Birdofredum Sawin, Esq., to Mr. Hosea Biglow

With the following Letter from the REVEREND HOMER WILBUR, A. M.

To the Editors of the ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

Jaalam, 7th Feb., 1862.

RESPECTED Fkiends,—If I know myself, and surely a man can hardly be supposed to have overpassed the limit of fourscore years without attaining to some proficiency in that most useful branch of learning, (e cœlo descendit, says the pagan poet,) I have no great smack of that weakness which would press upon the publick attention any matter pertaining to my private affairs. But since the following letter of Mr. Sawin contains not only a direct allusion to myself, but that in connection with a topick of interest to all those engaged in the publick ministrations of the sanctuary I may be pardoned for touching briefly thereupon. Mr. Sawin was never a stated attendant upon my preaching, —never, as I believe, even an occasional one, since the erection of the new house (whore we now worship) in 1845. He did, indeed, for a time supply a not unacceptable bass in the choir, but, whether on some umbrage (omnibus hoc vitium est cantoribus) taken against the bass-viol, then, and till his decease in 1850, œt. 77,) under the charge of Mr. Asaph Perley, or, as was reported by others, on account of an imminent subscription for a new Bell, he thenceforth absented himself from all outward and visible communion. Yet he seems to have preserved, (altê mente repostum,) as it were, in the pickle of a mind soured by prejudice, a lasting scunner, as he would call it, against our staid and decent form of worship: for I would rather in that wise interpret his fling, than suppose that any chance tares sown by my pulpit discourses should survive so long, while good seed too often fails to root itself. I humbly trust that I have no personal feeling in the matter; though I know, that, if we sound any man deep enough, our lead shall bring up the mud of human nature at last. The Bretons believe in an evil spirit which they call ar c'houskezik, whose office it is to make the congregation drowsy; and though I have never had reason to think that he was specially busy among my flock, yet have I seen enough to make me sometimes regret the hinged seats of the ancient meeting-house, whose lively clatter, not unwillingly intensified by boys beyond eyeshot of the tithing-man, served at intervals as a wholesome reveil. It is true, I have numbered among my parishioners some whose gift of somnolence rivalled that of the Cretan Rip van Winkle, Epimenides and who, nevertheless, complained not so much of the substance as of the length oft my (by them unheard) discourses. Happy Saint Anthony of Padua, whose finny acolytes, however they might profit, could never murmur! Quare fremuerunt gentes ? Who is he that can twice a week be inspired, or has eloquence (ut ita dicam) always on tap? A good man, and, next to David, a sacred poet, (himself, haply, not inexpert of evil in this particular,) has said,—

“ The worst speak something good: if all want sense,
God takes a test and preacheth patience.”

There are one or two other points in Mr. Sawin’s letter which I would also briefly animadvert upon. And first concerning the claim he sets up to a certain superiority of blood and lineage in the people of our Southern States, now unhappily in rebellion against lawful authority and their own better interests. There is a sort of opinions, anachronisms and auachorisms, foreign both to the age and the country, that maintain a feeble and buzzing existence, scarce to be called life, like winter flies, which in mild weather crawl out from ob-cure nooks and crannies to expatiate in the sun, and sometimes acquire vigour enough to disturb with their enforced familiarity the studious hours of the scholar. One of the most stupid and pertinacious of these is the theory that the Southern States were settled by a class of emigrants from the Old World socially superiour to those who founded the institutions of New England. The Virginians especially lay claim to this generosity of lineage, which were of no possible account, were it not for the fact that such superstitions are sometimes not without their effect on the course of human aftairs. The early adventurers to Massachusetts at least paid their passages; no felons were ever shipped thither; and though it be true that many deboshed younger brothers of what are called good families may have sought refuge in Virginia, it is equally certain that a great part of the early deportations thither were the sweepings of the London streets and the leavings of the London stews. On what the heralds call the spindle side, some, at least, of the oldest Virginian families are descended from matrons who were exported and sold for so many hogsheads of tobacco the head. So notorious was this, that it became one of the jokes of contemporary playwrights, not only that men bankrupt in purse and character were “food for the Plantations," (and this before the settlement of New England,) but also that any drab would suffice to wive such pitiful adventurers. “Never choose a wife as if you were going to Virginia," says Middleton in one of his comedies. The mule is apt to forget all but the equine side of his pedigree. How early the counterfeit nobility of the Old Dominion became a topick of ridicule in the Mother Country may be learned from a play of Mrs. Behn’s, founded on the Rebellion of Bacon : for even these kennels of literature may yield a fact or two to pay the raking. Mrs. Flirt, the keeper of a Virginia ordinary, calls herself the daughter of a baronet “undone in the late rebellion,” — her father having in truth been a tailor, — and three of the Council, assuming to themselves an equal splendour of origin, are shown to have been, one “ a broken exciseman who came over a poor servant,” another a tinker transported for theft, and the third “ a common pickpocket often flogged at the cart’stail.” The ancestry of South Carolina will as little pass muster at the Herald's Visitation, though I hold them to have been more reputable, inasmuch as many of them were honest tradesmen and artisans, in some measure exiles for conscience' sake, who would have smiled at the high-flying nonsense of their descendants. Some of the more respectable were Jews. The absurdity of supposing a population of eight millions all sprung from gentle loins in the course of a century and a half is too manifest for confutation. The aristocracy of the South, such as it is, has the shallowest of all foundations, for it is only skin-deep, — the most odious of all, for, while affecting to despise trade, it traces its origin to a successful traffick in men, women, and children, and still draws its chief revenues thence. And though, as Doctor Chamberlayne says in his Present State of England," “to become a Merchant of Foreign Commerce, without serving any Apprentisage, hath been allowed no disparagement to a Gentleman born, especially to a younger Brother,” yet I conceive that he would hardly have made a like exception in favour of the particular trade in question. Nor do I believe that such aristocracy as exists at the South (for I hold, with Marius, furtissimum quemque generosissimum) will be found an element of anything like persistent strength in war, — thinking the saying of Lord Bacon (whom one quaintly called inductionis dominus et Verulanii) as true as it is pithy, that, “ the more gentlemen, ever the lower books of subsidies.” It is odd enough as an historical precedent, that, while the fathers of New England were laying deep in religion, education, and freedom the basis of a polity which has substantially outlasted any then existing, the first work of the founders of Virginia, as may be seen in Wingfield's Memorial, was conspiracy and rebellion,— odder yet, as showing the changes which are wrought by circumstance, that the first insurrection in South Carolina was against the aristocratical scheme of the Proprietary Government. I do not find that the cuticular aristocracy of the South has added anything to the refinements of civilization except the carrying of bowie-knives and the chewing of tobacco,— a high-toned Southern gentleman being commonly not only quadrumanous, but quidruminant.

I confess that the present letter of Mr. Sawin increases my doubts as to the sincerity of the convictions which he professes, and I am inclined to think that the triumph of the legitimate Government, sure sooner or later to take place, will find him and a large majority of his newlyadopted fellow-citizens (who hold with Dædalus, the primal sitter-on-the-fence, that medium tenere tutissimum) original Union men. The criticisms toward the close of his letter on certain of our failings are worthy to be seriously perpended, for he is not, as I think, without a spice of vulgar shrewdness. As to the good-nature in us which he seems to gird at, while I would not consecrate a chapel, as they have not scrupled to do in France, to A Nôtre Dame de la Haine, Our Lady of Hate, yet I cannot forget that the corruption of good-nature is the generation of laxity of principle. Good-nature is our national characteristick; and though it be, perhaps, nothing more than a culpable weakness or cowardice, when it leads us to put up tamely with It manifold impositions and breaches of implied contracts, (as too frequently in our publick conveyances,) it becomes a positive crime, when it leads us to look unresentfully on peculation, and to regard treason to the best Government that ever existed as something with which a gentleman may shake hands without soiling his fingers. I do not think the gallows-tree the most profitable member of our Sylca; but, since it continues to be planted, I would tain see a Northern limb ingrafted on it, that it may bear some other fruit than loyal Tennesseeans.

A relick has recently been discovered on the east bank of Bushy Brook in North Jaalam, which I conceive to be an inscription in Runic characters relating to the early expedition of the Northmen to this continent. I shall make fuller investigations, and communicate the result in due season.


Your obedient servant,


P S. I inclose a year’s subscription from Deacon Tinkham.

I HED it on my min’ las’ time, when I to write ye started,
To tech the leadin’ featurs o’ my gittin’ me oonvarted ;
But, ez my letters hez to go clearn roun' by way o’ Cuby,
’T wun’t seem no staler now than then, by th’ time it gits where you be.
You know up North, though secs an’ things air plenty ez you please,
Ther’ warn’t nut one on ’em thet come jes’ square with my idees:
I dessay they suit workin’-folks thet ain’t noways pertic’lar,
But nut your Southun gen’leman thet keeps his perpendic’lar;
I don't blame nary man thet casts his lot along o’ his folks,
But ef YOU cal’late to save me, ’t must be with folks thet is folks;
Cov'nants o’ works go ’ginst my grain, but down here I’ve found out
The true fus’-fem’ly A 1 plan, — here’s how it come about.
When I fus’ sot up with Miss S., sez she to me, sez she,—
“ Without you git religion, Sir, the thing can’t never be ;
Nut but wut I respeck,” sez she, “ your intellectle part,
But you wun’t noways du for me athout a change o’ heart:
Nothun religion works wal North, but it’s ez soft ez spruce,
Compared to ourn, for keepin’ sound,” sez she, “ upon the goose ;
A day’s experunce’d prove to ye, ez easy ’z pull a trigger,
It takes the Southun pint o’ view to raise ten bales a nigger;
You ’ll fin’ thet human natur, South, ain’t wholesome more ’n skin-deep,
An’ once’t a darkie’s took with it, he wun’t be wuth his keep.”
“ How shell I git it, Ma’am ? ” sez I. “ Attend the nex’ camp-meetin’,”
Sez she, “an’ it ’ll come to ye ez cheap ez onbleached sheetin’.”
Wal, so I went along an’ hearn most an impressive sarmon
About besprinklin’ Afriky with fourth-proof dew o’ Harmon :
He did n’ put no weaknin’ in, but gin it tu us hot,
’Z ef he an’ Satan'd ben two bulls in one five-acre lot:
I don’t purtend to foller him, but give ye jes’ the heads ;
For pulpit ellerkence, you know, ’most ollers kin’ o’ spreads.
Ham’s seed wuz gin to us in chairge, an’ should n’t we be li’ble
In Kingdom Come, ef we kep’ back their priv’lege in the Bible ?
The cusses an’ the promerses make one gret chain, an’ ef
You snake one link out here, one there, how much on’t ud be lef’ ?
All things wuz gin to man for’s use, his sarvice, an’ delight;
An’ don’t the Greek an’ Hebrew words thet mean a Man mean White ?
Ain’t it belittlin’ the Good Book in all its proudes' featurs
To think't wuz wrote for black an’ brown an’ ’lasses-colored creaturs,
Thet could n’ read it, ef they would, nor ain’t by lor allowed to,
But ough’ to take wut we think suits their naturs, an’ be proud to ?
Warn’t it more prof’table to bring your raw materil thru
Where you can work it inta grace an’ inta cotton, tu,
Than sendin’ missionaries out where fevers might defeat ’em,
An’ ef the butcher did n’ call, their p’rishioners might eat ’em ?
An’ then, agin, wut airthly use ? Nor’t warn’t our fault, in so fur
Ez Yankee skippers would keep on a-totin’ on ’em over.
’T improved the whites by savin' ’em from ary need o’ workin',
An’ kep’ the blacks from bein’ lost thru idleness an’ shirkin’;
We took to ’em ez nat’ral ez a barn-owl doos to mice,
An’ hed our hull time on our hands to keep us out o’ vice ; It made us feel ez pop’lar ez a hen doos with one chicken,
An’ fill our place in Natur’s scale by givin’ ’em a lickin’:
For why should Cæsar git his dues more ’n Juno, Pomp, an’ Cuffy ?
It’s justifyin’ Ham to spare a nigger when he’s stuffy.
Where'd their soles go tu, like to know, ef we should let ’em ketch
Freeknowledgism an’ Fourierism an’ Speritoolism an’ sech ?
When Satan sets himself to work to raise his very bes’ muss,
He scatters rouu’ onscriptur’l views relatin’ to Ones’mus.
You’d ough’ to seen, though, how his facs an’ argymunce an’ figgers
Drawed tears o’ real conviction from a lot o’ pen’tent niggers !
It warn’t like Wilbur’s meetin’, where you ’re shet up in a pew,
Your dickeys sorrin’ off your ears, an’ bilin’ to be thru ;
Ther’ wuz a tent dost by thet hed a kag o’ sunthin’ in it,
Where you could go, ef you wuz dry, an’ damp ye in a minute ;
An’ ef you did dror off a spell, ther’ wuz n’t no occasion
To lose the thread, because, ye see, he bellered like all Bashan.
It’s dry work follerin’ argymunce, an’ so, ’twix’ this an’ thet,
I felt conviction weighin’ down somehow inside my hat;
It growed an’ growed like Jonah’s gourd, a kin’ o’ whirlin’ ketched me,
Ontil I fin’lly clean giv out an’ owned up thet he’d fetched me ;
An’ when nine-tenths the perrish took to tumblin’ roun' an’ hollerin’,
I did n’ fin’ no gret in th’ way o’ turnin,’ tu an’ follerin’.
Soon ez Miss S. see thet, sez she, “ Thet 's wut I call wuth seein’!
Thet’s actin’ like a reas’nable an’ intellectle bein’! ”
An’ so we fin’lly made it up, concluded to hitch hosses,
An’ here I be ’n my ellermunt among creation’s bosses ;
Arter I’d drawed sech heaps o’ blanks, Fortin at last hez sent a prize,
An’ chose me for a shinin’ light o’ missionary enterprise.
This leads me to another pint on which I’ve changed my plan
O’ thinkin’ so 's ’t I might become a straight-out Southun man.
Miss S. (her maiden name wuz Higgs, o’ the fus’ fem’ly here)
On her Ma’s side’s all Juggernot, on Pa's all Cavileer,
An’ sence I’ve merried into her an’ stept into her shoes,
It ain’t more ’n natural thet I should modderfy my views:
I’ve ben a-readin' in Debow ontil I’ve fairly gut
So ’nlightened thet I ’d full ez lives ha’ ben a Dock ez nut;
An’ when we’ve laid ye al! out stiff, an’ Jeff hez gut his crown,
An’ comes to pick his nobles out, wun’t this child be in town !
We ’ll hev an Age o’ Chivverlry surpassin’ Mister Burke’s,
Where every fem’ly is fus’-best an’ nary white man works :
Our system’s sech, the thing ’ll root ez easy ez a tater ;
For while your lords in furrin parts ain’t noways marked by natur’,
Nor sot apart from ornery folks in featurs nor in figgers,
Ef ourn ’ll keep their faces washed, you ’ll know ’em from their niggers
Ain’t sech things wuth secedin’ for, an’ gittin’ red o’ you
Thet waller in your low idees, an’ will till all is blue ?
Fact is, we air a diff'rent race, an’ I, for one, don’t see,
Sech havin’ ollers ben the case, how w’ ever did agree.
It’s sunthin’ thet you lab’rin’-folks up North hed ough’ to think on,
Thet Higgses can’t bemean themselves to rulin’ by a Lincoln,— Thet men, (an’ guv’nors, tu,) thet hez sech Normal names ez Pickens,
Accustomed to no kin’ o’ work, ’thout’t is to givin’ lickins,
Can’t masure votes with folks thet git their living from their farms
An’ prob’ly think thet Law’s ez good ez hevin’ coats o’ arms.
Sence I’ve ben here, I’ve hired a chap to look about for me
To git me a transplantable an’ thrifty fem’ly-tree,
An' he tells me the Sawins is ez much o’ Normal blood
Ez Pickens an’ the rest on ’em, an’ older ’n Noah’s flood.
Your Normal schools wun’t turn ye into Normals, for it ’s clear,
Ef eddykatin’ done the thing, they 'd be some skurcer here.
Pickenses, Boggses, Pettuses, Magoffins, Letchers, Polks,—
Where can you scare up names like them among your mudsill folks ?
Ther’ ’s nothin’ to compare with ’em, you ’d fin’, ef you should glance,
Among the tip-top femerlies in Englan’, nor in France:
I’ve hearn from 'sponsible men whose word wuz full ez good’s their note,
Men thet can run their face for drinks, an’ keep a Sunday coat,
Thet they wuz all on ’em come down, an’ come down pooty fur,
From folks thet, ’thout their crowns wuz on, ou’doors would n’ never stir,
Nor thet ther’ warn’t a Southun man but wut wuz primy fashy
O’ the bes’ blood in Europe, yis, an’ Afriky an’ Ashy:
Sech bein’ the case, is’t likely we should bend like cotton-wickin’,
Or set down under anythin’ so low-lived ez a lickin’ ?
More ’n this, — hain’t we the literatoor an' science, tu, by gorry ?
Hain’t we them intellects twins, them giants, Simms an’ Maury,
Each with full twice the ushle brains, like nothin’ thet I know,
’Thout’t wuz a double-headed calf I see once to a show ?
For all thet, I warn’t jest at fust in favor o’ secedin’;
I wuz for layin’ low a spell to find out where’t wuz leadin’,
For hevin’ South-Carliny try her hand at seprit-nationin’,
She takin’ resks an’ findin’ funds, an’ we coöperationin’,—
I mean a kin’ o’ hangin’ roun’ an’ settin’ on the fence,
Till Prov’dunce pinted how to jump an’ save the most expense;
I reecollected thet ’ere mine o’ lead to Shiraz Centre
Thet bust up Jabez Pettibone, an’ did n’t want to ventur’
’Fore I wuz sartin wut come out ud pay for wut went in,
For swappin’ silver off for lead ain’t the sure way to win ;
(An’, fact, it doos look now ez though — but folks must live an’ larn —
We should git lead, an’ more ’n we want, out o’ the Old Consarn;)
But when I see a man so wise an’ honest ez Buchanan
A-lettin’ us hev all the forts an’ all the arms an’ cannon,
Admittin’ we wuz nat’lly right an’ you wuz nat’lly wrong,
Coz you wuz lab’rin’-folks an’ we wuz wut they call bong-tong,
An’ coz there warn’t no fight in ye more ’n in a mashed potater,
While two o’ us can’t skurcely meet but wut we fight by natur’,
An’ th' ain’t a bar-room here would pay for openin’ on’t a night,
Without it giv the priverlege o’ bein’ shot at sight,
Which proves we ’re Natur’s noblemen, with whom it don’t surprise
The British aristoxy should feel boun’ to sympathize, —
Seein’ all this, an’ seein’, tu, the thing wuz strikin’ roots
While Uncle Sam sot still in hopes thet some one’d bring his boots,
I thought th’ ole Union’s hoops wuz off, an’ let myself be sucked in To rise a peer an' jine the crowd thet went for reconstructin’, —
Thet is, to hev the pardnership under th’ ole name continner
Jest ez it wuz, we drorrin’ pay, you findin’ bone an’ sinner,—
On’y to put it in the bond, an’ enter’t in the journals,
Thet you ’re the nat’ral rank an’ file an’ we the nat’ral kurnels.
Now this I thought a fees’ble plan, thet ’ud work smooth ez grease,
Suitin’ the Nineteenth Century an’ Upper Ten idees,
An' there I meant to stick, an’ so did most o’ th’ leaders, tu,
Coz we all thought the chance wuz good o’ puttin’ on it thru;
But Jeff he hit upon a way o’ helpin’ on us forrard
By bein’ unannermous, — a trick you ain’t quite up to, Norrard.
A baldin hain't no more ’f a chance with them new apple-corers
Than folks’s oppersition views aginst the Ringtail Roarers ;
They ’ll take ’em out on him ’bout east, — one canter on a rail
Makes a man feel unannermous cz Jonah in the whale ;
Or ef he’s a slow-moulded cuss thet can’t seem quite t’ agree,
He gits the noose by tellergraph upon the nighes’ tree :
Their mission-work with Afrikins hez put 'em up, thet’s sartin,
To all the mos’ across-lot ways o’ preachin’ an’ convartin';
I ’ll bet my hat th’ ain’t nary priest, nor all on ’em together,
Thet cairs conviction to the min’ like Reveren’ Taranfeather;
Why, he sot up with me one night, an’ labored to sech purpose,
Thet (ez an owl by daylight ’mongst a flock o’ teazin’ chirpers
Sees clearer ’n mud the wickedness o’ eatin’ little birds)
I see my error an’ agreed to shen it arterwurds;
An’ I should say, (to jedge our folks by facs in my possession,)
Thet three’s Unannermous where one’s a ’Riginal Secession ;
So it’s a thing you fellers North may safely bet your chink on,
Thet we ’re all water-proofed agin th’ usurpin’ reign o’ Lincoln.
Jeff’s scme. He's gut another plan thet hez pertic’lar merits,
In givin’ things a cherfle look an’ stiffnin' loose-hung sperits;
For while your million papers, wut with lyin’ an’ discussin’,
Keep folks’s tempers all on eend a-fumin’ an’ a-fussin’,
A-wondrin’ this an’ guessin’ thet, an’ dreadin’, every night,
The breechin' o’ the Univarse ’ll break afore it’s light,
Our papers don’t purtend to print on’y wut Guv’ment choose,
An’ thet insures us all to git the very best o’ noose :
Jeff hez it of all sorts an’ kines, an’ sarves it out ez wanted,
So’s’t every man gits wut he likes an’ nobody ain’t scanted ;
Sometime# it’s vict’ries, (they ’re ’bout all ther’ is thet’s cheap down here,)
Sometimes it’s France an’ England on the jump to interfere.
Fact is, the less the people know o’ wut ther’ is a-doin’,
The hendier't is for Guv’ment, sence it henders trouble brewin’;
An’ noose is like a shinplaster,— it’s good, ef you believe it,
Or, wut’s all same, the other man thet’s goin’ to receive it:
Ef you’ve a son in th’ army, wy, it’s comfortin’ to hear
He ’ll hev no gretter resk to run than seein’ th’ in'my’s rear,
Coz, ef an F. F. looks at ’em, they ollers break an’ run,
Or wilt right down ez debtors will thet stumble on a dun
(An’ this, ef an’thin’, proves the wuth o’ proper fem’ly pride, Fer sech mean shucks ez creditors are all on Lincoln’s side );
Ef I hev scrip thet wun’t go off no more ’n a Belgin rifle,
An’ read thet it’s at par on 'Change, it makes me feel deli’fle ;
It’s cheerin', tu, where every man mus’ fortify his bed,
To hear thet Freedom’s the one thing our darkies mos’ly dread,
An’ thet experunce, time ’n’ agin, to Dixie’s Land hez shown
Ther’ ’s nothin’ like a powder-cask f’r a stiddy corner-stone ;
Ain’t it ez good ez nuts, when salt is sellin’ by the ounce
For its own weight in Treash’ry-bons, (ef bought in small amounts,)
When even whiskey’s gittin’ skurce, an’ sugar can’t be found,
To know thet all the ellerments o’ luxury abound ?
An’ don’t it glorify sal’-pork, to come to understand
It's wut the Richmon' editors call fatness o’ the land?
Nex’ thing to knowin' you ’re well off is nut to know when y’ ain’t,
An’ ef Jeff says all’s goin’ wal, who ’ll ventur’t’ say it ain’t ?
This cairn the Constitooshun roun’ ez Jeff doos in his hat
Is hendier a dreffle sight, an’ comes more kin’ o’ pat.
I tell ye wut, my jedgment is you 're pooty sure to fail,
Ez long ’z the head keeps turnin’ back for counsel to the tail:
Th' advantiges of our consarn for bein’ prompt air gret,
While, ’long o’ Congress, you can't strike, ’f you git an iron het;
They bother roun’ with argooin’, an’ var’ous sorts o’ foolin’,
To make sure ef it’s leg’lly het, an’ all the while it’s coolin’,
So’s’t when you come to strike, it ain’t no gret to wish ye j’y on,
An’ hurts the hammer ’z much or more ez wut it doos the iron.
Jeff don’t allow no jawin’-sprees for three months at a stretch,
Knowin’ the ears long speeches suits air mostly made to metch;
He jes’ ropes in your tonguey chaps an’ reg’lar ten-inch bores
An’ lets ’em play at Congress, ef they ’ll du it with closed doors ;
So they ain’t no more bothersome than ef we’d took an’ sunk ’em,
An’ yit enj’y th' exclusive right to one another’s Buncombe
’Thout doin’ nobody no hurt, an’ ’thout its costin’ nothin’,
Their pay bein’jes’ Confedrit funds, they findin’ keep an’ clothin’;
They taste the sweets o’ public life, an’ plan their little jobs,
An’ suck the Treash’ry, (no gret harm, for it’s ez dry ez cobs,)
An’ go thru all the motions jest ez safe ez in a prison,
An’ hev their business to themselves, while Buregard hez hisn:
Ez long ’z he gives the Hessians fits, committees can’t make bother
’Bout whether’t’s done the legle way or whether’t’s done the t’other.
An’ I tell you you’ve gut to larn thet War ain’t one long teeter
Betwixt I wan' to an’ 'T wun't du, debatin’ like a skeetur
Afore he lights,— all is, to give the other side a millin’,
An’ arter thet’s done, th' ain’t no resk but wut the lor ’ll be willin’;
No metter wut the guv’ment is, ez nigh ez I can hit it,
A lickin’’s constitooshunal, pervidin’ We don’t git it.
Jeff don’t stan’ dilly-dallyin’, afore he takes a fort,
(With no one in,) to git the leave o’ the nex’ Soopreme Court,
Nor don’t want forty-’leven weeks o’jawin’ an’ expoundin’
To prove a nigger hez a right to save him, ef he’s drowndin’;
"Whereas ole Abram’d sink afore he’d let a darkie boost him,
Ef Taney should n’t come along an’ hed n’t interdooced him. It ain't your twenty millions thet ’ll ever block Jeff’s game,
But one Man thet wun’t let ’em jog jest ez he’s takin’ aim :
Your numbers they may strengthen ye or weaken ye, ez't heppens
They ’re willin’ to be helpin’ hands or wuss’n-nothin’ cap’ns.
I’ve chose my side, an’ ’t ain’t no odds ef I wuz drawed with magnets,
Or ef I thought it prudenter to jine the nighes’ bagnets ;
I’ve made my ch’ice, an’ ciphered out, from all I see an’ heard,
Th’ ole Constitooshum never’d git her decks for action cleared,
Long ’z you elect for Congressmen poor shotes thet want to go
Coz they can’t seem to git their grub no otherways than so,
An’ let your bes’ men stay to home coz they wun’t show ez talkers,
Nor can’t be hired to fool ye an' sof’-soap ye at a caucus,
Long ’z ye set by Rotashun more ’n ye do by folks’s merits,
Ez though experunce thriv by change o’ sile, like corn an’ kerrits,
Long ’z you allow a critter’s “claims” coz, spite o’ shoves an’ tippins,.
lie’s kep’ his private pan jest, where’t would ketch mos’ public drippins,—
Long ’z A. ’ll turn tu an’ grin’ B.’s exe, ef B. ’ll help him grin hisn,
(An’ thet’s the main idee by which your leadin’ men hev risen,) —
Long ’z you let ary exe be groun’, ’less’t is to cut the weasan'
O’ sneaks thet dunno till they ’re told wut is an’ wut ain’t Treason,—
Long ’z ye give out commissions to a lot o’ peddlin’ drones
Thet trade in whiskey with their men an’ skin ’em to their bones,—
Long ’z ye sift out “ safe” canderdates thet no one ain’t afeared on
Coz they 're so thund’rin’ eminent for bein’ never heard on,
An’ hain’t no record, ez it’s called, for folks to pick a hole in,
Ez ef it hurt a man to hev a body with a soul in,
An’ it wuz ostenstashun to be showin’ on’t about,
When half his feller-citizens contrive to do without,-
Long ’z you suppose your votes can turn biled kebbage into brain,
An’ ary man thet’s pop'lar’s fit to drive a lightnin train,-
Long ’z you believe democracy means I’m ez good ez you be,
An’ thet a feller from the ranks can’t be a knave or booby,-
Long ’z Congress seems purvided, like yer street-cars an’ yer ’busses,
With ollers room for jes’ one more o’ your spiled-in-bakin’ cusses,
Dough ’thout the emptins of a soul, an’ yit with means about 'em
(Like essence-peddlers *) thet 'll make folks long to be without 'em,
Jest heavy ’nough to turn a scale thet’s doubtfle the wrong way,
An’ make their nat’ral arsenal o’ bein’ nasty pay, -
Long ’z them things last, (an’ I don’t see no gret signs of improvin’,)
I sha’n’t up stakes, not hardly yit, nor’t would n’t pay for movin’;
For, ’fore you lick us, it '11 be the long’st day ever you see.
Yourn, (ez I ’xpec’ to be nex’ spring,)


A rustic euphemism for the American variety of the Mephitis.H. W.