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port, hands to some half blushing, half laughing housemaid, an odd shaped billet-doux, from some rustic admirer. As the coach rattles through the village, every one runs to the window, and you have glances on every side of fresh country faces, and blooming, giggling girls. At the corners are assembled juntos of village idlers and wise men, who take their stations there for the important purpose of seeing company pass: but the sagest knot is generally at the blacksmith's, to whom the passing of the coach is an event fruitful of much speculation. The smith, with the horse's heel in his lap, pauses as the vehicle whirls by; the cyclops round the anvil suspend their ringing hammers, and suffer the iron to grow cool; and the sooty specter, in brown paper cap, laboring at the bellows, leans on the handle for a moment, and permits the asthmatic engine to heave a long drawn-sigh, while he glares through the murky smoke and sulphureous gleams of the smithy.
I was roused from a fit of luxurious meditation, by a shout from my little traveling companions. They had been looking out of the coach-windows for the last few miles, recognizing every tree and cottage as they approached home, and now there was a general burst of joy-" There's John! and there's old Carlo! and there's Bantam !" cried the happy little rogues, clapping their hands.
At the end of a lane, there was an old sober looking servant in livery, waiting for them; he was accompanied by a superannuated pointer, and by the redoubtable Bantam, a little old rat of a pony, with a shaggy mane and long rusty tail, who stood dozing quietly by the road side, little dreaming of the bustling times that awaited him.
I was pleased to see the fondness with which the little fellows leaped about the steady old footman, and hugged the pointer, who wriggled his whole body for joy. But Bantam was the great object of interest; all wanted to mount at once, and it was with some difficulty that John arranged that they should ride by turns, and the eldest should ride first.
Off they set at last; one on the pony, with the dog bounding and barking before him; and the others holding John's hands; both talking at once, and overpowering him with questions about home, and with school anecdotes. I looked after them with a feeling in which I do not know whether pleasure or melancholy predominated; for I was reminded of those days when, like them, I had neither known care nor sorrow, and a holyday was the summit of earthly felicity. We stopped a few moments afterwards to water the horses; and, on resuming our route, a turn of the road brought us in sight of a neat country seat. I could just distinguish the forms of a lady and two young girls in the portico, and I saw my little comrades, with Bantam, Carlo, and old John, trooping along the carriage road. I leaned out of the coach window, in hopes of witnessing the happy meeting, but a grove of trees shut it from my sight.
DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER'S NEW-ENGLAND FARMER. W. Irving.
THE first thought of a Yankee farmer, on coming to the years of manhood, is to settle himself in the world-which means nothing more than to begin his rambles. To this end, he takes to himself for a wife some buxom country heiress, passing rich in red ribands, glass beads, and mock tortoise-shell combs, with a white gown and morocco shoes for Sunday, and deeply skilled in the mystery of making apple-sweetmeats, long-sauce, and pumpkin-pie. Having thus provided himself, like a pedlar, with a heavy knapsack, wherewith to regale his shoulders through the journey of life, he literally sets out on his peregrinations.
His whole family, household furniture, and farming utensils, are hoisted into a covered cart; his own and wife's wardrobe packed up in a firkin which done he
shoulders his axe, takes staff in his hand, whistles "Yankee doodle," and trudges off to the woods, as confident of the protection of Providence, and relying as cheerfully on his own resources, as ever did a patriarch of yore when he journeyed into a strange country of the Gentiles. Having buried himself in the wilderness, he builds himself a log-hut, clears away a corn-field and potato-patch, and, Providence smiling upon his labors, he is soon surrounded by a snug farm, and some half a score of flaxenheaded urchins, who, by their size, seem to have sprung all at once out of the earth, like a crop of toadstools.
But it is not the nature of this most indefatigable of speculators to rest contented with any state of sublunary enjoyment: improvement is his darling passion; and having thus improved his lands, the next state is to provide a mansion worthy the residence of a landholder. A huge palace of pine-boards, immediately springs up in the midst of the wilderness, large enough for a parish church, and furnished with windows of all dimensions; but so rickety and flimsy withal, that every blast gives it a fit of the ague. By the time the outside of this mighty aircastle is completed, either the funds or the zeal of our adventurer are exhausted, so that he barely manages to half finish one room within, where the whole family burrow together, while the rest of the house is devoted to the curing of pumpkins, or storing of carrots and potatoes, and is decorated with fanciful festoons of dried apples and peaches.
The outside remaining unpainted, grows venerably black with time; the family wardrobe is laid under contribution for old hats, petticoats, and breeches to stuff into the broken windows; while the four winds of heaven keep up a whistling and howling about the aërial palace, and play as many unruly gambols as they did of yore in the cave of Eolus. The humble log-hut, which whilome nestled this improving family snugly within its narrow but comfortable walls, stands hard by,-ignominious contrast! degraded into a cow-house or pig-sty; and the
whole scene reminds one forcibly of a fable, which I am surprised has never been recorded, of an aspiring snail, who abandoned his humble habitation, which he had long filled with great respectibility, to crawl into the empty hell of a lobster, where he could no doubt have resided with great style and splendor, the envy and hate of all the pains-taking snails in his neighborhood, had he not accidentally perished wtih cold in one corner of his stupendous mansion.
Being thus completely settled, and, to use his own words, "to rights," one would imagine that he would begin to enjoy the comforts of his situation, to read newspapers, to talk politics, neglect his own business, and attend to the affairs of the nation, like a useful or patriotic citizen; but now it is that his wayward disposition again begins to operate. He soon grows tired of a spot where there is no longer any room for improvement, sells his farm-his air-castle, petticoat-windows and all, reloads his cart, shoulders his ax, puts himself at the head of his family, and wanders away in search of new lands; again to fell trees, again to clear corn-fields, again to build a shingle-palace, and again to sell off and wander.
NOT AT HOME.-Knares.
One morning I was sitting with my father and mother when the servant entered the parlor saying, "Ma'am there's some company coming down the avenue; will you please to be at home?" Why, where else can she please to be? "Oh," says my father, hastily, "not at home, not at home, unless it should be so and so, and so and so;" enumerating rapidly a select list of worthies. As there was a necessity for the carriage to pass the window of the room where we were sitting, and it was too near to admit of our going elsewhere, my father and mother got both behind a great screen, while I was has
tily hurried up into the nook of a book-case. Thinks I to myself, I suppose this is being not at home! As the servant had inadvertently left the door open, I observed that it was judged necessary, for fear of discovery, to stifle all sorts of natural or other noises, even to the inhalation and exhalation of the breath of life; so that my father stood with his pocket handkerchief stuffed into his mouth, and my mother with her lips pressed close and flat against the back of the screen, while I poked mine as well as I could behind the book-case, whence a little dust seemed to arise that made me fear greatly that a sneeze would be inevitable; while we were thus grouped, expecting every moment that the carriage would drive off, in came the servant with two of the finest ladies in the neighborhood, who actually discovered my father and mother behind the screen; who were obliged accordingly, to come out, which they contrived to do with the greatest apparent delight, so that I, of course, apprehended the visitors must be some of the so and so's that were doomed to be admitted. "I was sure you were at home," said they; and so they might well be, for another servant, whom they had met in the avenue, had told them so, as it turned out in the end. "We could not think who it was," said my mother; "had we had the least idea of its being you, we should have been at home of course, but we had intended to deny ourselves if it had been any body else."
I would have given any thing to have known enough of the world to have determined whether I ought to come out of my hiding place or not; for my father and mother in their confusion, had quite forgotten me, and the company had managed to seat themselves so as to be wholly incapable of investigating the contents of the r.ook in which I happened to stand. Thinks I to myself, they talk so loud I may at least breath more freely; but at length what I was most afraid of actually befel me; some dust, or some smoke, or some sun-shine, or something or other, or the mere expectation and alarm of it,