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vehicle, and grinning with huge delight. As the grey of morning mellowed, life began its course again in the little village. The cock hailed the day-light cheerily; the sheep bleated from the hills; the sky grew softer and clearer; the blue mountains caught the rising sun ; and the mass of white vapour that filled the valley, began to toss and roll itself away, like ebb of a feathery sea. Then the bustle of advancing -day began; doors and windows were thrown open; the gate creaked on its hinge; carts rattled by; villagers were moving in the streets; and the little world began to go, like some ponderous machine, that, wheel after wheel, is gradually put in motion.
In a short time the tailor was seen slowly returning along the road, with a waggon load of pine boughs and evergreens. The waggon was unloaded at the tavern door, and its precious cargo carried up into the hall, where the tailor, in his shirt sleeves, danced and capered about the room, with a hatchet in one hand, and a long knife in the other, like an Indian warrior before going to battle. In a moment the walls were stripped of the faded emblems of former holidays; garlands of withered roses were trampled under foot; old stars that had lost their lustre, were seen to fall; and the white pine chandelier was robbed ofits yellow coat, and dangled from the ceiling, quite woe-begone and emaciated. But ere long the whole room was again filled with arches and garlands, and festoons, and stars, and all kinds of singular devices in green leaves and asparagus tops. Over the chimney piece were suspended, two American flags, with a portrait of general Washington beneath them; and the names of Trenton, Yorktown, Bunker Hill, &c, peeped out from between the evergreens, cut in red morocco, and fastened to the wall with a profusion of brass nails, livery part of the room was liberally decorated with paper eagles; and in a corner hung a little black ship, rigged with twine, and armed with a whole broadside of umbrella tips.
It were in vain to attempt a description of all the wonders that started up beneath the tailor's hand, as from the touch of a magician's wand. In a word, before night every thing was in readiness. Travellers, that arrived in the evening, brought information, that the general would pass through the village at noon the next day; but without the slightest expectation of the jubilee that awaited him. The tailor was beside himself with joy, at the news; and pictured to himself with good-natured self-complacency the surprise and delight of the venerable patriot, when he should receive the public honours prepared for him, and the new blue coat, with bright buttons and velvet collar, which was then making at his shop.
In the meantime the landlady had been busy in making preparations for a sumptuous dinner; the lawyer had been locked up all day, hard at work upon his oration; and the pedagogue was hard riddui by the phantom of a poetical eulogy, that bestrod his imagination like the night-mare. Nothing was heard in the village but the bustle of preparation, and the martial music of drums and fifes. For a while the ponderous wheel of labour was seen to stand still. The clatter of the cooper's mallet was silent, the painter left his brush, the cobbler his awl, and the blacksmith's bellows lay sound asleep, with its nose buried in the ashes.
The next morning at day-break, the whole military force of the town was marshalled forth in front of the tavern, 'armed and equip ped as the law directs.' Conspicuous among this multitude stood the tailor, arrayed in a coat of his own making, all lace and buttons, and a pair of buff pantaloons, drawn up so tight that he could hardly touch his feet to the ground. He wore a military hat,shaped like a clam shell, with little white goose feathers stuck all round the edge. By his side stood the gigantic figure of the blacksmith, in rusty regimentals. At length the roll of the drum announced the order for forming the ranks, and the valiant host displayed itself in a long wavering line. Here stood a tall lantern-jawed fellow, all legs, furbished up with a red waistcoat, and shining green coat, a little round wool hat perched on the back of his head, and downward tapering offin a pair of yellow nankeens, twisted and wrinkled about the knees, as if his legs had been screwed into them. Beside him stood a longwaisted being, with a head like a hurra's nest, set off with a willow hat, and a face that looked as if it were made of sole leather, and a gash cut in the middle of it for a mouth. Next came a little man with fierce black whiskers, and sugar loaf hat, equipped with a long fowling piece, a powder horn, and a white canvass knapsack, with a red star on the back of it. Then a country bumpkin standing bolt upright, his head elevated, his toes turned out, holding fast his gun with one hand, and keeping the other spread out upon his right thigh. Then figured the descendent of some revolutionary veteran, arrayed in the uniform, and bearing the arms and accoutrements of his ancestor, a cocked hat on his head, a heavy musket on his shoulder, and on his back a large knapsack marked U. S. Here was a man in straw hat and gingham jacket; and there a pale nervous fellow, buttoned up to the chin in a drab great-coat, to guard him against the morning air, and keep out the fever and ague.
'Attention the whole! Front face! Eyes right! Eyes left! steady! Attention to the roll-call!' shouted the blacksmith in a voice like a volcano. 'Peleg Popgun!'—'Here.'—'Tribulation Sheepshanks!'—' He—e—e—re.'— ' Return Jonathan Babcock !'— 'Here.' And so on through a whole catalogue of long hard names.
'Attention! Shoulder—arms! Very well. Fall back there on the extreme left! No talking in the ranks! Present—arms!
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Squire Wiggins, you're not in the line, if you please, a little farther in, a little farther out, there, I guess that will do! Carry—arms! Very well done. Quick time, upon your post—march!
The little red-coated drummer flourished his drum-sticks, the bandy-legged fifer struck up yankee doodle, Caesar showed his flat face over the horizon of a great bass drum, like the moon in an eclipse, the tailor brandished his sword, and the whole company, wheeling with some confusion round the tavern sign post, streamed down the road, covered with dust, and followed by a troop of draggle-tailed boys.
As soon as this company had disappeared, and the dub of its drum ceased to be heard, the too-too of a shrill trumpet sounded across the plains, and a troop of horse came riding up. The leader was a jolly round-faced butcher, with a red fox-tail nodding over his head, and came spurring on, with his elbows flapping up and down like a pair of wings. As he approached the tavern, he ordered the troop to wheel and form a line in front; a manaiuvre, which, though somewhat arduous, was nevertheless executed with wonderful skill and precision. This body of light-horse was the pride of the whole country round; and was mounted and caparisoned in a style of splendour, that dazzled the eyes of all the village. Each horseman wore a cap of bear skin, crested with a fox-tail, a short blue jacket, faced with yellow, and profusely ornamented with red morocco and quality binding. The pantaloons were of the same colour as the jackets, and were trimmed with yellow cord. Some rode with long stirrups, some with short stirrups, and some with no stirrups at all; some sat perpendicular upon their saddles, some at an obtuse angle, and others at an angle of forty-five. One was mounted on a tall one-eyed bone setter, with his tail and ears cropped, another on a little red nag, with shaggy mane and long switch tail, and as vicious as if the very devil were in him. Here was a great fellow with long curly whiskers, looking as fierce as Mars himself; there, a little hook-nosed creature, with red crest, short spurs, elbows stuck out, and jacket cocked up behind, looking like a barn door 'rooster,' with his tail clipped, just preparing to crow.
When this formidable troop was formed to the satisfaction of their leader, the word of command was given, and they went through the sword exercise, hewing and cutting the air in all directions, with the most cool and deliberate courage. The order was then given to draw pistols. Ready!—aim!—fire! Pop—pop—poo, went the pistols. Too—too—too, went the trumpet. The horses took fright at the sound; some plunged, others reared and kicked, and others started out of the line, and capered up and down 'like mad.' The captain being satisfied with this display of the military discipline of his troop, they wheeled off in sections, and rode gallantly into the tavern yard, to recruit from the fatigues of the morning.
Crowds of country people now came driving in from all directions, to see the fun and the general. The honest farmer in broad-brimmed hat, and broad-skirted coat, jogged slowly on, with his wife and half a dozen blooming daughters, in a square-top chaise; and country beaux in all their Sunday finery, came racing along in waggons, or parading round on horseback to win a sidelong look from some fair country lass in gipsy hat and blue ribbons.
In the meantime the schoolmaster was far from being idle. His scholars had been assembled at an early hour, and after a deal of drilling and good advice, were arranged in a line in front of the schoolhouse, to bask in the sun, and wait for the general. The little girls had wreaths of roses upon their heads, and baskets of flowers in their hands; and the boys carried bibles, and wore papers on their hats, in scribed 'Welcome Lafayette.' The schoolmaster walked up and down before them, with a ratan in his hand, repeating to himself his poetic eulogy; stopping now and then to rap some unlucky little rogue over the knuckles for misdemeanour; shaking one to make him turn out his toes; and pulling another's ear to make him hold up his head and look like a man.
In this manner the morning wore away, and the hour at which it had been rumoured that the general was to arrive, drew near. The whole military force, both foot and horse, was then summoned together in front of the tavern, and formed into a hollow square, and the colonel, a swarthy knight of the forge, by the aid of a scrawl written by the squire and placed in the crown of his hat, made a most eloquent and patriotic harangue, in which he called the soldiers his 'brothers in arms, the hope of their country, the terror of their enemies, the bulwark of liberty, and the safeguard of the fair sex.' They were then wheeled back again into a line, and dismissed for ten minutes.
An hour or two previous, an honest old black, named Boaz, had been stationed upon the high road, not far from the entrance of the village, equipped with a loaded gun, which he was ordered to discharge by way of signal, as soon as the general should appear. Full of the importance and dignity of his office, Boaz marched to and fro across the dusty road, with his musket ready cocked, and his finger on the trigger. This maneuvering in the sun, however, diminished the temperature of his enthusiasm, in proportion as it increased that of his body; till at length he sat down on a stump in the shade, and leaning his musket against the trunk of a tree, took a short-stemmed pipe outof his pocket, and began to smoke. As noonday drew near, he grew hungry, and home-sick; his heart sunk into his stomach. His African philosophy dwindled apace into a mere theory. Overpowered by the heat of the weather, he grew drowsy, his pipe fell from his mouth, his head lost its equipoise, and drooped, like a poppy, upon his breast, and sliding gently from his seat, he fell asleep at the root of the tree. He was aroused from his slumber by the noise of an empty waggon, that came rattling along a cross road near him. Thus suddenly awakened, the thought of the general's approach, the idea of being caught sleeping at his post, and the shame of having given the signal too late, flashed together across his bewildered mind, and springing upon his feet, he caught his musket, shut both eyes, and fired, to the utter consternation of the waggoner, whose horses took fright at the sound, and became unmanageable. Poor Boaz, when he saw the mistake he had made, and the mischief he had done, did not wait long to deliberate, but throwing his musket over his shoulder, bounded into the woods, and was out of sight in the twinkling of an eye.
The sharp report of the gun rang far and wide through the hush of noontide awakening many a drowsy echo that grumbled in the distance, like a man aroused untimely from his rest. At the sound of the long expected signal gun, the whole village was put in motion. The drum beat to order, the ranks were formed in haste, and the whole military force moved off to escort the general in, amid the waving of banners, the roll of drums, the scream of fifes, and the twang of the horse trumpet.
All was now anxious expectation at the village. The moments passed like hours. The lawyer appeared at the tavern door with his speech in his hand; the schoolmaster and his scholars stood broiling in the sun, and many a searching look was cast along the dusty highway to descry some indication of their guest's approach. Sometimes a little cloud of dust rolling along the distant road would cheat them with a vain illusion. Then the report of musketry, and the roll of drums, rattling among the hills, and dying on the breeze, would inspire the fugitive hope, that he had at length arrived, and a murmur of eager expectation would run from mouth to mouth. 'There he comes! that's he,' and the people would crowd into the street to be again disappointed.
One o'clock arrived; two, three, but no general I The dinner was over-done, the landlady in great tribulation, the cook in a great pas sion. The gloom of disappointment began to settle on many a countenance. The people looked doubtingly at each other and guessed. The sky, too, began to lower. Volumes of black clouds piled themselves up in the west, and threatened a storm. The ducks were unusually noisy and quarrelsome around the green pool in the stable yard i and a flock of ill-boding crows were holding ominous consulta