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Pump. This thirsty dog, with his red tongue lolling out, does not scorn my hospitality, but stands on his hind-legs and laps eagerly out of the trough. See how lightly he capers away again! Jowler, did your worship ever have the gout?
10. Are you all satisfied? Then wipe your mouths, my good friends; and, while my spout has a moment's leisure, I will delight the town with a few historical reminiscences. In far antiquity, beneath a darksome shadow of venerable boughs, a spring bubbled out of the leaf-strewn earth, in the very spot where you
behold me on the sunny pavement. The water was as bright and clear, and deemed as precious, as liquid diamonds. The Indian Sagamores drank of it from time immemorial, till the fearful deluge of fire-water burst upon the red men, and swept the whole race away from the cold fountains. Endicott and his followers came next, and often knelt down to drink, dipping their long beards in the spring. The richest goblet then was of birch-bark.
11. Governor Winthrop drank here, out of the hollow of his hand. The elder Higginson here wet his palm and laid it on the brow of the first town-born child. For many years it was the watering-place, and, as it were, the washbowl of the vicinity, whither all decent folks resorted to purify their visages, and gaze at them afterward — at least the pretty maidens did — in the mirror which it made. On Sabbath-days, whenever a babe was to be baptized, the sexton filled his basin here, and placed it on the communion-table of the humble meeting-house which partly covered the site of yonder stately brick one.
12. Thus one generation after another was consecrated to Heaven by its waters, and cast its waxing and waning shadows into its glassy bosom, and vanished from the earth as if mortal life were but a flitting image in a fountain. Finally, the fountain vanished also. Cellars were dug on all sides, and cart-loads of gravel flung upon its source, whence oozed a turbid stream, forming a mud-puddle at the corner of two streets.
13. In the hot months, when its refreshment was most needed, the dust flew in clouds over the forgotten birthplace of the waters, now their grave. But in the course of time a Town Pump was sunk into the source of the ancient spring; and when the first decayed, another took its place, and then another, and still another, till here stand I, gentlemen and ladies, to serve you, with my iron goblet. Drink, and be refreshed! The water is pure and cold as that which slaked the thirst of the red Sagamore beneath the aged boughs, though now the gem of the wilderness is treasured under these hot stones, where no shadow falls but from the brick buildings. And be it the moral of my story, that, as the wasted and long-lost fountain is now known and prized again, so shall the virtues of cold water, too little valued since your fathers' days, be recognized by all.
14. Your pardon, good people! I must interrupt my stream of eloquence, and spout forth a stream of water, to replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come from Topsfield, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business is pleasanter than the watering of cattle. Look! how rapidly
they lower the water-mark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two apiece, and they can afford time to breathe it in with sighs of calm enjoyment. Now they roll their quiet eyes around the brim of their monstrous drinkingvessel. An ox is your true toper.
V. - THE BAREFOOT BOY.
Blessings on thee, little man,
O, for boyhood's painless play ;
gray hornet artisans ! -
O, for boyhood's time of June,
When all things I heard or saw, Me, their master, waited for; — I was rich in flowers and trees, Humming-birds and honey-bees; For my sport the squirrel played, Plied the snouted mole his spade; For my taste the blackberry cone Purpled over hedge and stone; Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day, and through the night, Whispering at the garden wall, Talked with me from fall to fall; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond, Mine on bending orchard trees Apples of Hesperides ! Still as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches, too; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy Fashioned for a barefoot boy!
O for festal dainties spread,