Egressum magnâ me excepit Aricia Româ
Hospitio modico; rhetor comes Heliodorus, ETC.
HOR. SAT. Lib. 1. Sat. 5.





THE following poem was found amongst the papers of my lately departed and very valuable friend, Robert Slender. Some short time previous to his last illness he one day called me to his bed-side, and among other serious and edifying discourse, ob­served to me that he had ever been so entirely convinced of the vanity and folly of authorship, that he had hitherto published little or nothing of his numerous writings himself, but begged that if any of his intimate friends should discover any thing a­mongst them after his decease, which should be, in their opinion, at all worthy of the public notice, they would not fail to commu­nicate it in due time and season.

I answered, that I, for my own part, should be ever ready on all occasions to do every thing that lay in my power to oblige an old friend, and do honour to his memory; but at the same time wished to know why the fate of his works was so particularly im­pressed on his imagination at this time?

He then sighed heavily, and soon after intimated to me, that he was well aware of the malice of critics, the ignorance of the generality of readers, and the small degree of attention the world pays to any production whatever, that is not at least two thou­sand years old, and imported upwards of one thousand leagues: "This, however, (continued he) ought to be matter of small concern to men in my situation, be they weavers or authors; I find the lamp of life is burning low within me, the flame will soon be in the socket, and then farewell to you, Robert Slender!"

[Page iv] Being much at a loss how to account for, or in what sense to understand this odd speech, I only took occasion to observe by way of reply, that, provided he had lived well, and attended faith fully to the duties of his loom, it was a matter of little, very little consequence whether he departed this life at the age of forty or at eighty-five; and that the world would never think the worse of him for having lived to be only "once a man, and not twice a child."

"That I am well convinced of (replied he), but there is one weakness, or rather a delicacy of mind, of which I fear I shall not be able wholly to divest myself in this transitory life, and that is, too great an anxiety for the future fate of that bundle of writings, which are at present locked up in my strong box: I am inclined to hope they will be looked upon in after times not as the rags of a beggar, but rather as the remnants of a prince: as to death, I consider it to be as natural to mankind as sleep; man is no more than a shadow of the great world of nature, which like him must, after the accomplishment of very many ages, be also buried in a lasting state of unconscious repose."

A few days after, he became delirious, and I saw him no more, till he had departed hence to mingle with the celebrated weavers of antiquity. He had been several times heard to say, that the perfecting of the following little piece cost him full eight months severe labour; and though he could not be persuaded to print it himself, several manuscript copies were nevertheless hand­ed about among his friends, during his life time; which, it was said, afforded them considerable entertainment as well as edifica­tion. But, unhappily, this indulgence was not without its evil consequences; inasmuch as a number of various readings occur in the several manuscripts, occasioned, no doubt, by the ignorance of copyists; but the reader will, in this edition, find these care­fully corrected throughout, from a copy preserved in the author's [Page v] journals on the left hand page, compared with several other earlier manuscripts of the same work in the hands of his friends.

It may well be supposed that the comparing of the various copies (some of them no better than execrable scrawls) has proved a painful and laborious task; and indeed I was at first almost ready to faint at the prospect; but when I considered the delectable amusement a printed account of this interesting Journey would be likely to afford to all good humoured travellers, I was encouraged to persevere, and have at length been enabled (thro' mercy) to accomplish that which has been in long and anxious expectation.—Vale, et fruere nostris laboribus;

Thine, in all good fellowship, ADAM BUCKSKIN.

Of the Nature of the Poem.

THIS performance is not exactly of the epic kind of poetry, like the Conquest of Canaan, by Timothy Dwight, nor of the didactic, like the poem of Lucretius on the Nature of the Gods; nor yet of the lyric, like the odes and epodes of Horace; but it is merely a simple account of what really befel the author, Robert Slender (late stocking weaver) and some of his compa­nions on a Journey from Philadelphia to New York, in the seven­teen hundred and eighty-third year of the Christian era. The story is, for the most part, light and comic, but it was very near having been deeply tragical, and the cause of many tears. This poem contains as few impertinencies as possible, and of conse­quence not many episodes.—Would to heaven, gentle reader, all other travellers were as scrupulous of truth in the printed and written accounts of their peregrinations as this ingenious weaver has been in his narrative, which is now recommended to thy no­tice, by him who, on all occasions, wisheth ever to be at thy service.


N. B. The author's original Journal is dated, November—1783.

[Page vi]

Of the Originality of the Poem.

ALTHOUGH Horace once made a Journey from Rome to Brundusium in company with Virgil and Mecenas, in order to assist in compromising some differences between Augustus and Antony, yet as our good friend, Robert Slender, travelled with no such companions, and was concern'd in no such great affairs; so neither has he imitated a line of that satire, or Journey, from whence our Latin motto, in the title page, is taken. Such as this poem is, reader, enjoy it. Perhaps we shall give thee more of the same kind in due season; for lo, this is but a small part of the works of Robert Slender: and it is even said there existeth somewhere a humorous and laughable narrative of his Return from York to Philadelphia, by way of Princeton. But this we have not yet been so happy as to discover.

Thine, evermore, ADAM BUCKSKIN.

Of the Persons, or Characters, of the Poem.

AS to the characters, the author seems to have taken them as he found them, and represented them such as they really were in rerum natura; not creating imaginary excellent per­sonages merely to please squeamish stomachs.

A. B.


a Philadelphia taylor.
his apprentice.
Captain O'KEEFE
an Officer in the army.
Monsieur TOUPPEE
a French barber.
an American seaman in the British service.
a Rhode Island lawyer.
a Poet and Ballad-singer.
stocking weaver.
Snip's wife.
a young Milliner.

CANTO I. Characters of the TRAVELLERS.

TORMENTED with critics, and pester'd with care,
This life, I protest, is a tedious affair;
And, since I have got a few shillings to spare,
I'll e'en take a jaunt, for the sake of fresh air.
SINCE the day I return'd to this vagabond shore
Where George and his cronies are masters no more,
And others are plac'd at the helm of affairs,
Relieving the weight of his majesty's cares;
Through many long years, it has still been my doom
To sit like a Mopus, confin'd to my loom,*
Whose damnable clatter so addles my brain,
That, say what they will, I am forc'd to complain.
OUR citizens think, when they sit themselves down
In the gardens that grow in the skirts of the town,
They think they have got in some rural retreat
Where the nymphs of the groves, and the singing birds meet,
When only a fence shuts them out from the street;
With the smoke of the city be-weeping their eyes
They sit in their boxes, and look very wise,
Take a sip of bad punch, or a glass of sour wine;
Conceiting their pleasures are equal to mine,
Who rove where I will, and wherever I roam,
In spite of new faces am always at home.
[Page 8]
POOR Richard, the reel-man, had nothing to say;
He knew very well I would have my own way;—
When I said, "My dear Richard, I'm sick of the town,
" And Dutchmen that worry me, upstairs and down,
" A book of bad debts, and a score of bad smells,
" The yelping of dogs, and the chiming of bells;
" I am sick of the house, and the sight of small beer,
" And the loom may be going, tho' I am not here;
" I therefore shall leave you, and that, to be plain,
" 'Till I feel in a humour to see you again."—
Poor Richard said nothing to all that I spoke,
But kindled his pipe, and redoubled his smoke.
YET it would have been nothing but friendship in him
To have said,—"Robert Slender, 'tis only a whim—:
A trip to the Schuylkill, that nothing would cost,
Might answer your ends, and no time would be lost;
But if you are thinking to make a long stay,
Consider, good Robert, what people will say:
" His rent running on, and his loom standing still—
" The man will be ruin'd!—he must, if he will—!
" If tradesmen will always be flaunting about,
" They may live to repent it—before the year's out!""
AS I never could relish to travel alone,
I look'd round about, but could hit upon none
Whom Satan was tempting to leave their own houses
And travel to York with their daughters and spouses;
At last, by repeating my trouble and care,
And preaching, a month, on the sweets of fresh air,
I got a small party to join in the trip;
And the first I shall mention was honest WILL. SNIP,
A taylor by trade (and a dabster was he
To make a silk knee-band set snug to the knee)
With his wife (and he says I may mention her name)
SUSANNA SNIPINDA; so charming a dame,
[Page 9] The sun had with pleasure look'd down on her head,
So freckled was she, and her tresses so red.
TO wait on the will of so handsome a lady
A youngster was order'd to hold himself ready,
A sly looking lad that was 'prentice to Snip,
And long had been learning to cabbage and clip;—
When Snip was in sight, he was mild as a lamb;
When absent, the devil could hardly rule SAM.
THE next I describe is one Captain O'KEEFE,
A killer of men, and a lover of beef:
To the sound of a fife and the tune of no song
With his Andra Ferrara * he paddled along:
From his manners so rough, and his dealing in ruin,
The ladies would often miscall him Sir Bruin;
He was, among women, a man of great parts
And often had travell'd the road to their hearts:
He had a sweet creature put under his care,
And he was so gallant, and she was so fair,
A Milliner's girl, with a bundle of lace,
Whom CYNTHIA he call'd, from the shape of her face;—
At a ball or a frolic how glib his tongue ran,
He was, I may say, an unparallell'd man,
Very apt to harangue on the hosts he has slain
Of people—most surely created invain—;
Yet so kind to the sex of the feminine make
By his words he would venture to die for their sake,
Whence some have suspected that some he ador'd
Have more than made up for the wastes of his sword.
THE third in succession was Monsieur TOUPPEE,
A barber from Paris, of noble degree,
(For oft when he takes up his razor, to strap it,
[Page 10] He tells his descent from the line of Hugh Capet *)
This barber, tho' willing for pleasure to stray,
Yet had some pomatum to sell by the way,
Perfumes, and fine powders, and essence of roses,
And liquids in vials, to cheer up our noses,
Some printed receipts, and some choice eau-de-vie
And such was the cargo of Monsieur Touppee.
A SINGER of ballads was next in our train,
Who long had been dealing in ballads invain:
He sometimes would sing in a musical tone,
And sometimes would scribble a song of his own:
Yet never was seen with his brethren to mix—
And laugh'd at your poets in coaches and six;
Who sing, like the birds, when the weather is fine;
Whose verses the ladies pronounce "so divine;"
Who ride with Augustus, wherever he goes,
And, meeting old Homer, would turn up the nose—
As to those, like himself, that were held to the ground,
He knew it was folly to feed them with sound—
He knew it was nonsense, to crown them with bays,
And was too much their friend—to insult them with praise.
FOR a dozen long years he had liv'd by the mob;
On the word of a weaver I pitied poor BOB!
The Babes in the wood was his favourite song,
Or Barbara Allan, or Johnny Armstrong;
Yet so bad was his luck, or so poor was the trade,
And the Muses, he thought, were so sneakingly paid,
That if times didn't alter, and that very soon,
He said, and he swore, he must sing his last tune.
SOME devil had put it, somehow, in his head
If he travell'd through Jersey his fortune was made:
[Page 11] Some devil had told him (but whether in dreams
Or waking, I know not) some devil, it seems,
Had made him believe that the nymphs and the swains
Were fairly at war with their old-fashion'd strains,
That the tunes which the kirk or the curates had made
(And which always had ruin'd the balladman's trade)
Were wholly disus'd, and that now was the time
For singers of catches and dealers in rhyme
To step from their stalls, where they long were disgrac'd,
Reform the old music, and fix a new taste.
A MATE of a schooner, bespatter'd with tar,
Who had lately come in from Savanna-le-Mar *,
Was the next I prevail'd on to step from his deck
And venture a jaunt, at the risque of his neck,
His name, I remember (unless I mistake)
Was BILLY O'BLUSTER, and much of a rake;
His life was sustain'd by the virtues of GROG,
And many long miles he had sail'd by the log.—
Of battles and storms he had known a full share,
And his face, it was plain, was the worse for the wear;
To see a mean fellow, lord, how it would fret him;
And he hated a puppy, wherever he met him—
He was ready to bleed for the good of each STATE,
But since they had left the poor seamen to fate;
Themselves in the suds, and their fair ones in tears,
And many brave fellows detain'd in Algiers—!
Had spirit sufficient to make themselves free,
But not to be equal with Britain at sea!—
As this was the case—he must give us the bag,
Adhere to Old England, and sail with her flag.
AT cursing and swearing he play'd a good hand,
But never was easy a minute on land;
[Page 12] If the wind was ahead, or his Kitty untrue,
Why, patience was all the relief that he knew—:
In the midst of misfortune he still was serene,
And Kitty, he said, was a feeble machine:
His heart was too hard for a lady to sigh,
Yet I guess'd him a rogue by the leer in his eye;
The world, he would say, is a whimsical dance,—
And reason had taught him to leave it to chance;
In chase of dame Fortune his prime he had pass'd,
And now was beginning to fail very fast,
But thought it was folly his heart to perplex,
As Fortune was just like the rest of her sex;—
And tho' he was always astern in the chase,
He smooth'd up his whiskers, and wore a bold face.
ON horseback he first had attempted to go,
But the horse was no fool, and had lent him a throw;
He fell in a pond, and with not a dry rag on
The horse brought him back to the sign of the waggon,
Where three times he call'd for a dram of their best,
And three times the virtues of brandy confess'd;
Then took some tobacco, and soberly said,
" De'il take such a vessel, she's all by the head,
" Broach'd to on a sudden, and then, d' ye see,
" Myself and the saddle went over the lee."
HIS head was so full of his ragged command
He could scarcely believe he was yet on dry land:
He would rise in his sleep; call the watch up at four,
Ask the man at the helm how Lewes-town bore;
Then, rubbing his eyes, bawl out, "By my soul,
" We are bearing right down on the Brandywine * shoal;
" The devil may trust to such pilots as you:
" We are close on Joe Flogger *—the breakers—halloo!"
[Page 13]
THE sixth, and the last, that attended our Journey,
Was a man of the law, a Rhode-Island attorney,
As cunning as Satan to argue or plead,
To break an entailment, or cancel a deed:
They call'd him EZEKIEL—I cannot tell what—
Perhaps I forget it—perhaps I do not—
He had once been a parson, and studied at Yale,*
But took to the law, when his preaching grew stale;
In his system of thinking, not well understood,
I wander'd about, like a man in a wood;
For he wickedly thought that religion and law
Were meant for the vulgar, to keep them in awe,
And often asserted, and prov'd it beside,
That pleading and preaching were nearly allied,
That the church and the bar, like a man and a maid,
Might, just when they pleas'd, lend each other their aid;
And brought some examples—take one, if you please;
"If they let me sell butter, why may'nt I sell cheese?"

CANTO II. The Chapter of DEBATES.

HAVING pitch'd on our party, the first thing, of course,
Was how we should travel, by water or horse?
" For my part, said Snip, I was always afraid
" Of sailors, and ships, and the shallopman's trade,
" And the reason thereof I will candidly tell,
" My grandmother, Mopsy, was drown'd in a well,
" I therefore intreat you, and fervently pray
" We may go with the waggons the Burlington way."
[Page 14]
" HOLD, puppy," the sailor reply'd in a fret,
" The devil's not ready to bait for you yet:
" Even this way you know there is water to pass,
" And twenty long miles we should sail with an ass;
" But, gentlemen all, will you take my advice?
" Here is Albertson's * sloop; she's so new and so nice,
" Her bottom so sleek, and her rigging so trim:
" Not Bailey * or Hyde * can be mention'd with him;
" In her cabbin and steerage is plenty of room,
" And how clever she looks with her flying-jib-boom,
" A topsail aloft that will stand by the wind,
" And a yard rigg'd athwart, for a squaresail design'd?
" ODDS fish! I would sooner some little delay
" Than go, like a booby, the fresh-water way,
" Where your cream-colour'd captains ne'er swear a bad word
" And sail without compass or quadrant on board,
" See catfish and sturgeons, but never a whale,
" Nor balance a mizen, to fight with the gale!
" But Albertson goes by the rout of Cape May,
" Dares tempests, and sees the bold porpusses play,
" Where the shore of the coast the proud ocean controuls
" He travels, nor strikes on the Barnegat shoals."
" YOU tar-painted monster! (Snipinda rejoin'd)
" Your jargon has almost disorder'd my mind:
" If Snip should be drownded, and lost in the sea,
" You never once think what a loss it would be!
" I should then be a widow, dejected and sad,
" And where should I find such another sweet lad!
" And Paddy O'Fagen a letter has wrote,
" As how, in three weeks, he will want a new coat."
[Page 15]
SNIP's heart, at her answer, seem'd ready to break:
" Snipinda," said he, "I would live for your sake!
" If I should be drownded, indeed, it is true,
" It would be a bad bargain for Sam and for you!"—
FOR fear they should hear him, Sam whisper'd—In troth
I would give my new hat that the devil had both.
" IF Snip should be drowned," said Captain O'Keefe,
" The widow, I promise, should soon have relief;
" However, for aught that a soldier can see,
" There are dozens as brisk at the needle as he,
" And, tho' it were hard that the sea-fish should tear him,
" I am fully convinc'd that his brethren can spare him:
" BUT were I to mention the very best way,
" And the quickest to boot, (for they go in a day)
" I would sleep over-night at the sign of the Queen, *
" (Where the wine is so good, and the beds are so clean)
" Then starting by day-break, and riding in state,
" Arriving in Bristol, we breakfast at eight,
" Then push on our way with a rapid career,
" With nothing to hinder, and nothing to fear,
" 'Till Trenton, and Princeton, and Brunswick are pass'd,
" And safe on the Hudson they drop us at last."—
WHEN the captain had finish'd, the Frenchman arose,
And, shaking his noddle, cry'd out, Me dispose
To go by the way of the Burlington town,
Where one friseur does live, to whom I am known,
And some lady, that dress up their hair alamode,
At the sign of the crown, by the side of the road!
" HOLD, varlet, be still"—said the Yankee attorney—
" Are you to decide on the rout of our journey?
These run-a-bout fellows, I cannot but hate 'em,
With their rings, and their ruffles, and rolls of pomatum:
[Page 16] But, gentlemen, (if I may venture to speak
In the stile I was wont when I dabbled in Greek,
When I blew on my trumpet, and call'd up my pack,
Who thought I was holy because I was black;
Or, if you permit me to quote, in my way,
Some words that were frequent with parson Dushay)
" We all have in view to arrive at one town,
" Yet each one would find out a way of his own;
" What a pity it is that we cannot agree
" To march all together to heaven!"—said he—
But, since I'm convinc'd that it cannot be so,
(For his journey resembles our journey below)
Like the sects in religion, I heartily pray
That each, as he pleases, may have his own way,
Let Snip, and the Captain, adventure by land,
The sailor by sea—he can reef, steer, and hand:
Let the Frenchman set out in a flashy balloon,
He'll either be there, or be dead, very soon—
For my own part, I'm fond of the Burlington boat,
But still, if you're willing, I'll put it to vote."
THE hint was sufficient—he put it to vote,
And fate bade us go with the Burlington boat.

CANTO III. The PASSAGE to Burlington.

THE morning was fair, and the wind was at west,
The flood coming in, and the ladies were drest;
At the sign of the Billet we all were to meet,
And Snip was the first that appear'd in the street;
He strutted along with a mighty brisk air,
While Sam and Snipinda walk'd slow in the rear.
[Page 17]
DRESS'D, booted, and button'd, and cutting a shine,
The Captain came next, with his loaded carbine,
Then handed on board the Milliner's maid;
The Barber and Ballad-man longer delay'd,
For one had some ballads to sing and to play,
And one had some beards to take off by the way:
At last they arriv'd, and the sailor along,
But he was besotted—his dram had been strong:
The lawyer Ezekiel was last to appear,
And Snip, on the quarter-deck, welcom'd him there.
BUT just as we all were prepar'd to embark,
The wind came ahead, and the weather look'd dark;
So, while they were busy in hoisting the sails,
And trimming close aft, to contend with the gales,
Snip wish'd himself home, with his needle and sheers,
Then whisper'd the sailor, and told him his fears:—
Our seaman advis'd them to take in a reef,
As the vessel was light; but the skipper was deaf:—
" 'Tis not for myself I'm afraid," said the sailor,
" But here's in your care an unfortunate taylor—"
" PEACE, peace, cry'd the skipper, you salt-water gander,
At sea you may talk, but here I'm the commander:
The worst of all puppies are puppies from sea;—
Your top-ropes, and bowlines, are nothing to me;
Clue-garnets, and clue-lines, and courses, and stays—
I wish, from my heart, they were all in a blaze:
Your topmasts, and yards, and your studding sail booms
Are sweet pretty things—for the handles of brooms;
For your back-stays and braces I care not a pin,
Nor when you went out, or when you came in:—
Away to the cabbin, and look out a seat,
And touch, at your peril, a halyard, or sheet!"—
" YOU ague-cheek'd, cream-colour'd son of a bitch,
" Who have sail'd all your life on a fresh-water ditch,
[Page 18] " Whose mate (answer'd Billy) might be an old wife,
" Who never have rattled a shroud in your life,
" Whose guts would come up if a ship were in motion,
" Whose barque never look'd at the foam of the ocean,
" Whose whole navigation must follow your nose,
" Since that is her pilot wherever she goes;—
" In sight of your dock you can talk very glib,
" But I know what you are by the cut of your jibb.—"
" HOLD your jaw, said the skipper, or else go ashore:
Here's a cann of strong grog, if you'll say nothing more."
THEN a storm coming on, we stow'd away snug,
And Snip, in the cabbin lay wrapt in a rugg:
Snipinda and Sam were inclining to sleep,
And the lawyer harangu'd on the risques of the deep,
O'Bluster was busy in looking for squalls,
And Cynthia discours'd upon dances and balls;
And, while the poor Ballad-man gave us a song,
The Frenchman complain'd that his stomach was wrong.
OUR travels, at length, in the boat being past,
And arriving at Burlington safely at last,
While the Quakers came down to welcome us there,
And the lads and the lasses, to laugh and to stare,
The first thing we did was to settle our fare:
To the sign of the Anchor we then were directed,
Where Captain O'Keefe a fine turkey dissected,
And Billy O'Bluster would give us a jog,
And pester'd the ladies to taste of his grog:
" Without it (said Billy) I never can dine,
" 'Tis better, by far, than your balderdash wine;
" It braces the nerves, and it strengthens the brain;—
" Without it, the world is a prison of pain,
" And MAN, the most wretched of all that are found
" To creep in the dust, or to move on the ground!—
" It is, of all physic, the best I have seen
[Page 19] " To keep out the cold, and to cut up the spleen:
" Here, madam—miss Cynthia—'tis good, you'll confess—
" Now, taste; or you'll wish you had been in my mess—
" With grog, I'm as great as a king on his throne,
" The worst of all climates is—where there is none;
" New Holland, New Zealand—those islands accurs'd—
" Here's a health to the man that invented it first!
NEXT morning, by three, the waggon was geer'd—
The Frenchman and I were the first that appear'd:
The taylor came next and demanded a dram,
Then waken'd Snipinda, and cudgell'd up Sam.
All drowsy and lazy, each had his complaint,
Snipinda declar'd she was ready to faint,
And Cynthia protested, she thought it not right
That people should thus be disturb'd in the night;
The Frenchman was fretting, and cursing the moon
That always was rising or setting too soon;
The Lawyer was vext to be rous'd before day,
And swore by his docket it was n't fair play;
The captain advanc'd with the milliner's maid,
"Take care of my bundle, dear captain"—she said;
Then, full of importance, stept out in the street,
March'd up to the waggon, and took the best seat:
The singer of ballads was last in advancing,
He had paid for his supper with singing and dancing.
[Page 20]


COOP'D up in a waggon, the curtains let down,
At three, in the morning, we drove out of town;
A morning more dark I ne'er saw in my life,
And the fog was so thick—it would cut with a knife;
In a morning like this were the Trojans undone,
When the HORSE was admitted, that never could run;—
It was a fit season for murders and rapes,
For drunken adventures, and narrow escapes:
So, with something to think of, and little to say,
The driver drove on, looking out for the day,
'Till we came to the brow of a damnable hill
Six miles on our way, when the cattle stood still:
" Are you sure you are right with the waggon?" cry'd Snip—
" I am"—said the driver, and crack'd with his whip:
Then away ran the horses, but took the wrong road,
And down went the waggon, with all its full load;
Down, deep in a valley—roll'd over and over,
Fell the flying machine, with its curtains and cover;
Where shatter'd and wounded—no glimpse, yet, of day;
A mass of perdition together we lay!—
THEN howlings were heard that would frighten a stone:
"Morbleu!" cry'd the Frenchman, "me quite be undone;
"Mon poudre perdu, and my fine eau-de-vie;
Diable take him for one bon fricassee!"
NEXT rose from his ruins tall captain O'Keefe;
The first thing he thought of was Cynthia's relief,
[Page 21] Then felt for his sword, but chanc'd on a cane,
And rush'd at the stageman, to smite him in twain.
AS fortune would have it, the stageman had fled,
And Snip the whole vengeance receiv'd on his head:—
The staff had been aim'd with so hellish a sweep,
That Snip in a moment was all in a heap;—
We had room to suppose that his senses were hurt,
For, in spite of our bruises, he gave us some sport;
His head, he conceited, "was made of new cheese;"
And ask'd, "if the sexton would give up his fees?"
Then rolling away, on the side of the hill
With his head in a puddle he lay very still:
At last he bawl'd out—"I am sick at my heart!
Come hither, Snipinda, and see me depart!
I am hasting away from the Delaware streams,
To make no more coats, and to sew no more seams,
A phantom I see, with a needle and sheers,
He clips at my coat, and he threatens my ears!
Snipinda, Snipinda! alas! I must leave her!
And all for the sake of this rascally weaver,
Who never would give me a moment of rest,
'Till I left my dear shop-board—and thus am distrest!
But a time will arrive (if I deem not amiss)
When Robert, the weaver, shall suffer for this—
May his breeches, hereafter, be always too wide,
Or so narrow and scant, as to torture his hide;
May his jerken be ever too long or too short,
And the skirts of his tunic not two of a sort!—
And, when from this horrible jaunt you return,
Tell Paddy O'Fagen 'tis needless to mourn;
Ah, tell him I firmly believ'd I was going
Where people no longer are stitching or sewing,
Where white linnen stockings will ever be clean,
And g'emmen go dress'd in your black bombazeen;
[Page 22] Where, with old continental our debts we can pay,
And the BUDS OF his BEAUTY—no blossoms display!
Where with pretty brass thimbles the streets are all pav'd—
And a remnant—at least—I am told—shall be sav'd;
Where cloth may be cabbag'd, and that without fear,
And journeymen work, thirteen months to the year!"
SNIPINDA was mov'd at so dismal a yell,
And groping about, to find where he fell,
She cry'd, "I have got a sad bruise on one hip,
But matters, I fear, are far worser with Snip."
"YES, yes, (answer'd Snip) I'm preparing to go!
Be speedy, Snipinda, my pulse is so low!"—
THEN she came where he lay, and took hold of his head,
And whisper'd the Captain—"How much he has bled!"
(For she thought, as he lay with his nose in the puddle,
The water was blood that had flow'd from his noddle)
"Ah, where is the Doctor, to give him a pill,
And where is the Lawyer to scribble his will?
Ezekiel, Ezekiel—! attend to his words;—
If I am his widow—I will have my thirds!
But can you (and here she reclin'd on his breast)
And can you resolve to forsake me distrest!
Is it thus you would quit me, my love, and my joy,
And leave me alone with this cursed bad boy?
Is it thus you consign me to trouble and woe!
When you are departed—ah, where shall I go!
I shall then be a widow—forsaken and sad!—
And where shall I find such another sweet lad!
Who then will provide me a mint-water dram,
Gallant me to meeting, and who will flog Sam!"
BY this time the story was currently spread,
And most were convinc'd that the taylor was dead:
" The taylor is dead, beyond all relief;
" The taylor is dead—"—cry'd Captain O'Keefe—
[Page 23]
" THE taylor is dead (the lawyer exclaim'd)
" God speed him!—'tis better to die than be maim'd;—
" For the place where he's gone, may we also prepare,
" Where the mind, when admitted, shall rest from her care;
" And fiddles—the finest that ever were seen,
" Shall play for his comfort a new Bonny Jean."
" THE taylor is dead"—said the company round—
" The taylor is dead"—the dark forests resound—
" He is dead!"—blubber'd Sam, with a counterfeit sigh,
When the sailor bawl'd out—"By the lord, it's a lie—
" The fellow is only contriving some fun,
" His blood is not cold, and his race is not run—:
" If a vessel is crank, and exposes her keel,
" Are we frighten'd to death at a parlement-heel?
" If he chances to tumble, and bruises his pate.
" Is that a good reason to quarrel with fate?—
" His head, it is true, may have had a small shock:
" I'll bind it:—'twill only be strapping a block—
" Here, give us a neckcloth, a napkin, a clout;
" Now heave up his noddle, and frap it about:
" The symptoms of life are exceedingly plain,
" And Paddy O'Fagen shall see him again!"
THE matter turn'd out as he said and he swore,
And the taylor threw open his peepers once more.
WHEN the morning appear'd, it is dismal to tell
What mischiefs the most of our crew had befel,
A bundle lay here, and a budget lay there,
The Frenchman was cursing, and pulling his hair:
The horses were feeding about on the hill,
And Snip, with his head on a hassock, lay still:
The driver beseech'd us the fault to excuse,
"The night had been dark, and he lost both his shoes."—
[Page 24]
THEN, he rais'd up his waggon, rejoicing to find
That, by leaving the top, and the curtains behind,
We still might proceed; for the body was sound,
And the wheels, upon searching, uninjur'd all round.
BUT, dull and dishearten'd, we travell'd along,
Our waggon dismantled, our harness all wrong.
The Lawyer was vext that we went a snail's pace,
And Cynthia complain'd of a scratch in her face;
And Billy O'Bluster, who Snip had restor'd,
Asserted that Snip was the Jonas on board,
And often declar'd to the captain and me,
"He would give him a souse if he had him at sea."
SNIPINDA repented not yet of the trip;
She said, that she "only was sorry for Snip,
" Whose virtues were many; and, if he were dead,
" How Sam, the vile varlet, would have his own head."—
AT length, we arriv'd, with the marks of our fall,
And halted to dine with the man at Road-Hall;
Honest David has always a dish of the best,
But Snipinda declar'd there was nothing well drest;
" And, Snip (she exclaim'd) I would ask him to eat,
" But I know that he never could relish roast meat:
" I think it were better to get him some tea,
" He always was fond of slop-dinners, like me,
" But then—he could never put up with Bohea.
" La Madam! is this the best tea that you keep?—
" By the taste and the smell, you have purchas'd it cheap:
" No Hyson or Congo to give a sick stranger;
" Poor Snip, I'm afear'd that his life is in danger!
"LET him die and be d—d (said the sailor) who's he
That his lean-looking paunch should be pamper'd with tea?—
If I had him at sea, with the rest of our crew,
I'd burn out his guts with a bowl of burgoo!"
[Page 25]
"FROM what I can gather (cry'd Captain O'Keefe)
I am sure he might venture to taste of the beef:
Nay, I think I can guess from the cast of his eye,
That he longs to have hold of the bak'd mutton pye."
" WHY, captain, (she cry'd) would you kill the poor sinner?
" —If he cannot have tea, he shall go without dinner."
AND now to the ferry we soberly came
Like beasts in a cage, that blows had made tame;
The Frenchman and Snip were confoundedly lame;
The corpse of the captain was all in a wreck,
And the sailor complain'd of a kink in his neck,
He had a contusion, he said, on his thigh,
And the balladman talk'd of a bruise on his eye,
Then told me, how much he was vext at the heart
That no one regarded the song singing art;
Yet the world was in love with his music (he said)
But never consider'd he liv'd by the trade;
That affronts and neglect were forever his lot,
And the lovers of music respected him—not;
He had sung for the nymphs, and had sung for the swains,
But they were unwilling to purchase his strains,
When he put up his ballads, and call'd for his pay,
The swains turn'd about, and the nymphs ran away."
So, I said what I could to encourage poor Bob,
And told him, "the world was no more than a mob;
" That reptiles and wretches were all the world o'er,
" The wonder was only there were not some more;
" He should treat them alike if advanc'd to a crown,
" Array'd in a rag, or disguis'd in a gown;
" That the time might arrive when we both should rejoice,
" And weaving and singing be matters of choice;
" That a poet of genius (all history shews)
" Ne'er wanted a puppy to bark at his muse;
[Page 26] " And, tho' their productions were never twice read,
" Yet Bavius and Mevius must also be fed."
THEN, looking across to the city of Perth,
" I wonder (said he) if those people love mirth:
" A steeple I see, and that's a bad sign,
" As I once was inform'd by a cousin of mine;
" For the parson holds none to be worthy of grace
" If the gloom of December is not in their face;
" And a church and a clerk are always together,
" And a clerk and myself are not birds of one feather:
" While I am reduc'd to depend upon alms
" He thrives by retailing his old fashion'd psalms;
" And so, my dear comrades, I think 'tis invain
" Any longer to meddle with ballads prophane;
" A double advantage these fellows possess,
" In this wicked world they hold a good place,
" And when they go hence, there is room to surmise
" To the regions above, with their psalm-books, they rise,
" While I, with a load of unsanctify'd rhyme,
" In the service of Satan, am spending my time,
" If here I'm rewarded with wailing and woe
" When dead—to perdition, no doubt, I shall go!"
WHEN supper was over we hurry'd to bed,
But I slept not a wink for a bruise on my head,
And the balladman's story was fresh in my brain,
For I was unhappy that he should complain.
THE waiter was order'd to rouse us at five—
When the sailor demanded, if Snip was alive?
" Alive (answer'd Sam) and alive like to be;
" He talk'd the whole night about flogging of me."
THEN the skipper came in, with a horrible noise,
Exclaiming, "The stage-boat is ready, my boys!
" The wind is a-head, and the ebb is a making,
" The devil is in you not yet to be waking!"—
[Page 27]
NOW, all were embark'd, and the boat under sail
With a dark cloudy sky and a stiff blowing gale:
The wind at north-east made a hollow head sea,
Snip puk'd up his supper on Monsieur Touppee;
The Frenchman roar'd out—"Diable! ah peste!
" I wish he was dead, in his coffin at rest:
" Good capitaine, tell me—ah foutre, morbleu!—
" If the wind should blow tempest, den vat vill vee do?"
POOR Cynthia was frighten'd, and pale in the face,
And begg'd of O'Keefe to take care of her lace;
" For if I should chance to be drownded (said she)
" It would be a great loss to my madam and me!"
THE Lawyer replied—"Sweet creature, don't fear;
" The skipper has been to New England, my dear,
" He knows very well when to take in a reef:
" Be quiet, and sit down by master O'Keefe."—
SNIP offer'd the skipper five dollars, and more,
And a pair of new trowsers, to run us on shore;
" And, if I was there (said the faint-hearted swain)
" No devils, or weavers, should tempt me again!
" On foot, it were better to trudge the world through,
" No shirt to my back, and no soal to my shoe!
" I had rather, by far, I had broken both legs,
" Been hurried to jail, or been pelted with eggs!"
BUT the mate of the schooner did nothing but laugh,
And call'd him a puppy, and fresh-water calf;
The worse was the weather, the bolder he grew,
And swore at the winds as he swore at his crew;
All, all but himself were inclining to fear—
But 'tis time that our actors should now disappear.
SNIPINDA was sorry she ever left home:
Ezekiel allow'd it was madness to roam:
Touppee was alarm'd at the break of the seas,
And you, Robert Slender, were not at your ease,
[Page 28] Yet couldn't help laughing at Captain O'Keefe,
Who shunn'd little Cynthia—and cast up his beef;
(And Bruin, she said, I am sick at my heart—!
Come hither—and hug me—before I depart!)
And Sam, while he own'd what a thief he had been,
O'Bluster made love to a bottle of gin:
Bob's ballads and poems lay scatter'd about,
Himself in the suds, and his music run out:
Snip lay with his head by the side of a pot,
In doubt if his soul was departing or not!—
AT length, to relieve us, when look'd for the least,
The wind came about to the south of south-east;
The barque, that was buried in billows before,
Now scudded away for the Manhattan * shore,
And, gaining the port where we wish'd to arrive,
Was safe in the bason, precisely at five.

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