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Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by
MARCH COURT, COURT DAY! what an important day in Virginia! what a day of bustle and business! what a requisition is made upon every mode of conveyance to the little metropolis of the County! How many debts are then to be paid !-how many to be put off! Alas! how preponderate the latter! If a man says, “I will pay you at Court," I give up the debt as hopeless, without the intervention of the la. But if Court day be thus important, how much more so is March Court! That is the day when our candidates are expected home from Richmond, to give an account of their stewardship; at least it used to be so, before the number of our legislators was lessened, with a view of facilitating the transaction of business, and with a promise of shortening the sessions. But, somehow or other, the public chest has such a multitude of charms, it seems now to be more impossible than ever to get away from it.
« Tis that capitol rising in grandeur on high,
Where bank notes, by thousands, bewitchingly lie,” as the song says, which makes our sessions “of so long a life;" and there is no practicable mode of preventing the evisceration of the aforesaid chest, but deferring the meeting of the Assembly to the month of February, and thereby compelling the performance of the commonwealth's business within the two months which would intervene 'till the planting of corn. However, this is foreign to my present purpose, which is to describe a scene at which I have often gazed with infinite amusement. Would I had the power of Hogarth, that I might perpetuate the actings and doings of a March Court; but having no turn that way, I must barely attempt to group the materials, and leave the painting to some regular artist to perfect.
Picture to yourself, my gentle reader, our little town of Dumplingsburg, consisting of a store, a tavern, and a blacksmith shop, the common constituents of a county town, with a court house and a jail in the foreground, as denoting the superior respect to which they are entitled. Imagine a number of roads diverging from the town, like the radii of a circle, and upon these roads horsemen and footmen of every imaginable kind, moving, helter skelter, to a single point of attraction. Justices and jurymen-counsellors and clients-planters and pettifoggers-constables and cake-women-farmers and felons--horse-drovers and horse-jockies, all rushing onward like the logs and rubbish upon the current of some mighty river, swollen by rains, hurrying pell mell to the vast ocean which is to swallow them all up—a simile not altogether unapt, when we consider that the greater part of these people have law business, and the law is universally allowed to be a vortex worse than the Maelstrom. Direct the "fringed curtains of thine eyes” a little further to the main street-a street well entitled to the epithet main, in all its significations, being, in truth, the principal and only street, and being, moreover, the political arena or cockpit, in which are settled, pugilistically, all the tough and knotty points which cannot be adjusted by argument. See, on either side, rows of nags of all sorts and sizes, from the skeleton just unhitched from the plough, to the saucy, fat, impudent pony, with roached mane and bobtail, and the sleek and long-tailed pampered horse, whose coat proclaims his breeding, all tied to the staggering fence which constitutes the boundary of the street. Behold the motley assemblage within these limits, hurrying to and fro with rapid strides, as if life were at stake. Who is he who slips about among the “greasy rogues," with outstretched palm, and shaking as many hands as the Marquis Lafayette ? It is the candidate for election, and he distributes with liberal hand that barren chronicle of legislative deeds, demominated the list of laws, upon which are fed a people starving for information. This is a mere register of the titles of acts passed at the
st session, but it is caught at with avidity by the sove