Puslapio vaizdai

of Charles II., he had the honor to carry the ampulla. He had also the honor of escorting the King over his school; it was on this occasion that he is said to have kept his hat on in the King's presence, explaining that it would never do to let the boys believe that there was a greater man in the world than himself. Busby was head-master at Westminster for fifty-seven years. He entered on the office in 1638, and held it till his death, at the age of nearly ninety. His name has become a synonym for severity. There is no doubt, however, that he was a great and successful school-master.

We have seen the shade of Busby evoked with which to rebuke the profane proposal to remove the school into the country. On every ground of sentiment and association

the removal is naturally resisted. It is advocated by some on the ground that the school has gone down very much of late years; it is said that there has been a great diminution in numbers; that the families which formerly supported it now send their boys to Eton and Harrow; that Westminster boys no longer carry off the great prizes at the universities. It is also said that the neighborhood is bad both for the health and the morals of the boys. Should the removal of the school be decided upon, it is certain, at any rate, that the play will not be allowed to die. The college, if compelled to leave behind it a portion of its ancient glories, will cling with all the more tenacity to this most unique and famous feature of its history.




It was raining so that Uncle Remus found it impossible to go out. The storm had begun, the old man declared, just as the chickens were crowing for day, and it had continued almost without intermission. The dark, gray clouds had blotted out the sun, and the leafless limbs of the tall oaks surrendered themselves drearily to the fantastic gusts that drove the drizzle fitfully before them. Mrs. Huntingdon, to whom Uncle Remus professes to owe allegiance, had been thoughtful of the old man, and 'Tildy, the house-girl, had been commissioned to carry him his breakfast. This arrangement came to the knowledge of Mrs. Huntingdon's little boy, and he lost no time in obtaining permission to accompany 'Tildy. Uncle Remus made a great demonstration over the thoughtful kindness of his "Miss Sally."

"Ef she aint one blessid w'ite 'oman," he said, in his simple, fervent way, "den dey aint none un um 'roun' in deze parts."

With that, he addressed himself to the breakfast, while the little boy sat by and eyed him with that familiar curiosity common to children. Finally, the youngster disturbed the old man with an inquiry:

"Uncle Remus, do geese stand on one leg all night, or do they sit down to sleep?" "Tooby sho' dey does, honey; dey sets

down same ez you does. Co'se, dey don't cross der legs," he added, cautiously, "kaze dey sets down right flat-footed."

[ocr errors]

'Well, I saw one the other day, and he was standing on one foot, and I watched him and watched him, and he kept on standing there."

"Ez ter dat," responded Uncle Remus, "dey mout stan' on one foot an drap off ter sleep en fergit derse'f. Deze yer gooses," he continued, wiping the crumbs from his beard with his coat-tail, "is mighty cu'us fowls; deyer mighty cu'us. In ole times, dey wuz 'mong de big-bugs, en in dem days, w'en ole Miss Goose gun a dinin', all de quality wuz dere. Likewise, en needer wuz dey stuck-up, kaze wid all der kyar'n's on, Miss Goose wer'n't too proud fer ter take in washin' fer de neighberhoods, en she make money, en git slick en fat like ole Aunt Ferraby.


Dis de way marters stan' w'en one day, Brer Fox en Brer Rabbit, dey wuz settin' up at de cotton-patch, one on one side er de fence, en t'er one on t'er side, gwine on wid wunner n'er, w'en fus' news dey know, dey year sump'n-blim, blim, blim!

"Brer Fox, he ax w'at dat fuss is, en Brer Rabbit, he up'n 'spon' dat it's ole Miss Goose down at de spring. Den Brer Fox, he up'n ax w'at she doin', en Brer Rabbit, he say, sezee, dat she battlin' cloze."

"Battling clothes, Uncle Remus ?" said the little boy.

"Dat w'at dey call it dem days, honey.

name, he got sump'n fer ter tell 'er, en den he let out 'bout Brer Fox gwine ter call on 'er. "He comin',' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee;

des 'fo' day,' sezee.

"Wid dat, ole Miss Goose wipe 'er han's on 'er apun, en put 'er specks up on 'er forrerd, en look like she done got trouble in 'er mine.

Deze times, dey rubs cloze on deze yer | bodes w'at's got furrers in um, but dem days dey des tuck'n tuck de cloze en lay um out on a bench, en ketch holt er de battlin'-'he comin' sho, en w'en he come hit'll be stick en natally paddle de fillin' outen um. "W'en Brer Fox year dat ole Miss Goose wuz down dar dabblin' in soapsuds en washin' cloze, he sorter lick his chops, en 'low dat some er deze odd-come-shorts he gwineter call en pay his 'specks. De minnit he say dat, Brer Rabbit, he know sump'n 'uz up, en he 'low ter hisse'f dat he 'speck he better whirl in en have some fun w'iles it gwine on. Bimeby, Brer Fox up'n say ter Brer Rabbit, dat he bleedzd ter be movin' 'long todes home, en wid dat dey bofe say good-bye.

"Brer Fox, he put out ter whar his fambly wuz, but Brer Rabbit, he slip 'roun', he did, en call on ole Miss Goose. Ole Miss Goose she wuz down at de spring, washin', en b'ilin', en battlin' cloze, but Brer Rabbit he march up en ax her howdy, en den she tuck'n ax Brer Rabbit howdy.

"I'd shake han's 'long wid you, Brer Rabbit,' sez she, but dey er all full er suds,' sez she.


'No marter 'bout dat, Miss Goose,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, so long ez yo' will's good,' sezee.

"A goose with hands, Uncle Remus!" the little boy exclaimed.

"How you know goose aint got han's?" Uncle Remus inquired, with a frown. "Is you bin sleepin' longer ole man Know-All? Little mo' en you'll up'n stan' me down dat snakes aint got no footses, and yit you take en lay a snake down yer 'fo' de fier, en his footses 'll come out right 'fo' yo' eyes."

Uncle Remus paused here, but presently continued:

"Atter ole Miss Goose en Brer Rabbit done pass de time er day wid wunner n'er, Brer Rabbit, he ax 'er, he did, how she come on deze days, en Miss Goose say mighty po❜ly.

"I'm gittin' stiff en I'm gittin' clumpsy,' sez she, 'en mo'n dat I'm gittin' bline,' sez she. Des 'fo' you happen 'long, Brer Rabbit, I drap my specks in de tub yer, en ef you'd 'a' come 'long 'bout dat time,' says ole Miss Goose, sez she, 'I lay I'd er tuck you fer dat nasty, owdashus Brer Fox, en it ud er bin a born blessin' ef I hadn't er scald you wid er pan er b'ilin' suds,' sez she. 'I'm dat glad I foun' my specks I dunner w'at ter do,' sez ole Miss Goose, sez she.

"Den Brer Rabbit, he up'n say dat bein's how Sis Goose done fotch up Brer Fox

""Laws-a-massy!' sez she, 'spozen he come, Brer Rabbit! W'at I gwine do? En dey aint a man 'bout de house,' sez she. "Den Brer Rabbit, he shot one eye, en he say, sezee:

[ocr errors]

"Sis Goose, de time done come w'en you bleedzd ter roos' high. You look like you got de dropsy,' sezee, but don't mine dat, kaze ef you don't roos' high, youer goner,' sezee.

"Den ole Miss Goose ax Brer Rabbit w'at she gwine do, en Brer Rabbit, he up en tell Miss Goose dat she mus' go home en tie up a bundle er de w'ite folks' cloze, en put um on de bed, en den she mus' clime up on a rafter, en let Brer Fox grab de cloze en run off wid um.

"Ole Miss Goose say she much 'bleege, en she tuck'n tuck her things en waddle off home, en dat night she do like Brer Rabbit say wid de bundle er cloze, en den she sont wud ter Mr. Dog, en Mr. Dog he come down, en say he'd sorter set up wid 'er.

"Des 'fo' day, yer come Brer Fox creepin' up, en he went en push on de do' easy, en de do' open, en he see sump'n w'ite on de bed w'ich he tuck fer Miss Goose, en he grab it en run. 'Bout dat time, Mr. Dog sail out from under de house, he did, en ef Brer Fox hadn't er drapt de cloze, he'd er got kotch. Fum dat, wud went 'roun' dat Brer Fox bin tryin' ter steal Miss Goose cloze, en he come mighty nigh losin' his stannin' at Miss Meadows. Down ter dis day," Uncle Remus continued, preparing to fill his pipe, "Brer Fox b'leeve dat Brer Rabbit wuz de 'casion er Mr. Dog bein' in de neighberhoods at dat time er night, en Brer Rabbit aint 'spute it. De bad feelin' 'twix' Brer Fox en Mr. Dog start right dar, en hit's bin agwine on twel now dey aint git in smellin' distuns er wunner n'er widout ders a row."



THERE was a pause after the story of old Miss Goose. The culmination was hardly


hisse'f dat he be dog his cats ef he don't slorate ole Brer Rabbit ef it take 'im a mont'; en dat, too, on top er all de 'spe'unce w'at he done bin had wid um. Brer Rabbit he sorter git win' er dis, en one day, w'iles he gwine 'long de road studyin' how he gwineter hol' his hand wid Brer Fox, he see a great big hoss layin' stretch out flat on his side in de pastur'; en he tuck'n crope up, he did, fer ter see ef dish yer hoss done gone en die. He crope up en he crope 'roun', en bimeby he see de hoss switch his

sensational enough to win the hearty applause of the little boy, and this fact appeared to have a depressing influence upon Uncle Remus. As he leaned slightly forward, gazing into the depths of the great fireplace, his attitude was one of pensiveness. "I 'speck I done wo' out my welcome up at de house," he said, after a while. I mos' knows I is," he continued, settling himself resignedly in his deep-bottomed chair. "Kaze dat las' night, w'iles you wuz sick, en I went 'n' sot up wid you, I had my eye on Miss Sally mighty nigh detail, en den Brer Rabbit know he aint dead. whole blessid time, en w'en you see Miss Sally rustlin' 'roun' makin' like she fixin' things up dar on de mantle-shelf, en bouncin' de cheers 'roun', en breshin' dus' where dey aint no dus', en flyin' 'roun' singin' sorter louder dan common, den I des knows sumpin' done gone en rile 'er."

[ocr errors]

Why, Uncle Remus!" exclaimed the little boy; "mamma was just glad because I was getting well."

"Mout er bin," the old man remarked, in a tone that was far from implying conviction. "Ef 'twa'n't dat, den she wuz gittin' tired er seein' me lounjun' 'roun', up dar night atter night, en ef 'twa'n't dat, den she wuz watchin' a chance fer ter preach ter yo' pa. Oh, I done bin know Miss Sally long fo' yo' pa is!" exclaimed Uncle Remus, in response to the astonishment depicted upon the child's face. "I bin knowin' 'er sence she wuz so high, en endurin' er all dat time I aint seed no mo' up'n spoken 'oman dan w'at Miss Sally is.

"But dat aint needer yer ner dar. You done got yo' strenk back, en now youk'n rush down yer des like you useter, en we kin set yer en smoke, en tell tales, en study up 'musement same like we wuz gwine on 'fo' dem doctor mens got der clampers on you. Ef dey wuz Brer Fox," the old man continued, "w'ich dey er mighty nigh it, en I wuz ole Brer Rabbit, w'ich I aint 'sputin' dat I got some er de symptoms, I lay I'd gin dem doctor mens one settin' up-I sho❜ly would.

"I mines me er one time "-with an infectious laugh-" w'en ole Brer Rabbit got Brer Fox in de wuss trubble w'at a man wuz mos' ever got in yit, an' dat 'uz w'en he fool 'im 'bout de hoss. Aint I never tell you 'bout dat? But no marter ef I is. Hoe-cake aint cook done twel hit's turnt over a couple er times.

"Well, atter Brer Fox done git rested fum keepin' out er de way er Mr. Dog, en sorter ketch up wid his rations, he say ter

[ocr errors]

Wid dat, Brer Rabbit lope back ter de big road, en mos' de fus' man w'at he see gwine on by wuz Brer Fox, en Brer Rabbit he tuck atter 'im, en holler:

"Brer Fox! Oh, Brer Fox! Come back! I got some good news fer you. Come back, Brer Fox,' sezee.

"Brer Fox, he tu'n 'roun', he did, en w'en he see who callin' 'im, he come gallopin' back, kaze it seem like dat des ez gooder time ez any fer ter nab Brer Rabbit; but 'fo' he git in nabbin' distance, Brer Rabbit he up'n say, sezee :

"Come on, Brer Fox! I done fine de place whar you kin lay in fresh meat 'nuff fer ter las' you plum twel de middle er nex' year,' sezee.

"Brer Fox, he ax wharbouts, en Brer Rabbit, he say, right over dar in de pastur', en Brer Fox ax w'at is it, en Brer Rabbit, he say w'ich 'twuz a whole hoss layin' down on de groun' whar dey_could ketch 'im en tie 'im. Wid dat, Brer Fox, he say come on, en off dey put.

"W'en dey got dar, sho' nuff, dar lay de hoss all stretch out in de sun, fas' 'sleep, en den Brer Fox en Brer Rabbit, dey had a 'spute 'bout how dey gwineter fix de hoss so he can't git loose. One say one way en de yuther say n'er way, en dar dey had it, twel atter w'ile Brer Rabbit, he say, sezee:


"De onliest plan w'at I knows un, Brer Fox,' sezee, is fer you ter git down dar en lemme tie you ter de hoss' tail, en den, w'en he try ter git up, you kin hol' 'im down,' sezee. Ef I wuz big man like w'at you is,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'you mout tie me ter dat hoss' tail, en ef I didn't hol' 'im down, den Joe's dead en Sal's a widder. I des knows you kin hol' 'im down,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but yit, ef you 'feared, we des better drap dad idee en study out some yuther plan,' sezee.

"Brer Fox sorter jubus 'bout dis, but he bleedzd ter play biggity 'fo' Brer Rabbit, en he tuck'n 'gree ter de progance, en den


Brer Rabbit, he tuck'n tie Brer Fox ter de hoss' tail, en atter he git 'im tie dar hard en fas', he sorter step back, he did, en put his han's 'kimbo, en grin, en den he say, sezee: "Ef ever dey wuz a hoss kotch, we done kotch dis un: Look sorter like we done put de bridle on de wrong een',' sezee,' but I lay Brer Fox is got de strenk fer ter hol' 'im,' sezee.

"Wid dat, Brer Rabbit cut 'im a long switch en trim it up, en w'en he get it fix, up he step en hit de hoss a rap-pow! De hoss 'uz dat s'prise at dat kinder doin's dat he make one jump, en lan' on his footses. W'en he do dat, dar wuz Brer Fox danglin' in de a'r, en Brer Rabbit, he dart out de way en holler:

"Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox! Hol' 'im down! I'll stan' out yer en see fa'r play. Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox!' sezee.

"Co'se, w'en de hoss feel Brer Fox hang in' dar onter his tail, he thunk sump'n cu'us wuz de marter, en dis make 'im jump en r'ar wusser en wusser, en he shake up Brer Fox same like he wuz rag in de win', en Brer Rabbit, he jump en holler : "Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox! down! You got 'im now, sho'. grip, en hol' 'im down,' sezee.

Hol' 'im Hol' yo'

"De hoss, he jump en he hump, en he rip en he r'ar, en he snort en he t'ar. But yit Brer Fox hung on, en still Brer Rabbit skip 'roun' en holler:

"Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox! You got 'im whar he can't needer back ner squall. Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox,' sezee.

"Bimeby, w'en Brer Fox git chance, he holler back, he did:

"How in de name er goodness I gwineter hol' de hoss down 'less I git my claw in de groun'?'

"Den Brer Rabbit, he stan' back little fudder en holler little louder:

"Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox! Hol' 'im down! You got 'im now, sho'! Hol' 'im down!'

"Bimeby de hoss 'gun ter kick wid his behime legs, en de fus' news you know, he fetch Brer Fox a lick in de stomach dat fa'rly make 'im squall, en den he kick 'im ag'in, en dis time he break Brer Fox loose, en sont 'im a-whirlin'; en Brer Rabbit, he keep on a-jumpin' 'roun' en hollerin':

"Hol' 'im down, Brer Fox!'

"Did the fox get killed, Uncle Remus ?" asked the little boy.

"He wa'n't 'zackly kilt, honey,” replied the old man, "but he wuz de nex' do' ter't. He 'uz all broke up, en w'iles he 'uz gittin'

well, hit sorter come 'cross his min' dat Brer Rabbit done play n'er game on 'im."



"WHAT did the Rabbit do after that?" the little boy asked, presently.

"Now, den, you don't wanter push ole Brer Rabbit too close," replied Uncle Remus, significantly. "He mighty tenderfooted creetur, en de mo' w'at you push 'im, de fudder he lef' you."

There was prolonged silence in the old man's cabin, until, seeing that the little boy was growing restless enough to cast several curious glances in the direction of the toolchest in the corner, Uncle Remus lifted one leg over the other, scratched his head reflectively, and began:

"One time, atter Brer Rabbit done bin trompin' 'roun' huntin' up some sallid fer ter make out his dinner wid, he fine hisse'f in de neighberhoods er Mr. Man house, en he pass 'long twel he come ter de gyardin-gate, en nigh de gyardin-gate he see Little Gal playin' 'roun' in de san'. W'en Brer Rabbit look 'twix' de gyardin-palin's en see de colluds, en de sparrer-grass, en de yuther gyardin truck growin' dar, hit make he mouf water. Den he take en walk up ter de Little Gal, Brer Rabbit did, en pull his roach,* en bow, en scrape his foot, en talk mighty nice en slick.


Howdy, Little Gal,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee; how you come on?' sezee.

"Den de Little Gal, she 'spon' howdy, she did, en she ax Brer Rabbit how he come on, en Brer Rabbit, he 'low he mighty po❜ly, en den he ax ef dis de Little Gal w'at 'er pa live up dar in de big w'ite house, w'ich de Little Gal, she up'n say twer'. Brer Rabbit, he say he mighty glad, kaze he des bin up dar fer to see 'er pa, en he say dat 'er pa, he sont 'im out dar fer ter tell de Little Gal dat she mus' open de gyardingate so Brer Rabbit kin go in en git some truck. Den de Little Gal, she jump 'roun' she did, en she open de gate, en wid dat, Brer Rabbit, he hop in, he did, en got 'im a mess er greens, en hop out ag'in, en w'en he gwine off he make his bow, he did, en tell de Little Gal dat he much 'bleege, en den atter dat he put out fer home.

"Nex' day, Brer Rabbit, he hide out, he did, twel he see de Little Gal come out ter

Top-knot, foretop.

play, en den he put up de same tale, en walk off wid a n'er mess er truck, en hit keep on dis away, twel bimeby Mr. Man, he 'gun ter miss his greens, en he keep on a-missin' un um, twel he gotter excusin' eve'ybody on de place er 'stroyin' un um, en w'en dat come ter pas', de Little Gal, she up'n say:


My goodness, pa!' sez she,' you done tole Mr. Rabbit fer ter come en make me let 'im in de gyardin atter some greens, en aint he done come en ax me, en aint I done gone en let 'im in ?' sez she.

"Mr. Man aint hatter study long 'fo' he see how de lan' lay, en den he laff, en tell de Little Gal dat he done gone en disremember all 'bout Mr. Rabbit, en den he up'n say, sezee:

"Nex' time Mr. Rabbit come, you tak'n tu'n 'im in, en den you run des ez fas' ez you kin en come en tell me, kaze I got some bizness wid dat young chap dat's 'bleeged ter be 'tend ter,' sezee.

"Sho nuff, nex' mawnin' dar wuz de Little Gal playin' 'roun', en yer come Brer Rabbit atter his 'lowance er greens. He wuz ready wid de same tale, en den de Little Gal, she tu'n 'im in, she did, en den she run up ter de house en holler:

"Oh, pa! pa! Oh, pa! Yer Brer Rabbit in de gyardin now! Yer he is, pa!'

"Den Mr. Man, he rush out, en grab up a fishin'-line w'at was hangin' in de back po'ch, en make fer de gyardin, en w'en he git dar, dar wuz Brer Rabbit tromplin' 'roun' on de strawbe'y-bed en mashin' down de termartusses. W'en Brer Rabbit see Mr. Man, he squot behime a collud leaf, but 'twa'n't no use. Mr. Man done seed him, en 'fo' you kin count 'leven, he done got ole Brer Rabbit tie hard en fas' wid de fishin'. line. Atter he done got 'im tie good, Mr. Man step back, he did, en say, sezee:

"You done bin fool me lots er time, but dis time youer mine. I'm gwineter take you en gin you a larrupin',' sezee, 'en den I'm gwineter skin you en nail yo' hide on de stable do',' sezee; en den ter make sho dat you git de right kinder larrupin', I'll des step up ter de house,' sezee, 'en fetch de little red cowhide, en den I'll take en gin you brinjer,' sezee.

"Den Mr. Man call ter de Little Gal ter watch Brer Rabbit w'iles he gone.

"Brer Rabbit aint sayin' nothin', but Mr. Man aint mo'n out de gate 'fo' he 'gun ter sing; en in dem days Brer Rabbit wuz a singer, mon," continued Uncle Remus, with unusual emphasis, "en w'en he chuned up

fer ter sing he make dem yuther creeturs hol' der bref."

"What did he sing, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy.

"Ef I aint fergit dat song off'n my min'," said Uncle Remus, looking over his spectacles at the fire, with a curious air of attempting to remember something, "hit run sorter dish yer way:

"De jay-bird hunt de sparrer-nes',
De bee-martin sail all 'roun';

De squir❜l, he holler from de top er de tree,
Mr. Mole he stay in de groun';

He hide en he stay twel de dark drap down-
Mr. Mole, he hide in de groun'.'

"W'en de Little Gal year dat, she laugh, she did, en she up'n ax Brer Rabbit fer ter sing some mo', but Brer Rabbit, he sorter cough, he did, en low dat he got a mighty bad ho'seness down inter his win'pipe som'ers. De Little Gal, she swade* en swade, en bimeby Brer Rabbit, he up'n 'low dat he kin dance mo' samer dan w'at he kin sing. Den de Little Gal, she ax 'im wont he dance, en Brer Rabbit, he 'spon' how in de name er goodness kin a man dance w'iles he all tie up dis away, en den de Little Gal, she say she kin ontie 'im, en Brer Rabbit, he say he aint keerin' ef she do. Wid dat de Little Gal, she retch down en onloose de fish-line, en Brer Rabbit, he sorter stretch hisse'f en look 'roun'."

Here Uncle Remus paused and sighed, as though he had relieved his mind of a great burden. The little boy waited a few minutes for the old man to resume, and finally he asked:

"Did the Rabbit dance, Uncle Remus?" "Who? Him?" exclaimed the old man, with a queer affectation of elation. "Bless yo' soul, honey! Brer Rabbit gedder up his footses und' 'im, en he dance outer dat gyardin, en he dance home. He did dat! Sho❜ly you don't speck dat a ole-timer w'at done had 'spe'unce like Brer Rabbit gwine ter stay dar en let dat ar Mr. Man sackyfice 'im? Shoo! Brer Rabbit dance, but he dance home. You year me!"

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »