'Halloo! Who stands guard here? Is the door-keeper asleep?' cried I, approaching a ladder of two or three steps which was let down from the wagon.
The music ceased at my summons, and there appeared at the door, not the sort of figure that I had mentally assigned to the wandering show-man, but a most respectable old personage, whom I was sorry to have addressed in so free a style. He wore a snuff-colored coat and small-clothes, with white-top boots, and exhibited the mild dignity of aspect and manner which may often be noticed in aged schoolmasters, and sometimes in deacons, selectmen, or other potentates of that kind. A small piece of silver was my passport within his premises, where I found only one other person, hereafter to be described.
'This is a dull day for business,' said the old gentleman, as he ushered me in; 'but I merely tarry here to refresh the cattle, being bound for the camp-meeting at Stamford.'
Perhaps the movable scene of this narrative is still peregrinating New England, and may enable the reader to test the accuracy of my description. The spectacle—for I will not use the unworthy term of puppet-show—consisted of a multitude of little people assembled on a miniature stage. Among them were artisans of every kind, in the attitudes of their toil, and a group of fair ladies and gay gentlemen standing ready for the dance; a company of foot soldiers formed a line across the stage, looking stern, grim, and terrible enough, to make it a pleasant consideration that they were but three inches high; and conspicuous above the whole was seen a Merry Andrew,