The Novelist of Vermont: A Biographical and Critical Study of Daniel Pierce Thompson

The Novelist of Vermont: A Biographical and Critical Study of Daniel Pierce Thompson

The Novelist of Vermont: A Biographical and Critical Study of Daniel Pierce Thompson

The Novelist of Vermont: A Biographical and Critical Study of Daniel Pierce Thompson

Excerpt

Bearing in mind that I was born in Vermont, I find a certain piquancy in my earliest recollection. A child still in dresses, I had climbed up the carriage gate of the old place on Barre Street in Montpelier and was gazing entranced at an elephant that was eating its breakfast of hay. The incident is significant of a simpler time. The butcher's cart with its open end and suspended steelyards called regularly along the country ways; the tin peddler, with his cart bristling with brooms and bright with tin pans on which the sun shone gloriously, was a welcome visitor, and circuses drove by night from village to village and donned the scarlet coats and tinsel of the grand procession at the roadside in the early morning. If I could remember my grandfather as well as I can remember the big leathery beast that so absorbed my attention in that dewy hour, I could make a real contribution to Mr. Flitcroft's interesting Life. Unfortunately I have only one memory of my grandfather. I was playing on the floor of the pleasant, homely living-room of the old house and was, I suppose, making more or less noise, when my mother warned me to play quietly so as not to disturb "grandpa," who "wasn't feeling very well." I looked at the old man with sudden interest. He was lying on the sofa with his face to the wall, and I remember the look of his broad back, and of the unruly shock of iron-gray hair that stood out in every direction from his head. It may be significant of his character that the protest against my noise came, not from him, but from my mother.

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