I happened to be here on a visit at the time and joined the party of about forty or fifty, not more than two or three of whom had ever travelled by railroad before.
Though at the risk of trying your patience too long, I should like to say a few words of some of my old Medford
friends who have passed away—some of whom I hope may still be kindly remembered by some of you. Let me mention Mr. P. C. Brooks
, then probably the richest man in New England
, Rev. Caleb Stetson
, well esteemed even among those who differed most widely from his religious views, the elder E. F. Hastings
, D. Hall
, Captain King
, father of Mrs. D. C. Hall
, Rev. C. Brooks
and T. Cotting
, with both the latter of whom I was associated many years on the school committee, and Mary and Lucy Osgood
, who had a celebrity in the scholarly society of the vicinity not limited to Medford
They were intelligent, highly cultivated, well versed in ancient and modern languages and literature, taking up the study of German after reaching the age of fifty.
Mary, the elder, was bright, quick in forming her opinions or prejudices, and blunt and honest in the expression of them, with an enjoyment of wit and humor which was denied to her sister.
Miss Lucy, the younger, was a woman of larger intelligence and superior mental power, and much more conservative in her opinions, often acting as a wholesome check upon the exuberance of her sister.
Let me mention an incident which will give you some idea of Miss Mary's —shall I say character?
One morning as I passed her window on my way to school she called to me— ‘Mr. Harlow
, are you a sinner?’
I pleaded guilty, quoting the assembly's catechism as evidence.
‘Well,’ said she, ‘if you are a sinner, come and take tea with us to-night; a few of our friends will be here to pass the evening, and they will all be saints but you; and as I think a party is pleasanter for being a little mixed, I want a sinner or two to make it more agreeable.’