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on the danger to be apprehended by the people
from themselves ; which he treated in a way that,
a little more expanded, would have made a delight
ful homily on the rights of man.

I believe I meditated on the contents of this letter
fully an hour. Its writer, John Dobbs, was as worthy
and upright a fellow as ever breathed ; and I could



THE MONIKINS. 123

not but admire the surprising knowledge of men
which shone through every line he had indite .
Something must be done, it was clear; and, at
length, I determined to take the bull by the horns,
and to address Mr. Huskisson at once, as the
shortest way of coming at the evil. He was the
political sponsor for all the new notions on the
subject of our foreign mercantile policy ; and. by
laying before him, in a strong point of view, the
fatal consequences of carrying his system to ex
tremes, I hoped something might yet be done for
the owners of real estate, the bones and sinews of
the land.

I shall just add, in this place, that Mr. Huskis
son sent me a very polite and a very statesman-like
reply, in which he disclaimed any intention of med
dling improperly with British interests, in any way;
that taxation was necessary to our system, and of
course every nation was the best judge of its own
means and resources ; but that he merely aimed at
the establishment of just and generous principles,
by which nations that had no occasion for British
measures should not unhandsomely resort to them ;
and that certain eternal truths should stand, like so
many well-constructed tubs, each on its own bot
tom. I must say I was pleased with this attention
from a man generally reputed as clever as Mr.
Huskisson, and from that time I became a convert
to most of his opinions.

The next communication that I opened, was
from the overseer of the estate in Louisiana, who
informed me that the general aspect of things in
that quarter of the world was favorable, but the
small-pox had found its way among the negroes,
and the business of the plantation would imme
diately require the services of fifteen able-bodied
men, with the usual sprinkling of women and chil-



124 THE MONIKINS.

dren. He added, that the laws of America prohi
bited the further importation of blacks from any
country without the limits of the Union, but that
there was a very pretty and profitable internal
trade in the article ; and that the supply might be
obtained, in suflicient season, either from the Caro-
linas, Virginia, or Maryland. He admitted, how
ever, that there was some choice between the
different stocks of these several states, and that some
discretion might be necessary in making the selec
tion. The negro of the Carolinas was the most
used to the cotton-field, had less occasion for
clothes, and it had been proved by experiment,
could be fattened on red herrings; while, on the
oilier hand, the negro farther north had the highest
instinct, could sometimes reason, and that he had
even been known to preach, when he had got
as high up as Philadelphia. He much affected,
also, bacon and poultry. Perhaps it might be well
to purchase samples of lots from all the different
stocks in market.

In reply, I assented to the latter idea, suggesting
the expediency of getting one or two of the higher
castes from the north ; I had no objection to
preaching, provided they preached work ; but I
cautioned the overseer particularly against schis
matics. Preaching, in the abstract, could do no
narm ; all depending on doctrine.

This advice was given as the result of much
earnest observation. Those European states that
had the most obstinately resisted the introduction
of letters, I had recently had occasion to remark,
were changing their systems, and were about to
act on the principle of causing " fire to fight fire."
They were fast having recourse to school-books,
using no other precaution than the simple expedient
of writing them themselves. By this ingenious



TUB MON1KINS. 125

invention, poison was converted into food, and
truths of all classes were at once put above the
dangers of disputations and heresies.

Having disposed of the Louisianian, I very
gladly turned to the opening of the sixth seal. The
letter was from the efficient trustee of a company
to whose funds I had largely contributed, by way
of making an investment in charity. It had struck
me, a short time previously to quitting home, that
interests positive as most of those I had embarked
in, had a tendency to render the spirit worldly; and
I saw no other check to such an evil, than by seek
ing for some association with the saints, in order to
set up a balance against the dangerous propensity.
A lucky occasion offered through the wants of the
Philo-african-anti-compulsion-free-labour Society,
whose meritorious efforts were about to cease for
want of the great charity-power gold. A draft
for five thousand pounds had obtained me the honoi
of being advertised as a shareholder and a patron ;
and, I know not why ! but it certainly caused me
to inquire into the results with far more interest than
I had ever before felt in any similar institution.
Perhaps this benevolent anxiety arose from that
principle in our nature, which induces us to look
after whatever has been our own, as long as any
part of it can be seen.

The principal trustee of the Philo-african-anti-
compulsion-free-labour Society now wrote to state
that some of the speculations which had gone pan
passu with the charity, had been successful, and
that the shareholders were, by the fundamental
provisions of the association, entitled to a dividend,
but how often that awkward word stands between
the cup and the lip ! but, that he was of opinion the
establishment of a new factory, near a point where
the slavers most resorted, and where gold-dust and



126 THE MOMKINS.

palm-oil were also to be had in the greatest quan
tities, and consequently at the lowest prices, would
equally benefit trade and philanthropy ; that, by a
judicious application of our means, these two inte
rests might be made to see-saw very cleverly, as
cause and effect, effect and cause ; that the black
man would be spared an incalculable amount of
misery, the white man a grievous burthen of sin,
and the particular agents of so manifest a good
might quite reasonably calculate on making, at the
very least, forty per cent, per annum on their
money, besides having all their souls saved, in the
bargain. Of course 1 assented to a proposition so
reasonable in itself, and which offered benefits so
plausible !

The next epistle was from the head of a great
commercial house in Spain, in which I had taken
some shares, and whose interests had been tempo
rarily deranged by the throes of the people in their
efforts to obtain redress for real or imaginary
wrongs. My correspondent showed a proper indig
nation on the occasion, and was not sparing in his
language whenever he was called to speak of
popular tumults. " What do the wretches wish !'
he asked, with much point " Our lives, as well as
our property? Ah! my dear sir, this bitter fact
impresses us all (by us, he meant the mercantile
interests) with the importance of strong executives.
Where should we have been, but for the bayonets
of the king ? or what would have become of our
altars, our firesides and our persons, had it not
pleased God to grant us a monarch indomitable in
will, brave in spirit, and quick in action ?" I wrote
a proper answer of congratulation, and turned to
the next epistle, which was the last of the communi
cations.

Tho eighth letter was f; om the acting head of



THE MONIKINS. 127

another commercial house, in New- York, United
States of America, or the country of Captain Poke,
where it would seem the President, by a decided
exercise of his authority, had drawn upon him
self the execrations of a large portion of the
commercial interests of the country; since the
effect of the measure, right or wrong, as a legiti
mate consequence or not, by hook or by crook, had
been to render money scarce. There is no man so
keen in his philippics, so acute in discovering and
so prompt in analyzing facts, so animated in his phi
losophy, and so eloquent in his complaints, as your
debtor, when money unexpectedly gets to be scarce
Credit, comfort, bones, sinews, marrow and all, ap
pear to depend on the result ; and it is no wonder
that, under so lively impressions, men who have
iiitherto been content to jog on in the regular and
quiet habits of barter, should suddenly start up into
logicians, politicians, ay, or even into magicians. Such
had been the case with my present correspondent,
who seemed to know and to care as little in gene
ral of the polity of his own country as if he had
never been in it, but who now was ready to split
hairs with a metaphysician, and who could not
have written more complacently of the constitution
if he had even read it. My limits will not allow
Tin insertion of the whole letter, but one or two of
its sentences shall be given. " Is it tolerable, my
dear sir," he went on to say, " that the executive
of any country, I will not say merely of our own,
should possess, or exercise, even admitting that he
does possess them, such unheard of powers ? Our
condition is worse than that of the Mussulmans,
who, in losing their money, usually lose their heads
and are left in a happy insensibility to their suffer-
ings : but, alas ! there is an end of the much boast
ed liberty of America ! The executive has swallow



128 THE MONIKIZVS.

ed up all the other branches of the government, and
the next thing will be to swallow up us. Our altars,
our firesides, and our persons will shortly be in-
raded ; and I much fear that my next letter will be
received by you, long after all correspondence shall
be prohibited, every means of communication cut
off, and we ourselves shall be precluded from writ
ing, by being chained, like beasts of burthen, to the
car of a bloody tyrant." Then followed as pretty
a string of epithets as I remember to have heard
from the mouth of the veriest shrew at Billings
gate.

I could not but admire the virtue of the "so
cial-stake system," which kept men so sensibly alive
to all their rights, let them live where they would,
or under what form of government, which was so
admirably suited to sustain truth and render us just
In reply, I sent back epithet for epithet, echoed ali
the groans of my correspondent, and railed as be
came a man who was connected with a losing
concern.

This closed my correspondence for the present
and I arose wearied with my labors, and yet great
ly rejoicing in their fruits. It was now late, bu'
excitement prevented sleep ; and before retiring foi
the night, I could not help looking in upon my guests.
Captain Poke had gone to a room in another part
of the hotel, but the family of amiable strangers
were fast asleep in the ante-chamber. They had
supped heartily, as I was assured, and were now
indulging in a happy but temporary oblivion to
use an approved expression of all their wrongs.
Satisfied with this state of things, I now sought my
own pillow, or, according to a favorite phrase of
Mr. Noah Poke, I also " turned in."



THE MONIKINS.



CHAPTER IX.

The commencement of wonders, which are the more extra
ordinary on account of their truth.

I DARE say my head had been on the pillow fully
an hour, before sleep closed my eyes. During this
time, I had abundant occasion to understand the
activity of what are called the " busy thoughts."
Mine were feverish, glowing, and restless. They
wandered over a wide field; one that included
Anna, with her beauty, her mild truth, her woman
ly softness and her womanly cruelty ; Captain Poke
and his peculiar opinions ; the amiable family of
quadrupeds and their wounded sensibilities ; the ex
cellencies of the social-stake system ; and, in short,
most of that which I had seen and heard during
the last four-and-twenty hours. When sleep did
tardily arrive, it overtook me at the very moment
that I had inwardly vowed to forget my heartless
mistress, and to devote the remainder of my life to
the promulgation of the doctrine of the expansive-
super-human-generalized-affection-principle, to the
utter exclusion of all narrow and selfish views, and
in which I resolved to associate myself with Mr.
Poke, as with one who had seen a great deal of
this earth and its inhabitants, without narrowing
down his sympathies in favor of any one place or
person, in particular, Stunin'tun and himself ver"
properly excepted.

It was broad day-light when I awoke on the fol
lowing morning. My spirits were calmed by rest,
and my nerves had been soothed by the balmy
freshness of the atmosphere. It appeared that my
valet had entered and admitted the morning air.



130 THE MOM KINS.

and then had withdrawn, as usual, to await the signa
of the bell, before he presumed to reappear. I lay
many minutes, in delicious repose, enjoying the pe
riodical return to life and reason, bringing with it,
the pleasures of thought and its ten thousand agree
able associations. The delightful reverie into which
I was insensibly dropping, was, however, ere long
arrested by low, murmuring, and, as I thought,
plaintive voices, at no great distance from my own
bed. Seating myself erect, I listened intently, and with
a good deal of surprise ; for it was not easy to ima
gine whence sounds, so unusual for that place and
hour, could proceed. The discourse was earnest,
and even animated ; but it was carried on in so low
a tone that it would have been utterly inaudible, but
for the deep quiet of the hotel. Occasionally a word
reached my ear, and I was completely at fault in en
deavoring to ascertain even the language. That it
was in neither of the five great European tongues, I
was certain, for all these 1 either spoke or read; and
there were particular sounds and inflexions that in
duced me to think that it savored of the most an
cient of the two classics. It is true that the proso
dy of these dialects, at the same time that is is a
shibboleth of learning, is a disputed point, the very
sounds of the vowels even being a matter of na
tional convention; the Latin word dux, for in
stance, becoming ducks in England, dooks in Italy,
and dukes in France : yet there is a l je ne sais quoi,'
a delicacy in the auricular taste of a true scholar,
that will rarely lead him astray, when his ears are
greeted with words that have been used by Demos
thenes or Cicero.* In the present instance, I dis
tinctly heard the word, my-bam-y-nos-fos-kom-i-tdn,

* Or Chichcro, or Kickero, whichever may happen to sui
the prejudices of the reader.



THE MONIKINS. 131

which I made sure was a verb in the dual number
and second person, of a Greek root, but of a signi
fication that I could not, on the instant, master, but
which, beyond a question, every scholar will recog
nize as having a strong analogy to a well-known
line in Homer. If I was puzzled with the sylla
bles that accidentally reached me, I was no less
perplexed with the intonations of the voices of the
different speakers. While it was easy to under
stand they were of the two sexes, they had no
direct affinity to the mumbling sibilations of the
English, the vehement monotony of the French,
the gagging sonorousness of the Spaniards, the
noisy melody of the Italians, the ear-splitting oc
taves of the Germans, or the undulating, head-
over-heels enunciation of the countrymen of my
particular acquaintance, Captain Noah Poke. Of
all the living languages of which I had any know
ledge, the resemblance was nearer to the Danish
and Swedish, than to any other; but I much
doubted, at the time I first heard the syllables, and
still question, if there is exactly such a word as
my-bom-y-nos-fos-kom-i-ton to be found in even
either of those tongues. I could no longer sup
port the suspense. The classical and learned
doubts that beset me, grew intensely painful: and,
arising with the greatest caution, in order not to
alarm the speakers, I prepared to put an end to
them all, by the simple and natural process of
actual observation.

The voices came from the ante-chamber, the
door of which was slightly open. Throwing on a
dressing-gown, and thrusting my feet into slippers,
I moved on tiptoe to the aperture, and placed my
eye in such a situation as enabled me to command
a view of the persons of those who were still
earnestly talking in the adjoining room All ur-



133 THE MONIKINS.

prise vanished the moment I found that the foro
monkeys were grouped in a corner of the apart
ment, where they were carrying on a very ani
mated dialogue, the two oldest of the party (a male
and a female) being the principal speakers. It was
not to be expected that even a graduate of Oxford,
although belonging to a sect so proverbial for
classical lore, that many of them knew nothing
else, could, at the first hearing, decide upon the
analogies and character of a tongue that is so little
cultivated even in that ancient seat of learning.
Although I had now certainly a direct clue to the
root of the dialect of the speakers, I found it quite
impossible to get any useful acquaintance with the
general drift of what was passing among them.
As they were my guests, however, and might pos
sibly be in want of some of the conveniences that
were necessary to their habits, or might even be
suffering under still graver embarrassments, I
conceived it to be a duty to waive the ordinary
usages of society, and at once offer whatever
it was in my power to bestow, at the risk of inter
rupting concerns that they might possibly wish to
consider private. Using the precaution, there
fore, to make a little noise, as the best means of
announcing my approach, the door was gently
opened, and I presented myself to view. At first,
I was a little at a loss in what manner to address
the strangers; but, believing that a people who
spoke a language so difficult of utterance and so
rich as that I had just heard, like those who use
dialects derived from the Slavonian root, were
most probably the masters of all others; and remem
bering, moreover, that French was a medium of
thought among all polite people, I determined to
have recourse to that tongue.
" Messieurs el mesdames" I said, inclining my



THE MONIKIN8.



nody in salutation, "milk pardons pour cette intrusion
peu convenable" but, as I am writing in Englisn
it may be well to translate the speeches as I pro
ceed; although I abandon with regret the advantage
of going through them literally, and in the appro
priate dialect in which they were originally spoken.

" Gentlemen and ladies," I said, inclining my body
in salutation, " I ask a thousand pardons for this
inopportune intrusion on your retirement; but over
hearing a few of what I much fear are but too
well grounded complaints, touching the false posi
tion in which you are placed, as the occupant of
this apartment, and in that light your host, I have
ventured to approach, with no other desire than
the wish that you would make me the repository
of all your griefs, in order, if possible, that they
may be repaired as soon as circumstances shall in
any manner allow."

The strangers were very naturally a little star
tled at my unexpected appearance, and at the
substance of what I had just said. I observed
that the two ladies were apparently, in some slight
degree, even distressed, the younger turning her
head on one side in maiden modesty, while the
elder, a duenna-sort-of-looking person, dropped
her eyes to the floor, but succeeded in better
maintaining her self-possession and gravity. The
eldest of the two gentlemen approached me with
dignified composure, after a moment of hesitation ;
and, returning my salute, by waving his tail with
singular grace and decorum, he answered as fol
lows. I may as well state in this place, that he
spoke the French about as well as an Englishman
who has lived long enough on the continent to
fancy he can travel in the provinces without being
detected for a foreigner. Au rests, his accent wa
Russian, and his enunciation whistling and
12



134 THE MONIKINS.

harmonious. The females, especially in some of the
lower keys of their voices, made sounds not unlike
the sighing tones of the Eolian harp. It was real
ly a pleasure to hear them ; but I have often had
occasion to remark that, in every country but one
which I do not care to name, the language, when
uttered by the softer sex, takes new charms, and
is rendered more delightful to the ear.

" Sir," said the stranger, when he had done
waving his tail, "I should do great injustice to my
feelings, and to the monikin character in general,
were I to neglect expressing some small portion
of the gratitude I feel on the present occasion.
Destitute, houseless, insulted wanderers and cap
tives, fortune has at length shed a ray of happiness
on our miserable condition, and hope begins to
shine through the cloud of our distress, like a pass
ing gleam of the sun. From my very tail, sir, in
my own name and in that of this excellent and
most pradent matron, and in those of these two
noble and youthful lovers, I thank you Yes ! hon
orable and humane being of the genus homo, spe
cies Anglicus, we all return our most tail-felt
acknowledgments of your goodness !"

Here the whole party gracefully bent the orna
ments in question over their heads, touching their
receding foreheads with the several tips, and
bowed. I would have given ten thousand pounds,
at that moment, to have had a good investment in
tails, in order to emulate their form of courtesy ;
but naked, shorn and destitute as I was, with a
feeling of humility, I was obliged to put my head
a little on one shoulder, and give the ordinary
English bob, in return for their more elaborate
politeness.

"If I were merely to say, sir," I continued,
when the opening salutations were thus property



THE MONIKINS. 135

exchanged, "that I am charmed at this accidental
interview, the word would prove very insufficient
to express my delight. Consider this hotel as your
own ; its domestics as your domestics ; its stores
of condiments as your stores of condiments, and
its nominal tenant as your most humble servant
and friend. I have been greatly shocked at the
indignities to which you have hitherto been ex
posed, and now promise you liberty, kindness, and
all those attentions to which, it is very apparent,
you are fully entitled by your birth, breeding, and
the delicacy of your sentiments. I congratulate
myself a thousand times for having been so for
tunate as to make your acquaintance. My great
est desire has always been to stimulate the sym
pathies ; but, until to-day, various accidents have
confined the cultivation of this heaven-born pro
perty, in a great measure, to my own species ; I
now look forward, however, to a delicious career
of new-born interests in the whole of the animal
creation, I need scarcely say, in that of quadrupeds
of your family in particular."

" Whether we belong to the class of quadrupeds
or not, is a question that has a good deal embar
rassed our own savans" returned the stranger.
" There is an ambiguity in our physical action that
renders the point a little questionable ; and there
fore, I think, the higher castes of our natural phi
losophers rather prefer classing the entire monikin
species, with all its varieties, as caudae-jactans,
or tail- wavers ; adopting the term from the nobler
part of the animal formation. Is not this the better
opinion at home, my Lord Chatterino ?" he asked,
turning to the youth, who stood respectfully at his
side.

" Such, I believe, my dear Doctor, was the last
classification sanctioned by the academy," the



\36 THE MOMK1NS.

young noble replied, with a readiness that proved
nim to be both well-informed and intelligent, and,
at the same time, with a reserve of manner that
did equal credit to his modesty and breeding. " The
question of whether we are or are not bipeds has
greatly agitated the schools for more than three
centuries."

" The use of this gentleman's name," I hastily
rejoined, " my dear sir, reminds me that we are
but half acquainted with each other. Permit me to
waive ceremony, and to announce myself, at once,
as Sir John Goldencalf, Baronet, of Householder-
Hall, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, a poor ad
mirer of excellence wherever it is to be found, or
under whatever form, and a devotee of the system
of the ' social-stake.' "

" I am happy to be admitted to the honor of this
formal introduction, Sir John. In return, I beg you
will suffer me to say that this young nobleman is, in
our own dialect, No. 6, purple; or, to translate the ap
pellation, my Lord Chatterino. This young lady is



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