A New Hampshire New Year – 1834

Good Morrow! to your faces bright!
 What pleasure, this to meet ye,
It gives me, PATRONS! grand delight!
 In such a mood to greet ye!
I've nursed within my breast a thought,
 E'er since last year we parted,
That you'd receive me as ye ought,
 Extremely open hearted.

Long live your honors blithe and gay,
 'Till all your heads are hoary–
To yearly while an hour away
 Upon a Post Boy's story;–
And when with Time and things of earth
 Ye cease to hold connexion,
I pray you, as ye journey forth,
 To take the right direction.

My thanks, for favors past, to you,
 With hopes 't is not in vain, men,
To pray that causes may accrue,
 To claim my thanks again men.
And Oh, ye mothers, ever good,
 And maidens always cheerly–
I fain would greet ye as I should,
 Forsooth, I love ye dearly.

Lo! eighteen hundred thirty-three
Has just departed silently,
At depth of night; when, chain'd in sleep
Frail mortals snored–too sound to weep
Or shed their ready rolling tears
For loss of friends, or loss of years.

'T was midnight when the shrill toned bell
Toll'd loud and solemnly its knell,
But ere it struck its last sad stroke
Another year upon us broke;
And younger sun's refulgent ray
Smiles on a new-born New Year's day.

“T is eighteen hundred and thirty-four,
On Old Time's calendar, Christendom e'er;
And mortals for glory, trail beings of earth,
Shout paeans of gladness, and hail the new birth.
The year just past has been prolific
In matters jocose–and terrific–
With things to either laugh or cry at,
Just when people please to try at!

Boilers have burst–boats have sunk–
Rogues been hanged–wags been drunk–
Rev'rends for murder, have been tried–
Women have tatted–jockeys lied
Boys have courted–gals have shunn'd 'em–
Old men oggled–widows funn'd em;
And shy old bachelors–the deuce on'it!
Have wedded–just to try the use on'it;
Coy old maids have minced genteelly–
Talk'd of wedlock oft and freely;
Have look'd at men, square in their faces
At church, and many other places,
And e'n have answered (being press'd to)
“YES SIR, if you think it best to.”

O, ho! my stars! that things there'll be
For those who chance to live to see
Year eighteen hundred thirty-four
Depart–her days and seasons o'er!
If things go on as they are going,
'Thout reformation–there's no knowing
But thousands, 'thout the least compunction,
 (Forsooth the work is well begun)
Yielding to scriptural injunction,
 Will do as “dad and ma'am have done”

But 't is the Post-Boy's task to prate
To patrons of affairs of State;
Of high-toned politicians; and to
Give whate'er he puts his hand to,
A color suitable; when he's
“A— as act” what shade will please
The major part of those who first come
To patronise him with their custom;
Should give e'en drabs some sev'ral hues
And put a gloss on blacks and blues!

The latest news from Washington
Is of complexion rather dun;
The feds and nullifiers frail,
Have join'd their forces, head and tail;
Have form'd a “holy” coalition
(Each being in a sad condition
For want of stock to drive their trade,
Without each other's friends and aid)
To batter down whate'er impedes
Their march, where Clay or Calhoun leads!
They've sworn most “terribly” and rank,
To stand or fall for “Mother Bank”–
For she still pays the best of wages
To ev'ry bravo that engages
In her behalf–to save her life–
Hindmost or foremost in the strife;
Each has a bounty in his fist,
Of “Bills,” the moment he shall list!

There too, the friends of “Coffin-Handbills
Are sticklers strong for modern “Land Bills”
And full of fight, contend 't is best
For “Booty,” now to sack the West.
But Jackson, prompt when duty calls,
 “Beauty and Booty” both, will see to–
He saved them, formerly, with balls–
 The latter, lately, with a Veto.

E– Congress — — be done,
Wonders, no doubt, at Washington.
Many a speech will struggle forth,
Noticed more for noise than worth;
Their birth a farce, a day their age,
Their doom, to fill an unread page;
Their end, conveyed, unwept, away,
To sleep for–, like worthless Clay!
But they'll contemporaries find,
 Whose — with theirs will wax and wane–
Who'll “speak” when born–(oft undesigned)
 But never, never'll “speak” again!

You know, the President, last season,
And doubtless, two, you know the reason,
Journied way east as far as here–
Th' Capital of the State, and shire
Town of the County, Merrimack–
And thence you knew he journey'd back.

He came from Washington, I ween,
To see the people and be seen;
Exchange civilities and so on,
And learn what principles we go on–
Witness our galas and devotions
With various committee notions;–

[several paragraphs unreadable]

Since has ta'en an awful stride
Throughout the nation, far and wide–
And raised our literary fame
Above what other realms can claim.
Faith, aft the learning wit and knowledge,
Of yore, but thought of at a college,
Is found of late in ev'ry nook
And chimney corner, where ye look;–
Jack Downing never went to school,
Except to learn to spell by rule;–
And yet his writings stand confess'd
By all the opposition best!
Rush nor Adams, though his betters,
Can hold a candle to his letters–
Nor do their late communications
Get puff'd so, by their own relations;
And Davy Crockett too, 't is said,
Of great A.M.'s will “go ahead;”
The greatest critical composer–
Born, nursed and bred in Harvard's hall–
“Turns tail” to Davy, as a proser;–
So must Mat. Cary–so must all!

What think yet, patrons, of Rhode Island
That little, busy spot of dry land,
Since she's become so consequential
As to think 't is quite essential
To have three Senators–(beware on 't!)
In Congress sweating, to take care on 't?
She'll next, I fear, perk up and mock at
Big Major Noah's “breeches pocket“!!

Old Cheshire, now, I understand
Has heavy business in hand;–
A few have thought 't would hardly do,
To have, of parties there, but two.
A third is started, wise and warm,
T' effect what's call'd a “Law Reform.”–
They pass “resolves” and make “addresses”
Which, altogether, more or less is
Than calling legislators “fools”–
Lawyers “rogues,” and Judges “tools.–
Declare all common law's unlawful,
Foreign, mystical, and awful;–
A cob-web–mouse-trap–net or gin,
To catch and shave poor clients in!
And that they, laudably, intend
To bring the monster to an end;
And force Attorneys, by degrees
To learn the “Act” defining fees!
At first, the lawyers 'gan to quiver
And feel so queer about the liver
'T was though compunction had began
To work upon the inner man;–
'T was all a fudge–they buoy'd aloof–
Off kicking consciences reproof–
Use common law–take double fees,
And shave their clients as they please–
Turn up their noses–prick their ears,
And Whistle shrill to lull their fears;–
But “punishment deferred,” you know,
Falls heavier when it gives the blow.

A thousand other odd affairs,
 The year just past has given birth to;
Some came single, some by pairs,
 Both over head and on the earth to;
Which, to embody in a song,
Would eke it out a sheet too long;
And which, of right, belong to those
Who work off tales in plodding prose!
So I must off; for “time and tide”
Whether we go on foot or ride,
As said of yore, will “wait for no man,”
And seldom linger for a woman.

Patrons! pay profit by the past,
And let your best days be your last.
Watch well your rights with “Argus eyes,”
Lest they be taken by surprise
From you and yours: for there are those
Who are to Freedom deadly foes,
Their “ends and aim”– 't is known to you,
Is, that the many serve the few.

So here's a hand, my parting friends,
 'Till our next happy meeting–
'Till Time another “New-Year” sends,
 When ye may have a greeting.
Just keep an eye on things that pass,
 Remember all ye hear, too,
For solemn deeds will hap, alas!
 And many things to cheer too;–
And O be happy while ye can,
 Enjoy yourselves with laughter,
For present joys were made for man–
 For biggots, joys hereafter.–
Be ye to widows ever kind–
 To orphans ne'er oppressing–
If ye true happiness would find,
 And merit aye a blessing
  — January 1, 1834

From: New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, published 6 January 1834; entitled: “The Post-Boy, To the Patrons of the N.H. Patriot & State Gazette.”

This entry was posted in Current Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply