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couraged me to take a more prominent part in the business of politics; and this I did, for at the next meeting I got up and inade a speech; but what it was about I know no more than the man in the moon, otherwise I would inform the reader. My only recollection of it is, that there was great slashing at the banks and aristocrats that ground the faces of the poor; for I was on what our opponents called the hurrah side, and these were the things we talked about. I received uncommon applause; and, in fact, there was such a shouting and clapping of hands, that I was obliged to put an end to my discourse sooner than I intended.
" But I found myself in great favor with the party, and being advised by the leaders, who considered I had a talent that way, to set about converting all Į knew in the county who were not of our party, and they hinting that I should certainly, in case the county was gained (for our county happened to be a little doubtful at that time,) be appointed to the post-office in the village, I mounted my old horse Julius Cæsar, and set out with greater zeal than I had ever shown in my life before. I visited every body that I knew, and a great many that I did not know; and, wherever I went, I held arguments, and made speeches, with a degree of industry that surprised myself, for certainly I was never industrious before. It is certain, also, that there was never a laborer in the field of politics that better deserved bis reward, -- never a soldier of the party ranks that had won a better right to a share in the spoils of victory. I do not pretend to say, indeed, that I converted any body to our belief; for all seemed to have made up their minds beforehand; and I never yet knew or heard of a man that could be argued out of his politics, who had once made up his inind on the subject. I labored, however, and that with astonishing zeal; and as I paid myown expenses, and treated all thirsty souls that seemed approachable in that way to good liquor, I paid a good round sum, that I could ill spare, for the privilege of electioneering; and was therefore satisfied that my claim to office would hold good.
"And so it did, as was universally allowed by all the party; but the conviction of its justice was all I ever gained in reward of my exertions. The battle was fought and won, the party was triumphant, and I was just rejoicing in the successful termination of my hopes, when they were blasted by the sudden appointment of another to the very office which I considered my own. That other was one of the aforesaid leaders, who had been foremost in commending my zeal and talents, and in assuring me that the office should be mine.
"I was confounded, petrified, enraged; the duplicity and perfidy of my new friends filled me with indignation. It was evident they must all have joined in recommending my rival to the office; for he was a man of bad character, who must, without such recommendations, have missed his aim. All therefore had recommended him, and all had promised their suffrages to me! The scoundrels!' said I to myself. perceived that I had fallen among thieves; it was clear that no party could be in the right, which was led by such unprincipled men; there was corruption at the heart of the whole body; the party consisted of rogues who were gaping after the loaves and fishes; their honesty was a song - their patriotism a farce. In a word, I found I had joined the wrong party, and I resolved to go over to the other, sincerely repenting the delusion that had made me so long the advocate of wrong and deception.
On throwing off his first existence, Lee becomes a rich brewer of Philadelphia: but although he has suddenly risen from poverty to affluence, he is not without his troubles. For example:
“I had managed, somehow or other, in the course of the night, to stump my toe, or wrench my foot ; and, though the accident caused me but little inconvenience at the time, the member had begun
gradually to feel uneasy; and now, as I sat at my table, it grew so painful that I was forced to draw off my boot. But this giving me little relief, and finding that my foot was swollen out of all shape and beauty, my brother Tim pronounced it a severe strain, and recommended that I should call in my family physician, Dr. Boneset, a very illustrious man, and fine fellow, who at that moment chanced to drive by in his coal-black gig, which looked, as physicians' gigs usually look, as if in mourning for a thousand departed patients.
"What's the matter? said the doctor.
"Why, doctor,' said I, 'I have given my foot a confounded wrench; I scarce know how; but it is as big and as hot as a plum-pudding;'
"Hum, ay! – very unlucky,' said the doctor: off with your stocking, and let me look at your tongue. Pulse quite feverish. Fine port!' he said drinking off a glass that Tim had poured him, and cocking his eye like one who means to be witty, 'fine port, sir; but one can't float in it for ever without paying port-charges. A very gentlemanly disease, at all events. It lies between port and porter.'
"Port and porter ! disease!' said I, slipping off my stocking as he directed, without well knowing what he meant. My foot was as red as a salamander, swelled beyond all expression, and, while I drew the stocking, it hurt me most horribly.
Zounds, doctor!' said I, 'can that be a wrench ?'
""No,' said the doctor, it's the wrencher — genuine podagra, 'pon honour.. “Podagra!' said I ; ' Podagra!' said Tim; and Podagra!' said the others. "What's that?'
"Gout!' said the doctor,
""Gout!' cried my friends; 'Gout!! roared my brother Tim; and Gout !!! yelled I, starting from the doctor as if from an imp of darkness who had just come to make claim to me. It was the unluckiest leap in the world; I kicked over a chair as I started, and the touch was as if I had clapped my foot into the jaws of a roaring lion. Crunch went every bone; crack went every sinew; and such a yell as I set up was never before heard in Chestnut-street.
««You see, gentlemen — (I'll take another glass of that port, Mr. Doolittle) — you see what we must all come to! This is one of the small penalties one must pay for being a gentleman; when one dances, one must pay the piper. Now would my friend Hig. ginson there give a whole year of his best brewing, that all the pale ale and purple port that have passed his lips had been nothing better than elder-wine and bonny-clabber, But never mind, my dear sır,' said the son of Æsculapius, with a coulness that shocked me; 'as long as it's only in your foot, it's a small matter.'
"A small matter! - 1 grinned at him; but the unfeeling wretch only repeated his words "A small matter!' “I
had never been sick before in my life. As John H. Higginson, my worst complaints had been only an occasional surfeit, or a moderate attack of booziness; and as Sheppard Lee, I had never known any disease except laziness, which, being chronic, I had grown so accustomed to that it never troubled me. But now, ah, now! my first step into the world of enjoyment was to be made on red-hot ploughshares and pokers; my first hour of a life of content was to be passed in grinning, and groaning, and - but it is hardly worth while to say it. The gout should be confined to religious people ; for men of the world will swear, and that roundly.
“For six days— six morial days- did I lay upon my back, enduring such horrible twitches and twinges in my foot, ihat I was more than once on the point of ordering the doctor to cut it off'; and I do not know how far that conceit might have gone, had not the heartless fellow, who, I believe, was all the while making game of my torments, assured me that the only effect of the dismemberment would be to drive the enemy into the other foot, where it would play the same tricks over again. “The gout,' said he, 'has as great an affection for the human body as a cat has for a house in which she has been well treated. When it once effects a lodgment, and feels itself comfortable –
“Comfortable !' said I, with a groan, " " In good easy quarters —
"" Don't talk to me of easy quarters,' said I ; 'for if I were hacked into quarters, and that by the clumsiest butcher in the town, I could not be more uneasy in every quarter.'
“I am talking,' said Dr. Boneset, 'not of you, but of the disease; and what I meant to say was, that when it once finds itself at home, in a good wholesome corporation of a man, there you may expect to find it a tenant for life,
“For life!' said Í. 'I am the most wretched man in existence, Oh, Sheppard Lee ! Sheppard Lee! what a fool were you to think yourself miserable ! - Doctor, I shall go mad!
“Not while you have the gout,' said he; "tis a sovereign protection against all that. But let us look at your foot.' And the awkward or malicious creature managed to drop a tortoise and gold snuff-box, of about a pound and a half weight, which he was always sporting, right upon the point of my great toe, while he was looking at it. Had it been a ton and a half instead of a pound and a half in weight, it could not have throw'n me into greater torture; and the the man ! -- he thought he had settled the matter by making me a handsome apology! He left me to endure my pangs, and to curse Squire Higginson's father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and, in general, all his forefathers, who had entailed such susceptible great toes upon ihe family. In a word, I was in such a horrible quandary, that I wished the devil would fly off with my new body, as he had done before with the old."
As a miser, with gold laid up in store,' he is called to witness the following deathbed scene, in which the actor is his own son. It is horribly graphic:
"I shall never forget the horror of that young man's dissolution. He lay, at times, the picture of terror, gazing upon the walls, along which, in his imagination, crept myriads of loathsome reptiles, which now some frightful monster, and now a fire-lipped demon, stealing out of ihe shadaws and preparing to dart upon him as their prey. Now he would whine and weep, as if asking forgiveness for some act of wrong done to the being man is most constant to wrong the loving, the feeble, the confiding; and anon, seized by a tempest of passion, the cause of which could only be imagined, he would start up, fight, foam at the mouth, and fall back in convulsions. Once he sat up in bed, and, looking like a corpse, began to sing a bacchanalian song; on another occasion,
after lying for many minutes in apparent stupefaction, he leaped out of bed before he could be prevented, and, uttering a yell that was heard in the street, endeavored to throw himself from the window.
But the last raving act of all was the most horrid. He rose upon his knees with a strength that could not be resisted, caught up his pillow, thrust it down upon the bed with both hands, and there held it, with a grim countenance and a chuckling laugh. None understood the act but myself : no other could read the devilish thoughts then at work in his bosom. It was the scene enacted in the chamber of his parent - he was repeating the deed of murder – he was exulting, in imagination, over a successful parricide.
“In this thought he expired; for while still pressing upon the pillow with a giant's strength, he suddenly fell on his face, and when turned over was a corpse. He gave but a single gasp, and was no more.
“The horror of the spectacle drove me from the chamber, and I ran to my own to fall down and die; when the blessed thought entered my mind, that the wo on my spirit, the anguish, the distraction, were but a dream -- that my very existence, as the miser and broken-hearted father, was a phantasm rather than a reality, since it was a borrowed existence - and that it was in my power to exchange it, as I had done other modes of being, for a better. I was Sheppard Lee, not Abram Skinner; and this was but a voluntary episode in my existence, which I was at liberty to terminate.”
He is next metamorphosed into a Quaker philanthropist — interests himself in the cause of 'the poor negro,' in Philadelphia — and after numerous mishaps, is ‘nabbed' as an abolitionist, by two reward-seeking speculators, and carried into Virginia. Here, he says, so soon as it was discovered that the kidnappers had no less a personage in their care than the great abolitionist, Zachariah Longstraw,' every body remembered him and his misdeeds :
"Yes,' cried one worthy personage, shaking at me a fist minus two fingers and a half, 'I have heard of him often enough: he lives in New-York, and he sells sendary pictures, packed up between the soles of niggur shoes.' – Yes ! cried another, who had but one eye, 'I have read all about him : he lives in Boston, keeps a niggur school, and prints sendary papers, a hundred thousand at a time, to set niggurs insurrecting.'
A village Hampden,' who is canvassing for a seat in Congress, seizes the occasion of the presence of the captive philanthropist, to express to his constituents, his views upon the nature of his offence:
“Stay, friends,' said Hampden Jones, and his voice stilled the tumult; 'I have a word to say on the subject of abolition.'
“ Hampden Jones for ever!' cried the republicans; and Hampden Jones stepped up on the head of a barrel, and stretched forth his right arm. He stretched forth his left also, and then, clinching both fists, and pursing his brows together until the balls beneath them looked like rolling grape-shot, he said,
“Gentlemen — fellow-freemen of Virginia ! The bulwarks of a nation's liberties are the virtues of her children. Compared with these, what is wealth? what is grandeur ? what even are power and glory? These – riches and greatness, power and renown — are the possessions of the Old World; yet what have they availed her ? Look around that ancient hemisphere, and tell me where among its bloodstained battle-fields ! where under its polluted palaces ! where in its haunts of the despot and the slave! you can find the love of liberty, the love of law, the love cforder, the love of justice, that give permanence to the institutions they adorn, and, like the laurel crown of the Cæsars, guard from the thunderbolt the temples they bind in the wreath of honour? Look for them in the Old World, but look in vain. The mighty Colossus of Christendom, once vital with virtue, lifts its decrepit bulk beyond the verge of the Atlantic, a vast and mournful monument of decay! Age and the shocks of the elements, the wash of the tempest and the lightning-stroke, have ploughed its marble forehead with wrinkles; mosses hang from its brows, and the dust of its own ruin- dust animated only by insects and reptiles, the offspring of corruption moulders over its buried feet! The virtues that once distinguished — that almost deified — the immortal Colossus, have fled from the old, to find their home in the New World. I look for them only in the bosoms of Americans !
“Here the orator, who had pronounced this sublime exordium with prodigious earnestness and effect, paused, while the welkin rung with the shouts of rapture its complimentary close was so well fitted to inspire. As for me, I felt a doleful skepticism
as to the justness of the compliment, having the very best reason to distrust that love of liberty, law, order, and justice, which was about to consign me to ropes and flames, without asking the permission of a judge and jury. Moreover, I could not exactly see how Mr. Hampden Jones' remarks on the old and new world had any thing to do with the subject of abolition, which he had risen to discuss; and, indeed, this difficulty seemed to have beset others as well as myself, several crying out with great enthusiasm, 'Let's have something on abolition; and then to the Lynching !' while others exclaimed,' Let's have the Lynching first, and the speech afterward.'
“ Abolition, my fellow-citizens !' said the orator, 'it is my intention to address you on the subject of abolition. But first let me apply what I have already said. I have said, and I repeat, that the love of liberty, of law, of order, of justice, belongs peculiarly to the free sons of America. Let me counsel, let me advise, let me entreat you, to have this noble truth in remembrance on this present occasion. Beware lesi, in what you now intend to do, you give occasion to the enemies of freedom to doubt your virtue, to suspect the reality of your love of law, order, and justice, to stigmatize you as friends only of riot and outrage.'
" These words filled me with joyful astonishment. I began to believe the youthful Tully was about to interfere in my favor, to rebuke the violence of his adherents, and to save them from the sin of blood-guiltiness. So also thought the indignant sovereigns themselves; and many, elevating their voices, demanded furiously, if he meant to protect the bloody abolitionist ?'
By no means,' said Mr. Hampden Jones, with great emphasis; 'what I have to advise is, that if we are to do execution upon the wretch, we shall proceed about it in an orderly and dignified way, resolve ourselves into a great and solemn tribunal, and so adjudge him to death with a regularity and decorum which shall excite the admiration and win the approbation of the whole world.'
" Hampden Jones for ever! cried the sovereigns; and so it appeared that all the benefit I was to derive from his interference, was only to be despatched in an orderly manner."
His next transformations are, first into a slave, and then into a master of slaves; both which characters, it is evident close observation has enabled him faithfully to describe.
We take leave of this work — which is American in every thing - with the single remark, that beside being amusing in a high degree, it is calculated in many respects, also, to inform the judgment and satisfy the understanding.
A YEAR IN Spain. By a Young AMERICAN. Third edition, enlarged. In three
volumes. pp. 847. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
This excellent work, as hitherto presented to the public, had become firmly incorporated in our literature, to which it had been very justly and from the first set down, by common consent, as a most valuable acquisition. In the present edition, a third volume is added to the original work, consisting of portions which the author was compelled to omit, in order to bring his materials into a prescribed compass. As we perused the last accession, we more than once fancied the natural reluctance which the writer must have felt in sacrificing to mere space - or rather to the want of it — so much entertaining matter. The last is in no respect inferior to the two volumes heretofore published. No author with whom we are acquainted, manages the travelnarrative style with more address than our “Young American.' His points of interest are selected with the eye of a tasteful artist; and scenes and incidents which excite by their peculiarity, or amuse by their oddity, are marked by a graphic power and a grave humor that are irresistible. There is another recommendation — and in these days of labored pretension, no mean one — of the writings of our author; he never sacrifices probability to an overweening desire to startle or to shine.
We make room for two or three characteristic pictures, sketched as the writer travels leisurely away from Granada.
“When the mules were all loaded they were brought out, six in number, and tied in a string, the most distinguished being placed in the van, decorated with a plume and a bell, and honored with the title of capitan. There were, beside my donkey, two others of the same family which bore burdens, but were not bound like the mules. They were treated as became animals of superior sense and discretion, and allowed to go at large in front of the array, where they served the same purpose as a corps of guides to an army. When all were in readiness, I did not immediately mount my charger, but allowed the beast to seek the company of his brethren, and taking the arm of my friend, we followed the caravan toward the outskirts of the city.
It was about five o'clock when we reached the gate of Elvira, fabled in the romances of the conquest. The sun was still powerful, but its heat was mitigated by the shade of the neighboring orchards, which scattered the grateful perfume of their fruits or flowers upon the air, and still more, in imagination at least, by the noise of the water which ratiled along the canals by the roadside, ready, at the command of the husbandman, to spread abroad its fertilizing influence. We continued to walk on until the orchards that surround the city gave place to wheat fields, and the sun, which was sinking in the west, shone full upon us. My friend would have accompanied me still longer, but I insisted on his returning, and we parted with the heartiest good wishes, and with the hope that we might one day meet again.
I could not but regret the loss of his society, the more so that it left me solitary, with no companion but the ass upon which I had mounted while musing upon my bereavement.
My attention, however, was soon recalled to ihe singularity of my situation. I felt in vain for the tails of my coat, which had been replaced by a jacket at the rnoment of departure, took off my outlandish gacho hat, and examined its conformation, then turned the brim down to keep the sun out of my eyes. The ears of the patient animal I bestrode next attracted my notice, as they stood up in bold relief before me. Anxious to conciliate my new traveling-companion, I reached forward to draw his ears to me, and began to stroke them. Apparently, however, these caresses were not received in the same kindly spirit that dictated them; for the animal, throwing his ears back as if in angry mood, turned his head toward my leg and gave me a nip on the toe. In return for this unexpected salutation I bestowed neither kicks nor curses; I had been entirely in the wrong, and became sensible of my error as I now remembered, that in an ass the seat of honor is his ears. I might have kicked him behind for half an hour, and he would have borne it patiently, but to touch his ears was an offence of a different nature. As there would have been something derogatory in renewing my friendly advances upon the back of such a rebuff, I left the animal to pursue his course, and remembering that I was leaving Granada, in all probability forever, I placed both my legs on one side of the beast, that I might abstract my thoughts from the late contention by losing sight of its cause, and turned my eyes in the direction of the receding city.
The setting sun shone full upon the Sierra Nevada, and while it enkindled the snows that covered its summit into a Hickering blaze, darted'its searching rays into all the inequalities that vary the western declivity of the mountain, illuminated the ravine of the Daro, and brought out in vivid distinctness Visnar, Alfacar, and the Sacred Mountain. There were many mountain villages which I had not noticed in approaching Granada in the morning, while the sun was on the east of the mountain, which were now revealed ; and the city itself, whose white buildings presented a reflecting surface, covering the hillside, seemed to have doubled its exteni; even the dingy towers of the Alhambra brightened under the animating influence. Nor was the level scene around me, though of a more quiet cast, without its attractions. It was harvest-time in the Vega, and the tall blades of wheat were bending under the weight of the grain, and careening to the slightest influence of the breeze. In some fields the crop had already been removed; in others, Murcian reapers, clad in loose linen trousers, tied with a drawing string, and, like the Highland kilt, scarce descending to the knee, were busy with sickles, cutting down the grain. I abandoned my donkey to follow the progress of the caravan alone, and turned aside to a spot where a group were busy thrashing the grain. Touching my hat, and saluting them after the fashion of the country, I paused a while to observe their labors. A circle, about fifty feet in diameter, had been cleared in the centre of the field, and trodden smooth by horses. Here the sheaves were unbound, and five or six horses, which had been unshod for the purpose, and tied together by the heads, were led over the grain; the inner one being fastened to a stake in the centre of the circle, of which they continued to make the circuit until the grain was separated, when it was afterward cleared from the chaff by throwing it from heap to heap, under the action of a breeze. The straw, after the grain is removed, is once more thrown into the circle, and the horses, being attached to a species of sled, which rests upon a great number of iron runners, are driven round as before, by a man who sits upon the sled, until the straw is cut into pieces. This cut straw is of universal use in Spain as fodder; and, with beans and barley, forms the chief nourishment of horses, mules, and asses.