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THE TIMES, NEW
BLOOM FIELD, PA., FEMtUAltY 0, 1877.
Fur " Tho Tim."
TOO SHARP, FOR MR. SHARP.
SOMK years ago, Peter Punctual, nn
honest and Industrious young follow
fromk'ankee land, came Into New York
ami attempted to turn a, penny and get
an honest living by procuring subscrlb
ore to various magazines and periodicals,
on Ills own hook. That Is, lie would re
oclve a quantity of magazines from a
. distant publisher, at a discount, and get
up Ms own lint of snhseilbcrs about the
city, nnd eerve them through the year
at the regular subscription price, which
would leave the nmount of the said dis
ount a clear protlt in his pocket, or
rather a compensation for his time nnd
labor. There are many persona In the
city who obtain a livelihood In the same
rotor's commissions Inlng email, and
liis capital still smaller, he was obliged
to transact his business with great -care
and circumspection, in order to make
both ends meet. He adopted a rule
therefore to make all of his subscribers
pay their year's subscription In advance.
Such things could be done in thosedays,
when business was brick, and people
'wore strangers to " bard times." In
vanvasBing for subscribers, one day,
through the lower part of the city, and
in the principal business streets, he oh.
-erved store which had the sign,
Solomon Sharp, Importer."
Tctcr entered the premises and showed
liim copies of his magazines and re
quested his subscription.
Mr. Sharp took up one of the maga
zines and after looking at it said, " what
are your terms, I don't know but I
would subscribe for this."
" Five dollars a year in advance," Bald
Peter, " to be delivered carefully every
:'non(h at your store or house."
" Put I never pay In advance for these
things,'' tald Sharp. " It Is time enough
to pay for a thing when you get it. I'll
.subscribe for it, If you have a mind to
veeeive your pay at the end of the year,
:ind not otherwise."
" That's against my rule," said Peter ;
-' I have all my subscribers pay in ad
vance." " Well, it's against my rule to pay for
uny thing liefore I get it," said Sharp ;
" so if you haven't a mind to take my
subscription, to be paid at the end of the
year, you won't get it at all. That's the
long and the short of the matter."
Peter paused a little, and queried with
- i!nwelf as to what he had lietter do.
The man was evidently doing a large
business, and was undoubtedly rich a
wholesale dealer and importer there
could not possibly be any danger of los
ing the subscription in such a case; and
would it not be better to break over his
rule for once, than to lose so good a sub
' Well, what say ?" said Sharp ; " do
:is you like; but those are my only
terms. I will not pay for a thing before
I get it."
On the whole," said Peter, " I have
a good mind to break over my rule this
time, for I don't like to lose a good sub
scriber when I can find one. I believe
I'll put your name dowu, sir. Where
will you have it lefty"
At my house," said Mr. Sharp,
which was about a mile and a half from
his store away up town.
The business being thus concluded,
Peter took up his magazines, bade Mr.
Sharp good moruing, and left the store.
No further personal intercourse occur
red between them during the year. But
Peter, who was his own carrier, as well
as canvasser, regularly every month de
livered the New England Magazine at
Mr. Sharp's door. And in a few days
after the year expired, he made out his
bill for the five dollars, and called at Mr.
Sharp's store for the money. He' enter
ed with as much confidence that he
should receive the pay at once, as he
would have had in going with a check
for the like sum into the Bank of the
United States, during that institution's
palmiest days. He found Mr. Sharp at
his desk, and presented him the bill.
.That gentleman took it and looked at it,
and then looked up at Teter.
"Oh! ah, good morning," said he,
' you areihe young man who called
here on this business nearly a year ago.
Well, the year has come round, has it V"
Yes, I believe it has," said Peter.
Well, bills of this kind," said Mr.
Sharp, 'are paid at the bouse. We
don't attend to them here ; you just take
it to the house, any time when you are
passing, and it will be settled."
" Oh, very well, sir," said Peter, bow
ing, and left the store. "Doing too
large a business at the store, I suppose,"
he continued, to himself, as he started
up the street, " to attend to little things
of that kind. Don't like to be liothered
with 'em, probably."
But Peter thought he might as well
make an end of the business, now he
was out; so he went directly to the
house, and rung at the door. A servant
girl soon nSde her apjiearanoe.
" Is Mrs. 'Sharp within ?" said Peter.
' Yes, air," said the girl.
"Just carry this bill to her, If you
please, and ask her If she will hand yon
tho money for It."
The girl took the bill Into the house,
and presently returned with tho answer
that ' Mi. Sharp says she doesn't pay
none of these 'ere things here you must
carry it to the store."
Please to carry it back to Mrs.
Sharp," he answered, and tell her Mr.
Sharp desired me to bring the bill hero,
and said it would be paid by her."
This message brought Mrs. Sharp her
self to the door, to whom Peter raised
his hat and bowed very jtolltely.
I haven't nothing at all to do with
bills here at the house," Bald tho lady ;
they must be carried to the store
that 's the place to attend to them."
11 Well, ma'am," said Peter, "I car
ried It to the siorc, and presented it to
Mr. Sharp, and he told me to bring it to
the house and you would pay It here,
and that he couldn'ts'attend to it at the
' But he couldn't mean that I should
pay it," said Mrs. Sharp, " for he knows
I haven't the money."
' But he said so," said Peter.
11 Well, then there must be some mis
take about it," said the lady.
41 1 beg your' pardon, ma'am," said
Peter, " it's possible there may be," aud
he put the bill in his pocket, bowed, and
left the house.
" It Is very queer," thought Peter to
himselas hewalkedawaya little vexed.
" I can't conceive how there could be
any mistake about it, though it is possi
ble there may be. There couldn't be any
mistake on my part, for I'm sure I un
derstood him. May be he thought she
had money at the house when she had
not. I guess it will all come out right
enouglrln the end."
Consoling himself with these reflec
tions, Peter Punctual thought he would
let Mr. Sharp rest two or three days,and
not show any anxiety by calling again
in a hurry. He Mould not bo so unwise
as to offend a good subscriber, and run
the hazard of losing him, by an appear
ance of too much haste in presenting his
bills. Accordingly In about three days,
he called again at Mr. Sharp's store, and
asked him in a low voice, so that no one
should overhear, if it was convenient
for him to take that little bill for the
" But I told you," said Mr. Sharp, to
carry that bill to the house; I can 't at
tend to it here."
"Yes sir, sol understood you," said
Peter, " and I carried it to the house.and
Mrs. Sharp said she couldn't pay it
there, for she had no money, and I must
bring it to the store."
41 Oh, strange," said Mr. Sharp; well,
she didn't properly understand it then.
But I am too much engaged to attend to
you to-day ; you call again, or call at
the house sometime, when I am there."
Upon this, he turned to his desk and
began to write with great earnestness,
and Fcter left the store. The affair be
gan to grow a little vexatious, and Peter
felt a little nettled. Still, he supposed
that people doing such very large busi
ness did find it difficult to attend to these
little matters, and doubtless it would be
set right when he should call again.
After waiting patiently a couple of
weeks, Peter called again at Mr. Sharp's
store. When he entered the door, Mr.
Sharp was looking at a newspaper ; but
on glancing at Peter, he instantly drop
ped the paper, and fell to writing at his
desk with great rapidity. Peter waited
respectfully a few minutes, unwilling to
disturb the gentleman till he should ap
pear to be a little more at leisure. But
after waiting some time without seeing
any prospect of Mr. Sharp's completing
his very pressing business before him, he
approached him with deference,and ask
ed if it would be convenient for him to
take that little bill for the magazine to
day. - Sharp turned and looked at Peter
' I can't be bothered with these little
things," said he, when I am so much
engaged. I am exceedingly busy to-day
a good many heavy orders waiting
you must call at the house, and hand
the bill to me or my wife, no matter
which. He turned to his desk, and con
tinued to write, without saying any.
Peter began to think he had got hold
of a hard customer; but he had no idea
of giving up the chase. He called at the
house several times afterwards, but Mr.
Sharp never happened to be at home.
Once he ventured to send the bill again
by the girl to Mrs. Sharp, who returned
for answer, that she had nothing to do
with such bills ; he must carry it to the
At last, after repeated calls, he found
Mr. Sharp at home. He came to the
d(Kr, and Peter presented the bill. Mr.
Sharp expressed some surprise and
regret that he had come away from the
store, and forgot to put any money in
his pocket. Peter would have to call
some other day. Accordingly, Peter
Punctual retired, with a full determina
tion to call some other day, and that not
very far distant, for it had been several
months that he had been beaten back
and forth like a shuttlecock between Mr.
Sharp's store and Mr. Sharp's house,and
he was getting to be rather tired of the
Having ascertained from tho girl at
what hour the family dined, he called
the next day precisely at the dinner
hour. He rung at the door, and when
the girl opened it, Peter stepped Into the
"Is Mr. Sharp in?" asked Peter.
" Yes, sir," said the girl; "he's up
stairs. I'll speak to him If you want to
"Yes," said Peter, "and I'll take a
seat In the parlor till he comes down."
As he said this, Peter walked into the
parlor and seated himself upon an ele
gant sofa. The parlor was richly fur
nished with Brussels carpet, the best of
mahogany furniture, a splendid piano,
&c.,&c.,;nud in the back parlor, to
whl?h folding doors were open, every
thing appeared with corresponding-elegance.
A table was there spread, upon
which dinner seemed to be nearly ready.
Presently the girl returned from the
chamber, and informed Peter, that Mr.
Sharp said " It was Just the dinner hour
now, and he would have to call again."
" Please go and tell Mr. Sharp," said
Peter, " tliat I must see hiin, and I'll
wait till he comes down."
" The girl carried the message ,and Mr.
Sharp soon made his appearance in the
parlor. A frown passed over his brow
as he looked at Peter, and saw him sit
ting so much at ease, and apparently so
much at home, upon the sofa. Peter
rose and asked him politely if it was
convenient for him to pay that little bill
" No," said Sharp, " it is not ; and if
it was, I wouldn't take it at this hour.
It's a very improper time to call upon
such an errand just as one is going to
sit down to dinner. You must call
again; but don't come at dinner time;
or you may drop into the store some
time, and perhaps I may find time to
attend to it there."
Well, now, Mr. Sharp," said Peter,
with a determined look, " I can't stand
this kind of business any longer, that's
a fact. I'm a poor man, and I suppose
you are a rich one. I -can 't afford to lose
live dollars, and I'm too poor to spend
any more time in running after it and
trying to collect it. I must eat, as well
as other folks, and if you can't pay me
the five dollars to-day, to help me pay
my board at my regular boarding-house,
I'll stay here and board it out at your
" You will, will you?" said Sharp,
looking daggers, and stepping towards
Peter. " If you give me a word of your
impudence, you may find it'll be a long
time before you collect your bill."
It's been a long time already," said
Peter, "and I can't afford to wait any
longer. My mind is made up; if you
don't pay me now, I'm going to stay
hero and board it out."
Sharp colored, and looked at the floor,
and then at Peter. -
"Come, come, young man," said, he,
advancing with rather a threatening at
titude towards Peter, " the soonei you
leave the house peaceably the better."
Now, sir," said Peter, fixing his
black eyes upon Sharp, with an intense
ness that he could not but feel, " I am a
small man, and you are considerable of a
large one ; but my mind is made up. I
am not a going to starve, when there's
food enough that I have an honest claim
So saying he took his seat again very
deliberately upon the sofa. Sharp paus
ed ; he looked agitated and angry ; and
after waiting a minute, apparently un
decided what to do, he left the parlor and
went up stairs. In a few minutes the
servant rung for dinner. Mrs. Sharp
came into the dining room and took
her seat at the head of the table. Mr.
Sharp followed, and seated himself op
posite his lady ; and between them, and
on the right of Mrs. Sharp, sat another
lady, probably some friend or relative of
the family. When they were all seated,
and Mr. Sharp was beginning to carve,
Peter walked out of the parlor, drew an
other chair up to the table, and seated
himself very composedly opposite the
last mentioned lady. Mr. Sharp colored
a good deal, but kept on carving. Mrs.
Sharp stared wildly, first at Peter, and
then at her husband.
" What in the world does this mean ?"
said she. Mr. Sharp, I didn't know
we were to have company to dinner."
We are not," said the husband.
This young man has the impudence
to take his seat at the table unasked ;
and says be is going to board out the
amount of the bill."
" Well, really, this is a pretty piece of
politeness," said Mrs. Sharp, looking
very hard at Peter.
"Madam1 "said Peter, "hunger will
drive a man through a stone wall. I
must have my board somewhere."
No answer was made to this, and tho
dinner went on without any further ref
erence to Peter at present. Mr. Sharp
helped his wife, and then the other lady,
and then himself, and they all fell to
eating. Peter looked around him for
plate and knife and fork, but there were
none on the table but what were in use.
Peter, howover, was not to be bafllcd.
He reached a plate of bread, and tipping
the bread upon tho table cloth, appro
priated the plabo for his own conveni
ence. He then took possession of the
carving knife and fork, helped himself
bountifully to meat and vegetables, and
commenced eating his dinner with the
greatest composure imaginable. These
operations on the part of l'eter had tho
effect to suspend nil operations for tho
time on the part of the rest of tho com
pany. The ladhjs had laid down their
knives and forks, and were staring at
Petor In wild astonishment.
"For mercy's sake, Mr. Sharp," said
the lady of the house, "can't wo pick
up money enough ubout the house to
pay this man his live dollars and send
him on"? I declare this is too provok
ing. I'll see what I can find."
With that she rose and left tho rdom.
Mr. Sharp presently followed her. They
returned again in a minute, and Mr.
Sharp laid a five dollar bill before Peter,
and told him he would thank him to
leave tho house. Peter examined the
bill to see if it was a good one, and very
quietly folded it and put it into his pock
et. He then drew out a little pocket-inkstand
and a piece of paper, laid it upon
tho table before him, wrote a receipt for
the money, which he handed to Mr.
Sharp, rose from tho table, bowed to the
company, and retired, thinking as he
left tho house that ho had had full
enough of the custom of Solomon Sharp,
Tetcr Punctual still followed his voca
tion of circulating magazines. He had
no intention of ever darkening the door
of Solomon Sharp's store again, but
but somehow or other, two or three
years after, as he was canvassing for
subscribers In the lower part of the
city, he happened to blunder into the
same store accidentally, without notic
ing the name upon the door. Nor did
hediscovcr his mlstakc,until he had near
ly crossed the store and attracted the at
tention of Mr. Sharp himself, who was
nt his accustomed seat at the desk where
l'eter had before so often seen him.
l'eter thought, as he had got fairly into
the store, he would not back out ; so he
stepped up to Mr. Sharp without a look
of recognition, and asked if he would
not like to subscribe for some magazines.
Mr. Sharp, who either did not recognize
Peter, or chose not to appear to recog
nize him, took the magazines aivd look,
ed at them, and found a couple he said
he would like to take, and inquired the
terms. They were each three dollars a
year in advance.
" But I don't pay in advance for any
thing," said Shavy. " If you have a
mind to leave them at my house, to be
paid for at the end of the year, you may
put me down for these two."
"No," said Peter, "I dou't wish to
take any subscribers, but those who pay
Saying this, ho took up his specimens,
and was going out of the door,when Mr.
Sharp called him back.
" Here, young man, you may leave
those two at any rate," said he, " and
here's your advance," handing him the
" Where will you have them left?"
" At my house, up town," said Mr.
Sharp, describing the street and, num
ber. The business being completed, Peter
retired, much astonished at his good
luck. He again became a monthly visit
or at Mr. Sharp's door; where ho regu
larly delivered to the servant girl the
two magazines. Two or three months,
after this, when he called one day on his
usual round, the girl told him that Mr.
Sharp wanted to see him, and desired
he would call at the store. Peter felt
not a little curious to know what Mr.
Sharp might have to say to him; so in
the course of the same day be called at
Mr. Sharp's' store.
" Good morning," said Mr. Sharp as
Peter entered ; " come, take a chair, and
sit down here."
Peter, with a "good morning, sir,"
did as he was desired,
" Ain't you the young man," said Mr.
Sharp with a comical kind of a look,
who set out to board out a subscription
to the New England Magazine at my
house two or three years ago ?"
' Yes," said Peter, ' I believe I'm the
same person who once had the honor of
taking board at your house."
Well," said Mr. Sharp, " I want to
give you a job."
What is it ?" said Peter.
Here, I want you to collect these
bills for me," said Mr. Sharp, taking a
bundle from his desk, " for I'll belong
ed if can ; I've tried till I'm tired."
Whereupon he opened the bundle and
assorted out the bills, and made a sched
ule of them, amounting In Hhe aggre
gate, to about a thousand dollars.
There," said he, I will give you
that list ten per cent, commissions on
all you collect; and on that list I'll give
you twenty-five per cent, on all you
collect. What say you, will you under,
take the job V"
Well, I'll try," said Peter, " and see
what I can do with them. How soon
must I return with them?"
Take your own time forit," said Mr.
Sharp; "I've seen enough of you to
know pretty well what you are."
Peter accordingly took the bills and
entered on his new task, following it up
with diligence and perseverance. In a
few weeks he callcd again at Sharp's
"Well," Bald Mr. Sharp, have you
made out to collect anything on those
bills yet ?"
" Yes," said Peter.
" There were some of tho ten percent,
list that I thought It probable you might
collect," said Mr Sharp. " How many
have you collected ?"
" All of them," said Peter.
"All of them!" said Sharp, "well,
fact, that's much more than I expected.
The twenty-five per cent, list were dead
dogs, wasn't it ? You got nothing on
them, I suppose, did you ?"
"Yes, I did," said Peter.
"Did you, though? How much?"
" I got them all," said Teler.
" Oh, that's all a joke," sold Sharp.
" No, it Isn't a Joke," said Peter.
"I've collected every dollar of them,
and here's tho money," taking out his
pocket-pocket and counting out the
Mr. Sharp received tho money with
the most perfect astonishment. He had
not expected that one half of the amount
would ever be collected.
He counted out the commissions on
tho ten. per cent, list, ud then the com
missions on the twenty-five per cent,
list, and handed the sum over to' Peter.
And then he counted out fifty dollars
more, and asked Peter to accept that as
a present ; " partly," sakl he " because
you have accomplished this task so very
far beyond my expectations, and partly
because my acquaintance with you has
taught me one of the best lessons of my
life. It has taught me the value of per
severance and punctuality. I have re
flected upon it much over since you un
dertook to board out the bill for the mag.
"Why, yes," said Peter, "I think
perseverance and punctuality are great
helps in the way or business-"
"If every person in the communi
ty," said Mr. Sharp, " would make it a
point to pay all of his bills promptly,
the moment they become due, what a
vast improvement it would.makein the
condition of society all mind. That
would put people in a condition, at' all
times, to. be able to pay their Mils
We might add, that PeUc Punctual
afterwarL opened a store in. the city, in
a branch of business which brought Mr.
Sharp to be a customer to him and he
has been one of his best customers ever
since, paying all of his bills- promptly,
and wheaever Peter requires it, even
paying in advance.
How Plug Tobacco fa, Made.
The operation of making plug tobac
co is very interesting. Tlie leaf i first
taken out of the hogshead, the leaves
separated (as they are tled.ii "bands" or
bundles), according to colacand texture.
If they are unsound, they are entlrely
discarded and sent to another factory, to
be used in connection with, a very com
mon quality of smoking tobacco. If
sound, they are classified, dipped in a.
large vat full of licorice solution. After
being thoroughly saturated, there are
taken out, hung upon sticks and per
mitted to evaporate the moisture, to
avoid its becoming funky," or moldy.
When thoroughly dry, it is put into
large bulks and allowed to "draw" un
til ready for use. Tho leaf is next car
ried to a table where the stem Is extract
ed, and then formed into lumps or rolls
an operation that requires almost as
much skill as cigar making, and fe
males are generally employed, as their
fingers are more nimble. The lumps
are next passed to the mills and shapes,
where the perfect ones are put into iron
cells or boxes, of which the shapes are
When filled, the shapes are covered
by a board, having followers to set im
mediately over the tobacco and when a
set" or twelve of the shapes are thus
filled, they are fastened together In a
" retainer," and secure a pressure of
000 tons, under a hydraulic press. They
are then run from under the press upon
a rail tramway, and allowed to stand for
several hours. The plugs are then taken
out of the shapes, and each lump care
fully repacked in a finishing press,wheu
it is again placed under a 200 ton pressure.
O An ardent lover was once pressing
his suit. The lady said: "I like ytu
exceedingly, but I cannot quit home ; I
am a widow's only darling, and no hus
band could equal my parent in kind,
She may be very kind," replied the
wooer, " but be my wife ; we will live
together, and see if I dou't beat your
mother !" She sold she would.