Join Date: November 2, 1998
Old Age & Treachery prevails over Youth (circa 1784)
OK you young 'uns. Think you're tough? Well, here's a rambling anecdote from two centuries past and I think after you read it, you should visit a Civil War Museum to look at the implements involved. Either that or you can go to an autoshop & woodworking store to see their modern day equivalents. Then think about the pain & suffering involved. Now, without further adieu, enjoy this lesson from the past:
In the year 1784, an elderly gentleman, in a plain dress, traveling on horse back, stopped for the night at a tavern near King's bridge, about fifteen miles from New-York city, as it then was. He was conducted to the only spare room in the house, in which he had hardly been comfortably established, when a party of young 'roaring blades,' the sons of wealthy citizens, arrived at the tavern, 'to make a night of it. They called for a private room, but were informed by the landlord that his last spare chamber had been taken possession of by a respectable appearing elderly gentleman, apparently from the country.
'Try the old fellow,' said one of them, 'perhaps you can coax him to let us into the room for our spree, and we'll soon smoke him out.'
The host applied to his guest, who readily assented. He observed, 'he was alone, and would be happy to meet a pleasant company of young gentlemen to help him spend the evening.' The party soon assembled; liquors were produced, and an excellent supper brought forward, at which the good natured old gentleman played his part as well as the best of them.
After this, one of the youngsters proposed an agreement that who ever of the company should refuse to perform or submit to any proposal made by either of the others, the recusant or recusants should forfeit the whole bill, and the damages of all the others. To the astonishment of the young gentlemen, the stranger agreed to the terms.
The first proposed to burn their hats, and each threw his hat into the fire; coats, vests, and watches followed, the old gentlman throwing into the fire his old fashioned silver turnip, as a companion to the gold watches of the young rowdies.
When his turn came, he called the landlord and requested him to send for a doctor, and his tooth instruments. The doctor soon appeared. The old gentleman then seated himself in a chair, and said: 'I propose that the doctor shall draw out every tooth in the heads of this company. Doctor, begin with me.' The latter found but one, which he extracted."
(Gary's note: Unlike modern dentistry which is painless, tooth extraction circa 18th Century entialed using a tool resembling a spanner wrench which "snapped" off the top of the tooth. A gimlet was then used to drill into the root and to extract the lower portion of the tooth.) "'Now, gentlemen,' said the veteran, 'submit to my proposal, and ascertain whether you have turned the flanks of an old soldier.'
The young men perceived that they were out-generaled; and learned that General Bayley was the person with whom they had attempted to trifle, and to their cost, They apologized - paid liberally his bill and damages, having learned a valuable lesson for their future government. The general, newly equipped with a better outfit than when he left home, proceeded on the next day to New-York, to settle his army accounts."
General Jacob Bayley was a colonel during the French and Indian War (1755-1760). He was present at Fort William Henry when Montcalm captured it and escaped being killed by outrunning the Indians. During the Revolution, he sided with the Patriots and even mortgaged his property to help supply the army. He incurred $60k in debts which Congress never repaid.
And that's the Rambling Anecdote for the week.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!