“ O ‘twill never do to give it up so.”

A correspondent writing to us says—

The following anecdote is too good to be lost ; it was told to me with inimitable grace and humor by Col. Kaufman, the Texan Charge, who is full of anecdote, and one of the best travelling companions I know :—

An old gentleman and his wife embarked on board a steamer at West Point for New York. It was probably his first trip, but the old fellow being a regular and cute Yankee, was not easily gulled. He had purchased his ticket, and was quietly seated ready for a start. The boat put off, but was hardly under way when a servant approached the old man and demanded his ticket.

I shaan’t gin it up,” said he, with a drawling, nasal twang, peculiar to his genus. “ I gest got it, and I shaan’t gin it up, no how you can fix it.”

“ But you must,” said the servant, rather tartly.

“ I shaan’t du it.” [1]

“ But it’s the rule of the boat.”

“ Dang the rules ; I shaan’t gin it up.”

The crowd of passengers now began to thicken, and the servant became more earnest. The wife, too, importuned.

“ Do, husband dear, do give it up ; I’ll drown myself—I’ll jump in the river if you don’t.”

“ You needn’t make such a tarnal fool of yourself—it’ll du no good. I’ve paid for my ticket, and I shaan’t gin it up, any way you can fix it. I shaan’t gin it up till I get tu York city.”

The scene was rich and diverting, but the old man was right after all. On looking at the rules of the boat, the following appeared among the number :--“ All passengers are requested to keep their tickets till they get to the city, when they will be called for.”

Moral.—When I have occupied a chair at thedinner table for several days, on board a steamboat, and a rough looking customer stands ready to take it from me, I say to him, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When quietly seated in a railroad car beside a pretty cousin, and an old maiden lady approaches and begs my place for her lap-dog, I say to her, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When crowded into an omnibus, with more than the usual complement of passengers, and a washerwoman enters and squeezes herself into a place and asks for another for her reeking clothes-basket, I say to her, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When I have overslept myself in a country tavern, and the chambermaid rouses me and says she wants a sheet for a table-cloth, I say, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When Johnny Bull says he has rights to Oregon and insists upon taking it, I wheel about and say, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When Mexico begins to bluster and threatens to have Texas, I turn about and say, “I shaan’t gin it up.”

When I hear another say you had better give up your religious or political opinions and unite with this or that party, I jump Jim Crow and say, “I shaan’t gin it up, no how you can fix it.” N. O. Daily Delta.


Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.43 (20 December 1845): 503. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

[1] Original text omits final quotation mark.

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