“Don't Know You,
We shall never forget, and always feel proud of the fact, that we
knew so great an every-day Plato as Davy Crockett. Had the
old Colonel never uttered a better idea than that everlasting good
mottoBe sure you're right, then go ahead! his wisdom would stand a
pretty good wrestle with tide and time, before his standing, as a man
of genius, would pass to oblivionbe washed out in Lethe's waters. We
remember hearing Col. Crockett relate, during a speech, a short time
before he lost his life at the Alamo, in Texasa little
incident, of his being taken up in New Orleans, one night, by a gen
d'armelugged to the calaboose, and kept there as an out-and-out
hard case, not being able to find any body, hardly, that knew him,
and being totally unable to reconcile the chief of police to the fact
that he was the identical Davy Crockett, or any body else, above
par! If you want to find out your 'level,'ad valorem, wake up
some morning, noon or nightwhere nobody knows you! said the
Colonel, and if you ever feel so essentially chawed up, raw, as
I did in the calaboose, the Lord pity you!
There was a modern instance of Colonel Crockett's wise saw, in
the case of a certain Philadelphia millionaire, who was in the habit of
carting himself out, in a very ancient and excessively shabby gig;
which, in consequence of its utter ignorance of the stable-boy's brush,
sponge or broom, and the hospitalities the old concern nightly offered
the henswas not exactly the kind of equipage calculated to win
attention or marked respect, for the owner and driver. The old
millionaire, one day in early October, took it into his head to ride
out and see the country. Taking an early start, the old gentleman, and
his old bob-tailed, frost-bitten-looking horse, with that same old
shabby gig, about dusk, found themselves under the swinging sign of a
Pennsylvania Dutch tavern, in the neighborhood of Reading. As nobody
bestirred themselves to see to the traveller, he put his very
old-fashioned face and wig outside of the vehicle, and called
Hel-lo! hos-e-lair? Landlord?
Leisurely stalking down the steps, the Dutch hostler advanced
towards the queer and questionable travelling equipage.
Vel, vot you vont, ah?
Vat sal I vant? I sal vant to put oup my hoss, vis-ze stab'l, viz
two pecks of oats and plenty of hay, hos-e-lair.
Yaw, was the laconic grunt of the hostler, as he proceeded to
unhitch old bald-face from his rigging.
Stop one little, said the traveller. I see 'tis very mosh like to
rain, to-night; put up my gig in ze stab'l, too.
Boosh, tonner and blitzen, der rain not hurt yer ole gig!
I pay you for vat you sal do for me, mind vat I sal say, sair, if
The hostler, very surlily, led the traveller's weary old brute to
the stable; but, prior to carrying out the orders of the traveller, he
sought the landlord, to know if it would pay to put up the
shabby concern, and treat the old horse to a real feed of hay and oats,
without making some inquiries into the financial situation of the old
The landlord, with a country lawyer and a neighboring farmer, were
at the Bar, one of those old-fashioned slatted coops, in
a corner, peculiar to Pennsylvania, discussing the merits of a law
suit, seizure of the property, &c., of a deceased tiller of the soil,
in the vicinity. Busily chatting, and quaffing their toddy, the
entrance of the poor old traveller was scarcely noticed, until he had
divested himself of his old, many-caped cloak, and demurely taken a
seat in the room. The hostler having reappeared, and talked a little
Dutch to the host, that worthy turned to the traveller
Good even'ns, thravel'r!
Yes, sair; pleasantly responded the Frenchman, a little.
You got a hoss, eh? continued the landlord.
Yes, sair, I vish ze hostlair to give mine hoss plenty to
eatplenty hay, plenty oats, plenty watair, sair.
Yaw, responded the landlord, den, Jacob, give'm der oats, and der
hay, and der water; and, with this brief direction to his subordinate,
the landlord turned away from the way-worn traveller to resume his
conversation with his more, apparently, influential friends. The old
Frenchman very patiently waited until the discussion should cease, and
the landlord's ear be disengaged, that he might be apprized of the fact
that travellers had stomachs, and that of the old French gentleman was
highly incensed by long delay, and more particularly by the
odorous fumes of roast fowls, ham and eggs, &c., issuing from the inner
portion of the tavern.
Landlord, I vil take suppair, if you please, said he.
Yaw; after dese gentlemans shall eat der suppers, den somesing will
be prepared for you.
Sair! said the old Frenchman, firing up; I vill not vait for ze
shentilmen; I vant my suppair now, directlyright away; I not vait for
If you no like 'em, den you go off, out mine house, answered the
old sour krout, you old barber!
Bar-bair! gasped the old Frenchman, in suppressed rage. Sair, I
vill go no where, I vill stay here so long, by gar, asasas I
Are you aware, sir, interposed the legal gentleman, that you are
rendering gross and offensive, malicious and libellous, scandalous and
burglarious language to this gentleman, in his own domicile, with
malice prepense and aforethought, and a
Pooh! pooh! pooh! for you, sair! testily replied the
Pooh? To me, sir? Me, sir? bullyingly echoed Blackstone.
Yes, sairpoohpooh! von geese, sair!
It were vain to try to depict the rage of wounded pride, the
insolence of a travelling barber had stirred up in the very face
of the man of law, logic, and legal lore. He swelled up, blowed and
strutted about like a miffed gobbler in a barn yard! He tried to
cork down his rage, but it bursted forth
Youyouyou infernal old frog-eating, soap and lather,
youyouyou smoke-dried, one-eyed,* poor old wretch, you, if it
wasn't for pity's sake, I'd have you taken up and put in the county
jail, for vagrancy, I would, you poverty-stricken old rascal!
[*] Girard, it will be remembered, had but one eye. With that,
however, he saw as much as many do with a full pair of eyes.
Jacob! bawled the landlord, to his sub., bring out der ole hoss
again, pefore he die mit de crows, in mine stable; now, you ole fool,
you shall go vay pout your bishenish mit nossin to eat, mit yer hoss
too! said the landlord, with an evident rush of blood and beer to his
Oh, veri well, patiently answered the old Frenchman, veri well,
sair, I sal gobut,shaking his finger very significantly at the
landlord and lawyer, I com' back to-morrow morning, I buy dis
prop-er-tee; you, sir, sal make de deed in my nameI kick you out,
sair, (to the landlord,) and to you (the lawyer), I sal like de goose.
With this, the poor old Frenchman started for his gig, amid the
Haw! haw! haw! and ha! ha! he! he! of the landlord and lawyer. That
for you, said the Frenchman, as he gave the surly Dutchman-hostler a
real half-dollar, took the dirty ribbons and drove off. Now, the
farmer, one of the three spectators present, had quietly watched the
proceedings, and being gifted with enough insight into human
nature to see something more than an old French barber in the person
and manner of the traveller; and, moreover, being interested in the
Tavern property, followed the Frenchman; overtaking him, he at once
offered him the hospitalities of his domicile, not far distant, where
the traveller passed a most comfortable night, and where his host found
out that he was entertaining no less a pecuniary miracle of his time
than Stephen Girard.
Early next morning, old Stephy, in his old and shady gig,
accompanied by his entertainer, rode over to the two owners of the
Tavern property, and with them sought the lawyer, the deeds were
made out, the old Frenchman drew on his own Bank for the
$13,000, gave the farmer a ten years' lease upon the place, paid
the lawyer for his trouble, and as that worthy accompanied the
millionaire to the door, and was very obsequiously bowing him out, old
Stephy turned around on the steps, and looking sharpwith his one eye
upon the lawyer, says he
Sair! Pooh! pooh!Booh! off he rode for the Tavern, where
he and the landlord had a haze, the landlord was notified to
leave, short metre; and being fully revenged for the insult paid
his millions, old Stephen Girard, the great Philadelphia financier,
rode back to where he was better used for his money, and evidently
better satisfied than ever, that money is mighty when brought to bear
upon an object!