James Fenimore Cooper.

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endeavor to make the best of it, and to persuade
myself that a slight difference in species may ex
onerate me from the imputation of cannibalism.

I often get letters from Captain Poke. He is not
very explicit on the subject of our voyage, it is
true; but, on the whole, I have decided that the
little ship he constructed was built on the model of,
and named after, our own Walrus, instead of our
own Walrus being built on the model of, and named
after, the little ship constructed by Captain Poke.
I keep the latter, therefore, to show my friends as
a proof of what I tell them, knowing the importance
of visible testimony with ordinary minds.

As for Bob and the mates, I never heard any
more of them. The former most probably continued
a " kickee," until years and experience enabled him
to turn the tables on humanity, when, as is usually
the case with Christians, he would be very likely to
take up the business of a " kicker" with so much
the greater zeal, on account of his early sufferings,

41 *



486 THE MONIKINS.

To conclude, my own adventures and observa
tions lead to the following inferences, viz.

That every man loves liberty for his own sake
and very few for the sake of other people.

That moral saltation is very necessary to politi
cal success at Leaplow, and quite probably in many
other places.

That civilization is very arbitrary, meaning one
thing in France, another thing at Leaphigh, and
still a third in Dorsetshire.

That there is no sensible difference between mo
tives in the polar region and motives anywhere else.

That truth is a comparative and local property,
being much influenced by circumstances ; particu
larly by climate and by different public opinions.

That there is no portion of human wisdom so
select and faultless that it does not contain the
seeds of its own refutation.

That of all the 'ocracies, (aristocracy and democ
racy included) hypocrisy is the most flourishing.

That he who is in the clutches of the law may
think himself lucky if he escape with the loss of his
tail.

That liberty is a convertible term, which means
exclusive privileges in one country, no privileges in
another, and inclusive privileges in all.

That religion is a paradox, in which self-denial
and humility are proposed as tenets, in direct con
tradiction to every man's senses.

That phrenology and caudology are sister sciences,
one being quite as demonstrable as the other, and
more too.

That philosophy, sound principles, and virtue, are
really delightful; but, after all, that they are no more
than so many slaves of the belly ; a man usually
preferring to eat his besi friend to starving.



THE MOMKIffS. 487

That a little wheel and a great wheel are as
necessary to the motion of a commonwealth, as to
the motion of a stage-coach, and that what this
gains in periphery that makes up in activity, on the
rotatory principle.

That it is one thing to have a king, another to
have a throne, and another to have neither.

That the reasoning which is drawn from particu
lar abuses, is no reasoning for general uses.

That, in England, if we did not use blinkers, our
cattle would break our necks ; whereas, in Germany
we travel at a good pace, allowing the horse the
use of his eyes ; and in Naples we fly, without even
a bit!

That the converse of what has just been said of
horses is true of men, in the three countries named.

That occultations of truth are just as certain as
the aurora borealis, and quite as easily accounted
for.

That men who will not shrink from the danger
and toil of penetrating the polar basin, will shrink
from the trouble of doing their own thinking, and
put themselves, like Captain Poke, under the con
voy of a God-like.

That all our wisdom is insufficient to protect us
from frauds, one outwitting us by gyrations and
flapjacks, and another by adding new joints to the
cauda.

That men are not very scrupulous touching the
numility due to God, but are so tenacious of their
own privileges in this particular, they will confide in
plausible rogues rather than in plain-dealing honesty.

That they who rightly appreciate the foregoing
facts, are People's Friends, and become the salt of
the earth yea, even the Most Patriotic Patriots !

That it is fortunate " all will come right in Hea



488 THE MONIKINS.

ven," for it is certain too much goes wrong on
earth.

That the social-stake system has one distinctive
merit ; that of causing the owners of vested rights
to set their own interests in motion, while those of
their fellow-citizens must follow, as a matter oi
course, though perhaps a little clouded by the dust
raised by their leaders.

That he who has an Anna, has the best invest
ment in humanity ; and that if he has any repetition
of his treasure, it is better still.

That money commonly purifies the spirit as wine
quenches thirst ; and therefore it is wise to commit
all our concerns to the keeping of those who have
most of it

That others seldom regard us in the same light
we regard ourselves ; witness the manner in which
Dr. Reasono converted me from a benefactor into
the travelling tutor of Prince Bob.

That honors are sweet even to the most humble,
as is shown by the satisfaction of Noah in being
made a Lord High Admiral.

That there is no such stimulant of humanity, as
a good moneyed stake in its advancement.

That though the mind may be set on a very im
proper and base object, it will not fail to seek a good
motive for its justification, few men being so hard
ened in any grovelling passion, that they will not
endeavor to deceive themselves, as well as their
neighbors.

That academies promote good fellowship in know
ledge, and good fellowship in knowledge promotes
F. U. D. G. E.s, and H. O. A. X.es.

That a political rolling-pin, though a very good
thing to level rights and privileges, is a very bad
thing to level houses, temples, and other matters
that might be named.



THE MONIKINS. 489

That the system of governing by proxy is more
extended than is commonly supposed; in one coun
try a king resorting to its use, and in another the
people.

That there is no method by which a man can be
made to covet a tail, so sure as by supplying all
his neighbors, and excluding him by an especial
edict

That the perfection of consistency in a nation, is
to dock itself at home, while its foreign agents
furiously cultivate caudcs abroad.

That names are far more useful than things,
being more generally understood, less liable to
objections, of greater circulation, besides occupy
ing much less room.

That ambassadors turn the back of the throne
outward, aristocrats draw a crimson curtain before
it, and a king sits on it.

That nature has created inequalities in men and
things, and, as human institutions are intended to
prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, ergo,
the laws should encourage natural inequalities as a
legitimate consequence.

That, moreover, the laws of nature having made
one man wise and another man foolish this strong,
and that weak, human laws should reverse it all,
by making another man wise and one man foolish
that strong and this weak. On this conclusion I
obtained a peerage.

That God-likes are commonly Riddles, and Rid
dies, with many people, are, as a matter of course,
God-likes.

That the expediency of establishing the base of
society on a principle of the most sordid character,
one that is denounced by the revelations of God,
and proved to be insufficient by the experience of



490 THE MONIRJNS.

man, may at least be questioned without properly
subjecting the dissenter to the imputation of being
* sheep-stealen

That we seldom learn moderation under any po
litical excitement, until forty thousand square miles
of territory are blown from beneath our feet

That it is not an infallible sign of great mental
refinement to bespatter our fellow-creatures, while
every nerve is writhing in honor of our pigs, our
cats, our stocks and our stones.

That select political wisdom, like select schools,
propagates much questionable knowledge.

That the whole people is not infallible, neither is
a part of the people infallible.

That love for the species is a godlike and pure
sentiment ; but the philanthropy which is dependent
on buying land by the square mile, and selling it by
the square foot, is stench' in the nostrils of the just.

That one thoroughly imbued with republican
simplicity invariably squeezes himself into a little
wheel, in order to show how small he can become
at need.

That habit is invincible, an Esquimaux preferring
whale's blubber to beef-steak, a native of the Gold
Coast cherishing his tom-tom before a band of
music, and certain travelled countrymen of our
own saying " Commend me to the English skies."

That arranging a fact by reason is embarrassing,
and admits of cavilling; while adapting a reason to
a fact is a very natural, easy, every-day, and some
times necessary, process.

That what men affirm for their own particular
interests they will swear to in the end, although it
should be a proposition as much beyond the neces
sity of an oath, as that " black is white."

That national allegories exist everywhere, the



THE MONIKIffS. 491

only difference between them arising from grada
tions in the richness of imaginations.

And finally:

That men have more of the habits, propensi
ties, dispositions, cravings, antics, gratitude, flap
jacks, and honesty of monikins, than is generally
known.



THE END.












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Online LibraryJames Fenimore CooperWorks (Volume 17) → online text (page 35 of 35)