Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Affairs Round the Village Green
By Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) (1834–1867)
AND where are the friends of my youth? I have found one of ’em, certainly. I saw him ride in a circus the other day on a bareback horse, and even now his name stares at me from yonder board-fence in green and blue and red and yellow letters. Dashington, the youth with whom I used to read the able orations of Cicero, and who as a declaimer on exhibition days used to wipe the rest of us boys pretty handsomely out—well, Dashington is identified with the halibut and cod interests—drives a fish-cart, in fact, from a certain town on the coast back into the interior. Hurburtson—the utterly stupid boy—the lunkhead who never had his lesson, he’s about the ablest lawyer a sister State can boast. Mills is a newspaper man, and is just now editing a Major General down South. Singlingson, the sweet-faced boy whose face was always washed and who was never rude, he is in the penitentiary for putting his uncle’s autograph to a financial document. Hawkins, the clergyman’s son, is an actor; and Williamson, the good little boy who divided his bread and butter with the beggar-man, is a failing merchant, and makes money by it. Tom Slink, who used to smoke Short Sixes and get acquainted with the little circus boys, is popularly supposed to be the proprietor of a cheap gaming establishment in Boston, where the beautiful but uncertain prop is nightly tossed. Be sure the Army is represented by many of the friends of my youth, the most of whom have given a good account of themselves.  1
  But Chalmerson hasn’t done much. No, Chalmerson is rather of a failure. He plays on the guitar and sings love-songs. Not that he is a bad man—a kinder-hearted creature never lived, and they say he hasn’t yet got over crying for his little curly-haired sister who died ever so long ago. But he knows nothing about business, politics, the world, and those things. He is dull at trade—indeed, it is the common remark that “Everybody cheats Chalmerson.” He came to the party the other evening and brought his guitar. They wouldn’t have him for a tenor in the opera, certainly, for he is shaky in his upper notes; but if his simple melodies didn’t gush straight from the heart! why, even my trained eyes were wet! And although some of the girls giggled, and some of the men seemed to pity him, I could not help fancying that poor Chalmerson was nearer heaven than any of us all.  2

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