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A Fragment--Cabinet council.

Lincoln--[solus; asleep in a rocking-chair--after a pause, springs up suddenly.]

Give me another Scotch cap; wrap me in a military cloak!
     Have mercy, Jeff. Davis! Soft — I did but dream. [Loud knocking heard at the door.]
Who knocks thus loudly?
     Seward--[without.] 'Tis I, my Lord! the White House cock;
Thrice have I crowed since the day hath broke. [Enter Seward, Chase, Bates, Blair, Cameron, and Welles.]
     Cameron — How doth my good Lord?
Lincoln — Indifferently well, methinks, good Coz,
     That confection of homminy and hog, which, as my wont,
Late on yester eve I ate, did most wofully affect me.
     Have I no leech among my councillors chosen,
Who can minister to a body diseased? Alas, my friends!
     Bred to the chicane of the law, what know ye of the leap
And bounds of rebellious blood by fitful fever stirred?
     Bates — My Liege, as I glanced o'er the morning prints,
In which our glories are duly and at length set forth,
     Methought much praise was given to a medicament
Yelept in foreign lore — Cephalic Pills!
     Lincoln — Away with this nostrum — I'll none of it!
For know ye, I bought a box from a harum-scarum boy,
     Whom I encountered on our Western train, and who
Cried--God wot!--“Old Abe, buy some Pills?”
     These I bought, and tried, and got no better fast.
Blair — You'd scarce expect one of my age
     To speak in public on the stage. Yet I can but think
'Tis not the confection, but the defection of the Southern tier,
     Which pains our Liege's----
Lincoln — Ass! knave! think you so?
     Know you not, my babbling Coz, that this defection
Is all gammon?--the crisis is but artificial!
     Chase — We know it well; would we could forget it;
Yet, your Excellency, I read in some fool
     Southern paper — called, I know not what--
The Mail, the Mercury, or some such absurdity--
     That there is much feeling down in their unsightly swamps,
Where Afric's wrongs smell rank to heaven.
     Lincoln — What then! Let them howl!--You know full well,
That, cry as they may, there's nobody hurt!
     Oh, how I do despise a peevish, complaining people--
A people who know not which side their bread is buttered.
     Misguided people! who would fain tear away three stripes--
Two of red and one of white — from our Star-spangled Banner. [84]
     Seward--[aside.] Long may it wave!
Welles — O'er the land of the free!
     Bates — And the home of the brave!
Lincoln — And imagine they founded a new nation!
     And now yon fighting Colonel Davis,
With his ragged ragamuffin crew, loudly swears
     He'll sit in this very chair wherein we sit--
Save the mark!--in spite of Wool or Scott.
     Friends, farewell! yet take something ere ye go;
Leave me to myself, that I may court the drowsy god.
     Watch well the door, that no foul traitors enter
With machines infernal, or throated revolving pistol.
     Spread yourselves, and lose no opportunity to tell
Tha expectant people that all is going well;
     And while, reluctant, ye admit the Southern feeling,
Urge and declare that 'tis marvellous consoling,
     That nothing is hurting anybody. There, go!
Stand not on the order of your going, but go at once. [Seward and others bow and depart.]
     New Jerusalem! is this happiness? When erst
I dreamt of might, majesty, and power; when, in days gone by,
     An humble splitter of rails, wearing but one shirt a week;
Or, when in revery, I leaned in listless mood
     O'er the oar (ha! a pun) of the slow-gliding broad-horn,
And thought of the powerful and rich of earth,
     And, envious, contrasted their gay feasts and revels
With our simple joys, our humble shuckings and possum hunts,
     Our apple-bees and quilting frolics — alack-a-day!
As Shakespeare says in his Paradise Lost, I sadly feel
     That “distance lends enchantment to the view.”

--Nashville Patriot; and Charleston Mercury, May 6.

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