« PreviousContinue »
and in sym
ican cries ‘Go ahead! which is somewhat expressive of the national character of the two countries.
“ The first half mile of the road is over bridges made of loose planks laid across two parallel poles, which tilt up as the wheels roll over them, and In the river. The river has a clayey bottom, and is full of holes, so that half a horse is constantly disappearing unexpectedly, and can't be found again for some time.
“But we get past even this, and come to the road itself, which is a series of alternate swamps and gravel-pits. A tremendous place is close before us, the black driver rolls his eyes, screws his mouth up very round, and looks straight between the two leaders, as if he were saying to himself, “We have done this before, but now I think we shall have a crash.' He takes a rein in each hand ; jerks and pulls at both; and dances on the splashboard with both feet (keeping his seat of course), like the late lamented Ducrow on two of his fiery coursers. We come to the spot, sink down in the mire nearly to the coach-window, tilt on one side at an angle of fortyfive degrees, and stick there. The insides scream dismally; the coach stops ; the horses flounder; all the other six coaches stop; and their four and twenty horses founder likewise; but merely for company, pathy with ours. Then the following circumstances occur. “ BLACK DRIVER (to the horses).-— Hi !'
Nothing happens. Insides scream again. “ BLACK DRIVER (to the horses). - Ho!' “ Horses plunge, and splash the black driver. “ GENTLEMAN INSIDE (looking out).—Why, what on airth—
“ Gentleman receives a variety of splashes and draws his head in again, without finishing his question, or waiting for an answer.
« BLACK DRIVER (still to the horses). — Jiddy! Jiddy!'
“ Horses pull violently, drag the coach out of the hole, and draw it up a bạnk; so steep, that the black driver's legs fly up into the air, and he goes back among the luggage on the roof. But he immediately recovers himself, and cries (still to the horses),
Pill ! “ No effect. On the contrary, the coach begins to roll back upon No. 2, which rolls back upon No. 3, which rolls back upon No. 4, and so on until No. 7 is heard to curse and swear, nearly a quarter of a mile behind.
“ BLACK DRIVER (louder than before).- Pill!'
“ Horses make another struggle to get up the bank, and again the coach rolls backward.
“ BLACK DRIVER (louder than before).—- Pe-e-e-ill !'
“ Black DRIVER (with great vigor).-—- Ally Loo! Hi, Jiddy, Jiddy. Pill. Ally Loo !
« Horses almost do it.
“BLACK DRIVER (with his eyes starting out of his head).—Lee, den. Lee, dere. Hi. Jiddy, Jiddy. Pill. Ally Loo. Lee-e-e-e-e!
“ They run up the bank, and go down again on the other side at a fearful pace. It is impossible to stop them, and at the bottom there is a deep hollow, full of water. The coach rolls frightfully. The insides scream. The mud and water fly about us. The black driver dances like a madman. Suddenly, we are all right, by some extraordinary means, and stop to breathe.
“ A black friend of the driver is sitting on a fence. The black driver recognizes him by twirling his head round and round like a harlequin, rolling his eyes, shrugging his shoulders, and grinning from ear to ear. He stops short, turns to me, and says :
««We shall get you through, sa, like a fiddle, and hope a please you when we get you through, sa. Old 'ooman at home, sir,' chuckling very much.
Outside gentleman, sa, he often remember old ’ooman at home, sa,' grinning again.
“Ay, ay, we'll take care of the old woman. Don't be afraid.'
“ The black driver grins again, but there is another hole, and beyond that another bank, close before us. So he stops short: cries (to the horses again), ‘Easy-easy den—ease-steady-hi-Jiddy-pill-Ally-Loo,” but never • Lee !' until we are reduced to the very last extremity, and are in the midst of difficulties, extrication from which appears to be all but impossible.
“ And so we do the ten miles or thereabouts in two hours and a half, breaking no bones, though bruising a great many; and in short, getting through the distance like a fiddle.'”
The next conveyance was by the Harrisburg Canal, on which there are two passage-boats, the Express and the Pioneer. For some reason, however, the Pioneers would come into the other boat, in which Boz was a passenger-an addition that drew out a certain thin-faced, spare-figured man, of middle age and stature, dressed in a dusty, drabbish-colored suit, and up to that moment as quiet as a lamb.
“This may suit you, this may, but it don't suit me. This may be all very well with Down Easters, and men of Boston raising, but it won't suit my figure, no how; and no two ways about that; and so I tell you. Now, I'm from the brown forests of the Mississippi, I am; and when the sun shines on me, it does shine-a little. It don't glimmer where I live, the sun don't. No. I'm a brown forester, I am. I an't a Johnny Cake. There are no smooth skins where I live. We're rough men, there. Rather. If Down Easters and men of Boston raising are like this, I'm glad of it, but I'm none of that raising or of that breed. No. This company wants a Little fixing—it does. I'm the wrong sort of a man for 'em, I am. They
won't like me, they won't. This is piling of it up a little too mountainous, this is.'
“ At the end of every one of these short sentences he turned upon his heel, and walked the other way; checking himself abruptly when he had finished another short sentence, and turning back again. It is impossible for me to say what terrific meaning was hidden in the words of this brown forester, but I know that the other passengers looked on in a sort of admiring horror, and that presently the boat was put back to the wharf, and as many of the Pioneers as could be coaxed or bullied into going away were got rid of.”
It was perfectly natural, after this “touch of the earthquake," to desire to see the Shakers, whose peculiar delirium tremens had been reported as unspeakably absurd : but the elders had clearly received a hint of a chield coming, like Captain Grose, to make Notes and print them.
“Presently we came to the beginning of the village, and alighting at the door of a house where the Shaker manufactures are sold, and which is the head-quarters of the elders, requested permission to see the Shaker worship.
Pending the conveyance of this request to some person in authority, we walked into a grim room, where several grim hats were hanging on grim pegs, and the time was grimly told by a grim clock, which uttered every tick with a kind of struggle, as if it broke the grim silence reluctantly and under protest. Ranged against the wall were six or eight stiff, high-backed chairs, and they partook so strongly of the general grimness that one would much rather have sat on the floor than incurred the smallest obligation to any of them.
“ Presently there stalked into this apartment a grim old Shaker, with eyes as hard, and dull, and cold, as the great round metal buttons on his coat and waistcoat: a sort of calm goblin. Being informed of our desire, he produced a newspaper wherein the body of elders, whereof he was a member, had advertised but a few days before, that, in consequence of certain unseemly interruptions which their worship had received from strangers, the chapel was closed for the space of one year.”
The chapel will now be opened : for the chield is in England, and his Notes are not only printed but published, and by this time have been abundantly circulated, read, quoted, and criticised. Many of them, that will be canvassed elsewhere, are here left untouched, for obvious reasons; and various desirable extracts are omitted through want of space; for example, a pretty episode of a little woman with a little baby at St. Louis,
and sundry sketches of scenery, character, and manners, as superior as “ chicken fixings” to
common doings.” We have nevertheless worked out our original intention. The political will discuss the author's notions of the republican institutions ; the analytical will scrutiņize his philosophy; the critical his style, and the hypocritical his denunciations of cant. Our only aim has been, according to the heading of this article, to give the reader a glimpse of Boz in America.
COPYRIGHT AND COPYWRONG.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ATHENÆUM :
My dear Sir,- I have read with much satisfaction the occa. sional exposures in your Journal of the glorious uncertainty of the Law of Copyright, and your repeated calls for its revision. It is high time, indeed, that some better system should be established; and I cannot but regret that the legislature of our own country, which patronizes the great cause of liberty all over the world, has not taken the lead in protecting the common rights of Literature. We have a national interest in each ; and their lots ought not to be cast asunder. The French, Prussian, and American governments, however, have already got the start of us, and are concerting measures for suppressing those piracies, which have become, like the influenza, so alarmingly prevalent. It would appear, from the facts established, that an English book merely transpires in London, but is published in Paris, Brussels, or New York.
'Tis but to sail, and with to-morrow's sun
Mr. Bulwer tells us of a literary gentleman, who felt himself under the necessity of occasionally going abroad to preserve his self-respect; and without some change, an author will equally be obliged to repair to another country to enjoy his circulation. As to the American reprints, I can personally corroborate your assertion, that heretofore a transatlantic bookseller " has taken