Archive for June 7th, 2012

Cantata of the Hay Makers

June 7, 2012

Image from Hillsdale College 1881 Catalogue

Hillsdale, June 16, 1868.

H.B. ROWLSON ESQ: — The notice of the Beethoven Society of Hillsdale College of the Concerts to be given by that Society to-night and to-morrow night with the programme of the “Cantata of the Hay Makers,” suggested to me a beautiful piece of “word painting.”

It is redolent of the fragrance of flowers and of new mown hay, and musical with the cheery songs of the mowers, and with the ring and stroke of their scythes. Please publish it to-day as very appropriate to the occasion.          M.

Image from 19th Century American Women

We are up and away, ere the sunrise hath kist,
In the valley below us, that ocean of mist;
Ere the tops of the hills have grown bright in its ray,
With our scythes on our shoulders, we’re up and away!
The freshness and beauty of morning are ours,
The music of birds and the fragrance of flowers;
And our trail is the first that is seen in the dew,
As our pathway through orchards and lanes we pursue.

The helmeted clover, in serried array,
Like a host for the battle, awaits us to-day;
Like a host overthrown, rank by rank, shall it lie
Ere the heats of the noontide are poured from the sky.
Hurrah! — here we are! — now together, as one,
Give you scythes to the sward, and press steadily on;
All together, as one, o’er the stubble we pass,
With a swing and a ring of the steel through the grass.

Before us the clover stands thickly and tall,
At our left it is piled in a verdurous wall;
And never breathed monarch more fragrant perfumes
Than the sunshine distills from its leaves and its blooms.
Invisible censers around us are swung,
And anthems exultant from tree-tops are flung;
And mid fragrance and music and beauty we share
The jubilant life of the Earth and the Air.

Let the priest and the lawyer grow pale in their shades,
And the slender young clerk keep his skin like a maid’s;
We care not, though dear mother Nature may bronze
Gur cheeks with the kiss which she gives to her sons.
Then cheerly, boys, cheerly! — together, as one,
Give your scythes to the sward, and press steadily on;
All together, as one, o’er the stubble we pass,
With a swing and a ring of the steel through the grass.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 16, 1868

From the Atlantic Monthly, June 1862 article: The Health of Our Girls:

The Cost of Whisky

June 7, 2012

Image from the National Library of Ireland Blog

The Cost of Whisky.

The revenue statistics show some striking particulars as to the follies and extravagance of the public. The national debt contracted during a prodigious war, and with one-half the territory of the Union in the hands of the enemy, after deducting what has been redeemed, reaches the sum of $2,600,000,000; and the Democracy, to suppress whose rebellion this whole debt was incurred, are greatly concerned lest the people should forget how oppressively that debt bears upon them. We have shown in a former article that, within the three years which followed the close of the war, the share of the debt falling to each head of the population has decreased from eighty to sixty-five dollars, and that in 1870 it will be reduced to sixty-three per head without the payment of any portion of the principal.

In the meantime, the annual taxation has been reduced two hundred millions, and farther reductions will follow. We invite the attention of these declaimers against the “enormous burden” of the national debt, to the statement of the Special Commissioner of the Revenue, Mr. Welles, as to the retail sales of spirituous liquors, wines, ale and beer, in the United States during the last year. We do not refer to the sales of wholesale, but to those at retail, sworn to by the retailers, who have paid the license tax on their sales. We give the table by States, and the figures represent the amount paid by the drinkers and consumers to the retailers over the counter:

Thus it will be seen that during the fiscal year of 1866-67, the people of the United States paid for strong drinks over the counter to retail dealers, the sum of fourteen hundred and eighty-three millions four hundred and ninety-one thousand and eight hundred and sixty-five dollars. —

That sum is more than equal to one-half the principal, and the annual interest of the public debt. That sum if applied to the payment of the debt, would redeem it all in gold in two years. The amount of money paid by actual consumers for this strong drink in three years, would equal the entire debt of the Union, of all the States, and of all the cities, counties and towns of the United States. — [Chicago Tribune.]

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 9, 1868