+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

I'll be darned if they won't draw your eye-teeth,
and make you pay for putting them in again. I
wouldn't give an old corn-cob for your chance
among the Yankees. Come down and have some
buffalo shooting with us in Texas; we'll then go
out a good party and have rare fun in the peraries.
I tell you how I and Ichabod mean to fix it: we
shall make straight tracks for Memphis, directly
we get to the Empire City; wall then, at Memphis
we shall buy two strong horses, send on our chest
by waggon, put the traps we want in saddlebags,
and make a bee line for Chapel-hill,
Washington County, Texas."

Memphis was a place I had taken a
dislike too: a not unreasonable one, I think. The
impression I formed from the wharf-keeper
in that city, who was Amos's great friend
at cards, and who was always eulogising
the absent Mississippi City. His sole amusement
at Memphis when wharf-keeping, seemed
to have been shooting at water-rats with a
pistol, or watching dead bodies float down the
vast muddy river. Sometimes he had seen as
many as three or four in a day, and, the day
before he left, two boys in a ' dug-out" had
brought in the body of an Irish sailora steamer
deck hand, that some rough captain had knocked
over and murdered. Some of the bodies were
floating bodies from burnt up, or "bust up"
steamers, but more generally they were deck
hands, employed to load cotton, who had been
stabbed by each other or knocked over in a
fuss by some angry mate. The fact was, Memphis
was a rowdy place, and the fights in the grocery
stores were " a caution to Crockett." It was a
lively place, but not one to be out in after
dark, for the boys were apt to be rough with
strangers. The best plan, the wharf-keeper
assured me, in a scramble fight with a Memphis
rowdy, was, directly he called you names, to fire
at him out of your coat-pocket, or he was sure
to be too many for you; as for fair play it was
foolish talking; the great thing in "a fuss,"
was to get first blow; that was half the battle.

"Lord gracious!" said Amos, "you seem
kinder skeared about our six-shooters. Why, I'd
rather be pistolled than cut, ten times over!
Lord! I've seen such times at San Antonio as
would make your hair curl; and that between
men who were thick as geese before the cards
and the whisky came out."

Here Amos broke off by a snatch of song, and
asked me if I saw that tall lean man there, among
the emigrants on the poop.

I said, "Yes."

"Wall, he is a hard stone cutter from Richmond
City, and 'one of the best players at Don
Pedro in all the ship."

But before I leave Amos and his Texan
experiences, I must give one of his most curious
songs; one to which I attach value; a curious
example of the gradual corruption of ballads
when orally handed down; and also a curious
exemplification of the tone of feeling with
which Napoleon, in his. later days, must have
been regarded by the French West Indians,
to one of whom we may fairly, I think, attribute
the authorship of the following strange
poem.  I should mention that the  tune to
which it is sung is exceedingly good, and very
tender and mournful in its cadence. The
corruptions of the text (which I took down from
Amos's lips) I have carefully preserved, from
their oddity and curiosity. I do not think the
song is in print:


Bonaparte's returned from the wars of all fighting,
He has gone to a place which he'll never take
    delight in;
He may sit there and tell of the scenes that he has
    seen, 0,
With his heart so full of woe, on the Isle of Saint

Louisa she mourns for her husband who's departed,
She dreams when she sleeps, and she wakes broken-
Not a friend to console her, even though he might
    be with her,
But she mourns when she thinks of the Isle of Saint

No more in Saint Cloud shall he walk in such splendour,
Or go on in crowds like the great Sir Alexander.
The young King of Eome and the Prince of Guiana
Says he'll bring his father home from the Isle of
    Saint Helena.


All ye who have wealth, pray beware of ambition,
Or some decree of Fate may soon change your condition.
Be ye steadfast and true, for what's to come ye can
    tell ne'er;
Perhaps ye may end your days on the Isle of Saint

The rude rushing waves all round the shore are
The great billows heave against the wild rocks
He may look to the moon, of the great Mount
But his eyes are on the waves that surround Saint

I parted from Amos and Ichabod at a certain
hotel in New York: a third-rate, free-and-easy,
slovenly house, frequented chiefly by Californian
diggers: into which I had the misfortune, for
two days only, to stumble. I left them with
warm shakes of the hands, and I left Amos

    " O for the ride on the prairie wide,
    With the gallant Ranger band;
    Or the camp-fire's light, with its flicker bright,
    On the banks of the Rio Grande!"


WE may admit that education is as necessary
to a child as food, and that if the parent cannot
feed the mind of a child, the State must in some
way protect it against absolute starvation; must
supply it with the first necessaries of rational
life. Upon that admission the whole theory of
aid, by the State, to national education must

But when are we to assume the parents'