“Eh?” Mr. Fogo roused himself from his abstraction. “Yes, certainly, I should like to hear it.”
Caleb knocked his pipe meditatively against the bars of the grate; filled it again and lit it; took an energetic pull or two, and then, after another hard look at his master across the clouds of smoke, began without more ado.
OF A WESLEYAN MINISTER THAT WOULD IMPROVE UPON NATURE, AND THEREBY TRAINED A ROOK TO GOOD PRINCIPLES.
“Well, sir, et all happen’d when I lived up to Penhellick, an’ worked long wi’ Varmer Mennear. Ould Lawyer Mennear, as he was a-nicknamed—a little cribbage-faced man, wi’ a dandy-go-russet wig, an’ on’y wan eye: leastways, he hadn’ but wan fust along when I knowed ‘n. That’s what the yarn’s about, tho’; so us’ll go slow, ef you plaise, an’ hush a bit, as Mary Beswetherick said to th’ ingine-driver.
“Now, Lawyer Mennear was a circuit-preacher, o’ the Wesleyan Methody persuash’n, tho’ he’d a-got to cross-pupposes wi’ the rest o’ the brethren an’ runned a sect all to hissel’, which he called th’ United Free Church o’ ’Rig’nal Seceders. They was called ’Rig’nal Seceders for short, an’ th’ ould man had a toler’ble dacent followin’, bein’ a fust-class mover o’ souls an’ powerful hot agen th’ unregenrit, which didn’ prevent hes bein’ a miserable ould varmint, an’ so deep as Garrick in hes ord’nary dealin’s. Aw, he was a reg’lar split-fig, an’ ‘ud go where the devil can’t, an’ that’s atween the oak an’ the rind.”
“I see,” said Mr. Fogo.