The Embargo and the Farmer’s Story

Colombia Centinel

May 25, 1808

A zealous Boston Democrat was lately in the country extolling the embargo to a plain farmer, as a wise as well as a strong measure, and urging the farmer to express his opinion upon it. The farmer, however, modestly declined, saying that he lived in the bush where he had not the means of information on which to ground an opinion on political measures; but if Boston folks, who knew more, said it was right, he supposed it was so; but, says he, I will tell you a story. Our minister one day sent his boy to the pasture after a horse. He was gone so long that the parson was afraid the horse had kicked his brains out; he went therefore with anxiety to look after him. In the field he found the boy standing still with his eyes steadily fixed upon the ground. His master inquired with severity what he was doing there. Why, sir, said he, I saw a woodchuck run into this hole, and so I thought I would stand and watch for him until he was starved out; but I declare I am almost starved to death myself.

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