him began to suspect that his mind was better furnished than his person.
Horace always had a way of talking profusely while at work, and that, too, without working with less assiduity.
Conversations soon arose about masonry, temperance, politics, religion; and the new journeyman rapidly argued his way to respectful consideration.
His talk was ardent, animated, and positive
. He was perfectly confident of his opinions, and maintained them with an assurance that in a youth of less understanding and less geniality would have been thought arrogance.
His enthusiasm at this time, was Henry Clay
; his great subject, masonry.
In a short time, to Quote the language of one his fellow-workmen, “he was the lion of the shop.”
Yet for all that, the men who admired him most would nave their joke, and during all the time that Horace remained in the office, it was the standing amusement to make nonsensical remarks in order to draw from him one of his shrewd half-comic, Scotch-Irish retorts.
‘And we always got
it,’ says one.
The boys of the office were overcome by a process similar to that which frustrated the youth of Poultney
Four or five of them, who knew Horace's practice of returning to the office in the evening and working alone by candle-light, concluded that that would be an excellent time to play a few printing-office tricks upon him. They, accordingly, lay in ambush one evening, in the dark recesses of the shop, and awaited the appearance of the Ghost.
He had no sooner lighted his candle and got at work, than a ball, made of “old roller,” whizzed past his ear and knocked over his candle.
He set it straight again and went on with his work.
Another ball, and another, and another, and finally a volley.
One hit his “stick,” one scattered his type, another broke his bottle, and several struck his head.
He bore it till the balls came so fast, that it was impossible for him to work, as all his time was wasted in repairing damages.
At length, he turned round and said, without the slightest ill-humor, arid in a supplicating tone, ‘Now, boys, don't. I want to work.
Please, now, let me alone.’
The boys came out of their places of concealment into the light of the candle, and troubled him no more.
Thus, it appears, that every man can best defend himself with the weapon that nature has provided him—whether it be fists or forgiveness.
Little Jane Eyre
was of opinion, that when anybody