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Erst a lone grot, with native marks
Of rudeness on it clinging,
Fresh from the soil up-springing. 'T was found by art, who emulous
With nature joined her treasure ;
To deck the abode of pleasure.
Its guardian Naiad standing,
Un antro solitario
Nel tufo apriron l' acque,
Fu rozzo, e rozzo piacquo.
Vi secondò natura;
Vesti le opache mura.
Dalla muscosa conca
He shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Much Ado About Nothing. Mr Editor-My father was blessed with a large property, and, what is much more common in New England, a large family. His estate, when divided at his decease, afforded each of his children a moderate income, sufficient, so long as we remained single, to maintain a decent style of living, but altogether inadequate to the necessities of a wife and children. Most young persons in my situation would have sought to increase their means, with a view to the attainment of these blessings, as well as some others, which are equally incompatible with a short purse. For several months, I did myself meditate upon the best means of effecting this desirable object; but was unable to find any profession or calling, which was without its objections. After some ineffectual attempts to get myself fairly engaged in some useful pursuit, I came to the conclusion, that I was unfit for any, and determined to settle myself in some retired village, in which my small means would enable me to plod through life with comfort and independence. I accordingly set up my rest in B
where I have resided ever since, doing neither harm nor good, except so far as I have afforded a subject of speculation to my worthy neighbours. Indeed my life and conversation have been, and will probably continue to be, a problem of difficult solution to them. They can neither understand how a man can be without business of his own, nor how he can avoid meddling with that of others.
At first, when I refused to attend a subscription ball, and declined becoming a candidate for the fire society, they were disposed to set me down as an unsociable fellow. This opinion was relinquished, when it was perceived, that I returned the various calls with which I was favoured, that I appeared well pleased when a neighbour dropped in to sit an hour in the evening, and
was always ready for a little chat in the road. Some of the ladies suspected that I had met with a disappointment in an affair of the heart, till they found out, that I told a good story, and enjoyed a good dinner and a good joke. Others took me for a poet, and Miss Lydia Lovesong actually went the length of requesting a few lines for her album. But it would be tedious to detail all the opinions, which have at various times prevailed respecting my character and motives. My good townsmen have never yet hit upon the truth, that I am a thoroughly lazy fellow, at which I am the less surprised, as it was some time before I discovered it myself. In the mean time, I have gradually risen in the good graces of those around me. I tilt with no man's hobby, and am willing to listen to any inan's story; and as I have rarely any thing to do, which may not as well be left undone, a visit can hardly be unseasonable. My advice is frequently desired by those who have already made up their minds, and as it always confirms their resolutions, it is always agreeable. In short, the bachelor's room has become a favourite evening resort with most of the gentry of our village, and would probably be more frequented than it is, if the practice was as agreeable to the matrons of the community as it is to their husbands. But, from some cause or other, these ladies entertain but a slender opinion of the advantage to be derived from the frequent visits of their spouses to my establishment, which they look upon with about as much favour as they do upon a lodge of freemasons. This aversion does not seem to extend to myself; on the contrary, they are well pleased to see me at their own houses, and occasionally make considerable exertion to drag me out from my retreat. I am, therefore, at some loss to understand the motive of their opposition to their husbands in this matter. But such is the fact, and I pass it by, as one of those bizarreries of the sex, which it is useless for a bachelor to attempt to comprehend.
My most regular visiters at present are the minister, the doctor, the two lawyers, and the cashier of the bank, for we have a bank in the village, of which more hereafter. These gentlemen, with the exception of the younger attorney, have been long resident here, and have gradually come to a sort of tacit convention with their better halves to abstain from my parlour for six evenings in the week, provided they are suffered to assemble there on that of Saturday, without let or molestation by word, deed, or look. Habit has rendered this arrangement so agreeable to all parties, that I am of opinion, that the good ladies would find their husbands as much in the way, should any accident detain them at home on that evening, as if the same thing had happened on a Monday morning; whilst the gentlemen on their part, in such an event, would feel as if the week was turned wrong end foremost.
Among these periodical visiters I mentioned the cashier of our bank, Mr Richard Allbright, or as he is often nicknamed, Dick Moonshine. This gentleman is one of those over-ingenious persons, whose brains are eternally disturbed with some new project, and who spend, in seeking short cuts to an object, double the time necessary to arrive at it by the usual route. He inherited a tolerable estate, but he had so many schemes for becoming opulent, that he became poor, before he could bring any one to perfection. The only one which met with any success, was that of a bank. When Dick first started this project, it was received with ridicule. His neighbours told him it was nonsense ; that as there was little or no trade in the village, there could be little demand for discount, and as little circulation of its notes. Dick, however, argued, that if there was no trade in B
there was enough elsewhere; that whoever was willing to lend money, would always find borrowers, and that as to the circulation of notes, it was easily effected by means of agents, in the larger towns of the state ; and that, though they might now and then be returned upon their hands, they would run some risk of being lost or destroyed on the passage. By dint of perseverance, Dick got his bank, and the office of cashier, with a small salary- for himself-and' bere he was wise enough to stop. Though a schemer, he was not without a portion of mother wit, and he began to be sensible, that he was generally unlucky in his projects. He has, therefore, attended diligently to his business, during those hours of the day which are usually devoted to it, and made up for the stupefaction of his faculties, as he terms it, by indulging at all other times in plans and castles, without number. These, however, are generally of a kind, unlikely to do any harm to himself or any one else, and as he is too much used to ridicule to be annoyed by it, he affords us a good deal of amusement. Of the bank, it is only necessary to observe, that it succeeds as well as was to be expected. Now and then an express arrives, armed with a bundle of bills, and followed at a distance by a wagon, for the purpose of carting off a few kegs of specie. These occasional apparitions, however, serve only to put the directors in a bustle, and keep them awake. In the ordinary course of things, people are too busy to inquire whether the bank is in rerum natura or not.
from hand to hand, till a large portion of them are thumbed to pieces, lost, or burned. The yearly loss to any individual is small, but the sum total is a very handsome item to the credit side of the account of the concern. But, to return to Mr Allbright; last Saturday evening, he came in, full of a new scheme, which was neither more nor less than that we should club our wits to produce an occasional article for your Gazette. This met with as much favour with the rest of the company as Dick’s notions
The bills pass
usually do; but some how or other, it made a deeper impression upon my mind. I could not help thinking of it the next day, and lost a part of the sermon in the afternoon by unconsciously allowing my ideas to wander from the subject in hand, to that of a page of neat type and fair margin. To make a long tale short, I could not rest till I had written this epistle, to inform you, that you may consider me as a subscriber, if you are willing to look for no other remuneration, than an occasional essay; and as I am aware, that readers are always more interested in an article, when they know something of the author, I think you had better print this as a sort of introduction. It being understood, that I shall not be pledged to write any more unless it shall please me. I send a title and motto, which I believe to be as good as if they
THE GRECIAN PARTIZAN.
Our free flag is dancing
In the free mountain air,
And warriors mustering there;
Are they whose bosoms shield it;-
Ere to the foe they yield it.
And brief each solemo greeting ;-
Where those stern men are meeting.
To strike the sudden blow,
The best blood of the foe;
And clear the narrow valley,
And fly before they rally.
And cowards have betrayed her,
The grave of the invader.
Not till from her fetters
We raise up Greece again,
That tyranny is slain,-
Across those darkened faces,
His children's dear embraces.
Till yonder bosts are flying,
THE INDIAN HUNTER.
When the summer harvest was gathered in,
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,