but though I met with well-bred and apparently well-read people, they never seemed to care to talk about books or authors.
I do remember one exception, however.
A Miss Louise J. Cutter
, the daughter, I think, of a Mr. Cutter
who lived near the tide-mill, gave evidence of considerable literary ability, and contributed occasionally to the Boston
She died quite early of consumption.
The impulses to literary production were quite lacking.
There was no village newspaper, no public library, no reading-room, no telephones, no fraternal societies.
Clubs were unheard of. There was neither boat club, home club, woman's club, whist club, nor bridge club.
I do remember one organization, the Mendelssohn Society
, I think it was called, which brought together weekly or monthly a number of young people interested in music.
But to those without ‘ear’ it counted as nothing.
Strange to say, there was no Masonic lodge, although one was established in the autumn of 1854, a month after I left town.
There was no lodge of Odd Fellows.
There had been one some years before, but owing to internal dissensions its charter had been surrendered.
The popular athletic games of today had not been created nor invented.
There was no baseball, no football, no basket ball, no croquet, no lawn tennis, and one might almost say, no anything.
If one met the word ‘gymnasium’ in print one would have to look it up in the dictionary to know what it meant.
Bicycles were as yet unheard of. It was not until thirty years later that the word found a place in the language.
The idea of an automobile had not entered the wildest dreams of inventors, and its motive power, electricity, which now runs everything from a train of cars to a sewing-machine
, was an altogether unknown quantity.
In those days people slept upon feather and straw beds, and I have many times seen huge loads of straw in Medford
streets stopping here and there to supply houses with fresh material for worn-out beds.
And the custom was the