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[83] would as soon expect to see there an Italian opera house or a French cafe.

The Poultney river is a small stream that flows through a valley, which widens and narrows, narrows and widens, all along its course; here, a rocky gorge; a grassy plain, beyond. At one of its narrow places, where the two ranges of hills approach and nod to one another, and where the river pours through a rocky channel—a torrent on a very small scale—the little village nestles, a cluster of houses at the base of an enormous hill. It is built round a small triangular green, in the middle of which is a church, with a handsome clock in its steeple, all complete except the works, and bearing on its ample face the date, 1805. No village, however minute, can get on without three churches, representing the Conservative, the Enthusiastic, and Eccentric tendencies of human nature; and, of course, East Poultney has three. It has likewise the most remarkably shabby and dilapidated schoolhouse in all the country round. There is a store or two; but business is not brisk, and when a customer arrives in town, perhaps, his first difficulty will be to find the storekeeper, who has locked up his store and gone to hoe in his garden or talk to the blacksmith. A tavern, a furnace, a saw-mill, and forty dwelling houses, nearly complete the inventory of the village. The place has a neglected and “seedy ” aspect which is rare in New England. In that remote and sequestered spot, it seems to have been forgotten, and left behind in the march of progress; and the people, giving up the hope and the endeavor to catch up, have settled down to the tranquil enjoyment of Things as they Are. The village cemetery, near by,—more populous far than the village, for the village is an old one—is upon the side of a steep ascent, and whole ranks of gravestones bow, submissive to the law of gravitation, and no man sets them upright. A quiet, slow little place is East Poultney. Thirty years ago, the people were a little more wide awake, and there were a few more of them.

It was a fine spring morning in the year 1826, about ten o'clock, when Mr. Amos Bliss, the manager, and one of the proprietors, of the Northern Spectator, “might have been seen” in the garden behind his house planting potatoes. He heard the gate open behind him, and, without turning or looking round, became dimly conscious of the presence of a boy. But the boys of country villages go into

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