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    Herman Melville

    32. The Fiddler

    By Herman Melville

    So my poem is damned, and immortal fame is not for me! I am nobody forever and ever. Intolerable fate!

    Snatching my hat, I dashed down the criticism, and rushed out into Broadway, where enthusiastic throngs were crowding to a circus in a side-street near by, very recently started, and famous for a capital clown.

    Presently my old friend Standard rather boisterously accosted me.

    “Well met, Helmstone, my boy! Ah! what’s the matter? Haven’t been committing murder? Ain’t flying justice? You look wild!”

    “You have seen it, then?” said I, of course referring to the criticism.

    “Oh yes; I was there at the morning performance. Great clown, I assure you. But here comes Hautboy. Hautboy—Helmstone.”

    Without having time or inclination to resent so mortifying a mistake, I was instantly soothed as I gazed on the face of the new acquaintance so unceremoniously introduced. His person was short and full, with a juvenile, animated cast to it. His complexion rurally ruddy; his eye sincere, cheery, and gray. His hair alone betrayed that he was not an overgrown boy. From his hair I set him down as forty or more. . . . Read More.

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