Open main menu

Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/79

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
67
FORTY YEARS SINCE.

terick with a florid brow, and a step like youthful agility. He was of small stature, and correct proportions, and in his attire preserved those ancient fashions, which were then thought to give consistency and dignity to the form which time had honoured. A white, full bottomed wig, beautifully curled, shaded his venerable brow. This was surmounted by a low-crowned three-cornered hat, or, during his favourite rides on horseback, by one with a deep brim, to afford shelter to the eyes. His nicely plaited stock, long waistcoat, and silver buckles, never yielded to modern innovations; and the neatness, which distinguished his dress, extended through his mansion, and its precincts. It also pervaded every branch of the domestic department, and like the spirit of order, promised to be an heir loom in his family. Such was the person to whom Madam Lathrop, with the freedom of sisterly intercourse, related the adventure which had just occurred in her kitchen. "I have long wished," he remarked, "for an opportunity to converse with you on this subject. I believe that you are often deceived by those who solicit your charity. The good are not easily suspicious, and the wicked take advantage of it."

"I know brother," she replied, "that I have sometimes given to the unworthy. The occurrence of to-day is by no means a solitary one. Yet how can we always discriminate, unless we could read the heart? That suspicion, which would guard us against dissimulation in one instance, might turn us from the prayer of real want in