Imágenes de páginas

But, though our worthy ancestors were thus singularly averse to giving dinners, yet they kept up the social bonds of intimacy by occasional banquetings, called tea-parties.

2. As this is the first introduction of those delectable orgies, which have since become so fashionable in this city, I am conscious my fair readers will be very curious to receive information on the subject. Sorry am I that there will be but little, in my description, calculated to excite their admiration. I can neither delight them with accounts of suffocating crowds, nor brilliant drawing-rooms, nor towering feathers, nor sparkling diamonds, nor immeasurable trains. I can detail no choice anecdotes of scandal, for in those primitive times the simple folk were either too stupid or too good-natured to pull each other's characters to pieces; nor can I furnish any whimsical anecdotes of brag; how one lady cheated, or another bounced into a passion; for, as yet, there was no junto of dulcet old dowagers who met to win each other's money and lose their own tempers at a card-table.

3. These fashionable parties were generally confined to the higher classes, or noblesse—that is to say, such as kept their own cows and drove their own wagons. The company commonly assembled at three o'clock, and went away about six, unless it was in winter time, when the fashionable hours were a little earlier, that the ladies might get home before dark. I do not find that they ever treated their company to iced creams, jellies, or syllabubs, or regaled them with musty almonds, moldy raisins, or sour oranges, as is often done in the present age of refinement. Our ancestors were fond of more sturdy, substantial fare. The tea-table was crowned with a huge earthen dish, well stored with slices of fat pork, fried brown, cut up into morsels, and swimming in gravy.

4. The company being seated around the genial board, and cach furnished with a fork, evinced their dexterity in lanching at the fattest pieces of this mighty dish, in much the same manner as sailors harpoon porpoises at sea, or our Indians spear salmon in the lakes. Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and prars; but it was always sure to boast of an enormous dish of balls of sweetened dough fried in hog's fat, and called dough. nuts; a delicious kind of cake, at present scarce known in this city, excepting in genuine Dutch families.

5 The tea was served out of a majestic delft tea-pot, ornamented with paintings of fat little Dutch shepherds and shepherdesses, tanding pigs—with boats sailing in the air, and houses built in the clouds, and sundry other ingenious Dutch fantasies The beaus distinguished themselves by their adroitness in re. [lenishing this pot from a huge copper tea-kettle, which would have made the pigmy macaronies of these degenerate days sweat merely to look at it. To sweeten the beverage, a lump of sugar was laid beside each cup, and the company alternately nibbled and sipped with great decorum, until an improvement was introduced by a shrewd and economic old lady, which was, to suspend a large lump directly over the tea-table by a string from the ceiling, so that it could be swung from mouth to mouth-an ingenious expedient, which is still kept up by some families in Albany, but which prevails, without exception, in Communipaw, Bergen, Flat-Bush, and all our uncontaminated Dutch villages.

6. At these primitive tea-parties the utmost propriety and dignity of deportment prevailed. No flirting nor coquettingno gambling of old ladies, nor hoyden chattering and romping of young ones—no self-satisfied struttings of wealthy gentlemen with their brains in their pockets; nor amusing conceits and monkey divertisements of smart young gentlemen with no brains at all.

7. The parties broke up without noise, and without confusion. They were carried home by their own carriages——that is to say, by the vehicles nature had provided them, excepting such of the wealthy as could afford to keep a wagon. The gentlenien gallantly attended their fair ones to their respective abodes, and took leave of them with a hearty smack at the door; which, as it was an established piece of etiquette, done in perfect simpli. city and honesty of heart, occasioned no scandal at that time, nor should it at the presentif our great-grandfathers approved of the custom, it would argue a great wan. of reverence in their descendants to say a word against it.



SHAKSPEARE.* Cassius. That you have wronged me doth appear in this : You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella, For taking bribes here of the Sardians; Wherein, my letters, praying on his side, Because I knew the man, were slighted off.

Brutus. You wronged yourself, to write in such a case.

Cas. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offense should bear his comment.

Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold,
To undeservers.

I an itching palm ?
You know, that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

Bru. The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chastisement doth, therefore, hide his head.

Cas. Chastisement !

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remember.
Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake ?
What villain touched his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What, shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world,
But for supporting robbers,—shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ?
And sell the mighty space of our large honors,
For so much trash as may be grasped thus ?-
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

Brutus, bay not me,

* See Exercise XXVIII.

I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

Go to; you're not, Cassius.
Cas. I am.
Bru. I say, you are not.

Cas. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Ilave mind upon your health, tempt me no further.

Bru. Away, slight man !
Cas. Is't possible?

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler ?
Shall I be frighted, when a madman stares ?

Cas. 0, ye gods ! ye gods! must I endure all this?

Bru. All this? ay, more: Fret till your proud heart breaks,
Go, show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you ? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humor? By the gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you; for, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.

Is it come to this ?
Bru. You say, you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well: for mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

Cas. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus;
I said, an elder soldier, not a better:
Did I say, better?

If you did, I care not. Cae. When Cæsar lived, he durst not thus have moved mo Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him. Cas. I durst not ? Brou. No.

Cas. What? durst not tempt him?

For your life, you durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.

Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats ;
For I am armed so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means :
By Heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,
By any indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius ?
Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dash him to pieces !

I denied you not.
Bru. You did.

I did not :-he was but a fool,
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart;
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

Bru. I do not, till you practice them on me.
Cas. You love me not.

I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.

Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear As huge as high Olympus.

Cas. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius :

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »