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The Chainbearer; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts By James Fenimore Cooper Characters: 33592

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

"With look, like patient Job's, eschewing evil;

With motions graceful as a bird's in air;

Thou art, in sober truth, the veriest devil

That e'er clinched fingers in a captive's hair."

-Red Jacket.

* * *

Although an immense progress has been made in liberating this country from the domination of England, in the way of opinion and usages, a good deal remains to be done yet. Still, he who can look back forty years must see the great changes that have occurred in very many things; and it is to be hoped that he who lives forty years hence will find very few remaining that have no better reasons for their existence among ourselves than the example of a people so remote, with a different climate, different social organization, and different wants. I am for no more condemning a usage, however, simply because it is English, than I am for approving it simply because it is English. I wish everything to stand on its own merits, and feel certain that no nation ever can become great, in the higher signification of the term, until it ceases to imitate, because it is imitation of a certain fixed model. One of the very greatest evils of this imitative spirit is even now developing itself in what is called the "progress" of the country, which is assailing principles that are as old as the existence of man, and which may almost be said to be eternal as social truths, at the very moment that notions derived from our ancestors are submitted to in the highest places, the Senate of the United States for example, that are founded in facts which not only have no existence among ourselves, but which are positively antagonistic to such as have. So much easier is it to join in the hurrah! of a "progress," than to ascertain whether it is making in the right direction, or whether it be progress at all. But, to return from things of moment to those of less concern.

Among other customs to be condemned that we have derived from England, is the practice of the men sitting at table after the women have left it. Much as I may wish to see this every-way offensive custom done away with, and the more polished and humanizing usage of all the rest of Christendom adopted in its stead, I should feel ashamed at finding, as I make no doubt I should find it, that our custom would be abandoned within a twelvemonth after it might be understood it was abandoned in England. My uncle had long endeavored to introduce into our own immediate circle the practice of retaining the ladies at table for a reasonable time, and of then quitting it with them at the expiration of that time; but it is hard to "kick against the pricks." Men who fancy it "society" to meet at each other's houses to drink wine, and taste wine, and talk about wine, and to outdo each other in giving their guests the most costly wines, are not to be diverted easily from their objects. The hard-drinking days are past, but the hard "talking days" are in their vigor. If it could be understood, generally, that even in England it is deemed vulgar to descant on the liquor that is put upon the table, perhaps we might get rid of the practice too. Vulgar in England! It is even deemed vulgar here, by the right sort, as I am ready to maintain, and indeed know of my own observation. That one or two friends who are participating in the benefits of some particularly benevolent bottle, should say a word in commendation of its merits, is natural enough, and well enough; no one can reasonably find any fault with such a sign of grateful feeling; but I know of nothing more revolting than to see twenty grave faces arrayed around a table, employed as so many tasters at a Rhenish wine sale, while the cheeks of their host look like those of Boreas, owing to the process of sucking syphons.

When my dear grandmother rose, imitated by the four bright-faced girls, who did as she set the example, and said, as was customary with the old school, "Well, gentlemen, I leave you to your wine; but you will recollect that you will be most welcome guests in the drawing-room," my uncle caught her hand, and insisted she should not quit us. There was something exceedingly touching, to my eyes, in the sort of intercourse, and in the affection, which existed between my uncle Ro and his mother. A bachelor himself, while she was a widow, they were particularly fond of each other; and many is the time that I have seen him go up to her, when we were alone, and pat her cheeks, and then kiss them, as one might do to a much-beloved sister. My grandmother always received these little liberties with perfect good humor, and with evident affection. In her turn, I have frequently known her to approach "Roger," as she always called him, and kiss his bald head in a way that denoted she vividly remembered the time when he was an infant in her arms. On this occasion she yielded to his request, and resumed her seat, the girls imitating her, nothing loath, as they had done in rising. The conversation then, naturally enough, reverted to the state of the country.

"It has much surprised me, that the men in authority among us have confined all their remarks and statements to the facts of the Rensselaer and Livingston estates," observed my grandmother, "when there are difficulties existing in so many others."

"The explanation is very simple, my good mother," answered Uncle Ro. "The Rensselaer estates have the quarter-sales, and chickens, and days' works; and there is much of the ad captandum argument about such things, that does very well to work up for political effect; whereas, on the other estates, these great auxiliaries must be laid aside. It is just as certain, as it is that the sun has risen this day, that an extensive and concerted plan exists to transfer the freehold rights of the landlords, on nearly every property in the State, to the tenants; and that, too, on conditions unjustly favorable to the last; but you will find nothing of the sort in the messages of governors, or speeches of legislators, who seem to think all is said, when they have dwelt on the expediency of appeasing the complaints of the tenants, as a high political duty, without stopping to inquire whether those complaints are founded in right or not. The injury that will be done to the republic, by showing men how much can be effected by clamor, is of itself incalculable. It would take a generation to do away the evil consequences of the example, were the anti-rent combination to be utterly defeated to-morrow."

"I find that the general argument against the landlords is a want of title, in those cases in which nothing better can be found," observed Mr. Warren. "The lecturer, to-day, seemed to condemn any title that was derived from the king, as defeated by the conquest over that monarch, by the war of the revolution."

"A most charming consummation that would have been for the heroic deeds of the Littlepages! There were my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, all in arms, in that war; the two first as general officers, and the last as a major; and the result of all their hardships and dangers is to be to rob themselves of their own property! I am aware that this silly pretence has been urged, even in a court of justice; but folly, and wrong, and madness, are not yet quite ripe enough among us, to carry such a doctrine down. As 'coming events cast their shadows before,' it is possible we are to take this very movement, however, as the dawn of the approaching day of American reason, and not as a twilight left by the departed rays of a sun of a period of mental darkness."

"You surely do not apprehend, Uncle Ro, that these people can really get Hugh's lands away from him!" exclaimed Patt, reddening with anxiety and anger.

"No one can say, my dear; for, certainly, no one is safe when opinions and acts, like those which have been circulated and attempted among us of late years, can be acted on without awakening very general indignation. Look to the moneyed classes at this very moment, agonized and excited on the subject of a war about Oregon-a thing very little likely to occur, though certainly possible; while they manifest the utmost indifference to this anti-rentism, though the positive existence of everything connected with just social organization is directly involved in its fate. One is a bare possibility, but it convulses the class I have named; while the other is connected with the existence of civilized society itself; yet it has ceased to attract attention, and is nearly forgotten! Every man in the community, whose means raise him at all above the common level, has a direct interest in facing this danger, and in endeavoring to put it down; but scarcely any one appears to be conscious of the importance of the crisis. We have only one or two more steps to make, in order to become like Turkey; a country in which the wealthy are obliged to conceal their means, in order to protect it from the grasp of the government; but no one seems to care at all about it!"

"Some recent travellers among us have said that we have nearly reached that pass already, as our rich affect great simplicity and plainness in public, while they fill their houses in private with all the usual evidences of wealth and luxury. I think De Tocqueville, among others, makes that remark."

"Ay, that is merely one of the ordinarily sagacious remarks of the Europeans, who, by not understanding the American history, confound causes and make mistakes. The plainness of things in public is no more than an ancient habit of the country, while the elegance and luxury in private are a very simple and natural consequence of the tastes of women who live in a state of society in which they are limited to the very minimum of refined habits and intellectual pleasures. The writer who made this mistake is a very clever man, and has exceeding merit, considering his means of ascertaining truth; but he has made very many similar blunders."

"Nevertheless, Mr. Littlepage," resumed the rector, who was a gentleman, in all the senses of the word, and knew the world, and the best part of it, too, even while he had preserved an admirable simplicity of character, "changes have certainly taken place among us, of the nature alluded to by M. de Tocqueville."

"That is quite true, sir; but they have also taken place elsewhere. When I was a boy, I can well remember to have seen coaches-and-six in this country, and almost every man of fortune drove his coach-and-four; whereas, now such a thing is of the rarest occurrence possible. But the same is true all over Christendom; for when I first went to Europe, coaches-and-six, with outriders, and all that sort of state, was an every-day thing; whereas, it is now never, or at least very seldom, seen. Improved roads, steamboats, and railroads, can produce such changes, without having recourse to the oppression of the masses."

"I am sure," put in Patt, laughing, "if publicity be what Mons. De Tocqueville requires, there is publicity enough in New York! All the new-fashioned houses are so constructed, with their low balconies and lower windows, that anybody can see in at their windows. If what I have read and heard of a Paris house be true, standing between cour et jardin, there is infinitely more of privacy there than here; and one might just as well say that the Parisians bury themselves behind porte cochères, and among trees, to escape the attacks of the Faubourg St. Antoine, as to say we retreat into our houses to be fine, lest the mobocracy would not tolerate us."

"The girl has profited by your letters, I see, Hugh," said my uncle, nodding his head in approbation; "and what is more, she makes a suitable application of her tuition, or rather of yours. No, no, all that is a mistake; and, as Martha says, no houses are so much in the street as those of the new style in our own towns. It would be far more just to say that, instead of retiring within doors to be fine, as Patt calls it, unseen by envious neighbors, the Manhattanese, in particular, turn their dwellings wrong side out, lest their neighbors should take offence at not being permitted to see all that is going on within. But neither is true. The house is the more showy because it is most under woman's control; and it would be just as near the truth to say that the reason why the American men appear abroad in plain blue, and black, and brown clothes, while their wives and daughters are at home in silks and satins-ay, even in modern brocades-is an apprehension of the masses, as to ascribe the plainness of street life, compared to that within doors, to the same cause. There is a good deal of difference between a salon in the Faubourg, or the Chaussée d'Antin, and even on the Boulevard des Italiens. But, John is craning with his neck, out there on the piazza, as if our red brethren were at hand."

So it was, in point of fact, and everybody now rose from table, without ceremony, and went forth to meet our guests. We had barely time to reach the lawn, the ladies having run for their hats in the meantime, before Prairiefire, Flintyheart, Manytongues, and all the rest of them, came up, on the sort of half-trot that distinguishes an Indian's march.

Notwithstanding the change in our dresses, my uncle and myself were instantly recognized, and courteously saluted by the principal chiefs. Then our wigs were gravely offered to us by two of the younger men; but we declined receiving them, begging the gentlemen who had them in keeping to do us the honor to accept them as tokens of our particular regard. This was done with great good-will, and with a pleasure that was much too obvious to be concealed. Half an hour later, I observed that each of the young forest dandies had a wig on his otherwise naked head, with a peacock's feather stuck quite knowingly in the lank hair. The effect was somewhat ludicrous; particularly on the young ladies; but I saw that each of the warriors himself looked round, as if to ask for the admiration that he felt his appearance ought to awaken!

No sooner were the salutations exchanged than the red-men began to examine the house-the cliff on which it stood-the meadows beneath, and the surrounding ground. At first we supposed that they were struck with the extent and solidity of the buildings, together with a certain air of finish and neatness that is not everywhere seen in America, even in the vicinity of its better-class houses; but Manytongues soon undeceived us. My uncle asked him why all the red-men had broken off, and scattered themselves around the buildings, some looking here, others pointing there, and all manifestly earnest and much engaged with something; though it was not easy to understand what that something was; intimating his supposition that they might be struck with the buildings.

"Lord bless ye, no, sir," answered the interpreter; "they don't care a straw about the house, or any house. There's Flintyheart, in particular; he's a chief that you can no more move with riches and large housen, and sichlike matters, than you can make the Mississippi run up stream. When we went to Uncle Sam's house, at Washington, he scarce condescended to look at it; and the Capital had no more effect on any on 'em, than if it had been a better sort of wigwam; not so much, for that matter, as Injins be curious in wigwams. What's put 'em up on a trail like, just now, is the knowledge that this is the spot where a battle was fit, something like ninety seasons ago, in which the Upright Onondago was consarned, as well as some of their own people on t'other side-that's what's put 'em in commotion."

"And why does Flintyheart talk to those around him with so much energy; and point to the flats, and the cliff, and the ravine yonder, that lies beyond the wigwam of Susquesus?"

"Ah! is that, then, the wigwam of the Upright Onondago?" exclaimed the interpreter, betraying some such interest as one might manifest on unexpectedly being told that he saw Mount Vernon or Monticello for the first time in his life. "Well, it's something to have seen that; though it will be more to see the man himself; for all the tribes on the upper prairies, are full of his story and his behavior. No Injin, since the time of Tamenund himself, has made as much talk, of late years, as Susquesus, the Upright Onondago, unless it might be Tecumthe, perhaps. But what occupies Flintyheart, just at this moment, is an account of the battle, in which his father's grandfather lost his life, though he did not lose his scalp. That disgrace, he is now telling on 'em, he escaped, and glad enough is his descendant that it was so. It's no great matter to an Injin to be killed; but he'd rather escape losing his scalp, or being struck at all by the inimy, if it can possibly made to turn out

so. Now he's talking of some young pale-face that was killed, whom he calls Lover of Fun-and now he's got on some nigger, who he says fit like a devil."

"All these persons are known to us, by our traditions, also!" exclaimed my uncle, with more interest than I had known him to manifest for many a day. "But I'm amazed to find that the Indians retain so accurate an account of such small matters for so long a time."

"It isn't a small matter to them. Their battles is seldom on a very great scale, and they make great account of any skrimmage in which noted warriors have fallen." Here Manytongues paused for a minute, and listened attentively to the discourse of the chiefs, after which he resumed his explanations. "They have met with a great difficulty in the house," he continued, "while everything else is right. They understand the cliff of rocks, the position of the buildings themselves, that ravine thereaway, and all the rest of the things hereabouts, except the house."

"What may be the difficulty with the house? Does it not stand in the place it ought to occupy?"

"That's just their difficulty. It does stand where it ought to stand, but it isn't the right sort of house, though they say the shape agrees well enough-one side out to the fields, like; two sides running back to the cliff, and the cliff itself for the other. But their traditions say that their warriors indivor'd to burn out your forefathers, and that they built a fire ag'in the side of the buildin', which they never would have done had it been built of stone, as this house is built. That's what partic'larly puzzles them."

"Then their traditions are surprisingly minute and accurate! The house which then stood on, or near this spot, and which did resemble the present building in the ground plan, was of squared logs, and might have been set on fire, and an attempt was actually made to do so, but was successfully resisted. Your chiefs have had a true account; but changes have been made here. The house of logs stood near fifty years, when it was replaced by this dwelling, which was originally erected about sixty years ago, and has been added to since, on the old design. No, no-the traditions are surprisingly accurate."

This gave the Indians great satisfaction, as soon as the fact was communicated to them; and from that instant all their doubts and uncertainty were ended. Their own knowledge of the progress of things in a settlement gave them the means of comprehending any other changes; though the shape of this building having so nearly corresponded with that of which their traditions spoke, they had become embarrassed by the difference in the material. While they were still continuing their examinations, and ascertaining localities to their own satisfaction, my uncle and myself continued the discourse with Manytongues.

"I am curious to know," said my uncle, "what may be the history of Susquesus, that a party of chiefs like these should travel so far out of their way to pay him the homage of a visit. Is his great age the cause?"

"That is one reason, sartainly; though there is another, that is of more account, but which is known only to themselves. I have often tried to get the history out of them, but never could succeed. As long as I can remember, the Onondagoes, and Tuscaroras, and the Injins of the old New York tribes, that have found their way up to the prairies, have talked of the Upright Onondago, who must have been an old man when I was born. Of late years they have talked more and more of him; and so good an opportunity offering to come and see him, there would have been great disappointment out West had it been neglected. His age is, no doubt, one principal cause; but there is another, though I have never been able to discover what it is."

"This Indian has been in communication, and connected with my immediate family, now near, if not quite ninety years. He was with my grandfather, Cornelius Littlepage, in the attack on Ty, that was made by Abercrombie, in 1758; and here we are within twelve or thirteen years of a century from that event. I believe my great-grandfather, Herman Mordaunt, had even some previous knowledge of him. As long as I can remember, he has been a gray-headed old man; and we suppose both he and the negro who lives with him to have seen fully a hundred and twenty years, if not more."

"Something of importance happened to Susquesus, or the Trackless, as he was then called, about ninety-three winters ago; that much I've gathered from what has fallen from the chiefs at different times; but what that something was, it has exceeded my means to discover. At any rate, it has quite as much to do with this visit, as the Withered Hemlock's great age. Injins respect years; and they respect wisdom highly; but they respect courage and justice most of all. The tarm 'Upright' has its meaning, depend on't."

We were greatly interested by all this, as indeed were my grandmother and her sweet companions. Mary Warren, in particular, manifested a lively interest in Susquesus's history, as was betrayed in a brief dialogue I now had with her, walking to and fro in front of the piazza, while the rest of the party were curiously watching the movements of the still excited savages.

"My father and I have often visited the two old men, and have been deeply interested in them," observed this intelligent, yet simple-minded girl-"with the Indian, in particular, we have felt a strong sympathy, for nothing is plainer than the keenness with which he still feels on the subject of his own people. We have been told that he is often visited by red-men-or, at least, as often as any come near him; and they are said ever to exhibit a great reverence for his years, and respect for his character."

"This I know to be true, for I have frequently seen those who have come to pay him visits. But they have usually been merely your basket-making, half-and-half sort of savages, who have possessed the characteristics of neither race, entirely. This is the first instance in which I have heard of so marked a demonstration of respect-how is that, dear grandmother? can you recall any other instance of Susquesus's receiving such a decided mark of homage from his own people as this?"

"This is the third within my recollection, Hugh. Shortly after my marriage, which was not long after the Revolution, as you may know, there was a party here on a visit to Susquesus. It remained ten days. The chiefs it contained were said to be Onondagoes altogether, or warriors of his own particular people; and something like a misunderstanding was reported to have been made up; though what it was, I confess I was too thoughtless then to inquire. Both my father-in-law, and my uncle Chainbearer, it was always believed, knew the whole of the Trackless's story, though neither ever related it to me. I do not believe your grandfather knew it," added the venerable speaker, with a sort of tender regret, "or I think I should have heard it. But that first visit was soon after Susquesus and Jaaf took possession of their house, and it was reported, at the time, that the strangers remained so long, in the hope of inducing Sus to rejoin his tribe. If such was their wish, however, it failed; for there he is now, and there he has ever been since he first went to the hut."

"And the second visit, grandmother-you mentioned that there were three."

"Oh! tell us of them all, Mrs. Littlepage," added Mary earnestly, blushing up to the eyes the moment after at her own eagerness. My dear grandmother smiled benevolently on both, and I thought she looked a little archly at us, as old ladies sometimes will, when the images of their own youth recur to their minds.

"You appear to have a common sympathy in these red-men, my children," she answered, Mary fairly blushing scarlet at hearing herself thus coupled with me in the term "children,"-"and I have great pleasure in gratifying your curiosity. The second great visit that Susquesus received from Indians occurred the very year you were born, Hugh, and then we really felt afraid we might lose the old man; so earnest were his own people in their entreaties that he would go away with them. But he would not. Here he has remained ever since, and a few weeks ago he told me that here he should die. If these Indians hope to prevail any better, I am sure they will be disappointed."

"So he told my father, also," added Mary Warren, "who has often spoken to him of death, and has hoped to open his eyes to the truths of the gospel."

"With what success, Miss Warren? That is a consummation which would terminate the old man's career most worthily."

"With little, I fear," answered the charming girl, in a low, melancholy tone. "At least, I know that my father has been disappointed. Sus listens to him attentively, but he manifests no feeling beyond respect for the speaker. Attempts have been made to induce him to enter the church before, but--"

"You were about to add something, Miss Warren, which still remains to be said."

"I can add it for her," resumed my grandmother, "for certain I am that Mary Warren will never add it herself. The fact is, as you must know, Hugh, from your own observation, that Mr. Warren's predecessor was an unfaithful and selfish servant of the Church-one who did little good to any, not even himself. In this country it takes a good deal in a clergyman to wear out the patience of a people; but it can be done; and when they once get to look at him through the same medium as that with which other men are viewed, a reaction follows, under which he is certain to suffer. We could all wish to throw a veil over the conduct of the late incumbent of St. Andrew's, but it requires one so much thicker and larger than common, that the task is not easy. Mary has merely meant that better instruction, and a closer attention to duty, might have done more for Trackless twenty years ago, than they can do to-day."

"How much injury, after all, faithless ministers can do to the Church of God! One such bad example unsettles more minds than twenty good examples keep steady."

"I do not know that, Hugh; but of one thing I am certain-that more evil is done by pretending to struggle for the honor of the Church, by attempting to sustain its unworthy ministers, than could be done by at once admitting their offences, in cases that are clear. We all know that the ministers of the altar are but men, and as such are to be expected to fall-certain to do so without Divine aid-but if we cannot make its ministers pure, we ought to do all we can to keep the altar itself from contamination."

"Yes, yes, grandmother-but the day has gone by for ex officio religion in the American branch of the Church"-here Mary Warren joined the other girls-"at least. And it is so best. Suspicions may be base and unworthy, but a blind credulity is contemptible. If I see a chestnut forming on yonder branch, it would be an act of exceeding folly in me to suppose that the tree was a walnut, though all the nursery-men in the country were ready to swear to it."

My grandmother smiled, but she also walked away, when I joined my uncle again.

"The interpreter tells me, Hugh," said the last, "that the chiefs wish to pay their first visit to the hut this evening. Luckily, the old farm-house is empty just now, since Miller has taken possession of the new one; and I have directed Mr. Manytongues to establish himself there, while he and his party remain here. There is a kitchen, all ready for their use, and it is only to send over a few cooking utensils, that is to say, a pot or two, and fifty bundles of straw, to set them up in housekeeping. For all this I have just given orders, not wishing to disturb you, or possibly unwilling to lay down a guardian's authority; and there is the straw already loading up in yonder barn-yard. In half an hour they may rank themselves among the pot-wallopers of Ravensnest."

"Shall we go with them to the house before or after they have paid their visit to Susquesus?"

"Before, certainly. John has volunteered to go over and let the Onondago know the honor that is intended him, and to assist him in making his toilet; for the red-man would not like to be taken in undress any more than another. While this is doing, we can install our guests in their new abode, and see the preparations commenced for their supper. As for the "Injins" there is little to apprehend from them, I fancy, so long as we have a strong party of the real Simon Pures within call."

After this, we invited the interpreter to lead his chiefs toward the dwelling they were to occupy, preceding the party ourselves, and leaving the ladies on the lawn. At that season, the days were at the longest, and it would be pleasanter to pay the visit to the hut in the cool of the evening than to go at an earlier hour. My grandmother ordered her covered wagon before we left her, intending to be present at an interview which everybody felt must be most interesting.

The empty building which was thus appropriated to the use of the Indians was quite a century old, having been erected by my ancestor, Herman Mordaunt, as the original farm-house on his own particular farm. For a long time it had been used in its original character; and when it was found convenient to erect another, in a more eligible spot, and of more convenient form, this old structure had been preserved as a relic, and from year to year its removal had been talked of, but not effected. It remained, therefore, for me to decide on its fate, unless, indeed, the "spirit of the institutions" should happen to get hold of it, and take its control out of my hands, along with that of the rest of my property, by way of demonstrating to mankind how thoroughly the great State of New York is imbued with a love of rational liberty!

As we walked toward the "old farm-house," Miller came from the other building to meet us. He had learned that his friends, the pedlers, were his-what I shall call myself? "Master" would be the legal term, and it would be good English; but it would give the "honorable gentleman" and his friends mortal offence, and I am not now to learn that there are those among us who deny facts that are as plain as the noses on their faces, and who fly right into the face of the law whenever it is convenient. I shall not, however, call myself a "boss" to please even these eminent statesmen, and therefore must be content with using a term that, if the moving spirits of the day can prevail, will soon be sufficiently close in its signification, and call myself Tom Miller's-nothing.

It was enough to see that Miller was a good deal embarrassed with the dilemma in which he was placed. For a great many years he and his family had been in the employment of me and mine, receiving ample pay, as all such men ever do-when they are so unfortunate as to serve a malignant aristocrat-much higher pay than they would get in the service of your Newcomes, your Holmeses and Tubbses, besides far better treatment in all essentials; and now he had only to carry out the principles of the anti-renters to claim the farm he and they had so long worked, as of right. Yes, the same principles would just as soon give this hireling my home and farm as it would give any tenant on my estate that which he worked. It is true, one party received wages, while the other paid rent; but these facts do not affect the principle at all; since he who received the wages got no other benefit from his toil, while he who paid the rent was master of all the crops-I beg pardon, the boss of all the crops. The common title of both-if any title at all exist-is the circumstance that each had expended his labor on a particular farm, and consequently had a right to own it for all future time.

Miller made some awkward apologies for not recognizing me, and endeavored to explain away one or two little things that he must have felt put him in rather an awkward position, but to which neither my uncle nor myself attached any moment. We knew that poor Tom was human, and that the easiest of all transgressions for a man to fall into were those connected with his self-love; and that the temptation to a man who has the consciousness of not being anywhere near the summit of the social ladder, is a strong inducement to err when he thinks there is a chance of getting up a round or two; failing of success in which it requires higher feelings, and perhaps a higher station, than that of Tom Miller's, not to leave him open to a certain demoniacal gratification which so many experience at the prospect of beholding others dragged down to their own level. We heard Tom's excuses kindly, but did not commit ourselves by promises or declarations of any sort.

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