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257.--THE QUARREL OF SQUIRE BULL AND HIS SON.
PAULDING. (JAMES KIRKE PAULDING, a living American writer of celebrity, was born in 1779. In 1806 he joined with Washington Irving in the production of a periodical work entitled “Salmagundi;' and he has written several novels. • The History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan,' from which the following is an extract, was published in 1816. Mr. Paulding was a member of the Government of the United States during Van Buren's presidency.]
John Bull was a choleric old fellow, who held a good manor in the midde of a great mill-pond, and which, by reason of its being quite surrounded by water, was generally called "Bullock Island. Bull was an ingenious man, an exceedingly good blacksmith, a dexterous cutler, and a notable weaver and pot-baker besides. He also brewed capital portor, ale, and small beer, and was in fact a sort of jack of all trades, and good at each. In addition to these he was a hearty fellow, an excellent bottle-companion, and passably honest as times go.
But what tarnished all these qualities was a quarrelsome over-bearing disposition, which was always getting him into some scrape or other. The truth is, he never heard of a quarrel going on among his neighbours, but his fingers itched to be in the thickest of them; so that he hardly ever was seen without a broken head, a black eye, or a bloody nose. Such was Squire Bull, as he was commonly called by the country people his neighbours-one of those odd, testy, grumbling, boasting old codgers, that never get credit for what they are, because they are always pretending to be what they are not.
The squire was as tight a hand to deal with in-doors as out; sometimes treating his family as if they were not the same flesh and blood, when they happened to differ with him in certain matters. One day he got into a dispute with his youngest son Jonathan, who was familiarly called Brother Jonathan, about whether churches ought to be called churches or meeting-houses; and whether steeples were not an abomination. The squire either having the worst of the argument, or being naturally impatient of contradiction, (I can't tell which,) fell into a great passion, and swore he would physic such notions out of the boy's noddle. So he went to some of his doctors and got them to draw up a prescription, made up of thirty-nine different articles, many of them bitter enough to some palates. This he tried to make Jonathan swallow ; and finding he made villainous wry faces, and would not do it, fell upon him and beat him like fury. After this, he made the house so disagreeable to him, that Jonathan, though as hard as a pine knot and as tough as leather, could bear it no longer. Taking his gun and his axe, he put himself in a boat and paddled over the mill-pond to some new land to which the squire pretended some sort of claim, intending to settle there, and build a meeting-house without a steeple as soon as he grew rich enough.
When he got over, Jonathan found that the land was quite in a state of nature, covered with wood, and inhabited by nobody but wild boasts. But, being a lad of mettle, he took his axe on one shoulder, and his gun on the other, marched into the thickest of the wood, and, clearing a place, built a log hut. Pursuing his labours, and handling his axe like a notable woodman, he in a few years cleared the land, which he laid out into thirteen good farms; and building himself a fine farmhouse, about half finished, began to be quite snug and comfortable.
But Squire Bull, who was getting old and stingy, and, besides, was in great want of money on account of his having lately to pay swinging damages for assaulting his neighbours and breaking their heads—the squire, I say, finding Jonathan was getting well to do in the world, began to be very much troubled about his welfare ; so he demanded that Jonathan should pay him a good rent for the land which he had
cleared and made good for something. He trumped up I know not what claim against him, and under different pretences managed to pocket all Jonathan's honest gains. In fact, the poor lad had not a shilling left for holyday occasions; and, had it not been for the tilial respect he felt for the old man, he would certainly have refused to submit to such impositions.
But for all this, in a little time, Jonathan grew up to be very large of his age, and became a tall, stout, double-jointed, broad-footed cub of a fellow, awkward in his gait and simple in his appearance; but showing a lively shrewd look, and having the promise of great strength when he should get his full growth. He was rather an odd-looking chap, in truth, and had many qucer ways; but every body that had scen John Bull saw a great likeness between them, and swore he was John's own boy, and a true chip of the old block. Like the old squire, he was apt to be blustering and saucy, but in the main was a peaceable sort of careless fellow, that would quarrel with nobody if you would only let him alone. He used to dress in home-spun trowsers with a huge bagging seat which seemed to have nothing in it. This made people to say hc had no bottom; but whoever said so lied, as they found to thcir cost whenever they put Jonathan in a passion. He always wore a linseywolsey coat that did not above half cover his breech, and the sleeves of which were so short that his hand and wrist came out beyond them, looking like a shoulder of mutton, all which was in consequence of his growing so fast that he outgrew his clothes.
While Jonathan was outgrowing his strength in this way, Bull kept on picking his pockets of every penny he could scrape together; till at last one day when the squire was even more than usually pressing in his demands, which he accompanied with threats, Jonathan started up in a furious passion, and threw the tea kettle at the old man's head. The choleric Bull was hereupon exceedingly enraged, and, after calling the poor lad an undutiful, ungrateful, rebellious rascal, seized him by the collar, and forthwith a furious scuffle ensued. This lasted a long time; for the squire, though in years, was a capital boxer, and of most excellont bottom. At last, however, Jonathan got him under, and before he would let him up made him sign a paper giving up all claim to the farms, and acknowledging the fee-simple to be in Jonathan for ever.
258.-THE PROGRESS OF DISCONTENT.
[WRITTEN AT OXFORD IN 1746.]
When now mature in classic knowledge,
Has Horace all by heart-you'd wonder-
Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated,
When nine full tedious winters past, That utmost wish is crown'd at last : But the rich prize no sooner got, Again he quarrels with his lot ; “ Theso fellowships are pretty things, We live indeed like petty kings ; But who can bear to waste his whole age Amid the dulness of a college, Debarr'd the common joys of life, And that prime bliss—a loving wife! O! what's a table richly spread Without a woman at its head ? Would some snug benefice but fall, Ye feasts, ye dinners! farewell all ! To offices I'd bid adieu, Of Dean, Vice Pres.—of Bursar too; Come joys, that rural quiet yields, Come tithes, and house, and fruitful fields !"
Too fond of freedom and of ease A patron's vanity to please, Long time he watches, and by stealth, Each frail incumbent's doubtful health ; At length—and in his fortieth year, A living drops-two hundred clear ! With breast elate beyond expression, He hurries down to take possession, With rapture views the sweet retreatWhat a convenient house! how neat! For fuel here's sufficient wood: Pray God the cellars may be good! The garden--that must be new plann'd Shall these old-fashion'd yew-trees stand ? O’er yonder vacant plot shall rise The flow'ry shrub of thousand dyes:Yon wall, that feels the southern ray, Shall blush with ruddy fruitage gay: While thick beneath its aspect warm O’er well-rang'd hives the bees shall swarī,
Tron which, ere long, of golden gleam,
Continuing this fantastic farce on,
Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel,
But ah ! too soon his thoughtless breast