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and buried past to furnish a case analogous to that abnormal one which now obtains in these Southern States? We are imperatively remanded to first principles by the utter absence of "authorities” to refer to for light and direction. We can quote no “decisions " from eminent leaders of past times. We have, in a word, to rely upon the wisdom of the men of to-day; and railing that, the drifting of the South upon the treacherous quicksands of Radicalism, and the swallowing up of her distinctive character as the home of a conservative Chrisiian people, is a foregone conclusion. There is a latent radicalism in the lower sırala of sociely in a chronic condition of receptivity for any and every doctrive that asserts the perfect equality of men regardless of moral or jviellectual culture, and aims directly or indirecily at the overtbrow of all "righis ” claimed as distinctive on the ground of such culture. That these rights are attainable by all who fulfil the conditions necessary for their attainment is not to the point: they are difficult of attainment, are incomprehensible by those who have acquired no title to them; and when the intellectual and ästhetic constituents of culture preponderate over the moral in those who claim them, they are to the masses irritating and repellent.
In a cominuvication intended to be suggestive only of the danger impending and of the duty indicated by the crisis now upon the civilised world, and for causes paient to all presenting features of aggravaied malignity in these Southern States, it is as unnecessary as it would be unpardovably oflicious to point to any specific action. The culiure that can realise the nature and extent of the threatened danger cannot fail justly to estimate the breadth and intensity that must mark any successíul effort to avert it. But there are already existing in the South three institutions so peculiarly fitted to aid in the conservation of Souihery civilisation that it would be a glaring omission were they not to receive special mention here. In the University of the South, The Uviversity Publishing Company, and I must add the Southern Magazine, there now exist three instrumentalities that need only an intelligent appreciation of their merits and a generous support 10 revder them a power of incalculable value for preserving and conärmning Sou:hern conservatism. No one who has read Prosessor's Schaller's paper on the Southern University at Sewanee, in the March number of the Southern Magazine, can fail to estimate the supreme importance of such an institution as a tower of sirength against the radical and licentious spirit of the age. No one who has had any experience of the insidious character of radicalism but has long felt the urgent need of an intellectual provision for Southern youth other than that we have been too long content to supply them from the tainted stock of Northern educational publications. The editor of the Southern Magazine will pardon me in that justice to my subject will not suffer me to pass without laudatory notice the only magazine at the South to which a communication of this nature can be addressed. We speak of the three estates of the British Empire - King, Lords, and Commons; but there is a fourth estate, which English Prime Ministers often find it very necessary to consult, and by the dicta of which to be governed - the Power of Opinion, expressed “without fear and without favor" in the pages of the leading English magazines. Such a power exercising an influence of inconceivable potency for the maintenance of Christian civilisation in the South, would be the Southern Magazine if it received at the hands of the professors of conservative faith in the South that measure of support its own merits and the present crisis demand.
By instrumentalities such as these in particular, and generally by the instrumentality of culture in vital and energetic action, can the threatened conservatism of the South be saved. Look to it, men of culture, that you do not dissever the duties from the "rights” that are yours! Those not less than these must distinctly evidence that there is no flaw in the title by which you claim eminence among your fellow-men. Disregard or negligently perform these duties, and the
rights that you otherwise justly claim will stand in jeopardy of absorption, when popular power demands from you an unhesitating recognition and practical adoption of those theoretic "rights of man" which the might of ignorance is now energising to make supreme on this continent. Liberavi animam meam.
A PINCH OF SNUFF.
little game, Captin ; you are endevrin' to 'suade me to relate an advencher, but I aint much on chin-music. Bersides — not givin' offence to you - that's a durned soft question, anyway—but hard enough to answer. 'In the very middle ov death we ar in life,' sez the copy-book - ef I quote correct. Fact is, my inquirin’ friend, I've crawled through some most 'stonishin'rough an' narrer knot-holes in my day an' generation 'thout leavin' much ov my hide behind — which I mean it figgerative rather 'n anny-tommy-cal — an' have bin in interestin' sitchuations whar 'pearances war so dead agin me 'at a second-hand quid ov new-crap terbaccer'd a-bin a liberal bid for me at aukchin ; and still, as you may perceive — well, I can't say as I feel much the wuss for war. Regardin' my fiszeck, as you call it (meanin' my fizzogamy, I reckon) - I never war considered han'some ; 'taint reddy-terry in our fambly. As to death, though I never had no great hankerin' arter gittin' intimate with the old chap, still thar mout a-bin a bead drawed onto my coon-skin [i. e, his head-gear] more'n oncest
'thout my nolledge. Likewise, I mout a-saved my har oncest by sneezin' jest at the snap ov a cap,— which trivyal circumstance ef í don't believe it ar a fact my name aint Hardy Brunt !”
The place where - a hunter's camp-fire in the depths of the forest on the right bank of Sandy Fork, in Colorado. The time when dark, but not unpleasant night in the month of October, 1864 Present — Mr. Hardy Brunt, and the writer, who shall be nameless.
My companion was considerably above the average type of the class to which he belonged — the Western Plainsmen — trappers, hunters, Indian-fighters, guides,- nomadic nondescripts who have never yet been properly described, and probably will never be, as a class, because of their intense individuality. It may be said of them, however, that they are the bravest, hardiest, most enduring, self-reliant, independent, and altogether manful men that ever stalked the earth since those huge-limbed Germans whom Tacitus so loves to praise. Not like the latter though in anything but strength and length of body and limb, and the courage to use them.
Those had in some sort a civilisation,--home, wives, laws. These have none; they are in very fact a law unto themselves. Wandering often for many months at a time without sight of woman's face, save the squat repulsive features of some Indian squaw; cast adrift from all refining, gentling and humanising influences, excepting the lessons conned by the more intelligent among them from the ever-open pages of God's own book of Nature - their home is the trackless forests and wide-spreading prairies that stretch from the head-waters of the Missouri river to the Staked Plains of Texas. Mighty men of war, too, they would be, were it only possible — which obviously it is not to reduce such bold spirits to the stern requirements of discipline, without neutralising by the very process their distinguishing and essential elements of character. An army of ten thousand such men would be, in the case supposed, all but invincible; and no advancing array of five or six times its numbers could meet it with a chance of victory.
But let us hear how my camp-fire companion "saved his har by sneezin'."
“But that little scrimmage aint skeercely wuth tellin'. That tuck place in the settlements — in fact it war in town, an of course it's not what you fellers calls an 'advencher.'”
He paused, as if expecting some sort of demurrer from me; but I was engaged in lighting my pipe, and besides I had no wish to substitute argument for story-telling, while I well knew that nothing would suit Mr. Brunt better than to while away the hours to the music of his own voice. For, along with their many and manly virtues, these men must be admitted to own some weaknesses, among which may be mentioned whiskey, tobacco, and boasting, - the last being a weakness inherent, seemingly, in true combativeness of character all the world over. As the game-cock crows, so do they : they love to tell — and sometimes exaggerate their own exploits and adventures. But woe betide the wight who mistakes their clamorous self-assertion for empty bragging, and presumes thereon; they are only too ready to "do it agin!
“Though as for the matter ov that," continued my companion,
rising to his feet and shaking his head with such emphasis that his coon-skin cap appeared embued with life and about to spring upon me — "it's my belief, jest jedgin' from what little I seen ov towns — an' that little's more'n I keer ter see agin — an’ it's my opinyun I'm a-givin', a feller's in more danger thar, ev'ry day 'n hour — (egceptin' he keeps better kumpny than's easy found) than ary man that walks these woods with his eye open an' his rifle ready, from Arkansas Big Timbers to the Gate ov the Mountain! The diff'rence is, thar a feller gits inter a trap or somethin' an' gits murdered; but out hyer he kin in gineral hev a far fight — or leastways, ef his stomick aint keen sot that way, he kin run. Durn me ef I aint hed enough ov fightin' in town!”
Somewhat surprised at so sudden an outburst and effluence of superfluous eloquence from my companion, who had hitherto seemed eminently “non-explosive," I proceeded to slide him gently down a “conversational inclined plane," and finally mollified him by repeatedly expressing a most intense and consuming desire to “hear about that sneeze,"-a desire in the intensity of which, I am afraid, the reader will hardly share.
“Well, yes, Captin," he resumed, raising the coon-skin by one of the paws and cogitatively scratchir.g the unkempt“har" before mentioned — “I reely reckon, nigh’s I kin jedge, though my mem'ry ar not good ; leastways not since that sneezin bizness, which you shell hear about it - leavin' out that she-grizzly - durn her skin! —’way up in Montany that war — crawled into my holler 'n' begin to bite at me behind bust her ! — (in Smoky Canyon it war) — an' the time them dirt-eatin' Diggers ketched me 'n' Tom Ferril asleep - it war his turn to watch. Well, yes, that thar sneezin' bizness beat all: that war the wust hand I ever helt. Ef you'd reely keer to hyer 'bout it, shoot me ef I don't tell you how it tuck place. Y'see this incrument?”
“ This incrument" was a beautiful Colt's revolver, navy size, pearl handled and gold-mounted, which he drew from its holster and handed to me for inspection, while he turned to stir the fire. When I had sufficiently admired the splendid weapon - entirely too fine and costly for a life so rough as his, I thought, and so expressed myself
“You are right thar, my friend," replied he, “but you see that weepin ar lawful spiles ov war ; an’ whensomever I thinks ov how cussed nigh a certain chap sence deceased come ter knockin' my chunk out with it, I feels a sorter affectation for the durn thing, an' say to myself, “I'll keep it in me-more-he-am,' ef I quote correct. I went to school wunst. That war ’way down in North Car'lina, when I war a little boy ; but I never lurned much. Don't b'lieve the schoolmaster know'd much.”
Here the trapper paused and gazed steadily at the fire, as if reflecting on the interesting and tender reminiscence connected with the narrow escape of his “chunk.” Either that it was he was thinking about, or else the old school-house in the dim dreamy land of his little boyhood, far away; for I distinctly saw a tear-drop slowly gather and hang trembling in the lid of his left eye for an instant, then fall upon a live coal between his feet with a little spang! that started him from his reverie. He glanced at me sharply and inquiringly, as if to see
whether I had detected his momentary weakness, then commenced to poke the fire so vigorously that the sparks flew upward by myriads and were lost in the murky shadows of the dense foliage overhead. This little incident set me also to thinking, pondering the wondrous mystery of the human soul. The remarkable sneeze was for the time. forgotten ; and for some minutes the silence of the night was unbroken, save by the strident voices of katydids in the surrounding forest, contrasting strangely enough with the cheery crackle of our camp-fire. “Here,” thought I, “is a psychological puzzle : a man whose hands have been reddened, probably, by the blood of dozen homicides; who would as lief shoot an Indian or knife a Greaser as take a chew of tobacco ; loving danger for its own sake, and never shirking desperate strife; with an exterior as savage, fierce and rough as befits his life and calling ; yet he weeps like any woman over a casual reminiscence of his childhood. Verily the springs of human emotion would have seemed, here, to lie far too deep for sounding ; yet we but touch the rugged rock with the wand of memory, and the living waters flow!”
But who was telling this story? Why, Mr. Hardy Brunt, to be sure. He presently resumed the narrative of his “advencher,” still speaking in the slow, almost drawling tone which will be observed as characteristic of men who seldom have occasion to speak at all, save by way of soliloquy. Touching this peculiarity of speech, I may as well disavow here any studied attempt to imitate it ; because, though perhaps tolerable to hear, it is simply abominable to write or read, and rather detracts from, than adds to, any intrinsic interest which the narrative may possess. Where the speaker's own words recur, without effort of memory on my part, I will use them, but will not tax invention to supply deficiencies.
“? Spose you hearn tell ov a feller - Jack Banter by name who war ridin' ov a high hoss, and generally a stolen one, out in these presinks a few years ago? High-Low-Jack, he war called, bekase ov a way he had ov allers holdin' them keards, an' tharby makin' game. With all his ripskallities, nobody couldn't ketch the slickery cuss. D'yur ever hear ov kim ?
Yes, I had both heard and read of High Low Jack as one of the most dangerous, desperate, and successful of the horse-thieves and murderers in Colorado, or in the entire West; for his depredations were not confined to any one State or Territory. In fact, I believed I had seen him once at Baxter Springs, in Missouri; he was under arrest at the time. A slightly-built, graceful fellow, but villainously ugly of countenance, with very black eyes and hair, the latter worn extremely long. He was apparently not more than twenty-five years old, though I was told he was over forty. “But (continued I) he was killed some time last year, wasn't he, in a little mining town near Denver ?”
"In Boulder City,” replied the trapper, sententiously —“I kilt him. That incrument (the revolver] war his'n : you kin see his nishals on the butt. Y'see, he had a grudge agin me for more ’n three year, an' had swore a thunderin' big swar that he'd 'kiver his saddle-tree with my hide an' have a par o'dice fur gamblin' made outen my eye