Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/124

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edge, has been rather vacillatory, sometimes inclining towards the Whigs—then causing the Administration party to shout for triumph—and now again uplifting what seemed the almost prostrate banner of the Opposition; so that historians will hardly know what to make of me, in this respect. But the Loco Focos—'

'I do not like these party nicknames,' interrupted her sister, who seemed remarkably touchy about some points. 'Perhaps we shall part in better humor, if we avoid any political discussion.'

'With all my heart,' replied the Old Year, who had already been tormented half to death with squabbles of this kind. I care not if the names of Whig or Tory, with their interminable brawls about Banks and the Sub-Treasury, Abolition, Texas, the Florida War, and a million of other topics—which you will learn soon enough for your own comfort—I care not, I say, if no whisper of these matters ever reaches my ears again. Yet they have occupied so large a share of my attention, that I scarcely know what else to tell you. There has indeed been a curious sort of war on the Canada border, where blood has streamed in the names of Liberty and Patriotism; but it must remain for some future, perhaps far distant Year, to tell whether or no those holy names have been rightfully invoked. Nothing so much depresses me, in my view of mortal affairs, as to see high energies wasted, and human life and happiness thrown away, for ends that appear oftentimes unwise; and still oftener remain unaccomplished. But the wisest people and the best keep a steadfast faith that the progress of Mankind is onward and upward, and that the toil and anguish of the path serve to wear