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the mules stopped, and Robin sprang to his feet. 'Guy!' said he, in a tone which seemed hardly to realize the truth, 'I b'lieve I'm upsot!' This produced a vexatious delay. His time was precious; he had not yet reached the 'Half-Way House;' and the sun was getting 'pretty well up.' Those who know most about it, will tell you that a load of hay overturned is not to be righted easily, or in a hurry. Ten to one if it can be budged an inch, before the hay be all taken off, and then it must be forked on again. Luckily, in the present instance, some milkmen, who were returning from supplying their morning customers, came by in the nick of time, and were good enough to lend a helping hand, or else two hours would not have repaired the damage. Robin felt some uneasiness at first about this evil omen, but he had somewhere read in an old almanac, that 'sich things always go by contraries,' and the thought comforted him not a little. He therefore wished his friends a good day,' and jogging cheerfully on, reached the city of Brooklyn at high noon. Having been somewhat detained by this mishap by the way-side, after disposing of the hay, he drove his mules immediately on the boat, and crossed the East River. This was an extravagant procedure, when he might have gone over as well on foot; but the thought of the profit which he was to realize that day, drove from his head all ideas of a sordid economy. Ten per cent. down,' said he; 'that will do to begin with;' and the idea tickled him so, that he laughed out, and thrust his hand into his pocket, to see that the bag was safe. Then giving his whip a crack, and shouting out to the mules, he drove at a round rate over the pavement, and guiding the unwieldy wagon with some difficulty through the streets, halted at last in the immediate vicinity of the Merchants' Exchange. His heart beat at the rate of a hundred strokes a minute, as he gazed at that imposing pile. Now then the hour had arrived for which he had so long waited. Here he had reached the place where his destiny was to be decided, where his dream was to be merged in what was real, and the first refreshing drops should fall, which were to precede the golden shower. All of a sudden, his confidence vanished, and a cowardly fear came over him. As the hind trembles on the threshhold of royalty, and fears to profane it with his plebeian steps, he durst not enter the place, and began to cast about in his mind what was next to be done. No time was to be lost; he was already late; so, without thinking more about it, he plunged at once into the basement, and began to grope his way through vaults and subterraneous passages, lighted only by a few straggling rays. This part of the Exchange, before that ever-memorable fire, which laid a great part of the city in ashes, was appropriated to the post-office. After wandering several minutes, he knew not where, and stumbling full length over a heap of coals, he arrived at last at a window in the wall, where a great crowd was collected, and one of the clerks, with a green shade over his eyes, was dispensing letters by candle-light. Aha!' thought

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he, here they are. This must be the place, and a queer place it is to sell land into. Howsomever, there's a considerable sight of people, and I s'pose that that 'ere man is a-fixin' the prʼliminaries.' Thinking there would be no harm to make inquiry, he edged his way through the crowd, and with as resolute a voice and manner as he

could command, looking up at the clerk, demanded if the Kushow

property was sold there?' At this question the man stared, eyed him for a few seconds, but not having time to study him out, went on rapidly turning over the package of letters. The crowd which was there, passed out, a fresh crowd pressed in, and he soon found himself jostled out of his former latitude. He put the same question to several others, who went out without regarding him, conning their letters. 'D- n these quality!' said he, they are too proud to speak to a poor man. They'll know another story before night comes. See if Bob Kushow don't hold up his head with the best on 'em!' And with that, making up to a woman who sold pea-nuts, by the door, he bought some, and emptying them into his left breeches pocket, until it would hold no more, 'Good woman,' said he,' will you be so kind as to tell me whereabout in these quarters the Kushow property is sold?'

Lord, Sir, I can't tell you; but there is a sight of people up stairs, and a-buying and selling, and a-going, going, going,' and gliding from thence, insensibly, on other topics, she rattled away with great volubility. Bob listened awhile with deference, then, thanking her for the information, emerged into open day.

When he got out, he began staring upward with his mouth wide open, as if he were examining the capitals of the columns, or reading the time of day, upon the dial of the clock; and in this situation came near being knocked down by tumbling against the passengers on the side-walk. At last, mounting the high steps, and inquiring the way as he went, he arrived at that place where merchants most do congregate,' and found that a great crowd was indeed collected. 'Here is no mistake,' murmured he to himself; who would have thought that the sale of the Kushow property would have caused such a prodigious sensation! No doubt all these quality have come with their pockets full of money, to bid on it. Well, well, let them go a-head; I guess them lots that lays fair on Allegany Avenue will bring their spunk out!'

6

The room was full of well-dressed men, and as he entered in the midst, he felt that every eye was fixed upon him. He was the hero of the occasion; he had drawn all this crowd together, and no doubt they would immediately notice his presence; as when in a theatre the multitude catch the first shadow of a favorite actor, as he comes upon the stage, and the house greets him with a rapturous applause. This was no time nor place for trembling; and although his knees knocked against each other, he put on a look of the boldest defiance. Luther could not have been struck with greater awe, when he stood up in the Diet of Worms, before that magnificent array of princes and potentates, than did Robert Kushow, Esq., of Crow-Hill, LongIsland, in presence of the august assemblage at the Merchants' Exchange. The figure which he cut was somewhat peculiar, and in striking contrast with those around him. Not that his dress was dirty, or disreputable, but it was in bold defiance of the prevailing fashion. His shirt, though coarse, was scrupulously clean, as his wife could vouch for it, and the collar was so stiffly starched, that it threatened to cut his ears off. He wore a blue coat, bobbed so short as to afford a poor argument à posteriori, with great brass buttons

dangling down by their own weight, a cotton 'kerchief twisted about his throat, and a skin-cap of a red, foxy color, fitting close to his

crown.

One eye was shut, from having ridden all the morning in the sun, and one corner of his mouth was correspondingly puckered up, and distilled the juice of tobacco. His left hand carried a horse-whip, his right was thrust into his pocket. Thus he bore his points.

To his great vexation, he found the sale had already commenced. This was not only contrary to his expectation, but his express commands. However, to make the best of it, he stretched his legs apart, drew forth a lithographic map, unrolled it carefully, cast his eye over the tempting array of streets, and giving his neighbor a pinch: 'I say, you,' said he, 'jist show me what part of the property they're at now.' In a very short time, he discovered that things were not going on as well as he could wish, which perhaps might be owing to mismanagement, and to not postponing the sale until he arrived. The water-lots were selling at an unaccountable low rate, and there was considerable talking and laughing in the room. Perhaps, however, purchasers were holding back,' and prices would look up' a little, when the high lands came to be sold. But as the auctioneer proceeded in his business, and prices, instead of becoming better, rather grew worse, he was unable to conceal his uneasiness, and began to vent it in sundry impatient exclamations, to the no small amusement of the by-standers. When at last he saw the choice lots on Allegany Avenue, on which he had placed his reliance, and which 'lay as fair as any thing could in the world,' going at a great sacrifice,' he could stand it no longer, but being much agitated, and hardly knowing what he did, cried out, in a nasal twang, to 'stop the proceedin's!' At this sudden and peremptory order, the auctioneer held his arm suspended in air, the crowd looked to see where the sound came from, and being struck with a füll sense of the ridiculous, roared out a-laughing. At that moment, Robin would have given any thing to have been back safe and sound at Crow-Hill. The big drops of perspiration rolled down his cheeks like rain. He was all alone,' with nobody to advise him, and quailing beneath the glance of the crowd, concentrated upon him in one terrible focus, thought it best to sound a precipitate retreat. 'Oh, oh, oh!' murmured he, dejectedly moving from the place,' what luck! what

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luck!'

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Misfortunes are sociable in their nature, and are seldom known to come alone. Now it happened a few minutes before this, that two young bucks, seeing just how the matter stood, and not mistrusting that they were about to do a generous act, such a luxury is it to enhance the troubles of our neighbors, escaped unnoticed from the crowd, hastened to the team, untied the halters, and fetching one of the mules a devil of a kick, set them both a running down the street, with the long ricketty wagon clattering behind them. Just at this moment, Bob came down the steps of the Exchange, and approaching the place where his beasts had been, was mechanically stretching forth his arm to unloose them, when he perceived that they were gone! 'Dang it!' shouted he, in a voice of mingled surprise and anger, and for a few seconds gaped about him as one bewildered,

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not knowing what to do, or which way to turn, when suddenly catching a glimpse of the mules, he ran after them, crying, 'Who-a, who-a, who-a! I say, there, stop them critters! Holloa! Who-a, who-a, who wh And in this way he bawled himself hoarse. But the perverse beasts, amid the din of the city, either heard not the familiar voice of the master, or hearing, did not choose to obey it, but went scampering and galloping over the pavement, now on this side of the street, and now on that, through omnibuses, carts, and empty boxes, never abating one jot of their speed, until they reached the Brooklyn ferry. There the ferry-master, who knew them by sight,' had them taken care of, entertaining the most serious apprehensions for the owner. As for Robert Kushow, he paused, out of breath, and in a rage. If you wont who a,' said he, gnashing his teeth, · then g And here he let slip an imprecation, and ripping off his skin-cap, dashed it on the pavement, and stamped on it. The clerks and shopmen, who stood on their threshholds, enjoying this unseemly exhibition of rustic anger, and putting their fingers to their noses, and winking with their eyes, gave a significant, vulgar sort of a twitch. The pedestrians stood still and laughed; the passersby in carriages, smiled for a moment, but the boys and loafers' dogged his heels, pulled at his skirts, and goaded him to madness with their insults. He arrived at the ferry in a state of mind not much to be envied, and hardly to be imagined.

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And now his chief desire was to get back to Crow-Hill unnoticed, not feeling in a humor either to ask or answer questions; but as the devil would have it, the boat had that minute left the wharf; so having a little time to spare, he took the butt-end of his whip and belabored the mules most soundly. This was quite a relief to him, and mounting the wagon after it, he sat snapping his whip, and cracking pea-nuts, with a considerable show of resignation. It was not long before his friends and neighbors, and the thick-waisted dames of Fly-Market, got wind of his arrival, and leaving their wicker-baskets, flocked about him, asking a thousand questions, and anxious to know how the Kushow property had sold.

How did it sell?' said they.

'It did n't sell at all,' said he.

'Ay, ay, didn't we tell you so, and does n't all this come from making a fool of yourself?' said they.

'It looks likely,' replied he.

I was a-feared your neck was broke,' remarked the ferryman; 'but how those beasts of yours got here without going to dead ruin, is more than I can tell you.'

'Well, I can't tell you, nother. They are knowin' critturs. I never know'd them to run away afore, and I guess they wont again in a hurry.'

Presently the boat rounded in sight; ding-dong, ding-dong, went the bell; the carriages rumbled off, and he drove his unwieldy vehicle aboard, very glad to be delivered from his friends, and breathing more freely when he got out of the city.

Where now were those bright thoughts and glowing fancies, which animated his soul, and made his very whip to crack for joy? Gone, utterly vanished, like too many luxuriant hopes of the morning,

which are blighted and dead, at noon. The waves which rolled beneath him, were an emblem of his ruffled mind. He thrust his hand in his pocket, and unable to endure the bitter sarcasm of the bag, with a nervous jerk of the arm, tossed it into the river.

When he got on Long-Island, and was fairly proceeding on his homeward journey, his anger boiled over. Deep and bitter were the imprecations which he heaped on the imaginary causes of his failure. He called them no better than thieves and robbers. It was all because he was a poor man; it was the jealousy of the rich against the poor, and a settled scheme to ruin his fortunes. He went growling and grumbling along, and from the 'vasty deep' of his indignation, conjured up the spirits of outrage and wrong. He relieved himself by again beating his mules. A man who continues in an angry humor, often renders himself ridiculous, by transferring the energy of his violence from its primal cause, upon petty vexations, not sufficient in themselves to have produced it. To go into a great passion, without some present object to vent it upon, or without an ostensible cause, he cannot, with any pretext or show of reason; if, however, the cause be of so flimsy a texture as to be scarce apparent, while visiting his wrath on the innocent, he draws equal laughter or contempt upon himself, by what appears a senseless and bombastic passion. If you would respect yourself, respect or be respected by others, remember, in the most perplexing straits, to keep your proper temper.

It added very much to his nervous irritability, that he fell in with nearly every man, woman, and child, with whom he was acquainted. They met him, and they overtook him; they came out of taverns, and they confronted him at sudden turns of the road, for all the country knew that the Kushow property was to be sold. He saw, or fancied that he saw, their countenances beaming with sardonic smiles. The man who is conscious within himself of folly, sees every where the reflection of his inward reproach. The inarticulate voices of nature are interpreted into reproof. On board the boat, the rapid plunge of the piston seemed to utter, in the plainest irony, 'Ten per cent! ten per cent! ten per cent!' and now, the very cat-birds on the hedges made game of him; and a little wren, in shape no bigger' than a nutmeg, popped on a branch immediately over his head, doubling, and redoubling, and trilling into his very ear. 'Bob-b-b, pret-t-t! prop-r-t-t-t!' Take that!' said he, and shattered the branch with his whip; but while the leaves and feathers were flying in all directions, the little dusky bird dropped on another branch, shook his tiny wings, and persevered in the same provoking strain: 'Pret-t-t-t prop-r-t-t-t!'

When a person returns from disgrace by the same road that he went, every step that he takes, occasions by its associations a humiliating contrast of the feelings. When Robin arrived at the 'rut' where he had been so vexatiously overturned and detained in the morning, he could not help soliloquizing with himself, and thought how much better it would have been for him, had his wagon been broken all to smash, and he permitted to advance no farther on his journey. He had however learned a lesson, which, like every valuable one, is bought with pain. At last the sun sank down behind

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