Transmigration of Dexter to Dragonfly
Dexter's Contexture ~ The Array of Threads that Weave
the Fabric of this Vision ~ Homespun by the Darning Need

Home ~ Rusticus


In response to a remonstrance brought before the Massachusetts General Court to petition for yet another bridge to span the Merrimack River as a component of the Newburyport-Portsmouth Turnpike, Lord Timothy Dexter had written an open letter which was printed in the Newburyport Herald.  While its intended audience was the State House and Senate, the Newburyport Herald readers were provided a dissertation on the subject of bridges --- seemingly written in an unintelligible idiom that had been printed verbatim by the press.

[As is established by the text of “Pickle” --- an anthology which provides the transcript of this particular letter intact --- Dexter’s orthography was an unsystematic use of phonetics that defied translation:  the same word could be spelled differently throughout the text and punctuation was not used.]

The Herald later printed a response in rhyme from a correspondent with the nom de plume “Rusticus.” The poem --- crafted in the form of a response from the General Court --- read as follows:  

My Lord, of royal, silken Robe,
We hear that you own half the globe
And though your suit to us preferred
Is outree, here and there a word
May such a Lord have all that’s good
And lambs and Lions when of wood;
Give him coaches, give him horses,
Fortune make up Samuel’s losses,
Young flesh give him --- every pleasure,
Stone rings, pictures without measure;
Brandy, give good punch and cider,
Gold-lac’d waistcoats, stretched still wider,
Nectar’d oceans let him drink
But, God’s withhold --- a pen and ink!


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