The Minister's Charge

The Minister's Charge
The Apprenticeship of Lemuel Barker

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The Minister's Charge by William Dean Howells

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1887

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The Minister's Charge
The Apprenticeship of Lemuel Barker

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Book Excerpt

s Sewell came forward with a smile of inquiry. "My name's Barker."

"Barker?" said the minister, with a cold thrill of instant recognition, but playing with a factitious uncertainty till he could catch his breath in the presence of the calamity. "Oh yes! How do you do?" he said; and then planting himself adventurously upon the commandment to love one's neighbour as one's-self, he added: "I'm very glad to see you!"

In token of his content, he gave Barker his hand and asked him to be seated.

The young man complied, and while Sewell waited for him to present himself in some shape that he could grapple with morally, he made an involuntary study of his personal appearance. That morning, before starting from home by the milk-train that left Willoughby Pastures at 4.5, Barker had given his Sunday boots a coat of blacking, which he had eked out with stove-polish, and he had put on his best pantaloons, which he had outgrown, and which, having been made very tight a season after tight pantaloons had gone out of

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