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ignorant of the object of the meeting. He opened it in the fewest possible words, and said other gentlemen were present who would entertain them better than he.
The audience were disappointed, but waited. The Governor, prompted by Isaacs, said, "The Honorable Mr. Delafield will address you." Delafield had forgotten the knives and forks, and was playing the Ruy Lopez opening at the chess club.
"The Reverend Mr. Auchmuty will address you." Auchmuty had promised to speak late, and was at the school committee.
"I see Doctor Stearns in the hall; perhaps he will say a word." Doctor Stearns said he had come to listen and not to speak.
The Governor and Isaacs whispered. The Governor looked at Dennis, who was resplendent on the platform; but Isaacs, to give him his due, shook his head. But the look was enough.
A miserable lad, ill-bred, who had once been in Boston, thought it would sound well to call for me, and peeped out "Ingham!" A few more wretches cried "Ingham! Ingham!" Still Isaacs was firm; but the Governor, anxious, indeed, to prevent a row, knew I would say something, and said: "Our friend, Mr. Ingham, is always prepared; and, though we had not relied upon him, he will say a word perhaps."
Applause followed, which turned Dennis's head. He rose, fluttered, and tried No. 3: "There has been so much said, and, on the whole, so well said, that I will not longer occupy the time!" and sat down, looking for his hat; for things seemed squally.
But the people cried "Go on! Go on!" and some applauded. Dennis, still confused, but flattered by the applause, to which
neither he nor I are used, rose again, and this time tried No. 2: "I am very glad you liked it!" in a sonorous, clear delivery. My best friends stared. All the people who did not know me personally yelled with delight at the aspect of the evening; the Governor was beside himself, and poor Isaacs thought he was undone! Alas, it was I! A boy in the gallery cried in a loud tone, "It's all an infernal humbug," just as Dennis, waving his hand, commanded silence, and tried No. 4: “I agree, in general, with my friend the other side of the room." The Governor doubted his senses and crossed to stop him-not in time, however. The same gallery boy shouted, "How's your mother?" and Dennis, now completely lost, tried, as his last shot, No. 1, vainly: "Very well, thank you; and you?”
I think I must have been undone already. But Dennis, like another Lockhard, chose "to make sicker."
The audience rose in a whirl of amazement, rage, and sorrow. Some other impertinence, aimed at Dennis, broke all restraint, and, in pure Irish, he delivered himself of an address to the gallery, inviting any person who wished to fight to come down and do so, stating that they were all dogs and cowards and the sons of dogs and cowards, that he would take any five of them single-handed. "Shure, I have said all his Riverence and the Misthress bade me say," cried he in defiance; and, seizing the Governor's cane from his hand, brandished it, quarter-staff fashion, above his head. He was, indeed, got from the hall only with the greatest difficulty by the Governor, the City Marshal, who had been called in, and the Superintendent of my Sunday-school.
The universal impression, of course, was that the Reverend Frederic Ingham had lost all command of himself in some of those haunts of intoxication which for fifteen years I had been laboring to destroy. Till this moment, indeed, that is the
impression in Naguadavick. This number of the Atlantic will relieve from it a hundred friends of mine who have been sadly wounded by that notion now for years; but I shall not be likely ever to show my head there again.
No. My double has undone me.
We left town at seven the next morning. I came to No. 9, in the Third Range, and settled on the Minister's Lot. In the new towns in Maine, the first settled minister has a gift of a hundred acres of land. I am the first settled minister in No. 9. My wife and little Paulina are my parish. We raise corn enough to live on in summer. We kill bear's meat enough to carbonize it in winter. I work on steadily on my "Traces of Sandemanianism in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries," which I hope to persuade Phillips, Sampson & Company to publish next year. We are very happy, but the world thinks we are undone.-If, yes, and perhaps.
Donald G. Mitchell-"Ik Marvel"
Over a Wood Fire
I HAVE got a quiet farmhouse in the country, a very humble place, to be sure, tenanted by a worthy enough man of the old New England stamp, where I sometimes go for a day or two in the winter, to look over the farm accounts and to see how the stock is thriving on the winter's keep.
One side the door, as you enter from the porch, is a little parlor, scarce twelve feet by ten, with a cozy-looking fireplace, a heavy oak floor, a couple of armchairs, and a brown table with carved lions' feet. Out of this room opens a little cabinet, only big enough for a broad bachelor bedstead, where I sleep upon feathers, and wake in the morning with my eye upon a saucy colored lithographic print of some fancy "Bessy."
It happens to be the only house in the world of which I am bona fide owner, and I take a vast deal of comfort in treating it just as I choose. I manage to break some article of furniture almost every time I pay it a visit; and if I cannot open the window readily of a morning, to breathe the fresh air, I knock out a pane or two of glass with my boot. I lean against the walls in a very old armchair there is on the premises, and scarce ever fail to worry such a hole in the plastering as would set me down for a round charge for damages in town, or make a prim housewife fret herself into a raging fever. I laugh out loud with myself, in my big armchair, when I think that I am neither afraid of one nor the other.
As for the fire, I keep the little hearth so hot as to warm half the cellar below, and the whole space between the jams roars for two hours together with white flame. To be sure, the
windows are not very tight, between broken panes and bad joints, so that the fire, large as it is, is by no means an extravagant comfort.
As night approaches, I have a huge pile of oak and hickory placed beside the hearth; I put out the tallow candle on the mantel (using the family snuffers, with one leg broken), then, drawing my chair directly in front of the blazing wood, and setting one foot on each of the old iron fire-dogs (until they grow too warm), I dispose myself for an evening of such sober and thoughtful quietude as I believe, on my soul, that very few of my fellow men have the good fortune to enjoy.
My tenant, meantime, in the other room, I can hear now and then-though there is a thick stone chimney, and broad entry between-multiplying contrivances with his wife to put two babies to sleep. This occupies them, I should say, usually an hour, though my only measure of time (for I never carry a watch into the country) is the blaze of my fire. By ten, or thereabouts, my stock of wood is nearly exhausted; I pile upon the hot coals what remains, and sit watching how it kindles, and blazes, and goes out-even like our joys-and then slip by the light of the embers into my bed, where I luxuriate in such sound and healthful slumber as only such rattling windowframes and country air can supply.
But to return: the other evening-it happened to be on my last visit to my farmhouse-when I had exhausted all the ordinary rural topics of thought, had formed all sorts of conjectures as to the income of the year; had planned a new wall around one lot, and the clearing up of another, now covered with patriarchal wood; and wondered if the little rickety house would not be after all a snug enough box to live and to die in -I fell on a sudden into such an unprecedented line of thought, which took such deep hold of my sympathies-sometimes even