The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 481 pages of information about The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter.
and the loud acclamations of the grotesque throng, one might have set it down as a fact that Little Barnstable was out on a frolic.  As to the figure cut by the major, that may be safely left to the reader’s fancy.  His short legs scarce reached below old Battle’s saddle girth; and, in addition to the slouchy suit of Uxbridge satinet, he wore a shabby white hat, very like that worn by Philosopher Greeley on election days.  Never was departure of foreign ambassador attended with such demonstrations, all of which the major viewed as highly complimentary to him as a military politician.  Having reached the end of the wharf amidst cheers and bravos, the crowd would not permit him to dismount until he had addressed them on the state of the nation.  Saying it always gave him great pleasure to gratify the wishes of the people, he faced half round in his saddle, and bowed with an air of great self complacency.  Then his broad, red face crimsoned, and his thoughts seemed in his beard, for after stroking and fretting it for some seconds, he spoke as follows:  “Fellow-citizens:  I am sure I have not merited the great homage bestowed upon me to-day.  But that is neither here nor there.  Let me enjoin you all to live patriots, avoiding ceremonies and performing sacrifices for your country.  And above all, live as good christians, and not as fluttering butterflies, who attract only with the gay color of their plumage while they live and die soon to be forgotten.  And as to the nation itself, why, may the devil get me, (and I’m no friend of his,) if I don’t think all that is needed to render it safe, is just to let it alone.  Nor would it be much lost if some kindly disposed gentleman would kill off a few score of our Union savers, who, like quack doctors, go about with their pockets full of plasters, and are for ever hunting for the crack in the nation’s skull.  And I would advise all politicians to spin less patriotic yarns, to be more modest, to learn wisdom, to drink less whiskey; in truth, to think more of God and their country, and to get them honest godfathers, who will teach them what a sad thing it is to think so much of the nation’s gold.”  Having said this, the major stopped suddenly, and turning in his saddle, caught a glimpse of the air balloon attached to old Battle’s tail, which was making curious gyrations in the air; and seeing the ludicrous figure he was cutting, he called upon all present to aid him in punishing the miscreant who dared to offer such an insult to his dignity.  But the crowd only answered with jeers and acclamations, which so increased his anger that he dismounted, and, giving his pig in charge of Captain Snider, led old Battle hurriedly on board, cursed them for an unthinking set, and set sail amidst the loud acclamations of the crowd.  As the “Two Marys” sped seaward, Polly Potter and her three children were seen waving their adieus from a neighboring height.

CHAPTER XIX.

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The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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