[From Ramsey Church Magazine 1896-7]

[lecture given by Rev George Paton to Church Institute]


I had undertaken to read a paper, at the close of the season, but the inability of one of our friends to fulfil his engagement has left this evening blank; and I have been asked to step up into the breach. I do so very willingly, but you will re only understand how a Paper of this sort, which necessitates reference to a large quantity of material, must suffer from the shortness of time that has been allowed me. Claiming, therefore, your indulgence on this ;round, I pass, at once, to my subject.

The Paper, for which I have made myself responsible, is "Ramsey, Past and Present." But I would use the former word in a somewhat restricted sense, and confine myself chiefly to the generation just past, or now passing, the thirty years and more of my Pastoral work in Ramsey, but touching, if I can avoid it, upon no portion, or aspect, of this work. I restrict myself to this period the more readily, because i -remember (and have been favoured by the author with a copy of) a very interesting Monograph by our friend Mr J. C. Looney, written some six or seven years ago, on Older Ramsey: His is a classic story, which deserves not only to survive, but to be much more generally known, and with which my essay to-night will not, in any way compete; for I take up my tale from the date whereabouts his narrative ended.

Let me say, however, that while I thus restrict myself chiefly to the generation just gone by-the thirty years, or so, of which I have spoken-my personal acquaintance with Ramsey goes still farther back. My father and mother came here from Edinburgh to reside in the spring of 1853 ; so that although-not having been consulted in the a matter I had not the privilege of being born a Manxman- I have lived a Manxman longer perhaps than (with one or two possible exceptions) any member of this Institute. If it is "greatly to one's credit to be born an Englishman," it is surely to his credit who, having been, by the accident of his parents' want of forethought, denied that privilege, atones for his misfortune, so far as he may, by adopting, or being adopted by, the country of his choice. I hold myself, there, to be a greater, and not a lesser Manxman, on that account.

I well remember the day of my first arrival in Ramsey. It was on the 31st of August, 1853; some five or six months after my people had settled here. Accompanied by a friend, I had taken the steamer from Glasgow to Liverpool, which, in those days, called off Ramsey, going and returning, and landed or embarked, by boats from the shore, such passengers as wished to avail them- selves of that mode of transit--" sick transit," I remember it proved to me on that day. As we were rowed ashore, we noticed that flags were flying in all directions, and we were also saluted by salvoes of some kind of artillery, or other noise producers. I had a reputation for a modest manner of jocularity in those early days, and so I turned to my companion, and expressed my gratification at the flattering nature of our reception. I was soon, however, put right by one of the boatmen-I rather think he was my worthy old friend, Charlie Kinrade-the father of the present Charles and Thomas Kinrade-who informed us that those signs of rejoicing were not so much for us- he put it, I fancied, somewhat apologetically-but on account of the "Manx Fairy," which was making her maiden trip from Liverpool, and was expected to arrive that afternoon or evening. And so it proved to be, The town was in a ferment of excitement, and some of my friends, looking back upon that day, have asked me- I am afraid, facetiously -.-whether the new steamer, or the then unknown young man, brought a better presage of prosperity to the town ? I: could only answer that it was not for me to say, but that certainly it was the latter that had come to stay.

Yet, I believe that it really was our turning-point. No doubt, great mistakes were made. Enthusiasts felt that Ramsey was to go up like a rocket. We have seen the wane enthusiasm, and the same damp fizzle resulting from it, with regard to other ventures since then. The mistake arose from a " vaulting ambition which o'erleaped itself." The Mooragh appears to have been a somewhat similar " sell," although if it were sold we would not so much feel ourselves to be so. Had, however, a more cautious policy been pursued with regard to Steam Communication forty years ago, better results might have been achieved. But the " Manx Fairy" was costly to begin with, and still more costly to work. Built, if I remember rightly for 16,000, she was sold for 6,000, and many were left lamenting. Better luck ! Let us hope, next time

This reference to the " Manx Fairy " reminds me that so long ago as April, 1836, on effort was made to establish a steam packet company for Ramsey. A public meeting, which took the somewhat unusual form of a dinner, was held in the Court House, attended by one hundred persons, and the sum of 3000 was subscribed on the spot. I notice in a report of the proceedings, that the toast " A wholesome reform in Church and State " was given by " Mr Paton." As 1835 was the year of my birth, this gentleman could hardly have been the present Chaplain of Ramsey, but was, I presume, the grandfather of our friend Mr Cruickshank. There was rather a lively row over the toast, Mr Callister, of Thornhill, and others, objecting to the sentiment, though, perhaps, it would do no harm if some reformer in the Island would arrive to enforce it now, It would seem that in spite of the enthusiasm of the meeting in the matter of the steamer, and the support of gentlemen like Deemster Christian, High-Bailiff Tellet, Mr Callister, Mr Thomas Kneale, and others, who took part in, the proceedings, it required some eighteen years of incubation before the scheme was fully hatched.

There used to be all kinds of stories going about in those days, of the directors of the "Manx Fairy," giving their orders from the quay to the (I am bound to say) little heeding captain, such as to turn her this way or that way; or, even in cases of supposed emergency, to turn half of her at a time. Perhaps it is not all true; but some of it I have heard myself, and it gave much occasion for hilarity and, disrespectful fun to the careless and profane " mob-beg" who used to crowd to see the boat off, and to criticise her performance. We have plenty of criticism still ; but not, I admit, of the handling of the ship, nor of the management of the office. Criticism is now restricted, and very properly restricted to the quantity and not to the quality of the service; for no more capable or courteous officials could we hope to meet with than Mr Skillicorn and the officers of the steamers that hail from our ports.

I do not, of course, profess to give an exact account, or, rather I hope to be exact in stating matters of fact; but I do not profess to hive a very minute account of every- thing of interest that has taken place in Ramsey during my time. Neither my memory, nor your patience, could stand such a strain as that. But such gleanings as an old man's memory will eatable him to gather, I will try to bring before you.

Looking back over some old balance-sheets and subcription lists, I find that even so recently as thirty years ago there were sixty-three subscribers to our Soup Kitchen, of whom now only three survive ; that in the same year there were eighty eight subscribers to the National Schools, of whom only- six are now with us. That when the Poor Relief Society was started by me, in 1868, there were 205 subscribers, of whom only 20 are now living, or resident, amongst us, and that of the first promoters of the Lifeboat cause in Ramsey, the great majority have, in nearly the like proportion, themselves crossed the Bar.

It is not, therefore, altogether a cheerful paper that I am reading to you this evening, although it has its own aspect of cheerfulness also. It is not cheerful, from one point of view, for me, an odd man, to traverse these odd paths, because you know, and will feel with me in that knowledge, that I am treading on the ashes of our dead, the dead fathers of ourselves, or of those who held our places of occupation, or business, of employment, or enjoyment, before us,

I have spoken of the "spurt" we made in 1853 by the attempt to introduce direct Steam Communication between Liverpool and Ramsey. In 1854 you will remember that the Aberdeen Coalition Government let us into the unnecessary war with Russia, and all the horrors and glories of the Crimean expedition ; the battles of the Alma, Balaklava, and Iakerman, with the subsequent surrender of Sevastopol. In 1855 the great heart of this kindly nation was stirred by the thought of the sufferings endured, not only by our soldiers in the trenches, and on the bleak hill sides of the Chersonese, but by" the girls they left behind there," when they marched away, with the toot of fife, and the tuck of drum, to the war-the wives and children who had little or no pro vision made for their support. To relieve some portion of the resulting distress, a Patriotic Fund was set en foot throughout the Kingdom, and in its aid (in addition to many subscriptions in Ramsey), a grand bazaar was held at Milntown in the summer of 1855, which resulted in a nett balance of 169 6s 11d, a very handsome contribution in those days, from a place such as Ramsey was then, to a National Institution. But Ramsey is always loyal, always patriotic, and, not unseldom, generous, and we have done even better since them, and may do it again at Easter !

In April 1854-I am nothing, if not discursive- - Mr Edward Corlett resigned the Postmastership of Ramsey, and the Post Office was transferred to the premises of Mr Christian, Ironmonger, where the Courier Office now is. The letters, in those earlier days, were generally left to be called for, but to oblige his customers and others it was usual for Mr Corlett to send round a messenger with the letters and papers in a basket, but this was a matter of grace and favour, and no part of his obligatium or duty. I may mention, in this connection, that the only tradesman now carrying on business in Parliament Street, of all who flourished in those days, is our friend Mr Daniel Sayle, the watchmaker, and I am glad to think that his own sturdy case seems still as strong, and his character as sterling, as are the goods which he continues to supply. He seems so long to have dominated the hands of time in Ramsey, that Time has ventured to lay no hand on him.

On 28th December, 1855 --I mention this to shew how elsewhere " Men may come, and men may go, but we go on for ever."-The Rev T E, Brown, then Vice-Principal of King William's College--(I quote from the Manx Sun of that date)-" delivered an eloquent lecture on "Sir Walter Raleigh, and English Navigation.'" Would it be too much to hope that some memories of that prelection may linger about the sensorium of our friend now, and that some echo of it may be transmitted to us by him, at some early date, in this room? Could you persuade him to take up the evening left free, this day month''- Since that long ago, we know, from happy experience, that his keen eye for humour and pathos and incident has not grown dim, neither has his natural force; in any way, abated.

In January, 1856, the patent slip at the Shipyard was opened by Mr Gibson, amid public rejoicings.

On the 24th of May, in the same year, the Queen's birthday was celebrated in Ramsey with great enthusiasm on the conclusion of peace with Russia.

In 1857, an Act was passed which authorized the formation of a Company to light the town with gas. The first directors of the Company were Messrs D, Goldsmith, seas. ; C H. E. Cowle, Robert Oates Christian, John James Corkill, and Robert Teare : not the encounterer of the great sea serpent ; but the father of the late steam packet agent; gentlemen who ought to be remembered by us as certainly men of "light and leading." I remember hearing; for, although my family resided here, I was not myself resident in the town of Ramsey at the time ; that when it was announced that there would be a grand general illumination of the town on that occasion, so moderate were the expectations formed of the new illuminant, that some of the visitors from the country, in addition to their carriage lamps, brought their stable or other lanterns with them the better to observe the effects. There have been times since then, when I have thought that some such precaution was still necessary in Ramsey after dark ; but the incandescent light is in process of changing all that; and there is, I think, little more to be desired in this respect, except perhaps a somewhat more liberal extension of the system.

In 1859, Ramsey was supplied with water, for the first time, from other sources than from pumps and wells, and Jack Corlett s itinerant cart. The first Directors of the Company were William Clucas (Surgeon), Thomas Cummings Gibson, -William Craine, John Clague and John Aspinall. -When we drink of the excellent water now supplies, to us; these names ought to be "in our flowing cups freshly remembered."

In August, 1865 (it was the month and year of your president's marriage ; but that is a detail), the first election of Town Commissioners for Ramsey took place: when Messrs Robert Oates Christian, William Callow, ,john James Cleator, Robert Teare, Thomas Moore, William Brown, and Thomas Looney (the latter of whom only now goes in and out amongst us) were elected as our first City Fathers. At the first meeting, on the 5th of September, Mr R. O. Christian was elected Chairman. The rates, in those days, were not so heavy as they have since become; but I think we criticized the sayings and doings of our Commissioners with quite as much severity-if I recollect rightly, with even more severity-than we mete out to their successors now. I suppose it is human nature to rate those who rate us.

In October, 1835, I read in the Manx Sun of that date "The Rev George Paton opened an evening school for adults." That was held in the building known as the Barn, which was then double its present size. One end of it was used as a schoolroom, while, in the other portion, Divine Service was held until S. Olave's was built. Some of my pupils of those days have attained to honourable positions in the Island and elsewhere, and I think there is still scope for a resumption of such classes, even in these days of extended education.

On Wednesday, 3rd April, 1867, the first election of a member of the House of Keys took place in Ramsey, when the Rev William Bell Christian, of Milntown, was returned unopposed. There was a grand procession through the town to and from the hustings, which were erected outside the Court House. The procession consisted of

Volunteer Band in full uniform (we had a Volunteer Corps in those days; why cannot we have one now ?).
Benefit Societies, wearing their regalia.
Amateur String Band.
Gentlemen on foot, 4 deep.
Candidate in carriage, drawn by- four light coloured horses, with postilions and page.
Gentlemen on horseback.
Private carriages;
With mob-beg galore.

Mr Christian's subsequent appointment to the Receiver-Generalship. with the election of his successor, my good friend, Mr William Crennell, and, on his de- cling re-election, the adoption of the present holder of the office, Mr John Robert Cowell, are events too recent to call for detailed account. Some of us have not ever yet forgotten the last election.

I cannot recall the precise date of the commencement in Ramsey of the entertainments known first as the Penny, then as the Evening, Readings ;, but during the winters of 1866-7 and 1867-8 (the only two of which I have any record), I find that upwards of 170 were raised by their means for the different charities of the town. Are we better than our fathers? I fear we have rather fallen behind them, and that the town is duller, and our charities the poorer from our want of enterprise in this direction. Our genial friend, Mr Wild, now taken from us, and our respected neighbour Dean Gillow, still, I rejoice to say, amongst us, (may his shadow never grow less !) did yeoman's service in the cause, and are entitled to our grateful recognition and remembrance. Where are the makers of " Mirth for the Million," now ?

On Wednesday, 18th November, 1868, the first lifeboat, the " Two Sisters," arrived in Ramsey, under charge of Captain Robertson, now Admiral Robertson MacDonald, who afterwards became a very dear friend of mine. The arrival was welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm by the crowds that had assembled, when she came in tow of the steamer from Whitehaven. There was no house ready for her, however, and, for about a year, she was kept, at great inconvenience, in the Shipyard. Notwithstanding this drawback she commenced almost immediately that career of admirable service which has continued ever since. She had been here only three weeks when the need of such means of saving life was amply proved. Under her coxswains, Thomas Kaighin, the elder, and Robert Fell, she was launched for the first time for service on 11th December, 1868, and succeeded in saving eight lives from two vessels, which, with three others, had gone ashore just behind the South Pier, which then ended where the present partially open work` begins. On that occasion an enquiry was being held in the Court House on the question of harbour accommodation for Ramsey, and I remember, as I was helping with the launch, and was out some way in the water, hearing a voice behind me exclaiming :-" The Parson is the best of us," and looking round I recognised the Governor, Mr-afterwards Sir Henry, now Lord-Loch, and his Honour Deemster Drinkwater, who were both deep in the water, and were bending on to the launching rope as stoutly as any of the launchers there. The lifeboat was not a moment too soon at the wrecks, for the master of one of the schooners, who was too weak to get into the rigging and had been washing about on the deck, was insensible when passed into the boat, but he soon recovered under the careful treatment he received in the then Neptune, now Prince of Wales Hotel. I need not remind you what the history of this station has been since then; for it has been one unbroken record of gallant and successful work ; work so successful that, during the well-nigh thirty years of its establishment here, no loss of life from shipwreck has happened in our bay, while 250 lives have been rescued from impending death. For this satisfactory state of things we are indebted not only to the courage and skill of the crew, but to the enthusiasm in the cause and the good management of our Secretary, Mr Kerr ; as for the fuller equipment which tends so greatly to the high efficiency of the station, we are indebted to the untiring exertions and the talents of the lady and gentlemen after whom the house is named. The Norbury Lifeboat House will be a standing memorial of enthusiasm well directed and abilities well-applied. I have the authority of several lifeboat inspect irs for saying that no port nor creek in the kingdom has a better appointed building, or a better managed station, than we in Ramsey can boast of.

The Rocket Brigade is an older local. Institution, and its history in Ramsey is a most honourable one. Early in its career it bombarded the Court House-, and there have been meetings held there since when it might have been usefully employed in that way again, Jesting apart the Corps has been conspicuous for gallant devotion to duty. It has saved a large number of lives which would otherwise inevitably have perished, and at no period of its history has it been more ready and eager for service than it is now, under Mr Heyes, or more efficient to perform it.

The formation of the Fire Brigade is a still more recent event, and I need not enlarge upon the usefulness of the corps, the zeal of its members, or the gallant appearance they present upon occasions of popular display. Ramsey may be well satisfied, no ! not satisfied but proud, that the public spirit of her people is so evidenced by the successful working of these noble life saving institutions.

The Manx Northern Railway, which was commenced on 1st March, 1878, was opened for a shareholders' trip on 29th August, 1879, and to the general public a week or two later. I fear this has been the chief advantage the shareholders have, as yet, received from the venture, except by the sharing in the convenience cf transit, which to them, as to the travelling public generally, has been very great. Only if they could jog on a little faster !

Up to January, 1875, there had been no infant school in Ramsey, and the want of one was very much felt, I with more zeal, perhaps, than discretion, undo meek to supply this want, and the present Old Cross Hall was erected, The plans were submitted to and accepted by the Department, and all went well for a time, but recently a change came over the spirit of their dream, and we were constantly girded at for the inadequacy of the building which had once been cordially approved, and our masters, especially in Douglas, lost no opportuny of finding fault with, and finally condemning, the provision they had encouraged me to make. None of them have suggested any " compensation for disturbance," and I am left, by this capricious treatment, to bear a loss (including interest), of more nearly 2000 than 1500.

I pass over some ten years. In August, 1881, the then Home Secretary, Sir W. Harcourt, landed in Ramsey, with Sir Thomas (now Lord) Brassey and a party of friends, and, after strolling through the town, proceeded by train to Douglas. In a previous year, we had been honoured by a visit from Home .Secretary, Sir Assheton now Lord) Cross - it would look as if coning to Ramsey necessarily en-nobles a man - accompanied by the Bishop of Peterborough, afterwards Archbishop of York, the eloquent, able, and witty Dr Magee,

On Thursday, 21st July, 1886, the Queen's Pier was formally opened amid great popular rejoicings. Bishop Rowley Hill (in the absence of Mr Walpole) performed the opening ceremony with his meal bonhomie and tact, There was an imposing procession to and from the pier, comprising the Lifeboat, drawn by six white horses, the Rocket Brigade, Naval Reserve, the 3 Friendly Societies, a printing press in working order, from the Courier Office, brass bands, private carriages, and all that sort of thing. After the ceremony a grand banquet was held in the Pavilion. Later in the afternoon, there were athletic sports, and, in the evening, a magnificent display of fireworks crowned the proceedings of a very memorable day.

In December, 1836, a memorial was presented to the Town Commissioners in favour of the establishment of a Free Library in Ramsey. The memorial was signed by (among others) the High-Bailiff, Mr Thos. Allen, Mr Shimmin, Mr Crennell, Mr D. Vondy, and myself, and supported by many eloquent letters from our friend, Mr Spanton, but we have not got that Free Library yet, We have got the Mooragh instead. It was considered by the favourers of the scheme that a free Library would be a not unfitting memorial of her: Majesty's Jubilee in 1887. Perhaps the suggestion may be more favourably entertained during the renewal of the loyal rejoicings this year.

In the night between 29th and 30th December, 1886, a very deplorable occurrence took place. A fire broke out in St Paul's Home, Church-street, and poor Hannah Crellin - big Hannah, as she was called-who was 76 years of age, and Wm. Looney, who was 81 years, perished, before the rescuing party could reach them. There was then no fire engine or fire escape in Ramsey ; but the sad event: was the means of drawing attention to a great need.

In the spring of 1887 the House of Keys was dissolved, and ''Mr Crennell retired from the representation of Ramsey. The late Mr E, C. Farrant, at the same time, greatly to the regret of the whole Island, declined re-election for Ayre, on the ground of failing health, a step which, was sadly justified by his seemingly too early death, three years later.

Bishop Rowley Hill died on 27th May, 1887, the very day on which he had arranged to hold a Confirmation in S. Paul's Church. Although at first he was much opposed to our making our church free and unappropriated, he, afterwards, came quite round to our view,, and with a manliness and honesty -,-which did him infinite credit, warmly congratulated us on having persevered in the face of his opposition, I preached the sermon at the last Ordination he ever held, and, had he lived, he would have advanced our Church work in Ramsey, by every means in his power. He was very anxious to endow S. Paul's, and three of the churches in other towns of the Island, with the income (which he hoped to raise) of four Canonries. The scheme was not a formidable one, and with his abounding hopefulness and energy he would soon have accomplished it, but it has apparently died with him, nor is it likely, from present appearances, to be soon revived.

On Tuesday, 21st June, 1887, there was great rejoicing in Ramsey-as indeed there way throughout the :whole world of English-speaking people-in celebration of her Majesty's Jubilee, the completion of 60 years of a great and glorious and prosperous reign, Salutes were fired ; bards played ; Rags floated from every point of vantage. Special services were held in the respective places of worship. An extra payment was male to every recipient of poor relief. The school children had a procession, with tea and sports at Claughbane, and the great event was, in every possible way, worthily commemoration!. I have, however, not the slightest hesitation in predicting that, admirable as were all the arrangements on this occasion, and enthusiastic and wide-spread as was this demonstration of loyalty, it will be far surpassed b~,% the display of affectionate regard that will greet our Queen on the completion of her 60th year of sovereignty, on Thursday, 10th August 1887, there was a certain display of enthusiasm on the occasion of the formal opening of the Mooragh Promenade and Park by Governor Walpole. Prophacies were then indulged in by gentlemen who evidently did not know, and I will not be so unkind as to dis-inter those vaticinations from the oblivion to which their utterers have since then, not unwillingly, consigned them.

Or Tuesday, 6th August, 1889, the Loyal Good Anchorage Lodge of Oddfellows celebrated their Jubilee, after a successful career of 50 years. We thought then (I speak as a Brother of more than 30 years' standing) that we had reached as high a position as we were likely to attain to, but we have continued to go forward since then, stimulated, no doubt, by the contagious energies of our friends, the Foresters, who are coming up so fast in our rear. May they continue those honourable exertions, and that honourable rivalry, and (may I be excused, as an Oddfellow, if I add?) that relative position, for the time to come ! In this connection I would like to say how I have rejoiced to see the wonderful advance which the different Friendly Societies in Ramsey have made in recent year? When I joined the Oddfellows there were only 140 members on the books. We now number 451, The Rechabite Tent has also lengthened its cords, and strengthened its stakes, and has a membership of 250, while the Foresters' Court-which came into existence long after the other two -has a membership now of 361. These figures are in addition to the many hundreds of juvenile members of the three Societies. The amount distributed last year in benefits to sick members by those Societies, was more than 600, equal to a sum of from 7d to 8d in the 1 upon the neat rateable value of Ramsey. Of course, many of the recipients and contributors are country members, but their numbers are more than counterbalanced by the subscribers to the many other Sick and Burial Clubs in Ramsey, which I have not taken into account. We can easily understand, therefore, how heavy our Poor Rate would be were it not for the great forethought displayed by our people in joining and keeping themselves good on the books of one or the other of these admirable Societies. I trust there is no member of the Church institute so foolish-I could use a stronger -word- as not to have made some provision in this direction against the evil days which sooner or later come to most men.

On 5th January, 1889 a Bazaar, got up at very short notice, was held in the Pavilion in aid of the funds of this Institute, when upwards of 100 were raised, This effort you will remember, was repeated in the following year, with a like good result. The credit-as we admitted at the time, and still gratefully acknowledge, was chiefly due to our sisters of the Girls' Friendly Society, and I think I may promise in your name that when their turn comes to appeal to us for aid in some similar way, that aid will not be withheld.

On 30th April, 1889,the first election, by the ratepayers' of a Poor Relief Committee, took place, when the public shewed their confidence in the old Voluntary Committee and their approval of their mode of working, by electing the whole of them to be their representatives. There are not many who remember the state of things that obtained before the Relief Society was set on foot: the swarms of mendicants that went round on the Monday mornings, and the number of children that begged every day and all day. I think that we can now say that there is no spot in the Kingdom freer from this evil than Ramsey is at this present time. it there is any part of my work, which I have much satisfaction in regarding, it is that which I initiated nearly 30 years ago, and which my friend, Mr Robert Brew, is carrying out with such conspicuous success today.

Thirty years ago the average cost of poor relief, given weekly, was 9d per head. It is now 2s 8d. I wish it were more. We had no " Children's Dinners" then. We now give about 9000 nourishing meals, every winter, to the otherwise insufficiently fed children. The income of our National Schools was then 93. The latest (issued) Government return gives it at 718, and that mainly derived (not one penny from our rates, or from poor parents' pence, but) from our own share of the Insular Revenue. We have also the goodly array of the Callister and Quayle house, and S. Paul's Home, and many other new agencies at work to mitigate the always hard lot of our struggling and generally deserving poor. So that we need scarcely be ashamed when we speak with our enemies (if we have any) in the gate.

And in very many other respects there has been a great improvement in the condition-especially in the sanitary condition-of Ramsey, In former times scar- cely a year passed without there being cases-in some years very many, cases-of typhoid, or other, fever occurring, entailing pitiful consequences of suffering and sorrow. Now such cases have become less frequent year by year, and -when our present excellent system of drainage is completed-as it will be, I believe, before our next visiting season opens-this blot upon our []


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