he aimed at your ‘alley,’ six feet off, it was a good plan to say good-by to it. When the play became noisy, Mr. Tufts
would sally out from his front door, wildly flourish his cane, and order us off. So David Copperfield
's Aunt Betsey Trotwood
used to rush out to drive the intrusive donkey from her green.
We obeyed, but the retreat was only temporary; we went back as soon as the old gentleman resumed his nap, but were very careful not to disturb him again.
I think half his fierceness was assumed.
It was after the death of Mr. Tufts
that the readingroom was established in his house.
It was a very important institution in town at that date, for few people subscribed to a daily paper, and news-stands were unknown.
The room was a sort of club-room, where people met to learn the latest intelligence, but more particularly to chat over local matters.
When some event of public importance had happened the boys used to drop in to look at the papers, and their presence was always tolerated.
papers were taken— the ‘Advertiser,’ ‘Post,’ ‘Atlas
,’ the Evening Journal (the ‘Journal’ was then published as an evening paper), and the ‘Transcript.’
Here one got a glance at the older Medford
, which had even then almost passed away.
As I have already stated, many of those who made the reading-room their resort were men of advanced age, and might be considered as links connecting the centuries.
Beside those I have already mentioned were Ebenezer Hall, Joseph Manning
, 1st., Dr. Daniel Swan
, Dudley Hall, and Joseph Swan
Their conversation, reverting to incidents which occurred in their youth, opened vistas into a past which now seems very remote to us. Other patrons of the reading-room, belonging to a later generation, were Samuel Lapham
, Joseph Manning
, 2d., Daniel Lawrence
, George L. Stearns
, John Sparrell
, Jonas Coburn
, George Hervey
, Dudley C. Hall
, Peter C. Hall
, George W. Porter
, John Clough
, Albert H.