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jermun Ram, he sling de butt er de fiddle | bit at which the old man had hinted in up under his chin, en struck up wunner dem ole-time chunes."
his story of Mr. Benjamin Ram. Uncle Remus pretended to be greatly surprised that any one could be so unfamiliar with the accomplishments of Brother Rabbit as to venture to ask such a question. His response was in the nature of a comment :
"Well, what tune was it, Uncle Remus?" the little boy asked, with some display of impatience.
"Ef I aint done gone en fergit dat chune off'n my min'," continued Uncle Remus, "hit sorter went like dat ar song 'bout 'Sheep shell co'n wid de rattle er his ho'n,' en yit hit mout er been dat ar yuther one 'bout 'Hol' de key, ladies, hol' dem keys.' Brer Wolf en ole Miss Wolf, dey lissen en lissen, en de mo' w'at dey lissen de skeerder dey git, twel bimeby dey tuck ter der heels en make a break fer de swamp at de back er de house like de patter-rollers wuz atter um.
"W'en ole man Benjermun Ram sorter let up wid his fiddlin', he don't see no Brer Wolf, en he don't year no ole Miss Wolf. Den he look in de back room; no Wolf dar. Den he look in de back po'ch; no Wolf dar. Den he look in de closet en in de cubberd; no Wolf aint dar yit. Den ole Mr. Benjermun Ram, he tuck'n' shot all de do's en lock um, en he s'arch 'roun' en he fine some peas en fodder in de lof', w'ich he et um fer his supper, en den he lie down front er de fier en sleep soun' ez a log.
"Nex' mawnin' he 'uz up en stirrin' monst'us soon, en he put out fum dar, en he fine de way ter Miss Meadows', time 'nuff fer ter play at de frolic. W'en he git dar, Miss Meadows en de gals, dey run ter de gate fer ter meet 'im, en dis un tuck his hat, en dat un tuck his cane, en t'er'n tuck his fiddle, en den dey up'n' say:
"Lor', Mr. Ram! whar de name er goodness is you bin? We so glad you come. Stir 'roun' yer, folks, en git Mr. Ram a cup er hot coffee.'
"Name er goodness! w'at kinder pass dis yer we comin' ter w'en a great big grow'd up young un axin' 'bout Brer Rabbit? Bless yo' soul, honey! dey wa'n't no chune gwine dat Brer Rabbit can't pat. Let 'lone dat, w'en dey wuz some un else fer ter do de pattin', Brer Rabbit kin jump out inter de middle er de flo' en des nat❜ally shake de eyeleds offen dem yuther creeturs. En 'twa'n't none er dish yer bowin' en scrapin', en slippin' en slidin', en han's all 'roun' w'at folks does deze days. Hit uz dish yer up en down kinder dancin', whar dey des lips up in de a'r fer ter cut de pidjin-wing, en lights on de flo' right in de middle er de double-shuffle. Shoo! Dey aint no dancin' deze days; folks' shoes too tight, en dey aint got dat limbersomeness in de hips w'at dey useter is. Dat dey aint.
"Dey make a mighty big ter-do 'bout Mr. Benjermun Ram, Miss Meadows and de gals did, but 'twix' you en me en de bed-kaze he skeerd, en den Brer Fox make up pos', honey, dey'd er had der frolic wh'er his min' dat he gwineter pay Brer Rabbit de ole chap 'uz dar er not, kaze de gals back fer all er his 'seetfulness. He start in, done make 'rangements wid Brer Rabbit Brer Fox did, en fum dat time forrerd he fer ter pat fer'm, en in dem days Brer aggervate Brer Rabbit 'bout his tater-patch. Rabbit wuz a patter, mon. He mos' sho'ly One night, he leave de draw-bars down, 'n'er night he fling off de top rails, en nex' night, he t'ar down a whole panel er fence, en he keep on dis away twel 'pariently Brer Rabbit dunner w'at ter do. All dis time Brer Fox keep on foolin' wid de tater-patch, en w'en he see w'ich Brer Rabbit aint makin' no motion, Brer Fox 'low dat he dun skeer'd sho' 'nuff, en dat de time done come fer ter gobble 'im up widout lief er license. So he call on Brer Rabbit, Brer
MR. RABBIT'S RIDDLE.
"COULD the Rabbit pat a tune, sure enough, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy, his thoughts apparently dwelling upon the new accomplishment of Brother Rab
"En yit," Uncle Remus continued, in a tone which seemed to imply that he deemed it necessary to apologize for the apparent frivolity of Brother Rabbit,-"en yit de time come w'en ole Brer Rabbit 'gun ter put dis en dat tergedder, en de notion strike 'im dat he better be home lookin' atter de intruss er his fambly, 'stidder trapesin' en trollopin' 'roun' ter all de frolics in de settlement. He tuck'n' study dis in his min', twel bimeby he sot out 'termin' fer ter 'arn his own livelihoods, en den he up'n' lay off a piece er groun' en plant 'im a tater-patch.
"Brer Fox, he see all dis yer gwine on, he did, en he 'low ter hisse'f dat he speck Brer Rabbit rashfulness done bin supjued
Fox did, en he ax 'im will he take a walk. Brer Rabbit, he ax wharbouts. Brer Fox say right out yander. Brer Rabbit, he ax w'at is dey right out yander. Brer Fox say he know w'ar dey some mighty fine peaches, en he want Brer Rabbit fer ter go 'long en Brer climb de tree en fling um down. Rabbit say he don't keer ef he do, mo' speshually fer ter 'blige Brer Fox.
"Dey sòt out, dey did, en atter w'ile, sho' 'nuff, dey come ter de peach-orchud, en Brer Rabbit, w'at do he do but pick out a good tree, en up he clum. Brer Fox, he sot hisse'f at de root er de tree, kaze he 'low dat w'en Brer Rabbit come down he hatter come down backerds, en den dat 'ud be de time fer ter nab 'im. But, bless yo' soul, Brer Rabbit dun see w'at Brer Fox atter 'fo' he clum up. W'en he pull de peaches, Brer Fox say, sezee:
"Fling um down yer, Brer Rabbit-fling um right down yer so I kin ketch um,' sezee.
"Brer Rabbit, he sorter wunk de furdest eye fum Brer Fox, en he holler back, he did:
"Ef I fling um down dar whar you is, Brer Fox, en you misses um, dey'll git squshed,' sezee, 'so I'll des sorter pitch um out yander in de grass whar dey wont git bus',' sezee.
"Den he tuck'n' fling de peaches out in de grass, en w'iles Brer Fox went atter um, Brer Rabbit, he skint down outer de tree, en hustle hisse'f twel he git elbow-room. W'en he git off little ways, he up'n' holler back ter Brer Fox dat he got a riddle he want 'im ter read. Brer Fox, he ax w'at is it. Wid dat, Brer Rabbit, he gun it out ter Brer Fox like a man sayin' a speech:
"Big bird rob en little bird sing,
De big bee zoon en little bee sting,
"Ole Brer Fox scratch his head en study, en study en scratch his head, but de mo' he study de wuss he git mix up wid de riddle, en atter w'ile he tuck'n' tell Brer Rabbit dat he dunno how in de name er goodness ter onriddle dat riddle.
"Come en go 'longer me,' sez ole Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I boun' you I show you how ter read dat same riddle. Hit's wunner dem ar kinder riddle,' sez ole man Rabbit, sezee, 'w'ich 'fo' you read 'er, you gotter eat a bait er honey, en I done got my eye sot on de place whar we kin git de honey at,' sezee.
"Brer Fox, he ax wharbouts is it, en Brer
Rabbit, he say up dar in ole Brer B'ar cotton-patch, whar he gotter whole passel er bee-gums. Brer Fox, he 'low, he did,. dat he aint got no sweet-toof much, yit hewanter git at de innerds er dat ar riddle, en he don't keer ef he do go 'long.
Dey put out, dey did, en 'twa'n't long 'fo' dey come ter ole Brer B'ar bee-gums, en ole Brer Rabbit, he up'n' gun um a rap wid his walkin'-cane, des like folks thumps watermillions fer ter see ef dey er ripe. He tap. en he rap, en bimeby he come ter one un um w'ich she soun' like she plum full, en den he go 'roun' behime it, ole Brer Rabbit did,. en he up'n' say, sezee:
"I'll des sorter tilt 'er up, Brer Fox," sezee, 'en you kin put yo' head und' dar en git some er de drippin's,' sezee.
"Brer Rabbit, he tilt 'er up, en, sho' 'nuff, Brer Fox, he jam his head un'need de gum.. Hit make me laugh," Uncle Remus continued, with a chuckle, "fer ter see w'at a fresh man is Brer Fox, kaze he aint no sooner stuck his head un'need dat ar beegum, dan Brer Rabbit turnt 'er aloose, en down she come-ker-swosh!-right on Brer Fox neck, en dar he wuz. Brer Fox, he kick; he squeal; he jump; he squall; he dance; he prance; he beg; he pray; yit dar he wuz, en w'en Brer Rabbit git 'way off, en tu'n 'roun' fer ter look back, he see Brer Fox des a wigglin' en a squ'min', en right den en dar Brer Rabbit gun one oletime whoop, en des put out fer home.
"W'en he git dar, de fus' man he see wuz Brer Fox gran'daddy, w'ich folks all call 'im Gran'sir' Gray Fox. W'en Brer Rabbit-see 'im, he say, sezee:
"How you come on, Gran'sir' Gray Fox?" "I still keeps po'ly, I'm 'blige ter you,. Brer Rabbit,' sez Gran'sir' Gray Fox, sezee. Is you seed any sign er my gran'son dis mawnin'?' sezee.
"Wid dat Brer Rabbit laugh en say w'ich him en Brer Fox bin a ramblin' 'roun' wid wunner 'n'er havin' mo' fun dan w'at a man kin shake a stick at.
"We bin a riggin' up riddles en a readin' un um,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Brer Fox is settin' off some'rs in de bushes right now, aimin' fer ter read one w'at I gun 'im. I'll des drap you one,' sez ole Brer Rabbit, sezee,' w'ich ef you kin read it, hit'll take you right spang ter whar yo' gran'son is, en you can't git dar none too soon,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
"Den ole Gran'sir' Gray Fox, he up'n' ax w'at is it, en Brer Rabbit, he sing out, he did:
"De big bird rob en little bird sing,
"Gran'sir' Gray Fox, he tuck a pinch er snuff en cough easy ter hisse'f, en study en study, but he aint make it out, en Brer Rabbit, he laugh en sing:
Bee-gum mighty big fer ter make Fox collar, Kin you tell w'at's good fer a head in a holler?'
"Atter so long a time, Granʼsir' Gray Fox sorter ketch a glimpse er w'at Brer Rabbit tryin' ter gin✶ 'im, en he tip Brer Rabbit Give. The g is pronounced hard, like the last syllable of begin.
good-day, en shuffle off fer ter hunt up his gran'son."
"And did he find him, Uncle Remus ?" asked the little boy.
"Tooby sho', honey. Brer B'ar year de racket w'at Brer Fox kickin' up, en he go down dar fer ter see w'at de marter is. Soon ez he see how de lan' lay, co'se he tuck a notion dat Brer Fox bin robbin' his bee-gums, en he got 'im a han'ful er hick'ries, Brer B'ar did, en he let 'in on Brer Fox en he wom his jacket scannerlous, en den he tuck'n' tu'n 'im loose; but 'twa'n't long 'fo' all de neighbors git wud dat Brer Fox bin robbin' Brer B'ar bee-gums."
OWL AGAINST ROBIN.
FROWNING, the owl in the oak complained him
"From the north, from the east, from the south and the west,
Woodland, wheat-field, corn-field, clover,
Over and over and over and over,
Five o'clock, ten o'clock, twelve, or seven,
"Peep! you whistle, and cheep! cheep! cheep!
By day, when all honest birds ought to be sleeping.
"A vulgar flaunt is the flaring day,
Day kills. The leaf and the laborer breathe
(Aimless? Field-mice? True, they're slain,
To the cultus of night. Abandon the day.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
Our Charming Politics.
THE people of the United States, at the time of this present writing, are having an exhibition of party politics of the most suggestive and instructive character. About how many exhibitions of this kind they must have before they will demand a reform in the civil service we cannot tell, because they have learned so slowly hitherto; but, if downright insult can possibly stir their blood-if being slapped in the face and spit upon can waken them to a sense of their degradation-it would seem as if reform could not long be delayed. Never within our memory have we seen a more insolent outrage upon the executive of the Government and upon the popular forbearance than has been perpetrated by a United States Senator from New York, in his attempt to dictate an appointment to the President. The latter, in the exercise of his prerogative, nominated to the collectorship of New York a wellknown and highly esteemed gentleman-so well known and so highly esteemed that the Legislature of the State, acting honestly and freely, most promptly and heartily indorsed the nomination. The nomination was made in accordance with the President's policy to recognize all the elements of the Republican party which had assisted in his election. It was a nomination most fit to be made, but it did not suit the Senator. This gentleman assumes to be the "boss" of his party in this State, and Judge Robertson, the President's nominee, refuses to recognize him in this exalted capacity. He has not been "bossed" by him, and does not propose to be. "Hence the trade-winds." The collectorship of New York is so influential an office in party politics that the 66 boss" does not like to have it pass beyond his manipulations; so he relies first upon the "courtesy of the Senate" to defeat Judge Robertson's confirmation, and second upon the reversal of the indorsement of the Legislature. "The courtesy of the Senate," be it remembered, is the tacit agreement supposed to prevail in that body of legislators to give to one another the practical control of the Federal appointments in their respective States. That is, if Mr. Conkling does not approve of an appointment in his own State, he relies upon his fellowsenators to defeat it, on the consideration that he will do them a similar good turn on occasion. In other words, "the courtesy of the Senate" is a little machine for robbing the President of his power of appointing his own agents, and for passing it over to the hands of individual senators. Mr. Conkling wants one of his men in the collector's office, and does not want the President's man. What is more, he intends, apparently, to have his man there, or not to have any, if he can help it. If it were not pitiful, it would be ludicrous to see the effort that was made to reverse the verdict of the Legislature. There were a few poor fellows who were sorry they had not consulted the boss before speaking their
honest minds, and who signed a paper acknowledging as much, but the vote could not be reversed; so we have been saved from such a show of truckling servility as that would have given us.
Mr. Conkling was handsomely whipped at Chicago, but he does not seem to have learned that his old office of" boss" is not perpetual. If he is not handsomely whipped in this new matter, the President ought never to be forgiven. His position is an insult equally to the President, the Legislature of New York, and the people of the United States, who, a hundred to one, refuse to regard him as a boss at all. The presumption of his attitude and action should be met with indignant rebuke from every press and every platform, and should do much to hasten the day when such overbearing insolence will be impossible. Our hope, and, indeed, our opinion, is that the Senate will make quick work with his pretensions if they ever get to a vote, for we cannot conceive what object it can have in gratifying Mr. Conkling, to the embarrassment and defeat of the President. He is not so popular a man with his confrères that they will make haste to gratify his ambition or his spleen.
Another exhibition of our charming politics we have had in the treatment of our Street-cleaning Bill. New York found itself, as the winter drew to a close, literally floundering in the mud. With the consciousness that money enough was paid, and had for years been paid, to keep the streets clean, they saw them in such a condition that the public health was not only menaced,—it had already been seriously damaged. Hot weather was approaching, and a pestilence was not only possible—it was probable. Under the circumstances the citizens, without regard to party, held a meeting and appointed a large committee to give shape to a scheme for cleaning the streets and keeping them clean. This committee, composed of some of our best and most intelligent citizens, devised their scheme and went to the Legislature with it to get it enacted as a law. They brought to bear upon that body all the influence in their power, but party politics were immediately roused into opposition. What national politics have to do with the condition of the streets of New York, it would trouble any but a party politician to tell. They are made to have a great deal to do, however, and all the considerations of the health of a great city are of no moment compared with the party interests of a lot of hacks sent to Albany to do the people's business, but only careful to attend to their own and that of their political bosses. The city of New York, carrying a large portion of the taxes of the State, becomes frightened and disgusted with the results of party politics in taking care of its sanitary interests, and goes to the Legislature for assistance. Instead of getting it, it seems likely to get its old curse confirmed upon it, and receive an insult for all its painstaking.