Although she was anxious not to accept any privileges on account of her wealth, Miranda thought she would occupy the spare chamber. The paupers were all disposed to keep holiday in Miranda's honor. Old Cap'n 'Kiah had donned a collar so high that it sawed agonizingly upon his ears, little Dr.
Wretched youths, which of ye tempted the other to this sin?" "Je assed me to dew it," whimpered Zedekiah. "Kiah, he assed me fust," averred Jerubbabel. "No doubt ye are both right," said the minister sternly. "When two sin together, Satan is divided in twain, and the one half tempteth the other. See to it that ye sin not again on this wise, lest a worse thing come upon you."
"Not to mention the good done to my fellow-creturs," said the little doctor. "Jest as you say, the good done to your fellow-creturs not bein' worth mentionin'" said Cap'n 'Kiah, with a grave simplicity that disarmed suspicion. "There ain't no denyin' that poverty is strength'nin' to the faculties."
From Captain Hezekiah Butterfield, generally known as Cap'n 'Kiah, an octogenarian who was regarded as an oracle, down to Tready Morgan, a half-witted orphan, the inmates of the poor-house had an enjoyment of living astonishing to behold.
"Rich and poor, there's a sight of human nater about us all, though there ain't no use denyin' that some has more than others," remarked Cap'n 'Kiah sententiously. "And whether riches or poverty brings it out the strongest it's hard tellin'." "I've always thought I might never have found out that I had medicle tarlunt if I'd been rich," said Dr. Pingree meditatively.
"You've got a terrible mistaken p'int of view, Peter, well-meanin' as you be," said Cap'n 'Kiah, "There's nothin' in nater, and, I was a-goin' to say, in grace, but what you clap your eyes fust onto the contr'y side, and then you're sure there ain't nothin' but a contr'y side." "I wish I could see something besides the contr'y side of riches; but I hain't yet," said Miranda, with a heavy sigh.
Cap'n 'Kiah surveyed her with frank curiosity. "I'm Ephrum's widow." "You don't say so, now! Well, there's wuss ockerpations than bein' a widow," remarked Cap'n 'Kiah consolingly. Miranda had drawn the younger boy to her side. She was chafing his numb hands and smoothing the damp locks from his forehead. "Why, how cold your hands have grown!" the child cried. "They're colder than mine.
'Kiah Morse was no advocate for your dozy, drawling singing, that one may do at leisure, between sleeping and waking, I assure you; indeed, he got entirely out of the graces of Deacon Dundas and one or two other portly, leisurely old gentlemen below, who had been used to throw back their heads, shut up their eyes, and take the comfort of the psalm, by prolonging indefinitely all the notes.
The first Sunday after 'Kiah took the music in hand, the old deacon really rubbed his eyes and looked about him; for the psalm was sung off before he was ready to get his mouth opened, and he really looked upon it as a most irreverent piece of business.
"The ocean's a useful work o' nater, and she's fetched and carried and aimed a livin' for a good many more'n she's swallered up," said Cap'n 'Kiah. "I expect this world ain't a vale of tears, nohow," said Uncle Peter in an aggrieved tone. "There is folks that knows more'n the hymn-book." "Well, it is, and then ag'in it ain't, jest accordin' to the way you look at it.