Scyugle.--While artillery thunders all along the front, and the line closes hard up against the enemy, while the minutes are hours, for fatal musketry may break out at any moment and open the battle of Richmond
, to kill the time and relieve the terrible suspense that wears on a man more than work or danger, permit me to write a general, gossipy letter, on all sorts of topics — a letter that shall waive the “situation,” and deal with things other than “the latest from the front.”
A Sixth corps staff-officer dismounted near me a moment ago. I inquired where he had been riding.
He informed me that he had been sent out on a general “scyugle;” that he had “scyugled” along the front, where the Johnnies “scyugled” a bullet through his clothes; that on his return he “scyugled” an ice-house; that he should “scyugle” his servant, who, by the way, had just “scyugled” three fat chickens for a supply of ice; that after he had “scyugled” his dinner he proposed to “scyugle” a nap — and closed by asking me how I “scyugled.”
The word originated at these headquarters, and is supposed to be derived from two Greek
Army libraries do not contain “Liddell
,” or I should endeavor to ascertain what the two words are. The word “scyugle,” it will be perceived, has any meaning any one chooses to attach to it; has not only a variety, but a contrariety of meanings.
It is synonymous with “gobble” and with “skedaddle;” it is used for any other word and for want of any other word.
To fully define it would require the thirty-nine volumes the German savant
gave to a discussion of Greek
“Scyugle” is respectfully commended to persons curious and learned in orthoepy.
The general public is, at the same time, informed with a smack of Delphic oracularity which it is hoped will be appreciated, that newspaper correspondents with the army being “scyuglers,” “scyugle” !--Cor.