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The Adventures of Timothy Peacock, Esquire; or, Freemasonry Practically Illustrated


Daniel P. Thompson

At the first streak of day light the next morning, our hero jogged his companion to awake, that they might rise and prepare for their departure. But Jenks, although an early riser, and generally first on such occasions, yet seeing no particular necessity for so very early a start, begged for a little more repose. The impatience of Timothy however would admit of no delay, and again rousing his friend, and hastily dressing himself, he proceeded with wonderful alacrity to get out and harness the team and put every thing in readiness for immediate departure; all of which he had accomplished by the time that Jenks, who was all the time wondering at the unaccountable anxiety of his friend to be off at such an early hour, had dressed himself and came out into the yard. The reckoning having been paid the evening previous, the two friends now mounted their carriage and drove off from the house, leaving all its unconscious inmates still wrapt in their unbroken slumbers.

For the first few miles of their ride they were mutually silent, as people generally are, or are inclined to be, during the first hours of the morning. Whoever has been much at the public schools in his youth, and seen a host of these wayward disciples of Minerva reluctantly turning out at day-light for prayers and recitation, cannot but remember the sour and lugubrious countenances there every morning exhibited—the mumping taciturnity, and the cold and unsocial manner with which each marched on doggedly to the task: While, after their morning duties were over, and the mounting sun, aided perhaps by a smoking cup of their favorite Batavia, had warmed up their sluggish blood to action, the same fellows were invariably seen returning to their rooms locked arm in arm as amiable and smiling as the face of spring, and as chatty as the black-bird in her sunny meadows.

So with our adventurers during the first part of their morning's ride. The sun however now began to glimmer through the heavy column of fog that lay brooding over the noble Hudson; and its vivifying effects were soon perceptible.

"What do you suppose is the reason, Brother Jenks," said Timothy, gaping and stretching out his arms at full length, "what do you suppose is the reason that women have never been allowed to incorporate into our privileges of masonry?"

`Why, Brother Peacock,' replied the other, `you know that the faculty of keeping secrets is one of the greatest and most essential virtues of masonry: and don't you recollect a passage on this subject in one of the songs in the Book of Constitutions, which runs in these words— "The ladies claim right to come into our light, Since the apron they say is their bearing— Can they subject their will—can they keep their tongues still, And let talking be chang'd into hearing?" Here you see how naturally their claims are urged, and at the same time how strong are the reasons against their ever being admitted.'

"True," observed Timothy, "but still I have some instigations for wishing that there was some method to extinguish their wilful functions towards us, and, if they cannot be admitted to infest their minds with a proper understanding of the rights and privileges which belong to us Masons, and which you know it is their duty to extend and yield to us in every case that requires the least emergency."

`I have sometimes wished the same,' observed Jenks, `my wife, besides forever teasing me to tell her the secret, always makes a great fuss because I am out one night in a month or so, which all, no doubt, comes from her not being able to understand the true nature and value of masonry. But I don't suppose there is any help for this grievance, for, as to their ever being worthy of being admitted into the lodge, and this is the only way any thing could be done for them, that business, I take it, was settled at the beginning of the world; for there is another place in the Book of Constitutions which fully explains this matter. It is in a piece called the Progress of Masonry, and goes on in this way— "But Satan met Eve when she was a gadding, And set her, as since all her daughters, a madding— To find out the secrets of Freemasonry, She ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Then as she was fill'd with high flowing fancies, As e'er was fond girl who deals in romances, She thought with her knowledge sufficiently cramm'd, And said to her spouse, My dear, eat and be damn'd! But Adam, astonish'd like one struck with thunder, Beheld her from head to foot over with wonder— Now you have done this thing, madam, said he, For your sake no women Freemasons shall be." Now in this history of the matter given by this book, which you know is the Mason's Bible, and no more to be doubted than the other Bible, you see why women in the first place were cut off from the privileges of masonry; and although the reasons mentioned in the first verse I repeated are enough to prevent their being admitted, yet you see if those reasons did not exist, they could never come to this honor, because it was forbidden almost as soon as the world was made; and this I take to be one of the heaviest curses that was bestowed upon Eve for eating the forbidden fruit, (which was pretty much the same, I suppose, as unlawfully trying to get into the secrets of masonry) that her whole sex should forever be denied the honors and privileges of our blessed institution.'

"These verses," said Timothy, "are indeed sublimely transcendant; but there is one incomprehension about them which I should like to hear you diffuse upon. They say that Satan meeting Eve, set her mad to find out the secrets of masonry, and so she eat of the forbidden fruit to get these secrets. Now is it not consequential that Satan was a Mason himself wrongfully trying to initiate her in this way?"

`I don't exactly see how it was myself,' replied the other, `but these things are no doubt explained in the high degrees which I have not taken. I suppose however that Satan might once have been an accepted Mason, but you know he was expelled from heaven, which is no doubt the Great Grand Lodge of the Universe, and made up wholly of Masons.'

"Then you do not suppose," said Timothy, "that any of the feminine extraction ever go to heaven?"

`Why, as to that,' replied Jenks, `we cannot certainly tell, but I think it a very doubtful case. If they have no souls, as our brethren in Turkey and some other parts of the old world believe, then of course they cannot go to heaven. But if they have souls, as all in this country, except Masons, believe, then it seems rather a hard case that they should be shut out. Still there are so many reasons against their ever being admitted, allowing they have souls, that I scarcely know how to do them away as I could wish, out of the pity I feel for this unfortunate part of the human race. You know we take a most solemn oath in the Master's degree never to initiate women, idiots, and the like; now if women cannot be initiated on earth, and it seems to be a divine command that they shall not, for masonry is divine, how can they ever enter heaven, which, I am persuaded is, as I said before, all masonry, and the very perfection of masonry? But you don't appear to pay any attention to what I am saying, Timothy,' continued the speaker, looking round on the former, who had been, for some time, engaged in slyly reaching one arm round back of their seat, and pulling out of their chest a wet shirt, cravat, &c., and spreading them out to the sun—`you don't appear—why! what in the name of the Old Nick is all this?—when did you wet these clothes, Timothy?' The latter blushed to the gills, and began to stammer out something about bringing them from home in that condition.

"Come, come, Tim, none of your locklarums with me: you got them wet in your last night's scrape, which by the way, as I was asleep when you came in, I forgot to ask you about this morning.—Did you fall into the brook while blundering about in the dark?"

`Worse than that,' whimpered the confused Timothy, finding it of no use to attempt concealment.

"Worse than that!" exclaimed the other, "what, then, did you stumble into some filthy ditch?"

`Worse than that,' again replied our hero.

"Worse than that!!" reiterated Jenks in surprise, raising his voice to a sort of howl—"what the d—l do you mean, Tim?—speak out—don't act so like a fool!"

`Why—I got up—to her window,' said Timothy, hesitating and stammering at every word—`and I went to'—

Jenks here burst out into loud, continued peals of laughter, while our hero hung down his head in silence till his companion's merriment had measurably subsided, when he sheepishly observed, "I am glad you are a Mason, Brother Jenks, because I know that now you will never divulge this transacted dilemma."

Our travellers now pushed on rapidly, and about noon reached the flourishing town of Troy—

"Place of the free Hart's friendly home,"

whose inhabitants they had heard possessed a sprinkling of that gullible credulity which induced the luckless wights of its ancient namesake to let the wooden horse into their renowned city. They determined therefore to give Boaz an opportunity of making his debut before a public whose cash and curiosity might qualify them to appreciate his merits. But they reckoned, it seems, without their host; for after sojourning in this place about twenty-four hours, and offering Bruin for exhibition with all the recommendations they could invent, they realized barely enough to pay their expenses. Finding that there was but small prospect of making much out of the Trojans, our travellers now proceeded down the river. At the capital they paused only long enough to test the virtues of the Albany beef, that great natural benefice of this famine-proof city, for the bestowment of which I wonder the citizens in their gratitude have not raised from the bottom of the river a monumental water-god a hundred feet high, with something like the following inscribed on his head: Here hungry wights, tho' oft their cake be dough, While Hudson rolls no lack of beef shall know.

Proceeding diligently on their journey, they arrived about dark at the city of Hudson. This night brought them a little piece of good luck from a source on which they had hitherto placed but small reliance: For putting up at an inn in the outskirts of the city, where there happened to reside one of your comfortably funded single ladies, who, having been in the post-meridian of life without receiving an offer, long enough to give her the hypochondria, imagined herself in a consumption, and, having dismissed all her physicians for blockheads, was now on the inquiry for some specific for her fancied malady. Our travellers, on learning this history of her case from her own lips during their meal, began to bethink them of turning to some account the bottled nostrums, which, as a forlorn hope, they had stowed away in their waggon. Accordingly Jenks, after having listened to her remarks and lamentations long enough to satisfy himself pretty well how the wind set with her, enquired with apparent indifference, if she had ever tried the celebrated medicine lately discovered in the Eastern States which had cured so many consumptions.

She replied in the negative, and, with a countenance brightening up with joy and excited curiosity, eagerly enquired where any of this medicine was to be had.

On which, Jenks told her that he had charge of a few bottles which had been sent by him to a gentleman in New York, one of which perhaps might be spared; but so very valuable was this medicine considered, that no one, he presumed, would be willing to give the price demanded. This only inflamed the invalid's curiosity the more, and she became very anxious to see this elixir of life. Jenks then, with some seeming hesitation, went out and brought in a bottle, which, having been ingeniously tinctured by the juice of the elder-berry, and rendered aromatic by wild annis and the like, furnished a liquid both agreeable to the taste and the sight; and turning out a small quantity, he descanted largely on its virtues, and prescribed the manner in which it was to be taken. Charmed by the taste and appearance of the beautiful liquid, and her faith keeping pace with her imagination in the growing idea of its sanative qualities, her desire to possess it soon became uncontrollable, and she demanded the price of the bottle. And, while the cautious vender was hesitating whether it was his best policy to say one dollar, or two, she, taking this hesitation for a reluctance to part with such a treasure, observed she must have it if it cost ten dollars. This remark gave Jenks a clue of which he was not slow to avail himself, and accordingly he told her that ten dollars was just the price of one bottle, which was considered sufficient to effect a complete cure in the most obstinate cases. This she said was indeed a great price, but still money was not to be put in competition with life. Thus observing, she rose, and forgetting the cane with which she usually walked, bustled out of the room. Jenks now began to fear that his avarice had led him to overshoot his mark, and he regretted that he had not set his price lower, as she had left him in doubt whether she intended to become a purchaser. He had not however much time allowed him for regrets; for his patient soon returned, and, planking ten dollars, took possession of her invaluable medicine, and proceeded to administer to herself the specified does on the spot. After this her spirits soon became exhilarated, and she declared that she already felt much better.

Faith will remove mountains, saith the Scripture in substance. I have often considered how peculiarly applicable is this scriptural sentiment to the case of those laboring under that, by no means the least terrible of diseases, hypochondriacal affection. The poor afflicted dupe, in the present instance, no sooner gave herself up to the full influence of that wonder-working attribute, than she felt, it would seem, the mountain rolling from her oppressed feelings.

The next morning, as our travellers were about to resume their journey, she came to the door with the bright look and elastic step of a girl of fifteen, and expressed the most unbounded gratitude to them for having been the means of saving her life: She had not felt so well for two years, and she was certain she should be entirely cured by the time she had taken the whole bottle of her charming medicine.

Our travellers drove off almost holding their breaths till they had got fairly past the last house in the city, when they began to snicker, and soon to laugh and roar outright at the strange and ludicrous manner in which dame fortune had been pleased to visit them in this unexpected little piece of success. "I have often heard it observed, Brother Tim," said Jenks, after his fit of merriment had been indulged in to his satisfaction, "I have often heard it observed, that mankind were always prone to measure the value of every thing by the price that was attached to it; but I confess I never saw this trait so strikingly exhibited before. Had I put the price of that bottle at fifty cents, the old hypoey squab, I will warrant you, would not have looked at it. Let us then take a hint from this affair for governing our future operations."

They then fell to contriving in accordance with this suggestion; the result of which was, that the same price, which they had just so miraculously obtained, was to be affixed to each of their remaining bottles of tinctured water. Their black-balls were to be cried up as perpetual leather-preservers, at a dollar a piece; and Boaz was to be passed off as some unknown animal, if possible, with terms for his exhibition sufficiently high to comport with their new scale for the graduation of prices.

After this weighty business had been well discussed and definitely settled, they concluded it best to embrace every probable chance of putting their scheme into operation. Accordingly they stopped at almost every house on the road for the commendable purpose of searching out the sick, and administering to their distresses. But unfortunately it never fell to their lot to find any more cases of consumption, either in fancy or fact, or any other disease indeed that required the aid of any of their list of infallibles. With their black-balls, however, they met with a little more success among the Dutch farmers, who considered that the preservation of their shoes, so that they might pass as heir-looms from one generation to another, was an object by no means to be sneezed at, declaring, in their honest credulity, "none but a Cot tam Yankee would have found out dat." But with Boaz they found it impossible to succeed in this way. At Poughkeepsie they spent one day, and Timothy made a learned speech to the multitude to prove their bear an unknown and newly discovered animal. But as soon as two or three had been admitted to the sight, the game was up. Boaz was pronounced a bona fide bear as ever sucked his claws. Whereupon, symptoms of a mob began to be among the crowd. One fellow stepped up to and offered him half a crown, observing, and to our hero instead of the bear, that he for one was well satisfied that the creature was an unknown animal, and worth the money for the sight, and concluded by asking where he was caught. Others said something about those implements of the low and vulgar, tar and feathers. In short, matters began to wear rather a squally appearance.

Quoe cum ita sint—"since things go on at such a deuced rate," thought our travellers, it is no more than prudent to be a jogging. They therefore packed up their duds without further loss of time, and took a French leave of these impertinent Poughkeepsians, who were growing quite too familiar to suit their notions of genteel intercourse.

The next day, while diligently wending their way towards the great city, they came to a little village containing a tavern, store and meeting-house, those three grand requisites of village greatness. Here they stopped at the tavern for a little rest and refreshment. When they were about to depart, Timothy stepped up to the bar, and offered the landlord a small bank note out of which to pay their reckoning. The latter took the note in hand, and, giving it a long scrutinizing look, observed that he had some doubts about that bill; and at the same time casting a glance of suspicion at our friends, asked Timothy how he came by the paper. The latter could only say that it was handed him by his friend Jenks, and Jenks affirmed that he took it on the road; and although he knew it to be good, yet to save all dispute, he would pay the reckoning in other money. Having done this, they requested the landlord to deliver up the questioned bill; but he declined, and said he should first like to know whether it was counterfeit or not; and as there was a good judge of money in the place, they would submit it to his inspection. To this Jenks demurred, as causing them a foolish and unnecessary detention. But the landlord, without beeding his remarks, sent out his boy for the gentleman in question. In a few moments a little dapper, pug-nosed fellow, with a huge cravat round his neck, reaching up over his chin to his mouth, and looking as if he had been trying to jump through it—while a large bunch of gold seals were appended to his waist to keep the balance of his watch true, (provided he had one) came bustling into the room swelling with the conscious importance of his character as village merchant. "Here, Mr. Nippet," said the landlord, reaching out the bill, "please to give us your opinion of that paper." Mr. Nippet accordingly took the bill, and, after having squinted at it side-ways and all ways with a severe and knowing air, laid it down, and, with a tone that plainly told that there could be no appeal from his judgement, pronounced it counterfeit. All eyes were now instantly turned upon our travellers with looks of the darkest suspicion; and not doubting the correctness of the decision of their counterskipper oracle any more than a good Catholic would that of the Pope, they already beheld our travellers, in imagination, snugly immured within the walls of the Penitentiary. They, however, showing the rest of their money, which proved to be good, and taking much pains to convince the company of the honesty of their intentions, succeeded so far in allaying these suspicions, that no opposition was made to their departing. Nippet, however, who had preserved a dignified silence during this process of examination & acquittal, now, as they drove off, pulled up his cravat and said, "Dem me! if them are fellers aint as prime a pair of Yankee counterfeiters as ever went uncaged, I will agree to forfeit the best double-twilled looking-glass in my store."

The effect of this malediction was soon manifested among the crowd by eager inquiries for the village lawyer and the sheriff. But let us follow our travellers, who, having got too far off from the scene of action to perceive any thing of this new movement, were now quietly pursuing their journey, wholly unaware of the storm that was brewing in the village they had just left. Perhaps, however, I should not omit to state that Jenks, for reasons best known to himself, often cast an uneasy glance behind him, and as often put up old Cyclops to considerable more than his wonted jog. After they had travelled about two hours, and while passing over an uneven and woody country, somewhere in the vicinity of `Sleepy Hollow,' that secluded region, which would forever have remained in its own quiet and inglorious obscurity, but for the classic pens of Washington Irving and the author of these memorable adventures: the one having already rendered it famous as the scene of the exploits of the immortal Ichabod Crane, and the other now adding the climax of its celebrity by connecting it with the masonic achievements of the no less immortal Timothy Peacock,—while passing these regions, I say, the attention of our trayellers was suddenly arrested by the clattering of hoofs on the road behind them; and looking round, they saw a man riding at full speed coming after them.

"What can that fellow want?" hurriedly exclaimed Jenks—"something about that bill, I fear—I wish I had never tried the experiment of putting"—

"You are the gentlemen, I conclude, with whom I have some business," said the man, riding up and addressing our travellers, and at the same time taking out a warrant, "you are the persons, I think, who put off a certain bank bill at our village a few hours since," he continued, motioning them to stop their horse. Here was a dilemma inindeed! Our travellers were thunderstruck. But it was here, O divine Masonry! that thy transcendant genius shone triumphant! Here the omnipetence of thy saving and precious principles was displayed in its true glory for the protection of thy faithful children! And it was here thy supreme behest, in obedience to which, "Supporting each other Brother helps brother," was kindly interposed between thy sons in difficulty and the cruel and less sacred exactions of civil law, and set the rejoicing captives free! Quick as thought our hero rose from his seat, and looking the officer full in the face, made the Master Mason's hailing sign of distress. The officer hesitated, and seemed to be in great perplexity how to act. On which, Jenks, who had been thrown into more confusion than Timothy, now regaining his assurance in perceiving they were in the hands of a brother, also rose and made another masonic sign to the officer which our hero did not at that time understand. But its potency was instantly acknowledged by a corresponding token, and its redeemnig efficacy as quickly visible.

"Here must be some mistake," said the officer, "no two persons in a waggon have passed you on the road, gentlemen?" he continued, with a look which seemed to say, we must invent some excuse for this.

`None whatever,' replied Jenks, fully comprehending the drift of the question, `none whatever, but perhaps they were considerably behind us, and might have turned off at a road which I noticed several miles back, and which leads I conclude to some ferry over the Hudson.'

"Nothing more likely," rejoined the sheriff, "but to put the matter beyond dispute, and enable me to give a safe answer to my employers, I will ride on to the next house, and enquire if any travellers, at all answering the description of the fugitives, have passed the road, and if informed in the negative, I shall of course be exonerated from any further pursuit in this direction. So, good bye, Brethren," he continued, pointing to a thick wood behind a hill on the right, "good bye—caution and moonlight will ensure a safe journey to the city." So saying, he clapped spurs to his horse, and dashing by the waggon of our travellers, was soon out of sight.

"Brother Peacock," said Jenks, "there is no time to lose; we must drive out into the woods and conceal ourselves and team behind yonder hill till dark." They then jumped out of their waggon, and taking their horse by the head, led him out of the road into a partial opening at the right, and picking their way through the bushes and round fallen trees and logs, soon arrived at a situation where the intervening hill cut off all view from the road, and where a small grass plot and spring furnished an excellent place for halting and refreshment. Being now in a place of safety, they unharnessed old Cyclops, and gave him the last peck of oats now remaining of the stock which they had brought from home. Our travellers now taking a seat, Jenks proceeded to explain to Timothy, as far as his oath would permit, the nature of the sign which he had made to the officer, and which had so effectually ensured their escape from arrest. The token he had used he said was the Royal Arch sign of distress, which no Mason of that degree ever dare pass unheeded, whatever might be his opinion of being bound to answer the Master's sign of distress in circumstances like those in which they had just been placed. As to the latter obligation, he remarked, there was a difference of opinion among Masons,—some believing they were bound to afford relief, protection or liberty, as the case might require, whenever the Master's sign was made; others considering that this sign only extended to relief in certain cases. Among the latter class, he presumed, stood this officer, by his hesitation when this sign was made, since he appeared to have no doubts what was his duty when he saw the sign of the Royal Arch degree,—that sign which was never known to fail a brother in distress,— that sign, indeed, whose potency can palsy even the iron arm of the law—bid defiance to the walls of the deepest dungeons, and rend the strongest fetters that ever bound the limbs of a captive brother.

Timothy could not here refrain from bursting forth into the most rapturous exclamations in praise of the glorious institution that could effect such wonders. Its advantages, its value, and its protective power, were now to him no longer a matter of hypothesis. He had seen them exemplified. He had experienced their glorious fruits. He blessed the auspicious hour that first brought the precious light to his soul, and he resolved that he would never rest till he had taken not only the Royal Arch, but every higher degree, till he had reached the very summit of the Ladder of Jacob.

It was now about noon, and our travellers, beginning to feel the demands of appetite, went to their waggon, and after making a pretty heavy draft on their remaining stock of provisions, repaired to a little bed of moss near a spring which was overshadowed by a large chesnut tree, and commenced their sylvan meal.

"Brother Timothy," said Jenks, tossing a half-eaten biscuit in his hand and giving a momentary respite to his masticators, "I have been thinking about trying an experiment. You know you preached like a philosopher there at Poughkeepsie to make them believe that Boaz was no bear, but some strange and unknown animal, but failed to make the fellows trust one word of all you told them; and for the reason no doubt that when they came to see him with his long black hair, and every way in his natural trim, their common sense told them that he could be nothing but a bear. Well, as I was looking on to notice how matters went, and hearing you talk with so much high learning about the unknown animal as you called him, a thought struck me that if it had not been for the creature's black coat, you might have made them believe your story; and if he could be sheared or shaved, it would be nearly all that would be wanting to make him pass for what you cracked him up to be."

`What an ingenious contrivability!' excaimed the other. `Brother Jenks, what a fundament of inventions is always exasperating the dimensions of your perecranium! Who else would have ever cogitated such a comical designment? '

"Now, Tim," continued Jenks, without seeming to heed the exclamations of his companion, "we have all the afternoon before us, as it will not do to start till dark, and I put a pair of sheers into our chest, and several kinds of paint, thinking I might want them perhaps to fix old Cyclops for market. So you see we have leisure and tools—now what say you to trying the experiment of taking off the bear's coat close to his skin, and otherwise fixing him as we shall think expedient?"

`By all muchness and manner of means, let us condense the experiment into immediate operation,' replied our hero, adding the most sanguine anticipations of its success.

The project was then discussed in all its bearings, and becoming more and more confirmed in the opinion that it must succeed, the projectors rose for the purpose of patting it into execution without further delay. It was arranged that Timothy should take a bag, and going out of the woods to the back side of an orchard which they had noticed about half a mile back, procure a quantity of sweet apples to feed Boaz and make him more quietly submit to the operation; while Jenks was to remain behind and make all necessary preparations for the performance.

Accordingly, Timothy steered off with his bag, and the other proceeded to get out his old shears and sharpen them upon a piece of slate stone, then to prepare his shaving tools with which it was proposed to go over the animal after shearing by way of putting on the finish to the work; and finally to get out poor Boaz, the unconscious object of these preparations, who little dreamed that his masters were about to deprive him of the only coat he had to his back, and that too when cold winter was rapidly approaching.

By the time these preparations were completed, Timothy came staggering along over the logs under a load of nearly two bushels of apples, and reaching the spot, threw them down at the feet of his companion.

"Stolen fruit is sweet," said Jenks, taking out and tasting several of the apples, "this makes the Scripture good; for I never tasted sweeter apples in my life."

`I declare to Jehoshaphat and the rest of the prophets,' said Timothy, `the idea never once entered my conscience that I was breaking the commandments by taking these apples without the liberty of licence.'

Jenks now perceiving the uneasiness that his remark had caused his too scrupulous friend, at once relieved his feelings by telling him, in the language of the Jesuitical Fathers, whose learned and logical reasoning bears so striking a resemblance to that of masonic writers in support of their institution, that, as he was calculating to devote his share of the avails of their project to the study of masonry, whatever was done in furtherance of so noble an object could not be blameable; for the end always justified the means, and therefore this act which appeared to trouble his mind so unnecessarily, was in fact a virtue instead of a crime.

They now proceeded to the shearing operation—one plying the shears, while the other slowly administered pieces of apples to the animal, and thus kept him quiet during the performance. In about an hour they completed this first part of their task, having deprived Bruin of the whole of his sable wardrobe as far as it could be effected with shears. Next was the more difficult and tedious process of shaving. They beat up a large supply of lather, and diligently betook themselves to this novel exercise of the barber's profession. This part of their undertaking proved indeed to be a slow and troublesome business. But Boaz, either because he was conscious of the important objects which the operation involved, or because the razor, in passing over his skin, produced, by its light and gentle friction, those pleasurable sensations which are said to be so highly appreciated in Scotland as to lead to the erection of rubbing-posts in that country, bore up through the whole with the patience of a philosopher, and, with the exception of a little wincing and snapping as occasionally the razor happened to graze the skin, suffered the operators to complete their task without offering the slightest opposition. This process being at length finished, they smeared over his skin with some light paint mixed with earth so as to give him an ashy appearance.

"There Boaz!" exclaimed Jenks, laughing at the comical appearance of the animal, as he stood before them completely metamorphosed, his body as smooth as the head of a shorn Carmelite, and his whole figure comparatively as light and spruce as a Broadway dandy, and with organs of ideality quite as well developed, (though with a little more destructiveness to be sure,) "there Boaz, if you wont betray us by your bearish breeding, we may defy the Old Nick himself to discover your true character."

It was now past sunset, and the deepening shadows of evening beginning to fall thick and fast into the deep glens of the highlands, reminded our travellers that they might soon depart in safety. Accordingly, having harnessed their team, and wrapped their shorn friend in an old blanket, to compensate him for the loss of his natural covering, they retraced their way to the road by the last lingering gleams of the fading twilight, and immediately commenced their journey at a pace which seemed to indicate a mutual impatience between horse and owners to bid adieu to this part of the country with as little delay as possible. Passing rapidly on and meeting with no molestation, they travelled till about midnight without stopping; when observing a field of unharvested corn beside the road, they halted, and borrowed a quantity of ears sufficient to furnish old Cyclops with a good supper. Having rested here about an hour, they again put forward and drove with the same speed and diligence for the remainder of the night; and such was their progress in this nocturnal journey, that, as the rising sun began to gild the tops of the distant mountains, they entered the great city of New-York, having travelled in about twelve hours of hazy moonlight nearly forty miles without but once halting.


[4] A term used for Sturgeon, caught in great plenty near Albany.

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