Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/89

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79
THE READING-CLUB.

countenance, hasn't he? Face shaved clean; he didn't wear a mustache, I believe, but he seems to have let himself out on hair. Now, my view is, that every man ought to have a picture of that patriarch so's to see how the fust settlers looked, and what kind of weskets they used to wear. See his legs too. Trousers a little short, maybe, as if he was going to wade in a creek, but he's all there. Got some kind of a paper in his hand, I see. Subscription-list, I reckon. Now, how does that strike you?

"There's something nice. That, I think, is—is—that—a—a—yes, to be sure, Washington,—you recollect him, of course. Some people call him Father of his Country; George—Washington. Had no middle name, I believe. He lived about two hundred years ago, and he was a fighter. I heard the publisher telling a man about him crossing the Delaware River up yer at Trenton; and seems to me, if I recollect right, I've read about it myself. He was courting some girl on the Jersey side, and he used to swim over at nights to see her, when the old man was asleep. The girl's family were down on him, I reckon. He looks like a man to do that, don't he? He's got it in his eye. If it'd been me, I'd gone over on a bridge; but he probably wanted to show off afore her,—some men are so reckless, you know. Now, if you'll conclude to take this, I'll get the publisher to write out some more stories, and bring 'em round to you, so's you can study up on him. I know he did ever so many other things; but I've forgot 'em, my memory's so awful poor.

"Less see! Who have we next? Ah, Franklin! Benjamin Franklin! He was one of the old original pioneers, I think. I disremember exactly what he is celebrated for, but I think it was a—flying a—oh! yes, flying a kite, that's it. The publisher mentioned it. He was out one day flying a kite, you know, like boys do nowadays, and while she was a-flickering up in the sky, and he was giving her more string, an apple fell off a tree, and hit him on the head; then he discovered the attraction of gravitation, I think they call it. Smart, wasn't it? Now, if you or me'd 'a' been hit, it'd just 'a' made us mad, like as not, and set us a-ravin'. But men are so different! One man's meat's another man's pison. See what a double chin he's got. No beard on him, either, though a goatee would have been becoming to such a round face. He hasn't got on a sword, and I reckon he was no soldier; fit some when he was a boy, maybe, or went out