Cezary Harasimowicz “
Testament, or the story about Tadeusz Kościuszko in the words of his orderly, son of the African prince Agrippa Hull “, Agora Publishing House – excerpt:
About the fact that I am the son of an African prince, and about other important things at the very beginning
Hear what I want to confess to you before I move to the blue meadows.
My name is Agrippa Hull, and I swear hand on heart that everything I will tell you here is true and that my mind is not confusing. So help me God. I’m already reaching ninety, but my memory and mind are still pretty bad. I am the son of an African prince, born free on March 7, 1759, in Northampton, Massachusetts.
When I was quite young, my father, Amos, passed away from this world, and my mother, Bathsheba Hull, forced by poverty, sent me to be raised in free black farmers. After I turned eighteen, tom enlisted in the army and served under orders in the regiment of General John Paterson to beat those canine sons of the British who dared to give us, you know, “acts of intolerance”, and we wanted a free America . There will be this story about Mr. General Tadeusz Kościuszko (a Polish surname that is devilishly difficult to pronounce, but I have dealt with it) and that people would know what happened in America.
I was the orderly of Mr. General for four years, that I learned many things from him about his life, will, feelings, desires and deeds. First I will only mention how we approached the General, because it is important to understand that the General was a man of iron character, but with a soft and sensitive heart.
Somewhere it will probably be like that in May 1777, they became friends with General Kościuszko. Oh, I took heavy whips from the British tamoj in Fort Ticonderoga. Then there was a bloody warrior at Saratoga and building West Point, then we went south where blood was shed profusely. I made my way to North Carolina in the torment of war. And there we saw the sorrow and misery of the Continental Army under the command of Mr. George Washington. Even now, years later, I can see the tears in the eyes of Mr. General when he saw what was happening to people on cotton plantations in South Carolina. Even we witnessed the rebellion of these slaves and how these people were willing to give their lives in exchange for freedom from shackles.
The General told me that where he was born, there is also such slavery, because peasants are treated by noblemen as we are here. And that hurt him a lot. Because Mr. General loved freedom the most. He came from a country where this freedom was taken from him.
This country is called Poland, and then this noble republic was pulled down into three pieces. It’s like slicing up something alive and watching the blood flow out of it. Perhaps Mr. General also understood human misery, because he came from a noble but poor family.
Well, that I have talked about what’s out there over the sea, and I want to say what’s in America, because it is the closest to me like a shirt, what my beloved Peggy, my bright ray, washes her with her lovely hands. Peggy is my second wife, thirty years younger, the first was Jane, but she is already in the blue meadows.
I am very sorry to throw in such my crap, because I was supposed to discuss important matters. This is the reins of my life.
And it was like this …
About how I found out from the newspaper about the death of the general
In our town called Stockbridge, there are several newspapers to read. I can read it quite well, because the General has taught me. I always liked to read the newspaper, because you can learn something about the world and people, and what is happening in America there, we fought for it. I liked reading “Western Star” the most, because in “Western Star” you rarely saw a “nigger”. I have a word of the word. Besides, “Western Star” wrote from time to time what was happening with Mr. General, because Mr. General fought for America’s freedom, and then he had various adventures in this Europe. Not everything “Western Star” wrote, but always something. One day in the year of our Lord 1795, my heart sank, because in the newspaper it was written that the General had died in a prison in Russia.
I wore a black frock coat and wore it all the time, even to the barn and to the field, as a mourner, until my Jane got angry.
– Take it off that finally, Grippy! – my beloved wife shouts at me, she was still very vital then. (“Grippy” is called me every day).
I even liked, I will tell you, how Jane yelled at me, because she did it in such a way that sparks would fall out of her eyes like stars from the sky, and the flute was playing a happy tune. But then I was not into hock-blocks, because I felt grief in my heart for my Lord General.
“Don’t yell at me, woman,” I say in a sullen voice. – I owe everything to Mr. General and when he died, it is necessary to make a proper mourning, woman – so I say.
And Jane her:
– Then give it to the mass for his soul, Grippy.
I wondered, my brow furrowed like the water on our Housatonic River as the wind goes off the hills. I figured I really needed to talk to Reverend Haynes about praying collectively in a congregationalist church. I was not a member of the First Church in Stockbridge, and I was not a member of the First Church in Stockbridge, and I was not a member of any church at all, because I had a bit of a hard work with God, but I have to pray for my soul somewhere, that’s how it should be. And if it would even cost fifty cents, it is worth paying as much for the salvation of the Lord General’s soul as he died in a prison somewhere in Russia.
So I look at my Jane, I see sparks pouring from her eyes, the flute began to play as I speak, although I shouldn’t have hock-blocks in my head. Well, but a hefty mousse sometimes stronger than pity. I apologize to all of you for telling you about such things, what should be hidden under the covers, but this has something to do with my General. How it relates to Mr. Kościuszko, you will find out later, patience.
– Grippy, what are you doing? My Jane asks.
– You told me, kobito, to take off my coat, so I take it off.
– But somehow he looks at you strangely.
– How strange is my eyes looking at? – I replied to her and I am already unfastening the belt from her pants. – Normally I am looking to God – I say.
– Grippy! You are in mourning!
“Jane …” I whispered to her.
– Grippy … – she said to me.
Here I have to stop, because it is impossible to describe what we did with Jane, because these are things that should remain under the covers. When it happened and the stars fell from my Jane’s eyes to the ground, tears for General Kosciuszko flowed from under my lids again. And all those years stood before me with teary eyes, something we spent in toil, blood and sweat with our beloved General, on a warrior. I fell into myself, I don’t know for how long, as if I had fallen into a well.
“Grippy,” my Jane tells me with sweet lips.
– What’s up? – I said to her.
– I think it happened.
– What happened? – I ask.
– Well then”.
– What is it”? – I ask.
My Jane turns her cute little face to me and says sweetly:
– We made the kid. Finally.
Jane says “finally” and my Jane knows what she’s saying. Because we waited a long time for the first kid. I was already thirty-seven years old, my Jane a little younger, but you know time flies and the kid looked like sunshine in the spring. This piece of land was not bought for this, so that there would be no one to leave it when you went to the grave. My Jane prayed to the Lord Jesus every day to give us a kid, but the Lord Jesus, the one hanging on the cross over our creaky bed, was something he wouldn’t listen to us.
– How do you, beloved woman, know that we kid did se?
– I know and that’s it.
– And tell me that he will be a son – I said, and in my mind I smiled at this son.
– Little daughter – she said to me.
I blew out a smile in my mind like a candle, because you know that the boy on the farm is more helpful.
– How can you be sure, Jane? – I ask again.
– If you would pray to the Lord Jesus as often as I did, you would know how to talk to him. Just me, Grippy, keep going. You know how to be hired, our people from Stockbridge listen to you like a wise guy, but you don’t know how to talk about the most important conversations. I know what you will tell me that I am a woman and a woman understands the world differently and is dressed up for a different talk. Then I’ll tell you, Grippy, if you guys had as much feeling as there was dirt behind your fingernails, this world would be different.
And again her stars fell from her eyes, but the flute did not play anymore, because I was offended by such talk, and I say:
– Feelings are not in me? My heart breaks at the thought of General Kościuszko.
– “Mr. General” and “Mr. General” – insisted my wife. – Your tears are rolling, because that soldier of yours and a warrior of yours.
– What are you saying, woman! – My throat is already boiling. – Our soldier is freedom, she brought America.
And she said to me:
“You, Grippy, don’t upset me, because I hope I’m in a blessed state.” “Freedom” you say? Nice freedom for me… ”Her voice broke here, my Jane.
Tera I won’t tell you why, maybe I’ll tell you later. In any case, I’ll tell you so much that my Jane was not born free. And this bondage entered her soul and heart like a splinter that cannot be taken out.
I didn’t say anything, because I was a bit stupid, and I didn’t want to upset her anymore, my Jane, because if it was true that she was pregnant and in a blessed state for a few minutes, it might have been bad for the child’s soul somehow. The only thing that occurred to me was:
– I love you, Jane.
And she said to me:
“You better get up, Grippy, and put on your frock coat and go to the Reverend and order a Mass for Sunday for that Lord General of yours.” Not! Don’t kiss me. Take off your shirt. Well, for a peasant in a shirt to make a kid, and then I have to iron it …
Testament, or the story about Tadeusz Kościuszko in the words of his orderly, son of the African prince Agrippa Hull – cover Agora Publishing House