Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him   By: (1865-1902)

Book cover

First Page:

THE HONORABLE PETER STIRLING and WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT OF HIM

by

PAUL LEICESTER FORD

Stitt Publishing Company New York Henry Holt & Co.

1894

To

THOSE DEAR TO ME AT STONEY WOLDE, TURNERS, NEW YORK; PINEHURST; NORWICH, CONNECTICUT; BROOK FARM, PROCTORSVILLE, VERMONT; AND DUNESIDE, EASTHAMPTON, NEW YORK,

THIS BOOK, WRITTEN WHILE AMONG THEM, IS DEDICATED.

CHAPTER I.

ROMANCE AND REALITY.

Mr. Pierce was talking. Mr. Pierce was generally talking. From the day that his proud mamma had given him a sweetmeat for a very inarticulate "goo" which she translated into "papa," Mr. Pierce had found speech profitable. He had been able to talk his nurse into granting him every indulgence. He had talked his way through school and college. He had talked his wife into marrying him. He had talked himself to the head of a large financial institution. He had talked his admission into society. Conversationally, Mr. Pierce was a success. He could discuss Schopenhauer or cotillion favors; St. Paul, the apostle, or St. Paul, the railroad. He had cultivated the art as painstakingly as a professional musician. He had countless anecdotes, which he introduced to his auditors by a "that reminds me of." He had endless quotations, with the quotation marks omitted. Finally he had an idea on every subject, and generally a theory as well. Carlyle speaks somewhere of an "inarticulate genius." He was not alluding to Mr. Pierce.

Like most good talkers, Mr. Pierce was a tongue despot. Conversation must take his course, or he would none of it. Generally he controlled. If an upstart endeavored to turn the subject, Mr. Pierce waited till the intruder had done speaking, and then quietly, but firmly would remark: "Relative to the subject we were discussing a moment ago " If any one ventured to speak, even sotto voce , before Mr. Pierce had finished all he had to say, he would at once cease his monologue, wait till the interloper had finished, and then resume his lecture just where he had been interrupted. Only once had Mr. Pierce found this method to fail in quelling even the sturdiest of rivals. The recollection of that day is still a mortification to him. It had happened on the deck of an ocean steamer. For thirty minutes he had fought his antagonist bravely. Then, humbled and vanquished, he had sought the smoking room, to moisten his parched throat, and solace his wounded spirit, with a star cocktail. He had at last met his superior. He yielded the deck to the fog horn.

At the present moment Mr. Pierce was having things very much his own way. Seated in the standing room of a small yacht, were some eight people. With a leaden sky overhead, and a leaden sea about it, the boat gently rose and fell with the ground swell. Three miles away could be seen the flash light marking the entrance to the harbor. But though slowly gathering clouds told that wind was coming, the yacht now lay becalmed, drifting with the ebb tide. The pleasure seekers had been together all day, and were decidedly talked out. For the last hour they had been singing songs always omitting Mr. Pierce, who never so trifled with his vocal organs. During this time he had been restless. At one point he had attempted to deliver his opinion on the relation of verse to music, but an unfeeling member of the party had struck up "John Brown's Body," and his lecture had ended, in the usual serial style, at the most interesting point, without even the promise of a "continuation in our next." Finally, however, the singers had sung themselves hoarse in the damp night air, the last "Spanish Cavalier" had been safely restored to his inevitable true love, and the sound of voices and banjo floated away over the water. Mr. Pierce's moment had come.

Some one, and it is unnecessary to mention the sex, had given a sigh, and regretted that nineteenth century life was so prosaic and unromantic. Clearing his throat, quite as much to pre empt the pause as to articulate the better, Mr... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books