When she recovered she said in a half-gasp, "Is this your gratitude? Where would your wife and boy be now, but for my son?"
William said, "Is this your gratitude? Did I save your wife's life or not? Tell me that!"
Seven relations swarmed in from the kitchen and each said, "And this is his gratitude!"
William's sisters stared, bewildered, and said, "And this is his grat--" but were interrupted by their mother, who burst into tears and exclaimed,
"To think that my sainted little Jimmy threw away his life in the service of such a reptile!"
Then the pluck of the revolutionary McSpadden rose to the occasion, and he replied with fervor, "Out of my house, the whole beggarly tribe of you! I was beguiled by the books, but shall never be beguiled again --once is sufficient for me." And turning to William he shouted, "Yes, you did save my, wife's life, and the next man that does it shall die in his tracks!"
Not being a clergyman, I place my text at the end of my sermon instead of at the beginning. Here it is, from Mr. Noah Brooks's Recollections of President Lincoln in Scribners Monthly:
J. H. Hackett, in his part of Falstaff, was an actor who gave Mr. Lincoln great delight. With his usual desire to signify to others his sense of obligation, Mr. Lincoln wrote a genial little note to the actor expressing his pleasure at witnessing his performance. Mr. Hackett, in reply, sent a book of some sort; perhaps it was one of his own authorship. He also wrote several notes to the President. One night, quite late, when the episode had passed out of my mind, I went to the white House in answer to a message. Passing into the President's office, I noticed, to my surprise, Hackett sitting in the anteroom as if waiting for an audience. The President asked me if any one was outside. On being told, he said, half sadly, "Oh, I can't see him, I can't see him; I was in hopes he had gone away." Then he added, "Now this just illustrates the difficulty of having pleasant friends and acquaintances in this place. You know how I liked Hackett as an actor, and how I wrote to tell him so. He sent me that book, and there I thought the matter would end. He is a master of his place in the profession, I suppose, and well fixed in it; but just because we had a little friendly correspondence, such as any two men might have, he wants something. What do you suppose he wants?" I could not guess, and Mr. Lincoln added, "well, he wants to be consul to London. Oh, dear!"
I will observe, in conclusion, that the William Ferguson incident occurred, and within my personal knowledge--though I have changed the nature of the details, to keep William from recognizing himself in it.
All the readers of this article have in some sweet and gushing hour of their lives played the role of Magnanimous-Incident hero. I wish I knew how many there are among them who are willing to talk about that episode and like to be reminded of the consequences that flowed from it.
PUNCH, BROTHERS, PUNCH
Will the reader please to cast his eye over the following lines, and see if he can discover anything harmful in them?
Conductor, when you receive a fare, Punch in the presence of the passenjare! A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare, A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare, A pink trip slip for a three-cent, fare, Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Punch, brothers! punch with care! Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
I came across these jingling rhymes in a newspaper, a little while ago, and read them a couple of times. They took instant and entire possession of me. All through breakfast they went waltzing through my brain; and when, at last, I rolled up my napkin, I could not tell whether I had eaten anything or not.