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Dear Nephew:—I left home just after your letter to your
cousin Ephraim got there, and I didn't get a sight of your
letter to me that you put into the Courier at Portland until I
saw it in the Daily Advertiser in Boston, and I guess Mr
Hale is the only person in Boston who takes that are little
Courier, so you was pretty safe about the letter not being
seen, as the printer promised you. How I happened to see it
here you will find out before I have got through with this
letter. I guess you won't be a little struck up when you find
out that I'm in Boston. But I had best begin at the beginning,
and then I shall get through quicker.

After seeing your letter to Ephraim, as I said before, I concluded
it wouldn't be a bad scheme to tackle up and take a
load of turkeys, some apple-sass, and other notions that the
neighbors wanted to get to market, and as your Uncle Nat
would be in Boston with the ax-handles, we all thought best
to try our luck there. Nothing happened worth mentioning
on the road, nor till next morning after I got here and put up
in Elm street. I then got off my watch pretty curiously, as
you shall be informed. I was down in the bar-room, and
thought it well enough to look pretty considerable smart, and

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[Description: 688EAF. Illustration page. Two men stand behind a covered wagon. One is holding a turkey in his hands. There is a barrel and an urn which are labelled "apple-sass" near the wagon.]

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now and then compared my watch with the clock in the bar,
and found it as near right as ever it was, when a feller stept
up to me and ask'd how I'd trade? and says I, for what? and
says he, for your watch, and says I, any way that will be a
fair shake; upon that says he, I'll give you my watch and five
dollars; says I, it's done! He gave me the five dollars, and
I gave him my watch. Now, says I, give me your watch;
and, says he, with a loud laugh, I han't got none, and that
kind a turned the laugh on me. Thinks I, let them laugh
that lose. Soon as the laugh was well over the feller thought
he'd try the watch to his ear; why, says he, it don't go; no,
says I, not without it's carried; then I began to laugh. He
tried to open it and couldn't start it a hair, and broke his
thumb nail into the bargain. Won't she open, says he?
Not's I know on, says I, and then the laugh seemed to take
another turn.

Don't you think I got off the old Brittania pretty well, considerin?
And then I thought I'd go and see about my load
of turkeys and other notions. I expected to have gone all
over town to sell my load, but Mr. Doolittle told me if I'd go
down to the new market I should find folks enough to buy all
I had at once. So down I goes, and a likely kind of a feller,
with an eye like a hawk and quick as a steel trap for a trade,
(they called him a fourth staller,[1]) came up to the waggon,
and before you could say Jack Robinson we struck a bargain
for the whole cargo; and come to weigh and reckon up I
found I should get as much as 10s. 6d. more than any of us
calculated before I left home, and had the apple-sass left be


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sides. So I thought I'd jest see how this fourth staller
worked his card to be able to give us so good a price for the
turkeys, and I went inside the market house, and a grander
sight I never expect to see! But it was the third staller, instead
of the fourth, had my turkeys all sorted and hung up,
and looking so much better that I hardly should known 'em.
Pretty soon a gentleman asked the third staller what he
asked for turkeys? Why, says he, if you want something
better than you ever saw before, there's some 'twas killed last
night purpose for you. You may take 'em at 9d., [12½ cents
Massachusetts currency,] being it's you. I'll give you 12
cents, said the gentleman, as I've got some of the General
Court to dine with me, and must treat well. I shan't stand
for half a cent with an old customer, says he. And so they
traded; and in about the space of half an hour or more all
my turkeys went into baskets at that rate. The fourth staller
gave me 6d. a pound, and I began to think I'd been a little
too much in a hurry for trade—but's no use to cry for spilt
milk. Then I went up to the State House to see what was
going on there; but I thought I'd get off my apple-sass on
my way—and seeing a sign of old clothes bartered, I stepped
in and made a trade, and got a whole suit of superfine black
broadcloth from top to toe for a firkin of apple-sass (which
didn't cost much I guess, at home.)

Accordingly I rigged myself up in the new suit, and you'd
hardly known me. I didn't like the set of the shoulders, they
were so dreadful puckery; but the man said that was all
right. I guess he'll find the apple-sass full as puckery when
he get's down into it—but that's between ourselves. Well,
when I got up to the State House I found them at work on


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the railroad, busy enough I can tell you; they got a part of
it made already. I found most all the folks kept their hats on
except the man who was talking out loud and the man he was
talking to; all the rest seemed to be busy about their own
consarns. As I did't see anybody to talk to, I kept my hat on
and took a seat, and look'd round to see what was going on.
I hadn't been setting long before I saw a slick-headed, sharp-eyed
little man, who seemed to have the principal management
of the folks, looking at me pretty sharp, as much as to
say, who are you? but I said nothing and looked tother way.
At last he touched me on the shoulder; I thought he was
feeling of the puckers. Are you a member? says he; sartin,
says I; how long have you taken your seat? says he; about
ten minutes, says I; are you qualified? says he; I guess not,
says I. And then he left me. I didn't know exactly what
this old gentleman was after, but soon he returned and said
it was proper for me to be qualified before I took a seat, and
I must go before the Governor! By Jing! I never felt so before
in all my born days. As good luck would have it he
was beckoned to come to a man at the desk, and as soon as his
back was turned I give him the slip. Just as I was going off
the gentleman who bought my turkeys of the fourth staller
took hold of my arm, and I was afraid at first that he was
going to carry me to the Governor; but he began to talk as
sociable as if we had been old acquaintances. How long
have you been in the house, Mr. Smith? says he. My name
is Downing, said I. I beg your pardon, says he, I mean
Downing. It's no offence, says I, I hav'nt been here long.
Then, says he, in a very pleasant way, a few of your brother
members are to take pot-lock with me to-day, and I should be


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happy to have you join them. What's pot-luck? said I. O,
a family dinner, says he—no ceremony. I thought by this
time I was well qualified for that without going to the Governor.
So says I, yes, and thank ye too. How long before
you'll want me, says I. At 3 o'clock, says he, and gave me
a piece of pasteboard with his name on it, and the name of
the street and the number of his house, and said that would
show the way. Well, says I, I don't know of nothing that
will keep me away. And then we parted. I took considerable
liking to him.

After strolling round and seeing a great many things about
the State House, and the marble image of Gineral Washington,
standing on a stump in the porch, I went out into the
street they call Bacon street, and my stars! what swarms of
women folks I saw, all drest up as if they were going to
meeting. You can tell cousin Polly Sandburn, who you know
is no slimster, that she needn't take on so about being genteel
in her shapes, for the genteelest ladies here beat her as to
size all hollow. I don't believe one of 'em could get into our
fore dore, and as for their arms, I shouldn't want better
measure for a bushel of meal than one of their sleeves could
hold. I shan't shell out the bushel of corn you say I've lost
on Speaker Ruggles at that rate. But this puts me in mind
of the dinner which Mr. — wanted I should help the
Gineral Court eat. So I took out the piece of pasteboard and
began to inquire my way and got along completely, and
found the number the first time; but the door was locked,
and there was no knocker, and I thumpt with my whip
handle but nobody come. And says I to a man going by,
don't nobody live here? and says he, yes. Well, how do you


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[Description: 688EAF. Page 053. In-line image. A man wearing a white apron stands in an open doorway while another man stands on the porch of the house. There is a lamp-post in teh background.]
get in? Why, says he, ring; and says I, ring what? And
says he, the bell. And says I, where's the rope? And says
he, pull that little brass nub; and so I gave it a twitch, and
I'm sure a bell did ring; and who do you think opened the
door with a white apron afore him? You couldn't guess for a
week a Sundays, so I'll tell you. It was Stephen Furlong,
who kept our district school last Winter, for five dollars a
month, and kept bachelor's hall, and helped tend for Gineral
Coombs a training days, and make out muster rolls. We was
considerably struck up at first, both of us; and when he
found I was going to eat dinner with Mr — and Gineral


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Court, he thought it queer kind of doings; but says he, I
guess it will be as well for both of us not to know each other
a bit more than we can help. And says I, with a wink,
you're half right, and in I went. There was nobody in the
room but Mr. — and his wife, and not a sign of any
dinner to be seen anywhere, though I thought now and then
when a side door opened I could smell cupboard, as they say.

I thought I should be puzzled enough to know what to say,
but I hadn't my thoughts long to myself. Mr. — has about
as nimble a tongue as you ever heard, and could say ten
words to my one, and I had nothing to do in the way of
making talk. Just then I heard a ringing, and Stephen was
busy opening the door and letting in the Gineral Court, who
had all their hats off, and looking pretty scrumptious, you may
depend. I didn't see but I could stand along side of 'em without
disparagement, except to my boots, which had just got a
lick of beeswax and tallow. Not a mite of dinner yet, and I
began to feel as if 'twas nearer supper-time than dinner-time,
when all at once two doors flew away from each other right
into the wall, and what did I see but one of the grandest
thanksgiving dinners you ever laid your eyes on, and lights
on the table, and silver candlesticks and gold lamps over
head—the window shutters closed. I guess more than one of
us stared at first, but we soon found the way to our mouths.
I made Stephen tend out for me pretty sharp, and he got my
plate filled three or four times with soup, which beat all I
ever tasted. I shan't go through the whole dinner again to
you; but I am mistaken if it cost me much for victuals this
week, if I pay by the meal at Mr. Doolittle's, who comes pretty
near up to a thanksgiving every day. There was considerable


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talk about stock and manufactories, and lier bilities,
and rimidies, and a great loss on stock. I thought this a
good chance for me to put in a word, for I calculated I knew
as much about raising stock and keeping over as any of 'em.
Says I to Mr. —, there's one thing I've always obsarved in
my experience in stock—jest as sure as you try to keep over
more stock than you have fodder to carry them well into
Aperil, one half will die on your hands to a sartainty, and
there's no rimidy for it; I've tried it out and out, and there's
no law that can make a tun of hay keep over ten cows, unless
you have more carrots and potatoes than you can throw a
stick at. This made some of the folks stare who didn't know
much about stock, and Steeve give me a jog, as much as to
say, keep quiet. He thought I was getting into a quagmire,
and soon after, giving me a wink, opened the door, and got
me out of the room into the entry.

After we had got out of hearing, says I to Steve, how are
you getting on in the world?—should you like to come back
to keep our school if I could get a vote for you? Not by
two chalks, says Steve, I know which side my bread is
buttered better than that; I get twelve dollars a month and
found, and now and then some old clothes, which is better
than keeping school at five dollars and find myself, and work
out my highway tax besides; then turning up the cape of
my new coat, says he, I guess I've dusted that before now.
Most likely, says I, but not in our district school. And
this brings to mind to tell you how I got sight of your letter.
They tell me here that everybody reads the Boston Daily Advertiser,
because there is no knowing but what they may find
out something to their advantage, so I thought I would be as


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wise as the rest of them, and before I got half way through,
with it, what should I find mixed up with the news but your
letter, that you put into that little paper down in Portland,
and I knew it was your writing before I had read ten lines
of it.

I hope I've answered it to your satisfaction.

Your respectful uncle,

P. S.—Mr. Topliff says your Uncle Nat is telegraphed, but
I'm afraid the ax handles won't come to much. I find the
Boston folks make a handle of most anything they can lay
hold of, and jest as like as not they'll make a handle of our
private letters if they should see them.
N. B.—You spell dreadful bad, according to my notion;
and this proves what I always said, that our district has
been going down hill ever since Stephen Furlong left it.