OR, THE VERMONT SCHOOLMASTER.
The most contemptible and cowardly species of affectation that ever came under our observation, is that which leads a man born in the North or East to disclaim his birth-place or even attempt to conceal it, lest he should be called a "down Easter" or a "Yankee." Much more entitled to scorn are those who have sprung from a dunghill in some New England State, emigrated to the South, and then encourage the belief that they sprouted into existence on Southern soil expressing at all times a thorough contempt for the "land of wooden nutmegs," as they are pleased to term the land of Lexington, Bennington, and Bunker Hill. One of this latter class of renegades was very pleasantly rebuked not long since, and so very effectually withal, that he will not be likely to forget the lesson for many years. 
A gentleman of New Orleans was travelling North by the regular stage through Alabama and Georgia. At a town in Georgia the coach stopped for the purpose of giving the passengers a chance to swallow a hasty dinner. On leaving the table and lighting his cigara preparatory to resuming his place in the coach, our friend found that a new passenger, belonging to the town, had taken the seat he had occupied ever since starting. The inside of the coach was thus completely filled. A drizzling rain had just set in, which promised to increase, in due time, to a very respectable shower. Sundry upsets of the stage, at no
time very agreeable, and the fatigue of travel without sleep, had considerably encroached on the good nature of our worthy traveller, and he did not feel at all inclined to surrender what he thought to be his right. It scarcely needed the rather arrogant air of the stranger, therefore, to bring him to a determination to make no concessions.
"My friend," said he, "I am sorry to disturb you, but that seat is mine."
"You're positive of that, are you ?" replied the stranger with a rather contemptuous smile.
"Pretty positive, sir," said the other, surveying the interloper coolly.
"I regret to say that I can't help it," answered the stranger ; "  I have paid my fare to Augusta, and there is a strong probability that I shall go to Augusta, and in this seat too."
Our friend hesitated, for he was a cautious man. His first impulse was to try his own strength, in illustration of the doctrine "might makes right ;" but an indisposition to quarrelling, united with the consideration that the stranger was the stronger man of the two, and might prove victor in a personal contest, induced him to make application first to the stage agent, who stood in the vicinity.
"I believe I have a right to that seat," said he, "to Augusta. I have occupied it so far, and by the comity existing between the sovereignties of that little world, a stage coach, it ought not to be taken from me now.  What is your opinion ?"
"You have a right to that seat, and shall have it," said the agent.
He was about to invite the usurper to take an outside passage, when a rough, good-humored and intelligent countryman, who could see but little difference between an inside ride and the wind and rain with the congenial company of the driver, tendered the new-comer his own seat, which he immediately vacated
If there were symptoms of a storm outside, there were likewise symptoms of a storm inside, as the stranger gave way to the necessities of his situation, surrendered his first seat, and took the one so generously offered him by the countryman. As he assumed his new seat, a muttering about "d--d Yankee" was easily distinguished. A few auxiliary jolts of the stage aided in arousing his temper, and at last he broke out in a regular tirade agains the universal Yankee nation.
"  I hate the whole essence peddling set," said he to an easy tempered fellow by his side, "and always did ; and I never could sufficiently thank my stars that I was born and brought up south of the Potomac. They send out their meanest specimens to the South," continued he, "and in the proportion to their numbers, they always remind me of the vermin which overrun Egypt. One of the first and most useful lessons I ever learned was to damn a Yankee."
It would have been amusing to have watched the face of our traveller from New Orleans. He had very carefully surveyed the features of the stranger as he settled into his seat, and a smile gathered upon his lips which seemed to say he knew his man. He listened quite patiently to the denunciations of the other, and finally said, in a pleasant tone--
"You don't seem to like the Yankees ?"
The stranger looked at him very closely before he answered, for he scarcely liked the expression of his countenance ; it might be friendly, or might not ; for beneath its placidity there was something which slightly resembled a sneer. He replied briefly,
"No, sir, I do not."
"People's tastes will differ ; there is no accounting for them. Your face,--pardon me, sir,--seems not unfamiliar to me. If the request be not considered too impertinent, I should like to be favored with your name."
"My name is Jones, sir."
"Cashier of the ------- Bank."
"Exactly, I remember, and ------"
"Alderman in the same town."
"Ay, come to remember," said our friend, scratching his head as though endeavoring to bring to memory something he had forgotten ; "I recollect having heard of you. Did not you once teach a district school in the town of Pomfret, State of Vermont ?"
"Eh ? Pomfret ? No ! yes, hey ?"
"Yes, you remember," pursued his tormenetor, as if not noticing his disturbance, "the old red school house up there on the hill, close by the big rock ; the butternut woods in the rear. I taught in the district adjoining you know. Let me see," said he, in a slow and thoughtful tone, and with imperturbable gravity, "I think our pay, that winter, was ten dollars a month, wasn't it. There was a proposition, you remember, to drum you out of town for -----"
Our Alderman and Cashier could stand it no longer, but leaning forward to our New Orleans traveller, said fiercely,
"Who are you any how ?" 
"Nobody in particular ; merely one of othose "d--d Yankees," of whom you spoke a minute ago."
There are those besides Falstaff who have considered "discretion the better part of valor." Long before the stage reached Augusta, there was not a more agreeable, social fellow in it, than the quondam Vermont Schoolmaster.
Notes: Anon. "Yankees Abroad; Or, the Vermont Schoolmaster." Southern and Southwestern Sketches: Fun, Sentiment, and Adventure. Edited by a Gentleman of Richmond. Richmond: J.W. Randolph, n.d. 187-190.
Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
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