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[p. 18] Sunday morning breakfast, the odor while cooking passing up the big chimney and no one was the wiser. I should have mentioned that the abundance of hot coals served the admirable purpose of filling a dozen foot stoves which he distributed in the pews where most needed. . . . The choir met in the vestry every Saturday evening. I remember one night in particular, after ascertaining there was no fire, several persons began to feel chilly and suggested that ‘next time a fire had better be made just to take off the chill.’ The sexton looked at the thermometer (it was his infallible guide) and replied, ‘Yes; it shall be comfortable the next evening.’ The following rehearsal night, the choir looking towards the stove, saw a blaze, and evidences of a good fire, and were charmingly comfortable, and sang all the better for it, probably. During the after-chat, they were asked if the room had been satisfactorily warmed. ‘Oh yes; just right for comfort.’ Mr. Blanchard induced them to open the stove and see how little was required to heat that large vestry; and lo, and behold! all that was necessary for that evening at least, was a piece of red flannel and a small lamp, seen through the open draft door. Imagine a momentary pause and the laughter which followed!.

Mr. Blanchard was fond of surprises; sometimes after rehearsals he would ask the choir to step into the small vestry to look at something, and there would be a table spread with apples, nuts and raisins, or melons in the season for them, and also the never-failing bouquet, if possible to obtain one. He was a passionate lover of flowers. How he would have revelled in these days, when it is not considered wicked or vain to have flowers in church. Then, a bit of southernwood or pennyroyal in the hand was allowable only, to carry to meeting. I suspect they were to be nibbled to keep one awake during the ‘eighthly's and ninthly's and conclusions’ of the long sermons. I used to think the minister told a lie, because he said, ‘One word more and I have done’;

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Aaron Blanchard (2)
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