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am acquainted there, I make free to inquire in what part you were born?
Doo. Do you know where New-Haven is?
Doo. Well, I was not born there.
Gen. Why did you ask the question then?
Doo. Becaise my daddy was; but afore I was born, he moved up country.
Gen. But what town gave you birth?
Doo. Nun, I vum; I was born in the woods, as they tell me; for I dont remember nothing about it myself.
Gen. But where do they say you were born?
Doo. Sumwheres in Varmount, between Brattleboro' and Bennington; as the Indian said, he was born at Nantucket, Cape Cod, and all along shore.
Gen. Why, young man, you seem to have some mother wit. Doo. I count, if I had any of my own, I should'nt have been ketch'd here.
Gen. What! not homesick, are you?
Doo. I guess I be, for I feel pretty slim. (Sobbing.) But how to git hum is the divil on't.
Gen. Why, how did you get here?
Doo. By water. Did you think I cum to an island by
Gen. I mean, what brought you?
Doo. A vessel, I vum. It would have been a tuff pull to swim three thousand miles.
Gen. But what kind of a vessel?
Doo. A man of war, I spose.
Gen. You have not the air of a mariner; were you bred to the sea? I wish to know your adventres, and how you calculated to get a living?
Doo. Why, I had some leetle sort of a knack at the coopering business. So I heerd them folks who carry it on in the West-Indies died so fast, it was a good trade to live by. And so I counted I should stand as good a chance as others.
Gen. And did you turn sailor to get there?
Doo, Not at first, for I know'd I could not climb up to the tip top of the mast, without being boosted over the lubber hole, as they tarm it; so I agreed to work my passage by cooking for the crew, and taking care of the dumb critters.
Gen. Dumb creatures! of what articles was your lading composed? live stock? lumber?
Doo. Yes; horses, hogs, staves and hoop-poles, with divers bail goods, sich as buckets, pails and sugar boxes. Moreover, long sairse and short sairse, consisting of a variety of leetle notions, sich as ingyons, parsnips, butter, candles, soap and ile.
Gen. A singularly well-assorted cargo! Did you arrive there safe?
f Gen. Why not?
Doo. Why, when we had got near our journey's eend, (to which, by the way, I never did git) first cum the Mounsheers, and began to pillage our necessaries, sich as gin and gingerbread, hang 'em.
Gen. And what came next?
Doo. No; I guess we did'nt.
Doo. Next? A British midsheepman, so tarmed. And so says he to me, says he, seeing your name is not on the list, among the clean or unclean beasts, I shall make bold to take you for his majesty's sarvice.
Gen. Did your captain make no opposition to their taking his people away?
Doo. Opposition! What could the captain deu, when they turned right at us their great black guns? Says they, cum teu, or we'll sheute. Sheute and be darned, if you dare, says the captain, but if you spill the deacon's ile, I'll make you reu it. And when they got abord, says they, we want none of your pork and lasses, but we will have that likely British boy, meaning me, whose name is not on your shipping papers, and who has no legal pertection. Says I, I won't stir a step; but I guess I was forc'd teu; for they got me so tight in their limboes and bilboes, that when I got my body loose, I looked nation poorly a lengthy while arterwards.
Gen. Then they pressed you?
Doo. Yes, and squeezed me teu. But I bawled as bad as I could, and telled them it was a tarnation shame to treat a true-born yankee in that sort of way; but they did not mind it any more than they deu what the parson says in a gale of wind, as soon as the storm is over.
Gen. Well, it is all over, and you are in a safe harbour
Doo I expect I be.
Gen. Your name is Doolittle, I think.
Doo. (Aside.) How the dickens should he know that! (Aloud.) I guess it is, as likely as not. it is, as likely as not. It was the name of my father and of a pretty ancient stock, which has often been improved by publick posts, at your sarvice. But pray, as you have taken the liberty to ax me so many questions, may I be so bold as to ax what your name is? Where you cum from? How long have you bin here? Where are you going teu? And what is your business?
Gen. My name is Stewart. I am a general officer in the British army, and have served in America.
Doo. O, dear suzz! I shall always think something better of you for having been in my country.
Gen. Well, my good fellow, have you a mind to be my servant?
Doo. Sarvant, no, nor any body's sarvant. I don't choose to be a sarvant of sarvants, and a slave to the divil, as the saying is.
Gen. Have you a mind to live with me, then, as my help? Doo. I guess I have. I should be a rotten fool not to have a mind teu; especially as you appear to have no pride, nor a bit of a gentleman about you.
Gen. (Laughing.) Well, go in to my steward, and he will tell you what to do.
Exit Doolittle whistling Yankee doodle.