the British sailors get whipped by us so they will be ashamed to sing it, he thought himself great shakes; heavens and airth! he warn’t half so big as Tom Thumb; he was jist vothin'. But let some foreign hussey, whose skin aint clear, and whose character aint clear, and who hante nothin' clear about her but her voice, let her come and sing that splendid song that puts more ginger into sailors than grog or prize-money, or any thin', and Lord! all the old admirals, and flag-officers and yacht-men and others that do onderstand, and all the lords, and ladies, and princes, that do n't onderstand where the springs are in that song that touch the chords of the heart, all on 'em will come and worship a'most; and some young duke or another will fancy he is a young Jupiter, and come down in a shower of gold a'most for her, while the poet has • The Pleasures of Hope' to feed on. Oh! I envy him, glorious man, I envy him bis great reward ; it was worth seventy years of 'hope,' that funeral.' ::: Ah! poor CAMPBELL! he was a poet, a beautiful poet! He know'd about the world of imagination, and the realms of fancy; but he did n't know nothin' at all about this world of our'n, or of the realm of England, or he never would bave talked about the ‘Pleasures of Hope,' for an author. Lord bless you! let a dancin' gal come to the opera, jump six foot high, 'light on one toe, hold up the other so high you can see her stays a'most, and then spin round like a daddy-long-legs that's got one foot caught in a taller candle, and go spinnin' round arter that fashion for ten minits, it will touch PEEL's heart in a giffy. Let ome old general or admiral do something or another that only requires the courage of a bull, and no sense, and they give him a pension, and right off the reel make him a peer. Let some old field-officer's wife go follerin' the arniy away back in Indgy further than is safe or right for a woman to go, git taken pris’ner, give a horrid sight of trouble to the army to git her back; and for this great service to the nation she gits a pension of five hundred pounds a year. But let some misfortunate devil of an author do — what only one man in a century can, to save his soul alive, write a book that will live-a thing that does show the perfection of human mind, and what do they do here? Let his body live on the * Pleasures of Hope,' all the days of his life, and his name live afterward on a cold white marble in Westminster Abbey. They be hanged - the whole bilin' of 'em - them and their trumpery procession too, and their paltry patronage of standing by a grave, and sayin'. Poor CAMPBELL! Who the devil cares for a monument, that actilly deserves one? He has built one that will live when that are old abbey crumbles down, and when them that thought they was honorin' him are dead and forgotten; his monument was built by his own brains and his own hands, and the inscription aint writ in Latin nor Greek, nor any other dead language, nother, but in a livin' language; and one too that will never die out now, seein' our great nation uses it; and here it is :
*The Pleasures of Eope, by THOMAS CAMPBELL.'
This is trenchant irony, and well is it deserved. The following bit of satire is in a some. what different vein, but not less effective. Sam is holding up to contempt one of those “humbugeous' amateurs of pictures and ladies, of whom one sees more perhaps in this goodly metropolis of ours than in any other city in the United States:
he do n't use his grays enough, nor glaze down well; that shadder wants depth; gineral effect is good, tho' parts aint; those eye brows are heavy enough for stucco,' says you, and other unmeanin' terms like them. It will pass, I tell you, your opinion will be thought great. But if there is a portrait of the lady of the house hangin' up, and its at all like enough to make it out, stop; gaze on it; walk back ; close your fingers like a spv-glass, and look thro' 'em amazed like, enchanted - chained to the spot. Then utter, unconscious like, “That's a'most a beautiful pictur'; hy Heavens that's a speakin' portrait! Its well painted, too; but, whoever the artist is, is an onprincipled man.' "Good gracious!' she'll say, 'how so! Because, Madam, he has not done you justice ; he pretends to have a conscience, and says he wont flatter. The cantin' rascal knew he could not add a charm to that face if he was to try, and has, therefore, basely robbed your countenance to put it on to his character. Out on such a villain!' sais you. “Oh, Mr. Slick,' she'll say, blushin', but lookin' horrid pleased all the time, what a shame it is to be so severe; and, beside, you are not just, for I am aseerd to exhibit it, it is so flattered.' •Flattered !' sais you, turnin' round, and lookin' at her, with your whole soul
in your face, all admiration like: 'flattered! - impossible, Madam.' And then turn short off, and say to yourself aloud, 'Heavens! how unconcious she is of her own power!'
There is an illustration of the principle of compensation' in the grades of master and servant in England, in the following passage, which will not escape the attention of the reader:
His master has to attend certain hours in the House of Lords; he has to attend certain hours in his master's house. There aint much difference, is there? His master loses his place if the Ministry goes out; but he holds on to his'n all the same. Which has the best of that? His master takes the tour to Europe, so does he. His master makes all the arrangerients and pays all the expenses ; he don't do either. Which is master or servant here? His young master falls in love with an Italian opera gal, who expects enormous presents from him; he falls in love with the bar-maid, who expects a kiss from him. One is loved for his money, the other for his good looks. Who is the best off? When his master returns, he has larned where the Alps is, and which side of them Rome is ; so has he. Who is the most improved? Whenever it rains his master sighs for the sunny sky of Italy, and quotes Rogers and BYRON. He damns the climate of England in the vernacular tongue, relies on his own authority, and at all events is original. The only difference is, his master calls the castle my house, he calls it our castle: his master says my park, and he says our park. It is more dignified to use the plural; kings always do: it's a royal phrase, and he has the advantage here. He is the fust commoner of England too. The servants' hall is the House of Commons. It has its rights and privi. leges, and is plaguy jealous of them too. Let his master give any of them an order out of his line, and see how soon he votes it a breach of privilege. Let him order the coachman, as the horses are seldom used, to put them to the roller and roll the lawn. 'I can't do it, Sir; I could n't stand it, I should never hear the last of it; I should be called the rollin'-coachman.' The master laughs; he knows prerogative is dangerous ground, that an Englishman values Magna Charta, and sais, ' Very well, tell farmer Hodge to do it.' If a vine that hides part of the gable of a coach-house, busts its bondage, and falls trailin' on the ground, he sais, · John, you have nothin' to do, it would n't hurt you, when you see such a thing as this loose, to nail it up. You see I often do such things myself; I am not above it.' 'Ah! it may do for you. Şir; you can do it if you like, but I can't; I should lose caste. I should be called the gardener's coachman. • Well, well! you are a blockhead; never mind.' Look at the lady's maid ; she is twice as handsome as her mistress, because she worked when she was young, had plenty of exercise and simple diet, and kept early hours, and is full of health and spirits ; she dresses twice as fine, has twice as many airs, uses twice as hard words, and is twice as proud too. And what has she to do? Her mistress is one of the maids in waitin' on the Queen; she is maid in waitin' on her mistress. Who has to mind her p's and q's most, I wonder? Her mistress don't often speak till she is spoken to to the palace; she speaks when she pleases. Her mistress flatters delicatelý; she does the same if she chooses, if not she don't take the trouble.'
The sight of an imposing 'marriage of convenience' at St. James' Church in London awakens some rather sad thoughts in the mind of the Attaché: 'I like to look at beauty always; my heart yarns toward it; and I do love women, the dear critturs! that 's a fact. There is no music to my ear like the rustlin' of petticoats: but then I pity one o' these high-bred gals, that's made a show of that way, and decked out in first-chop style, for all the world to stare at afore she is offered up as a sacrifice to gild some old coronet with her money, or enlarge some landed estate by addin' her'n on to it. Half the time it aint the joinin' of two hearts, but the joinin' of two pusses, and a wife is chose like a hoss, not for her looks, but for what she will fetch.' The marriage display reminds Mr. Slick how differently the thing is done by “a magistrate to Slickville;' and this he illustrates by an amusing anecdote :
'ONE day, Slocum Outhouse, called there to the Squire's with Deliverance Cook. They was well acquainted with the Squire, for they was neighbors of his, but they was awful afeerd of him, he was such a crotchical, snappish, peevish, oud, old feller. So after they sot down in the room old Peleg sais, You must excuse my talkin' to-day, friend Outhouse, for,' sais he, 'I'm so almighty busy a-writin': but the women-folks will be in bime bye; the'r jist gone to meetin'.' Well,' sais Slocum, 'we won't detain you a minit, Squire; me and Deliverance come to make declaration of marriage, and have it registered.' 'Oh! goin' to be married,' sais he; 'eh? that's right; marry in haste and repent at leisure. Very fond of each other now; quarrel like the devil by and bye. Hem! what cussed fools some folks is ;' and he never sais another word, but wrote anei wrote on, and never looked up, and there they sot and sot, Slocum and poor Deliverance, a-lookin' like a pair of fools; they know'd they could n't move him to go one inch faster than he chose, and that he would have his own way at any rate; so they looked at each other and shook their heads, and then looked down and played with their thumbs, and then they scratched their pates and put one leg over t' other, and then shifted it back agin, and then they looked out o'the winder, and counted all the poles in the fence, and all the hens in the yard, and watched a man a-ploughin' in a field, goin'first up and then down the ridge ; then Slocum coughed, and then Deliverance coughed, so as to attract old Squire's attention, and make him 'tend to their business; but no, nothin' would do: he wrote, and he wrote, and he wrote, and he never stopped, nor looked up, nor looked round, nor said a word. Then Deliverance looked over at the Squire, made faces, and nodded and motioned to Outhouse to go to him, but he frowned and shook his head, as much as to say, I darsu't do it, dear, I wish you would.
• At last she got narvous, and began to cry out of clear sheer spite, for she was good stuff, rael steel,
put an edge on a knife a'most; and then got Slocum's dander up; so he ups off of his seat, and spunks up to the old squire, and sais he, 'Squire, tell you what, we came here to get married ; if you are a-goin' to do the job well and good, if you aint say so, and we will go to some one else.' What job,' sais old Peleg, a-lookin' up as innocent as you please. •Why, marry us,' sais Slocum. “Marry you!!! sais he, "why d-n you, you was married an hour and a half ago, inan. What are you a-talkin' about? I thought you was a-goin' to spend the night here, or else had repented of your bargain;' and then he sot back in his chair and laäsed ready to kill himself. • What the devil have you been waitin' for all this time?' sais he; do n't you know that makin' declaration, as you did, is all that's required ? but come, let's take a glass of grog. Here's to your good health, Mr. Slocum, or Slow-go, you ought to be called, and the same to you, Deliverance. What a nice name you've got, too, for a bride ;' and he laäfed agin till they both joined in it, and laäfed, too, like anythin'; for laäfiin' is catchin'; you can't help it sometimes, even suppose you are vexed.'
The Attaché has a keen eye for the ludicrous. Nothing in the way of humor or drollery escapes him. Here is an instance of his . keeping his eyes open' for matters in this kind; a novel method of 'taking an observation' by a captain of a Nantucket whaler:
'He was what he called a practical man: he left the science to his officers and only sailed her, and managed things and so on. He was a mighty droll man, and p'raps as great a pilot as you ever see a-most; but navigation he did n't kuow at all; so when the officers had their glasses up at twelve o'clock to take the sun he'd say, "Boy! Yes, Sir.' 'Hand up my quadrant;' and the boy'd hand up a large square black bottle full of gin. 'Bear a-hand, you young rascal,' he'd say, 'or I shall lose the obsarvation,' and he'd take the bottle with both hands, throw his head back, and turn it butt eend up and tother eend to his mouth, and pretend to be a-lookin' at the sun; and then, arter his breath give out, he'd take it down, and say to officer, · Have you had a good obsarvation to-day?" "Yes, Sir.' *So have I,' he'd say, a-smackin' of his lips — 'a capital one, too.' •Its twelve o'clock, Sir.' •Very well, make it so.' Lord! no soul could help a-larfin', he did it all so grave and serious; he called it practical philosophy.'
Mr. Slick argues forcibly, and cites many corroborative instances in favor of his position, that the eye is a sure criterion of the thoughts of the heart. He admits that he was once at fault, however :
'I KNOW'd a woman once that was all caution, and a jinneral favorite with every one: every one said what a nice woman she was, how kind, how agreeable, how sweet, how friendly, and all that, and so she was. She looked so artless, and smiled so pretty, and listened so patient, and defended any one you abused, or held her tongue, as if she would ’nt jine you; and jist looked like a dear sweet love of a woman that was all goodness, good-will to man, charity to woman, and smiles for all. Well, I thought as every body did. I aint a suspicious mau, at least I uso't to be, and at that time I did n't know all the secrets of the eye as I do now. One day I was there to a quiltin' frolic, and I was a-tellin' of her one of my good stories, and she was a lookin' strait at me, a-takin' aim with her smiles so as to hit me with every one on 'em, and a-laughin' like any thin'; but she happened to look round for a pair of scissors that was on t'other side of her, jist as I was at the funnyist part of my story, and lo and behold! her smiles dropt right slap off like a petticoat when the string's broke; her face looked vacant for a minute, and her eye waited till it caught some one else's, and then it found its focus, looked right straight for it, all true ag'in, but she never looked back for the rest of my capital story. She had never heard a word of it. Creation!' says I, “is this all a hunibug ? - what a fool I be!' I was stumped, I tell you. Well, a few days arterward I found out the eye secret from t'other u oman's behaviour, and I applied the test to this one, and I hope I may never see day-light ag'in if there was n't the maneuvring eye' to perfection. If I had know'd the world then as I do now, I should have had some misgivings sooner. No man, nor woman nother, can be a general favorite, and be true. It do 'ot stand to natur' and common sense. The world is divided into three classes: the good, the bad, and the indifferent. If a woman is a favorite of all, there is somethin' wrong: She ought to love the good, to hate the wicked, and let the indifferent be. If the indifferent like, she has been pretendin' to them; if the bad like, she must have assented to them; and if theg odlike, under these circumstauces, they are duped. A general favorite don't deserve to be a favorite with no one. And beside that, I ought to have know'd, and ought to have asked, does she weep with them that weep, because that is friendship, and no mistake. Any body can smile with you, for its pleasant to smile, or romp with you, for romping is fine fun; but will they lessen your trouble by takin' some of the load of grief off your shoulders for you and carryin' it? That's the question, for that aint a pleasant task ; but it's the duty of a friend though, that's a fact. Oh! cuss your universal favorites, I say! Give me the raël Jeremiah.'
The Attache’s ‘views' while in London are slightly utilitarian, but very sensible, withal:
“THERE's a great many lazy, idle, extravagant women here, that's a fact. The Park is chock full of 'em all the time, ridin' and gallavantin' about, tricked out in silks and satins, a-doin' of nothin'. Every day in the week can't be Thanksgivin’-day, nor Independence-day nother. * All play and no work' will soon fetch a noble to ninepence, and make bread-timber short,' I know. Some on 'em ought to be kept to home, or else their homes must be bad taken care of. Who the plague looks after their helps when they are off frolickin'? Who does the presarvin', or makes the pies and apple-sarce and dough-nuts? Who does the spinnin' and cardin' and bleachin', or mends their husband's shirts or darns their stockin's? Tell you what, old Eve fell into mischief when she had nothin' to do; and I guess some o' them flauntin'birds, if they was follered and well watched, would be found a-scratchin' up other folks' gardens sometimes. If I had one on 'em I'de cut her wings and keep her inside her own palin', I know. Every hen ought to be kept within hearin' of her own rooster, for fear of the foxes, that's a fact. Then look at the sarvants in gold lace, and broadcloth as fine as their master's; why they never do nothin', but help make a show. They do n't work, and they could n't if they would; it would sp’ile their clothes so. What on airth would be the vally of a thousand such critturs on a farm ?'
One extract more, and we take our leave of Judge HALIBURTON, now speaking impropria personâ, of the decadence of our national variety, in the strict sense of the term.
'It has prevailed more generally heretofore than at present, but it is now not much more obvious than in the people of any other country. The necessity for it no longer exists. That the Americans are proud of having won their independence at the point of the sword, from the most powerful nation in the world, under all the manifold disadvantages of poverty, dispersion, disunion, want of discipline in their soldiers, and experience in their officers, is not to be wondered at. They have reason to be proud of it. It is the greatest achievement of modern times. That they are proud of the consummate skill of their forefathers in framing a constitution the best suited to their position and their wants, and one withal the most difficult in the world to adjust, not only with proper checks and balances, but with any checks at all,- at a time too when there was no model for them, and all experience against them, is still less to be wondered at. Nor have we any reason to object to the honest pride they exhibit of their noble country, their enlightened and enterprising people, their beautiful cities, their magnificent rivers, their gigantic undertakings. The sudden rise of nations, like the sudden rise of individuals, begets under similar circumstances similar effects. While there was the fresbness of novelty about all these things, there was national vanity. It is now an old story – their laurels sit easy on them. They are accustomed to them, and they occupy less of their thoughts, and of course less of their conversation, than formerly. At first, too, strange as it may seem, there existed a necessity for it. Good policy dictated the expediency of cultivating this self-complacency in the people, however much good taste might forbid it. As their constitution was based on self-government, it was indispensable to raise the people in their own estimation, and to make them feel the heavy responsi. bility that rested upon them, in order that they might qualify themselves for the part they were called upon to act. As they were weak, it was needful to confirm their courage by strenghtening their selfreliance. As they were poor, it was proper to elevate their tone of mind, by constantly setting before them their high destiny; and as their Republic was viewed with jealousy and alarm by Europe, it was important to attach the nation to it, in the event of aggression, by extolling it above all others. The first generation, to whom all this was new, has now passed away; the second has nearly disappeared, and with the novelty, the excess of national vanity which it necessarily engendered will cease also.'
The author of “The Attaché' is a man of strong prejudices; and it is easy to perceive that our amiable and accomplished Minister to England has had occasion in some manner to excite some one of them. * But that's not much,' probably, in Mr. EVERETT's eyes.
REMINISCENCES OF THE LAST SIXTY-FIVE YEARS, COMMENCING WITH THE BATTLE OF LEX
INGTON. Also, Sketches of his own Life and Times. By E. S. THOMAS. In two volumes. pp. 600. Hartford: CASE, TIFFANY AND BURNHAM.
The veteran author of these entertaining volumes was formerly editor of the 'Charleston (S. C.) City Gazette,' and at a later period, of the 'Cincinnati Daily Evening Post.' His work consists entirely of his personal recollections, except in a very few instances, the sources of which are pointed out, where they occur. The first published reminiscence was of John H. NCOCK, the second of SAMUEL ADAMS; and these having attracted much attention throughout the Union, Mr. Thomas was induced to arrange and put forth the present volumes. He is a graphic racconteur. Without any pretence, or any thing like an effort at fine writing, he carries his readers with him; whether he converses of the familiar friends of his parents or of his boyhood, who were the great men in our country's earlier history, or whether he records the events of his travels abroad or his peregrinations at home. A man whose father was at the battle of Lexington, the very alpha of our revolutionary struggle, and who is himself familiar with public men and public events, from the time of WASHINGTON down to this era, not oniy in America but in Europe ; such a man, holding the pen of a ready writer, could not be otherwise than an entertaining and instructive companion. We like exceedingly the pleasant way in which his anecdotes of remarkable persons are introduced and told in his agreeable narrative. In his sketch of Judge BURKE, of South Carolina, we find this pleasant story:
"THERE was a worthy old Dutch lady, by the name of Van Rhine, who, at one time, lived near the Court-house in Charleston, where it was convenient for the Judge to leave his robe, and call for it as he was going into court. One day he stepped in for it as usual, and taking down the first black gar