His mother said he got hurt oftener
than all the others put together.
than once her coming had interrupted the droll story with which Robert was entertaining some amused group of married women.
His roving eyes began to moisten, and before the hymn was ended scalding tears rolled out of fountains that had long seemed dry, and followed each other down those cheeks, that had oftener
felt the storms of heaven than any testimonials of weakness.
As none such is on record, it is safe to assume that none existed Tradition,--which sometimes brings down truth that history has let slip, but is oftener
the wild babble of the time, such as was formerly spoken at the fireside and now congeals in newspapers,--tradition is responsible for all contrary averments.
But she has no great tenderness even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later -- oftener
soon than late -- is apt to fling off her nestlings with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows.
The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener
across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.
But all the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do --remember that --and hence, he oftener
commands us than endeavors to persuade.
Sometimes, nothing is injured but the man who is thus annihilated; oftener
the boat's bow is knocked off, or the thigh-board, in which the headsman stands, is torn from its place and accompanies the body.
We had both the same sort of courage at our work, and John had oftener
to hold us in than to urge us forward; he never had to use the whip with either of us; then our paces were much the same, and I found it very easy to keep step with her when trotting, which made it pleasant, and master always liked it when we kept step well, and so did John.
That he never read the Bible; never went to church; that he jested and made free with any and every thing that came in the way of his wit; that he spent his Sunday evenings at the opera or theatre; that he went to wine parties, and clubs, and suppers, oftener
than was at all expedient,--were all things that Tom could see as plainly as anybody, and on which he based a conviction that "Mas'r wasn't a Christian;"--a conviction, however, which he would have been very slow to express to any one else, but on which he founded many prayers, in his own simple fashion, when he was by himself in his little dormitory.
I suppose we must have stopped oftener
to stretch out on the grass in the shade and take a bit of a smoke than this boy was used to, for presently he asked if it had been our idea to hire him by the job, or by the year?
The teacher's desk and chair stood on a platform in one corner; there was an uncouth stove, never blackened oftener
than once a year, a map of the United States, two blackboards, a ten-quart tin pail of water and long-handled dipper on a corner shelf, and wooden desks and benches for the scholars, who only numbered twenty in Rebecca's time.