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Off-Hand Sketches by T. S. Arthur

Produced by Charles Aldarondo. HTML version by Al Haines.

OFF-HAND SKETCHES

A little dashed with humour

By

T. S. Arthur

PHILADELPHIA:

1851.

PREFACE.

THE reader cannot but smile at some of the phases of life presented in this volume. Yet the smile will, in no case, the author thinks, be at the expense of humanity, good feeling, or virtue. Many of the incidents given, are facts embellished by a few touches of fancy. In all, lessons may be read that some, at least, will do well to lay to heart.

CONTENTS.

THE CIRCUIT-PREACHER THE PROTEST RETRENCHMENT; OR, WHAT A MAN SAVED BY STOPPING HIS NEWSPAPER HUNTING UP A TESTIMONIAL TRYING TO BE A GENTLEMAN TAKING A PRESCRIPTION THE YANKEE AND THE DUTCHMAN; OR, I'LL GIVE OR TAKE A TIPSY PARSON MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING; OR, THE REASON WHY MRS. TODD DIDN'T SPEAK TO MRS. JONES ALMOST A TRAGEDY THAT JOHN MASON A NEW WAY TO COLLECT AN OLD DEBT A SHOCKING BAD MEMORY DRIVING A HARD BARGAIN OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN INTO THE FIRE; OR, THE LOVE OF A HOUSE MARRYING A COUNT JOB'S COMFORTERS; OR, THE LADY WITH NERVES THE CODE OF HONOUR TREATING A CASE ACTIVELY

OFF-HAND SKETCHES.

THE CIRCUIT-PREACHER.

THE Methodist circuit-preacher is in the way of seeing human nature in many rare and curious aspects. Under the itinerating system, the United States are divided into conferences, districts, and circuits. The conference usually embraces a State, the district a certain division of the State or conference, and the circuit a portion of the district. To every circuit is assigned a preacher, who is expected to provide himself with a horse, and his duty is to pass round his circuit regularly at appointed seasons through the year, and meet the members of the church at the various places of worship established on the circuit. Every year, he attends the annual conference of preachers, at which one of the bishops presides, and is liable to be assigned a new circuit, in the selection of which, as a general thing, he has no choice--the bishop making all the appointments; and so, term after term, he goes to a new place, among strangers. Before any strong attachments can be formed, the relation between him and his people is severed; and he begins, as it were, life anew, hundreds of miles away, it may be, from any former field of labour. To a married man, this system is one involving great self-denial and sacrifice, assuming often a painful character.

In those circuits that embrace wealthy and populous sections of the country, the Methodist minister is well taken care of; but there are many other sections, where the people are not only very poor, but indifferent to matters of religion, ignorant in the extreme, and not over-burdened with kind or generous feelings. On circuits of this character, the preacher meets sometimes with pretty rough treatment; and if, for his year's service, he is able to get, being, we will suppose, a single man, fifty or sixty dollars in money, he may think himself pretty well off.


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