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[p. 64]

Before passing on, let me say that the boy who knocked me down so summarily, a few months later sat next to me in school. We became very good friends and he used to bring me nice apples from his father's orchard—the ‘high-top sweetings’ of those days, which, like many other good things, have passed away. I asked him one day why he had struck me. ‘Oh,’ said he, reassuringly, ‘only for fun.’ It was all very well, but I couldn't help thinking the ‘fun’ was very unevenly divided. The poor fellow a few years later went to sea with Captain Redmond of this town, and while the ship was lying at New Orleans fell from the yard-arm and was killed. His life was short, and perhaps I ought not to be sorry to remember that during its brief term it fell to my lot to contribute something to his amusement. But he struck very hard.

Of the old inhabitants of Medford I might say a good deal if time permitted. I have seen among them people of pre-Revolutionary birth, and of course they had the ways and manners of the olden time. Some of them were men of marked character and wide experience, and there were traits of eccentricity in others, the display of which was always interesting. We boys used to like to sit in a corner of the old reading-room in the square and listen to their talk. There was old Mr. Andrew Blanchard, the most irascible of men, who could never endure any allusion to the new church which the First Parish had built, because he had lost his pew in the old one. He never set his foot in the new edifice. His intimates liked to goad him by introducing the objectionable topic, for these old gentlemen were much addicted to guying each other. On such provocation Mr. Blanchard would leap from his chair and emphasize words of passionate protest with thumps of his cane upon the floor. Then there was old William Bradbury, who would never stay in church after twelve o'clock. As soon as the clock sounded its first note he jumped from his seat, seized his hat, opened the pew

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