“That General,” he said, aloud, “is a wonderful man. I never respected him before of knowing how to read writin’. I don’t believe, after all, he does know how. But when he took the billets in his hand, he sort o’ give ’em a squint as if he knew all about it Who learned him? Perhaps he does and perhaps he doesn’t. I wonder, too, how he missed all the bullets he preaches about sometimes, with losing only one leg. I heard him say, fifty times, they come like an April shower. Now, if he had a hundred legs, it seems to me they ought all to be smashed. I ’spect, as I heard the doctor say once, he draws on the fact for his ’magination. But what can you ’spect, Felix, from a ’Peskypalian? They think so much of gitting up and setting down, as if there was religion in moving the legs. But let me see about the billets. Miss Faith told me to put the Bernards’ in this pocket, and the minister’s in this, and the doctor’s in this other one. Ah, all right! The doctor is a very curus person. I wonder what makes him talk so much about a man he calls Shakspeare. I heard him say he lived a great many years ago, I guess with Joshua and David, when there was so much fighting going on, and when they hadn’t no guns. Perhaps he was Goliah’s brother, who come out with shield and spear. Well, there is no sogers with spears now-a-days. It’s my opinion, give old Prime a loaded musket with a baggonet, and he’d do more work than Goliah and Shakspeare together, with their spears. But, here, I am near the Judge’s. Now, sir, mind your eye, and see that you maintain the spectability of the family”. Saying this, Felix drew himself up, adjusted his neckerchief, and strutted somewhat pompously into the yard of the Judge, whence he soon found his way into the kitchen. The invitations to the Bernards were in due form delivered, as were the others, and accepted.
Lorenzo.—Go in, Sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner. Launcelot.—That is done, sir; they have all stomachs. Lorenzo.—Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner. Launcelot.—That is done too, sir.
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
The high square, pews of the little Congregational church, or (as in those days the descendants of the Puritans, in order to manifest their abhorrence for popery, and all that in their judgment sounded papistical, loved to call their places for public worship) the “meeting-house,” were tolerably well filled by an attentive congregation on Thanksgiving morning. We say only tolerably, some seats being vacant, which seldom of a Sunday missed of occupants. The rights of hospitality were allowed on this occasion to trench upon the duties of public worship, and many a good wife with the servants, whom no common storm or slight indisposition would have kept away, remained at home to spread the board for expected guests. If there