Showing How A Disloyal Telegraph Did Pervert And Mispunctuate The Mackerel General's " Letter Of Acceptance , " And Spiritedly Depicting The Great Munchausen Hunt And Its Lamentable Ending.
Chipmunk Court House, June 4, 1868.
In consequence of a temporary financial misunderstanding, superinduced by the not remote military outrages of Federal Vandals upon a knightly people, and still prevailing with great fervor in this sunny clime, the telegraphic facilities here lack that complete .typographical finish which is observable in the higher electric circles of wealthy monetary centres. The "First National Bullion Bank" of this place, in the temporary dearth of gold, has a reserved Specie Fund of some two grosses of brass buttons; which have coated at a fabulous premium ever since the spring month known in Southern almanacs as Sherman's March, and still fluctuate wildly as news of Congressional proceedings indicate that the high-strung nobility of this section are, or are not, to wear cotton dressing-gowns forever. In order, then, to obtain prompt intelligence from our distracted National Capital, and so regulate its rates in accordance with the variations of the Impeachment pageant, the "First National Bullion Bank" recently encouraged the formation of a joint-stock company for the construction of a telegraph to the nearest station. Ten capitalists in dressing-gowns at once responded with venerable garden-rakes, which were ably erected along the roadsides at proper intervals, as the poles of the new enterprise ; other daring speculators contributed numerous yards of old bell-wire, which was pieced out with sections of hoopskirt-springs and laid carefully across the tops of the rakes, and a battery, composed of two pickle-bottles, an oyster-can, two bent stair-rods and half a pound of blue vitriol, was placed in the hen-house selected as the office of the company.
It is a slight drawback to the pleasures of familiar intercourse with this bloated monopoly that its President reserves the right to read and make literary improvements in all despatches addressed to Northern men; and that he is very apt to send his love at the bottoms of your telegrams to female acquaintances; but the enterprise will yet be self-sustaining, if a wholesome check can be placed upon those members of the freed-negro race who have a present habit of stealing the rakes at night; and with the completion of Reconstruction we shall witness the establishment of an efficient police, to prevent the roosting of fowls along the line.
We have found such cool knights down here, that Captain Villiam Brown has taken cold, and is obliged to keep constantly with him an oblong tin medicine-chest, containing the cough-syrup known to the poets as " red eye." While he and I were allaying our pulmonary injuries with this night-blooming balsam, in my chamber at the Munchausen chateau, on Wednesday, a messenger burst furiously in upon us with a telegraphic despatch; which, on examination, I found to be the Response of the Last General of the Mackerel Brigade to his nomination for President of the United States in 1869.
"Huzza, my Chief-of-Garrison !" says I, patriotically; "just listen to this able document." Whereupon I took out my piece of Smoked Glass - to save my eyes from over-dazzling- and read from the bottom of a bandbox, on which the Telegraph Company had inscribed it, the following.
"If elected to the office of President of the United States, it will be my end ever to aid many steer all the laws.
" In good faith, to live with economy and with the view of having peace, quiet, and protection anywhere in times like the present, it is impossible, or at least eminently improper, to lay down.- A policy to be adhered to, right or wrong, through an administration of four years.
" New political issues are constantly arising the view of the public on; Old Ones are constantly changing, and a public Administrator should always be sleep-free to execute the wills of the people. I have always respected that - (will, and always shall!) peace and, in reversal, posterity. Its sequence, with economy of Administration, will lighten the burden.
"Of taxation, while it constantly induces the national death, let us have a piece.
"(Blue Seal.) General Mackerel Brigade".
"Ah !" says Villiam, wildly clawing the air, like one in great vertigo.
My own brain was spinning in a revolutionary manner; but I strove to be calm, and says I, -
"It appears to me, Villiam, that this great document is worthy of Carlyle. As I understand it, the writer simply pledges himself not to 'lay down;' and seems to imagine that it is a chief part of a President's duty to administer upon wills".
" My fren'," says Villiam, cautiously taking the bottom of the bandbox, to read therefrom for himself, "if some of this here able essay hasn't been lost on the way, through being drawn off by chickens roosting on the wires, it's my opinion that this is the most peaceful and non-committal epistle that ever exploded on the naked ear".
After which remark Villiam and I conversed in whispers upon the great metaphysical subject, until an accurate Republican morning journal reached us from the North, and we found therein the following correct version.*
" If elected to the office of President of the United States, it will be my endeavor to administer all the laws in good faith, with economy, and with the view of giving peace, quiet, and protection everywhere. In times like the present it is impossible, or at least eminently improper, to lay down a policy to be adhered to, right or wrong, through an administration of four years. New political issues, not foreseen, are constantly arising; the views of the public on old ones are constantly changing, and a purely administrative officer should always be left free to execute the will of the people. I always have respected that will, and always shall. Peace and universal prosperity - its sequence - with economy of administration, will lighten the burden of taxation, while it constantly reduces the national debt. Let us have peace".