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a-head on him on that tack; for he is the perlitest cretur amongst the women you ever see.
• Arter the quiltin, they cleared away the kiverlids and knock'd up a dance. The Gineral led off the old deacon's darter, and afore he got half down he began to smoke ; so he off coat and at it agin, and went clean through.'
Some jealousies now began to peep out among the party; and we could, but for the Major's dialect, almost suppose ourselves reading one of my Lord Brougham's despatches from the north countrie' to his friends and admirers of last autumn in Windsor Castle.
• We had all been drinking putty considerable of switchel, and cider, and egg-pop, with a little New England in it, and felt goodnatur'd and wrathy just as it turn’d up, and come plaguy nigh having a fight right off. However, I thought I wouldn't spile sport, seein I was to hum, and they all strangers.'
The good-natured officer accordingly did his best to prevent an open explosion on this interesting occasion ; and a candid bystander is obliged to admit
'He's a master crittur to put things to rights; and when we all got in that plaguy snarl there, he cut and shuffled them up, and afore we could say Jack Robinson, all the troublesome fellers were, shuffled out. He's a master hand at it, sure enuff.'
The end of the scene, too, has some touches of the Caledonian atmosphere;
• As there was an eend of the dance, all the galls off shoes and stockins, and went hum, caze it was kinder muddy; and we all went to the tavern, and the Gineral went to bed. We all then began to plan for the next day, but some of the folks was plaguy crusty. Seth Sprague wanted to show his school-house ; Zekil Bigelow wanted all on us to go to his packin-yard ; and the deacon said he would like to show us his fullin-mill, and give a kinder thanksgivin; but nothin seemed to go right.'— pp. 29–32.
The prevailing annoyance of the government tourists arose, as we may easily fancy, from the difficulty of pleasing all these provincial doctors and professors of useful knowledge. It was, therefore, a great relief when they made shift, on one occasion, to get a steam-boat all to themselves :
We have a fine cool time here, and ain't bothered with seekers ; we can see e'm in droves all along shore, waitin for a chance. One fellow swam off last night to get appointed to some office—the Gineral thinks of making him minister to the King of the Sandwich Islands, on account of their being all good swimmers there.'
On the whole, however, the general and his aide-de-camp seem to have returned in very good spirits to Washington. The hotheraVOL. LIII. NO, CVI.
tion of quiltings, and deputations, and sine quá non orations, was all forgotten when they found themselves once more in the WhiteHouse,
• If it warnt for Congress meetin, we could jest go about putty much where we pleas’d, and keep things strait too; and I begin to think now, with the Gineral, that arter all, there is no great shakes in managin the affairs of the nation. We have putty much all on us ben joggin about now since last grass, and things are jest as strait and clear now, as they was then!
There is something very naïf in the following postscript of the official subaltern :
• It is plaguy curious to hear him talk about millions and thousands; and I got as glib too at it as he is; and how on earth I shall git back again to ninepences and fourpence-happenies I can't tell.'
The style of doing business in the ultra-democratical cabinet offices is thus described by Mr. Under-Secretary or PrivateSecretary Downing :
• Every day, jest arter breakfast, the Gineral lights his pipe, and begins to think putty hard, and I and Major Donaldson begin to open letters for him; and there is more than three bushels every day, and all the while coming. We don't git through more than a bushel a day; and never trouble long ones, unless they come from some of our great folks. Then we sort 'em out, jest as Zekil Bigelow does the mackerel at his packin-yard, for tho' there are plaguy mariy more sorts than he finds among fish, we ony make three sorts, and keep three big baskets, one marked “not red,” another “red, and worth nothin," and another “red, and to be answered.” And then all the Gineral has to do, is to say, Major, I reckon we best say so and so to that,” and I say “ jest so," or not, jest as the notion takes me -and then we go at it. We keep all the secretaries, and district attorneys, and a good many more of our folks moving about ; and they tell us jest how the cat jumps. And, as I said afore, if it warnt for Congress meetin we'd put the Government in a one-horse waggon, and go jest where we liked.'-pp. 55-57.
We have already reminded our readers that the effect of altering the banking system in the United States was to produce almost as great a confusion in that country as the Reform Bill did in our own,--as wanton a destruction of property,--and ultimately as rueful a mass of disappointment among those who had been its blind instruments. These tools, indeed, are at an early period appreciated by the sagacious Major,—who thus writes to the • Gineral’ from Philadelphia :
• The crowd was so great, I was eny most mashed to a slab. All on 'em callin out, “ there's the Major,”—and all wantin to shake hands with me, and to know how you was, and what was goin to be done with the bank. Some fellers had ony one shoe on, and eny
most no shirt-and they too wanted to know about the bank. I never see sich a mess of fellers as they have here all the while: there is all kind of critters, jamming and scrouging folks, and one another ; they don't seem to do nothin, and half on 'em think, when we come to nock the bank down, they are to git the mony.'
They did not get the money when the bank was knocked down ; and forthwith we hear not a little, from both Gineral and Major, about' the pressure from without '—but still the government kept up their spirits.
It was nigh upon midnight when I got to the White House, and the Gineral was abed; and as I knew he wanted to see me dreadfully, I went right into his room and woke him up. “Why," says he, “ Major, is that raly you !—for I have been dreamin about you. I'm glad you are back agin, for things are gittin putty stormy here ; so do you come to bed, and we'll talk about it.” As soon as I got alongside the Gineral-There now,” says he, " Major, I don't care for all the rest of the Government, except Mr. Van Buren ; and if we three ain't a match for all creation, I'm mistaken.'
A good deal of annoyance now springs from certain untimely scruples of Mr. Van Buren, described as an ancient rat of at least three tails,* who had been, it seems, a strenuous supporter of the bank overthrow, but, on second thoughts, began to insinuate that the thing had been carried too far; and that, at all events, no more experiments of the same sort ought to be dreamt of—in short, that it would not do to have a new revolution every year;'
One day when I was busy doin up some writin for the Gineral, he was called out, and had a long talk with Mr. Van Buren and some more on ’em; and when he came back, says he, “ Major, I wish you
and I was at the Hermitage.” + “Why,” says I, “ how so, Gineral ?” “Well, I don't know exactly why,” says he, but I don't see,” says he," what use there is in my bein here, for things are gittin now so mixed up,
that I can't tell exactly what is best to do! Do you know, Major," says he, “that Mr. Van Buren says he don't think it was right to move the deposits.” “Why, how you talk!” says I, “ didn't he advise it ?" “ Well, so I thought,” says the Gineral ; " but he says it would be best only to hold it up by the tail, as you do a fox, and keep all the dogs barking for it ; for as soon as you throw the fox in the crowd, a few old jowlers grab hold, and the rest don't git a mouthful; and then comes
* • Mr. Van Buren would stand a good chance in a race, when a good many are runnin, and if the ground is muddy and slippery; for he is a master hand at trippin folks. But I'm afraid he'd stand a slim chance over a clear field. And it ain't fair to make him run so. Any man can catch a rat in a strait race, because he ain't used to it; but give him a few old barrels and logs to dodge round, then, I tell you, it's pretty tuff work.'-p. 112.
† This is General Jackson's country-seat, at which he had made great improvements since he came into office.
M. Poujoulat of course visited the sacred places in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. There seems good sense in part, at least, of the observations by which he attempts to reconcile the conflicting statements of travellers concerning the Dead Sea.
· Statements and theories concerning the Dead Sea have been multiplied. It appears to me that these discrepant opinions may be explained by the difference of time, of the season of the year, and even of the place at which the sea has been visited. When the object is to make observations on nature where, in former ages, it has been totally disorganized by revolutions, and is still influenced by the original causes which acted upon it, we must not expect to find at all times the same appearance or the same character. A soil delivered up to the power of fire, internally labouring with its more or less violent agency, must present at times different phenomena. Visit a volcano, when the lava is boiling, you will see effects which will no longer exist to those who come after you, when the flame slumbers and the mountain is in repose. This will perhaps explain the sometimes contradictory reports of travellers concerning the Lake of Sodom or the Sea of Lot, Bahr el Louth as the Arabs call it. One had remarked that the birds fled from the Dead Sea as from another Avernus; others had seen eagles or wild fowl flying over the lake ; one said that a vapour rises from the middle of the waters ; another found the atmosphere pure and transparent. The same may be said of the smell of sulphur spread along the shores of the sea, the black colour of the flints, the weight of the water. All these phenomena may take place at a certain time and not at another, and the wonders of the day may not resemble the wonders of the morrow. Is it impossible that the Dead Sea is modified in its appearances according to the season ? Is it the same in winter as in summer ? in spring as in autumn ? Have the winds, the tempests, cold and heat no influence upon it? May it not likewise be the case that it appears under peculiar circumstances according to the part of its shore which is visited by the traveller ?'
M. Poujoulat does not seem aware of the value, or even of the existence of Burckhardt's Travels. To that volume, and to the preface of Col. Leake, we believe that we owe the first account of the ghor, or valley, which runs from the foot of the Dead Sea to the eastern fork of the Red Sea. It is much to be desired that some observant traveller, a good geologist, would trace the whole course of the Wady, through which there seems little doubt that, before the awful convulsion which destroyed the cities of the Plain, the Jordan found its way into the gulph of Elath.
As to Bethlehem, we find little beyond the ordinary observations of all travellers. We were better pleased with the account of Tekoa-of a remarkable cave, supposed to be that of Adollam, in without having ourselves inspected it, in company with a traveller recently arrived from the Holy Land.
which there was ample space for the concealment of David and his four hundred followers—but more particularly of the desert of St. Sabba. This sterile tract cannot have been far distant from the settlements of the ancient Essenes, which it would be curious to trace. But not even their monastic industry could have forced that savage wilderness into fertility.
• Follow me now into the most dismal desert that the eye of traveller has ever witnessed, the desert of St. Sabba, on the south-east of Bethlehem, at the distance of four leagues. To arrive at the Greek monastery of St. Sabba, it is necessary to pass yellow and bald mountains, which one might suppose hills of sand, an arid soil, which produces (enfante) nothing but stones; an accursed soil, where life is extinct, and the birds of heaven cannot discover a blade of grass ; a region forgotten by men, and which God himself seems to remember no more. The black tents of the Bedouins,at a distance like mourning garments spread over a desolated land, add to the sadness of the place. In such a solitude, a solitude without a flower, without verdure, without water, the mind seems overwhelmed ; it seems as if death was striking you with his cold wings.'
On the skirt of this wilderness is the convent of St. Sabba. Among the pale inhabitants of this melancholy, though rather splendid convent, were five Russians. One of these was anxious io hear some news about his country, and put many questions to M. Poujoulat on the politics of Europe.". He might have answered the Muscovite caloyer in the words of M. Chateaubriand, on a similar occasion, to a monk of the same monastery, ‘Alas, father! where will you look for peace, if you do not find it here?' M. Poujoulat was accompanied by an honest friar of the convent of St. Saviour in Jerusalem. Brother Antony's charitable compassion for the anchorites of St. Sabba is characteristic enough :
Signor mio! since you have brought me to the monastery of St. Sabba, inhabited by seventeen schismatic Greeks, devoted to penitence and the severest austerities, one thought saddens and oppresses my heart—and that is, that such maceration and so great sacrifices should be all lost to these unhappy schismatics, for, notwithstanding all, it is impossible that they should get to heaven!'
Ascalon and Gaza threw back M. Poujoulat among his more stirring associations with the knights of the Crusades, but he sometimes reverts to modern times. The following anecdote of Buonaparte is new to us, and does credit to his heart. M. Poujoulat was hospitably received by the Arab sheik of Ibna :
• This sheik,' says the traveller, ‘related to me that Buonaparte, on his march from Gaza to Joppa, ordered the sheik of the village to furnish a hundred head of cattle, a hundred loads of corn, and a hundred measures of meal. The sheik, compelled to obey, humbly delivered what the French general demanded. Already the knife was lifted