adventure with a loose factory

I should say that he was

At that time, as at present, it was the custom for the students to form societies, in which debates and other literary exercises were the principal features of the periodical meetings. Towards the middle of his college course Daniel joined “The United Fraternity,” then the leading society in college. He had long since overcome the diffidence which at Exeter prevented him from participating in the exercise of declamation. In the society he became distinguished both as a writer and debater, and ere long ranked in the general estimation as the best writer and speaker in college. So far as he exhibited precocity in anything he showed it in these two branches. His method of preparation, for he always prepared himself when he proposed to speak, is described by a classmate as follows: “He was accustomed to arrange his thoughts in his mind in his room or his private walks, and to put them upon paper just before the exercise would be called for. When he was required to speak at two o’clock, he would frequently begin to write after dinner, and when the bell rang he would fold his paper, put it in his pocket and go in, and speak with great ease. In his movements he was rather slow and deliberate, except when his feelings were aroused; then his whole soul would kindle into a flame.”

As this was the formative period when young Webster’s intellectual character was taking shape; as, moreover, he was still a boy in years, no older than many who will read this book, I add another tribute to his industry in college and the ability which he displayed. It is from a letter written by Hon. Henry Hubbard to Prof. Sanborn.

“I entered the Freshman class in 1799,” writes Mr. Hubbard, “at the early age of fourteen. I was two years in college with Mr. Webster. When I first went to Hanover I found his reputation already established as the most remarkable young man in the college. He was, I believe, so decidedly beyond any one else that no other student of his class was ever spoken of as second to him. I was led, very soon, to appreciate most highly his scholarship and attainments. As a student his acquisitions seemed to me to be very extensive. Every subject appeared to contribute something to his intellectual stores. He acquired knowledge with remarkable facility. He seemed to grasp the meaning and substance of a book almost by intuition. Others toiled long and patiently for that which he acquired at a glance.

“As a scholar, I should say that he was then distinguished for the uncommon extent of his knowledge, and for the ease with which he acquired it. But I should say that I was more impressed by his eloquence and power as a speaker, before the society of which we were both members, than by his other qualifications, however superior to others. There was a completeness and fullness in his views, and a force and expressiveness in his manner of presenting them, which no other student possessed. We used to listen to him with the deepest interest and respect, and no one thought of equaling the vigor and glow of his eloquence. The oration which he delivered before the United Fraternity on the day of his graduation is, I think, now among the records of that society. Whoever will read it at this late day, and bring to mind the appearance of the author, his manner and power, during its delivery, cannot fail to admit that I have said no more of his eloquence than I was warranted in saying. The students, and those who knew him best and judged him most impartially, felt that no one connected with the college deserved to be compared with him at the time he received his first degree. His habits and moral character were entirely unimpeachable. I never heard them questioned during our college acquaintance.”

Daniel’s path seemed to lie plain before him. He was a college student, receiving and using such advantages as Dartmouth could give him. At nineteen he would be a graduate, and well qualified to commence a professional course. So far as he was concerned Daniel felt that he had reason to congratulate himself. But there was another for whom he began to feel solicitude.

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about those matters for

Jeremiah de Saint-Amour was completely naked HKUE ENG , stiff and twisted, eyes open, body blue, lookingfifty years older than he had the night before. He had luminous pupils, yellowish beard and hair,and an old scar sewn with baling knots across his stomach. The use of crutches had made his torsoand arms as broad as a galley slave's, but his defenceless legs looked like an orphan's. Dr. JuvenalUrbino studied him for a moment, his heart aching as it rarely had in the long years of his futilestruggle against death.

"Damn fool," he said HKUE ENG "The worst was over."He covered him again with the blanket and regained his academic dignity. His eightiethbirthday had been celebrated the year before with an official three-day jubilee, and in his thank-you speech he had once again resisted the temptation to retire. He had said: "I'll have plenty oftime to rest when I die, but this eventuality is not yet part of my plans." Although he heard lessand less with his right ear, and leaned on a silver-handled cane to conceal his faltering steps, hecontinued to wear a linen suit, with a gold watch chain across his vest, as smartly as he had in hisyounger years. His Pasteur beard, the colour of mother-of-pearl, and his hair, the same colour,carefully combed back and with a neat part in the middle, were faithful expressions of his character. He compensated as much as he could for an increasingly disturbing erosion of memoryby scribbling hurried notes on scraps of paper that ended in confusion in each of his pockets, asdid the instruments, the bottles of medicine, and all the other things jumbled together in hiscrowded medical bag. He was not only the city's oldest and most illustrious physician, he was alsoits most fastidious man. Still, his too obvious display of learning and the disingenuous manner inwhich he used the power of his name had won him less affection than he deserved.

His instructions to the inspector and the intern were precise and rapid. There was no need foran autopsy; the odour in the house was sufficient proof that the cause of death had been thecyanide vapours activated in the tray by some photographic acid, and Jeremiah de Saint-Amourknew too much about those matters for it to have been an accident. When the inspector showedsome hesitation, he cut him off with the kind of remark that was typical of his manner: "Don'tforget that I am the one who signs the death certificate." The young doctor was disappointed: hehad never had the opportunity to study the effects of gold cyanide on a cadaver. Dr. JuvenalUrbino had been surprised that he had not seen him at the Medical School, but he understood in aninstant from the young man's easy blush and Andean accent that he was probably a recent arrivalto the city. He said: "There is bound to be someone driven mad by love who will give you thechance one of these days." And only after he said it did he realise that among the countlesssuicides he could remember, this was the first with cyanide that had not been caused by thesufferings of love. Then something changed in the tone of his voice.

"And when you do find one, observe with care," he said to the intern HKUE ENG : "they almost alwayshave crystals in their heart."Then he spoke to the inspector as he would have to a subordinate. He ordered him tocircumvent all the legal procedures so that the burial could take place that same afternoon andwith the greatest discretion. He said: "I will speak to the Mayor later." He knew that Jeremiah deSaint-Amour lived in primitive austerity and that he earned much more with his art than heneeded, so that in one of the drawers in the house there was bound to be more than enough moneyfor the funeral expenses.


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You bade me come

UPON a day Bennett Lawrie escaped early from his office Hong Kong Newsletter, leaving his day’s work to be finished by a co-junior clerk on a promise to do as much for him when he should require it. He was feeling very tired, having had only a walk and two cigarettes for dinner, a practice so common among junior clerks that they have a name for it—Flag Hash. Twice during Gertrude’s absence he had taken Annette and her mother to the theatre—three dress-circle seats at five shillings—a heavy drain upon his income, which was now one pound fifteen shillings a week, paid monthly. His mother knew nothing of the advance of five shillings a week that he had obtained on the third application with the plea that he was engaged to be married. That helped a little, but, even so, his position was serious, and at moments made him feel very sick at heart. He had been making efforts to save money when Mrs. Folyat’s expression of regret that she had not been to the theatre plunged him into the rash offer to pay for seats. He had no thought but that she would pay for two of them at least. But no; Mrs. Folyat regarded it as the feminine privilege to enjoy entertainment at the expense of the masculine pocket.

Further cause had Bennett for anxiety in that his correspondence with Gertrude had dwindled from the devoted daily letter to an effusion with great difficulty squeezed out twice a week hong kong convention . That her letter had come at longer and longer intervals comforted him not at all. He had never asked testimony of devotion from his [Pg 201]betrothed; it was enough that she should so far stoop as to be engaged to him. . . . Also, as he walked to the station through the dark railway arches, through Town Hall Square with its statues of John Bright, the late Bishop, the Prince Consort, and a local philanthropic sweater, past the Infirmary, he was dogged by an unhappy realisation that it gave him no pleasure to be going to meet Gertrude. She had written him a romantic little note:

    “Dear business registration hong kong , I am coming back to you. I have no thought but for you. I shall arrive by the 5.45. Yours, G. F.”

Bennett rehearsed the meeting. He would greet her warmly and with dignity. He would kiss her hand; not her cheek. He would then silently convey that he was fully aware of his delinquences, but asked no pardon for them. Scoundrel as he had shown himself, he would have her “pass on and thank God she was rid of a knave.” . . . However, he reflected that upon former occasions his most eloquent silence had conveyed nothing at all to Gertrude, and he began to rehearse the scene from another standpoint. He would say; “You bade me come. I have come. In spite of what has happened, in spite of my sins of thought and deed, I will be loyal. I will keep my troth.” That was better, but not altogether appropriate from a station platform. He was still rehearsing when the train came in. He stood by the engine thinking that there he would be sure not to miss his quarry. There was a considerable crowd to meet the train, for in those days a journey from London was an important affair, and travellers were welcomed by their nearest and dearest, glad that they had escaped the perils of the way, hopeful that they had not succumbed to its fatigues, and mindful of the presents that would be in bag or trunk. . . . Bennett Lawrie thought not at all of presents. He was only bothered because he had not yet discovered the right mode of address.


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