A Live Yankee

A correspondent of the New Haven Herald paints the following character, which he met on a recent trip up the valley of the Connecticut:--

“I say, mister,” said a half impudent, and yet rather pleasant looking fellow, entering the bar room where I sat, “guess as how I’ve seen you somewhere, haint I?”

“Shouldn’t wonder,” I said, “I’ve been there very often.”

“O, hum—into me, I see. Guess as how you haint been a minister nor nothin’ ?”

“Then you don’t guess right.”

“There, seed it from the first—know’d it ; and yet you hain’t exactly the ministerial cut. Don’t look brimstone at a feller when he swears, or turn up your eyes like a duck in a thunder storm, and look somehow or other just like no body else in the world.”

“Does that make a minister, friend?”

“I’ll tell you what, mister—guess as how it does sometimes—he, he, he! Travelin’ for health, I guess.”

“There you guess right.”

“Thought so—what’s the matter on you?”


“Dyspepsy? dyspepsy? O, the d—l in the g——.”

“Exactly so, friend ; you’ve hit the nail on the head. Been in the fire perhaps?”

Hain’t I? Tell you what, thought I was going to the d—l two years.”

“You look well enough now.”

Don’t I?”

“What cured you?”

“Look here, mister, father’s got a horse that hain’t his equal no where in this country I can tell you. He stands all so—like a gallows ; trots straddle ; and when he canters you’d think yourself top of a meetin’ house going to Jehu ;--well, got right on him, and went like a streak of lightnin’ right into Canada. Now look at me!”

“You are worth looking at.”

Ain’t I? Tell you what if you ministers when you gits a good salary, ‘d just git some land and dig your own corn and taters, guess as how you wouldn’t git the dyspepsy.”

“Right, friend—I’ll record that.”

“Know parson H——, down here at Bethlem?”


“Beats a feller all holer at mowin’ and pitchin’. Seed him stick a pig last winter and hain’t a feller in the town can come it in a rod on him. Grand feller—smart chap—preaches like sixty?”


Source: New York Spirit of the Times, 15.43 (20 December 1845): 505. (University of Virginia, Alderman Library).

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

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