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9. O, when will justice guide, and wisdom light,
10. What is a nation's honour, if the price
11. Then, if the certain fruits of war are wo,
INSINCERITY IN CONVERSATION.
MUCH has been written on the art of translating from foreign languages, both dead and living; but I do not recollect that any one has expressly written on the subject of translations from our own language, and the common conversation of life.
2. I have often remarked how useful it would be, in our intercourse with men,
if we could discover the real meaning of those who speak or write to us; not that people do not know how to express their sentiments, but because they wish to be unintelligible. 3. To prevent being deceived in this manner, it is
very necessary to translate what men say into what they think. Í do not profess, however, to be skilled in this science, and shall, therefore, only point out a few general precepts, and explain them by examples.
4. Thus, whenever a man speaks against his own interest, and, with affected modesty, accuses himself of some defect, be on your guard against him; for, you may depend upon it, there is something in his conversation to be translated.
5. Great compliments, protestations of esteem, and eulogiums upon your merit, mean, in other words, that you are necessary to him who flatters you, and that he is about to ask some favour of you.
6. In general, the good which is said of others stands in need of some explanation or commentary; but it is not sowith the good a man says of himself; his only fear is, that he may not be sufficiently explicit. The majority of females would be indignant at the flattery which is lavished upon them, if they had been accustomed, from their youth, to translate it into its true meaning.
7. One man is nominated to some publick office to which another is aspiring, who accuses him of incapability and dishonesty; but, should he talk whole hours in this strain, his conversation may be translated by one word, envy.
8. In fine, I would recommend to all persons who wish to know the truth, not to rest satisfied with the literal expression, but translate, translate ; and recollect, that the obvious sense is not always the true one. Happy, indeed, are those friends, who can converse intelligibly together, and stand in no need of a translation.
THE YANKEE IN ENGLAND. SELECTED, BY PERMISSION, FROM SCENES IN THE DRAMA OF GEN
Enter Doolittle alone. Doolittle. OH, Doolittle, Doolittle! you have brought your pigs to a fine market. Now. I guess you'd better staid at hum with mother. She tell’d you all about the perils of the
would'nt believe her. · No, no; you were too plaguy knowing for poor mother; and you e'en-a-most broke her heart, you know you did : (sobbing) yes, yes; you were a nation deal wiser than brother Jonathan and all the rest on 'em. Oh, Doolittle! Doolittle! what will become of you next? In strange parts; all in tatters; without a copper, or a cent. Where to git a day's work or a meal's victuals is more than I know. But there's no use in being dumpish and downish. I'll boost my sperits up a leetle higher, as the boys do when they go through the burying yard alone in a dark night. (Whistles the tune of Yankee doodle.)
Enter General Stuart. Gen. You belong to this house, young man, don't you? Doo. No; I guess I belong to America, when I'm at hum.
Gen. You did'nt exactly comprehend my meaning, but it is of no consequence. But, as you belong to America, and
am acquainted there, I make free to inquire in what part you were born ?
Doo. Do you know where New-Haven is ?
Doo. Becaise my daddy was; but afore I was born, he moved up country.
Gen. But what town gave you birth?
; 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 land ?
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 ?
spose. Gen. You have not the air of a mariner ; were you bred to the sea ? I wish to know your adventures, 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?
Doo. No; I guess we did'nt.
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. 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
y ? 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.
Doo. (Aside.) How the dickens should he know that! (Aloud.) I guess 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
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.