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Xticliard Nugent, Editor
The whole art qv Government consists in the art of being honest. Jefferson.
STROUDSBURG. MONROE COUNTY, PA., FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1840.
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From Blackwood's Edinburg Magazine.
In a town which we call Middletown, be
cause it was of the middle size, dwelt a worthy
shop-keeper bearing the odd name of Jeremiah
Wag. By dealing in all sorts of commodities,
and steady attention to his business, ho had
managed to keep up his respectability, and
doubtless would have considerably increased
his store, but for the gradual increase of his
family. For several years after his marriage, a
new little Wag was ushered annually into the
world; and though there had latterly been some
what less of regularity, as many as ten small
heads might be counted every evening in his
back parlour. Jerry, the eldest boy, was, how
ever, almost fourteen years of age, and there
fore began 'to make himself useful,' by carrying
out small parcels and assisting behind the coun
ter. All the rest were, to use their parent's
phrase, 'dead stock,' and 'were eating their
heads off;' for, sooth to say, they were a jolly
little set, and blessed with most excellent ap
petites. Such was the state of family matters
at the time when our narrative commences.
Now, on the opposite side of the street, ex
actly facing the modest board on which Jere
miah's name was painted, with the usual an
nouncement of certain commodities in which
he dealt, was another board of a very different
description. On it were emblazoned the arms
of his Majesty, with the supporters, a lion and
a unicorn, as the country folks said, 'a-fighting
for the crown.'
The establishment indicated by this display,
was upheld by a very different class of custo
mers to that which patronised the shop. Two
or three times in each day some private' car
riage or post-chaise would stop to change hor
ses at the Kind's Arms, and ornasinnallv ' n
family' took up their quarters there for the night,
hut the latter was a piece of good luck not of
ten to be expected, as there were no lions to be
seen in Middletown save the red rampant guar
dian on the'sign-board.
It was hay-making time, and business was
very 'slack' with the worthy Jeremiah; but he
said that he did'nt care much about it, as the
country folks were earning money, part of
which he trusted would find its way into his
till in due course. So, after rummaging about
among his stock to see if he was 'out of any
thing,' he took his stand at the door, just to
breathe a mouthful of fresh air. Titus Twist,
the landlord, made his appearance at the same
moment, in his own gateway, apparently with
the same salubrious intent, and immediately
beckoned to his neighbour to step across.
Well, how are ye, Master Wag7' said he,
when they met. ' Did you observe that green
chariot that stands down in the yard there, and
came in more than an hour ago?' Jeremiah
answered in the negative. ' Well,' continued
mine host, it belongs to one of the oddest, rum
micst, little old gentlemen I ever clapped my
eyes on. He's been asking me all sorts of
questions, and seems mightily tickled with your
name above all filings. I think he's cracked, j
Howsomever, he's ordered dinner ; but hush ! j
' hero he comes.'
The little gentle'marf in' question seemed be
tween sixty and seventy but excepting a cer
tain sallowness of complexion, carried his years
well, his motions being lively,- and wearing a
good humoured smilef as though habitual, on
his countenance. His dress was plain, but
good, and altogether becoming his apparent
4 1 shall be back in a quarter of an hour,' said
Jto to the landlord; Tin only going over lhe way
to the shop to buy something;' and awy he went,
and of course was followed by Jeremiah, who,
immediately on entering his own house, skipped
nimbly behind the counter to wait upon Jus
After trying on some gloves, and purchasing
Myo pair, the little strange gentleman looked
o.u ud the shop, as though examining its con
tents to find something he wanted.
'Any thing else I can do for you.
Jeremiah. 'You sell almost every ihing, I see
Mr. Wag?' observed the old gentleman. 'Mr.
1 our name is Wag, I suppose?' 'Yes,
sir,' replied the shop-keeper, dryly.
'Wag, Wag, Wag!' repeated the stranger,
briskly. 'Funny name! eh? 'It was my fa
ther's before me,' observed Jeremiah, scarcely
knowing what to think of the matter.
'Very good name!' continued the little gen
tleman, 'Like it very much. Got any children?
Any little Wags, eh! Like to sec 'em. Fond
of children; litrlc Wags in particular he, he, he!
'Much obliged to you for inquiring, sir," re-
1 TTT . - -
plied tne senior wag; 'I've got just hall a score,
sorted sizes. 1 hat's the eldest!' and he point
ed to young Jerry, whose lanky limbs were at
the moment displayed, spread-eagle fashion,
against the shelves, from the topmost of which
he was reaching down some commodity for
'That's right. Bring 'em up to industry'
said tne little gentleman. 'Weil, 1 can't slay
now, because my dinner's ready; but I see you
sell Irish linen, and I want a piece for shirts;
so, perhaps, you 11 be so good as to look me
out a good one and bring it over to mo.'
'You may rely.' commenced Mr. War- hut
his new customer cut him short, by adding, '
know that well enough,' as he briskly made his
The industrious shop-keeper forthwith se
eded certain of his primest articles, folded
them in a wrapper, and at the appointed time
carried the whole across to the King's Arms.
He was immediately ushered into the pres
ence of the eccentric elderly gentleman, who
was seated alone behind a bottle of white and
a boitle of red. 'Suppose vou've dined. Master
Wag?' said he, 'So, come! No, ceremony, sit
down and take a glass of wine.'
'1 m very much obliged to you I'm sure sir '
replied Jeremiah; 'but I have just brought over
halt a dozen pieces of Irish linen for you to
ook at and choose.
'Phoo, phoo!' quoth the smsll stranger, 'I
don't want to see them. I know nothing about
em. Leave all to' you. Only meant to have
had a piece; but as you have brought half a
dozen, I may as well take 'em. 'Store's no
sore,' they say. There's a fifty pound note!
Reckon 'em up, and see if there's any change.'
Jeremiah stared at this unusual wholesale
mode of dealing, stammered his thanks, and
observed, that the goods would not to amount
half the money.
'So much the worse,' said the little gentle
man. 'Must see it I can t buy something else
in your line presently; but, sit down now; that's
a good Jellow! I want to' have some talk with
The bashful shopkeeper hereupon perched
himself on the extreme front edge of a chair,
at a respectful distance from :he table; but was
told to draw up closer by his hospitable enter
tainer. They then took up three or four glass
es of wine together, and gradually Jeremiah
found himself more at home, and scrupled not
to reply ta the odd stranger's questions respect
ing his family and occupations. And so they
went on chatting till they appeared as two very
old and intimate friends; for Mr. Wag was of
an open, unsuspecting disposition, and talked as.
though he had no objection that all the worhl
should know all about his affairs.
'Well, but, my dear Wag.' said the stranger,
'can't you tell what part of the country your
father came from?5
'No, sir, 1 can't,' replied Jeremiah, 'he died;
when I was about eight years old, and the Lon
don merchant to whom he was clerk, put me to
school, and after that apprenticed me to old
Hick, who lived over thft way where I do now.
Well, there I served my time, and then married
his daughter, and so came in for the business
when he died; but I've increased it a pretty
deal, and if I'd more capital, could make a snug
thing of it by going into the wholesale, and
serving village shops with grocery, and so on.J
'Why don't you try it?' asked the little gen
tleman. 'It won't do unless one has got the ready to
go to market with,' replied Jeremiah, knowing
ly; 'and then one must be able to give credit,
and ought to' keep one's own wagon to carry
out goods. No, no, it won't do. Many a man
has made bad worse by getting out of his depih,
and, as it is, tnanK uod, 1 can live. The only
thing that puzzles me now and then is, what I
shall do with all the children.'
'Hark ye, my worthy Wag,' said the odd
stranger, 'I hare not got any children; so, if
you'll let me pick among the lot, I don't care if I
take two or three off your hands.'
'Sir!' exclaimed the astonished shopkeeper.
'I mean what I say,' replied the old gontlc-
man, demurely. Take me with you. Intro
duce me to your wife and family, and let us all
have a friendly cup of lea together in your back
parlour. Don't stare, my good Wag; but fill
your glass. I don't want to buy your little
Wags, but I happen to have more of the 'ready,'
as you call it, than I want; so I'll put them to
school, or what you like. What say you?'
Jeremiah rubbed his eyes, as though doubtful
if he were awake, and then uttered his thanks
for such extraordinary kindness in the best way
he was able; and, about an hour after, lhe whim
sical little old rich gentleman was sitting by lhe
side ol Mrs. Wag, with a little curly-headed Wag
on each knee, while the rest were playing
round', or gazing open-mouthed at the stranger
with childish wonder.
By degrees all stiffness wore off; and, before
the evening concluded, nothing could exceed
the merriment of the whole party. The eccen
tric elderly gentleman had learned to call all
the Wags by their names, and he played, and
frolicked, and rolled upon the floor with the
little people, in a style that made the parents
suspect, with the landlord, that he must be
However, at parting, he became more seri
ous, and invited Jeremiah to come and break
fast with him in the morning, and to bring with
him a copy of the names and birthdays of his
children, as entered in the Family Bible.
Mr. and Mrs. Wag of course lay awake for
an hour that night, talking over the strange
incidents of the day, and perhaps building a
few castles in the air, after the style of affec
tionate pareuis for their children.
On the following morning Jeremiah dressed
himself in his Sunday suit, and repaired to ful
fil his engagement. His new old friend re
ceived him in the most cordial manner, and
they breakfasted together, chatting over family
concerns as on the proceeding day. When
their repast was ended, the little gentleman
read over the list of the young Wags, and smil
ingly observed, 'a jolly set of them! We must
contrive to make them all good and hannv
if we can, eh? Eldest, Jerry, almost
fourteen-useful to you in business. That's right,
Leave him there, eh? Next, Thomas, almost
thirteen fond of reading told me so. A srood
school first, eh? Then three girls are running.
Mary, Anne, and Fanny. Pack them off to a
good school. too. Never mind. Then comes
Wil'iam, eight and Stephen, seven. Think 1
know where to place them Just the right age.
Perhaps ca'nt do it at once, though. Humph.
That's all I can take at present. The other
three, Sarah, Henry, and Philip, too young.
Well, my worthy Wag, you will learn about
what I mean to do with them before long, and
a friend of mine will call upon )'ou some day
to consult about the best way of increasing your
business. Settle all in time. No more to say
now but good-bye eh? Paid the landlord's
bill before breakfast, 'cause don't like to be
kept waiting. Did'nt mean to have stopped
longer than to change horses when I came yes
terday. Glad I have though. Hope you won't
be sorjoy. Halloa! waiter! is my carriage
ready?' 'At the door sir,' shouted the landlord
in reply. 'That's right!' exclaimed the extra
ordinary elderly gentleman. 'Good-bye, my
worthy Wag! Remember me to Mrs. Wag,
and give my love to ull the little Wags. Ten
besides yourselves! A dozen Wags in one
family! Never expected to see such a sight as
that! He, he, he! See it again, though, hope.
Wag together, all of you, like a bundle of sticks,
hope!' And, laughing and uttering similar in
coherent sentences alternately,hc walked brisk
ly along the passage to his carriage, into which
he forthwith jumped, and, having repeated his
valediction to the astounded shopkeeper, he or
dered the postilion to drive on.
Thus Jeremiah was prevented from express
ing his grateful feelings for such wonderful
promises, and so stood gaping in silence till the
carriage was ought of sigh:.
Why, you seem regularly 'mazed, neighbor,
exclaimed the landlord.
'Enough to make me,' replied Mr. Wag1. 'If
one-half what I've heard this morning should
come true, I shall be a lucky lellow, that's all!
'He's a gentleman, however, every
inch of him, that 1 will say for him. Didn't
make a word about nothing. All right. Used
to good living, no doubt. More's the pity, as
he's cracked. He certainly ought not to be al
lowed to travel without a servant as he does.'
'Well, observed Jeremiah, 'I don't knov what
to say or what to think about it ; but, if he is
cracked humph! I don't know. It may be
so. However, there's no harm done yet.'
'So he's been cramming you eh !' said mine
host, 'Made you a present of the moon perhaps?
They do fancy strange things, and think them
selves kings, and very rich m particular.'
The truth of this latter assertion made an im
pression upon our worthy shopkeeper, who com
municated it to his wife; but she had taken a
great fancy to the odd old gentleman, and was
not to be shaken in her conviction that he would
really be as good 'as his word.
'Well,' observed her husband, 'time will show;
and, at all events, it was no bad thing to sell
six pieces of fine linen at onco. Wo don't have
such customers every day. However, the best
thing we can dd is, lo keep our own secret; for,
if the neighbours were, to hoar of it, we should
never hear the last of it.'
Mrs. Wag agreed in lhe propriety of her
spouse's suggestion; but, nevertheless, was un
able to refrain from dropping hints lo sundry
gossips concerning her anticipations of coming
good fortune; and the vagueness and mysterious
importance of her manner created a sensation,
and caused many strange surmises. Some de
cided that the Wags had been so imprudent as
to purchase a vholc lottery ticket, and blamed
them accordingly; while others shook their
hcadj, and hinted that, with so large a family, j
it would be a very fortunate circumstance if
Jeremiah could manage so as not to go back in
to the world; and, for their parts, they never
liked to hear folks talk mysteriously about good
luck; so, for a time, the stranger's visit appear-:
ed to have produced results somewhat the re
verse of beneficial: but, at the end of a month,
an elderly gentleman, dressed in black, entered
the shop, and requested a private interview with
Mr. Wag; and as the back parlour was full of
little Wags then undergoing the ceremonies of
ablution, combing, &c , he proposed that they
should adjourn to the King's Arms.
When they were seated there, the stranger
very deliberately proceeded to arrange a varie
ty of papers upon the table in a business-like
manner; and when his task was completed, ap
parently to his saiisfaciion, he smiled, rubbed
his hands, and thus addressed the wondering;
'My name is Stephen GoodMlow. I am an'
Attorney, living in London, and there' (handing
a card) 'is my address. You will probably
guess who is my client, hut my instructions arc
to conceal his name. Well, he has consulted
with me as to the best mode of carrying your
intention of increasing your business into effect,
and I have, consequently, had interviews with
certain commercial gentlemen, and ahem! the
result is-that as the thing must be done gradual-
! I V, I have to present you, in the first place, with
i this order for a thousand pounds. You will
i then be so good as to sign thi3 document, by
reading which you will perceive that you can
not be called on for repayment before the ex
piration of three years. Ahem! don't interrupt
me. That will do to begin with but, after a lit
tle while, as you must give credit, and some of
your commodities, particularly grocery, amount
1 1 Ml V
to considerable sums, you may want moro, so
ahem! yes, this is the paper. You are to pti
your usual signature here; and, mark me, in six
months from this day an account will be opened
in your name with the London bankers, whose
check-book I now present you with. They
will have assets in their hands, and instructions
to honour your drafts for any sum or sums not
exceeding tour thousand pounds, rou under
"I hear what you say sir," stammered Jere
miah; 'but, really, I'm so astonished, that'
ttt 1 1 lit t i -y f
wen, well, observed iir. uoodieilow, smi
ling, 'it certainly is not an everv-day .transac
tion; but my respected client is a little eccentric,
and we must allow him to do things in his own
way. He has taken a fancy to von, that's clear;
and when he takes any thing in hand, lie doesn't
'But so much!' exclaimed Mr. Wag. 'One
thousand-t fourthousand five thousand pounds
It is like a dream? Surely, sir,' and he hesitated
e gentleman can t
be in ahem! in
-his right senses?'
'Sound as a bell,' replied the lawyer
hope, you may have as clear a head to carry on
your new business. At present you are a lit
lie bewildered, that's plain enough, but no great
marvel. However, my time is precious, so let
me have your signature, and I'm off.'
He then placed the papers before Jeremiah,
who, after a little more demur, and a great deal
of trepidation, wrote his name twice, and receiv
ed the money order and the banker's check-book.
Mr. Goodfellow then ordered a chaise, and chat
ted familiarly till it was ready, when he shook
Mr. Wag by the hand, wished him good luck,
'I told )'ou so!' exclaimed Mrs. Wag, when
her spouse related the morning's adventure.
'Ho seemed so fond of the children. 1 knew
how it would be. But you should have asked
his name. I wonder who he can be! Some
great lord, no doubt. Well, bless him, I say!
God bless him, whoever he is. Oh, Jerry!
my dear Jerry Wag! t feci as if I was a-going
to cry. How foolish! Well, t can't help it,
and that's tho truth;' and the good housewife
wiped her eyes, and then threw her arms round
the neck of her dearly beloved Wag, who, al
beit that he was unsued to the melting mood,
found his eyes suddenly grow dim, and so they
performed a weeping duett together.
It is pleasant to rocord, that at the tormina
tion of this natural paroxysm, they neglected
not to return thanks to the higher Power for the
wonderful change that had taken place in their
Their subsequent task was to take counsel to
gether; but that was a work requiring more of
calmness than they possessed for the first few
days. However, by degrees, as time rolled on
the industrious couple made their arrangements
and, at the end of six monihs, Mr. Wag had so
increased his business, that it became advisable i
for him to have resource lo his London bankers.!
In the meanwhile; he had sent his son Tom and
tho three eldost girls to school, agreeably to the
intimation of his unknown friend, which he con
sidered as a command that he was in duty bound
to comply with. Still it appeared very extraor
dinary that the very little elderly gentleman nei
ther communicated with nor came to see them;
but, as the whole affair was out of the common
way, Jeremiah resolved industriously to avail
himsolf of tho advantages of his new position,
as the best means of testifying his gratitude du
ring his benefactor's abscence.
Much marvelling, of course, there was in the
town and neighbourhood ai the steady increase
in Mr. Wag's 'concern,' in spite of his verplaih
statement that a kind friend, had advanced him
a considerable sum.
'Who could that friend be?' was the puzzling
question which no one could answer, but his
unremitting attention to business, the punctual
ity of his payments, and other evidences of his
prosperity, sufficed to ensure him general respect,
though certain envious busy bodies would ven
ture now and then to hint, significantly that Nil I
is not gold that glistens.' t
So matters went on pleasantly with the Wags
till winter, when Tom andxhis three sisters came
home for the holidays, and the latter assisted
their mother in preparing for the festivities- of
(COCLUSIOX NEXT WEEK.)'
Message from the President of the United States
to the two Houses of Congress, ai the commence
ment of the second session of tho Twenty-Sixth
Fellow Citizens of the Senate
and House of Representatives:
Our devout gratitude is due to the Supreme
Being for having graciously continued to our
beloved country, through the vicissitudes of an
other year, the invaluable blessings of health,
plenty and peace. Seldom has this favored land
been so generally exempted from the ravages of
disease, or the labor of the husbandman more
amply rewarded; and never before have our re
lations with other countries been placed on a
more favorable basis than that which they so
happily occupy at this critical conjuncture in the
affairs of the world. A rigid and persevering"
abstinence from all interference with the domes
tic and political relations of other States, alike
due to the genius and distinctive character of
our Government and to the principles by which
it is directed; a faithful observance, in the man
agement of our foreign relations, of the practice
of speaking plainly, dealing justly, and requiring
truth and justice in return, as the best conser
vatives of the peaco of nations? a strict impar
tiality in our manifestations of friendship, in the
commercial privilegos we concede, and those
we require from others: these, accompanied by
a disposition as prompt to maintain, in every
emergency, our own rights, as we are from prin
ciple averse to the invasion of those of others,
have given to our country and Government a
standing in the great family of nations, of which
we have just cause to be proud, and the advan
tages of which are experienced by our citizens
throughout every portion of the earth to which
their enterprising and adventurous spirit may
carry them. Few, if any, remain insensible to
the value of friendship, or ignorant of the terms
on which it can be acquired, and by which it can
alone be preserved.
A series of questions of long standing, diffi
cult in their adjustment, and important in their
consequences, in which the rights of our citi
zens and the honor of the country were deeply
involved, have, in the course of a few ears,
(tho most of them during the successful admin
istration of my immediate predecessor,) been
brought to a satisfactory conclusion; and the
most important of those remaining are, I am
happy to believe, in a fair way of being speed
ily and satisfactorily adjusted.
With all the Powers of the world our rela
tions are those of honorable peace. Since your
adjournment, nothing serious has occurred to
interrupt or threaten this desired harmony. If
clouds have lowered above tho other hemis
phere, they have not cast their portentous shad
ows upon our happy shores. Bound by no en
tangling alliances, yet linked by a common na
ture and interest with the other nations of man
kind, our aspirations are for the preservation of
peace, in whose solid and civilizing triumphs
all may participate with a generous emulation.
Yet it behooves us to be prepared for any event,
and to be always ready to maintain those just
and enlightened principles of national inter
course, for which this Government has ever
contended. In the shock of contending em
pires, it is only by assuming a resolute bearing,
and clothing themselves with defensive armor,
that neutral nations can maintain their indepen
The excitement which grew out of the terri
torial controversy between the U. States and
Great Britain having in a great measure subsi
ded, it is hoped that a favorable period is ap-
jroachmg lor its hnal settlement. Both Gov
ernments must now be convinced of the dangers
with which the question is fraught; and it must
bo their desire, as it is their interest, that this
perpetual cause of irritation should be removal
as speedily as practicable.
In my last annual message you y?ere inform
ed that the proposition for a comniissio.n of ex
ploration and survey promised by Great Britain
had hpp.n rnpmvf" nml o nniiniammiAfi
. .. . . WXIJ uu n fcuuuivij.iiyui-i,
including also a provision for the certain and fi
nal adjustment of the limits in dispute, was then
before the British Government for its considera
tion. The answer of that Governmentaccqm
panied by additional propositions of its 4wA.
was received, through itsminister here, shvte 'r