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Orphans C. Kerr's last.
[from the N. Y. Sunday Mercury.]

Editor T. T.:--Early this morning, my boy, I sauntered across the Long Bridge and took my seat on the topmost rail of a fence enclosing a trampled meadow. There I sat, like Marius, my boy, contemplating the architectural ruin embodied in my gothic steed, Pegasus, and ever and anon whistling abstractedly to my frescoed dog, Bologna.

By the gods! I really love these dumb friends of mine. The speculative eye of the world sees in poor Pegasus nothing more than an architectural dream — the church architecture of the future — and I must confess, my boy, that the gothic charger does look something like a skeleton chapel at a distance; it sees in Bologna only a mongrel cur, whose taste for the calves of human legs is an epicurean outrage on walking society. But for me, my boy, there is a human pathos in the patient fidelity of these zoological curiosities which appeals to my best manhood. I have had a hard and thankless life of it; my experience with the political chaps of the Sixth Ward was enough to grind everything like human tenderness out of my nature, and make me turn an arrogant and contemptuous misanthrope; but there are times when the cold nose of Pegasus against my cheek, or a wag from that speaking tail of Bologna — which ever turns up behind him like a note of interrogation, to ask how his master feels — will give me such a sensation of wishing to protect and be kind to the helpless that I feel myself a better man for the practical Christianity of such humble society.

Why does not the Mackerel Brigade advance?

This, my boy, is the question of the hour. For what do our heroes wait? Is it for India rubbers, or umbrellas, or fine-tooth combs? No, be not deceived; it is for none of these.

Hem! The fact is, my boy, many respectable, though married, Mackerels entered the army of the Accomac when they were in the prime of life, and as old age steals softly upon them, as the seasons and the basis of operations run through their changes, and year succeeds year, the eyesight of many of them waxes dim and fails in the process of nature. I know some thousands of Mackerels, my boy, who are already so blind that they have not seen a rebel for six months; and hence, no advance movement can be judiciously made until the brigade is supplied with spectacles. Without these the idolized General of the Mackerel Brigade will not do anything until he gets ready. It was the want of these, as I now discover, that prevented our troops seeing the Southern Confederacy when he made his late raid across Alkwyet river. Let the spectacles be at once produced, my boy, or an indignant and bleeding nation will at once demand a change in the Cabinet.

Company 3, regiments, is the only company yet fitted with glasses, and was, therefore, selected to make a reconnaissance towards Parts, under Colonel Robert Robinson, on Tuesday afternoon, for the purpose of discovering whether the Confederacies there were very tired of waiting yet. Glaring through their spectacles those gallant beings advanced until they met a Parrot shell going the other way, and then returned with hasty discipline, bringing with them a captured contraband, who was so anxious to remain in their company that he actually ran very fast.

Upon regaining the camp in Accomac, my boy, the Colonel had the intelligent contraband brought before him, and says he:

‘ "If I mistake not, friend Atrice, you were escaping from the bonds of oppression when we took you?"

’ The intelligent contraband shifted a silver soup ladle from one pocket to the other, and says he;

‘"Yes, mars'r Colonel, I hab left my ole mars'r for do good ob his bressed soul."’ Here the attached bondman sniffied and shook his head.

‘"Are you pious?"’ says Colonel Wobinson, much affected by such an example of humble devotion.

‘"Yes, mars'r, I is dat,"’ says the fond creature, wiping his brow with a silk vest from his dresscoat pocket, ‘"and I wished to save my ole mars'r from de sin of de wicked. I know dat it was wrong for him to own niggas, and dat he was more sinful de more he done it. And I am run away, mars'r Colonel, to save dat ole man's bressum soul from any more dam."’

Colonel Wobinson took of his spectacles, in order that the steam from his tears might not dim them, and says he:

‘ "I had not looked for all this in one so black.--Leave these silver spoons with me, friend Africa, and I will send them to my wife. Sergeant, convey this dark being, who has taught us all such a lesson of self-sacrifice, to the chaplain, and tell the chaplain to look out for his pocket."

’ How beautiful it is, my boy, to see in the uncouth, unlettered slave a spirit of piety so shiningly practical. When I behold the brutalized bondman evince such signs of religion, I am reminded of those tender and precious little babes who some times delight their mothers with exalted utterances of the like, and am inclined to believe that one knews just as much about it as the other does.

It pains me deeply to say, my boy, that Captain William Brown so far forgot himself on Wednesday, upon the discovery of the non-arrival of his spectacles, that he used language of an incendiary description against the beloved General of the Mackerel Brigade, thereby proving himself to be one of those crazy fanatics who are trying to ruin our distracted country. He said, my boy, that the adored General of the Mackerel Brigade was a deadbeat, and furthermore observed that he would be very sorry to take his word.

Such language could not pass unnoticed, and a Court of Inquiry, composed of Captains Bob Shorty, Samuele Smith, and Colonel Robert Wobinson, was instantly called. The Court had a decanter and tumbler, only, to aid its deliberations, it being determined by the War Department that no fact which could be detected even by the aid of a glass should go uninspected.

William having been summoned to the presence, Samuele declared the Court in session, and says he:

‘ "The sad duty has become ours to investigate creating charges against a brother in arms which has heretofore been the mirror of chivalry. It is specified against him:

"First--That said Captain William Brown, Bekevire, did affirm, declare, avow, testify, and articulate with his tongue, licker, and organ of speech, that the General of the Mackerel Brigade was a dead-beat"

"Second--That aforesaid Capt. William Brown, Bekevire, did proclaim, utter, enunciate, and fulminate, that he would not take the word of the General of the Mackerel Brigade."

"What has the culprit to say to these charges? Did he say that our idolized commander was a deadbeat?"

’ William smiled calmly, and says he:

‘ "The chaste remark exactly fits the Orelie of my lips."

’ "Confine yourself to English," says Colonel Wobinson, majestically. ‘"What did you mean by the observation?"’

‘"Why,"’ says William, pleasantly, ‘"I meant that before he was beaten he must be dead. And after death, you know,"’ says William, reaching one hand abstractedly toward the decanter, ‘"after death, you know, we must all beaten by worms"’

The explanation, my boy, was satisfactory, and conveyed a grave moral lesson; but the Court felt convinced that the second charge could not be thus simply answered.

Capt. Samuele Sa mith set down the tumbler for a moment, and says he:

‘ "You're not guilty on the first count, William; but didn't you say that you wouldn't take the word of the General of the Mackerel Brigade?"

‘"Which I did,"’ says William.

‘"And what excuse have you to offer, my trooper?"’ says Capt. Bob Shorty, pointing his question with his spoon.

‘"Is the General a gentleman?"’ says William, searchingly.

The Court believed him to be such.

‘"Ah!"’ says William, ‘"then if he's a gentleman he always keeps his word, and of course it is impossible for any one to take it."’

Verdict of ‘"not guilty, with a recommendation to mercy."’

Courts of Inquiry, my boy, are calculated to draw out the rich humor of military character, and are equally useful and appropriate with all other jokes, in times of devastating war.

’ Yours, smilingly,

Orpheus C. Kerr.

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