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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 peddler, 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 potatoepatch, and, Providence smiling upon his labors, he is oon 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 indefatiga' le of speculators to rest contented with any state of sublinary 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 win. dows 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 air-castle 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 Æolus. The humble log-but, which whilom nestled this improving family snugly within its narrow but comfortable walls, stands hard by—ignominious contrast !-degraded into a cow-house or pigsty; 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 respectability, to crawl into the empty shell 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 with 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, re-loads his cart, shoulders his axe, 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 shinglepalace, and again to sell off and wander.
THE TINKER AND GLAZIER. -HARRISON,
SINCE gratitude, 'tis said, is not o'er common,
And friendly acts are pretty near as few; And high and low, with man and eke with woman,
With Turk, with Pagan, Christian, and with Jew; We ought, at least, whene'er we chance to find
Of these rare qualities a slender sample, To show they may possess the human mind,
And try the boasted influence of example. Who knows how far the novelty may charm ? It can't, at any rate, do much barm:
The tale we give, then; and, we need not fear,
The moral, if there be one, will appear. Two thirsty souls met on a sultry day
One glazier Dick, the other Tom the tinker;
Their ale they quaff'd;
Though both agreed, 'tis said,
That trade was wondrous dead,
The landlord's eye, bright as his sparkling ale,
Glisten’d to see them the brown pitcher hug; For ev'ry jest, and song, and merry tale,
Had this blithe ending--" Bring us t'other mug ?" Now Dick, the glacier, feels his bosom barn, To do his friend, Tom Tinker, a good turn; And where the heart to friendship feels inclin'd, Occasion seldom loiters long behind.
The kettle gaily singing on the fire,
And while to draw more ale the landlord goes,
And at the tinker winks,
As trade's success!” he drinks,
Our landlord ne'er could such a toast withstand;
His friendship too display'd,
And drank - Success to trade !"
How long and rueful his round visage grew,
He rav'd, he caper'd, and he swore,
* Come, come !" says Dicky, “ fetch us, my friend, more ale,
All trades, you know, must live:
The job to Tom, then, give;
expense. Tom undertakes the job—to work he goes, And just concludes it with the ev'ning's close.
Souls so congenial, had friends Tom and Dick,
They might be fairly call'd brother and brother:
Out now he slily slips,
And off he nimbly trips.
Swift to the neighbring church his way he takes;
Nor, in the dark,
Misses his mark,
Back as he goes,
His bosom glows,
Importance in his face;
Thus briefly states the case :--
I've done your business most complete, my friend ;I'm off !—the dogs may catch me, if they can ;-.
Each window of the church you 've got to mend !
Tom, with surprise, sees Dick turn pale,
Who deeply sighs—“ O, la !”
Then drops his under jaw,
While horror in his ghastly face,
And bursting eye-balls, Tom can trace; Whose sympathetic muscles, just and true,
Share with heart
Dick's unknown smart,
At length, friend Dick his speech regain'd,
And I, as well as you, must run;
can, Tom Tom! I am a ruin'd man !"