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me who he was and what he his left cheek down almost flat wanted. His mania for writing, upon the table, and closing his though it was in no way connec- left

eye,

which at such close quarted with hesitation of speech, came ters became unavailable for the out instantly, and he insisted on purpose in hand, the squint of his being allowed to write down his right as it peered over the broad late employer's name and address bridge of his nose at the objective for reference. This was a great point upon the paper was appalexperience for us, so I fetched ling. Little, indeed, but a big this phenomenal scribe a pen and white eyeball was to be seen, and ink and set him down at the then after many flourishes of his office table while we watched the pen above his head it descended performance. It was a heroic on the sheet and left the fearful struggle, and resulted in the most impress that signified John Jones. extraordinary specimen of ortho- I generally managed to have a graphy probably in existence. paper for John to sign when we I have got it yet.

John sur

had friends staying with us, and veyed it himself with one eye it was always voted much more closed for a few seconds, and evi- entertaining than old Reuben's dently felt that it was a failure. banjo performance, though Reuben “He'd got sort er onused to writ- was reckoned the best hand to ing,” he said, "since he'd been “pick a banjer” in the whole down ter the mines, but he'd jest neighbourhood. like to mark down his own name The actual banjo of the plantaon the paper lest we should for- tion was not the stirring instru

This ceremony was got ment it is in the hands of the through with less execution, but it Moore and Burgess minstrel, and was as well I had not to depend a certain wild abandon it undoubton the result to save John's name edly did possess in the cabin frolic and memory from oblivion. Still, after a wedding or corn-shucking, the hieroglyphics stood for John disappeared when introduced into Jones in their maker's estimation, the parlour of the “big house." and as a signature it was fairly Reuben, as has been said, was uniform, though it was quite as reckoned the best hand to pick a like Thomas Evans or Henry banjo in the neighbourhood. But Browne as it was John Jones. Í when called upon to perform in never saw a man so devoted to private for our visitors he did not signing his name. I believe he shine, and as an entertainment would have backed a stranger's could not be compared for a mobill for all he was worth, if he had ment to John Jones signing his been worth anything, rather than name. Reuben, too, was a preacher miss the opportunity.

---not a salaried, responsible minWhen he settled on the planta- ister like the dusky Boanerges who tion, I used to draw up agreements thundered weekly in the log church for all sorts of trifling transactions at Mount Hermon, but an amabetween us, to give John the plea- teur whose spasmodic exhortations sure of signing his name and my- formed a righteous excuse for his self the pleasure of seeing him do immediate neighbours to gather in it. He would settle himself to his cabin on Saturday evening and the job as if to some weighty work off their excess of religious and solemn function. Slowly and zeal. Reuben in his hours of toil, with deliberation he would lay which were not exacting, was a

get it.”

a

carpenter, and he occupied a cabin for those lamentable shortcomings on the summit of a hill immediately which grew worse as the war and in front of our windows. So on " the s'render” faded further and still nights we ourselves often had further into the past. They have any benefit that was to be derived almost ceased nowadays to be a from the wild incantations of our local peasantry identified with their eloquent dependant. This, I fear native counties and districts, but would have been heavily discount- are to a great extent a wandering ed by the certain knowledge that race—here for a year, there for a Reuben could not have been trust- year; first in a factory, then in a ed for five minutes with the corn- mine, then back again for a brief house key, or for as many seconds spell at farming. And this, though within grabbing distance of the not to the advantage of their storeroom sugar-barrel; while John morals, has been distinctly so to Jones, who had never yet "pro- their financial condition. Indeed, fessed,” might safely have been under the agricultural depression submitted to either trying ordeal. that has lain upon the Southern Reuben, however, did not confine farmer for so many years, intensihis sermons to proper times and fied as it is by iniquitous tariff seasons, but his anxiety for the laws, it was inevitable that the souls of men followed him to his negro of the rising generation intermittent labours. As he nailed should leave the land. He has the shingles on to the roof of a been a greater success, too, as waggon-shed he seldom failed to

a navvy or factory-hand, than he hurl down misquotations from the was as a farm-servant; but as a Bible on the head of the man man he is an infinitely more unwho held the ladder; and as he pleasant and much less humorous swung his cradle in the wheat- person, as is only natural. Hunharvest amid the long line of dreds, too, who in the days I write reapers, the busy swish of the of were unredeemed plantation blades was often—much too often hands, whooping and holloaing at -accompanied by his fitful bursts the plough-tail without a thought of eloquence. The cabin that he beyond a corn-shucking or a cakethen occupied acquired something walk, are now sleek waiters in of a clerical reputation, for no hotels, who know as much of the less than three of what for brev- devilry of city life and the outer ity's sake we may call lay breth- world as there is to know. Through ren took it in our own time. whole counties in Virginia the exPossibly the near neighbourhood odus of the negro to busy centres of the graveyard, with its turfless can be easily seen in the roofless mounds of red earth and its cabin or the solitary chimney tangled unkempt clusters of grape- standing by the brookside or the vines, briers, and sassafras-bushes, forest-edge amid the broom-sedge may have given the old log-house and the briers. However strong some sanctified associations. are the forces which remove an

People sometimes ask if the ancient peasantry from a not ungenuine plantation negro was as kindly and certainly a racy soil, comical a person as tradition re- there must be a melancholy side presents. I can only say that to to it with those who have seen the me their quaint humours were an change. unceasing source of refreshment. In the days I write of no such They made up, or almost made up, exodus in our part of the world

year used

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us.

at any rate was thought of, and season of the

to the Ethiopian, if unambitious, was ring the voices of the negroes. at least cheery. Perhaps he was No people were more sus

usceptible seen at his best in the first warm to stimulating atmospheric condidays of spring, when his limbs tions than they. Nowadays, so after the cold winter got “souple small has the world—the Englishand limber," and the whole country speaking world, at any rate-beechoed with his rude rustic melody. come, that the field-hand is more We always recall the month of likely than not to hill up his May upon our plantation as an tobacco to the accompaniment of ideal Arcady,—when through the « Knock'd 'em in the Old Kent lush and dewy nights the opening Road,” or even “Tommy Atkins.” chorus of the tree-crickets and the In those days, however, a mighty plaintive call of the whip-poor-will gulf lay between Virginia and the welcomed the coming summer;

world outside her borders : the old when a sea of snow-white apple- plantation songs were still the sole blossoms caught the morning sun music of the plantation, and I can as he topped the hills upon the in fancy even now see Reuben's east of us, while upon the west son Gabriel, as he swung his the fresh greenery of summer was plough round on the headland, clothing with its leafy mantle the lifting his shiny face skywards splendid masses of the Blue Ridge and bulging out his chest as he that towered above

All roaredaround us glowed against the

“0–O my lovely Lemma, warm red soil the freshness and

I-I do love you so; the lushness, the leaf and blossom, I-I love you better tha-a-n of dawning summer, and the cheery

I ever did befo'. stir of rural life gave animation to

0-oh-o-oh.” a scene which nature had fashioned Then from the dewy low ground, and bedecked with such unsparing where some rival swain in leihand. The one-horse ploughs ran surely fashion was slaughtering merrily up and down the corn- the bushes that at this season rows. The harrows clanked threatened the very existence of cheerily along their dusty course. the Virginia oat crop, came No wonder that in such a climate

answer to the vocal challenge :farmers were sanguine, and that even the oldest of them estimated

“040 my lovely Lemma,

I-I know you of old ; their crop with a persistent opti- You got all de money, mism at double what it turned out

All de silver an' gold.” to be. Hope animated every rural breast. The mating dove filled Then from another quarter-far the orchard with melodious notes.

into our neighbour's domain The cock-quail piped in the fence would roll the strident notes of corner with tireless throat, while

that sonnet to “Scindy," which his partner bid snugly away in the

was the most popular air in our adjoining clover-field the fifteen or

part of the world :twenty eggs whose products were Away up in de mountain in the still far-off crisp days of I took my horn and blow ; November to spring before our

I tink I hear Miss Scindy callin', keen-nosed pointers.

*Yonder come my beau.'” Above all, the pleasant echoes But Gabriel, though three-quarters of field and woodland at that of a mile iff

, would be equal to

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an a

carpenter, and he occupied a cabin for those lamentable shortcomings on the summit of a hill immediately which grew worse as the war and in front of our windows. So on " the s'render” faded further and still nights we ourselves often had further into the past.

They have any benefit that was to be derived almost ceased nowadays to be a from the wild incantations of our local peasantry identified with their eloquent dependant. This, I fear, native counties and districts, but would have been heavily discount- are to a great extent a wandering ed by the certain knowledge that race—here for a year, there for a Reuben could not have been trust- year; first in a factory, then in a ed for five minutes with the corn- mine, then back again for a brief house key, or for as many seconds spell at farming. And this, though within grabbing distance of the not to the advantage of their storeroom sugar-barrel; while John morals, has been distinctly so to Jones, who had never yet "pro- their financial condition. Indeed, fessed,” might safely have been under the agricultural depression submitted to either trying ordeal. that has lain upon the Southern Reuben, however, did not confine farmer for so many years, intensihis sermons to proper times and fied as it is by iniquitous tariff seasons, but his anxiety for the laws, it was inevitable that the souls of men followed him to his negro of the rising generation intermittent labours. As he nailed should leave the land. He has the shingles on to the roof of a been a greater success, too, as waggon-shed he seldom failed to

a navvy or factory-hand, than he hurl down misquotations from the was as a farm-servant; but as a Bible on the head of the man man he is an infinitely more unwho held the ladder; and as he pleasant and much less humorous swung his cradle in the wheat- person, as is only natural. Hunharvest amid the long line of dreds, too, who in the days I write reapers, the busy swish of the of were unredeemed plantation blades was often-much too often hands, whooping and holloaing at -accompanied by his fitful bursts the plough-tail without a thought of eloquence. The cabin that he beyond a corn-shucking or a cakethen occupied acquired something walk, are now sleek waiters in of a clerical reputation, for no hotels, who know as much of the less than three of what for brev- devilry of city life and the outer ity's sake we may call lay breth- world as there is to know. Through ren took it in our own time. whole counties in Virginia the exPossibly the near neighbourhood odus of the negro to busy centres of the graveyard, with its turfless can be easily seen in the roofless mounds of red earth and its cabin or the solitary chimney tangled unkempt clusters of grape- standing by the brookside or the vines, briers, and sassafras-bushes, forest-edge amid the broom-sedge may have given the old log-house and the briers. However strong some sanctified associations. are the forces which remove an

People sometimes ask if the ancient peasantry fro a not ungenuine plantation negro was as kindly and certainly a racy soil,

ag comical a person as tradition re- there must be a melancholy side presents. I can only say that to to it with those who have seen the me their quaint humours were an change. unceasing source of refreshment. In the days I write of no such They made up, or almost made up, exodus in our part of the world

season

year used

us.

at any rate was thought of, and

of the

to the Ethiopian, if unambitious, was ring the voices of the negroes. at least cheery. Perhaps he was No people were more susceptible seen at his best in the first warm to stimulating atmospheric condidays of spring, when his limbs tions than they. Nowadays, so after the cold winter got "souple small has the world—the Englishand limber," and the whole country speaking world, at any rate-be

echoed with his rude rustic melody. come, that the field-hand is more We always recall the month of likely than not to hill up his May upon our plantation as an tobacco to the accompaniment of ideal Arcady,---when through the "Knock'd 'em in the Old Kent lush and dewy nights the opening Road," or even “Tommy Atkins."

” chorus of the tree-crickets and the In those days, however, a mighty plaintive call of the whip-poor-will gulf lay between Virginia and the welcomed the coming summer; world outside her borders : the old when a sea of snow-white apple- plantation songs were still the sole blossoms caught the morning sun music of the plantation, and I can as he topped the hills upon the in fancy even now see Reuben's east of us, while upon the west son Gabriel, as he swung his the fresh greenery of summer was plough round on the headland, clothing with its leafy mantle the lifting his shiny face skywards splendid masses of the Blue Ridge and bulging out his chest as he that towered above

All roaredaround us glowed against the

0--O my lovely Lemma, warm red soil the freshness and

I--I do love you so ; the lushness, the leaf and blossom, I- I love you better tha-a-n of dawning summer, and the cheery

I ever did befo'. stir of rural life gave animation to

0-oh-0.oh.” a scene which nature had fashioned Then from the dewy low ground, and bedecked with such unsparing where some rival swain in leihand. The one-horse ploughs ran surely fashion was slaughtering merrily up and down the corn

the bushes that at this season rows. The harrows clanked

threatened the very existence of cheerily along their dusty course. the Virginia oat crop, came No wonder that in such a climate

answer to the vocal challenge :farmers were sanguine, and that even the oldest of them estimated

"0_0 my lovely Lemma,

I-I know you of old ; their crop with a persistent opti

You got all de money, mism at double what it turned out

All de silver an' gold.” to be. Hope animated every rural breast. The mating dove filled

Then from another quarter-far the orchard with melodious notes.

into our neighbour's domain The cock-quail piped in the fence

would roll the strident notes of corner with tireless throat, while

that sonnet to " Scindy," which his partner hid snugly away in the

was the most popular air in our adjoining clover-field the fifteen or part of the world :twenty eggs whose products were “ Away up in de mountain in the still far-off crisp days of I took my horn and blow; November to spring before our

I tink I hear Miss Scindy callin', keen-nosed pointers.

'Yonder come my beau.'” Above all, the pleasant echoes But Gabriel, though three-quarters of field and woodland at that of a mile cff, would be equal to

an

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