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No. 4, violet, or, my Lady Chatterissa. This excel
lent and prudent matron is No. 4,626,243, russet* or,
Mistress Vigilance Lynx, to translate her appella
tion also into the English tongue ; and that I am
No. 22,817, brown-study-color, or, Dr. Reasono,
to give you a literal signification of my name, a
poor disciple of the philosophers of our race, an
LL. D., and a F. U. D. G. E., the travelling tutor of
this heir of one of the most illustrious and the most
ancient houses of the island of Leaphigh, in the
monikin section of mortality."

" Every syllable, learned Dr. Reasono, that falls
from your revered lips, only whets curiosity, and
adds fuel to the flame of desire, tempting me to in
quire further into your private history, your future
ntentions, the polity of your species, and all those
interesting topics that will readily suggest them-


selves to one of your quick apprehension and ex-
tensive acquirements. I dread being thought indis
creet ; and yet, putting yourself in my position, I
trust you will overlook a wish so natural and ar

" Apology is unnecessary, Sir John, and nothing
would afford me greater satisfaction than to an
swer any and every inquiry you may be disposed
to make."

" Then, sir, to cut short all useless circumlocu
tion, suffer me to ask at once an explanation of the
system of enumeration, by which you indicate in
dividuals? You are called No. 22,817, brown-
study-color "

" Or, Dr. Reasono. As you are an Englishman,
you will perhaps understand me better, if I refer to
a recent practice of the new London police. You
may have observed that the men wear letters in
red or white, and numbers on the capes of their
coats. By the letters, the passenger can refer to
the company of the officer, while the number indi
cates the individual. Now, the idea of this im
provement came, I make no doubt, from our sys
tem, under which society is divided into castes, for
the sake of harmony and subordination, and these
castes are designated by colors and shades of colors,
that are significant of their stations and pursuits
the individual, as in the new police, being known
by the number. Our own language being exceed
ingly sententious, is capable of expressing the most
elaborate of these combinations in a very few
sounds. I should add that there is no difference in
the manner of distinguishing the sexes, with the
exception that each is numbered apart, and each
has a counterpart-color to that of the same caste
In the other sex. Thus, purple and violet are both
noble, the former being masculine and the latte*


feminine, and russet being the counterpart of

" And excuse my natural ardor to know more
and do you bear these numbers and colors mark
ed on your attire, in your own region ?"

"As for attire, Sir John, the monikins are too
highly improved, mentally and physically, to need
any. It is known that in all cases, extremes meet
The savage is nearer to nature than the merely
civilized being, and the creature that has passed
the mistifications of a middle state of improvement,
finds himself again approaching nearer to the habits,
the wishes, and the opinions of our common mo
ther. As the real gentleman is more simple in
manners than the distant imitator of his deport
ment ; as fashions and habits are always more ex
aggerated in provincial towns than in polished
' apitals ; or, as the profound philosopher has less
pretensions than the tyro, so does our common
genus, as it draws nearer to the consummation of
its destiny, and its highest attainments, learn to re
ject the most valued usages of the middle condi
tion, and to return, with ardor, towards nature, as
to a first love. It is on this principle, sir, that the
monikin family never wears clothes."

"I could not but pe.rceive that the ladies have
manifested some embarrassment ever since I en
tered, is it possible, that their delicacy has taken
the alarm, at the state of my toilet ?"

" At the toilet itself, Sir John, rather than at its
state, if I must speak plainly. The female mind,
trained as it is with us, from infancy upward, in
the habits and usages of nature, is shocked by any
departure from her rules. You will know how to
make allowances for the squeamishness of the sex
for I believe it is much alike, in this particular, le
it come from what quarter of the earth it may."


" I can only excuse the seeming want of polite
ness by my ignorance, Dr. Reasono. Before I ask
another question, the oversight shall be repaired. I
must retire into my own chamber for an instant,
gentlemen and ladies, and I beg you will find such
sources of amusement as first offer, until I can re
turn. There are nuts, I believe, in this closet ; su
gar is usually kept on that table, and perhaps the
ladies might find some relaxation by exercising
themselves on the chairs. In a single moment I
shall be with you again."

Hereupon, I withdrew into my bed-chamber, and
began to lay aside the dressing-gown, as well as
my shirt. Remembering, however, that I was but
too liable to colds in the head, I returned to ask
Dr. Reasono to step in where I was for an instant.
On mentioning the difficulty, this excellent person
assumed the office of preparing his female friends
to overlook the slight innovation of my still wear
ing the night-cap and slippers.

" The ladies would think nothing of it," the phi
losopher good-humoredly remarked, by way of
lessening my regrets at having wounded their sen
sibilities, " were you even to appear in a military
cloak and Hessian boots, provided, it was not
thought that you were of their acquaintance, and
in their immediate society. I think you must have
often remarked among the sex of your own spe
cies, who are frequently quite indifferent to nudities
(their prejudices running counter to ours,) that ap
pear in the streets, but which would cause them
instantly to run out of the room, when exhibited in
the person of an acquaintance ; these conventional
asides being tolerated everywhere, by a judicious
concession of punctilios that might otherwise be
come insupportable."

140 THE MOfflKINS.

" The distinction is too reasonable to require an
other word of explanation, dear sir. Now, let us
rejoin the ladies, since I am, at length, in some de
gree, fit to be seen."

I was rewarded for this bit of delicate attention,
by an approving smile from the lovely Chatterissa,
and good Mistress Lynx no longer kept her eyes
riveted on the floor, but bent them on me, with
looks of admiration and gratitude.

" Now that this little contre-lems is no longer an
obstacle," I resumed, " permit me to continue those
inquiries which you have hitherto answered with
so much amenity, and so satisfactorily. As you
have no clothes, in what manner is the parallel be
tween your usage and that of the new London po
lice practically completed ?"

" Although we have no clothe^, Nature, whose
laws are never violated with impunity, but who is
as beneficent as she is absolute, has furnished us
with a downy covering to supply their places,
wherever clothes are needed for comfort. We have
coats that defy fashions, require no tailors, and
never lose their naps. But it would be inconveni
ent to be totally clad in this manner ; and, there
fore, the palms of our hands are, as you see, un
gloved ; the portions of the frame on which we seat
ourselves are left uncovered, most probably lest
some inconvenience should arise from taking acci
dental and unfavorable positions. This is the part
of the monikin frame the best adapted for receiving
oaint, and the numbers of which I have spoken are
oeriodically renewed there, at public offices appoint
ed for that purpose. Our characters are so minute as
to escape the human eye ; but by using that opera-
glass, I make no doubt that you may still see some
of my own enregistration, although, alas ! unusuai
friction, great misery, and, I may say, unmerited


wrongs, have nearly un-monikined me in this, as
well as in various other, particulars."

As Dr. Reasono had the complaisance to turn
round, and to use his tail like the index of a black
board, by aid of the glass, I very distinctly traced
the figures to which he alluded. Instead of being
in paint, however, as he had given me reason to
anticipate, they seemed to be branded, or burnt
in, indelibly, as we commonly mark horses, thieves,
and negroes. On mentioning the fact to the phi
losopher, it was explained with his usual facility
and politeness.

" You are quite right, sir," he said ; " the omis
sion of paint was to prevent tautology, an offence
against the simplicity of the monikin dialect, as
well as against monikin taste, that would have
been sufficient, under our opinions, even to over
turn the government."

" Tautology !"

" Tautology, Sir John ; on examining the back
ground of the picture, you will perceive that it is
already of a dusky, sombre hue ; now, this being
of a meditative and grave character, has been
denominated by our academy the ' brown-study-
color;' and it would clearly have been superer
ogatory to lay the same tint upon it. No, sir; we
avoid repetitions even in our prayers, deeming
them to be so many proofs of an illogical and of
an anti-consecutive mind."

" The system is admirable, and I see new beau
ties at each moment. You enjoy the advantage,
for instance, under this mode of enumeration, of
knowing your acquaintances from behind, quite as
well as if you met them face to face !"

" The suggestion is ingenious, showing an active
and an observant mind; but it does not quite reach
the motive of the politico-numerical-identity-sys-


tern of which we are speaking. The objects ot
this arrangement are altogether of a higher and
more useful nature ; nor do we usually recognize
our friends by their countenances, which at the
best are no more than so many false signals, but
by their tails."

" This is admirable ! What a facility you pos
sess for recognizing an acquaintance, who may
happen to be up a tree ! But may I presume to
inquire, Dr. Reasono, what are the most approved
of the advantages of the politico-numerical-identity-
system ? For impatience is devouring my vitals."

" They are connected with the interests of go
vernment. You know, sir, that society is estab
lished for the purposes of governments, and govern
ments, themselves, mainly to facilitate contributions
and taxations. Now, by the numerical system,
we have every opportunity of including the whole
monikin race in the collections, as they are pe
riodically checked off by their numbers. The
idea was a happy thought of an eminent statician
of ours, who gained great credit at court by the
invention, and, in fact, who was admitted to the
academy in consequence of its ingenuity."

" Still it must be admitted, my dear Doctor,"
put in Lord Chatterino, always with the modesty,
and perhaps I might add, with the generosity of
youth, " that there are some among us who deny
that society was made for governments, and who
maintain that governments were made for society;
or, in other words, for monikins."

" Mere theorists, my good Lord ; and their
opinions, even if true, are never practised on.
Practice is every thing in political matters ; and
theories are of no use, except as they confirm

"Both theory and practice are perfect," I cried.


"and I make no doubt that the classification into co
lors, or castes, enables the authorities to commence
the imposts with the richest, or the ' purples.' "

" Sir, monikin prudence never lays the founda
tion-stone at the summit ; it seeks the base of the
edifice; and as contributions are the walls of
society, we commence with the bottom. When
you shall know us better, Sii John Goldencalf,
you will begin to comprehend the beauty and
benevolence of the entire monikin economy."

I now adverted to the frequent use of this word
"monikin;" and, admitting my ignorance, desired
an explanation of the term, as well as a more
general insight into the origin, history, hopes, and
polity of the interesting strangers ; if they can be
so called who were already so well known to me.
Dr. Reasono admitted that the request was natural
and was entitled to respect; but he delicately sug
gested the necessity of sustaining the animal func
tions by nutriment, intimating that the ladies had
supped but in an indifferent way the evening
before, and acknowledging that, philosopher as he
was, he should go through the desired explanations
after improving the slight acquaintance he had
already made with certain condiments in one of
the armoires, with far more zeal and point, than
could possibly be done in the present state of his
appetite. The suggestion was so very plausible
that there was no resisting it ; and. suppressing
my curiosity as well as I could, the bell was rung,
I retired to my bed-chamber to resume so much
of my attire as was necessary to the semi-civili
zation of man, and then the necessary orders were
given to the domestics, who, by the way, were
suffered to remain under the influence of those
ordinary and vulgar prejudices that are pretty
generally entertained by the human, against the
monikin family.


Previously to separating from my new friend
Dr. Reasono, however, 1 took him aside, and
stated that I had an acquaintance in the hotel, a
person of singular philosophy, after the human
fashion, and a great traveller ; and that I desired
permission to let him into the secret of our intended
lecture on the monikin economy, and to bring
him with me as an auditor. To this request, No.
22,817, brown-study-color, or Dr. Reasono, gave
a very cordial assent; hinting delicately, at the
same time, his expectation that this new auditor,
who, of course, was no other than Captain Noah
Poke, would not deem it disparaging to his man
hood, to consult the sensibilities of the ladies, by
appearing in the garments of that only decent and
respectable tailor and draper, nature. To this
suggestion I gave a ready approval ; when each
went his way, after the usual salutations of bowing
and tail-waving, with a mutual promise of being
punctual to the appointment.


A great deal of negotiation, in which human shrewdness ifl
completely shamed, and human ingenuity is shown to be
of a very secondary quality.

MR. POKE listened to my account of all that had
passed, with a very sedate gravity. He informed
me that he had witnessed so much ingenuity among
the seals, and had known so many brutes that
seemed to have the sagacity of men, and so many
men who appeared to have the stupidity of
brutes, that he had no difficulty whatever in be



lieving every word I told him. He expressed his
satisfaction, too, at the prospect of hearing a lec
ture on natural philosophy and political economy
from the lips of a monkey; although he took occa
sion to intimate that no desire to learn anything
lay at the bottom of his compliance ; for, in his
country, these matters were very generally studied
in the district schools, the very children who ran
about the streets of * Stunin'tun' usually knowing
more than most of the old people in foreign parts.
" Still a monkey might have some new ideas ; and,
for his part, he was willing to hear what every
one had to say; for, if a man did'nt put in a word
for himself, in this world, he might be certain no
one else would take the pains to speak for him."
But when I came to mention the details of the
programme of the forthcoming interview, and
stated that it was expected the audience would
wear their own skins, out of respect to the ladies,
I greatly feared that my friend would have so far
excited himself as to go into fits. The rough old
sealer swore some terrible oaths, protesting " that
he would not make a monkey of himself, by ap
pearing in this garb, for all the monikin philoso
phers, or high-born females, that could be stowed
in a ship's hold ; that he was very liable to take
cold ; that he once knew a man who undertook to
play beast in this manner, and the first thing the
poor devil knew, he had great claws and a tail
sprouting out of him ; a circumstance that he had
always attributed to a just judgment for striving
to make himself more than Providence had intend
ed him for; that, provided a man's ears were
naked, he could hear just as well as if his whole
body was naked ; that he did not complain of the
monkeys going in their skins, and that they ought,
in reason, not to meddle with his clothes ; that he


should be scratching himself the whole time, and
thinking what a miserable figure he cut ; that he
would have no place to keep his tobacco ; that he
was apt to be deaf when he was cold; that he

would be d d if he did any such thing ; that

human natur' and monkey natur' were not the same,
and it was not to be expected that men and mon
keys should follow exactly the same fashions ; that
the meeting would have the appearance of a box
ing-match, instead of a philosophical lecture ; that
he never heard of such a thing at Stunin'tun; that
he should feel sneaking at seeing his own shins in
the presence of ladies ; that a ship always made
better weather under some canvas, than under
bare poles ; that he might possibly be brought to
his shirt and pantaloons, but as for giving up these,
he would as soon think of cutting the sheet-anchor
off his bows, with the vessel driving on a lee-shore?
that flesh and blood were flesh and blood, and they
liked their comfort; that he should think the whole
time he was about to go in a swimming, and
should be looking about for a good place to dive;"
together with a great many more similar objec
tions, that have escaped me in the multitude of
things of greater interest which have since occu
pied my time. I have frequently had occasion to
observe, that, when a man has one good, solid
reason for his decision, it is no easy matter to
shake it; but, that he who has a great many,
usually finds them of far less account in the
struggle of opinions. Such proved to be the fact
with Captain Poke on the present occasion. I suc
ceeded in stripping him of his garments, one by
one, until I got him reduced to the shirt, where,
like a stout ship that is easily brought to her
bearings by the breeze, he 'stuck and hung' in
a manner to manifest it would require a heavy
strain to bring him down any lower. A lucky


thought relieved us all from the dilemma. There
were a couple of good large bison-skins among
my effects, and on suggesting to Dr. Reasono the
expediency of encasing Captain Poke in the folds
of one of them, the philosopher cheerfully assented,
observing that any object of a natural and simple
formation was agreeable to the monikin senses ;
their objections were merely to the deformities of
art, which they deemed to be so many offences
against Providence. On this explanation, I ven
tured to hint that, being still in the infancy of the
new civilization, it would be very agreeable to my
ancient habits, could I be permitted to use one of
the skins, also, while Mr. Poke occupied the other.
Not the slightest objection was raised to the pro
posal, and measures were immediately taken to
prepare us to appear in good company. Soon
after I received from Dr. Reasono a protocol of
the conditions that were to regulate the approach
ing interview. This document was written in
Latin, out of respect to the ancients, and as I after
wards understood, it was drawn up by my Lord
Chatterino, who had been educated for the diplo
matic career at home, previously to the accident
which had thrown him, alas ! into human hands. I
translate it freely, for the benefit of the ladies, who
usually prefer their own tongues to any others.

PROTOCOL of an interview that is to take place
between Sir John Goldencalf, Bart., of House
holder Hall, in the kingdom of Great Britain, and
No. 22,817, brown-study-colour, or Socrates Rea
sono, F. U. D. G. E., Professor of Probabilities in
the University of Monikinia, and in the kingdom
of Leaphigh :

The contracting parties agree as follows, viz.
ARTICLE 1. That there shall be an interview.


ART. 2. That the said interview shall be i peace*
able interview, and not a belligerent interview.

ART. 3. That the said interview shall be logical,
explanatory, and discursory.

ART. 4. That during said interview, Dr. Rea-
sono shall have the privilege of speaking most,
and Sir John Goldencalf the privilege of hearing

ART. 5. That Sir John Goldencalf shall have
the privilege of asking questions, and Dr. Reasono
the privilege of answering them.

ART. 6. That a due regard shall be had to both
human and monikin prejudices and sensibilities.

ART. 7. That Dr. Reasono, and any monikins
who may accompany him, shall smooth their coats,
and otherwise dispose of their natural vestments,
in a way that shall be as agreeable as possible to
Sir John Goldencalf and his friend.

ART. 8. That Sir John Goldencalf, and any man
who may accompany him, shall appear in bison-
skins, wearing no other clothing, in order to render
themselves as agreeable as possible to Dr. Reasono
and his friends.

ART. 9. That the conditions of this protocol shall
be respected.

ART. 10. That any doubtful significations in this
protocol shall be interpreted, as near as may be, in
favor of both parties.

ART. 11. That no precedent shall be established
to the prejudice of either the human or the moni
kin dialect, by the adoption of the Latin language
on this occasion.

Delighted with this proof of attention on the part
of my Lord Chatterino, I immediately left a card
for that young nobleman, and then seriously set
about preparing myself, with an increased scrupu


.ousness, for the fulfilment of the smallest condition
of the compact. Capt. Poke was soon ready, and
I must say that he looked more like a quadruped
on its hind legs, in his new attire, than a human
being. As for my own appearance, I trust it was
such as became my station and character.

At the appointed time all the parties were as
sembled, Lord Chatterino appearing with a copy
of the protocol in his hand. This instrument was
formally read, by the young peer, in a very cred
itable manner, when a silence ensued, as if to in
vite comment. I know not how it is, but I never
yet heard the positive stipulations of any bargain,
that I did not feel a propensity to look out for
weak places in them. I had begun to see that
the discussion might lead to argument, argument
to comparisons between the two species, and
something like an esprit de corps was stirring within
me. It now struck me that a question might be
fairly raised as to the propriety of Dr. Reasono's
appearing with three backers, while 1 had but one.
The objection was, therefore, urged on my part, I
hope in a modest and conciliatory manner. In
reply, my Lord Chatterino observed, it was true
the protocol spoke in general terms of mutual sup
porters, but if

" Sir John Goldencalf would be at the trouble
of referring to the instrument itself, he would see
that the backers of Dr. Reasono were mentioned in
the plural number, while that of Sir John himself
was alluded to only in the singular number."

" Perfectly true, my Lord ; but you will, how
ever, permit me to remark, that two Monikins
would completely fulfil the conditions in favor of
Dr. Reasono, while he appears here with tnree;
there certainly must be some limits to this plurality,
or the Doctor would have a right to attend the


interview accompanied by all the inhabitants of

" The objection is highly ingenious, and credit
able in the last degree to the diplomatic abilities
of Sir John Goldencalf; but, among monikins, two
females are deemed equal to only one male, in the
eye of the law. Thus, in cases which require two
witnesses, as in conveyances of real estate, two
male monikins are sufficient, whereas it would
be necessary to have four female signatures, in
order to give the instrument validity. In the legal
sense, therefore, I conceive that Dr. Reasono is
attended by only two monikins."

Captain Poke hereupon observed that this pro
vision in the law of Leaphigh was a good one; for
he had often had occasion to remark that women,
quite half the time, did not know what they were
about; and he thought, in general, that they require
more ballast than men.

" This reply would completely cover the case,
my Lord," I answered, " were the protocol purely
a monikin document, and this assembly purely a

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