“Splendid weather for crops. A man with such a farm as mine on his hands, and so backward with his work, rather grudges such Sundays as these this time of year.”
And the other?
“Yes,” he says, laughing, “you could spare the time better if it rained, I dare say. By the way, Dunlap, have you sold that horse yet? If not, you better make up your mind to let me have it at the price I named. You won’t do better than that this fell.”
Whereupon ensued a discussion on the respective merits and demerits, and the prospective rise and fall in horse-flesh.
“Take heed what ye do; let the fear of the Lord be upon you.” Had those two gentlemen heard that text?
SOME PEOPLE WHO FORGOT THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
Let me introduce to you the Harrison dinner-table, and the people gathered there on the afternoon of that Sabbath day. Miss Lily had brought home with her her cousin Jim; he was privileged on the score of relationship. Miss Helen, another daughter of the house, had invited Mr. Harvey Latimer; he was second cousin to Kate’s husband, and Kate was a niece of Mrs. Harrison; relationship again. Also, Miss Fannie and Miss Cecilia Lawrence were there, because they were schoolgirls, and so lonely in boarding-school on Sunday, and their mother was an old friend of Mrs. Harrison; there are always reasons for things.
The dinner-table was a marvel of culinary skill. Clearly Mrs. Harrison’s cook was not a church-goer. Roast turkey, and chicken-pie, and all the side dishes attendant upon both, to say nothing of the rich and carefully prepared dessert, of the nature that indicated that its flankiness was not developed on Saturday, and left to wait for Sunday. Also, there was wine on Mrs. Harrison’s table; just a little home-made wine, the rare juice of the grape prepared by Mrs. Harrison’s own cook—not at all the sort of wine that others indulged in—the Harrisons were temperance people.
“I invited Dr. Selmser down to dinner,” remarked Mrs. Harrison, as she sipped her coffee. “I thought since his wife was gone, it would be only common courtesy to invite him in to get a warm dinner, but he declined; he said his Sunday dinners were always very simple.”
Be it known to you that Dr. Selmser was Mrs. Harrison’s pastor, and the preacher of the morning sermon.
Miss Lily arched her handsome eyebrows.
“Oh, mamma!” she said, “how could you be guilty of such a sin! The idea of Dr. Selmser going out to dinner on Sunday! I wonder he did not drop down in a faint! Papa, did you ever hear such a sermon?”
“It slashed right and left, that is a fact,” said Mr. Harrison, between the mouthfuls of chicken salad and oyster pickle.
“A little too sweeping in its scope to be wise for one in his position. Have another piece of the turkey, James? He is running into that style a little too much. Some person whose opinion has weight ought to warn him. A minister loses influence pretty rapidly who meddles with everything.”