MAY 3, 1862.]
OUR HUMBLE CONFESSION.
E own it. We admit it. We cry mercy of
our purchasers ! We would do worse if we could.
But the fatal fact is, that our education was neglected. I
Our fond but foolish instructors taught us to
speak only the truth. Never was there such
a clumsy hand as we are, at a neat and genteel Lie.
In the name of the lamented Baron Munchausen, why were we
not in our early days introduced to the profitable and popular
mendacities ? Why were we left in this work-a-day world ignorant of the Philosophy of Fibs ? Had we been properly cultivated, instead of being a dreary recounter of stale and tasteless
truths, we might have been a Liar of the first magnitude—we
might have revived in our own private person, the glories of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto—we might have been a Secretary of Something—we might have been the beloved of James Gordon B'*^%t
—we might have been the Editor of The Sacred Sax-Horn—we
might have been Generalissimo of the Confederate Armies—we
might have been entrusted with the Censorship of the Telegraph
—we might have made ourselves useful and ornamental, as a
Street Commissioner—we might have had a chance in some Beef or
Breeches Contract—we might have been Brigham the First King of
the Mormons—we might have manufactured murders for the daily
press—we might have furnished news from America for The
London Times—we might have discovered and described the
Gorilla—we might have managed a Broadway Museum—we might
—but why prolong this sad series of agonizing conjectures? We
feel that we are contemptible. We hope that our friends will pity
and forgive us, for being veracious. We know that the fastidious
public want Lies—good, strong, undiluted, racy, bitter, biting,
beautifully bad lies—marvels of mendacity like those which we find
in the Canadian chronicles—appetizing tit-bits of tergiversation,
like those of the renowned Russell—grand, bold, sublime, gigantic, official canards, like those of thrice killed Beauregard—and
here we are, in a tame, weak, aqueouslacteal way, telling the poor
mean miserable, insipid truth ! In the name of Lemuel Gulliver
—in the name of Ananias and Sapphira—we confess our Virtuous
Sins and. Honest Iniquities!
0 for a Four Hundred Horse Falsehood Power! With only
that, what battles would we win ! what hosts of rebels would we
slaughter! what heroes would we manufacture out of two dozen
buttons a yard of gold lace and a pair of epaulettes! Beautiful bulletins ! Rich rumors! scathing scandals! conqueriug campaigns!
vigorous victories! How would we disport with the False Fluid,
and load the wires with legions of light-legged Lies ! Bah ! what's
a beggarly Truth Teller, in times like these ? Bah! again, and
again, bah !
Truth lives in the bottom of a well, does she ? We should
think so—the damp, dripping, dowdy damsel! What's Truth
good for but to make one catch cold ? will Truth nominate you
for an office ? Will Truth secure your election ? Will Truth help
you to a crummy contract ? Will Truth sell an Evening Edition ?
0 Truth, we are ashamed of you! Go and be crushed to earth
again! Or go down into your well at once! Go down by the first
bucket! We want nothing to do with you!
Falsehood ! ah! but Falsehood is a jolly jade ! you will not find
her in a well! She lives a merry life at the bottom of a great
jorum of whiskey-and-very-little-water, she does! Dear garrulous,
tipsy, voluble, comfortable Falsehood—how we do dote upon you,
to be sure ! Come to our arms ! Come quickly and leave sluggard Truth to draw on her slow fusty old boot at her leisure ! Let
us have a merry-go-rounder of mendacity ! Let us with long face
aver that Welles knows a bum boat from a baby-jumper !—that
Parson Brownlow, good old soul! is a chaste and polished speaker !
—that the Reverend Beecher isn't fond of flattery, nor the Reverend Bellows of bones—that Ben Wood is a legitimate descendant
of Demosthenes—that the editorials of The World are read with
avidity by the lovers of light literature—that, but enough ! After
the last bounces, we feel that there is nil ultra—nothing more to be
For a first attempt—we appeal to our falsest and least to be
trusted reader—isn't the above tolerably foul ? Aren't these bad
enough specimens of the White Article ? As for the Black Variety
we cannot yet think of competing with those gifted spirits of
Printing House Square, who are our revered masters in these new
THE STYLE TRENCHANT.
Most of our readers are aware that the city of Memphis, Tennessee, is subject to an Avalanche, but they do not all know, perhaps, what a wonderful war:correspondent the Memphis Avalanche
maintains. Here is an extract from that correspondent's report of
the battle of Pittsburg :
u I moved to the left, where Gen. Beauregard sat on a stump, * moving the
whole scene.' «Bring up that artillery and we will soon break their lines,' he
exclaimed. Feeling that; his words were words of doom. I asked Col. Tate the
hour. It was just one minute after 10. Hindman receives his ammunition;
the foe flies before him ; a shell bursts m his horse, and hurls him in the air.
The victory is ours."
In the above we have a fine touch of Chevy Chase, the chief
difference that we can discern between Beauregard and the Wid-
derington of the ballad referred to, being that the latter fought
upon two stumps, while the former must be contented to go down
to posterity upon one—which will be rather a flame and impotent conclusion" to the glorious career of Pierre TouTANr dit
Beauregard. But we are in a difficulty with the Avalanche war
reporter about the connection between Beauregard's " words of
doom" and what o'clock it was. Had the Avalanche war reporter
asked Col. Tate " how he was off for soap," because the commanding General had just given utterance to " words of doom," we
should have hailed the fine sentiment with roars of delight. . At
present we look upon the Avalanche war reporter with withering
contempt. " Hindman receives his ammunition," says that'spasmodic person in one of his epileptic jerks. Whose ammunition
did Hindman receive ? Does that statement refer to the shell that
"bursts in his horse, and hurls him in the air?" If so, to the
horse should have been accredited the fact of receiving the ammunition, because, upon the bursting of the shell among the internal
arrangements of that poor animal, do these noble words " The
victory is ours" appear to hang. On the whole we are much dis- ;
satisfied with the Avalanche war reporter. Any body who can
write at all could easily jerk off a descriptive letter in the St.
Vitus manner of that person. Indeed we are inclined to think
that St. Vitus himself, who was canonized in spite of his jerks, is
the actual war reporter of the Memphis Avalanche. "I moved to
the left," says he, with a jerk of his right thumb over it.
" * That's right,' says Beauregard. He squatted upon a stump.
An egg-shell bursts in his pocket. 'Bring up those oysters !'
shouted he. His words were words of doom. Yes sir-ree. I
asked Col. Tate to pass the salt. He did it. A horse ! a horse !
my kingdom for a horse ! The victory is ours !"
If the kind reader will try to imagine the foregoing sentences
jerked off by a spasmodic man, with an accompaniment of the
eccentric gestures persevered in by persons indebted to St. Vitus
for their proficiency in dancing, we think that the kind reader
will have before him a fine stereoscopic likeness of the war reporter
of the Memphis Avalanche.
There is a Menagerie of Living Wild Beasts, up town, which
advertises that its " Unparallelled Success is beyond all Precedent." It doesn't say what we presume is the fact, that the
Ferocity of the Tiger is Very Ferocious, and that the Length of
the Elephant's Trunk is Very Long ; and, queerer still it doesn't
say, either, that those who object to paying Twenty-five Cents will
be admitted for Two Shillings.