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out of his car in 1700, while he has been driving on the rest of the world like Jehu. Without the least scruple, they use those rank provincialisms, which would make the most legitimate Yankee tongue of other parts, feel "considerably streaked." Droneville people are opposed to all your modern refinements in education. “We are satisfied with the language of our fathers, without bringing it to the test of any of your grammar rules." As a necessary consequence, the king's English is murdered by them without the least mercy. Double comparatives and superlatives dance through their conversation in an intricate maze of the sublimest obscurity. To Droneville people I was indebted for my pure, classical dialect, which was so extremely pleasing that I never addressed a polite speech to a young lady, without making her giggle in spite of her most vigorous efforts. "Hisen" and "hern," "yourn" and "theirn," and such phrases, might be expected as a matter of course; but Droneville people are no common Yankees; they have words and expressions which are perfectly unique. "Chirk" is a favorite of theirs. If you enquire respecting some invalid who is convalescing, the answer is, "he is more chirk." A young Miss of Droneville, (for whom, by the way, I always had a sneaking partiality,) once replied to a question as to her mother's health-an old bedridden dame of eighty, "Why, she is not very chirk, but more chirker than she has been; all our folks appear more chirker than they really feel, in order to chirk her up." "Comper" is another of their expressions. Any fracas or tumult, like the Calethump of Christmas eve memory, would be styled by them a "comper." Their language is certainly original:

"Mrs. Doublechin, what is the matter with your good man?" "I don't hardly know, 'Squire, he seems to be kinder fevery and kinder aguery.”

Droneville people are profound philosophers. You will not find them chattering incessantly upon every topic under the sun; their ideas are connected by none of your "obvious relations;" they are slow, but sure thinkers, and when they do speak, you may expect to hear something. Catch Droneville people doing any thing in a rash, hasty manner? catch a weasel asleep. They are equally considerate in their mental and physical operations. If a man begins to build a house, without reflecting upon it for some twenty years, Droneville people shake their heads in a very significant manner, muttering something about not "counting the cost." A house is commenced by one generation, allowed to "season" through another, and completed by the third. Droneville people are not composed of any of your inflammable materials; you will not find them acting under the influence of "excitement" or "passion." They like to "take things coolly"-to think deliberately.

Deacon Snuffle was informed that widow Switchtail had been recently converted, and hastened to converse with her. "How long is it, Mrs. Switchtail," said he, "since you first began to see the error of your ways?"


Why, Deacon, it is as long ago as what we old folks call the hard winter." Deacon Snuffle made his exit with all imaginable speed, exclaiming, "your religion, widow, is something like an old clock, in considerable need of being wound up."

A minister was "settled" among Droneville people, several years since, who is about as ardent as they are phlegmatic, suggesting the image of a spirited young steed, yoked to a contemplative ox. He exhorts, preaches, frets, drives his flesh off in attempting to "rouse them up" but they take it "just as easy" as conceivable. What can be more tantalizing! He appoints meetings upon week days, but Droneville people are not so fond of meetings upon week days; it savors too much of driving people into religion. The parson consoles himself with the thought that they will come to church upon the Sabbath, and prepares for them a warm reception. And they do come upon the Sabbath, and sleep, yea, snore as loud as if they were in their beds. Miss Catnip, a snappish old maid, once complained that "Deacon Snuffle's wife snored so loud that she couldn't get the least bit of rest. My Aunt Tabitha is never absent from church. She has so constantly seated herself upon the same bench, that she has fairly impressed her own proportions there. She has one invariable reply to the parson's oft repeated exhortations, "young people may die, old people must die.'



The parson wishes to do great things for all the benevolent operations of the day, but what do Droneville people know about benevolent operations? Instruct them? "Droneville people ar'nt to be instructed; they know a thing or two." Besides, Droneville people are half inclined to think that "charity begins at home." Turn them? You may turn a mule, when he has once placed his foot down," with a mule's determination, but there is no turning them. They are as obstinate and headstrong as doctors of theology; coaxing and cuffs are equally unavailing.


There is nothing which Droneville people resist so much as innovation. An attempt to change old customs, or to drive them from the well trodden path of their ancestors, will raise such a cackling among long-winded gossippers and slippery tongued spinsters, as would drive Beelzebub himself from the roost. Mr. Long Metrea member of that fraternity who wander about teaching one half of the people how they can best squeal off the ears of the other half -attempted to reform Droneville choir. This Radical broached the theory, that it was impossible for the young ladies to sing melodiously while they wore their bonnets, since the sweet nightingales were prevented from hearing their neighbors' voices. The singing master, having been joined by a few of the young bucks-bold fellows these venturing sometimes to give the 'gals' a sneaking glance or a sly wink, made a movement to carry the reform into operation. What pen can describe the "comper" which this excited! It was too much for the equanimity of the gentlemen of the old school. It was like touching a torch to their beards. Oh Droneville! who

would have thought, that the flames of party animosity could ever have been kindled in thy peaceful streets? yet such was the fact. Every man, woman, and child, was ranged under the banner of the bonnets, or the anti-bonnets. The bonnets claimed, "that the measure of their opponents was an unheard-of innovation, exposing the health of the little dears,' encouraging extravagance in dress, endangering the morals of the young men, in short, that it was wholly unrighteous, unscriptural and indelicate, for St. Paul expressly declares that every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered, dishonoreth her head."" I noticed that this doctrine was warmly espoused by all the red haired young ladies, and desperate spinsters. The anti-bonnets, headed by the singing master, supported by the aforementioned bucks, and all the most buxom of the village girls, unable to withstand the cogent arguments of their adversaries, dispatched a delegation to secure upon their side, the influence of the parson. The good man stood aghast! What could he do? To commit himself upon either side, would be his ruin to stand neutral, was impossible. Mr. Soporific Heth-the village tailor-a most vigorous performer upon a cracked clarionet, was chosen ambassador. Mr. Heth was a lean, long sided piece of anatomy, with an elongated phiz, nose like a fish hook, and lips blown to a point by his constant musical exertions. In order to add dignity to the delegation, Mr. Wonderful Gruff whose magic powers wooed harmony from an antiquated base viol-accompanied Mr. Heth. Mr. Gruff was the wisest man in Droneville. To be sure, he never spoke a word to reveal his wisdom, but then he looked tremendous wise, and a nod or a grunt from Mr. Gruff, had more influence in the village councils, than a speech of an hour's length from most men. Mr. Gruff was a perfect personification of conceited obstinacy. His short stubborn neck and mulish character, evinced a perfect harmony of parts, and unity of design. Such were the animals which presented themselves in the parson's study. Mr. Heth, of course, was the orator-and such a one! He was none of your concise speakers, who tell all they have to say in the fewest words possible, but an eloquent, long-winded orator, able to talk a vast while without saying any thing. Mr. Heth was very fond of onions-the parson, however, had rather an aversion to these delicacies. Mr. Heth was, moreover, afflicted with deafness, and for the double purpose of increasing the effect of his own masterly powers, and hearing his auditor's replies, he drew a chair near his victim, and for about half an hour, blew an irresistible torrent of eloquence into the parson's nose. Unable to resist such honied words, accompanied by a voice which rivaled the most cracked notes of Mr. Heth's own clarionet, and seconded by the momentous nods and grunts of Mr. Gruff, the parson declared himself a convert to the principles of the anti-bonnets. This was the signal of triumph to their party-their opponents were crushed, and the bonnets were banished from the choir. After several weeks spent

in preparation, the eventful Sabbath finally arrived, when the élite of Droneville maidens, were to appear in 'unbonneted' beauty. Never had there been such an excitement in Droneville. The choir, and their appearance, were discussed in all places. It was regularly “served up," at every tea table in the village. "What are Droneville people coming to," exclaimed the old ladies; "things are changed since we were lads," responded the veterans. "If I hadn't any more hair than Polly Snipe, you wouldn't catch me singing with my bonnet off," said Miss Catnip. The day arrived; it was a cool bracing morning in January; but never," within the memory of the oldest inhabitants," had Droneville church been so crowded. While the parson was imploring God's blessing, the bucks were ogling and whispering, the singers were turning over the leaves of their books, an occasional note escaped from the nose of Mr. Long Metre, Mr. Gruff was tuning his base viol, Mr. Heth was caulking his clarionet. The hymn is at length "given out,"-all eyes are turned to the gallery, every mouth is opened in wondering expectation,-the blind wipe their spectacles, the deaf seize their trumpets, the eyes of the young bucks flashed with pleasure, those of the spinsters looked "unutterable things." The choir arise, and while they stand like impatient coursers, with parted lips, awaiting the signal from Mr. Long Metre, let me attempt to describe the vision of paradise which burst upon my enraptured sight. It was a scene worthy the graphic pencil of Hogarth. There stood the assembled beauty of Droneville, with cheeks and noses kindled into a glow by the fresh air of a January morning. The gallery rose, seat over seat, presenting to the beholder an inclined plane of all that is beautiful in a red and blue phiz, studded with love-darting eyes, and partycolored heads, which might rival the coat of the patriarch. There they stand-long hinnies and short hinnies, sylph-like hinnies and porpoise-like hinnies, in regular confusion, with pates arrayed in every variety of fantastical gear ever invented by womankind. Some were adorned with flowers, others with feathers; some, having strained their hair so tight from their foreheads that they could not wink, had twisted it into a pig's-tail upon the top of their craniums; a few, of more classic taste, bad parted their locks from their brows, a la Madonna; others suffered them to float in unbraided beauty, a la witch of Endor; and one roguish little urchin was evidently arrayed in her grandmother's cap. Thus they stand-the "pitch” is given, and away burst Droneville choir with impetuous fury-the power of every voice and every instrument is strained to its utmost capacity-Mr. Long Metre managed to scream the loudest-Mr. Soporific Heth blew his clarionet into several pieces—Mr. Gruff sawed his base violin two.'

Such was the performance of Droneville choir.-The combined power of all that is thrilling in beauty and melody, inflicted a wound upon my sentimental heart from which it has not yet recovered.


"A spirit and judgment equal or superior."-Millon.

A distinctly formed power of judging of literary productions, and of rightly and fully estimating their intrinsic and their comparative merits, is a thing of rare occurrence. Even educated men, whose opinions with respect to other things are of high value, seem not generally to have carried their systematic habits of thought into this province, deferring it almost wholly to professed critics. On the other hand, there is a crowd of slender judges, of some qualities of books, who are yet utterly incapable of appreciating others which are more vital.

It becomes, therefore, an important question to one who would be an independent thinker, how the evil may be remedied in his own case. It may be answered in general, not chiefly by reading liteerary reviews. Much, doubtless, may be learned in this way about many books and their authors; so much indeed, so wide is the field opened, as to divert the mind from seeking an intimate acquaintance with any. Without question, the effect of this kind of reading often, and indeed usually is, to overload the mind with a multitude of opinions which speedily pass from it, leaving it advanced in no respect except in an opinion of its own knowledge. Even where something more than mere entertainment is sought, the result is much the same. We would ask those who are so busy in collecting the opinions of others, how often an attempt is made effectually to reproduce those opinions in their own minds, and to test them by a careful study of the author in hand. The comparatively light manner of hurrying over even the extracts, which critical kindness has pointed out, is a sufficient answer. The very object indeed of resorting to reviews is to avoid tasking the mind. It is indeed vastly easier to take from the review opinions ready made, than to struggle to bring up into the light one's own dim conceptions of excellence or defect, and to summon the mind to make account to itself. But as the result we have an unformed and lifeless acquaintance, with works even of the highest order-an acquaintance consisting, for the most part, of half-remembered, and half-forgotten crude opinions about them. For the mind itself there is a habit of dependence on something without, and not of itself, for the grounds of its opinions-a habit arising, almost necessarily, from being accustomed to submit to the absoluteness and dictatorship of the professed critic.

There is liable to be created also, a habit of dependence for the interest which is felt in literary works generally, novels excepted. It

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