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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 437 pages of information about Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks.

When he finished he turned to Alice and said, “And you wrote that?”

“Certainly,” said she.  “Can you forgive me?”

Quincy said seriously, “Miss Pettengill, that is a fine poem; it is grand when read, but it would be grander still if set to music.  I can imagine,” Quincy continued, “how those choruses would sound if sung by the Handel and Haydn Society, backed up by a full orchestra and the big organ.”  And he sang, to an extemporized melody of his own, the words: 

    God bless the king of the English,
    The Lord of the land,
    The Lord of the sea!

“I can imagine,” said he, as he rose and stood before Alice, “King Canute as a heavy-voiced basso.  How he would bring out these words!

    Great sea! the land on which I stand, is mine;
    Its rocky shores before thy blows quail not. 
    Thou, too, O! sea, are part of my domain,
    And, like the land, must bow to my command. 
    I’ll sit me here! rise not, nor dare to touch,
    With thy wet lips, the ermine of my robe!

“And,” cried he, for the moment overcome by his enthusiasm, “how would this sound sung in unison by five hundred well-trained voices?

    For God alone is mighty,
    The Lord of the sea,
    The Lord of the land! 
    For He holds the waves of the ocean
    In the hollow of His hand,
    And the strength of the mightiest king
    Is no more than a grain of sand. 
    For God alone is mighty,
    The Lord of the sea,
    The Lord of the land!”

As Quincy resumed his seat, Alice clapped her hands to show her approbation of his oratorical effort.  Then they both sat in silence for a few minutes, each evidently absorbed in thought.

Suddenly Alice spoke: 

“And now, Mr. Sawyer, will you let me ask you a serious question?  If I continue writing pieces like these, can I hope to earn enough from it to support myself?”

Quincy thought for a moment, and then said, “I am afraid not.  If you would allow me to take them to Boston the next time I go I will try and find out their market value, but editors usually say that poetry is a drug, and they have ten times as much offered them as they can find room for.  On the other hand, stories, especially short ones, are eagerly sought and good prices paid for them.  Did you ever think of writing a story, Miss Pettengill?”

“Oh, yes!” said Alice, “I have several blocked out, I call it, in my own mind, but it is such a task for me to write that I dare not undertake them.  If I could afford to pay an amanuensis it would be different.”

Quincy comprehended the situation in a moment.  “I like to write, Miss Pettengill,” said he, “and time hangs heavily upon my hands.  We are likely to have a long spell of winter weather, during which I shall be confined to the house as well as yourself.  Take pity on me and give my idle hands something to do.”

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