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[p. 38] decorations, some hideous, others ridiculous. On Mystic street (West Medford) Mr. Hastings had the figure of a couchant lion beside the entrance drive, and to make it more realistic a ‘den’ of rocks was built over his leonine majesty. This was a protective measure, as we are told ‘it was a plaster cast.’ This lion at first had a terrifying aspect, which disappeared after a few scrubbings given it, and later the lion also departed. But ere this was the ‘clergyman's dog’ his master refused to take out license for, a little way up Forest street. The story was, that soon after the first of May the zealous constable was informed thereof and hastened to find the owner. The clergyman, like many other reverend gentlemen, enjoyed a joke (and was probably aware of the conspiracy existing), and firmly refused to save his favorite canine from threatened shooting, and on demand of the officer pointed out the victim's whereabouts. The big iron dog, recumbent beside the walk, had not molested the officer at his excited coming. Perhaps he laughed at his crestfallen departure. Anyway, it is said, the clergyman did, also the ones that put up the game. There may have been others, but this was the only one we know of in Medford during the ‘era of the cast-iron dog.’ Some towns had a whole menagerie (could it have been collected) of lions, deer, dogs of various breed, rabbits, etc., (probably indicating the tastes of the owners) specimens of which may still be found. Perhaps it was well that Medford never erected a soldiers' monument (other than that at Oak Grove), and so was spared the inferior specimens of statuary inflicted on some towns. Equally as well that the memorial we alluded to (Vol. XIX, p. 79) has not materialized. There is an ‘eternal fitness of things’ in decorative art. A gargoyle requires distance to lend enchantment, but what shall we say of the caryatids in plug hats between which we go to the city offices? They have been taken for effigies of public functionaries, with how much reason we are not saying.
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