Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter III: The Companions >> Page 34

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 34 MELLICHAMPE.
know no good that comes of submission, except to make tyrants
and slaves ; and I tell you, Thumbscrew, that so long as my
name is Ernest Mellichampe, I shall never submit to the one,
nor be the other."
A mighty fine spirit, Airnest ; and to speak what's gospel
true, I likes>it myself," was the reply of the other, who ad-
dressed the first speaker with an air of respectful deference,
a.s naturally as if he had been taught to regard him as a
superior. I'm not," lie continued, I'm not a man myself to
let another play tantrums with me ; and, for sartain., I sha'n't
find fault with them that's most like myself in that partic'lar.
If a man says he's for fight, I'll lick him if I can ; if I can't
--that's to say, if I think I can't I'll think longer about it.
I don't see no use in. fighting where it's ten to one where,
indeed, it's main sartain I'm to be licked ; and so, as I says,
I'll take time to think about the fighting."
What ! until you're kicked ?" replied the other, impet-
uously.
No, no, Airnest not so bad as that comes to neither. My
idee is, that fighting is the part of a beast-brute, and not for
a true-born man, that has' a respect for himself, and knows
what's good-breeding ; and I only fights when there's brutes
standing waiting for it. Soon as a man squints at me as if he
was going to play beast with me, by the eternal splinters, I'll
mount him, lick or no lick, and do my best, tooth, tusk, and
grinders, to astonish him. But, afore that, I'm peaceable as a
pine stump,' lying quiet in my own bush.
Well, but when you're trodden upon ?" said the other.
"Why then, you see, Airnest, there's another question
who's atop of me ? If it's a dozen, I'll lie snug until they're
gone over : I see nothing onreasonable or onbecoming in that
and that, you see, Airnest, is jist what I ax of you to do.
They a'n't treading on you 'xactly, tho' I do confess they've
been mighty nigh to it ; but then, you see, there's quite too many
on 'em for you to handle with, onless you play 'possum a little. There's no use to run plump into danger, like a blind bull
into a thick fence, to stick fast there and be hobbled ; when,
if you keep your eyes open, and a keen scent, you can track