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S.--(You see it is a matter of pride with the father to keep him young. Every year subtracts so much from his claim to prodigyship. Accordingly the “jest” in the last sentence was prolonged thus--“je-e-e-st” --to express that he had barely reached fourteen, and that somehow he ought to have kept thirteen.)

“ Wal, ma'am, he might a'finished it in his thirteenth year. But he took a notion to read a book. I told him he better finish it up the night before he come fourteen, and he might ez wal's nut. But he didn't-'twuz (answering a look of M.'s) a pity!”

You understand that his finishing it that night (though in fact it would have been but the gain of an hour or two) would have made a difference of a whole year in favor of the father when he told the story. A pretty little touch of nature, isn't it?

You write me news from the great city and I send you in return our metropolitanisms. While I am telling stories, here is another. Said my father the other day to an old widow, one of his parish poor, “God has not deserted you in your old age.” “No, sir, I have a very

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