It was long years before the captain came to the deacon's way of thinking, but Captain Redman
wrote: ‘Pray write me at every opportunity; let your letters be written as though you were writing to Horace or lecturing me in your counting-room.’
The flings of his enemies and his disappointments were offset by his habitual good nature.
At one time he invested in what was called ‘The Eastern Land Speculation,’ and with a party of gentlemen went down to visit their possessions.
They found the land which they had bought to be where it was indicated on the map, but the map-maker had neglected to show that it was under water.
There was dismay in the camp, and a good deal of strong language was used.
Whereupon, the deacon caught up a stick of wood and the poker, used the stick for a fiddle and the poker for a bow, and whistling a lively tune, went dancing around the camp till he had changed frowns into laughter.
His love of a joke often relieved the strain when differences of opinion became uncomfortable.
In some of his experiences a fiddle of some kind must have been a necessity to him.
, who worked for him in the printing office when a boy, says, ‘One time when something arose which was quite unpleasant, probably my fault, the deacon looked up, and said, “Thomas
, did you ever see a mad deacon?”
I replied, “ No, Deacon James
, I never did,” He ejaculated, “ Better not!
and I did not see a mad deacon at that time, nor ever see him angry, although in my experience in church and out, since then, I have seen a great many mad deacons.’
He was always frugal in his habits.
In the years of comparative poverty, walking to Boston
and back to save the fifty cents stage fare for charity or religious work.
But he did not live meanly, and a playful reference by his wife in one of her letters assures us he was a welldressed man even if our memories did not testify to the fact.
‘I have sent your second
I thought I would not send your bright buttoned coat, lest the good ’